Archive for July, 2009
It is just the start of monsoon season here, which means the temperatures are finally beginning to drop (97 instead of 110) and the dust is being settled. We’ve had rains each day, with subsequent run-off, mud and puddling. Since we were transported everywhere by car we didn’t feel any adverse effects of the weather.
Enough of the weather…India. Great time so far, especially the last three days in Northern India getting to see the conclusion of a workshop/training program involving the Pangsu language cluster. These languages represent 65 million people. Our Indian partners (NIEA…see previous post) who are working here are exceptional people, committed and called to this very dense part of India.
Those organizing the event termed it a ‘celebration’ and time of thanksgiving, it really was: praise, prayer, singing, demonstrations, granting of certificates, excitement, eating…just a fantastic time.
The term ‘storying phase’ is relevant because Dr. Alex Philip and the New India Evangelistic Association, who partnered and sponsored this event, has a big vision for Bible translation in India that includes holistic ministry (evangelism, discipleship, church planting, medical/health and education—including mother tongue education).
Elizabeth Wilson is pretty modest about her contribution but she has done a great job of delivering the completion of this phase.
Besides those already mentioned, included in the ceremony was Dr. Pravin Moudgill of Wycliffe India along with over 100 pastors some of whom traveled over 30 yours to participate. One of the pastors in attendance told Dr. Alex that for the first time last month he did an evangelistic campaign in his mother tongue…before he’d always used Hindi. For the first time everyone listened, and he didn’t have to stop to ask people to be quiet and listen…they were riveted on the language of their heart. After seeing the storying demonstration during the closing celebration he said, “This just makes sense.”
They included us on a food distribution visit at one of the villages most severely impacted by massive flooding last December. To get a glimpse of this scene, imagine tiny Indian mothers and grandmothers, not even five feet tall or 95 pounds, dressed in their gorgeous saris, hoisting the fifty pound sacks of rice on their heads, while carrying a baby or clutching a toddler’s hand, then gliding off down a trail to their homes. Feeding the body has to come before feeding the soul.
Following this we went to a mobile medical clinic. The two doctors (both retired, both Hindus, volunteering their time each month) saw nearly 400 patients. Later that night The Jesus Film was shown to well over 1,000 people with 400 responding.
The follow-up plans and strategies are already being implemented. Three of these languages have already transitioned to the Luke Partnership, a partnership between the Jesus Film, Wycliffe and the Seed Company to produce the Gospel of Luke and the Jesus Film.
Dallas and I are leaving Delhi later this morning (when will we get over jet lag?) for a short flight to Bagdogra, India. Following a five hour road trip, we arrive in Purnea.
If you would like to see where Purnea is located you can Google it.
At the other end of a long day will be great opportunities to see church leaders not just involved in Bible translation but taking full responsibility.
Underway is a Bible storying project. Our host for this portion of the trip will be Dr. Alexander Philip, head of the New India Evangelistic Association, pictured in the middle above.