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Growing Relationships

Published on February 19, 2024

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We continue to praise and thank God for the ministry partnerships and friendships forged since the beginning of our mission training curriculum in 2023! He is indeed a God of relationships among spiritual brethren and to the world as we do our best to reach it with the Gospel.

Once Strangers…

The start of 2024 was punctuated with growing friendships among our young Indian friends. God continues to open opportunities for meaningful interaction with our young Hindu friends. During last month’s BiryAdobo Sangati (cultural exchange fellowship), two of our Indian friends rescued us from cooking a disastrous Indian dish! They immediately came to help us when everything went wrong with our attempts to cook chicken biryani. They were such good Indian cooks that all our Indian friends who attended the fellowship loved the food (of course)! The two boys offered to show us how to cook biryani one weekend, and we took them up on their offer. We enjoyed watching and helping them cook on a Saturday evening at BCCL, talking with them and getting to know them better, including two of their lady friends who came as well. On the same fellowship night as the food debacle, during the small group time, one of the young Indian ladies told me she wanted me to teach her how to bake blueberry cheesecake. She found out that I had been baking cheesecake for the campus café to help raise funds for our students’ upcoming mission exposure trips. So, a few Sunday afternoons ago, we welcomed her and her close friend to our home and taught them how to bake cheesecake. We all look forward to more regular times with them and many more opportunities to show them God’s love as our relationships with them continue to grow.

We thank God for BCCL’s growing ministry with Hindu medical students. From 12 attendees last May 2023 when we started our monthly cultural exchange fellowships, we ended up with more than 30 young students participating in the last few months of 2023. Among them, two small groups have been frequently visiting us for game nights and God talks.

Meanwhile, our biblical and missions training students who were also once strangers have become such close friends that they are even helping each other in their ministries and encouraging one another, even if they come from different churches.

BCCL Ministries in Retrospect 2023

Last year, we were able to do nine courses for the missions training program (Intercultural Ministries, ICM), eight classes for the Biblical training course (Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministries), and completed the five basic courses (Certificate in Leadership Foundations).

By God’s grace, our students, who are pastors and church leaders, have grown a lot in their relationship with God, as well as their commitment to Him. Our missions ICM program has been especially transforming and opening the eyes and hearts of all our students to start and get involved in cross-cultural ministries. We are also amazed at the impact of our biblical training courses among our students. It is such a blessing to see the joy in our students’ faces when they learn more treasures from God’s Word that they’ve just uncovered through our courses.

Likewise, we continued to partner with our students and their ministries, especially in their local outreaches. Through the Project Biyaya ministry, our students were able to open new Bible studies in more communities. One crucial help was providing Bibles for these new studies. During a span of more than a year, we were able to distribute 1,008 Bibles (donated to BCCL) to our students’ various Bible studies in new communities. We were able to distribute more than 650 Bibles in 2023 alone. Now the Bibles have run out, but the need continues. Please pray that God would provide Bibles once again that we can provide for our students’ outreach ministries. Our hearts break when they request and we say that we’ve ran out of Bibles already. It has been such a relief for them that they can avail of the Bibles because local churches cannot afford to provide this for their outreach ministries.

Growing Heart for the Nations

Our ICM students are gearing up for their cross-cultural exposure trips in May (local) and early next year (international—East Asia). This is very important as we establish at BCCL some mission support ministries (e.g., mobilization, regular intercession for unreached people groups, missionary care, welcoming ministries, etc.). Each of our students need to confirm their role in mission so that they can more effectively engage in missional ministries that way. Thus, these practicum mission exposure trips.

Please pray for God’s provision as we raise funds for these vital exposure trips. Thank you!

May our love truly “increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. . .” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). Praise be to God!

A. Claire Marker, BCCL Director