By Ben Hiwale

In the airplane on the way to India, I had some time to reflect on the India Connection ministry and prepare both a prayer list and task list for my time there. When I reviewed the two lists just before landing, I realized that they were completely redundant; everything on my to-do list was also a prayer request! Let me share some of my experiences with you, and let you know how you can pray for the work that God is doing in India.

Pastor Joseph is fond of telling us on these mission trips to India, “Sleep on the way back home; we have work to do!” I was very busy during my time there this past month, meeting with the staff and faculty, preaching on Sundays, sharing at the Koinonia School of Ministry, participating at a special prayer day at KSOM.

In addition to the usual duties, there is a lot of work to be done to coordinate the building of Pune Center, the future home of KSOM. I met with architects, interior designers, and commercial kitchen distributors – looking over and praying through all the things that are needed for the building to be usable. We are still expecting to hold our Youth Conference, Alumni Conference and Pastors Conference in the new building in November!

Teaching the untaught
I took the opportunity to attend each subject taught by the KSOM faculty. We are truly blessed by a team of brothers who are sold out for Christ with a heart to raise men and women to serve in India.

KSOM students
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There are nineteen students at KSOM this year, including four who are in the third year of our new Bachelor of Theology program.

In the faculty meetings we discussed the overall mission of India Connection – Reaching the Unreached, Teaching the Untaught – and how KSOM fits into that. Why do we exist? What is our mission? How are we doing in accomplishing that God-given mission? It was a good exercise, especially for our newest faulty members.

We discussed the opportunities they face every day, the needs of the school and how we can pray together and seek God’s face over those matters. Please keep the faculty and their families in your prayers.

Train up a child in the way she should go

Joseph at Girls Home
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My son Joseph, 13, was in India all summer. It was his desire to come and learn Hindi. He put in great effort and the Lord tremendously blessed it. He is already reading without an accent! (He is still learning the meaning of what he’s reading.)

My meetings with the Girls Home staff were fascinating, exciting, and truly a blessing. It gave me a feeling for the challenges they face every day. They are ministering to 27 girls who have come from very different circumstances. Some of them can’t read or write and have been placed in 4th and 5th grade simply because of their age. They need to be taught everything, even how to do everyday tasks like washing up and brushing their teeth.

The concepts of discipline, respect, and learning are foreign to them. Love is something they have never experienced before.

The team at the Girls Home is very busy and asks for your prayers. Their days begin at 5 a.m. with morning devotions, breakfast and getting the girls ready and on the school bus. The day ends around 10 p.m., after all the girls are in bed and the lights are turned out. School is in session six days a week. On Sunday, everyone is at church for most of the day.

Medical Clinic
I also met with our Dr. Swati at the Medical Clinic. She is so full of joy. Please continue to pray for her, as the Holy Spirit continues to do the transforming work in her life. She is passionate about what she does and always has the heart of a servant, willing to reach out to those who are the most needy in her community.

Please keep this outreach in your prayers. We are beginning to transition into a new area: training health workers. These are women who will go into their communities and reach, train and teach women and their families at a grass roots level, making a significant impact in their lives. Our desire is to begin with ladies who live on the same street as the clinic. As we learn from that experience, we will take the same model and prayerfully apply it to the slum areas nearby. We are also working on an ongoing program that will give us the capability to continuously educate and train women and children. Finally, please keep the upcoming Medical Mission Trip in January 2014 in your prayers.

I spoke by phone with many of our pastors during my stay in Pune. They all want to thank you for your prayers and support. They also wanted to make sure that you know that they are praying for all of you! It is incredible to hear how the Lord is using these men and how the Gospel continues to change lives.

Thank you for all that you do praying, supporting, and being a valuable part of what the Lord is doing in India!

In His Service

Pastor Ben