The first meeting was at 10:30 am. There are so many meetings and so many people and it’s been an amazing planning task of putting all this together. And! And, to keep to a demanding schedule. But, we did with only a few delays. There are so many people, so many needs. My heart goes out to all these human being in search of something greater and beyond what their existence and the millions around them has granted them.here.
We stopped first at the Moturu Village church and spoke to a group of poor widows and distributed rice by Jolinda and Bev. They are very poor getting a pension of about $17 a month.
This church building was destroyed by cyclone Hud Hud on October 14, 2014. David and Jolinda Schreiber organized a fund-raiser to rebuild it. There was a plaque to the entry to hall noting that. They are now building a second floor. On the first floor they hope to have a sewing enterprise for women needing an income. They will need sewing machines. On the second floor they plan a new assembly hall. I questioned them on having the assembly hall on the second floor where older people would have to climb steps. How would they do that? The answer from Chandra was: "very slowly." On the second floor there were dangerous uninsulated power lines that something will have to be done about.
As we were leaving, a man appeared from the settlement and came to me with Chandra. His leg was injured and he could no longer operate his treadle sewing machine and asked if we could get him a motorized one. The cost would be $70 to $120. That will be a LifeNets project that we will do through Chandra.
From there we went to conference hall where the Beyond Today seminar was to be held. I’ve been calling them Kingdom of God seminars, but David told me that it would be better to call them BT seminars so that it would appear that we are not violating any anti proselytizing laws. It was actually billed by the local people as a Pastors and Leaders Conference. They made another large banner for that that was hung at the front of the conference hall. As they put it, it was for pastors, leaders, evangelists, youth and believers to attend. Of the 55 who came 25 were pastors of which about seven or so were Sunday-keeping pastors.
It was a most attentive and responsive audience! I gave my Kingdom of God sermon basically. The translator’s name was Johnson Martin who was a Sunday-keeping pastor. He was actually quite good as we traded short phrases and sentences for the presentation. We had some questions brought forth to David Schreiber and me. It was obvious we needed more time and and we decided to continue discussion about the Sabbath day and other questions after lunch on the second story of this building.
A nice lunch was provided for all. The Schreibers and us were whisked into an air conditioned room where we ate. The meal consisted of chicken tandoori, curried beef, salad and rice. All tasty. The curry was quite hot. I like hot food, but this was at my limit.
Then we continued our discussion about why we keep the Sabbath. Most of the Sunday-keeping pastors were there. David did a fine job in starting in the book of Genesis when God first created the Sabbath and we moved through Christ’s and the New Testament’s church’s observance. I felt that our presentation was compelling. The reasons for keeping Sunday brought forward by the pastors were the same “stretches” that we’ve heard many times before. Some were seriously pondering the biblical evidence for Sabbath observance. Some even laughed at their statements about keeping Sunday because it was a more “convenient” day to observe in society.
The day was not over yet as we travelled another 20 minutes or so to Prakash’s new church building. They wanted David and me to dedicate it. We were greeted warmly by wreaths, a banner and then we addressed the congregation who sat on mats on the concrete floor. David, Jolinda and I made welcoming remarks. Then we went to the home of Prakash and family. There we sat and talked for some time. The day is getting on and we are getting weary and have an hour or more drive back through congested traffic. We also have to leave the hotel at 5 am for our 7:10 am flight to Calcutta and on to Aizawl in Mizoram.
Each day is a monumental adventure!