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October 23, 2007: DEPARTURE FOR INDIA
This has been a whirlwind of a day! Thanks to the help of my lovely wife and my son Jeremy, I made it to the Bellingham, WA airport with a time to spare before my flight to Seattle. I'm now waiting for my flight to London, where I will meet up with brother Justin Monts, who is hopefully already there.
I suspect the hectic nature of this day was repeated for Bobby Holmes and LeRoy Klice, who are probably in the air by this time on their way to Germany before going on to Bangalore, India on Thursday. Tomorrow (Wednesday), Dan Torres will leave Seattle for Bangalore, India, via New York and Delhi. We will all arrive in Bangalore late Thursday night and early Friday morning.
I remember waiting for my flight this time last year, anticipating the work brother Holmes and I would be doing, and wondering what I would see, hear and experience in India -- a land for far from mine and a culture so different from mine. (Brother Holmes had already been there twice before, but last year was my first trip.) What I found was people - there are over one billion people in India. I found good-hearted people who love the Lord and His work. I found faithful people, brethren in Christ who were living for Christ in the face of many trials of daily life and the enemies of the faith. I found friendly and humble people who were ready to help us as we worked together in the cause of Christ. I found lost people, and, God be thanked, 17 souls became Christians during our time in India in 2006. I found people who fought against the truth and who were marked for their false doctrine. And, I found sacrificial people, Christians who were willing to hold fast the "pattern of sound words" in places where liberalism among churches of Christ is rampant. I found preachers who repented of their error and their fellowship with false doctrine, and who stood for the truth even though it meant losing their only source of support for daily living. I found people who lifted my heart and spirit for their love for the Lord, for his word and for his people.
I see great opportunities as I look forward to my second trip to preach the gospel in Bangalore and Kurnool, India. Classes are arranged for 200 gospel preachers for two weeks in Kurnool. We will preach a gospel meeting in Bangalore and also have private Bible classes while there, as well as opportunities to encourage the brethren there to remain strong in the faith.
The truth of the gospel is gaining ground among brethren in liberal churches of Christ (those who have strayed from the Bible pattern for the work and organization of the local church). Faithful brethren are being opposed and threatened; ungodly men are laying obstacles before the saints.
Please pray for our brethren in India. These faithful ones set a great example for us all of diligent, enduring faith. Pray they will remain strong.
Please pray for those will hear the truth on Bible authority, the work and organization of the local church, and fellowship for the first time. Pray they will be convicted of error and convinced of the truth, so they will also stand up for and stand strong in the truth of Christ in all things.
And, please pray for us: Bobby Holmes, LeRoy Klice, Justin Monts, Dan Torres and me. We value your thoughts and prayers and know the Lord's word will not return to Him void; it will accomplish his purposes. Pray that we will have the faith, the strength and the wisdom to effectively teach the gospel.
My thanks to the brethren of the Mt. Baker church of Christ in Bellingham, WA, who continue to encourage me in so many ways. You are greatly loved and appreciated, not only for your support of my in this work, but for all you do in the kingdom of the Lord. My thanks to all who have assisted me with the ability to make this trip and do this work; without you I would not be able to do so. And, my thanks to my family, my wife Debbie and our children, who always encourage me in the work of the Lord, and who will be "keeping the home fire burning" while I'm away.
The next update will be from Bangalore on Friday, October 26, the Lord willing.
In love of the truth of the gospel,
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