India Report

By Ray F. Dively

On December 25, 1977, Windell Wiser and I left for a preaching trip to India. This was my fifth trip to India and Brother Wiser’s first. Our main purpose in this trip was 4o encourage and edify the brethren. There have been approximately seventy churches established in the Hy4orabad area. These brethren are young in the faith as the first churches were established in 1972.

After arriving in India, we visited some churches and taught the brethren. Then, we held a week of training classes at the village of Thummalapally. We invited three of the leading members from seventeen churches. Near the end of the training classes, we began to get suspicious of our interpreter, P. V. Devedanam, who is also a preacher. After the training class Brother Wiser and I spent some time checking on him. We found that he had overcharged us on printing, his hotel bill and food for the training classes. We confronted him with the evidence and later he sent word that he would repay us part of it, but we never saw him again. He has proven to be dishonest, deceitful and a liar.

As in India, there are also false brethren in America. Several years ago, Richard E. Swan introduced the false doctrine that women could not teach children or other women. This has caused some problems among the brethren, setting brother against brother. But many of the brethren have rejected this false doctrine and love among the brethren is much stronger now. In May 1977, Richard E. Swan was disfellowshipped by the Winchester, Virginia church, at which time, he was their preacher.

Near the end of our stay in India, Brother N. A. Lazarus agreed to be our interpreter when we return. He speaks excellent English. He is a very good interpreter, as I have used him in three previous trips, when he could get leave from work. He has agreed to take leave from work without pay, when need be. I baptized him during my first trip in India.

The Lord’s work in India has problems, as does the work here in America. Even with false brethren and problems, the Lord’s work looks very promising in India. We have faithful and honest brethren as N. A. Lazarus, B. Samson, B. Rathnam, G. Lazar, Sir Ramulu and others. We must not get discouraged in supporting the Lord’s work in India.

Brother Wiser and I both agree that we had a successful trip. We spent our time in edifying the brethren and straightening out some problems.. We had two tracts printed in Telugu. We hope to have more tracts printed in Telugu. There is a great need for gospel literature in their own language. We need to go to India periodically, to strengthen the brethren and teach the lost. These trips must be made as an American cannot get a permanent visa to preach in India.

Surely, all who read the above will agree that such trips are vital to soul saving efforts in India. We work and pray for the day when brethren over there will be able to carry on by themselves, but until that day arrives we must conserve and stabilize the good accomplished by continuing to do as our Lord commanded, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:. . .” It was for these very same reasons that the apostle Paul went back confirming the churches that he had established. “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

I will always be grateful for the fellowship the brethren have given me in preaching the gospel in India. As the apostle Paul stated, “Not that I seek for the gift; but I seek for the fruit that increaseth to your account.” I am thankful to God and the brethren that I am able to have a part in the Lord’s work in India. Lord willing, I wish to return to India in December. Please pray for the brethren in India.

Truth Magazine XXII: 20, p. 329
May 18, 1978