We salute you in the precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior and redeemer. We have been thoroughly blessed with the great opportunity of training our men to be evangelists. By the grace of God and your encouragements, our Bible college continues to be a shining light in this part of India.
Fishers of Men:
We had a wonderful visit with brother Tim Wilkes II & Heath Rhodes, who work as missionaries with a program called Fishers of Men. It is an excellent practical evangelism program, indeed very useful in India as well. It was an excellent 5 day program with over 60 preachers including our preaching students at the Visakha Valley Bible College. They provided some very useful material. These classes are very condensed and we are planning for the actual full length of 12 week classes for next year. Our students were thoroughly blessed with this program. It is quite a practical way of learning the process of evangelism. Indeed it helps the young evangelists to be more effective communicators of the Gospel of Christ.
We were very encouraged by this program as we think in a very large spectrum. That is, with their permission we shall be translating the material into the Telugu language and use it for ourselves; we are excited about that. Our students and faculty really benefited from these classes, which is far beyond our imagination. May the glory be to God.
New Computers & Copier:
By the grace of God we finally got the copier and desktop computers installed at our school and they all ready for use. We appreciate the brethren at Lake Houston for filling the need, you brethren have indeed given us a great lift up in the mission work. The copier is going to help us in printing more gospel tracts to distribute among villages and with teaching material for our students. Another exciting thing is desktop computers for our students; we tell you that they are excited about this. We are planning on hiring an instructor to teach our students Computer Education a couple of times each week. This will certainly open up doors for the preachers who will not hesitate to be full time students at Visakha because they are not only getting a great Biblical Education they also get some trade education. Kindly pray since we are looking forward to starting a tailoring institute.
Bicycles: In the country whose economy is growing like anything (according to the figures), bicycles are still an effective gospel tool. Out of the 1.2 Billion people, the majority of them are poor and under middle class only. No wonder we find preachers being evolved in that category only. Our old graduates who do not have a bicycle, for the purpose of traveling in villages and around, are blessed with a bicycle.
In the rapid developing country of India there is a drastic change occurring in the community, I mean among the people. These changes are causing confusion, confusion in the relationships which are leading to mistrust there by tending to harm each other. It is pathetic to see how this development is impacting the changes in the minds of the people. Of course people want to grow financially and want to live a better, life but while everybody is in this race, sadly social values and respect are being lost.
In this kind of situation, which is affecting Christian families as well, we are thinking about opening up an avenue of help. That is through a Christian Family Counseling Center, a place for counseling awareness. We would like to teach our faculty to be aware of this subject first, following the preachers around. Indeed Christian counseling is necessary to concrete the relationships between wives and husbands, parents and children. It will help them during the times of difficulties, misunderstanding, disagreements etc., Since we do not have a premarital counseling process before a couple is wed, the depth of relationship is being ignored, the promises and vows are just forgotten. What else can we do other than educate them about understanding the relationship and keeping them up. Kindly pray that we would have those classes held at our school. Do pray that some brethren would come forward to help us with these classes.
We thank the brethren at the Lake Houston and the overseeing congregation, the Strickland Church of Christ, our coordinator, the elders of Bear Valley, and the director of the Extension Schools. We convey our thanks to all those who are doing their portion of the job in producing preachers through the Visakha Valley Bible College. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragements. Most of all we thank you so much for your prayers.
We thank you so much for your prayers towards brother Harinath, one of our students. He is still in the hospital just surviving on medication and fluids. We do not know how long this will continue, but we are pleading to God to restore his health.
We thank brother JY Brown, who is one of the Elders at Lake Houston Church of Christ, who was instrumental in providing new tools for the school.
In Christ and His service
Samuel Raju & John Dean
Visakha Valley Bible College