The first part of the journey this week focuses on the North India Bible College in Chandigarh, India. I was met in Delhi by Jerry and Paula Bates and we traveled together to Chandigarh. The city of Chandigarh is known as the city of the “Open Hand.” The picture to the right is the symbol for the city.
Earnest Gill, who serves as Director of NIBC, met us at the airport in Chandigarh. After arriving we had opportunity to meet the staff and students of the school. The time with these men was fruitful and eye opening to the conditions they endure to study. The picture to the left is the room where they meet for classes. This is the current student body with staff members in the back of the room.
The school presently meets in a flat of an apartment complex. Because of complaints and threats by neighbors, the students are no longer able to have devotional time in the morning or evening. They are able to have class and the church meets for worship in the same room on Sunday mornings. Earnest told us the police know every student by name because the complaints they have responded to concerning the school’s activities. The students live on site in the most basic of two rooms. A third room is used for a warden and his family. Their accommodations consist of sleeping on the floor and preparing their own food.
There are presently five students in their first year and five in their second year. These second year students will complete their classes and graduate in February 2012. It was both an honor and pleasure to have time with these men and worship with them Sunday. The names of the first year students in the picture to the right, as they appear are next to brother Gill, are: Shiv Kumar, Keshal, John, and Vishal. One student in the first year class was unable to be there. The second year students are are in the picture on the left as follows: Mahananda, Kirtan, Rinky, Baidyanath, and Naresh.
The staff of the school consists of three teachers and a warden. In the picture to the right, brother Gill is standing on the left and next to him are the remaining staff members: Mangal Masilie, Noble Gill (Earnest’s brother), and the school’s warden.
Earnest Gill has done a tremendous job with the limited financial resources available to him, as well as, facing the challenges of meeting in the present location. Lord willing, as the months ahead unfold, we will be able to raise the additional funds needed to help the school meet in a new location where they will have greater liberty to study and worship.
In connection to these challenges facing the school and its operation, there are the challenges of dealing with other religious groups. Two of the prevalent religions of India is the Hindu and Sikh. There are temples for these religious organizations throughout the city of Chandigarh. The picture to the left is one of the largest and most elaborate Sikh temples in Chandigarh. The Muslim religion is also growing rapidly throughout the northern section of India.
Besides directing the school, brother Gill has been a great asset to the Voice of Truth International and Truth for Today organizations. He spends many hours translating materials into the Hindi language. While we were in Chandigarh, Jerry Bates unveiled the first edition of a booklet translated by Earnest for Voice of Truth International. This is the first of several editions to follow. I was most impressed and encouraged to learn he gives his time to this organization without compensation. It will most certainly provide a powerful example for these students.
I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to see this school for the first time. I know I have said it before, but there is something special and significant about seeing a school for the first time. I learn more than I could ever have learned simply through e-mail. I am proud to be part of the work of the North India Bible College and I look forward to seeing this effort flourish in the years ahead.
If you would like to know more about the school, the staff or students and how you can be involved to help, feel free to call me or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reports from the coordinators are now located on the website, under Staff Reports. The address is /extension-schools/
The latest report from Gary Fallis is located here. You can read about his recent trip to
Remember to pray for Howell Ferguson and Denton Landon while they are in Gorlovka, Ukraine teaching. The should finish classes later this week. There will be a report to follow in the weeks ahead.
Great News In Cameroon: The news in Cameroon continues to be exciting as more are obeying the gospel and the plans for the future unfold.
Youth Event Reaches Many In Nepal: Jerry Golphenee reports about the doors being opened for the future of the school through youth events such as this one.
Fourteen Students Are Studying In Ukraine: The report from the school in Gorlovka, Ukraine shares news about the new students and the restarting of the Master’s program.
Church Growth Perspective In Arusha, Tanzania: I always love Cy Stafford’s perspective and this report is no different. This report helps us see the perspective of church growth through a powerful set of eyes.
As I write my final thoughts for the week, I am sitting in an airport waiting for the second part of my journey. I will soon arrive in Chimala, Tanzania. This will be the last school I have yet to see. I am looking forward to meeting the staff and students of this program as well.
Later in the week I will travel to Arusha to visit with Cy Stafford, along with the staff and students of the Andrew Connally School of Preaching. It is going to be a busy week filled with much travel, fun and excitement in spending time with some of the greatest people on earth. You just gotta to love God’s family! Until next week...