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The Saga Begins

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on February 1, 2006

The church where it is claimed that Thomas lies The church where it is claimed that Thomas lies

Thomas Was Here

Tradition claims that the Apostle Thomas came to India and died as a martyr in the Madras (Chennai) area. What an awesome thought to have the privilege to come 2,000 years later with the same burden and message of salvation in Christ alone.

For several months we have been asking the Lord to show us how we can obey His call to India while at the same time caring for Rich?s mother who was failing in health. Many have joined us in prayer concerning this and the Lord?s answer was to take mom home to glory just before Christmas. We are grateful to so many friends and churches who expressed their love and care for us during this time.

We arrived in India on Monday, January 30 and were met with beautiful garlands of flowers to drape on our necks! What a wonderful greeting! The next morning, Rich was asked to bring the devotional to the ministry staff where we are staying and then to speak to a fellowship of 60 pastors from the area. That is how we handle jet lag, unpacking and getting settled in this country!

Jo Ann, however, had an entirely different situation to face on her first day in India. When we left California she was getting some kind of bug and by the time we arrived in India it had developed into bronchitis. So, her first day in India was spent visiting the doctor to be diagnosed and medicated! Then she slept for about 20 hours straight! Please pray that she is able to get back to full strength soon.

This weekend we begin traveling in India by car and plane. On Sunday, February 5 we will be driving 3 hours to Pondicherry to dedicate a new Christian Community Center which is a direct result of our ABWE relief efforts after the Tsunami last year. Rich will begin training 12 church planting leaders from this town at the end of the month along with another 12 from the city of Chennai.

Then on Monday we will fly to several cities in India to help with survey work and strategy for the future. It is an honor to be a part of this tremendous movement that the Lord is orchestrating. We will only be a small part of the overall plan since our time is limited, but what a fantastic vision the Lord is developing in this great and needy country.

Training Will Happen

Rich has been working on developing a solid curriculum for the training of the Indian church planting leaders. There will be cycles of intense classes with breaks of several weeks between classes for implementing in the new budding church plants what has been learned in class. Please pray as we fine tune this basic plan with the brethern and leadership involved in this project.

We also need prayer for the selection of the leaders the Lord wants to be involved in this project. Everything rises and falls on leadership. The Lord spent much time in prayer before He chose the 12, and we should do no less. Our desire is to select 24 leaders in all for the first year of church planting training.

Jo Ann has already been asked to speak to a ladies group in a couple of weeks and will also be helping to develop the training materials. What a blessing that she can use her experience in ministry to serve the Lord in many ways in this country. Not only will she be serving, but she will also be studying. Please continue to uphold Jo Ann with the many opportunities before her at this time.

Training Takes Travel

One of our biggest challenges and needs right now is for a reliable car for Rich to travel 3 times a week to Pondicherry for the training classes. We have been asking for prayer concerning this matter for several months and now it is time to see how the Lord is going to answer. We have been advised by our brethern here that for security reasons it is necessary to have a good car, so please join us in prayer that the Lord would provide through His people for this equipment in the next couple of weeks. There may be a church or an individual who is burdened to help with this need. You can see more about the car need by clicking here.

Security Check

Speaking of the need for security, we need to ask those who may want to communicate with us by e-mail to use a new e-mail address. Please contact us for the next year at 2stretch@eznote.cc  This will help us greatly.

Thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support. Both are needed, but if we had to choose one or the other, we would choose prayer. Please use the prayer time you may have dedicated for us to focus on the requests mentioned above as each of them are vital.