India 2009

India9I can still see their faces, nearly 300 pastors, mostly young men, who came to soak up God’s Word with the intent of taking it back to their people.

My purpose was to equip them with tools of how to study God’s Word and proclaim it to the people. I did an exposition of the book of Ephesians. It began with all day sessions on Monday and concluded on Friday. We believe that it was a “mission accomplished” by listening to the testimonies of the pastors at the end of the time together.

DSC01032Here are three testimonies of those who were present: First Alok Srivastava, TEllASIA – Alliance, who organized the conference: “Dear Pastor Steve, greetings to you all from India. It was such a great joy and honor to spend a few days together at the conference. We thank God for your service to us by teaching his Word faithfully and thoroughly. I had very good feedback from several pastors those came to the conference. Please find following thoughts about the conference.

First of all, Uttar Pradesh is most un-reached with only 1% Christian population and Conference like this would surely speed up the gospel work.

As a result of this conference more than 300 pastors, evangelists and church planters have been equipped. As you know there are not many activities or training programs among Awdhi people groups. We really count it a great partnership.

DSC01093Most important thing about this conference was that the pastors have studied at least one book (Ephesians) thoroughly. I think this was our first conference where we have learned one book systematically. You have set a role model before them how to feed our congregation, not just from here and there, but from chapter by chapter and book by book.
Each of the pastors has gone back with Ephesians Hindi Notes (translation of your original notes) and they are teaching in their churches/ house churches and Bible study groups.

This conference also helped a lot in our 2020 Network vision because so many pastors who came to this meeting have joined 2020 Network to reach Uttar Pradesh.

Thank you for bringing your president of your ministry with you. He is also a really humble man. I was very much touched by brother Lannie’s testimony. Thanks, Alok Srivastava, TEllASIA – Alliance”

Next, from Myron Witmore, a Southern Baptist missionary who helped facilitate the conference and provided for the many needs of the two of us: “Steve and Lannie had a wonderful ministry among us. For many of the evangelists and church planters, it was the first time they had a study through a book of the Bible. I had one evangelist/pastor call me and said, “I am going to teach through the book of Ephesians.” Others have also made this commitment and I trust that it will lead to a stronger church and a better presentation of the gospel to the lost. Our message is central to what we do, so Steve’s exposition of Ephesians helps clarify our message and models how to effectively teach through a book. What Steve brings to us is the centrality of Christ as presented in the Scripture. Besides presenting Christ to the lost of India, our greatest need is to have a clear understanding and a deep conviction of the centrality of Jesus Christ as our message and life.

Thank you so much for contributing to this vital conference. God bless you.” Myron Witmore.

Finally, it was my joy to have Lannie Green, the president of Shepherds’ Support Inc., travel with me. Lannie Green is a businessman and a man with a heart for the world. Here is his summary of te time in India: “What a mighty God we serve! God is so good!

Thank you, to all our supporters in God’s mission for the pastor’s conference by Shepherds’ Support in India. Your prayers and contributions have been multiplied and wisely invested. After observing the sincerity and passion of the approximately 300 Indian pastors, ministers, and missionaries serving God in His work in India, I have been very humbled, but extremely motivated, encouraged, and educated about the power of our Lord.

cartShepherds’ Support’s mission was to encourage and teach those that have had little or no depth of education, formal or otherwise, in His Word. Pastor Steve’s plan was to teach and encourage. What a blessing for all of us to see the mission accomplished. Most of these Indian pastors must hold additional jobs to support their families. Taking time away from earning a living is an indication of their commitment. There was an observable passion in their interest to learn more of God’s wisdom from His Word.

Pastor Steve’s expositional teaching was more thorough than what most had ever had opportunity to experience. It was greatly needed and appreciated. He was not bashful to address uncomfortable subjects in many areas including accountability and sexual purity.

Volumes could not adequately speak to the impact this trip had on me, personally. I saw an openness and enthusiasm in those men and women that astounded me in the midst of poverty and chaos of their country. India is a country where Satan’s presence is obvious in the disorder and confusion that is everywhere. It is also evident in the struggle of the people’s daily lives. At the present time, in this most densely populated country in the world, it is only one percent Christian. I observed dedication and thirst for the Word in the ministers, missionaries and pastors present at this conference and God’s moving presence in that country.

TDSC01083he dedication and sacrifice of the missionaries and their families who have chosen to leave their more developed and ordered countries, disregarding their personal health and safety, to serve Christ, has inspired in me a burden to pray without ceasing for them. I hope you will join with me in prayer and your support of SSI as God’s instrument to equip and encourage the pastors to reach the unsaved and to build them up in the faith. I was truly humbled by my experience there and made aware of the Lord’s grace and blessings during this time of ministry.” In His service, Lannie Green

I want to thank each one of you for your prayer and financial support. Without your financial support we could not go. Without your prayer support we would have no impact. Your support means so much to us. One young pastor at the end of the conference said of me in a testimonial, as it was translated, “I have never seen such an old man with so much energy.” That was one of the results of your praying. We are co-laborers together with God. In his study entitled “Experiencing God”, Henry Blackaby said “Find out where God is at work and join Him.” We sense that is what is happening here.

Next month Connie and I, accompanied by Stuart and Lee Anne Hendry, will travel to Zambia to minister to 1,000 pastors and wives who will gather in Lusaka, the capital city. We will send you prayer requests as we approach the time of our departure.

May God bless you and provide for every need that you have.

Pastor Steve and Connie