Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Perspective And Faith

“When will this week be over?” “I can’t wait for the school year to end.” “Could you believe the poor service at that restaurant?” “I can’t stand all of this traffic!”
If we are honest, statements like these find themselves into our conversations, every day. We hear ourselves using these very words to describe our lives. We get annoyed. We get impatient. We don’t like what is happening to us.

And with good reason: Life is difficult.

But as Believers, perhaps we ought to be using different words. Words like:

  • Thank you for my job, Lord.
  • When I am finished with this school year, I will need to find another place to influence people for the Kingdom.
  • I wonder how I can pray for our server?
  • Lord, protect all the drivers on the road.
I have found that how we view the situations where we find ourselves can be simplified into two things: Perspective and Faith.

Perspective: How do I view the situation that I find myself in? Am I expecting the world to revolve around me, or revolve around God and other people? Is this about me or about others?

Faith: Do I really believe that God is working on my behalf to make me more like Christ? Do I really believe all that God says in His Word? Am I demonstrating the way I believe?

Here’s another good question to ask ourselves: Am I talking about how big my problems are, or am I talking about how big my God is? Lead Well!

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Inda 2017: Epiblog

Here are some highlights from my 15th mission trip to India:

Sharing Christ at a large outdoor crusade...

Praying for the sick...

Conducting Medical Camps in the Himalayas...

Sharing Christ through an interpreter after a worship service...

Commissioning a Sewing Center helping Muslim women develop a skill...

Enjoying Kashmiri Tea...

Connecting with Leaders in Kashmir...

Meeting and being blessed by a 125 year old Believer...

Reconnecting with my good friend, leader, and "Hero" Kelu...

It was an extraordinary time of ministry and mission. I am privileged to go and minister among the people of India, especially the Kashmiri people. As my wife says, "When Brad goes to India, God does miracles and he gets to watch!"

Would you like to be a part of the ongoing ministry in India? The work doesn't stop when I return to the USA. You can click on the "Donate" button at the top right of this page, or send checks to me at PO Box 2125, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA 30742. (Please write "India Mission" in the memo line of the check.) Thank you for blessing me!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

India 2017, #2

On Friday evening, we conducted the outdoor evangelistic meeting in a small village that grew red peppers.  Preach the word and prayed for everyone present…

On Saturday, we kicked off VBS at Ecclesia Church, and unfortunately had to cancel our evening outdoor village meeting because of your new radicals.

 We just finished Sunday morning to services at Ecclesia. Worshipped, preached the Word, and had a great experience in the Presence of God! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

India 2017, #1

Finally arrived in India via London, after 2 flights and 24+ hours! Very glad to be here! (It is 11:00 am on Friday as I write.)

We still had a 2.5 hour trip by car from the airport to Pastor Daniel's home & church campus. Ate some fruit and took a much-needed bucket shower. We leave in a few minutes to perform a wedding. (I'm glad I come to India ready for anything...)

This evening we conduct an evangelistic open air meeting in a village church. Then, I'll catch up on some sleep.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love India!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

India Video Blog

I'll  be leaving for my 15th mission trip to India on April 19th. Click on this link to get a small glimpse of India and the ministry there: India Video Blog

Would you like to help financially? You can click on the "Donate" button at the top right of this page, or send checks to me at PO Box 2125, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA 30742. (Please write "India Mission" in the memo line of the check.) Thank you for blessing me!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Another View From India

Here is an account of the first two days of ministry on one of my recent India mission trips:

After two days, five flights, and six airports, I was met by my ministry partner Pastor Daniel and local Pastor Danis in Jammu City, Kashmir on a Friday afternoon.

We began the evangelistic crusade in the evening, and with over 1,000 in attendance, I brought a simple evangelistic message about the woman who was sick for 12 years reached out to Jesus. When the altar call was given, people began streaming forward. It was incredibly exciting to see over 1/4 of the attendees standing in the front and repeating a prayer, giving their lives to Jesus for the first time!

The next day, we began with a humble medical camp, after traveling 40 km into the foothills of the Himalayas to a city called Akhanor. We were joined there by Emmanuel, the worship leader from last evening's crusade.

