The message below was written by Daniel Barnes on behalf of Dylan Holstead, Minister of Missions John King and himself. They form Temple’s team on mission in South Asia this week. For security purposes, towns and cities are referred to only by abbreviations.
We have been in South Asia for 4 days and what a time we have had so far. We have traveled 18 hours on 2 planes, 9 hours by car, and 2 hours by train which brought us to G-town We are very happy and thankful to say that we have had no troubles in our travels and we thank our Father for that.
We were very fortunate to spend our first full day, June 1, in a tourist city getting our feet wet in the culture, sights, and sounds of India. We were able to spend some time at major sights and we were able to see a lot of the history and culture displayed in the buildings themselves and the people that were there. We got to know our tour guide fairly well and we learned a lot about him and his goal. His name was Ajmal and he was studying to get a job in government, he was a Muslim believer and we were able to pray with him before we prayed that Father would help him to find the truth.
We ended our time in the tourist city with a 2 hour train ride to G-town. It was the first time that Dylan or I had ever ridden a train. The scenery was great to watch pass by from the train window as we traveled for two hours. The scenery would change from trees to deep ravines to fields and then trees again. We pulled into G-town around 7 and met up with Melissa Robinson for supper and fellowship to hear about what she and her partner have been up to while she was has been here.
Our first day in G-town was today, June 2, we started the day with a small lesson on being sent out before we went into the city to look for persons of peace to interact with. We traveled to a local college and were able to get permission to enter into the college campus and meet with some professors about speaking with students. Their hospitality was overwhelming. The head of the college’s cultural relations set up a panel style presentation of us to the local MBA students. Our group sat at a table in front of 40 or so students and we talked about our school system, fields of study, and some American culture and holidays and they would ask a student volunteer to come up and share something with us about their studies and culture. After the presentation we had a small meet and greet time with a small group of the students. We were able to get to know some of the students on a more personal level and get some numbers to set up another time to hang out and try and share.
We spent the second half of the day trying to find anyone receptive to talk to in the city. We traveled in auto rickshaws to a Hindu temple called the Sun Temple, as well as a local mall, and the local zoo in hopes of finding anyone receptive to conversations. We met a few people who were very excited to exchange a few words and pictures or would walk with us for a way to continue a conversation.
We have really begun to mesh well as a team and are finding moving through the city and interacting with people to come easily and we are excited to see what our Father has planned for the rest of the trip. Tomorrow we begin training and evaluation of the work that has been ongoing here in G-town.
We greatly appreciate your thoughts and prs and hope that you will continue in your support of us in that way.
From the heart of India,
Daniel Barnes, John King, Dylan Holstead