By Jerry Parks
As our globe continues to shrink because of Boeing 747 jet liners and instantaneous communications around the world, there seems to be more and more interest in the spread of the gospel to distant lands. Our generation is without parallel in the opening of so many doors of opportunity for preaching Christ around the world. Along with these opportunities comes responsibilities. It is encouraging to see brethren all over this country who are seeing the opportunities and meeting the challenge by having a part in the full extent of fulfilling the great commission.
Thanks to many brethren with just such concern, brother John Humphries and I were able to complete another six week stay in India preaching and teaching in over 40 towns and villages. In addition to the time spent in India, I was able to visit brother Jeff Kingry in Hong Kong and a number of brethren in the Philippines. I sat spell bound as I listened to brother Kingry describe the opportunities for preaching in Hong Kong and China. He spoke with great urgency because of the door of opportunity that is now open but soon will be closed when China takes over Hong Kong in the year 2000.
This year in India, we faced more problems than usual. The political situation in India is very unstable at present. There is fighting between Hindu and Muslim groups as well as problems between the high caste Hindu people and the government authorities who are trying to reserve 49 percent of government jobs for the low caste poor people. There is also a severe shortage of gas and diesel fuel as a result of the Persian Gulf crisis. All this was in addition to the usual problems of rain, mud, and much flooding in many of the areas we were trying to visit. Still we were able to cover about 2000 kilometers and visit about 40 villages throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Brother Humphries conducted Bible classes in the Secunderabad area as well as preaching in Nalgonda District, Warangal District and Nizamabad District. My travels took me to the western part of Andhra Pradesh covering Khamman District, Guntur District and Krishna District. It is probably a little more dangerous for us to split up and go in different directions, but in this way we were able to cover twice the amount of territory and preach in twice as many places. We worked with Indian brethren such as T. George Fred, T. Wilfred, Vinaya Kumar and others who helped with translating, scheduling and arranging meetings as well as transportation and housing accommodations.
In spite of the unusual number of problems, we were still able to baptize 54 people and start two new congregations. Another congregation was salvaged from the influence of liberal brethren and a number of problems were dealt with and dishonest brethren rebuked and exposed.
We were able to see first hand the devastating effects of last May’s cyclone that killed nearly 2000 people in Andhra Pradesh. We talked to many brethren who survived the cyclone. We listened as they told of the loss of property, the destruction of crops and livestock. We were able to check on the funds that had been sent by concerned brethren here in the USA, It was gratifying as Indian brethren would express their appreciation for the help that has been provided in the form of food, clothing, and money for housing material.
We were also able to purchase and distribute about $1,000 worth of Telegu Bibles as well as 80,000 Telegu tracts which were also distributed as we traveled from place to place.
Thanks again to those who have continued to help to make such trips possible. Thank you also for the confidence that has been placed in those of us who make such trips to distant lands. May God continue to bless you with vision to see the need of spreading the gospel in others parts of the world.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 2, p. 39
January 17, 1991