The 2012 Kakinada, India Lectureship occurred Tuesday – Thursday, November 6 – 8. Foreign brethren speaking included in addition to Bonnie and me, James Wilcut, Jim and Elaine Kelly, Therman Hodge, Betty Choate and Vinay David. Funny, though, Vinay is from New Delhi in north India; the brethren in south India still consider him a foreigner, and he spoke in English, and his sermon had to be translated into Telegu (since he speaks not Telegu but Hindi). One young local Indian preacher also spoke once. There was much singing, usually in Telegu, once in Kanada, occasionally in Oria and sometimes in English, too.
Tuesday, the program started an hour late due to the difficulty attendees were having getting to Kakinada because of the flooded roads, airports and train tracks. Each day, there were morning, afternoon and evening sessions – running Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Tuesday was about an hour less because of the late start. In the morning and the evening, speakers addressed combined men, women and children, whereas in the afternoons, there were ladies’, children’s and men’s classes. A variety of subjects taught ranged from Male Leadership, Jesus Christ, The All Sufficiency of the Bible, What Is the Mission of the Church, The Role of Women, Sarah, Heaven and many others. Down somewhat from last year due to inclement weather and floods, still the attendance topped 600 – all of whom were fed on premises. Those three days seemed like a week or more given the amount of time devoted to the program. It was good to be there. There was one baptism during the lectureship, which is in keeping with the kind of response one would expect from primarily a Christian audience – many of whom were preachers, elders, other church leaders and their families.
Back in the room near day’s end, I was able to publish the November issue of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet. Contrary to what I had expected during our absence from America, I was able to publish October and November editions at least as timely as I do when I am in the States. Lacking, however, from both issues was the audio lesson by Tim Childs; I doubted whether we could conveniently transmit the longer audio file to and from Asia because of the often questionable availability of sufficient Internet access in the areas in which we were traveling in various nations. I hope to resume in December the audio lesson.
Therman Hodge left for the airport following his last speech on Wednesday morning. He was headed home a little ahead of us to be a part of his 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. Therman was quite anxious since for a while roads, airports and railroads were closed because of flooding. Fortunately, the weather man was wrong (again), and the rains stopped days ahead of predictions, enabling the waters to recede enough to permit his departure on time for home.
We made new friends and renewed acquaintances among America brethren – nearly 12 time zones around the world from our usual neighborhoods. As always, we enjoyed greatly spending time with dear Indian brethren who converge on Kakinada for these lectures. All of us have been invited back to next year’s lectures.
Another aspect of our relationship with Joshua and Ricky Gootam has to do with the production of literature. We carried funds to leave with them for printing my books on the parables of Christ into one volume in the Telegu language. In addition, we left more money for some of the various and many other literature programs that they promote. Besides the massive literature and Bible distribution for which they are responsible, their TV programs also herald the Gospel throughout India and even as far as the United States. Bonnie and I carefully work with reliable brethren who maintain stable and productive works for the Lord.
Friday, November 9, 2012, Bonnie and I along with Jim Kelly and Ricky Gootam traveled an hour and a half from Kakinada south to one last village before Bonnie and I depart for Delhi tomorrow. The village is named Gunna Palli, and the preacher there is Y. Yosapu Raju. I spoke first, followed immediately by brother Kelly. About 50 attended, mostly women. Men are working during the day and unable to attend day sessions many times. Secondly, here as elsewhere in the world, women often are more sensitive to spiritual matters than are men. Afterward, we were treated to typical hospitality before heading back to Kakinada. Bonnie and I are ready on the morrow to put the 2012 Kakinada trip behind us, and we trust that we have been useful in the service of the Lord while here.