Greetings to you from Shillong, India!
We arrived in Sri Lanka and were ushered off for a 4 hour drive to Norton Bridge. Excitedly we arrived at the South Asia Institute of Theology, where the 2nd National Convention & Celebration of 20 years of Ministry was held with approximately 120 pastors, evangelists and leaders from around Sri Lanka attending. After arriving we had a brief time to get situated in our rooms before heading off to the chapel for Opening Session of the Conference & Celebration. The four days we were there went by quickly, with each day having a very full schedule of preaching and teaching. Several leaders from American, India and Nepal were there to preach and teach. I taught in two morning sessions, Mary Huebner taught in the afternoon women’s sessions, Kenneth Huebner (K.C.) taught in the afternoon youth sessions, with Denny Huebner as the Conference Speaker every evening.
Interestingly, there are two languages (three including English) that are used on the exotic island of Sri Lanka. English was the language used, with the use of two interpreters. Needless to say, it was challenging . . . but the Lord worked through everyone and His Name was glorified!
One of the many highlights was spending time with the pastors, evangelist and leaders of Sri Lanka. It was exciting and refreshing to talk with these church leaders! To hear from them personally how the Lord is using them for the up-building of His Kingdom in Sri Lanka. The pastors were very anxious to share with us how the congregations are growing, how new churches are being started and how the Lord is working in the lives of the people in Sri Lanka. One evening we had the opportunity to have an informal time where some of the pastors and evangelists shared their testimonies, their trials and their victories. It was such a blessing and special anointed time.
There was an unexpected surprise for us during the convention, in which we were able to participate. Eight pastors were anointed, prayed over and commissioned to take the Gospel to the people of Sri Lanka (WOW).
The time at Norton Bridge was one filled with excitement, vision, and passion! We all came expecting a special time with many Brothers and Sisters, and we were not disappointed at all! The Lord showed up, blessed all of us and made it a time of Spiritual renewal for everyone!
On Saturday afternoon the visiting leaders were sent to several areas, where each of us would be speaking in different churches with whom we had just spent the last 4 days with their respective Pastor. I was sent to a town about 4 hours away where I would be spending the night in a hotel that was referred to as the Honeymoon Hotel – and I didn’t have Debi with me. The hotel was beautiful, but it would have been much better if Debi had been there with me! She would have loved the whole experience – the conference, traveling through Sri Lanka, meeting the Pastors and Leaders, plus the Honeymoon Hotel.
But I have to tell you, on the way to the town where I would be speaking in the local church, I had the awesome opportunity to ride a motorcycle through the mountains in Sri Lanka!! The Lord is sooo good to me! The Pastor of the church where I was to speak had his motorcycle with him at the conference. After a little persuasive talk, he let me ride his bike through some very beautiful mountains of Sri Lanka. It was breathtaking! Needless to say, once again I received many strange looks as this big white guy was riding this small motorcycle.
Sunday the church service was another remarkable experience, the Lord’s Presence surrounded us and we had another glorious time in worship, as we experienced the Lord together.
Our time on the island of Sri Lanka ended Sunday night as we headed to the airport to fly to Shillong, India; leaving Sri Lanka, the Blessings the Lord had poured down upon us, and new friends . . . but knowing that each of these are forever burnt into our hearts.
We left Sri Lanka at midnight and traveled all night arriving at the airport in Guwahati, India to travel another 3 hours to get to Shillong. There was a mix up and we had to wait over 4 hours at the airport before we were able to make the necessary arrangements to go to Shillong, only to get there late in the evening and totally worn out. While waiting at the Guwahati Airport we experienced an earthquake. I personally did not feel it – I was walking rapidly, thus not feeling it. However I did see everyone start running! Imagine what went through my mind! We all are fine – it wasn’t much where we were, but we did find out later it had devastating effects in other areas. PRAY FOR THESE PEOPLE and the families of the victims!
The first morning in Shillong we traveled to Nichols Roy Bible College (NBC), where we were having a Seminar with 20 students studying for the ministry. These classes were to be taught in English with no interpreter. The first day we spent time introducing ourselves to the students, and then Denny and I shared about “Your Attitude Will Determine Your Altitude”. We both tried, without much success I might add, to get interaction from the students. I am not sure if it was because they were shy or not comfortable with their use of English, or the culture or all of these elements.
So, we started Day Two with “Crowd Breakers” and games to loosen them up and get them a little used to us. Mary and K.C. lead them in some exciting new games, which had everyone laughing and getting to know us better. I believe they still questioned: “What are these American’s doing?” Then Denny taught on “Spiritual Preparation” and I taught on “IMPACT”, a ministry of reaching your community for Jesus Christ.
