Today we finally started what we came here to do - teach the Bible. Just to recap, our team of 9 people, in partnership with India Gospel League, have travelled to southern india for 2 weeks. Our task is to teach Ephesians and Biblical Theology to over 180 Pastors and Church Leaders. The growth of the Church in India over the last 10 years is so rapid, that India Gospel League can’t train Pastors as fast as Churches are planted. So our work this week is to train and equip these Pastors, who in turn will raise up and train new Pastors.
Our day started with an amazing assortment of curry, pappadums, rice and porridge. 3 cups of black coffee and a plate of curry later, we headed off to start our teaching. Breakfast Indian style is brilliant, especially the dosai - Indian pancakes served with curry. Yumm!
Now on the far side of the campus, there is a large auditorium and teaching area where the teaching is run. The formal teaching is made up of three sessions a day with an exam at the end of each day. For the men, these sessions consist of a 60 minute lecture followed by a 30 minute discussion group. Previous teaching teams have found the women learn better in small groups, so their 90 minute sessions are spent together in a group setting.
Lecturing to a large group of Indian Pastor whilst being translated, is a lot like driving in India. There are rules, but these are unspoken. Some translators would wait until I stopped speaking, and then translate. Others would simply start translating once their “word count” was full. It was a great joy and over the course of the day, my translators and I relaxed a little and were even cracking jokes at one another’s expense. One of the funniest things regarding the translators is the occasions when they don’t translate what you have said and simply nod. When you repeat the phrase or idea again, they nod, and with a wry smile say “yes they already know that now…”
Teaching Ephesians to my brothers and sisters this week is going to be immensely encouraging. My prayer is that it will be equally encouraging for them as they grow in their love for Jesus. Please pray with me that this would be the case.