Friday, April 27, 2012

Meghalaya Ministry Trip Report April 2012


He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD (Pro 18:22).

Well, I know it sounds rather unusual to start a report with the verse above. But I have a good reason to do so :-).

God's word can, without doubt, be taken at face value. Undertaking this two-week ministry trip for the first time with my wife, I could see the favor of the Lord everywhere we visited. No doubt, my wife at time past had accompanied me for ministry but that was simply for church meetings on Sundays. However, this visit was really a different experience for me. Her presence made me feel so complete in ministry. I would wish that it was possible for her to join me every time I make such long and outstation ministry trip. But that would also mean someone willing to take care of our kids like John (my younger brother) and his wife Esther did with such loving care. But just as I have witnessed that many couples serving the Lord together are usually older folks (and my perception could be wrong), I wonder if that would be the case with us too. Grow up fast kids!

The Church in Shillong
On the 1st of April we headed to Pokhara where we were going to drop our kids to John's house and where my mother was also living. Taking a six hour bus drive we finally reached Pokhara in the late afternoon. We were much relieved taking into consideration the moment when halfway through the journey our bus came to a halt behind a long trail of several other vehicles. We were told that there was a "bandh" (road blockade) called by some organization in protest of the death of a prisoner that took place in police custody several weeks ago. It was just past midday and to our utter frustration we were told that the road would only be open after 6 pm. This meant that we would reach Pokhara only late at night. I'm sure we whispered a prayer. The road, however, looked lively when people, both locals and tourists of different shade began to come out of their vehicles and mingle in groups chit-chatting and frolicking around. Despair gave birth to hope as we saw some vehicles coming from the opposite side after almost an hour. There were some movements of the cars on our side too as it began to inch forward and surely enough after a little while the traffic resumed its flow once again. What a relief it was!

A railway station in NJP area
Since it was our first time, it wasn't easy for us the next day, to bid farewell to the children and head to India for the next two weeks of ministry. The bus we boarded from Pokhara for the Indian border was an old one and very early in the morning as it began to rain heavily, water began to drip right inside the window seat which I had actually graciously granted to my wife. She was getting wet and I offered to swap our seats. Now it was my turn to get wet. By the time we reached Kakkarvitta (Nepal's boundary with India), early in the morning my jeans had dried up. That day in the evening we were going to catch our train from NJP, India and since we had the whole day to ourselves we went to Siliguri and lodged in a hotel until evening. We had passed by this city several times but had never ventured out to the town area. In fact, this city serves as a  gateway to different places both nationally and internationally and thus a very strategic place for mission base. Lying in the eastern part of India, it connects Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh besides being the only land route to all the northeastern states of India including Sikkim and the district of Darjeeling. After scouting through the market we returned back to our hotel to head toward the railway station. Trains rarely arrive or depart on time in India and so ours was late by more than an hour. The next morning, after the train ride we took a jeep to Shillong from Guwahati. The normally three hour’s national highway from Guwahati to Shillong is undergoing expansion and traffic snarl therefore becomes a regular occurrence. At times there have been cases where people got stuck for the whole day and whole night. Worst still there have been a couple of death too where patients with emergency medical cases sent to Guwahati from Shillong couldn't make it in time. We were spared the pain although it took five hours to finally reach our birthplace.

Some Shillong believers coming to see us off at a bus station
We stayed mostly in my in-laws place while in Shillong since Anu wanted to be with her parents. The next day, 5th April, we had the Good Friday meeting with the church and I preached on the seven sayings of Christ on the cross in regard to carrying our cross and following Him. The message was well received by the church and some testified how it blessed them. Post lunch we divided into groups and discussed about the message heard which was lively and effective. Saturdays are usually prayer meeting day and therefore I taught on pursuing intimacy through fasting and prayer. Several testified that the Lord had actually been already speaking to them to set aside time for fasting and prayer and my message served as a confirmation and also provided them with foundational guidelines into fasting on both its spiritual and physical aspects. After that we had a meeting with the key leaders along with our wives over the lunch discussing at length about what the Lord's been doing in our lives and ministry and sharing plans for the future. One common setback with most of the churches in Shillong is the slow pace of church growth. So the emphasis was on evangelism with a firm grip on follow-ups. I also stressed on the importance of not giving up the weekly gathering of the men. The next day we had the regular Sunday meeting and it was a joy meeting almost everyone from the church. I preached on walking in the resurrected power of Christ as we grow in intimacy with Him. Our time in Shillong, besides the meeting, was packed with invitations either for lunch or dinner including breakfast - one reason for bringing your wife along :-). It was fulfilling to see a couple of other brothers gradually growing up to carry responsibilities in the church.

