Transforming Leaders in Asia
Dear Prayer Partners,
Thanks for your fervent prayers for our smooth transition to India.
We left Birmingham on July 24, leaving Sonam with Jim and Eleanor Thomason (TLA leaders). Sonam will be with them and then she will go to Dordt College on August 22. We are grateful to God for Jim and Eleanor who volunteered to take care of her and even drop her to Dordt College.
We arrived in Delhi on July 25 and stayed with our friend Mr. Richard Mashih (an old ministry associate) for five days. Richard lost his wife few years ago and he does not have any children. Our time was very fruitful with him, except for the heat of the summer. Delhi is well known for its extreme climate. We missed the air-conditioned room and the ice water.
Then, we moved to Mussorie to put Children in the boarding School (Woodstock). We stayed there for nine days to provide a smooth transition to Neema and Joshua. We were glad that Mussorie was cold (unlike Delhi) but Neema and AK suffered with food poisoning for five days. By Godís grace, they soon recovered without much complicacy. Thanks for your prayers.
In Mussorie, we also met the leaders and the staff of the TEAM ministry Retreat Center (a ministry of the Evangelical Alliance of India). They provide Bible Correspondence Courses and discipleship training programs. There was much to learn from their commitment and zeal for the Lord.
At the Woodstock school, we attended orientation for three days. We were very much impressed by the faculties and staff and their commitment to provide excellent education. We finally bid goodbye to Neema and Joshua on August 7 and traveled back to Delhi.
In Delhi, we had very fruitful time of fellowship with two of our old disciples. One is currently involved in the campus ministry, another left the ministry with some discouragement. The time spent with both was valuable.
We arrived in Shillong on Friday 2 am after seven hours of traffic jam on the road. We have been provided the previous pastorís house. The Church has been kind to provide a bed, some furniture, some household items to begin with. We have been here without internet or phone connections for last 8 days. Our shipments have not yet arrived. We plan to find a bigger house that we may be able to use as our office and a center for TLA ministry. Probably it will take another 2-3 months before we begin to settle down.
Although, we are back into the same city after nine years, some of the things are same while others have changed. For instance, we went to the Bible study yesterday thinking that we knew the place, but only to find that the place has been moved to another location. So we arrived 30 minutes late. Another surprise is the hike in the prices in the market. One business man teased me, ďSir, its not the same, we are now a rich country, we donít use small bills.Ē Unfortunately, he did not take into account the poorest of the poor in our country who remains unaffected. Thanks to outsourcing of US jobs that has inflated India markets unrealistically, un-affordable for those who does not have corporate company jobs!
On the family front, my younger sister had an operation yesterday. Her husband is still struggling from cancer. Our nephew (a Hindu) underwent some mental trauma last month, has come to stay with us. He wants to take Baptism, so we are spending time together to consider Christian discipleship. My older sister-in-law is gradually revering from the loss of her young daughter in an accident last month. Please pray that we will continue to be blessing to our family who are yet to know the Lord.
On the ministry front, people seem to have high expectations from us. As we observe and listen to the people, we see ministry opportunities on every front. It is overwhelming because the need is not only in my pastorate, but also in the Churches in our home state and other organizations that I have been associated in the past. Please pray for Godís godly wisdom, discernment, and of course patience that AK needs.
For now, this is what we have to update you. We will soon be back with more update. Please pray as AK is being installed this Sunday (Aug 19) and preach his first sermon. We both are enthusiastically looking forward to serve His people here in our country.
Thanks for your partnership.
AK and Asangla