India (MNN) — Besides printing and distributing the Word of God in many countries of the world, Ro and Mawii Pudaite also got involved in Partnership Ministries throughout India. In fact, that’s how Bibles For The World (BFTW) had its early beginning.
The foundational piece of that ministry comes through leadership training. Under the Leadership Training program they developed, BFTW helps the national Churches by training their future leaders, pastors and Bible teachers in the Bible colleges and Seminaries in India and abroad. Mawii says, “We have established some 300 churches and the number is growing year by year. The great challenge is providing Bible trained pastors for these growing churches.” She explains that many pastors connected to their ministry are looking after three or four local churches. “It is difficult, actually impossible for a pastor to give adequate attention to the members of their young churches.”
It was obvious they needed to train new leaders. In order to meet this challenge, they opened a Bible Seminary in 1999, called Trinity College and Seminary (TCS) in northeast India. Since then, 250 young men and women have graduated and 80 of them are serving the Lord as pastors, missionaries and teachers.
As the Gospel spread, so did word of the Seminary. Enrollment this year is at 115 students from 24 different denominations. 28 different tribes, mostly from northeast India make up the student body. Mawii excitedly adds, “We have two students from the land of Bhutan and four students from Myanmar!”
However, a seminary education isn’t without cost. The students weren’t likely to be able to pay their own way, so BFTW launched a sponsorship program. That works well unless there are financial waves hitting the sponsors. The recent storm that hit North America is finally taking its toll in India. She says, “We received an urgent prayer request from the Principal of our Seminary, Dr. Jacob, informing us that 20 of these students lost their sponsors due to loss of jobs and other financial difficulties. These 20 students will not be able to continue their Seminary training unless we help find sponsors for them.”
The seminary doesn’t have the funds to keep the students on beyond the end of September. Sending them home is a heartbreaking prospect. Mawii says it was time to broaden their circles and ask for more help. “The cost is $100.00 per month or $1,200 per year. That’s a tremendous bargain when we think of what it would cost to sponsor a Seminary student here in this country.”
Much like child sponsorship programs, a relationship soon gets established between sponsor and student. BFTW will provide pictures and personal testimonies of these young men and women. Sponsors will get regular reports and letters from the student. Best yet, is the investment in the body of Christ in South Asia, says Mawii. “When your student has completed his studies and graduates from the Seminary, he will be assigned to a Church or to serve as a missionary among the unreached people groups of India. Others will serve as evangelists or teachers.”
The vision and prayer of Dr. Pudaite was to be able to train enough pastors to look after each growing new congregation of believers. “Please pray with us that the Lord will raise up sponsors for these 20 students in the Trinity College and Seminary so that they will be able to stay and carry on their studies.”
Can you help? *
*For anyone who responds by calling or by visiting our website or by letter, BFTW would like to send you a full length featured film – a DVD called BEYOND THE NEXT MOUNTAIN, an AWARD winning film on the life of the founder of BIBLES FOR THE WORLD, and how the Gospel first came to the Hmar tribe – a head hunting tribe of northeast India.