Siliguri and Surrounding Areas

Siliguri and Surrounding Areas Denny, Mary and K.C. have left to go back to the USA, and are now safe and sound back at home. We made a great team, relying on each other for encouragement and support. We meshed together well, each using their unique gifts and talents to be the most effective in ministry; in such a manner the Lord was glorified in many ways! We were able to see Him use us for His glory as we used our gifts and strengths for Him! It is powerful to step aside of your own self and allow your being and soul to be used by God! Even though they are gone I am not alone! I know that many of you are praying for me and the ministry, which brings encouragement and strength. Most of the time I will be with one or more of our National Leaders as we travel, visit, encourage and enable local Pastors and Leaders. It is awesome to be a part of the Kingdom of God in His family, knowing that all of you are standing in the gap for me – that you are right by my side. As I am now the only foreigner, I will be staying with the National Leaders, in ministry facilities or homes. This is great; we will be able to spend quality time together with families, over meals and just sitting around fellowshipping. But, it has been unseasonably hot; with the places I am staying not equipped with AC. Please pray for cooler weather and cool breezes. Although, I am experiencing this for only a short time (even though I do live in Florida), this is what they experience all the time. I am in Siliguri as I write this, staying in the Discipleship Centre with our National Leader Sanjay and his family. Sunday was a real blessing in so many ways; one was that with me being the only visitor, service could be as usual, normally there are special honors given to visitors. The church here knows me well and we had a great time without special attention given to me. It felt good, like I was a one of them, just whiter, although I was given the honor to preach. In the afternoon we met with the Pastors in the Tea Gardens and later we meet with a local church to talk about their concerns. Sanjay did a great job facilitating the meetings, giving direction and using the wisdom God has bestowed upon him. He is a great leader! Traveling by road in this part of India can be very difficult; yesterday we traveled around 120 kilometers (approximately 93 miles) one direction and then of course, we had to travel back. Travel time for the one direction was approximately 4 hours. Coming back it was closer to five hours as we traveled on a different road to take someone home. When we returned home we were exhausted just from the driving alone, not to mention the ministry done when we reached our destination. Please don’t get me wrong, the ministry itself is exhilarating and rewarding! But it can be tiring. Many of the roads have severely damaged areas; at times you must come to complete stops as you maneuver the holes and dangers. There are many trucks, people, animals, bicycles, rickshaws, motorized rickshaws, motorcycles and other things sharing these roads as they travel to their destinations… oh, I forgot to say these are the main roads. Needless to say, travel is challenging and you have to be a very cautious and defensive driver. You can get very nervous and tense as you maneuver through ALL the various aspects of the road. We traveled to Makapara, which is a small village in India on the Bhutan border. There we have a Child Development Centre, which is bringing holistic ministry to children in the village. I had not been there to visit for over a year, but so many things have changed in that short period of time. The outreach has now grown to reach 216 children and their families, with a four-fold active to help families. The four areas of outreach are: Spiritual, Educational, Physical and Socio-emotional. This was another awesome experience: we spent time with the children, as they had class, ate, sang songs and played. You should see the smiles on their faces as they participate in every activity. You would not think they are living in such hard and difficult surroundings by watching them. I don’t believe many adults play with them, if, in fact, they get to play at all. Because as I would interact with them in various ways, they would get so excited, laughing and crowding around close to me. This was such a blessing and a thrill. Please pray for this ministry, there are many concerns and needs. The geographical area of this ministry does not have much rain and water is sometimes very hard to come by. The ground is very rocky and drilling wells is very difficult and expensive. We have been told they will drill a well for us, but they will have to drill over a 1000 feet deep at a cost of over $22,000.00, and even at that depth they do not promise they will hit water. What has been done recently, two water cisterns have been built to catch and hold rain water for various needs. This helps, but we still have to rely upon some local tea garden owners to help with water. So far they have been helping us, because of the positive impact of the ministry on the families in the village. The growing ministry needs in this area has warranted the need to construct another building on the property to accommodate the outreach to the children and families. We have been able to get the mason work finished during the rainy season, so that the rain water could be stored for use in the mason work. We are now at the point to put the trusses and metal roof on. The costs are higher here because of its remote location, but we know our God will supply the needs. We also traveled to the Riverside Church of God one day, another day on very bad roads. If you remember what I said earlier about traveling in India, you will know what we went through. We started out around 9 AM and made it back around 8:30 PM. Once again we were stuck in a truck gridlock on the road. This time it was due to the rough roads, the trucks were slowing down to a stop, going through some of the damaged road areas. Then we got a flat tire, Sanjay and I was able to change it out with the spare pretty quickly and back in the truck gridlock. The Riverside Church of God was damaged by cyclone Ali and they are in the process of rebuilding the church building. We had a good visit with them, talked about the rebuilding, the church and ministry. Everyone wanted to get into the pictures that we were taking. It was a blessing to see them smile and be enthusiastic about what is happening. Thanks to all of you who are keeping up with and praying for the ministry as we are traveling through India. Each one of you are vital to the ministry that is taking place here, it takes all of us using our gifts and talents to advance the Kingdom of God! As we minister together, people will be reached and God will be glorified! God bless you!! We pray for you, our supporters and prayer warriors, daily! [caption id="attachment_150" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Makapara CDC Sign"]Makapara CDC Sign[/caption] [caption id="attachment_151" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Makrapara CDC Addition"]Makrapara CDC Addition[/caption] [caption id="attachment_155" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Class at Makapara"]Class at Makapara[/caption] [caption id="attachment_152" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Makapara old and new"]Markapara old and new[/caption] [caption id="attachment_156" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Children at Makapara"]Children at Makapara[/caption] [caption id="attachment_158" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Church Service at Siliguri, India"]Church Service at Siliguri, India[/caption] [caption id="attachment_157" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Playing Game at Makapara"]Playing Game at Makapara[/caption] [caption id="attachment_159" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sanjay, National Pastor & Leader, and Richard at Makapara"]Sanjay and Richard at Makapara[/caption] [caption id="attachment_160" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Destroyed Riverside COG Building"]Destroyed Riverside COG Building[/caption] [caption id="attachment_161" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Riverside Church of God rebuilding"]Riverside Church rebuilding[/caption] [caption id="attachment_162" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Some Riverside Church family with Richard"]Some Riverside Church family with Richard[/caption] ]]>