Report Of India Mission Trip From 1st to 17th Of April, 2013
The India mission trip began at the India High Commission in Kenya where I applied for visa and received it about one week later after spending a lot of money and after being thoroughly interrogated by the India High Commission. The mission trip was mainly sponsored and organized by Renewal Fellowship Ministries from Australia. We were supposed to board the plane on 1st April 2013 at 1:00p.m at Nairobi. We had problems with our air tickets and we boarded the plane to India on 3rd April 2013 at 1:00p.m when the airline sorted out the problem since it was their problem and not ours. We slept at the airport for those two days which was very expensive for us since the airline refused to pay. That was the FIRST STUMBLING BLOCK to our India mission trip. Kenya team comprised four Ministers of the Gospel namely Apostle Elias Nyandika, Pastor Matthew Nyang'au, Pastor Benedict Simiyu and myself(Pastor Tom Opiyo). We went through the airports of Qatar (Doha), then we entered India via New Delhi airport(Indira Gandhi International airport) in the morning on 4th April 2013. We delayed by two days. Upon arrival in Delhi India, we were warmly welcome by Pastor G. Venugopalan and his wife plus his daughter. Sister Anita Femiano from Australia (the President of Renewal Fellowship Ministries), sister Devena Robert and pastor Roberts had already arrived in India by the time we arrived there. They actually met us at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The AFTERNOON OF 4TH APRIL 2013, we spent time at the Beatitudes Mission Centre run by pastor Venugopalan. The Centre assists poor Muslim children to know Christ and some of the children's needs are also met at the centre. Sister Davena shared a powerful gospel message with the children using puppets.
India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. Wikipedia
Dialing code: 91
Official language: Hindi Language, English Language
Government: Constitutional republic, Federal republic, Parliamentary system
RELIGIOUS CULTURE IN INDIA: India is the birthplace of some of the world's major religious traditions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
Throughout India's history, religion has been an important part of the country's culture. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in the country by the law and custom. A vast majority of Indians, (over 93%), associate themselves with a religion.
According to the 2001 census, 80.5% of the population of India practice Hinduism. Islam (13.4%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.9%), Buddhism (0.8%) and Jainism (0.4%) are the other minor religions followed by the people of India. This diversity of religious belief systems existing in India today, is a result of both the existence of multiple native religions and also, the assimilation and social integration of religions brought to the region by traders, travelers, immigrants, and even invaders and conquerors.
Zoroastrianism and Judaism also have an ancient history in India, and each has several thousands of Indian adherents. India has the largest population of people adhering to Zoroastrianism and Bahá'í Faith in the world. Many other world religions also have a relationship with Indian spirituality, such as the Baha'i faith which recognizes Buddha and Krishna as manifestations of the God Almighty.
Indian diaspora in the West have popularized many aspects of Buddhist and Hindu philosophy such as yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic medicine, divination, karma, and reincarnation. The influence of Indian religions has been significant all over the world. Several organizations, such as the Hare Krishna movement, the Brahma Kumaris, the Ananda Marga, and others spread Indian spiritual notions.
The Muslim population of India is the third largest in the world. India also has the third largest Shia population in the world. The shrines of some of the most famous saints of Sufism, like Moinuddin Chishti and Nizamuddin Auliya, are found in India, and attract visitors from all over the world. India is also home to some of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture, such as the Taj Mahal and the Qutb Minar. Civil matters related to the community are dealt with by the Muslim Personal Law, and constitutional amendments in 1985 established its primacy in family matters.
The Constitution of India declares the nation to be a secular republic that must uphold the right of citizens to freely worship and propagate any or no religion or faith. The Constitution of India also declares the right to freedom of religion as a fundamental right. But many Christians are undergoing persecution and many have been killed by Hindu fundamentalists in many parts of India but mainly in Orissa. CHRISTIANS MUST INVOLVE THEMSELVES IN EVERY WAY IN INDIA TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL AND ESPECIALLY BY EMPOWERING INDIAN CHURCH LEADERS AND MEMBERS.
ON 5TH ---7TH APRIL 2013, Myself and sister Anita traveled to the strongest Hindu state in the world called Orissa. We were received at Biju Patnaik Airport Bhubaneswar by pastor Sanjay Limma who took us to Puri area near the Sea Of Bengal. He left us in the safe hands of his brother pastor Omega who runs a pentecostal church there. We had powerful prayer meetings in the church fellowship, preaching and prayers in houses and on the street. We also had Sunday worship service plus holy communion. The people gave us a wonderful welcome and they fed us and paid part of our taxi services. God healed people in the community through prayers and many people in the community were asking us to come into their houses to pray for them. The fishing community in the area gave us fish and they were changed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are only less than 1% of the population in the Orissa State and they suffer persecution and death several times. The saints here are strong and conduct powerful prayers. One of our Indian pastor friend was killed in this area in the year 2012 for preaching to Hindus.
8TH—10TH APRIL 2013: PASTOR TOM OPIYO AND MISSION IN WEST GODAVARI DISTRICT--PALAKOLLU
First(Monday 8th April 2013:) I, Pastor Tom Opiyo, Anita and Devana flew to Hyderabad airport then to Rajahmundry airport from Orissa. We were warmly and heartily received by Bishop David Livingstone. He took the three of us to Palakollu, in West Godavari district, about two hours drive from Rajahmundry airport. We had a powerful preaching session that evening conducted by sister Anita and sister Devana. Several people gave their lives to the Lord during the revival meeting in the night. Many people attended the revival meeting. Sister Anita and sister Devana left the place that night for another place within Godavari area but was far. The following day was to be a national strike of all workers and public transport would not be available. Pastor Tom was left alone at Palakollu.
