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Parting Shots

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on December 1, 2006

Joy in Such a Plentiful Harvest Joy in Such a Plentiful Harvest

Spiritual Harvest - Reason for Thanksgiving

What more appropriate time than the Sunday before Thanksgiving to celebrate the initial gathering of the new churches in formation! Out of hearts bursting with gratitude our Christian forefathers acknowledge God's blessings in that first celebration of Thanksgiving for a plentiful harvest. We feel no different as we share with you how the Lord has blessed spiritually here in India.

Not long ago we asked for prayer as Indian church planters gathered their cell groups into large groups for the first time on Sunday, November 19. That Sunday was a historic day for the School of Missions and for the east coast villages of India. Over 100 cell groups were scheduled to gather together as congregations in different locations. One of the groups had planned to meet under a mango tree and was rained out, but the other groups did meet.

The result of prayer and hard work was that 24 congregations met with an average attendance in each location of 54. The total accumulated attendance for that day was 1,300 souls.

In many ways, this is a humble beginning but only the Lord knows how He will bring to completion that which He has begun here on the coast of India. The potential of this beginning is awesome to consider.

We have created an acronym for this church planting movement - WAVE. It stands for "Winning Asians with a Vision for Expansion". As we mentioned on our Home Page, this project began as a result of the 2004 Tsunami that hit the coast of India as well as many other countries. At that time, thousands of souls were swept in to an eternity without Christ. By God's grace, another wave - a spiritual wave - will sweep thousands into an eternity with Christ.

Thank you for praying during these months and for all you may have done to help make this a wonderful harvest for the Lord. There is still much more to do here and we are leaving India with the hope of returning occasionally to encourage and contribute as the Lord leads.

Now is not the time to rest Now is not the time to rest

Harvest Follow-up - More Intensive Training at Camp

The night of our "big" Sunday found the School of Missions (SOM) students boarding busses and traveling most of the night to a YMCA camp in the hills near Bangalore for a week of intensive training. There were several benefits of having both the Chennai and the Pondicherry classes together.

Rather than give all the details, we have uploaded a new album in the Photo Gallery called "YMCA Camp" which will give you a great idea of how we spent the week. Please do take a minute to check it out.

Workers Ready to Enter the Harvest Fields Workers Ready to Enter the Harvest Fields

Harvest Week Ends With Graduation Day

The four day camp ended and we all traveled back to Chennai for graduation ceremonies the following day. Volumes could be written about all that happened in the lives of the students that the Lord brought to the School of Missions. Those volumes will probably never be seen or known until we get to glory.

It would not be prudent to repeat the testimonies of what the Lord has done in and through the SOM students and the 2 coordinators. This much we can say. The heart of any missionary would experience maximum joy to hear the words of these "Leaders in Obscurity".

Rather than try and say more, please see the new album "SOM Graduation Day" in the Photo Gallery.

Launching into the Deep Launching into the Deep

Poor Harvest for Fishermen

For Jo Ann and I graduation day did not end at the close of the ceremonies. The end of that day found us traveling to a fishing village that had been affected by the 2004 Tsunami. This particular village has been of great interest to us as we have worked to help the villagers recover.

During the months since the Tsunami a NGO has been organized by our partner here in India to help the villagers in a diversity of ways. We were able to dedicate another new fishing boat this day as well as provide some much needed hunger relief.

The monsoon rains have made the sea too dangerous for fishing and for over a month there has been no income to help feed their families. Food packages were distributed and once again, Thanksgiving was the theme of the moment. The date was Friday, November 24 - the day after Thanksgiving in the US.

Again, you will find a new album entitled "Boat Launch & Food Distribution" in the Photo Gallery. Please enjoy a few minutes browsing through the events recorded there.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We want to also take this opportunity to wish each one of you a wonderful Christmas season. No doubt, many of you are even now involved in special church activities for the season. May the Lord bless your efforts in an abundant way.

Jo Ann and I are looking forward to another very exciting year in 2007. We return to Lima, Peru in January and will be involved in several ministries there as well as in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Our desire is that you may also look forward to the coming year filled with blessings from our Lord.

Thank you for the prayer and financial support that has so lovingly been showered upon us. We are keenly aware of your concern for us and appreciate each of you. Please remember to pray for our needs which have now increased due primarily to increased responsibilities and ministries.