Pray BFF Letter #139
October 22, 2008
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Dear Prayer Team,
"I haven't heard from you lately!"
It has been a good while since I last wrote. On the one hand, I have been overjoyed at seeing my brothers share their firsthand experiences serving in India. My sight has already been clouded by former experiences. Many images, even in new places, are much like others and are quickly lost in the myriad of scenes. ￼
On the other hand, certain experiences cause me to reevaluate the importance of what God is doing. Here are a few of my impressions.
- Church history is being written! God is mightily at work in reaching the nations. The West Bengali pastor said ours was the first Bengali pastors' conference. We were quite unaware that the Bengali people are the largest unreached group in the world (largely in Bangladesh but also in West Bengal, India). But now God is reaching them. It was a privilege to serve them.
The same was true on the other side of the beautiful Himalayas. A decade ago, the region was hardly touched with the gospel. Now there are many workers. They face opposition and sometimes outright persecution. ￼They know very little of the scriptures and some are young, but they are a sizable force in the hand of God.
- I also better understand the way God uses those who work and serve. Several training institutions are helping their students not only to evangelize and make disciples, but also to learn a trade. With a needed skill, they can go into many villages and start a business, like in the time of Jesus. Yes, there are many full-time workers, but there are many more finding entrance into otherwise forbidden areas through their trade. God is reaching the lost!
- God has been wonderfully with us. Again and again He gave us strength when we were weak (it was so nice to have a teammate, though). He provided sufficient financial provisions even though our original budget was considerably underestimated (one national pastor did not tell us ahead of time that he was going to hold pastors seminars). But we even had enough to give a gift to the suffering pastors in Orissa. God gave us wisdom when we felt like we had nothing to say. He provided prayers for situations and individuals when we did not know how to pray.
￼We thank Him and you for your support and prayers. I have already started preparing for a May-June trip to several African countries with our surplus of US$191.82. That will not take us far but God sees to it that the Christian leaders in various countries gain the training they need to take care of their sheep. More about this at a later time.
Brother Keng had a great idea to record the testimonies of two newer Bengali-speaking brothers. You will hear how God brought them out of their difficult lives. Both of them considered giving up on their lives. Our Savior loves to save. Listen to their testimony here (picture on right).
Miracles & Stuff
One other reason I have not written is that I have had computer problems on a grand scale. Upon returning to the States, I discovered that my main computer's hard drive had broken down. The warranty covered the repair, but the time and energy lost in bringing it in, using my laptop and putting all the information back on (still doing it) proved to be a test. While I was transferring some (not all) of my files, I noticed it moving nearly one and half million files! I am glad the Lord prodded me to back up most of my files before leaving for India.
Just as I mostly finished getting my main computer up to speed, the hard drive in the laptop died. I am just now realizing what a blessing this was. It happened AFTER I got my main computer going and had transferred the valuable Hindi and Bengali recordings from India to my main computer. I still love Mac computers but don't trust their hard drives!
Again, my patience was tried. I determined that I would praise the Lord. Later God brought a great blessing to me. Because of the numerous repairs to this 2 1/2 year old MacBook, Apple was kind enough to replace it with a new one for free. I am so glad to have one that is faster and has more memory (unfortunately still not big enough for all my 'stuff').
Thankfully, God's miracles are not limited to India. Whether it is telling my children how the mainline denominations have almost all completely left the Lord or how our government leaders are bankrupting our country, we need Him so desperately here. We are on the right track on seeking for revival. Fortunately, through the training materials God has given us, we do not need only to pray for revival but can be a tool in God's hands to stimulate revival.
- Thank the Lord blessing both the north and south India mission teams. I hope you were not overwhelmed by all the reports. They were so inspiring.
- I have begun catching up on placing numerous articles and recordings on the web. You can find them in the latest rss feed.
- Safety as I worked up on 30 foot ladders fixing and painting eaves on our house.
- I got a new printer for the same price it would cost to maintain my old one! It is a blessing indeed.
- Upon my return, I always am thoroughly overjoyed at the presence of my wife, family, friends and church. It is good to be home.
- I need wisdom to preach on an impossible passage this Sunday (October 26th). I usually like assigned passages but am not sure of this one (Deut 21:15-21)!
- Excited about designing a new intermediate discipleship training class that starts in November.
- Wisdom for those (including me) trying to figure out how to get my new website header functional in the badly maimed Internet Explorer web browser. Time to switch to Firefox or Safari!
- Determination to edit and get the hours of recording of the Hindi and Bengali messages online.
In Christ's Majestic Love,
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell
Biblical Foundations for Freedom
Phone: (+01) 412-398-4559
3276 Bainton St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA
Biblical Foundations for Freedom