Monday, 6 August 2007

A Century of Planting?


In early March we met up with Mum and Dad at the Maharashtra Bible College - in Bodwad village - about an hour from Bhusaval, in our great state of Maharashtra.
This is where our great-grandfather Christian Eicher (appropriate name) helped start a training institute for village evangelists in 1907.
A 100 years later this training centre is now the Maharasthra Bible College - a co-ed Marathi medium college that prepares men and women for ministry - and has traditionally taken students from village back-grounds who would otherwise not be able to get Bible training.
Being the centenary year we were invited to be part of the graduation for the Bible students - it was humbling to see the eager students get their degrees. One of them was a member of a tribal community - and his the lady members of his family came dressed in striking bright clothes - with mirrors sewn in liberally. It was a real affirmation of what God can - and will do.
On the evening before the graduation ceremony Dad gave a chapel message - Andi got to share about God's heart for people with HIV - and Asha and Enoch sang a song. Generations 3, 4 and 5 were able to share God's love - in the very church where Mum and Dad got married 40 years ago this year!
What will our descendants be like 100 years in the future? What legacy are you and I creating for ourselves?
Looking at the small campus - with its one old style mission bungalow (behind us in the pic above) - and its small class room building (no chairs seemed to be in them), little library and the chapel - and the humble row of barracks where the students lived... I could not help but wonder.
The college has had its hard knocks for sure - there were leaders who up-and-left in the middle of the night. It is easy to see the failures - and make a quick judgment - but God has also allowed this place to survive - and to keep being a service to the Church.
Eternity will tell.

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