January 3, 2018
India Begins 2018 with Water Baptism of Ten
From the Superintendent's DESK
An extended family from Portland (Deanna Moen and her son-in-law and daughter, Clark and Sumin Wolfe, with their children, Selah and Adalyn, and Clark’s father, Gary) is in India. While they are there, they are visiting several congregations in the Maharashtra Province.
On Friday, December 30, part of the group accompanied Surya Gajbhiv, the Maharashtra District Superintendent, in attending two evening church services. Brother Surya, who visited our Portland camp meeting this past year, interpreted both services. He also interpreted for a ministers’ meeting held in his home the next morning. The focus was on the need for each minister to have the three foundational experiences of salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. They were asked the question, “How can you teach someone if you haven’t experienced it for yourself?” Afterward, Sister Deanna reported, “The ministers are a wonderful group, full of enthusiasm for the Gospel.”
Four watchnight services were attended on December 31, and Brother Gary gave his testimony in each one. During the first service, the preacher asked, “Is your name written in the Book of Life?” At the close, when the invitation to pray and receive Christ was given, sixteen of the thirty-five present jumped to their feet. Sister Deanna said it was a privilege to be there and see God’s hand extended to each one.
In the second meeting, the sermon focused on Psalm 15, which begins, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?” Again, there was a good response as ten people stood indicating they wanted to pray for salvation.
The third service was held in an abandoned church building. The pastor of the group had seen it sitting empty for a while and decided to make use of it until the original owners say otherwise. Sister Deanna said the congregation appeared to be well established in their walks with the Lord, and the sermon reflected this, focusing on the promises of God.
The last service was held outside and the fellowship was good. Sister Deanna reported that the Spirit of the Lord was very near during all of the services, and the people were so precious that it was difficult to part at the close of each meeting. However, when she learned that leopards had been attacking people on motor bikes in the area, she declined to attend any more outdoor services.
On New Year’s Day, after a morning church service, the group from Portland was privileged to witness ten candidates being baptized in a nearby canal. Then everyone enjoyed a banquet lunch, during which saris were presented to the widows. It was a wonderful way to start to the new year.
The family from Portland intends to remain in India through January, visiting several more congregations. They have experienced some illness, so we pray for their good health as well as fellowship.