Showing posts with label be the light. Show all posts
Showing posts with label be the light. Show all posts

21 November 2012

A Baptist in Kolkata

We take a look at Chris Duffet's visit to India and track the first four day's events. The visit to the area around Kolkata is proving very interesting. Chris has been communicating without language, healing without medicine, and travelling where there are no roads.

A flower market in Kolkata
Chris Duffett is the President of the Baptist Union here in the UK. He lives in a village not far from me, I've had the pleasure of meeting him several times, and I can report that he is a most extraordinary and special chap.

At the moment he is visiting India with an international group, they're in the region around Kolkata in the north-east, in the state of Bengal, not far from the border with Bangladesh.

Prophetic words - Before he left home his eleven-year-old son told him, 'Dad, you don’t have money and things to give but what you do have is Jesus.'

These words would soon be shown to be prophetic; pure truth and life coming from the mouth of a child. Jesus told his followers (and tells us), 'Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven'. (Matthew 18:3)

Day 1 - Here are a few recent quotes from his blog, 'Be the light'. The first extract is from his first day in the country.
The poverty is overwhelming and not being able to communicate using the language humbling. A woman walked with me for half a mile or so carrying her baby. She asked and asked and asked some more for money. I didn’t have anything to give. It was humbling as she stuck so close and glue-like walked with me thinking I had money to give. In the end I simply looked at her and prayed over her and her child. I had nothing else to give.

Day 2 - On the second day he was invited to speak at a meeting and afterwards he invited people to come for prayer. He was overwhelmed by the numbers.
I prayed for so many people: the ones that stand out are the lady with a painful, possibly broken wrist, but I couldn’t work out whether it was broken or not. Her wrist was completely restored and she was able to bend it- she then joined me in prayer for healing for a young girl who had painful legs. Afterwards with a big smile the girl told us that the pain had gone.

A lady also had pain in her legs and as I prayed for her she spoke of the pain lifting.

Day 3 - On the third day in a very remote village where nobody had previously shared Jesus, Chris was invited to a woman's home.
We sit outside on a straw mat amongst the chickens and ducks and I am introduced by Benjamin. I share the story of Jesus and how he never turned people away, how he welcomed all kinds of people and healed them. I spoke on the story of the 4 friends bringing their friend on a mat and because there wasn’t any room on the house, they lowered him through the roof!

They loved the story. Benjamin added some more and then I asked if I could pray for the lady who couldn’t walk. I don’t know whether she was healed or not, but my goodness she loved being prayed for. She was so thankful. Humbling. As we prayed I sensed the most beautiful peace coming to her.

Day 4 - On the fourth day, Chris visits Serampore College and writes...
Students throng everywhere on Campus and it feels mega crowded. I learnt that Theology isn’t just for ministerial training and the Vice Principle of the Theology department Rev. Dr. Pratap Gine explained that many people who wouldn’t consider themselves Christian also study alongside those who are training to become pastors. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this and kept thinking of some of our baptist colleges in the UK and how that couldn’t really happen.

I hope this has whetted your appetite! If you want more you will need to visit Chris's blog again over the next few days to see what happens next.

Questions:

  • Is there something special about meeting simply? Have we in the West lost something by making it more complex and structured?
  • What is your attitude to extreme poverty? The poor are all around us where we are, how can you reach them?
  • Are there advantages or disadvantages in allowing unbelievers to study theology?
  • Why do we need to be 'like little children'? Is faith simple or complicated?

See also:

20 February 2012

Review Award - Chris Duffet

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Our second 'Review Award' goes to Chris Duffett. He richly deserves it for his lively, fun and very different blog called 'be the light'. A very special blog from a very special guy - both focussed on sharing Jesus.

be the lightChris lives within a few miles of me in the East of England. We've met several times but not as often as I'd like. His blog is called 'be the light'.

The first time I went to visit him he was baking bread and we shared some straight from the oven with butter, cold meat and salad. Scrumptious!

Chris is a baptist, meets with a local church in Bedfordshire, and is very active in sharing the good news about Jesus in some unusual ways. Visit the blog and you'll see exactly what I mean.

Why I like the blog - I have to say right away that the thing I most like is the sheer, abundant, happy life and energy of this site. And that is a good description of Chris himself. He describes some of his city centre adventures with us - always fun, always unexpected, always exciting. And he meets people everywhere he goes, making no distinction on grounds of appearance but blessing everyone in some very inventive ways.

Another thing I love (and it has a lot to do with that inventiveness) is that he makes people think, he gets in 'under the radar' and touches hearts and minds. It doesn't work with everyone of course, but Chris doesn't give up or bear grudges or get disappointed. He just keeps on keeping on with a smile and a warm heart.

Selected quote
I have a passion to enable Christians to let all kinds of people connect with the good news of Jesus through creative initiatives such as ‘Get in the picture.’
Conclusion - We tend to be fairly inactive in sharing the good news with local people. There are probably many reasons for this, and one of them is lack of ideas. Most of us understand at a very intuitive level that handing out tracts or stopping busy people on the street is unlikely to be effective. But we don't know what else to try.

We need something more arresting than a tract. Instead of stopping busy people we need them to choose to stop because they are puzzled or intrigued or amused. Chris's website 'be the light' is crammed full of ideas. What's more, they are all ideas that have been tested on the street.

Chris's approach is not the only one open to us. But it is a useful component in our tool-kit. Don't forget the other tools including prayer, a compassionate heart, the day-to-day guidance of the Spirit, and the headship of Jesus. But armed with these (as Chris clearly is), any one of his ideas is likely to be fruitful.

Read through some of the many examples in the 'Stories' section of Chris's website. Here are a few of my personal favourites

See also: An earlier review of Chris's blog

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