Headlines from First Thoughts

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Getting Planted

Planting churches is a lot like nurturing children. They grow in life cycles as children do, thus they need patience, water, love, food, time, love, and more love. Around me this week are people who are in the trenches doing the work of the kingdom. They have come from miles around seeking to plant and nurture new churches; like other pastors, they have come for restoration of their souls and good fellowship with colleagues.

We gather at Vision Natives, a ministry of Arjun Chiguluri and his wife Raja. VN has been around since 1997. They started as a children's ministry, serving as an orphanage and home away from home for needy children. They expanded to a church planting center, school, and Bible college for this area. They are reaching unreached people groups in areas where many people are not. They have three very large buildings, beautifully adorned, perfect for this work. One building is the conference and classroom center, another is dorms for children, another is an eating hall and residence for college students. College students study here 11 months out of the year, as well as the children. They go back to their homes for a month in the spring. Families of college students come to visit them one weekend a month. That would be tough to do. All of them leave here prepared for the work God has for them. Many of the college students are here with us in the conference.

The work here crosses denominational boundaries. Some are Baptists; all are some for of evangelical. I haven't found any Pentecostals yet. Each person is uniquely gifted and willing to serve. I have met one fellow who worked with Eastman chemical in Kingsport for awhile before moving to China. He is working part time now and planting and supporting house churches in China. Another couple from America works with a church for missionaries and families in Thailand. He's a pastor and church planter.

The weather? It will be in the 90s today; some rooms have air conditioning; thankfully, our hotel does. It's warm enough here to nurture the hearts of some needy pastors and to teach this pastor a lot about the kingdom of God.

1 comment:

Jane Hull said...

Bill and Kelly -
You are both in our prayers as you travel and minister to the churches and people in India.
Jane Hull

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