India Update #7

2015-01-16 image-1

(Today's update is from Mark Schaff, our International Trainer)


The catalyst event for this whirlwind trip of preaching, teaching and training is up and running. The actual consultation has begun.

The various 'stats' are being tabulated:

  • 28 leaders
  • 15 languages
  • 4 countries

(It takes more than 3 minutes to sing the chorus of 'this is the day' in each language present).

For the 7th year in a row, the South Asia team has touched over a million lives with relevant Biblical messages. These messages ignite passion for God's Word and forge a group of men and women into a solid team that, to adapt a phrase, is 'taking a walk and changing the world.'

What impressed me today was the dynamics of the team. You would think the 27 hour train ride from Kolkata to Hyderabad would be a real drain. Physically, beyond a doubt. But the East / North East Zonal team arrived enthused.

Rarely seeing each other and spending a day+ together in a sleeping cabin is a rejuvenating reunion of fellowship. The larger team is separated by thousands of miles with major rivers and mountain ranges between them. This consultation is the one time they gather as group.

Between reports, they pray for one another - deep prayers of thanksgiving for deliverance from major car wrecks on the mountain roads of Punjab, healing of voices when one could not speak after traveling 200 miles to lead an event, protection from municipal governments that seek to disrupt and disperse church gatherings.

Years ago, gatherings like this were a time of friendly competition of reports and stories. Today, I saw a group of friends, deeply concerned for one another gathering around the Great Commission wanting their lives to count.

It has been fun watching Phil; without a translator he is 'cut free' to be more himself. The men are really connecting with him and soaking up CHOSEN. Today is Phil's birthday.

However corny, the picture that comes to mind is an old admiral commanding fleets of ships with all the vast responsibilities of the office, suddenly being allowed to jump on a small frigate. Zipping through the waves as a young captain with the sea spray and wind in his face. Phil is in full classic training mode. The skills and abilities that saw him rise to Dean of faculty, VP of International and President are still there and shining. Yea, he is a year older today. But the 'old guy' still has it.

OK, back to statistics. We have to make a new category for God's Grand Story. We currently count number of churches with live events, number of small groups, people attending, etc...but we did not think to add New Churches Started.

At least two small groups in South India gathered to study God's Grand Story. After hearing the messages and meeting for six weeks of study and devotions, they decided to continue meeting around God's Word. And 'bang,' a new church blooms and a local Walk Thru instructor begins nourishing a new leader with more life change material.

Thank you for your prayers. We feel them daily.

- Mark

P.S. Happy Birthday Mr. President!

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Joe Fontanetta 19.01.2015 11:55  
Encouraging, inspiring, and spiritually fulfilling. Yes No   Such great advances through His Word! And such a feeling of fellowship.  
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Dan Taylor 17.01.2015 14:49  
Very exciting! Yes No   Thanks for the regular updates and know you are in my prayers.  
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Debbie Millette 17.01.2015 11:57  
Awesome News! Yes No   This information in this report is awesome! We are praising God for the pouring out of His Word as leaders connect to the story and pass it on to others. We are glad that Phil is able to relax, enjoy and be the leader/teacher God has called him to be. Isn't it amazing how the fullness of God in a person cuts through the cultures and builds loving relationships in His kingdom!  
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