Pray India                                  October 2004

These following updates were sent from abroad during late September and October of 2004. The text is much more choppy because I could only find a few moments to shoot off a prayer note.


India Update 9/24/04

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Praise God! The Indian visa has come.  I have been conversing back and forth with Pastor Stephen of India. He has so many things all lined up for our meeting this Wednesday. It took 4+ days to get there via Singapore. Going through Singapore just wouldn't work. On the other hand, I have found that because I am getting a ticket for now, the fight cost going via Europe now is many hundreds of dollars cheaper than before, just a bit over what it was going through the Orient.

In  any case the Lord has answered your prayers. I was praying that it would come today because the travel agent doesn't work on the weekend and to allow us sufficient focus on praying for the preparation of the hearts of the attendees. I also discovered that it gives me time to get the ticket.  I will arrive in India one day later than originally planned.

My wife asked me yesterday to explain to the children  at family devotions why the visa hadn't come earlier. I had been thinking a lot about it.  The Lord has His lessons. I told them how just two weeks earlier (Sept. 9th) we only had about 13% support. We were going to have to cancel the meetings. Months had passed, and we didn't have enough for a round-trip ticket! 

I explained that  I was looking for confirmation on the trip before getting my visa. Then my older son, Daniel, chirped up, "Didn't God tell you to feed the sheep?"  He was right. The Lord had given me these words, and I even shared them with my family.  I was looking at money for confirmation  rather than the Lord's word which He had already given  to me.  The Lord had provided a better way with sufficient guidance,  but I was not paying close enough attention to Him. I was looking in the wrong way.

But even still, the Lord makes a way for those who trust Him. He is faithful. I will miss out on Singapore but still make India by His grace.

              "No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11).

Of course I need to be careful. Even though Jesus fed the 5000, the disciples couldn't apply the lesson to the next life-challenging event of the storm on the sea (Mark 6:52).  There might be other trials ahead. The evil one  certainly doesn't want me there training up God's leaders next Wednesday. May I have gained a bit of wisdom  from all of this.

Leave Sunday Sept. 24th and arrive Tuesday Sept. 28.

Seminar #1   Visakhapatnam  Sept. 29- Oct 1 (Wednesday to Friday)
Seminar #2   Srikakalum               October 4-6      (Monday to Wednesday)
Seminar #3   Kakinada             October 7-9      (Wednesday to Friday)
Seminar #4   Vizianagaram    October 11-13   (Wednesday to Friday)

Return October 14 and arrive October 15th.
October 17th Paul speaks twice.

Each seminar I will teach 18 times; fortunately they will be the same. I will send out updates as possible but I am not sure I will be able to do so.

In Christ's Majestic Service,



India Update  9/26/04

Dear Prayer Warriors,

It was great to be in church in Pittsburgh this morning and hear several people say (and a bit shocked), "I've been praying for you. You're not in India!"

I am leaving in about 20 minutes. If all goes smooth, I should get there 1 day before the meetings start.

I want to thank the Lord for protecting my father and mother during this hurricane. It went right through my Dad's place again. He expects no electricity and water for a couple of weeks but his house is intact.

Do also pray for me because I have had some kind of bug for the last 2-3 days. It still is persisting. It is not severe but draining.

Thank you so much for your prayers!

In Christ's Majestic Service,



Subject: India Update 9/29/04

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Praise God for a wonderful first day. It was long. We started late. We need to travel one hour each day in crazy and dangerous traffic to get there. I am staying near Pastor Stephen's in his brother's house. It is hot here. Suppose to be rainy season but no rain at least yet.

We had well over one hundred Christian leaders in attendance yesterday. The messages were well received. We really sense all of your prayers. We will be having meetings in four different districts.

The pastors stay in a nearby hall where they eat and sleep on bare concrete floor (later found it was on a thin mat on the concrete floor they slept). They are used to it. It is hot without a/c except in vehicle (praise God).

Please pray for safety and good health. I did recover from the former bug!

Pray for God's anointing upon all the messages.

Thank the Lord for excellent job on the book to be handed out.