Mikseng & Rosemary
Evening Meeting
On the 11th we traveled to Tura by an overnight bus. We were joined by one of our church leaders, Dilip and my elder brother's son, Abhishek who was also coming to Nepal with us since he had recently finished his high school leaving exams and was having holidays for more than two months. We reached Tura very early in the morning and what a joy it was for us to meet Mikseng and his family once again. Since it was still dark we went to sleep. That morning after breakfast we had a leadership meeting at Mikseng’s house. We spent the whole day discussing about church, future plans, evangelism, mission, etc. It was a healthy time of discussion. The first meeting with the church was going to start from that very evening and I was eagerly looking forward to it. That night I preached from the gospel of John chapter 9 on how God uses our adverse situations for His glory and for our good but not without faith and obedience on our part. Every evening, after the message we spent time praying for the various needs of the people. At times there were a couple of testimonies about people getting healed too.
Tura Times editor, Pangseng & Dilip.
Pangseng is also in Mikseng's leadership team.
The next two days (Friday & Saturday) we had seminars on the New Testament Church during the day and in the evening I did a series on pursuing intimacy with God.
Garo delicacies
One evening I was sharing on Psalms 37:4 that as we learn to delight ourselves in the Lord He shall fulfill our heart's desire. If taste is the desire when we eat food (of course besides satisfying our hunger) then we would find taste even in a simple plain food because of our delight in the Lord and we wouldn't be nagging so much at our wives. At this point an elderly couple began to look at each other and as the wife began to chuckle the husband suddenly burst in uncontrollable laughter and we also began to laugh with them. And yet in the midst of the laughter the Lord was speaking to the people. Tura is a place where I enjoy the fellowship of the believers the most. They seem to have an insatiable hunger for the word and fellowship. At times the meeting would end at around 9 at night and yet they would continue to sit down and not move from their seats. After the meeting we would then proceed to someone's house for dinner- a late night dinner that is. Also believers coming from other villages were hosted by different church members thus giving them opportunity for fellowship with each other. What a joy it always is to be with the saints in Tura! In November this year I'll be visiting them again, but it'll be primarily to train the leaders.

Anu & Abhishek
On Monday, i.e. the 16th Anu, Abhishek and I left Tura in the afternoon by a jeep for Guwahati, a five hours ride and from where we were going to board the train back to NJP. We reached the railway station two hours before schedule and the train was on time too. The next day we crossed the Indian border and soon enough we were flying to Kathmandu. At the same time our kids were also heading to Kathmandu from Pokhara by bus along with their grandmother (my Mom) and another Christian family from here who had also visited John's family.

At the crowded railway station in Guwahati
What a joy it was to see them finally! We were rather amazed that all the while Daniel never troubled anyone for the absence of his parents (he’s turning 4 on May 9th). We could see the hands of God guiding both us and the kids, ever proving His loving care for His children. But at the same time we cannot forget the prayers you made for us in this mission. Thank you so much. God bless you, indeed!

Back home, I’m teaching the Alpha course to about 40 young people most of who are non-Christians and I’ve another week to go in order to complete the course. The Lord is using this time to bring these young people to know Him better and to commit their lives to Him. Your prayers would be invaluable for this ministry.

...and yes that's our little Daniel.
He'll never pose for a photo without the  V sign
Thanks again.

With gratitude of love,
Reuben Pradhan

......More  photos.....
Praying for various needs

Worshiping

Word of prophecy for an elder's son












































































































































































Please feel free to leave your comments. Thanks.

4 comments:

  1. So glad to hear such a good report! I really enjoy seeing the pictures! :)

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  2. Wow it was a very good moment ..
    Thanks n may Our Great God bless you n fly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Praise The Lord.
    May God Bless you and your family abundantly and use you for his glory and his kingdom.
    Amen...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Praise the Lord and Jai Masih.
    May God bless you and use you abundantly for his glory and his kingdom.

    ReplyDelete