August 11 - 15, 2015 DFH TRAININGS
by DFH India Coordinator
Names are not given for security reasons.
Our first training was in Gondohati, a small remote forest village 32 Km from Palasa, Odisha. The people there are simple ordinary people who hardly know anything about the modern world. Many of them have been victims of previous anti-Christian riots. The young pastor who has been ministering there for the last six years sent a three wheeler to pick me up from the Palasa train station. Most of the roads were bumpy, zigzag and narrow. The driver drove with much care. Many of trainees of our DFH workshop reached Gondohati by walking; some even started, early in the morning to reach here. Traveling in this area takes much time, and it's expensive for the villagers to hire a rickshaw.
Our training started right after lunch with an hour of worship. Most of the participants were pastors or evangelists and they were ready to take notes. When the training was over, one by one came to our DFH coordinator, thanking him that he went to their place to teach some truths about human habits & nature. They surrounded him and said, “Sir, who will come here in this forest? No one! But because you have a burden for the poor villagers and you want to see us blessed, you came to teach us. These lessons helped us so much to know our own life. We want that you come here and stay for long days so that we will have further opportunity to know more about our deadly behavior habits and how to overcome them to be closer to God and be a better witness of Jesus Christ to others.” More than 45 pastors, evangelists and elders attended this training.
Our next training was in another small village, Balada, across the state line in Andhra Pradesh. The pastor who arranged this workshop only invited his friends who lived within 20 Km of Balada. They were pastors or evangelists. We had only 22 attendees. He told us that there are many pastors and evangelists from further away who wanted to come, but they could not afford the travel expenses.
The DFH lessons opened the eyes of those who attended. They said, “These lessons are very practical for a believer’s life. We have made a decision to practice overcoming our old sinful habits, and replace them with new behaviors that will glorify the Lord. The pastor said that he wanted to take our DFH trainer and coordinator to more churches of Andhra Pradesh in the future.
Our next destination was another remote village, Shialoti, back in the state of Odisha, nearly 30 Km from Chandragiri. After walking a few Km, hiring a rickshaw for a few more Km and then taking a four hour bus ride on winding, bumpy roads our DFH team got a few hours of sleep at a pastor’s home. The next morning three young men came with three motor bikes to take us. After traveling 20 Km, there were no roads. Those young men drove their bikes through a narrow path, (a two foot wide path people walk on inside the forest). When they reached Shialoti, 20 pastors were already there. During lunch and the worship service, many others came. There were 47 participants when we started teaching. Here too, they called only the pastors, evangelists and elders.
Except for two people, others had no idea what DFH lessons are about. They enjoyed and learned so much. Some of them expressed their feelings this way, “Sometime we go to seminars where they preach about God, Man, Sin, Holiness, etc. etc. Today you taught us about our identity in God, about our old habits, and how we can overcome & receive God's blessing. Since it cost a lot to conduct such a training, we couldn't inform too many. May the Lord bless your desire as you are focusing with these lessons to make a Godly community, even in remote areas. You are most welcome here again.”
That evening the three drivers with their motor bikes drove our DFH team to Mohana through another forest road. (Mohana is a larger village where Dr. Derby and his son, Jeff, conducted DFH training back in 2010.) The next morning, our DFH team hired a three wheeler to go to Ramogarh village. When we reached there, pastors and evangelists came. Some of them traveled by bus and auto rickshaw. The training started in due time with 22 participants. They found a good interpreter, who also is an independent pastor. Oh! All those participants paid full attention in each lesson. After the training they said “We have never heard such lessons before; you have shared vital truths about our own life.” Then they broke into a spontaneous prayer meeting that lasted nearly 30 minutes. When the prayer after the training was over it was time for our DFH-India team to start their journey home.
The ministry of DFH may not be known to people in most areas, but once it takes place in a region, believers talk about it among themselves, and make plans to have DFH seminars conducted in areas throughout the region. We have many limitations, but God is in control. Please pray that the Lord provides us with His insight and resources to continue to teach, prepare, and help people to develop their personal life, which will generate in them ways of becoming better witnesses and disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ and in doing that, they will receive the blessings of God