Elim Church Annual Christmas Outreach 2012
– Over six hundred Gospel tracts were distributed to the people of Kathmandu
– Gospel Preaching in the Streets of Kathmandu
Consistent with the mission of BMI, equipping national leaders to train Christian leaders in their own parts of the world, Sonam Kabo and his wife, Rita, traveled to Northern India to conduct three Encountering Christ Conferences.
First one was held in Purnea, Bihar (once this place used to be called the graveyard for the Christian Missionaries for many years), and it is located on the border of the Eastern part of Nepal. There were twenty-nine senior pastors and leaders mainly from the Bretheren in Christ Church (BICC) which is one of the biggest church umbrella in the whole Bihar State with more than five thousand believers. Some of them were from other church denominations such as the Evangelical and Pentecostal and independent churches. The local coordinator was Mr.Yuhanna Pradhan who was one of participants of the Encountering Christ Conference with Dr. Jonathan Burnham in Kathmandu. He is a project manager for Christian Medical Association India (CMAI) who serves the underprivileged santhali tribal people through the local church leaders in Bihar. Our Encountering Christ Themes were well received and very much appreciated by all the senior pastors and leaders in this State of Bihar. They have invited us for the second part of Encountering Christ Conference next year, and they have requested us to provide the Encountering Christ book in the Hindi language as well.
The second conference was held in Kalimpong, Darjeeling. The local coordinator was Pastor Biswaratna Rai of Assemblies of God Church, and he too was one of the participants of the Encountering Christ seminar in Kathmandu. The program was held for full three days at the Town Hall with about two hundred people – both pastors, leaders and youths from his own church as well as from his denominational branch churches from several regions of North India. We have received emails from Pastor Bishwa Ratna Rai, that the participants had expressed their deep gratitude and appreciation at the teaching that was brought to them. Pastor Biswa was so thankful and excited seeing the outcome of the conference that he has mentioned that he would like to hold another conference for the women in the near future.
After the Kalimpong conference, the last one of the three was held at Dimapur, Nagaland. After twelve hours of train journey from Siliguri, North India , Sonam and Rita arrived in Dimapur where Pastor Vinod Rai had arranged for the Encountering Christ seminar for Nepali-speaking pastors not only from Nagaland but also from the neighboring state of Assam. Pastor Vinod Rai is from the Baptist denomination which is the dominant denomination in that region of India. The participating pastors were very much into the theology and doctrine, but the teaching from the manual of Encountering Christ was so well received that they were so eager to learn and gave their full attention with deep interest. Some of their comments were, “we have read and preached from both the O.T. and N.T., but this teaching has helped us to reveal Christ in every topic of our lessons in such a precise manner. It is very fresh and helpful. It was a great blessing to receive such profound teaching in our own Nepali langauge without having to be interpreted.” There were twenty-nine pastors and leaders and these group are very eager to attend the second part of the teaching conference.
The participants of the last BMI Encountering Christ seminar at Kathmandu have been faithfully doing their part in transferring the teachings they have learned into their own settings and context. Some of them have done it in over three or four special meetings, while others have done it in their Bible colleges among their students, some in their training centers and in small group settings. So, the teachings received have been imparted and multiplied.
We continue to pray that with the completion of the second part in April 2013 in Kathmandu, there will be a wide circulation and impartation of the teaching of the book ,”Encountering Christ” authored and taught by Dr.Jonathan Burnham, in a very effective way. And that more and more churches and church leaders and believers will renew their love and desire to read the Word of God and truly encounter Christ in their lives and the pages of the Bible.
BMI provides the Encountering Christ book to each conference participant translated in their own language.
On October 15-20 sixteen key pastors and theology teachers gathered in a resort in Kharkov, Ukraine, for the first part of the National Leaders Theological Training based on Dr. Jonathan Burnham’s new book Encountering Christ. These sixteen leaders came from seven countries and three continents, and represented the geography of both current and potential ministry initiatives of BMI. The majority of the leaders represented Ukraine (including the Vice-President of the Baptist Union, the largest and oldest Protestant denomination of the land. BMI has partnered with the Baptist Union in the former USSR, and our Ministry Center is registered under the Union). The other pastors and teachers were from Vladivostok (Russia’s Far East, a city on the shore of the Sea of Japan near the border with China and North Korea), Minsk (Belarus), Tbilisi (Georgia), Yerevan (Armenia), as well as two leaders from China and Nigeria, both living in Ukraine and associated with our Ministry Center international outreach.
The key trainer of the Conference was Dr. Jonathan Burnham. A gifted teacher, passionate for dynamic relationships with Jesus Christ, he taught on the first part of his book, Encountering Christ, providing a unique Christ-centered overview of Scripture, and focusing on the person of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. He also became a strong encourager of the attending pastors in their relationships with their family, congregations, ministry, and personal spiritual growth. All the leaders shared that the conference was a unique, meaningful and valuable time, which deeply influenced their personal perspective on Christ, and proved to be the most beneficial for their ministries – the Conference was a true encounter with Jesus on the pages of the Old Testament. The second part of the Conference is scheduled to take place in October 2013, when the leaders with gather together with their wives.
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Jonathan, David and Sue Burnham traveled to Nepal where the first National Leaders Theological Training Conference was held in Kathmandu. Sonam Kabo facilitated the conference and invited twenty of Nepal and India’s top national Christian leaders for a full week of training with Jonathan Burnham. The teaching is part of the two-year series on Jonathan’s book, Encountering Christ. During this first year of the conference, the first half of the book (the Old Testament portion) was covered. Next year, the New Testament portion will be taught. At this conference, during the last two days, the leaders’ wives attended and were taught by Sue Burnham. Many of the leaders exclaimed that it was the best, most beneficial conference they had ever attended! David, Sue and Jonathan also visited the Christian school, Elim Kids Academy.
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