I have a good internet connection this morning because, I think, they moved our rooms in the place we are staying each night, and the access must be better here. So far, it’s been very spotty. I’m eating breakfast as I write – coconut paste and fried pastries with hot sauce.

We are in the city of Tenali in SE India. We drive out from the city each day to a village on the outskirts, Kancharlapalem, which sits in the middle of wide rice fields all around – I saw my first mongoose yesterday, and we have a pen of water buffaloes not twenty feet from the church door. The homes in the village are a mix of brick and mortar, stick and thatch, etc. At the back side of this village sits a nicely built solid church facility, one room, which can sit maybe 125 people. We regularly have about 60-70 in attendance. From all around, the people walk in from the neighboring farms, villages, and house churches to attend this church-planting training that we are giving.

I am with Martin, a pastor who serves in another region and is a leader in the church planting work here, and Kenneth Rooks, the head of ICE International Ministries (link to his website at the bottom of this page). I am scheduled to speak on leadership multiplication later in the program while Kenneth and Martin are busy now laying the foundations. Yesterday Kenneth taught about the 10/40 window and it was the first time any of these folks had heard of it, much less discovered that they were in it. It is exciting to see their paradigm shift before my eyes as their perspective as believers is shifted from very, very local to a more worldwide view of the Kingdom. They discover through this training that they are part of this larger view of Christianity as they become church-planters in the other villages around this region. They discover that the best way, perhaps the only way for them to win India, is to plant house churches in every village. The popular and frequently used “ya’ll come” rallies of thousands of people simply don’t produce much fruit – there is little organized follow-up by the churches, and they are mostly attended by all the Christians in the area, anyway. The average Hindu doesn’t attend.

At night I return to the village with pastors Martin and Rao and teach about the deity of Christ. This is a subject that is very important for them because as converted Hindus they hear all kinds of myths and stories, and it is easy for their theology to become confused. I am teaching these simple truths for about an hour each night from 9pm to 10 pm. Yes, it’s a long day for them, but this is an opportunity for them to hear from the outside, and they seem for the most part attentive and excited about what they are hearing throughout the days. At the end of each teaching, they line up for prayer, which may last another 40 minutes or so.

I am preaching in three church services tomorrow, Sunday. I drew the lucky straw! If you read this in time, please pray for these messages and services. The local language is Telegu, so I am working with translators which is new for me.