In 2014 when I staffed a Discipleship Training School — a six-month program that includes 12 weeks of classroom instruction followed by a 60-day mission trip — in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, one of the trainees came to me privately in distress. She had initially chosen to join my group for an outreach to Panama, but was beginning to doubt she made the correct choice. As a Singaporean who is fluent in Mandarin, she was contemplating a switch to the team that was going to be ministering in China, where that language is also spoken. Read More
We arrived at the airport late in evening and were whisked away to one of the nicest hotels in Bhubaneswar. In much of India, this means the room is clean, comfortable and most importantly, has air conditioning. We departed at 6 a.m. for our eight-hour journey deep into the state of Odisha to the Kandhamal District. We were there to see and visit with the Kutia people.
As soon as we reached the first Kutia village, I was swarmed by a host of young kids who are currently being taught English and Hindi (the national Indian language). I was moved as they greeted me with smiles and flowers. My hosts, Lamboi & Niangboi Suantak, proceeded to show me the fruit of their labors as they arranged for the children to sing some English worship songs. If I had closed my eyes, I would have sworn that I was sitting outside a children’s Sunday School class in rural America as they sang in seemingly perfect English.
I was among the Kutia to observe the work of New Beginning Gospel Ministry International founded by my friend, the Rev. Dr. Langkhanthang Lianzaw. Their focus is to reach out to the unreached, indigenous people groups in India. The weekend before, I had journeyed to the state of Rajasthan with Dr. Lianzaw.
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