The past month of January was almost consumed with our Journey to India. One week prior to leaving in preparation, two weeks on the journey, and one week recovering from jet-lag and catching up on the home-front. It was a long journey but a great and rewarding trip for Pastor Butch Suddath and I. Pastor Reddy and his family took great care of us by receiving us into their home, feeding us, and driving almost 800 miles in our time together.
The people of India are very hospitable and honoring. Everywhere you go they want to feed you or give you something. In a couple of churches they gave us gifts of shawls and flower garlands. We are not used to that type of attention and it was very humbling to receive these gifts of honor. The photo below shows Bro. Butch and I adorned with our shawls and garlands.
Butch Suddath and I ministered to over eight hundred people in several village churches and pastor conferences. In several villages, we preached just outside the church because there were more people than the church could accommodate. In most of the places we personally prayed for at least 75% of those in attendance. They desired prayer for healing, family situations, and many young people wanted prayer for a blessing in their studies. At three locations we distributed assistance to widows. Our ministry supports twenty widows with monthly provisions each month. During our ministry time at the end of our services, we had a number of people who committed to follow Jesus.
The pastor conferences were a day-long event. It seemed like Butch and I were in a preaching marathon. One of us would preach, they would sing a song, and the other one would preach. Then lunch was served and we would each preach again. At the last pastor’s conference, there were 72 pastors, they asked for another session. Instead of us preaching again, we had a question and answer session.
One topic that came up during the Q&A was oppression and persecution. These pastors live in an environment where Christians are a small minority in their country (in a country of 1.4 billion people, only about 2.3 percent are Christian). Open evangelistic activities are often curtailed and the pastors were concerned about the future.
So what did we tell them? We told them that Christians have undergone persecution from the beginning of the church in Acts. The Bible tells us to be patient and faithful in the times of persecution. We also told them, we had traveled from the other side of the world to encourage them. They were not alone because we loved them, were praying for them, and standing with them as one with Christ. It was a very humbling moment for us to stand on the same ground as these brave men of God and servants of the Cross of Christ.
Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support of Pathway Outreach Ministries. We have ministry in five countries of the world and God continues to stretch us beyond our current faith level. Please continue to partner with us.
Rejoicing in the salvation which is by grace through faith, I am…
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt