I’m excited to share with you that our team will be heading to India in less than two weeks! Time has surely flown by, as it always does. With the craziness of the holiday season and then some unexpected snow days, it seems like we’re all of the sudden days away from departure.
Our team is mostly made up of people who have been to India before, with the exception of one person, that is, myself (Marylou). There are 6 of us going, but there are two different durations of the trip. We’ll all be leaving on January 21st. Those going on the shorter trip will return January 28th and those on the longer trip will return January 31st.
The primary purpose of our trip is something all of you have already had a huge part in – the graduation of our students from the Church Planting Training Initiative. About 140 students will be gathering for a two-day commencement ceremony from all over the Northern part of India. Under the leadership of our national partner E, our brothers and sisters have been training and learning for the past three years for this very moment. Pastor Matt and Pastor Josh will both have an opportunity to share some teaching during the graduation, and all of us will have a chance to offer encouragement and prayer for the students before they are sent out to do the work the Lord has called them to. Disciple-making and church-planting – this is so exciting! What a privilege to be a part of God’s work among the people in India.
After the graduation, the shorter team will return home and the longer team will continue traveling to spend some time with our other partners in India, D & A. We’ll participate in some local evangelism with them and also attend some churches in the area. D & A have only been in India for a few months, so they are still trying to form connections and relationships. We will be the first visitors they’ve had from back home! Pray that this will be a sweet time.
In the Gospel of Matthew, he writes that Jesus had compassion for the crowds he encountered “because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Jesus then urges his disciples to pray that the Lord would send out laborers into the harvest.
This graduation is evidence of the Lord’s faithfulness in answering such prayers. The lost, the idolatrous, and the broken of India are helpless and wandering. They are desperate for the Good News of Jesus Christ. In His grace and mercy, the Lord has raised up workers, and He is now sending them out into the harvest.
Pray for our brothers and sisters who are graduating. Pray that they would be on guard against the evil one, who seeks to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10). Pray that they would enter boldly into the work God has called them to, trusting He is the very One will lead them, guide them, and sustain them.
Pray for our time with A and D. Pray our time of evangelism with them would be fruitful, that the Holy Spirit would be our guide, and that we would be obedient to His leading. Pray that we would be able to encourage A and D, and help them find some solid churches.
Finally, pray over our team: Matt, Josh, Liz, Marylou, Susan, and Lindsey. Pray for boldness and unity among our team. Most of all, pray that we would be faithful vessels and that God’s glory would be made manifest within our team, our partners, and among India.
Remember to keep up with this blog as we’re gone! We’ll keep you updated on what’s happening and with all prayer requests.
Thank you, Church! We love you and covet your prayers.