Braving 105 degree temperatures, we set up under a huge banyan tree in the middle of a field strewn with dusty shrubs, complete with piles of water buffalo dung. There we ministered to 60 poor people. Our medical team dispensed medical help, and Pastor Daniel and I dispensed spiritual help, praying for the people who desired it.

One lady asked me to pray for her, and after I did, I began to share with her and her husband about Jesus, aided by the translation of Emmanuel. (Got to love worship leaders...) Both the lady and her husband prayed and asked Jesus into their lives!

We had an excellent crusade meeting that evening, where Pastor Daniel and myself preached to an even larger crowd than the first night. At the altar call, once again, hundreds came forward to receive Christ!

It was what happened before my message that I want to highlight: There was a time of testimonies, and four people spoke. Aided by a translator sitting next to me, I was told that one of the testimonies was a woman who had attended last evening's crusade and heard my word about the woman who had a sickness for 12 years.

She related that she also had been sick for several years, and when I had told the people that like the woman we need to reach out to Jesus, she said she began to pray and reach out to Him. Immediately, she said, her pain began to subside, and her body "felt lighter". She also related that not only did her body feel at peace, but her spirit and soul did also. All that she had been worrying about seemed to go away, she said, and she felt "very close to God."

Once again, I was humbled by the Presence of God, and of hearing what He was doing in the lives of people who need a touch from Him. I am in awe of His love, and that He allows me to be a part of what He is doing.

I quote my wife Elaine who says, "When Brad goes to India, God shows off, and he gets to watch."

Would you like to help financially? You can click on the "Donate" button at the top right of this page, or send checks to me at PO Box 2125, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA 30742. (Please write "India Mission" in the memo line of the check.) Thank you for blessing me!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

An Englishman In India

(God is always providing spontaneous, unplanned, and divine appointments in our lives. We simply have to look for them.)
On one of my recent mission trips to India, I spent several days partnering with a local Pastor named Sammi. He pastors his own church, founded and runs an orphanage with 37 children, plants villages churches, and installs pastors to lead those churches.

We spent our days conducting evangelistic meetings in the mornings, afternoons and evenings, in three different villages each day.

On one of those evenings, we were in the town where Pastor Sammi had his own church for an evening crusade meeting.

That evening, a large tent was erected in front of Pastor Sammi’s house/church building right on the main road in the middle of town. We were praying for a large crowd of Indian people to hear the Gospel.

(Don’t picture a huge worship center with a beautiful lawn and shrubbery. Think more of a modest, aging stucco structure with a thatched roof, and a dirt yard with a tent in it, along a dirty, busy road.)

During the worship time, a white man (non-Indian) in his mid-thirties walked up to the tent. Pastor Sammi greeted him and introduced him to me. His name was Jonathan.

He told me that he was from England, and that he was here on a month-long spiritual retreat among the Hindu people. I told him that if he stayed around, that I believed he would find what he was looking for.

He stayed, and I preached about the blind beggar who called out to Jesus and whom Jesus told him that his faith had made him see.

After the preaching, as myself and other local pastors were praying for people, Jonathan came up to me and said, “I only speak to experts about spiritual things. I think you are an expert on faith.” Well, needless to say I am no expert, but I do know a thing or two about faith. So we talked, and at the end of our conversation, he committed his life to the Lord!

The next day, Pastor Sammi and I went to the place where he was staying to continue to encourage and challenge him. I gave him my bible, and told him to share what what he found in Jesus with his family and friends when he returned to England.

Jonathan came to India looking for answers, and left having found the Truth! This is why I love to go to India and minister…

Would you like to help financially? You can click on the "Donate" button at the top right of this page, or send checks to me at PO Box 2125, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA 30742. (Please write "India Mission" in the memo line of the check.) Thank you for blessing me!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Have You Ever Hugged A Leper?

