Missions Coordinator John King sent this summary of activities in India.
It’s been awhile!
Sorry it has taken us so long to get out our first real update from our vision trip to India. The Internet availability hasn’t been what we expected, so buckle up for the quick version of what we’ve been up to. (From here on out, “we” refers to Dr. Rick Byargeon, Casey Casady, and John King).
We left DFW on March 17 in the afternoon and arrived in Delhi at 3:30 AM March 19. As you can guess it was quite a trek across the globe. (We did have a 2-hour layover in London, and we moved ahead 10 ½ time zones.) We were thankful that each stage of the journey went well.
We were met at the airport by a pair of journeymen who work with the Heart of India (Madhya Pradesh) team. After getting cleaned up, we traveled via train to Agra, the city that is home to a little monument you call the Taj Mahal.
After spending the night there in Agra, we moved on to Gwalior. Gwalior is a city in of the state of Madhya Pradesh (MP). This was really important, because this is the part of MP that Temple has committed to focus on as a result of our partnership with the MP team.
During our time in Gwalior we started to realize the huge spiritual need in this part of the world. We will fill you in on later updates more about the needs here, but Gwalior is a city of over 1 million with very few believers. We visited with Jesse and a few local pastors/church planters about their vision for reaching this enormous mission field. Their vision of seeing a tithe (10 percent) of the population come to faith in Christ is exciting, but at the same time, will only be accomplished by the power of God.
The strategy for reaching this vision is to train and empower local church planters to start house churches that will reach new families with the Gospel. We were able to meet with two of these house churches during our time there. Dr. Rick preached at one of them on Sunday. (If we could have gotten wi-fi, we might have even been able to simulcast it.)
After Gwalior we spent a day in a town called Shivpuri, and then made our way to Indore on an overnight sleeper train. (Ask Dr. Rick and Casey about how much fun it was to sleep on the top bunk!) Now here in Gwalior, we will do two days of training for local church planters. This training will focus on the basics of how to start biblical churches, and how to perform the ordinances of the church.
I know this is a really brief update, but we now have Internet access and will be able to communicate more details soon. If you have a few moments please:
- Praise God for the travelling mercies and health he has given us. (Both of those can be redefined now.)
- Pray for the local church planters we will be training on over the next two days.
- Pray for the MP team as they serve in a difficult cultural and spiritual climate.
- Pray that we as a church will embrace our role in reaching this incredibly lost state, for the glory of God!
The City and Its People
The densely packed buildings of Gwalior extend far beyond the camera’s lens in this photograph. The city has more than 1 million residents, few of whom are believers.
Local scenery and sustenance
Temple’s ministerial trio checks the options available at a snack stand on the way to Bhind.