We closed that day, walked around the college grounds to see what all is happening at Nichols Roy Bible College (NBC). We had lunch, and then off to another church service (3 hours away). We first went to the Pastor’s home upon our arrival to eat supper with them before going to church for the evening service. The service was wonderfully refreshing with young people leading the worship with a full band. Denny spoke on “Faith during times of Uncertainty”, another great service then greeted everyone and head back to Shillong for a night of much needed rest, before starting all over the next day.
Well, that is what we thought anyway! What actually happened was we got stuck in a truck traffic jam and ended up spending over 11/2 hours sitting in traffic, along with several trucks. Finally the jam was cleared and yet we had to still travel the 3 hour trip back to our hotel. It was midnight by the time we got back, and we were, once again, exhausted. The leaders thought it would be best to cancel the morning Seminar at the College so we could get some needed rest and recuperation. We did get the necessary rest, but we certainly missed our time being with students at the college. Tomorrow, however, the seminars resume! HORRAY!
More to come later! Continue to pray for us! As you can see we are very busy, there is much work that needs to be done while we can!
God bless you and may His steps lead the way for you. He loves all of us so much!!
The following pictures are:
1. A map of Sri Lanka in comparison to India
2. I’m praising God in Church Service at Sri Lanka Conference
3. Group photograph of those attending Sri Lanka Conference
4. Sri Lanka Conference session
5. Pastors and Leaders at Conference
6. Men fishing – could you sit on these stick poles and fish?
7. The mountains and a lake – I got to ride the motorcycle on some of these mountains!
8. The beautiful beach and ocean at Sri Lanka
9. Tsunami Photo – What most people think of or remember about Sri Lanka on that dark December 26, 2004 day
10. Man holding snake
11. Some food served for dinner
12. The fruit on the tree
13. Nichols Roy Bible College classroom in Shillong, India
14. Class doing Crowd Breaker
As I have informed some of you in the past, there has been a cyclone and floods that have battered India and Bangladesh. Recently, I received additional messages from Bangladesh and India where there is severe flooding and damage from the cyclone have accurred.
Please read and pray for the Lord to give you direction on how you can help. I have attached a few pictures. If you need any additional information please contact me.
HERE IS WHAT OUR NATIONAL LEADERS ARE SAYING AND ASKING!
One Indian Pastor writes,
I had earlier mentioned about the damage done by the Aaila Hurricane to the Riverside Church of God, I also had sent you photos of that. Beside that there are several other churches that needs repair.
I am encouraged to know that people are interested in supporting and praying for our pastors and projects, we appreciate and are encouraged by that. We had a meeting in in one District where we are working to reach new areas, please pray and support us as we reach out to those in need. We also needs tracts in Nepali, Hindi and Bengali as well as Bibles, also Children Ministry materials.
Another Indian Pastor writes,
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Greetings in His Name!
Please help us as we help those who have been effected by the cyclone, Aila victims at Sundarbans. They need our immediate attention, without which many precious lives will be lost. Please extend your supporting hands as the Lord leads you to help our fellow brothers and sisters. You can bring a smile in many faces who have been struggling with pain, sickness and death.
The project is on. The team is going for two day medical camp to dis-inflect two villages where poisonous snake are on the rampage – very strong phenomena. The team has borrowed some money and going ahead as it is very urgent. The situation is just terrible. If you can help it will be very nice.
One Bangladesh Pastor writes,
This is to inform you that due to heavy rains from 15/8/09-18/8/09 several areas are affected by floods. Houses are under water, some domestic animals have died, some tube-wells are under water, all the latrines are broken and useless, some trees have been blowen over, they don’t have safe drinking water, they can’t use latrine, they are not getting food, there are No medical facilities in the affected area. In one of the children project, 192 registered children out of 205 have been affected. Please see the photograph of affected area.
Few of our rural churches were affected by the floods. Most homes are half way or fully under water. The affected areas are Mohali, Bagdohora, Alambidirthar in Rangpur district, and Putimari, Saulmari, Barovita in Nilphamari district. Most of the people live from hand to mouth in this area. Last more than 10 (ten) days they had no food to eat, even drinking water was unsafe to drink, also no medicines to help those in need. Though we have no present picture of this area but the situation is very bad. Till yesterday it was raining.
Please pray for this people of these rural churches.
Helping Hands In Motion