As I am preparing for my 15th mission trip to India, I am spending time reflecting on the great things God has done on my previous trips. I remember one day in 2007, on my very first trip to India:

I remember on that trip personally seeing and experiencing things that I had only heard about or read about. On one particular day, God allowed me to see the part of His Kingdom that He loves the most, what most Americans don’t get to see. It shook my soul.

That morning, I had accompanied a local pastor to a very poor area that included a settlement for crippled people. We stopped and spoke with people who had all kinds of physical limitations – twisted limbs, turned feet, unusable limbs – and shared God’s love, then asking if we could pray for them. Just about everyone in the village was Hindu, and the concept of a Savior who not only could forgive sins and heal was very foreign.

A few hundred meters away was a leaper colony, and we went there next. We walked through the village, stopping to speak to people, and groups would form. The pastor would share the Gospel, and then I would lay hands on and pray for the leapers. I remember my heart was so moved with compassion as I saw these outcasts, whom no one loved or wanted to be near.

After I had prayed for the first man, I heard the Lord say to me very clearly, “Hold him.” And so I wrapped my arms around the man and held him for a few minutes. I did this for all of the leapers that I prayed for.

(The Indian culture isn’t big on hugging, so this was very strange for them. Added to that, they were leapers and had not had any human physical contact for perhaps decades.)

When we were leaving, and walking back to the pastor’s car, an old leprous man who had been banished to the colony for over 40 years, came out to the road, hobbling on a stick he could hardly hold. He had heard that we were praying for people, and hugging them. He said: “Pray for me!” I did, and as I held him he put his head on my shoulder and began to cry.

And so India beckons, again....

Would you like to help financially? You can click on the "Donate" button at the top right of this page, or send checks to me at PO Box 2125, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA 30742. (Please write "India Mission" in the memo line of the check.) Thank you for blessing me!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

India Beckons Again...

On Wednesday, April 19th I will be boarding a flight from the USA and traveling to India for 16 days of mission work: Preaching, praying, encouraging, and leading. My brother-in-law, Dr. Pat Kennedy will again be traveling with me as we make our way to an enchanting land whose people have captured my heart.

We will be partnering with three Indian pastors, ministering alongside of men who have been wonderful teammates while in India: Daniel, Ashish, and Kelu. But, this trip will be unlike the others I have taken in recent years.

We normally would assemble and finance a team of Indian doctors and nurses, and along with purchasing medicines would travel by train between Telangana and Kashmir (over 1,350 miles with no interstate highways), stopping each day to conduct medical camps and Gospel meetings in the towns and villages.

Two recent developments are requiring us to alter our plans. First or all, monetary constraints will not allow us to finance the medical team and medicines. Instead, Pat and I will minister several days with Pastor Daniel, then fly to Jammu and Udhampur to minister several days with Pastor Ashish, and finally fly over the Himalayas to be with Kelu in the Muslim region of Srinagar. Pat and I will be on our own for this traveling adventure!

My friend Kelu: This man daily puts his life on the line to bring the Good News of Jesus to the Muslim population of his region where terrorism is commonplace. He suffers from partial paralysis of his right arm and hand because of a beating he received when he converted to Christianity. One of his three children is a special needs child. Yet he joyously goes every day to the city and villages to minister to the Muslim people. He asked me to baptize two new converts when I arrive to be with him. Kelu is my hero.

The second development is that two of my dear friends who were large supporters of my India ministry have passed away in the last year, and that has left a hole in our finances. The Lewis family have pooled resources to purchase my flight to and from India, but I need to travel in-country, as well as some lodging and food.

I do not desire to be a burden on the Indian pastors that we minister with and to, but rather like to bless them financially to meet needs that they have.

Meeting with, pouring into, and encouraging the Indian pastors is some of our most productive time spent.

So I am asking for your help in this endeavor. Pray yes, but consider helping financially. These pastors, especially Kelu, daily risk bodily harm while seeking to expand the Gospel. We desire to stand and minister with them.

You can click on the "Donate" button at the top right of this page, or send checks to First Baptist Church, PO Box 2125, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA 30742. (Please write "Brad's India Mission" in the memo line of the check. You can also send checks directly to me at the same address.) Thank you for blessing me!