Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India, October 2015: First Conference

An India Link pastor helped us at our conferences in Jhansi for the past two years. He is from the Andaman Islands, which are part of India but are far to the west, only 70 km from Indonesia. He asked us to help him train Andaman Pastors.

We flew from Kolcatta (Calcutta) to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at the end of October. Although it is a tropical paradise, the islands were hit by the tsunami 10 years ago when over 15,000 died.

Foreigners are not permitted on many of the islands in order to “protect” the stone-age existence of many of their indigenous tribal peoples. Gospel activity is especially forbidden!

Despite that there is a real openness to the gospel here. I went to the bazaar to photocopy some of my notes on 1 Timothy. The young man who was doing the photocopying asked: “Have you any Bible notes on Revelation?” Not what I was expecting to hear! We then had a wonderful 30 minutes sharing our testimonies and praying together. He was from a Hindu family and came to the Lord 4 years ago.

For the conference we were joined by another pastor from the UK. On the Sunday of the conference we preached in a Karen church.

The following day over 50 pastors and leaders, from a variety of Pentecostal, Methodist, Anglican and Karen Baptist churches arrived. We also had some sisters who host house churches in their homes.

The morning teaching concentrated on 1 Timothy, looking at the life and teaching of a pastor. The afternoon sessions consisted of preaching workshops. Delegates also shared their testimonies and details of their ministries.

One of the Karen Pastors recently spent 40 days in jail for preaching to a remote tribe. He is presently on bail and if found guilty faces a four year sentence for preaching the Gospel. Please pray for wisdom and continued courage in the face of such obstacles to the Gospel.

At the end of the conference, many delegates said they now realised that their lives must match their words. They thanked PTI and India Link for hosting the conference and said that it had been a great help and encouragement.  Almost all said the prosperity gospel was a big problem and that our teaching had helped them to preach the true Gospel of Christ. They also told us we had helped them teach the Bible in a systematic and sustainable way. Please pray that the Word of God that they were taught will transform their lives and ministries to the Glory of Christ.

One pastor had recently lost his teenage daughter and his wife is suffering from severe depression. He said that the conference had been a great encouragement and practical help to him. Please pray for this dear brother and his wife and remaining daughter.

Jaipur Nov 2015

We flew from the Andamans to Jaipur, to our fourth year conference for pastors and church-planters working in Rajasthan. We had over 60 delegates and taught on Exodus and how to prepare and preach sermons from the Old Testament and Mark’s Gospel. The teaching went very smoothly and we had good discussion times. One girl, aged just 18, came for the second year; she already leads an evangelistic Bible study in her village with 30 seekers!

One man goes regularly to the many mosques in the city and starts evangelistic Bible (injil) studies, until he is asked to stop! Both found this conference a great encouragement.

Unfortunately the PTI Books did not arrive and may have been stopped by customs. However, some Hindi books from Delhi did come in time. The delegates were very pleased with them.