By John Humphries
By God’s grace and your prayers, Bill Beasley and I returned safely to the U.S.A. after some six plus weeks of gospel work in India and Sri Lanka. We believe that much good was done and the gospel efforts are going forward in a fine way.
I want to give a brief report on the materials used or given during the trip. These materials were provided by brethren here in the U.S.A.
Telugu Bibles 800
Hindi Bibles 200
Telugu Song Books 1000
Telugu and Hindi gospel tracts 325,000
Mimeograph machine (and supplies) 1
Typewriters for Indian brethren 4
The Telugu and Hindi Bibles were given to needy saints. Telugu and Hindi are Indian languages. The Telugu song books are hymns that were written by faithful Indian brethren to be used in churches of Christ.
The 325,000 gospel tracts are some 15 different titles written by faithful gospel preachers (including Bill Beasley and John Humphries). Faithful Indian brethren translated the tracts into the Indian languages and we printed them in India. We printed 10,000 copies of some titles and 15,000 copies of the other titles. We printed all titles in both Telugu and Hindi for wide distribution in south central India. It was a sizable undertaking with much hard work but we believe that good will come from this effort. Many souls have obeyed the gospel in the past from the tract effort. Some of these tracts have gone through multiple printings over the past number of trips that we have made to India.
The mimeograph machine and typewriters will be used by faithful brethren in gospel work. The mimeograph machine replaces the one that I had given to brother T. George Fred many years ago and is now completely worn out.
Bill and I conducted Bible classes for preachers in several places. Sometimes Bill and I worked together and sometimes we worked in different districts (and even states) in order to cover more territory and meet with more brethren. I must say that brother Beasley is a wonderful companion and fellow servant of Christ. We worked well together and I hope that we can make other trips to India together in the future, God willing.
I have been going to India since 1976 and I have seen many things there. I have seen storm damage that was heartbreaking. I have been in several storms there over the years. The Indians call them cyclones and we call them hurricanes on the Atlantic ocean side of the U.S.A. Some of these have been horrible indeed.
However, I have never seen or experienced anything in all of my life like what I saw in Kilari, Maharashtra, India, which was the very center of the devastating earthquake that made international news last fall. Brother T. Wilfred, who visits that area to do gospel work, and I visited that city of what used to be stone houses and buildings. We saw only rubble where houses and building used to stand. Street after street after street of nothing but piles of stone. 33,000 people died in that city alone. Some 38 brethren lost their lives in this earthquake that hit just before dawn on the fateful day. People were sleeping and many of them never knew what hit them as the stone walls collapsed upon them. The city is dead at this time. No one lives there now. The only people we saw were workmen here and there gathering stones to haul away to build in some other location. T. Wilfred showed me what was left of homes of some of the brethren.
We visited the survivors (brethren) who had settled in various places far away from Kilari. Widowed women, who lost their husbands and children, and also orphaned children, who lost their parents, are now being cared for by other Christians with our financial help. Even now, I fight back the tears as I write these lines. They lost everything but their faith in the Lord. We took benevolence to them that caring brethren here in the U.S.A. provided.
On a different note, brother Beasley and I baptized 21 precious souls into Christ. Indian brethren were also baptizing just about as many or more in the gospel meetings they were conducting in other places at the same time.
As God is willing, I will return to India next year. I am to have more surgery this month (my fourth operation) on the 20th of June. I hope and pray that this time the surgery will hold. Please pray for me.
If there are any questions concerning the Indian gospel effort, please left me hear from you. Thank you for your support and prayers and please help us return next year to continue this work.
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 17, p. 10
September 1, 1994