BIC travel to churches in Africa and India
While Americans were eating turkey, stuffing, and pie in late November, a number of BIC individuals were enjoying some very different cuisines. On November 12th, Ken Hoke, regional administrative director for South Asia, led five pastors on a two-week-long vision trip to the Indian states of Orissa and West Bengal. While there, the group had the opportunity to preach, to meet and encourage leaders of BIC Church in India, to gain a deeper understanding of Indian culture, and to eat lots of rice. For Michael Yoder, pastor of Millersville (Pa.) BIC Church, it was the people’s “passion to spread the Gospel with creativity and determination,” even in the midst of poverty and persecution, that he found most profound. You can get a taste of the group’s experience by viewing the pictures and reading the entries at the group’s blog, http://indiadudes.blogspot.com, or by visiting Ken Hoke’s blog at http://www.kohconsulting.blogspot.com.
Update: Since the team left India, the Church there has experienced great persecution. Please visit http://offline.bicweb.org/wm/constantcontact/Orissa.htm to read an update on the situation from Bijoy Roul, regional coordinator for BIC World Missions in south Asia.
Over the same two weeks, but on the other side of the world, a group of ten individuals from the Canadian Conference traveled to Zambia and Zimbabwe on a Learning Tour hosted by Mennonite Central Committee. The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the various HIV/Aids projects that the BIC and MCC support in the area. While there, the group saw much suffering, disease, need, and tragedy. Yet Lori Bell, a trip participant, shares that the BIC in North America can help in a truly powerful way: “Pray, pray, pray.” She also encourages others to get informed, to support the BIC World Missions Handbook, and to remember the BIC churches there, which are “doing a wonderful job of being the Lord's hands and feet.”