India and Nepal: February 21 - March 9, 2014
Matt Smith traveled to India and Nepal in February and March to explore potential partnerships with several organizations working in the Majority World. The long-term goal for BiblicalTraining (BT) is to translate many of our core courses into the major languages of the world (e.g., Mandarin, Spanish, and Hindi). And even more importantly, to produce original content in those languages from indigenous leaders that know the local context and the local culture. Please pray with us as we seek to expand our ministry in this way: 1) that we would be led by the Lord in this, and 2) that we would do it in a culturally appropriate way that would truly benefit the leaders of the Majority World.
Here's Matt's report from this trip:
Week 1 - India
Partner: Freedom to Lead International
After a quick overnight in Delhi, we traveled to Patna, the capital of the state of Bihar in North India. The guys from Freedom to Lead lead two days of training going over the content of the previous module, Leading Teams. The final three days they launched into the topic of Strategic Leadership. The leaders that come to these modules are all literate, well-educated leaders, but they will be taking this content back to other leaders who learn best through stories and don't have any formal education. There was a lot of give and take between the teachers from FTL and the Indian and Nepalese leaders as they worked collaboratively on creating the best content for delivering to the grassroots leaders. It was the best example of true, two-partnership that I have ever witnessed. I learned a lot about curriculum development in the Majority World, partnering with a diverse group of leaders, and transferring content to oral learners. As BT tries to meet the needs of more oral learners (FTL calls them storycentric learners), here in the U.S. and around the world, these will be valuable information to take with us.
Please pray for Freedom to Lead and all of the leaders that are continuing their training, that they will be able to transfer what they have leader to the hundreds of grassroots leaders in their regional networks.
Week 2 - Nepal
Partner: Himalayan Bible Study Academy
The second week I traveled to Nepal to spend time with a brother and good friend, Dil Tamang (below). Dil is the President of HBSA and has been a good friend since my days working with New Directions International. Dil took me from the Far West Nepal to East Nepal and points in between to see all three of HBSA's residential training centers, as well as several churches that he has helped to plant. What a joy to see the leaders that are being trained to through these centers. God is using Dil and HBSA in amazing ways. Just one example is a lady we met in Western Nepal named Golma. She has led over 17 other ladies to the Lord and continues to disciple them in a church that was planted, mainly from people that she has led to Jesus. Amazing stuff! It's very much like the New Testament church in Nepal, since it has really been in existence since 1950, with many first generation Christians still leading the church.
We will begin translating some of our Foundations content into the Nepali language, beginning with Dr. Mounce's Life is a Journey course. This will be a valuable resource for the new believers and for those mentoring new believers in that nation.
Please pray for Dil and HBSA as they continue to train up the next generation of leaders for the church in Nepal.
Fri, Feb 21 - Departed RDU
Sat, Feb 22 - Arrived in Delhi, India
Sun, Feb 23 - Traveled to Patna, India
Mon, Feb 24 - FTL Review Session
Tue, Feb 25 - FTL Review Session
Wed, Feb 26 - FTL Module: Strategic Leadership
Thu, Feb 27 - FTL Module: Strategic Leadership
Fri, Feb 28 - FTL Module: Strategic Leadership
Sat, Mar 1 - Flew to Kathmandu, Nepal
Sun, Mar 2 - Flew to Nepalgunj in mid-west Nepal
Mon, Mar 3 - Visited HBTC in Surkhet
Tue, Mar 4 - Visited various churches in the area
Wed, Mar 5 - Returned to Kathmandu for meetings
Thu, Mar 6 - Flew to Biratnagar in east Nepal, visited HBTC in Dhankuta
Fri, Mar 7 - Returned to Kathmandu
Sat, Mar 8 - Departed Kathmandu for Delhi and flight back to US
Sun, Mar 9 - Arrived back at RDU
I had the opportunity to meet with several church leaders during my two weeks in South Asia, usually over a cup of hot tea.
What a blessing to be able to preach along with Pastor Yam Tamang at Peniel Christian Church in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu is an amazing city with a rich history and culture. Here is one of the many Hindu temples throughout the city.
And I got a glimpse of the top of the world, Mt. Everest, on my way to the training center in East Nepal.