Indian mission for Norwich church pastor
church pastor Nicky Smith
first went to India
two years ago she has married an Indian man, taken on responsibility for 30 churches and is now offering students the opportunity to join a mission experience in the country. Here she tells her story.
Grace Christian Fellowship is part of Hope Community Trust a Christian charity based in Norwich, where I have been senior pastor for the last eight years. In 2005 I made a trip to India having been asked to go and teach at a pastor’s conference.
In 2006 I made my second visit to teach and preach in rural India and this time the Lord revealed his plan and purpose for Samuel and I to marry and so in February this year we married in India. We have now joined the Indian ministry and Hope Community Trust, which includes Grace Christian Fellowship. We now have 30 churches, a Bible College and children’s home and Public School for children in rural Andhra Pradesh, along with the ministry in the UK.
We purchased our campus site, in Kuntinivasala, at the end of last year and have now almost completed a large building project entirely by faith. God has blessed us in every direction we have taken. In June, we opened our children’s home and school and also our Bible College. We offer native men and woman, with a sense of call to the ministry, a chance to come and live and study with us for one year.
In July this year, we decided to hold a Gospel Crusade on our campus site at Kuntinivasala. We had little money to do so and therefore only a small advertising campaign was undertaken. This amounted to sending our Bible College students out in a rickshaw with a microphone to tell surrounding villages about the event. We could not have expected the results, with well over 500 people attending every night.
Since July, we have had many requests for ministry from surrounding villages. Every week we are sending the students out into villages where the Gospel has never been heard and they are preaching the good news and the response is overwhelming. Only recently one village immediately gave us land to build a church, as a result of the preaching of the Gospel. It would appear that there is an open door here to preach the Gospel. We do not know how long it will remain but we must seize the opportunity.
Most Gospel crusades in India are held in big cities with adequate facilities and so we took the unusual step of not making the city our venue, as our vision is to preach the Gospel where it has not yet been heard. Surrounding village churches have since expressed their joy at having the opportunity to attend such ministry and bring unsaved people to hear the good news.
We saw a fair number of people saved and now we must continue the work in many more of the villages that surround us. We still have to enter the forest and tribal areas around us, which are quite inaccessible and we have no clear idea of how many villages we will find there.
We have plans that from July 2008 we will take a limited number of overseas students to come for six weeks or three months to work with us. There will be opportunity, on our campus, to study some of the cultural and religious aspects of ministry in India and then to live and work with local pastors in building the churches. All students will work with an interpreter to participate fully in rural church ministry.
Those who choose to come for three months will also have the opportunity to participate in the planning and organization of one of our large Gospel crusades. There is such a tremendous opportunity here with an open door for God to move. Our 26 pastors are telling us that if we can bring some students to help them, it will advance their work at a rate they cannot even imagine as possible. Overseas students would bring another dimension to their ministry and they could achieve in months what might otherwise take years to do.
We are looking for people aged 19+ who feel they want to experience the mission field. They must be prepared to come to India to study with us and learn about missions, amongst some of the poorest people in the world. All we ask is that they have good health, a testimony of Salvation and a heart’s desire to reach the lost in some of the remotest areas of the world.
There are a limited number of places on the course, so if you feel the Lord is calling you then please come and work with us. It is an opportunity to be involved with something amazing that God is doing now. Our ministry operates entirely by faith with no guarantees of funding for anything we do. We are trusting God to meet the costs of food and wages every month, as well as the costs of preaching the Gospel to the unsaved. Please pray that God will continue to meet needs as they arise and that we can make the most of the open door that is before us.
Missions Experience course costs: £1100 for 6 weeksor £1500 for 3 months. A discount of £200 per person is offered to any church with six people willing to come in one group, for six weeks or three months.
Students must also cover their own travel costs to India, but thereafter all food and accommodation is met in the course costs. For further information and applications contact Pastor Nicky Eatalapaka at firstname.lastname@example.org
or c/o Cross House, Mile Cross Lane, Norwich NR6 6DS Tel 01953 601083 or 07775 587251.
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Pictured above is Nicky Smith with the church in Gangaraju and an Indian pastors conference.