New Pastors Visitation BELC

Written by | July, 2015
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From the Field July 17, ’15

We are in the process of a visitation to new pastors in the BELC in India. We are accompanied by the district chairman and go to the pastors’ homes and meet their family. This allows us to visit also many times in the village where they preach. Questions are asked about the family and the background of the pastor. It is a time for them to ask us questions also. Fellowship in practice in the field like this is fun and informative. At each home we close with a prayer for pastor and family.

When we lived in Wisconsin and invited university students to our home, some were Koreans and would inevitably bring us a gift saying that that was their custom. Great custom. At each of our Indian pastor’s homes we give them a little something also and most of the time this is to help with some medical needs. They also of course give us tea or coffee, biscuits, some fruit or cold drinks.

We can learn a lot to help us in our faith walk in these visits. The men we visited most recently had been preaching from five to twenty-six years. While these men did not go to a seminary, they could see errors in the churches they belonged to such as ordaining women as pastors, when the Bible is clear on that. Pastor Thomas walks the four kilometers to where he preaches as he has no bicycle. And he recently had over 100 children in the VBS held at the village of Ramakrishnapuram. At the age of 55 Pastor Meganathan has read the whole Bible forty-five times, the New Testament alone eighty-three times. As in some other congregations, he conducts a tuition center upstairs in the church as an outreach tool for children who need help in school. And they hear Bible stories. Pastor E. David Selvam has a large congregation in his home village with five other branches ranging from 6 to 24 k. away. M. SamRaj’s late father was a pastor in the BELC Tiruttani DIstrict. Now Sam Raj is stepping into his father’s shoes to serve the congregation and it is in this church building where the monthly pastor meetings are held. R. Abel Arjunan has a sturdy church building they are working on, but not completed. The previous one they had been working on in another place was demolished by the Hindus.

When we lived in Nigeria, I remember once when a road’s course was altered so as not to cut down an ancient tree that had superstitions attached to it from old tribal ancestor worship. In India a Hindu temple, no matter how small is not touched as the road goes around it. This is why the story of the church building at Madhur is so interesting. Paul Mano is pastor here and told us the story. In 1969 a Hindu temple was built on ancestral land. The temple had to do with the snake Nahalama or Nagalama. In 1984 wonder of wonders the temple was torn down and a Christian church building now sits in that spot. This was not easy to do and there was a difficult struggle in the village over this. It was the family’s land and so they were determined.A Hindu priest’s daughter(converted) is married to Paul Mano. Paul Mano’s father got the foundation laid before he died. Now Paul Mano has completed the building which serves 70 adult members and 82 children. With God all things are possible. Nothing will be impossible with Him.