Dear friends, we cer­tain­ly have much to rejoice over. We expect­ed the mis­sion work in India to be one of the high­lights of 2019, but even our expec­ta­tions fell short of the extra­or­di­nary work that God accom­plished in India. I’m thank­ful that we had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be part of this extra­or­di­nary move of God by going, giv­ing and pray­ing. There is still oppor­tu­ni­ty for us to con­nect with this work. There is still a finan­cial oppor­tu­ni­ty for you and a prayer opportunity.

We expect­ed 30,000 atten­dees in India and 100,000 came to hear the gospel. The cost of the cru­sade was sub­stan­tial­ly more than was first esti­mat­ed. The believ­ers in our area have the resources to meet this finan­cial need if we present the oppor­tu­ni­ty to them.

There have been some inter­est­ing devel­op­ments after the cru­sade. When you preach the gospel and 80,000 Hin­dus and Mus­lims are saved by Christ in a coun­try in which it is ille­gal to engage in Chris­t­ian evan­ge­lism, you get noticed by the gov­ern­ment. Gov­ern­ment offi­cials in India have vis­it­ed Pan­du and are request­ing that he dis­solve Vic­to­ry Bap­tist Asso­ci­a­tion and dis­con­tin­ue his gospel work. The gov­ern­ment has offered Pan­du mon­ey, a house and land and oppor­tu­ni­ties for pro­fes­sion­al advance­ment if he will sim­ply stop preach­ing the gospel. They gave Pan­du a short time to think it over and the end of that time is quick­ly approach­ing. Pan­du must soon give an answer. He can accept their offer or he will be required to trav­el to Del­hi to stand before the gov­ern­ment and give an account of his min­istry. We want to see Pan­du remain strong in his com­mit­ment to the work of the gospel and our prayers will make a difference.

Please pray for the work of God in India. Pray for Pan­du, that his resolve to serve the king­dom would not fal­ter. Pray that Pan­du would have wis­dom and the words to speak in that very hour. Ask God to con­tin­ue to estab­lish his church in this place in which mil­lions of souls do not have a gospel wit­ness. Final­ly, pray and ask God what he would have you give and how he wants you to par­tic­i­pate in this work of His. Ask God how you should lead your con­gre­ga­tion and use your influ­ence to engage oth­ers in this work. Con­sid­er fast­ing through lunch one day this week and pray­ing for Pan­du and our DBA Mis­sion India.

I’m very encour­aged and hope­ful con­cern­ing the advance­ment of the gospel local­ly over the next few years. I can see God putting some pieces in place for sub­stan­tial spir­i­tu­al devel­op­ments. Although it seems we’re play­ing the long game, if we con­tin­ue to lean-in and apply pres­sure, I’m believ­ing we can expe­ri­ence great gains for the king­dom in our area. Stay the course, pray and let’s keep our hand to the plow.

One thing that I expe­ri­ence in my role in our DBA, is that many of our pas­tors go through dif­fi­cult times both phys­i­cal­ly, emo­tion­al­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly. They often seem to be going through these things with­out the sup­port that comes through being con­nect­ed to their good broth­ers and fel­low pas­tors in our DBA. I often call a pas­tor, eager to hear about the vic­to­ries of the gospel, to hear pri­mar­i­ly about tri­als and even dis­cour­age­ment on the oth­er end of the line. I am inclined to think that being a mem­ber of our asso­ci­a­tion should mean that you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be con­nect­ed to oth­er pastors.

Some of you are con­nect­ed to some of your fel­low DBA pas­tors. I encour­age you to deep­en those con­nec­tions and sup­port and pray for one anoth­er. Some of our pas­tors are not con­nect­ed. Let’s change that. Let’s make one of our goals in 2019 to build a stronger net­work among our pas­tors for the ben­e­fit of the church. If you are not con­nect­ed, be open and ready to say “yes” when the oppor­tu­ni­ty presents itself.

Bro. Bil­ly Puckett


From the Desk of Bro. Billy