Field Trip to West Bengal, India

with Steven Hiltz, grad of 1983

The Lord has wonderfully opened the door for me to return to West Bengal, India for two weeks this November. I first went in 2009 with Far Corners Ministry. After I got to know Shakti Basumata, a Far Corners Ministry Representative in NE India and Biplab Sarkar, a young pastor in Jalpaiguri, our church began to support these two national workers. I talk to these men regularly throughout the year. Three others from our local assembly have gone to this area to minister by teaching or with carpentry/labour skills. Because of this deepening relationship, we’ve also helped with some practical needs of pastors (two laptop computers, a camera, clothes, financial love gifts, etc) and an orphanage (washer & dryer). It’s life-changing to see it all up close! For example, the average manual labourer in that State makes $2.50 per day, when they can find work, and a skilled person – carpenter, electrician, etc. makes $5 per day. Most pastor’s needs can’t be met by their poor congregations. Their average salary is $55 per month and they often share their salary with the poorer of their church. More recently, we are donating mosquito nets to prevent malaria spread (our VBS children’s project this summer) and providing funds toward a new church building (our Sunday School children’s ongoing Missionary Penny Campaign). Remember a missionary is “one sent” and one cent reminds us of this!

I’ll be teaching at two training conferences for pastors, youth pastors, evangelists and christian leaders. There was a pressing need for pastors to go this fall, and I did not think it possible to return so soon, but God has clearly shown me He’s opening the door. Two ladies will also be going from our church, Jennie Ernst, who helped teach the women’s track last November. She will be joined by Denise Humphrey, a dietician, who will teach Bible to the ladies, and also about a proper diet, safe food handling, etc. It will be an extra special privilege to finish and dedicate a new church building in Jalpaiguri for which two young men from our church helped lay the foundation – Jon Levy and my son, Matthew Hiltz.

Would you please pray for me as I prepare to go?

Related Posts: Check out our other NBBI alumni who will be on this trip.

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