Glory to God! What a privilege to travel to Pune, India in July for a 14 day trip, with 12 days spent ‘on the ground,’ in country. The main purpose of the trip was to give training in practical trades at the Koinonia College of Theology (KCOT.in). We called this work, The Koinonia College of Practical Trades.
I’m very excited about the new college building! So many people in the US contributed to its construction. On my previous trip in 2012, ground had only recently been broken. This year, I was in awe of what He had built!
Sharing Practical Knowledge and Spiritual Wisdom
Glory to God! He truly blessed this trip. Although I have taken several trips to India in past years, this one was my best in many ways. It takes about 25 hours to go between USA and India, yet the travel was really good, with almost no jet lag (all of the luggage even came through just fine). Along with being well rested, I felt my thoughts were exceptionally clear. All of the planning and teaching came together very well.
I was allowed to do so much more than to teach trades. The students and faculty have morning devotions Monday through Saturday at 8:30. I was privileged to share the Word of God numerous times during my time there, with devotional topics including: Checking the Motives of our Hearts, Exercising Faith, Trusting in God’s Power, Being Examples, and Being Engaged and Resting at the Same Time.
The Lord even allowed me to fix some technical things around the college, like the computer projector in the main meeting hall and improving the internet connection. I evaluated the KCT Computer Lab, which gets a ‘Gold Star’ rating. It is very modern and well appointed for the students’ use. There are currently 5 stations, although they might benefit from a few more.
Why Do We Teach Practical Training?
Practical trades training consisted of three areas: Electrical (15 hours), Plumbing (4 hours) and a crash course (one 1-hour session) in Sanctuary Technology. There are currently 9 men training to be pastors. Three women are also taking the same college classes as the 9 pastors-in-training. All of them fully participated in trades training.
This training allows the students to show goodwill toward others in very practical ways, even opening doors to share the Word of God. These skills can generate income to allow for the work of the Lord to continue. The Apostle Paul is our example:
Acts 18:1-4 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
What Did We Teach?
At the end of the Electrical course the students should be able to:
- Identify and repair most of the common electrical problems found in the home.
- Identify and repair many of the common electrical problems found in many vehicles.
- Understand enough Electrical theory to troubleshoot and/or wire simple circuits.
- Safely wire a new circuit into place (hands-on live circuit for the students).
The students completed a “final” electrical project. They read the schematic circuit diagram on the board and translated it to the box, consisting of a plug, wires, a fuse, a switch, an outlet and a socket with a light bulb. Finally, they plugged it into an outlet, flipped the switch and the bulb lit up. That’s a reward that always gets a smile from them.
We held a ceremony where we called each of the students up to the front of the classroom one by one. We gave each of them a hearty “Well done!”, a handshake, and a Certificate of Completion – Mission accomplished! For this course, each student received a 42-page book entitled, “A Short Course In Electrical Technology,” containing much of the course material.
The Plumbing Technology training was short, but generated the most excitement. We did a few practical experiments with PVC pipe, water levels in a clear hose, and water pressure, using a clear plastic bottle!
Sanctuary Technology involved some hands-on experience with the computer projector, soldering, using the audio mixer board, and amplifiers. The amplifier mini session involved minimizing audio feedback howling and guitar amplifier dis-assembly.
Thank You For Your Prayers
The prayer coverage was excellent. Again, I have never felt more engaged and used by the Lord in India than on this trip. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all who prayed for all of the different aspects of this mission. I can truly say that God made His presence known each day I was there, when I was traveling, and at home!
We have come a long way in the India ministry since I took my first trip back in 1999. We had no building of any kind, not even a ministry vehicle. Now, there is a Bible College, training many men and women to go out into the highways and by-ways, clearly telling people about Jesus!
You can be involved too! Perhaps you could teach one or more short courses in one of these areas: Accounting, Automotive, Bicycle Repair and Maintenance, Cabinet Making, Carpentry, Computers, Electrical, Furniture Making, Handyman/Working with Tools, Landscaping, Masonry, Metalworking, Photography, Plumbing, Tailor. Please pray and contact us for further information!
– Dana Colbert