The past three weeks have been the most stretching MTM conference I have ever done. Our first conference in Nepal had the ministry team trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas. First we drove for 4-5 hours in a four wheel drive vehicle until there basically were no roads any more….and while we were driving sometimes I was wondering where the road really was. Then we trekked for another 4-5 hours on mountain trails. First we trekked down the mountain to the river where we crossed the river on a foot suspension bridge. Then we basically climbed 1500 feet almost straight up to where the remote village was located. My leg muscles felt like rubber bands by the time I reached the village. The Ree village has no electricity or running water. The water is spring water gravity flowing in a small pipe. The day time temperatures are very comfortable and at nights it gets rather chilly. Our hearts thrilled to live in the village with these dear people. What a privilege was ours as the church leaders came from the remote of the remote regions of these Himalayan mountains. These remote mountains have hundreds upon hundreds of villages who have never heard the gospel for the first time. These dear church leaders are working in those villages for the cause of the gospel. Most all of these church leaders have never had the opportunity as this to receive Bible teaching and training. We also ordained three brothers as pastors during this conference. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
After the Nepal conference, brother Harold and brother Akash (Nepal MTM coordinator) and myself all traveled to Delhi, India. There I was joined by my dear wife and we flew on to Jammu in Jammu & Kashmir state of India. This is in the far northern regions of India. Once again we were in for a major stretching. This time it was heat. Every day the temperature was 105-110 degrees. Preaching and teaching is such heat is very physically taxing. Both Harold and I struggled with heat exhaustion. Some of the nights we were in non-A/C rooms. But God was very merciful. Nevertheless we had a good conference. There were brothers there from Kashmir (exclusively Muslim region) that were recently converted to Christ from Islam. Their hungar and thirst for the word of God was very invigorating. There also was a young man converted during the conference. Blessed be God !!! After this conference we traveled to Katra, India. This is the second most holy place in all of India for the Hindus. Everyday there are 25-30,000 Hindus who make a walking pilgrimage 14 kilometers to the top of this mountain to make sacrifices to Vaishno Devi which is a Hindu goddess. Our hearts were so grieved to see this and we prayed much that this satanic stronghold would be brought down and Christ would be glorified on this mountain.
MTM India Ministry Team – L-R, Narinder (our native coordinator), Akash (from Nepal), Harold Carpenter, Raymond & Naomi Burkholder
A Church Service In Katra, India
Editors Note; The article below was written by brother Harold Carpenter from Sturgis MI. He was our guest teacher at both MTM conferences. Brother Harold has cross cultural teaching experience and does an excellent job of connecting with the native people. Thank you Papa Harold.
Tired, Stretched, Blessed
I am tired of riding in hot stuffed buses with too many people and “room for more”. I am tired of being gone from home and family. I am tired of heat and sweating and no A/C. I am tired of hearing languages that I am unable to understand. I am tired of filth and spiritual oppression and poverty on every hand.
I am stretched by the 4 ½ hour 1500′ up the mountain climb. I am stretched by the hunger and spiritual cry of the Christians of other lands. I am stretched by the vastness of the need of peoples that have never heard. I am stretched by the heart of natives to see God’s glory take the place of the devil’s stolen claims in their lands. I am stretched by the multitudes that worship false gods innumerable.
I am blessed by the brother who shares with me the points that I taught in past conferences. I am blessed by the spiritual fervor and the heart cry to God of His people. I am blessed by the many who share their testimony of suffering, sacrifice, vision, and resolve to see the kingdom of God increased among their own people. I am blessed by those who have left family and culture to seek after the true and living God.
I can’t wait to hear the call of God and see Him provide for the next opportunity to share with hungry hearts the truth of God’s word. Here I am Lord, what do you have in store?
LETTING THE PICTURES SPEAK ………..