Letter from Cody: India – January 2017
Another new year has arrived and once again, it is hard to believe. The new year is a good time to hit the “reset button” and take stock of our lives. Are we advancing in the heavenward journey? In a New Year’s article, Sister White asked a number of pertinent questions for us to ponder: “What fruit have we borne during the year that is now past? What has been our influence upon others? Whom have we gathered to the fold of Christ? The eyes of the world are upon us. Are we living epistles of Christ, known and read of all men? Do we follow the example of Jesus in self-denial, in meekness, in humility, in forbearance, in cross-bearing, in devotion? Will the world be compelled to acknowledge us to be the servants of Christ?” “Who will seek at the beginning of this new year to obtain a new and genuine experience in the things of God? Make your wrongs right as far as possible. Confess your errors and sins one to another. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be put away; let patience, long-suffering, kindness, and love become a part of your very being; then whatsoever things are pure and lovely and of good report will mature in your experience.” Lift Him Up,
15. As we think on these things, we realize even more that it is only as Jesus Christ is living in and through us that this can be possible in our lives. May we carefully and prayerfully ponder these questions and determine by the grace of God to grow in grace during this coming year!
I have just recently returned from India, and I praise God for what He is doing in this massive mission field. India is the second largest country in the world by population with 1.2 billion people. This fact was brought home again and again as we saw the teeming masses in the cities, on the subways, in the bus terminals and in the crowded houses along the railways. A team of Hartland students natively from India made up our team of workers for this trip with two main areas of ministry. Our first stop was in the capital city of New Delhi where we held a 2-week training program for the pastors and gospel workers in this needy city. With around eight million people in this hub of India and only a handful of churches, much work needs to be done. We teamed up with some of the local leaders of LIGHT (Lay Institute of Global Health Training) to train workers in practical
evangelism, focusing on Bible and health ministry. The leader of the work in New Delhi, Pastor Marjee, wanted to inspire the workers with the concept of using health evangelism, particularly health expos to reach out to the many Hindus and Muslims in their territory. Engaging non-Christians directly in a Bible study can be difficult, but when someone ministers to their health needs and develops a rapport with them, many become open to spiritual things, as well. As a culmination of the training, we conducted a health expo in one of the churches in the outskirts of the city. It was a great blessing to see people streaming in for the health check-up. When they reached the final booth, “Trust in God,” most were open to being prayed for, as well.
After completing the health training, we traveled to the northeast side of India near the base of the Himalayas for a camp meeting. Although the open-air tent was very cold in the morning and evening meetings, the love and warmth of the believers was certainly not! As the believers gathered to fellowship and share how the Lord is blessing their work in their respective areas, we were greatly blessed to be able both to share with and learn from them. The Lord’s work is truly going forward around the world! May we lift up our brethren in India in prayer as they seek to fulfill the gospel commission in their expansive portion of the Lord’s vineyard!
Yours in fulfilling the great commission,