The last time I wrote, I was on my way to India, then still only an idea in my mind. (Thanks for your prayers!) Today, I am able to tell you I have been in one of the largest cities in the world (Mumbai, aka Bombay, has 20 million people!). While in India, every city I was in had at least 5 million people. It is, after all, a nation of 1.3 billion people.
What was it like?
I cannot begin to answer this question. India was for me a buzz of people, all going somewhere. Imagine semi-ordered chaos, and you understand the roads. Imagine self-sacrificing friendliness, and you have the people. Imagine a two week feast of different flavors (and colors!) every day, and you have the food.
What did you do?
While in India, I of course got to train DCPI material. It was a joy to be able to share with my brothers and sisters what DCPI teaches about church planting. Because it is based on biblical principles, and not a method, it crosses cultural boundaries. Truly, there is no experience like sharing in the Body of Christ with people whose culture I will never fully understand, but whose life in Christ I share.
(The picture to the right is of a Summit meeting, in which the 50 newly DCPI-trained church planters gathered to share church planting vision and strategy.)
What do the leaders there face?
Christians in India face trials many of us could never imagine. Because of the influence of the caste system (mainly in rural areas), those who convert to Christianity are treated as a bottom caste. Essentially, they become nothing in the eyes of rural society. One pastor told of a new well having to be dug for the Christians of a village because the Hindus wouldn’t let them drink from their well.
What is the result of training there?
In 10 trainings held in 2006, 288 leaders have been trained, and 68 certified. One leader has a vision to lead in the planting of 500 churches by 2010! This is so exciting! According to Rev. Dr. Jayakumar, DCPI Asia Director, India needs 130,000 dynamic church-planting churches to reach the 1.3 billion people. In a nation where a political Hindu family has committed to build one Hindu temple for every 1000 people, more churches are definitely needed! Please pray for India!
TRAFFIC! These yellow vehicles are called auto rickshaws.