Appeals to Come Help in India

These two appeals come from Pastor Robert Robinson, Asst to the President, Southern Asia Division, India.

The door for evangelism in India is still open.  Please come and help us.  We have 1/6 of the world’s population with over 600,000 villages plus 10,000 large cities, and 400,000 suburbs.    Fifty or more of these large cities have populations over one million.

Below is a list of evangelism dates available to choose from, plus other dates can be arranged as necessary.   We have been receiving many requests from different parts of India for evangelism for foreigners in their districts. Truly the harvest is ready.   

Please feel free to e-mail me day or night, 6 days a week (robertr@sud-adventist.org ).  We will do our best to reply soonest and make more information available to you as per your request.

When you are ready, and have decided on the date and the number of villages you want to target, we will help you decide on the location for your meetings and give you details accordingly.

GROUP EVANGELISM DATES:

Other dates can be arranged as per the need:

1.  Oct 12-27, 2007

2.  Nov 2-17, 2007 with ShareHim organization

3.  Nov 23-Dec 8

4.  Dec 14-29

5.  Dec 21-Jan 5, 2008

6.  Jan 18-Feb 2, 2008

7.  Feb 8-Feb 23, 2008

8.  Feb 29-March 15, 2008

9.  March 21-April 5, 2008

10. Oct 17-Nov1, 2008

11. Nov 7-22. 2008

12. Nov 28-Dec 13, 2008

13. Dec 19- Jan 3, 2009

14. Jan 16-31, 2009

15. Feb 6-21, 2009

16. Feb 27-March 13, 2009

17. March 20-April 4, 2009

We have three types of programs:

A.  Revivals in existing churches:  cost $1,500 per village.

B.  Entering new territory where there is no Adventist presence:   costs $7,200 per village entered.  Cost includes a church to seat 200 people, follow-up work for three years, Bibles,  and the cost of the evangelistic effort. 

C.  ShareHim programs:    India has slots with the ShareHim program each year.  Check out the website.  www.sharehim.org  With this program you are involved in a one village program, usually a revival type in an existing church.   The ShareHim organization gives the budget for the meetings.   The only cost for you would be your travel costs listed below unless you want to include in addition a village or two in Section B –  a new area with no SDA presence.  

The average personal total cost for travel to India ($1,500) , hotel ($500), food ($150), and in-country transportation ($350) usually averages less than $2,500.  Just remember one can share a room, and share transportation to save on these expenses.

Understandably the expenses listed may be subject to change if the economical and/or political status change.   

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We wish to open the work on the Sunderban Islands.  We are targeting 22 villages.  Are you interested in helping us by coming and evangelizing these islands?  See the attachment.  Also you can go on the web site and look under Sunderban Islands India for additional information.  Iowa and AZ will take two of the Islands, how about you?  COME OVER AND HELP US!

Request by Pastor Robert L. Robinson

Subject: Sunderban Islands

The Sunderban Islands are located in West Bengal in the South 24 Parganas.  There are 22 Islands with 461 villages.  The famous Ganges River empties into the tip of the Islands and meets the Bay of Bengal at the southern point. As the Ganges, other fresh water tributaries and the Hugli rivers meet the Bay of Bengal the tide rises and falls in and around the Island about 12 feet every 6 hours with fresh water.  The local people take advantage of this and use the water for ponds for washing, bathing, etc.

About one mile from our office in Calcutta is a railway station called Sealada South  We took the 3 hour train ride to Kakdwip and then hired a bicycle with a platform on the back which we sat on and were driven five km to the port to cross into Sagardeep.

Many Indians take a daily ferry from Kakdwip to the island so as to worship in the temple and to dip in the Ganges River.  The Island is 30 kms long and about 20 kms wide at the center. 

It took us 1 hour to cross the gap to the island and about 1 hour to load the boat with people.  We were really crowded.  There were approximately 2000 of us on the ferry.  Most had to sit on the floor.  On the way back the tide was low so the ferry was not able to function,  so we took some local fishing boats back.  In our fishing boat I counted 100 of us. 

On the Sagardeep Island we have several small SDA groups.  We have now purchased five lands and are ready to construct two churches, medium church ($7,500) in Rudranagar and one small church ($5,000) in Khasramkar.  These will be the first churches constructed on the Sagardeep island.

We now have four Bible Worker couples employed there.  They have some windmills which provide 3 hours of Electricity to a few businesses on the Island.  Most individuals use lanterns.

After returning to Calcutta we went by train to Lakshmikantapur (2 hour journey) and then hired an auto rickshaw to take us to Ramganga (1 1/2 hour ride).  From there we hired a boat to take us to I – Plot.  The reason it is called I – Plot is because of the shape of the Island is that of an eye.  It took us 2 hours by boat to the harbor (see photo).  The cost to hire a boat is Rs 400 per day ($10) plus diesel.  For a one cylinder boat it takes one liter of diesel per hour and for a two cylinders it takes two liter per hour.   For those coming please feel free to bring your fishing gear and fish for Souls for the kingdom of God (fishers of men) as well as fisher of fish.  After walking the plank to the dock we were driven by an auto van (motorcycle with plat form) one hour to our destination.

The people welcomed us and agreed to donate land for a new church. 

I – Plot has 30 villages with five Bible Workers now in place.  I – Plot is connected by bridges to J – Plot (23 villages) with two Bible Workers and Laxmijanardhamput 25 villages with three Bible Workers.  Laxmijanardhamput was the name of a man who bought the rights to the island from Britain, so that is why it has a common name.  Most of the Islands are by a letter of the alphabet depicting the shape of the Island like K-Plot, J – Plot, G – Plot etc.

We thought to assign I – Plot to AZ.  The local people are favorable to communism throughout the islands.  There is no caste problems as in most parts of India and one village can worship in another area without any problem.  So our goal, is to establish an additional 10 Churches on I-Plot and add ten additional Bible Workers.  Because everything has to be brought to the Islands by boat and then transferred from boat to bicycles to the site of construction,  all costs are a bit higher than normal.  We estimate the cost at $7,500 per church and $3,500 for a Bible worker for three years, the effort and the cost of Bibles.  Your group would stay in the church which will be constructed at Vidanagar.  The cost for ten churches, 10 Bible workers, and the cost for the effort and Bibles we estimate will be $11,000 X 10.  This will be sufficient to evangelize these thirty villages.  We estimate 2 to 3 thousands baptisms.  However, only God knows the numbers.

For Iowa/Misouri we have chosen the island of Gangadharpur where there are 10 villages we are targeting.  You would take a boat from Ramganga to Gangadharpur which takes one hour. and then by motorcycle 30 minutes to the location of the site ( South Pally) for the evangelism effort.   We want to establish 5 churches for these villages.  Mr. Sankar Bhunia and his wife Banalata Bhunia along with their 27 year old daughter Purnimamaiti have donated the land for a church.  There are also two other groups wishing to donate land for a church.  We estimate the total cost to be $55,000 (5 Churches, 5 Bible workers, plus the cost for the effort and Bibles) for this project.

Please note that you should come with a small amount of luggage because of transport problems.   Also there is minimal electricity, and the people want to be home early so plan on having the meetings from 6 to 7:30 each evening just at dusk time. 

Remember God promises to be with us when we preach the gospel on His behalf.

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