In January my mission trip took me to two cities in India: Hyderabad and Kolkata. I came back with a deeper appreciation of Canada as a haven of freedom and rest, yet at the same time with an awareness of God's great work outside the western world.
Hyderabad was in the midst of political turmoil with the people of the area wanting to form a separate state. While in Canada such a desire is usually resolved peaceably, in India violence cannot be avoided with many people wounded and university students committing suicide (foreigners like me are very safe though). Yet OM India, the mission whose staff I taught, has over 2,000 staff planting churches everywhere in India including many unreached people groups.
Kolkata (formerly called Calcutta), the city of joy, has little joy with 1 million homeless people and perennial pollution. A pastor told me that the whole city was a giant slum. It is also spiritually oppressive, being the only city in India named after an Indian god (Kali). Mother Teresa started work among the dying right next to the temple of Kali. There is constant persecution of Christians in the surrounding areas.
Yet God is doing a great work. Many of the students at the training school that I taught have already planted churches while in training. The whole mission has planted over 200 churches. The mission director asked me to teach them about discipling, which they are weak at. Using what we developed in our church I led them through the methodology of cell ministry and intensive discipling. In the process I led them through Neil Anderson's 7 Steps to Freedom in Christ. It was not done properly since many of them had poor English and required translation; and yet God touched many hearts and many shared with tears how their lives were changed. At the end of the training they wanted to change the churches they planted into cell churches and asked me to go back to teach them more. I am reminded of our church's vision statement: “multipling disciples . . .locally and worldwide”; here is an example of extending our church's discipling ministry worldwide.
While I appreciate Canada as a haven I can return to, God is doing a greater work elsewhere where there is great poverty and darkness. “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20). I feel very blessed to be able to participate in this work of God in the Majority World.
1. After taking the place of a missionary couple in Germany for 5 weeks Pastor Lee is now in Hong Kong and China visiting various ministries.
2. Pastor Siu is now in Hong Kong and Asia for 3 weeks to teach and to visit family and friends.
3. Pastor Or's grandmother is very sick and he will soon go to Hong Kong to see her and to witness to her.