I was able to spend two weeks in North India. The time I spent there was the most amazing, and I believe fruitful, time I’ve spent ministering outside America. First, let me mention the church. The church is filled with leaders that were very impressive. They had sound doctrine, were sharp thinkers, and the fruit of the Spirit flowed from their lives. There are several excellent ministries that have sent missionaries to this church.
The course I taught was a survey from Romans-Revelation. As I taught through each book, we would end with a question and answer time. This is usually where I discover if the students are engaged, if they’ve understood what I have taught them. There were twelve seminary students and about five pastors in the class. The questions they asked were almost always on topic. For example, I gave a lecture on the life of Paul. At the end, they asked:
“Was Paul ever married?”
That was a spectacular question!! Book by book we would walk through the major themes covered, and at the end they would ask questions on the hardest verses in each book (if I hadn’t already covered it). For example, in James, they asked about the anointing with oil in James 5; in 1 John, they asked about the sin leading to death. These were the exact type of questions they should be asking. It demonstrated to me that they are serious students of the Bible and were taking their studies seriously. During class breaks and during lunch time, they would continue asking questions to further their knowledge of the Bible.
On my first Saturday in the area, we held a two-hour teaching time where I taught on two topics that are commonly misunderstood about the birth of Jesus. For example: does the Bible teach there were three wise men? Does it say they were from the Orient? The students greatly enjoyed these lessons and were talking about them days later. I also had time to teach on the New Testament canon, so they could better understand how we arrived at the books we have in the New Testament.
I did have the opportunity to do some sightseeing and enjoy some of the great food in the area. I was also able to attend church with them on Sunday morning and two Wednesday night Bible studies. I had many opportunities to share a meal with the missionaries serving in the area in their homes and met their families.
I cannot wait to hear how the Lord will use these men being trained over the next decade. I have high expectations that they will be very prepared to teach the Word, share the gospel, and shepherd the flocks God will provide for them. I was also very moved by the love the missionaries here have for the people in North India. So many men and women have invested their lives into this area and I believe the Lord will honor their efforts with churches that disciple their members and share a faithful gospel.
It was truly an honor to have a small part in this ministry. While I pray that God will use what I taught through His Word and the Spirit to change these men, I was also impacted greatly by their love for Our Lord.