The congregation that meets at Jeehodvaya Trust for Sunday worship.
We divided Sunday three ways.
For the first piece of the day’s pie, we headed east from Bengaluru, back to Goramadagu. Conditioning from previous India trips reawakened, allowing us to see the world beyond the traffic. Flat land appeared once we left big city cement. Along the highway we looked through a filter of one and two story concret buildings, denuded tree skeletons, trash, and lots of people. Always lots of people. Beyond that, small patches of palms and forest punctuated irregular farm fields and vineyards. Silkworm farms stood out by their even patches of pleasant green with pointed oval leaves. The plants of each plot rose to remarkably even heights–some two feet, some three feet, and some four feet–almost as if trimmed level on purpose. After 40 minutes we passed through the distinctive blue and white striped culvert onto the narrow paved lane and returned to Jeevodhaya Trust, for Sunday worship.
A water cart making deliveries in a country village
We landed in Bengaluru's pre-dawn mist. Twenty six hours travel brought us as far from Idaho as possible without leaving the planet. The darker than night sky, barely visible through steamy aircraft windows, seemed unready to welcome us. "Four Thirty in morning? Are you kidding me?" it said. But sluggish bodies, hungry for movement, rose to the post airline flight ritual. Ron Banks, Regina Manley and I squeezed with everyone else into the aisles, pulled bags that may have shifted during flight from the overhead compartments and shuffled out of the aircraft and into India.
Pastor Naveen Narasimhappa and Ravi–professional driver turned full-time minister–met us outside the terminal. We tied our luggage to the rack atop the small Tata (an Indian made car) and stuffed all five of us inside. By 6:30 we were in our hotel rooms for naps, food, and reconfiguring for a 10:00am departure to begin MAF's third India ministry outreach.
Learning season is back in full swing especially for our brothers and sisters in El Salvador who just completed their first pastor training session with MAF Tech Resources, along with four other partnering organizations. This was the first of many training sessions aimed at helping to equip local pastors in Santa Ana, El Salvador and the surrounding regions.
Ray Bakke, a leading missional leader, has observed that, “Missions is no longer across the ocean and geographically distant; it is across the street and is culturally distant, in our cities and in cities on all six continents.
Are you prepared for today’s mobile ministry challenge? In the words of David Pasipamire, ministering in Zimbabwe for Life Ministry Zimbabwe—a Campus Crusade for Christ ministry, “We are living in an oral world and a digital world and the two need to be connected. This in turn affects the way we teach, educate and help people to learn.” The challenge is to pioneer mobile ministry solutions for people that can help them orally, as David puts it, “carry out Jesus’ Great Commission within their own spheres, region, people group, or tribe, using local languages.”
Something big is about to happen at MAF. Learning Technologies (LT) and Information Technology (IT) are merging to create one joint technical resource ministry team. After almost 70 years of offering technology solutions, MAF is continuing to strengthen ministry impact by merging these crafts in order to serve unengaged and isolated communities around the world.
With the increased globalization and urbanization of our world in the 21st century, Western mission organizations are adapting by recognizing the increased need for mutuality and partnership with the local communities they serve. There is a focused effort to identify, empower and invest in specific local leaders, programs and communities rather than rely on the traditional Western “resource and advice” mission’s philosophy. Former missionary Raymond DeHainaut provides a poignant personal example illustrating the struggle to implement this 21st century mission’s philosophy:
Over 65% to 85% of the world’s population prefers to learn through oral communications—telling stories, listening, and discussing things with each other—rather than by reading. So, how can we reach this population of people for Christ and communicate to them the spiritual and practical knowledge that they need? This is the heartbeat behind the Best Field Practices (BFP) group.