Secondly(Tuesday 9th April 2013): Pastor Tom had stomach problems due to Indian spicy food. But God graciously enabled him to teach in the Church from 11:00a.m till 4:00p.m. Then pastor Tom preached in a Holy Spirit power-packed revival meeting that night in the same church. Healing, deliverance, manifestations of the Holy Spirit and people accepting Christ were experienced. God moved in amazing ways. Many lives were changed for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thirdly(Wednesday 10th April 2013): I was still at the church with Bishop Livingstone but on that day, I ministered at their branch village church. I was welcome in that branch church with coconut drink. I had a teaching session from 11:00a.m—4:00p.m.
I had another night of preaching in a revival meeting which was attended by hundreds of people. People gave their lives to Christ and God healed/delivered many.
Thursday 11th April 2013: Pastor Tom had a glorious send off by the Church of Bishop Livingstone from Palakollu to Rajahmundry airport. Bishop Livingstone was very instrumental in taking care of the missionaries and he was active in helping and supporting the mission in any way possible. He was also a great preaching interpreter. On the 11th April 2013, we arrived at Hyderabad. We were welcome there by pastor Joshua Oradi of New Grace Tabernacle Ministries. It was a refreshing time to see the other missionaries of our team again, who were also ministering in different parts of India and to meet all the different Indian pastors from many different parts of India.
12th --14th April 2013: PASTORS CONFERENCE
Some of our missionaries in our team plus India pastors arrived on 12th in the morning. The conference began in the morning on 12th April 2013. All the missionaries had teaching sessions allocated to them on different topics including prayer, the power of the Cross, witnessing in warfare, etc. I, pastor Tom, had teaching session on, The Role of a pastor. Many pastors traveled from far and they truly enjoyed the pastors conference which united them and enabled them to know one another. About 50 leaders attended the conference.
On Sunday 14th , most of our missionary team members were tired and worshiped at the church where we had the conference. But I, pastor Tom, worshiped at Indian Pentecostal Church of God in Hyderabad Hyderguda. It was a wonderful church which was founded by Pastor Philip Abraham in 1955. The current pastor of the church, John Sunderao, gave me a wonderful welcome and they asked me to come back again and preach.
15th April 2013: Our missionary team left very early in the morning for New Delhi. We flew from Hyderabad to New Delhi where we were welcome by Rev.G. Venugopalan and his family. We had some little shopping experience and then had a special house fellowship in a rich Hindu family. It was just about 3 hours before we went to New Delhi airport, that the whole family of eight people gave their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. The family has a High school Principal, bank Director and other senior people. A Woman who had a disease called migraines in that family was healed immediately. The family gave us their own car to take all of our missionary team to the New Delhi airport. God is awesome!!!!
16th April 2013 : We arrived at the New Delhi airport at 2:00a.m and we stayed there till 9:20a.m is when the Kenya team boarded a plane to Doha Qatar. We boarded another plane at Doha at 1:30a.m on 17th April 2013 and arrived safely in Nairobi Kenya at 6:30a.m on the same day. I was welcome at the airport by a great Canadian friend who refreshed me in his house before I boarded another public service vehicle later that day to Narok, about three hours drive from Nairobi. My family were very happy to see me again and I was blessed to meet them again. The Church was very happy to welcome me back. The church was constantly in prayers for me while I was away.
- Thanks to the President of Renewal Ministries Fellowship Sister Anita Femiano for organizing and sponsoring the India mission as the main participant. Such mission trips should be done regularly in different countries.
- Thanks to all the Renewal Fellowship Ministries missionary team that went to India and served God in very tough and unfavourable conditions.
- Thanks to all who supported me (pastor Tom) in many ways and for your prayers that made the India mission a success. We had many stumbling blocks but your support and prayers gave us victory.
- Thanks to Indian Church leaders and Church members for their accommodation, food, and care. I appreciate the Christian organizations, churches and ministries that are doing their work in India and especially those that we met personally.
- I observed that many Church leaders in India need Christian training and international mission exposures. Many leaders lack the true Biblical foundation.
- I observed that the Church in India is growing fast and they are united in serious fellowships and yet they are not deeply rooted in God's Word.
- I observed that the saints in India fear to do aggressive witnessing because they are afraid of Hindu people. The culture is unique and diverse.
- I recommend that Bibles, and Christian discipleship material be availed to Indian believers and leaders. Leadership seminars, Bible schools, training centres, are needed. Most Christians need income generating activities.
- I recommend short-term and long-term missionaries be sent to India. We are willing to work with any groups that want to work in any way with Indian saints and leaders. Indian saints should also be trained, sent and supported as missionaries to their nation and to other nations.
NOTE: MORE PHOTOS AVAILABLE AT YOUR REQUEST.
MAY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST RECEIVE ALL THE GLORY IN ALL THAT WE DID AND WHAT GOD IS DOING IN INDIA.
REPORT WRITTEN BY:
PASTOR TOM OPIYO,
P.O. BOX 1008, NAROK,
DATE: 27TH APRIL 2013.