By A. Claire Marker
Tim and I are just so amazed and blessed—our jaws are literally dropping at what God has been doing at the Bicol Center for Christian Leadership (BCCL) lately, especially with the new Intercultural Ministries curriculum. We are now on our fourth course and in the world religions series. The goal is to teach them about the faith and views and culture of each major bloc of unreached people groups (T.H.U.M.B. = Tribal, Hindu, Unreligious, Muslim, and Buddhist), let them have a cross-cultural experience with people of this faith, pray for them, and learn to lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus.
A few weeks ago, the students interviewed some Hindu medical students. They did the interview at the café inside the BCCL campus as a sort of a neutral ground. It was such an eye opener for the students, and the Indian youth were so surprised because they said that was the first time Filipinos talked to them. Sadly, they were being shunned by our locals, maybe because they are different.
Upon learning there is a growing population of Hindus here in Legazpi, our resource speaker on Hinduism, Brother Kaushic – a Hindu-background believer who is also the director of the World Evangelization for Christ mission organization (established by C. T. Studd) – came all the way from Manila to visit us at the school. He is a professional chef – not just of Indian food but international cuisine as well – and he fulfilled his promise to cook chicken biryani for us.
This was such a wonderful opportunity to invite our new Hindu friends as well, so we had a biryani night May 30! Eleven Indian youth arrived. We welcomed them warmly and enjoyed the food with them, and Brother Kaushic shared his life story—how he experienced and came to believe in the One True God and discarded his “collection” of thousands of gods as a Hindu and became a follower of Jesus. It was a powerful testimony, which touched the hearts of the young Indians in our midst.
The next day, Brother Kaushic and our missions teacher, Lanie, visited the medical school our Indian friends went to. One of the Indian girls said she couldn’t sleep after our biryani night. Brother Kaushic asked if there was something wrong with the biryani, but this Hindu girl said the reason she couldn’t sleep was because she was so overwhelmed with joy and couldn’t believe they would experience such love from Filipinos. She was so touched that she can have a family away from home in our midst. We praise God for this! It looks like God is leading us to have a monthly ministry and cultural exchange fellowships with our young Hindu friends. They told us they wanted the cultural exchange to continue. And just two weeks after biryani night, some of these Hindu medical students came by to visit and have more fellowship with some of our ICM students. One of them is now curious to know more about Jesus!
Please pray with us about this new ministry with young Hindus. Pray also for our mission training program. All the local cross-cultural exposure and interactions with people of different religions have been such an eye opener to all our students. It is our great desire to mobilize believers and churches in Bicol to engage in cross-cultural ministries more and more. It is also our prayer that BCCL would become a hub for missions in the region.
All by God’s grace.
We appreciate you interceding for us!