Throughout the year, Ron Tobias travels to meet church planters all over the globe. These trips include opportunities to see how God is working through the churches and to make connections for future partnerships. In March 2017, Ron went to Lucknow, India with John Slavic, Hannah Mezzell and David Slavic.
Lucknow, India Update
Lucknow is located in Utter Pradesh state of India. It is only 1% Christian. The major religion is Hindu, but there are also a large number of Muslims. There are no large Christian churches in this area.
We arrived in Lucknow the morning of March 10th. After a quick nap to recover from the 22 hour flight, we met with 16 Pastors and trainees of the Good News Presbytery. They shared updates from both the churches and the training they are receiving. There are currently two active and thriving churches in this presbytery. Both of them are over 80 in attendance for their Sunday morning worship. Their pastors are training other interns for future church plants in the area. The churches also have a large small group ministry. One of the churches has over 250 people attending their small groups or cell groups has they call them. Transportation is difficult in Lucknow and so the cell groups are the only effective way of reaching many of the members.
On the following day we held a seminar on Reformed theology. All 16 pastors and trainees attended this seminar. It was a long but a productive day for these men. It was the first time some of them had been exposed to Calvinism, so there were lots of questions.
Sunday morning we attended services at both churches. We were able to share with the aid of an interpreter. It was amazing to be able to worship with our brothers and sisters in this beautiful country. Khen Tombing from Manipur state also joined us on Sunday. Khen is the director of the Presbyterian Church in India.
On Monday, we once again spent most of the day at the training center. John Slavic and I trained them in the Gospel Boot Camp. The pastors were eager to learn this material.
Tuesday morning before we left, we spent time discussing the struggles of planting in this region of India. While we were here the people of India elected a new government that is considered to be radical Hindus. This new government will be hostile to the spreading of the Gospel. This will present new challenges in the planting of churches.
The rest of Tuesday and Wednesday were travel days as we made our way to Manipur State. This state is in the northeast of India.