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. Iâ€™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.
Iâ€™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 weâ€™re playing the long game, if we continue to lean-in and apply pressure, Iâ€™m believing we can experience great gains for the kingdom in our area. Stay the course, pray and letâ€™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. Letâ€™s change that. Letâ€™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 â€œyesâ€ when the opportunity presents itself.
Bro. Billy Puckett