For the last several years, I have moved from place to place (7 cities in 12 years), making new friendships everywhere, but not staying long enough to get to know people deeply. Moving increased the width of my friendships, but not necessarily the depth of them. Finally, when I came back to my city, where I’m in the process of planting a church, it’s a new start for me, again. New faces, new people, new friendships, and new challenges! It took time for me to get to know people a bit.

The beginning weeks were silent – really silent! After the church service, normally, we have a fellowship lunch every week. I thought it will be a time where we can really have good gospel conversations and get to know each other more. However, things weren’t going as I thought they would. There would be this silence across the hall. Everybody just looked at their own plates while eating. Nobody dared to break the silence. Even I noticed that I become speechless for a while. I had to go back to the drawing board, and decided to ask some questions to start conversations. Slowly, the people began to open up. After a couple of months, now, people are freely talking to each other as if they knew each other well. Things seem like they are moving in the right direction. The bond between one another seems to be growing. I praise God for that!

I have been preaching through the Gospel of Mark on Sundays. Taking the people through the book, passage by passage, at first seemed difficult for me. But now, not only am I getting into a routine, but I’m seeing the word of God controlling me and my passions each week. I believe and hope it does the same with everybody in the church as we go through the books of the Bible, one at a time. I trust the people are really getting to see clearly what the Word of God is teaching us, as I preach the text.  I rejoice that they are showing a serious desire to grow in the Word. I make sure that every week the gospel is clearly preached in my sermons. That has been a great joy for me. The more we think about the gospel as a church, the more people are confessing their sins, and seeking sanctification in their lives. I see this expressed in their prayers.

It’s really an amazing opportunity that the Lord has given us! Indeed, it is an answer to the prayers of many saints around the world. Thank you for your prayers, by which we are covered, and please do continue to pray for us that the Lord would build and lead His church here in South India for His glory and for our good!

In Christ,

Charlie T.