It is great to hear of pastor Stephen's father who goes to unreached tribal villages to preach the gospel, even some cannibalistic people.

Thank you for your prayers.

In Christ's Love,



Subject: India Update 10/1/04

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have seen God answer prayers in an abundant way. As we passed out certificates to about the 150 Christian leaders there yesterday, we couldn't but be astonished at how much they appreciated the messages.

There are a number of conferences in that one area but I have heard from several people saying that they are always superficial and not getting into the real teaching of God's Word. On the last day, they brought even more friends for the last few sessions.

Many individuals come forward asking me to pray for them. One can sense their sincerity and deep devotion to the Lord. We had time for two testimonies, but a third one snuck forward. They confirmed what many had been saying.

ADT focuses on changing the heart, supplying skills and vision and causing them to seek God in the scriptures. It is tremendous to see how God is doing that to bring glory to His name. Those three goals can be constant prayer requests.

Today we are going to the highest point in India (90 km) away. We also will visit some tribal areas to see if we can gather some church people together and meet. I will speak on ??. Well it seems the Lord gave me a message this morning. There are so many extra meetings that I have just learned about.

Pray for strength in what one said was 45 degrees Celsius (Later: probably wasn’t that hot but that is what someone said. I had no time to hear news). I feel sweat rolling down my back when speaking. I am still getting used to their foods and eating with my fingers (I still like chopsticks better).

Praise God that ear pain went away. Now I have a constant headache. I think it is from all the tea (caffeine) they are serving (and I am drinking). Now I need to see if I can politely not drink what they serve.

Praise God again for all His mercies!

In Christ's Glorious Name,



Subject: India Update 10/4/04

Dear Prayer Partners,

Thanks for your prayers. The first seminar went really well only by God's grace and your prayers.

Sat. we went to the mountains to sight see and I spoke at two tribal villages on the way. Much to say but we are late for a meeting tonight. One was small church and the other was totally evangelistic. At least the tribal leader said he liked me.

Spoke three times yesterday including a 1.5 hour message at their 3 hour worship service.

Still pray that this headache goes away. Also, it is very hard to think. I am often very groggy minded. Only by God's grace when I stand to speak God brings special clarity.

Praise God!

Brother Paul


Subject: India Update 10/7/0 

Dear Prayer Partners,

We so much appreciate your prayers. Again, I only have a quick moment to write. We are off to the third of four series of 3 day meetings. As soon as I finish, we will travel 5-6 hours to Kakinada south of us on the east coast.

The second and third series for pastors and believers. Due to not receiving sufficient money in time, it was hard to rightly prepare the pastor seminar. So I speak 5 times which is a much reduced amount compared to 9. As it is, they have a way of getting extra meetings in.

Tuesday, for example, we traveled about 45 minutes in the afternoon, to get to a village church hut. We got there around 2:30 and they had been waiting for several hours. They just sit on the floor usually on mats. It was packed. Actually, the response there was even better than at the series. Pastor John has two village churches and all were there. Now after preaching for 1 hour on John 6, it seemed like 100+ people wanted my special prayer. Well, at least they think so. So they were not willing that others pray.

This happens after every meeting and takes around 1/2 hour. God is building up my compassion. All sorts of prayers are needed. Some are non-Christians seeking for God. When we were staying at Pastor Stephen's aunt during yesterday's afternoon, about 15 Hindu neighbors came by wanting my prayers. Some are for children such as being so weak in legs the little one can't walk, mothers with blood cancer, many stomach ills, life problems, some even asking to grow spiritually. May God work through those prayers and cause His church to grow.

My special prayer for each area that we go is that God will raise up the church to reach thoroughly to its area and trust God for the way to do it.

Praise God that my grogginess disappeared. It was probably the chemical from the mosquito killer. Anyway God brought that thought to me from your prayers and I could think clearly throughout the day rather than only when I was preaching. Those were hard days.

My headaches are also gone. Except my earache with filled up sinus on that side. Do pray. It can be distracting. Also pray for good sleep. Because I didn't have the mosquito killer on, they fed on me. As a result I did not get much sleep.

