Shirley and I have been going to India now for eight years. In the beginning we concentrated on learning the needs of the people there. In the last few years the focus has changed to not just meeting some of the physical needs of the people (construction of churches) but in trying to have the messages of William Branham printed on a limited basis for distribution to those that read the Telugu language. We presently have two people that are retyping some of the messages that have already been translated so they will be in the proper format for the HUB. It is from the HUB that we download the messages and print for distribution. There are 58 messages in Telugu on the HUB and still over 118 that were in print before and out of print and still need to be retyped. We also are trying to get new messages translated so that more will be available. Freddie last year printed over 1000 message books and this year plans to print over 1500 as new messages are made available on the HUB. We send free of charge a limited number to a minister but if the request is large then we ask them for assistance in printing charges.
This past year we focused on many things. In one area we had a class on water baptism and then baptized five people which will be the beginning of a new church in an area that we have been working. It was a blessing to be able to minister in this way. In the following year we plan on visiting the area again and strengthen those that have accepted Christ as their Savior.
Much of the work that we are doing presently is preaching to various churches that we have been working with over the years. In some cases we have never been in the church before. Some of the churches are well established and we can go deeper into the messages. In other churches most of the people are illiterate so the messages must remain simple. Last year we did a series that we managed to video and will make them available to ministers that have computers that can view them. There is also a collection of videos that we have been able to put together over the years showing Sabino Canyon, Sunset Mountain and personal testimonies by various ministers. These will also be made available to various ministers as they show an interest.
This year we took with us a model of the Tabernacle of the Wilderness and used it as a teaching aid to help the people (especially the youth) understand the approach to God through Jesus Christ. It was a blessing to see the young people grow. We always speak through a translator and sometimes the messages are not as clear as they could be. By having the model with us we were able to have a more relaxed atmosphere where the people could ask questions and we could explain to them more fully what we were trying to teach them.
This year we spent 11 weeks in India. I preached 72 services while we were there and ministered in over 35 churches. During our time in India we baptized 7 people in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as helped to establish a new church. We were able to spend time in a few of the villages, teaching on the Tabernacle of Moses. We were able to hold meetings with ministers in different areas and tried to answer their questions. We also distributed Bibles and message books in Telugu.
One of the highlights of this year was when we had the opportunity of baptizing the last member of the family of a church pastor that we had been working with over the past 5 years. It was his grandmother. She was over 80 years old. In the past we had baptized most of his family and his father. The only one left was the grandmother. It was a blessing to see her complete the family coming forward for Christian baptism.
Next year we plan on returning and strengthening the brothers that we have worked with over the years. There is much work to be done in India. There are not many missionaries from the states that travel anymore to India. I am grateful for the ones that do go.