Rocky Russell and I returned from India yesterday and I decided to beat the jetlag by staying up until 9:30 pm last night. I got up this morning feeling great.
This was my second trip to India and it was another wonderful trip. My love for India has only grown from this second experience. I really do love India…the sites, the smells, the people, the food, Darjeeling tea, the ministry…I love it.
The pastors’ conference in Siliguri went well. I taught six of the ten sessions on various leadership themes. Approximately 100-125 Bible college students and pastors from Northeast India, Nepal & Bhutan attended the conference. I am overwhelmed to think that I was able to touch three nations through this one conference. It was also a good opportunity for me to work through some of my leadership/spirituality thoughts in a different culture.
We spent two days in Gantok, Sikkim in the Himalayan mountains. Sikkim boarders West Bengal to the South, Nepal to the East, Tibet/China to the North and Bhutan to the East. Rocky preached in an IET church there. He preached a great message on the Holy Spirit and the Spirit moved powerfully that night. We stayed in Pastor Kishan’s brother’s house. “Bathing” at their house in an Indian bathroom in the mountains was quite an experience it.
We returned to Delhi and I was surprised by a visit from my friend Aby Kallimel, the son of IET founder P.G. Vargis. I preached in an IET church there in Delhi and Aby translated. I was honored that P.G., his family and IET President Joy Thomas were with us during the service. P.G. introduced me to the congregation in his humorous way by sharing that while “India” was in the Bible, “USA” was not. He got a laugh from the congregation. He believed this until he found “USA” in the bible – in the word JerUSAlem. P.G. also thank me for introducing him to Brian Zahnd, who has become somewhat of a “rock star” among the people with IET…even our driver spoke highly of Pastor Brian. Aby did a great job translating. I preached on the spirit of faith and encouraged them to press on during times of suffering and persecution.
God did an awesome work in my heart that morning.
I did a staff devotional for the IET staff on Monday and we headed home Monday night. It was another great experience. My love and admiration for IET has grown. They have planted nearly 6,000 churches and have raised up approximately 2,300 pastors and missionaries. I believe in the vision and leadership of IET. God has put IET and India in my heart and I think this is the beginning of a long friendship.
Check out the India Trip 2006 photo gallery