...Yesterday afternoon we wrapped up a good week with the pastors. Pictured below are the pastors as we took our group photo on Friday at noon before our last session.
...The white faces in the photo are fellow Asian Access staff members (l to right) Jeff Johnston, myself, P. Charlie and our faculty member for the week of training, Dr. Richard Hibbert of Sydney who is a church planter and trainer of church planters with WEC, a missions organization focused on assisting nationals in planting churches among unreached peoples of Asia.
...Here are a few stories and photos of this rich learning community. The focus was how to plant multiplying churches and nurturing our love relationship with God.
...The pastor in the center of the photo above is Ashok. The pastor with the great smile is Wilson Joseph and on the other side is Pastor Rajnish Jacob, who has led a church planting effort resulting in over 20 churches.
...Pastor Ashok is tilling some hard spiritual soil. He planted a church among a totally Hindu area 5 hours west of Delhi. He desired to plant more, but few people were responding to the message of Jesus. Then Jesus raised up some people to spread the good news. Jesus healed three people in surrounding villages from cancer, after they came to Ashok's church and were prayed for. They came because they heard that his God healed. One of those healed was the mother of a Hindu leader who had been pressuring Ashok. Now this man's mother is telling people what Jesus did for her and her son is no longer creating any problems or threats for Ashok.
...The two other people are also telling people what Jesus did. People are coming to the church to learn about this God that heals. Ashok now is focusing on planting churches in the three villages where God has touched these people and the message is spreading.
...Pastor Subodh, pictured above, has launched a church in Gurgaon, a thriving city that has grown out the the booming economy around call centers. Pastor Subodh's desire is to see multiple reproducing churches focused on reaching the professions and consultants working in these call centers. He was so grateful for how, now he more clearly understands the biblical strategies for planting multiplying churches and has practical steps to move forward.
...Pastor Hemant, above, suffered the death of his key lay leader in his church the day before he was to come to the Asian Access training. After attending to the needs of the man's family and making funeral arrangements, Hemant came Monday to the Asian Access session - 5 hours on a bus, overnight - arriving at 7 a.m. Then on Tuesday night he did the return trip to his hometown - 5 hours on a bus - in order to conduct the funeral and care for the family on Wednesday. Then Wednesday night at midnight he got back on the bus and rode another 5 hours overnight, back to Delhi for the session, arriving at 7 a.m. on Thursday. That's how much this training and fellowship means to these pastors.
...What a privilege to serve these pastors, provide this training on what does it mean to be a Christ-like leader, develop disciple-making leaders and plant churches that plant churches. I serve David Dayalan, an Indian pastor, who leads the Asian Access ministry in North India, helping him as we further equip and release these leading pastors who will train multiple pastors and workers in the years to come.
...It's Saturday. I'll relax a little bit today. I catch a flight at midnight for Kuala Lumpur for a week of meetings with Asian Access national leaders from five countries.
...Thanks for traveling with me and holding me up with your prayers. We're 1/3 through this trip.
...With a full heart and feeling good.