India 2013

India 2013: The Retreat In Daily Life begins

On Monday, we held the opening session for our retreat in daily life, offered to the students and faculty of SAIACS.  More than 80 people have registered, which will make it a very busy week for us 5 directors!  I have 21 directees myself, including the principal and the dean of students, along with 19 students.  Women meet with women, and men with men in this culture, which is why the male directees have the bulk of the workload; the good news for the women is that all women interested in participating have been admitted to the RDL.  Some men, students and faculty, have had to be turned away simply because there are not enough hours in the day to meet them all.

Today, we begin meeting with them.  We will meet each directee for half an hour every other day.  They will have read a few Scripture passages, and asked the Lord to speak through them.  We directors will help them process what God is saying through the text, and what God is doing in the midst of their busy lives.  The goal is to provide enrichment for their walk with God, and to deepen their awareness of his presence in their lives.

Thank you for your prayers.  Each of us is blessed to be participating in this ministry!

(And a big shout out to my colleague back home, Jon Dennis, whose wife, Susanne, gave birth to their first child on Monday morning!  Congratulations to Jon and Susanne and their daughter!)

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India 2013

India 2013: We have arrived!

I had hoped to post sooner than this, but arriving on the weekend meant getting internet access would take a couple of days.  Thankfully, yesterday, I was able to Skype to St. Paul’s to bring greetings from India, thanks to the Principal of SAIACS, Dr. Ian Payne, who let me into his home to use his personal WiFi.

We will be offering the opening session of our Retreat In Daily Life this afternoon.  There are over 80 people who have signed up for the retreat, comprising more than 3/4 of the student body.  However, because in this culture men must meet with men and women with women, we are not able to meet with all the men who have signed up.  There are only two of us men providing spiritual direction for the RDL, and we can only see so many people in a day!  Priority has been given to the students taking David Sherbino’s Intro to Spiritual Formation course, and students who are graduating.  All women who wish to participate will be welcomed to do so, since we have 3 women directors.

There is great interest in spiritual formation here at SAIACS.  We look forward to providing this unique form of pastoral care to the students, as well as equipping them to take these tools into their own congregations to encourage their people in their walk with Christ.

It is warm here; 30 degree days and 15 degree nights are common.  We are seeing all sorts of flora and fauna that are uncommon to Canada.  We visited the inner city of Bangalore on Sunday, and saw the sea of humanity that one expects to see.  Not as many cattle as I had expected, though!

Thanks to everyone reading this who is praying for our team.  David, David, Jenn, Cynthia, Lina and I really covet and appreciate your prayerful support.