Join Koinonia College of Practical Trades on a Missions Trip – July 2018
The central vision of the India Connection ministry is to “Identify and train national leaders” as pastors who will proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in India. The Lord has already opened the door and we have a Bible College in Pune – the Koinonia College of Theology. Men and women from all across India are partaking of some of the best possible Bible education.
These KCOT students all love the Lord and are bright and energetic. They could do very well at many different vocations. However, in Hindu culture, many if not most Christians find themselves unable to find jobs. That is not because they are unable to work, but the jobs are simply not made available to them. Furthermore, an Indian pastor needs the kind of job that gives him the opportunity to come and go at odd times. The pastor MUST be able to oversee the flock of God.
As graduates go out to pastor their own flocks, we would like to equip them to be self-supporting. Our vision for the Koinonia College of Practical Trades is “To train and equip those in ministry with the means to financially support themselves through skilled trades.” The biblical model is found in Acts 18:1-4, where we read that the Apostle Paul worked as a tentmaker using his own hands, supporting himself as he worked in the ministry.
The training does not have to be in-depth, but it has to present enough information to make them proficient enough to earn an income.
A Practical Vision
The Purpose of Practical Trades:
– Glorify God
– Help Pastors Earn Income
– Support Pastor Families
– Bless Church
– Build Bridges to Communities
What Has Been Done
In March of 2005, three men traveled to Pune, India to teach the first set of trades to the students at the Koinonia School of Ministry. The students were exposed to Computer (maintenance and operation), Electrical (theory, troubleshooting, wiring, installation and repair), Plumbing (theory, installation and repair). The students received 9 or 10 days of training, with 2 to 4 hours of quality teaching in each trade. Since then, classes for Computers, Electrical, and Plumbing have been held in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2016.
I have watched as students get excited as they realize they can perform a trade themselves. I spoke to them about their new “framework of knowledge” and that they should have confidence in what they do know, but also explore their boundaries. Their new knowledge is essentially a “framework of confidence.” I also encouraged them to freely share their new skills as well as the Word of God!
These trips involve so much more than teaching trades – joining the students and faculty for morning devotions, sharing the Word of God, worshipping with the saints who, though from a totally different culture, have the same Holy Spirit dwelling in them. I did a lot of spiritual growing up during my first trip to India. Visiting India is a blessing, and an experience that will forever change your Christian perspective and your day to day life at home.
Practical Trades 2018 – Join Us for the Trip of a Lifetime
See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of Workmanship. Exodus 31:2-3
We are prayerfully planning a Practical Trades missions trip to Pune in July of 2018. A team of trainers will spend two weeks in India teaching at KCOT, worshipping with believers at the Koinonia Church of Pune, and traveling around India. Are you feeling a tug on your heart to go? You may think there are people who are much more qualified to teach, but God equips those whom He calls!
The training doesn’t have to be deep. For example, a course in basic tool usage would be a great blessing to many in India, as they have not been exposed to the tools we take for granted. A short course in bookkeeping could be a great blessing for a pastor’s wife and her church. Ideally, the trade should be something that can be done without any expensive equipment. Computers and projection equipment are available to facilitate the coursework.
Computer office skills are an increasingly important part of ministry work in India as the technology continues to mature. Perhaps you could develop a two-week class involving computer network setup, hardware and software setup, use and troubleshooting. This would give them a skill to be “digital” tentmakers!
Ultimately, we would like to see a team going over every month. Going forward, we could reach outside of the current student body. We could further equip Pastors in the field, inviting them to Pune Center or even traveling to a city where many of them can come and attend classes on Skilled Trades.
Do you have any of these skills?
- Appliance Repair
- Automotive (automotive electrical systems, engine, drivetrain, brakes)
- Bicycle repair and maintenance
- Business Plan creation
- Carpentry (including framing, cabinets, shelves)
- Computer skills (Basic setup, Hardware installation, Install and run software)
- Crafting, handicrafts
- Furniture making
- House repair/Handyman/Basic tool usage
- Resume writing
- Small engine repair and maintenance
If you have a desire to share any of these gifts, please pray and let us know!
Come Alongside Pastors in India
When we teach skilled trades at KCOT, there are many opportunities to punctuate the sessions with the Word of God. We recognize that every “gift” we have comes from God. We want to be quick to point thankfully to the Lord for those wonderful gifts and skills He has given!
Even if you don’t feel the Lord leading you to go to India, you can still help:
- Pray for teachers from the USA to be raised up and equipped to visit and minister to the Bible students at the Bible College.
- Help to “craft” the course outlines.
- Donate some money to the school for some India-purchased, quality hand tools and course materials.
We have been given so much in America. We have such free access to books and training. We often don’t give too much thought to be able to figure out how to do some craft or trade. It’s not easy in India. Most of those students at KCOT have never been exposed to many kinds of basic hand tools, let alone power tools! In order to help, we’d like to send people over to equip the men and women to learn some basic trades skills. That is the purpose of the Koinonia College of Practical Trades.
Thank you for praying for teams from USA to be raised up and equipped to visit and minister to the Bible students!