1/16/2009 - Depart from Dallas, TX, and Charlotte, NC
1/17/2009 - Arrive in Hyderabad in the very early morning
1/18/2009 - Sunday church ministry in Hyderabad
1/19-20/2009 - Fly to Rajamundary and conduct first conference
1/21-22/2009 - Drive to Kakinada and conduct second conference
1/23/2009 - Tour various ministries and fly back to Hyderabad
1/25/2009 - Sunday church ministry in Hyderabad
1/27/2009 - Four team members return to the U.S.
1/27-28/2009 - Drive to Karimnagar and conduct third conference
1/30/2009 - Charlie and Rodney return to the U.S.
December 20, 2008 - India Mission Trip
We are gearing up for our mission to India January 16-31. India has a great need for Bible-based teaching,
especially about the gospel and the message of grace. We will be assisting Daniel Oswald of
Crossworld Ministries in training about 400 pastors in the grace message.
This will be the first exposure to the grace message for most of these pastors.
The team (see the photo) is Pastor Bart Howell (Eagles View Church, Saginaw, TX),
Shelly and Rich Keller (EVC), Pastor Rodney Cripps (Stough Memorial Baptist Church,
Pineville, NC), Wes Dunham (EVC), and Daniel Oswald.
Please pray for the support that is needed for each team member. Pray that the pastors'
hearts will be prepared. Keep in touch for updates. Thanks for traveling with us!
It is now 3am Hyderabad time. We are all exhausted after the flights.
They were all extremely smooth and the flight attendants were great.
Tomorrow we will sleep in and lead a Bible study in the late afternoon
with a group of young men at Daniel's sisters' house. We're looking
forward to the time of fellowship with folks eager to hear the word.
The FW group heading out
Made it to frankfurt - 9 hour flight
Met Rodney in Frankfurt
Off we go to the hotel
January 26, 2009 - Preaching & sharing the good news.
With the threat of snow in the Carolina’s and cool weather in Texas, it is just finishing up winter here at a balmy 85 degrees. We are finishing up our first conference in a town on the East coast of India by the water. Palm trees everywhere and the people are of small statue (about my size of 5’ 7" so I feel tall). This is the first conference here and the first one on grace. They began the conference saying you must believe and then do certain things in order to have eternal life and after nearly 2 days they seem to be excited about grace.
With the strong Hindu and Muslim influence works are a part of their lives and they end up trying to add to the message as is taught in these religions. It is exciting to see 90 pastors and 40 women being freed from the bondage of working for their eternal life and then failing all their life. .
January 29, 2009 - Another fine day.
The "Fort Worth Four" report that they got home fine, just missing the ice storm that could have kept them in Germany at their connection. On Tuesday the 27th (Karen and my 30th wedding anniversary!) Rodney and I drove with the Crossworld team to Karimnagar about 100 miles from where we have been staying in Hyderabad. Our third and last conference was a great success. They have been praying for this for over six months. The pastors' enthusiasm was very high; it had to be for them to sit and listen for 11 hours both days. The final results were evidenced in the pastors' testimonies at the end. We heard things like: "I have been to many conferences, but none of them have explained grace....None of the conferences I have been to have gone so deep in teaching the Bible....When I heard grace explained the first day I was able to go home and sleep in peace....I have never understood the purpose of the law and the difference with grace; now I understand....We greatly appreciate the teachers from the United States and Daniel from Crossworld Ministries and would like you to come again soon." Not only did we minister to these men (and some women) at the conference, but we also visited a school and shared the gospel with about 150 children. Before we left the city we also visited the home of a newlywed couple to encourage them with a blessing and a prayer. They greatly honored us with a special meal.
Tonight Rodney and I leave for the airport and home. The trip has been filled with many exciting experiences, wonderful people, and fruitful ministry. The records show that over 600 men and women attended the three conferences (500 men, 100 women). For almost all of them, this was their first encounter with the clear gospel of grace. It took some time for them to see it, and they had questions, but we are sure that we sent them home with the assurance of their eternal salvation and a commitment to share the gospel of grace with their churches and their communities. As I told them, we did not come to teach 500 pastors, we came to teach 500 congregations. And we did, by God's grace.
I thank you for your prayer and support. These pastors and women thank you. You have been an important part of this journey and ministry to brothers and sisters on the other side of the world.