WHAT IS LANGHAM?
What does Langham DO?
Simple questions. Yet Langham staff often flinch when asked … it is so hard to formulate a simple, true, vivid, short answer.
Paul Windsor decided to paint a picture instead:
Imagine low-hanging mist. Endless, soft rain. Rolling, green hillsides punctuated by modest homes. Criss-crossing tracks dotted with sheep. But not rural England … Udaipur, in Rajasthan, in North India!
The occasion: a consultation, the fourth one. For leaders of organizations committed to training biblical preachers in the Hindi-speaking world. To find and fund indigenous models that will meet the needs for training. There is an amazing movement towards Christ happening quietly across North India today.
Langham Preaching facilitates the biennial event. ‘Being with like-minded people from across North India is encouraging. Stories are told. Resources are shared. Ideas are spread … working together … creating a platform which God can use,’ says Devender Verma, coordinator of the SBT (School of Biblical Teaching) and convener of the consultation.
According to Raju Abraham of KTM (Kachhwa Transformational Ministries), 5% of India’s Christians live in North India today. In twenty years’ time, he predicts, the figure is more likely to be 50%! Formal models of theological training will never be able to meet the need.
Delegates to the consultation include UP Mission, with 80 training teams working among semi-literate people; KTM, whose hospital is used as base for holistic training initiatives; Zion Ministries (Lucknow), committed to individual mentoring of young people; TAFTEE, with 3500 students in North India; Baptist Church representatives from Khandimal (Orissa), who share their recent experiences of persecution and martyrdom: ‘Our faith is strong and there will be no forsaking Christ,’ says Sushant Naik; and pastors from FFCI (Filadelfia Fellowship of Churches in India), as well as students, teachers and the principal of FBC (Filadelfia Bible College), Finny Philip, who is a Langham Scholar. His vision for FBC is to train godly church leaders, ‘passionate in the Word and passionate in the Spirit’.
A field trip takes delegates to surrounding villages where FFCI ministers … to Pai, where Pastor T has sent out more than 70 missionaries … and Paba, where Pastor B has baptized more than 2000 people over the past 25 years – he is thankful for a mobile phone that now extends the reach of his ministry beyond the distance he can cover by bicycle in a day … or Goran, where Pastor M supports his ministry with a small shop started with a micro-financing loan … an orphanage, irrigation wells, skills workshops, specialist training for women – all means by which the gospel translates into good news for ordinary people.
Open Door Publishing, a publishing house based at the campus of FBC flourishes with the quiet support of Langham Literature. On completion of the South Asia Bible Commentary, Open Door will translate, publish and distribute the Hindi edition.
It seems obvious now…
Langham Partnership, serving the servants of God … multiplying indigenously trained preachers who can train others, scholars equipped to give leadership, and literature appropriate for local ministry…
by Paul Windsor, Langham Preaching