Praise the Lord! I am excited to share with you all what God has been doing these last few months.
Last semester, I was teaching the Gospel of John at the Bible College. It was a great joy for me to teach the young people. At the same time, teaching also helped me understand Jesus more closely in my own life.
Since I last updated you all, in addition to continuing my responsibilities at the Bible College campus, I also started traveling to different states in the North. It was a great joy for me to meet some of my friends in different states. It was also a great opportunity for me to share about Calvary Chapel ministries, introduce our Bible College, and challenge many young people to join the ministry. I shared about my life and experiences I had while serving the Lord in the North and I also spent time teaching the Word of God chapter by chapter. People are very eager to listen to God’s Word and experience Jesus more closely in their life!
CHURCH AFTER CHURCH
One Sunday, while I was visiting one state, I had the privilege to teach in five different Sunday church services! You may wonder how it is possible! These five pastors arranged their church timing in such a way that I could attend their churches one after another. I rode a motorcycle from morning until evening reaching church after church and teaching the Word of God. The believers are so eager to hear the Word of God that it makes these difficulties worth it!
THE LAND OF RICE
In January 2019 I was in another state for two weeks. I was so excited to visit some of these tribes and tribal believers and live with them. It was so cold there in the jungle/forest and mountain areas. It is fascinating to see how these people get everything from the forest for their daily needs. Most people don’t own their own land. Instead, they cultivate in the surrounding forest. They make cooking oil from the jungle seeds, and hunt the animals that roam. They are not very educated but when they worship the Living God you see many with tears.
There are not good roads in these areas and no form of public transportation. You have to either travel by motorbike, bicycle, or foot. These are the only three modes of transportation in these areas. A motorbike was arranged for my travel. In six days I traveled around 300 miles through the forest and village roads. Sometimes we had to travel a long distance, and even into the night, to reach the village where I was staying.
WHERE DID HE GO?
While visiting different churches, we got the help of a local believer to show us the correct way to reach each destination. We found a brother who knows the area and he accompanied us.
One day, I was driving my motorbike with another brother sitting behind me. The road was very narrow. A big truck came from the opposite direction and I had to stop my bike to make room for the truck. When I stopped to let the truck pass, the brother who was riding behind me got off the motorcycle. I did not realize this! After the truck passed I started driving on, not realizing that the brother was not on the bike with me! Thinking that he was still behind me, I continued talking to him. After a long time, I noticed that he was not responding to me. Then, I looked back and I realized that the brother was not with me! By this time, I had already gone about 2 miles. I turned around to look for him in the forest. Finally, I found him walking toward me. He had tried to call my cell phone, but that area did not have cell service!
SHORT SUFFERINGS BUT ETERNAL REWARDS
While I was in this area, I had no connection with the outside world. For a whole week I had no contact with my wife and children. However, I want to praise God that as a result of my visit to this state, several students joined the Bible College this semester! I had many traveling struggles. Yet, when I see these young men who have come to study the Word of God and prepare themselves for the ministry–I rejoice in the Lord!
Pray that many more young people may come from this tribal belt to join the ministry. Then, they can go back to win their people for the Lord.
Please pray that I can return to these areas to train up the local pastors. They loved the teaching style of Calvary Chapel and are interested in learning more about how to teach the Bible. There are many needs in these areas for the local pastors. The areas are very remote and the people are very poor. Oftentimes, the pastors are walking 12 miles to different areas to encourage the believers. They don’t have proper homes or bicycles.
I met with one pastor who came to our campus last summer for a Conference. His wife has breast cancer. He spent a lot of money and sold many of his possessions to pay for her treatment. Finally he had to sell his motorcycle. This pastor travels 10-12 miles to reach his mission field in the forest areas. He let me know his request that, if it is possible, he needs a bicycle to make these long journeys rather than walking. Please pray for him and also for complete healing of his wife’s cancer.
Many pastors in this region are facing physical persecution, threats on their life and disruption of their church services by the anti-Christian groups. Please pray these pastors will stand strong in their faith and that the Lord would keep His hand of protection over them and their congregation.
Please pray for my health. I am suffering from frequent back pain. Please also pray for my need of a new cell phone. Please pray for my daughter as she finishes her last year of high school.
Thank you for your prayers for myself, my family and the ministry!
God bless you,