Tonight will be the first message of the third series.

Thanks so much for you prayers.

In Christ's Majestic love,



Subject: India Update 10/10/04

Dear Prayer Partners,

Thank you so much for your prayers and the notes of encouragement I have received. I have (again), just enough time to write an email before in between two series.

This last series was very well taken. I wish there were more men there (both believers and pastors) in that church. By going by there standards, we could fit into our church building twice what we do! They sit all three hours on floor mats and just shuffle tighter together when they need more room. And then there is always outside the doorway or back behind in the room behind the pulpit.

But God did something special at Kakinata. The city has about 150+ churches. No missionaries. Some great testimonies. He did not allow us to have pastors' meeting but still He greatly blessed as people from different churches came. God's Spirit was really moving the people to tears, new commitments. Then they come forward and want me to pray for them. God is beginning to send out a revival spirit. May it grow more. They want me to come back again and again.

I personally am humbled. I might one night be the snack for mosquitoes, but God gives all the energy I need. I forget any pains, memory loss, etc. when speaking. I know that it is through your prayers and those here that are praying.

I have a naming ceremony tonight. I need to give the pastor's son a name. I didn't know that is part of the task of missionary work!

The next three days with the pastor's training conference here in Vizianagaram well be busy. At least, they will not need much transport. Last night we got home after 2:00 am after more than 5 hours on a very bumpy road. Did you ever meet up with a highway that puts speed bumps on the road? Or what about that traffic jam of 20+ trucks because one driver wanted some tea by the roadside but because there are no extra lanes or breakdown lanes he just stops on the road! 

Well my host is waiting to bike (motorbike)  me on over to his house. I am really so full here. They eat three big meals a day. They like eating a lot. They do enjoy their food!

Thanks again for diligently standing by us as we labor in God's work. God has given me all the messages I needed. Even when I only have either 10 minutes to prepare or an hour.

May revival breakout and spread around the world!

Please pray for one pastor whose wife died three years after they were marriage. He needs to go forward out of slight depression.

In Christ's Majestic Love,



Subject: India Update 10/15/04

Dear Prayer Partners,

Praise God for your prayers! We had 184 registered for the Vizianagaram pastors conference. It went real well. We passed out booklets in Telugu of a section on the BFF Website (The Godly Man series).  The one testimony we had time for was a man who had just about given up hope in the ministry but now is back on the path.

One other man is now going to be an evangelist.

Lots of hot days but God's grace is sufficient. Looks like flights are all confirmed. Now I just need to get to the airport tomorrow morning. We have lots of details to clear up tonight.

It was interesting that even though nearby there was a big storm, our area last night was spared. The pastors use a burlap bag type of rug they lay out and sleep on the place where we use for the meetings. They eat out in the courtyard.

So many people want me to come back. The response was great, but we will need to see how God leads.

Now I hope to get back for Rebekah's 3rd birthday on Saturday. Actually I should get back Friday afternoon because I am going through Amsterdam.

We really sensed your prayers. People were again moved. May God indeed bring revival.

Please pray for this one man who has an October 15th court date to see if he can get his wife back. They were both becoming Christians and so her parents took her back just after 3 months. He has been our faithful driver.

In Christ's Love,



Subject: India Update 10/15/04

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Praise God I returned safely to Pittsburgh this evening.

We had already had left Amsterdam for nearly 2 hours when all of a sudden the pilot told us that we had to go back to Amsterdam. It turns out that some passengers that originally going to take the flight didn't go but their baggage was still on the plane. Lot's of security concerns.

In any case, there were no bombs, and we were off again after an hour. I missed my connections like everyone else. But all ended well.

I will still try to send a summary update in the next couple of days. But now I will rest as I begin to focus on ministry needs for this weekend (Sunday) where I will speak twice.

Thank you so much for your prayers. I really felt the strength of them. So did Linda.

In Christ's Love,

Paul and Linda Bucknell

Serving Together for the Glory of God,

Paul and Linda
Biblical Foundation for Freedom
3276 Bainton St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Write to Paul with your comments:

Top of Page   |  Previous | Next |  BFF Homepage