For the first conference in Siliguri, we were expecting around 50+ men to come, but the head of Nepal equivalent of the FIEC: NEF, was arrested with two other pastors and a sister from the USA and charged with forced conversion. This meant that the 25 pastors we were expecting from Nepal, turned around, mid journey, in order to protest in Kathmandu. PTL the pastors are free on bail, but the sister from USA was deported. This just reminded us of the spiritual battle that we and our dear brothers and sisters are in.
However, despite only having around 30 men, we had a great time of teaching the 5th year syllabus. Many expressed their profound gratitude to PTI for the consistent teaching they had received. One of our main translators is a senior man in The Calcutta Baptist Mission and is so impressed by PTI that he has asked if we would consider starting a program in Calcutta.
We then travelled up to Kalimpong and spoke in two of the main congregations. This was to be a first year conference, but somehow wires had got crossed and they had forgotten that we were coming, until a few days before! We had a very keen group of 25 pastors and elders, including a very apologetic head of their UCNI (Evangelical Presbyterian) denomination. They all said how much they had appreciated the teaching and that they thought it very appropriate and helpful. The Moderator has given us his personal assurance that he will make the arrangements next year and has given me his contact details, so we can liaise regularly. They had also forgotten that we wanted the training to be open to other churches and have promised to promote the training to all the other churches in the area. There are 47 churches in the town, plus many more in the outlying villages and tea plantations.
John and I then travelled up to Darjeeling. On the Sunday John spoke in the main Assemblies of God church and I spoke in the main CNI (Anglican) church.
The training had been very well organized and advertised here. Over the 4 days we had 100+ delegates. There was a very real sense of the Lord’s presence and help as we taught God’s Word for the 4 days.
Many of the local pastors shared with us that John’s teaching last year, on the Prosperity Gospel verses the True Gospel, had protected them from a big time false teacher called Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj. He had tried to organise a big campaign in Darjeeling, but the local pastors, who had supported him in the past, refused to take part in or organise his campaign. They said that PTI had really helped them to see such false teachers for what they truly are. PTL! We also had some very encouraging testimonies during the conference. Of great encouragement was the number of young men attending, who are just starting out on their ministries.
One such young man is Abidan. He came to the first ever PTI in Darjeeling as a new convert from Buddhism. After that conference he says that he became on fire for the Lord Jesus. He has since started an audio Gospel ministry for the illiterate, in several of the local tribal languages. He is also now an evangelist in his church and takes a team of around ten people to several local villages in order to share the Gospel, on a weekly basis. We had dinner with him one evening and he asked us to share his profound thanks with PTI and its supporters, for the way that the LORD used our ministry to transform him! We had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a young man from USA with a nominal Catholic upbringing, who had now become a Buddhist. Please pray for his Salvation, his name is Dominic. We also had a great opportunity to share the Gospel with a young Jewish backpacker, over a cup of coffee. His name is Didier. The next day he came to our afternoon preaching workshop on Mark’s Gospel. The following evening he came to our room. He had downloaded a Hebrew Old Testament onto his phone and asked us many spiritual questions. Especially he asked: “Why should I worship a man?” We then showed him Jeremiah 23:5-6 which left him quite speechless. He left for Delhi the following morning after he had accepted a Basic Christianity book from us, which he promised to read. Please pray for him to become a true son of Abraham.