NOTES FROM THE FIELD
In this series, thoseinvolved with CLC foreign missions profile one aspect of our overseas endeavors.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one
of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
(Romans 10:14 NIV)
[The following is a report from Pastor Jyothi Benjamin, in his own words, about the recent visit of Pastor David Pfeiffer to India. The report is lightly edited for clarity.]
June 22nd, 2019—Rev. David Pfeiffer’s first visit ever to India, a country of well over 1.35 billion people. We praise God for Reverend David’s wonderful, inspiring visit to the Church of the Lutheran Confession in India (CLCI) from 24th to 27th June, 2019. Our CLCI pastors were thrilled to welcome this tall and striking-looking visiting missionary from USA and warmly welcomed him to the mission field of the CLCI. It was a great and edifying opportunity for us to have this man of God be part of our CLCI mission work.
Brother David’s trip to India was well received, and our CLCI pastors, seminary students, and children were greatly benefited. We saw our Lord’s grace throughout in this visit. Reverend David expressed his love for the people of CLCI in many ways.
Surprise Visit to the Seminary Graduation:
Reverend David’s presence at the seminary graduation on June 25th was a real surprise to everyone, including all the graduates. With his presence, the graduation ceremony became very exciting. Seminary graduation is always an emotional and wonderful time of the year as we see the fruits of our labor—our graduates—going out into the world to fulfill their calling. So in this emotional time our graduates need to hear an encouraging sermon. Students can be filled with fear of the future, not knowing which gates God is going to open for them. Reverend David very well understood the emotional feelings of the graduates.
Reverend David encouraged them by preaching a wonderful sermon based on John 10:1-10, “Jesus is the Gate: All faithful shepherds go in to the flock and out to abundant life through Him.” Not only graduates, but all the participants were so blessed to hear this uplifting and encouraging sermon. The graduates were filled with courage. I am sure that the Lord will take care of them, so that each is able to accomplish the tasks that he is called to do.
All the seminary graduates, and also our Bible Correspondence course graduates, were truly honored to receive their certificates through this honorable CLC visitor. Also, Reverend David handed out monetary gifts to the graduates, donated by the CLC’s Project KINSHIP. During the graduation ceremony, youth and seminary students presented some melodious hymns and Christian songs. Following the commencement exercises, a wonderful feast was held to honor the graduates.
Special Children’s Meeting:
On that same night, Reverend David attended the children’s meeting at the CLCI campus. The CLCI children were really happy to see the honorable visitor. They welcomed him with beautiful flowers, with melodious songs, and performed a few “action songs” with dance. Reverend David shared the Word of God with the children and encouraged them in the Lord and presented them beautiful gifts.
Pastoral Conference at Ongole:
The next day Reverend David led a Bible study at a pastoral conference for Prakasam district CLCI pastors. Reverend David presented our CLCI pastors with some unique insights on the Book of Romans. Our Prakasam district CLCI Pastors were thrilled to hear the wonderful lessons from the visitor and enjoyed learning about the power of the Gospel. I am sure that our pastors were especially blessed to hear Reverend David’s teaching on the importance of Abraham’s story, faith, and God’s faithfulness from the Book of Romans. During the pastoral conference one of our CLCI pastors asked a question regarding the connection between baptism and circumcision. Without any hesitation Reverend David answered his question with wonderful explanation and clarified his doubt so beautifully by taking an extra ten minutes’ time. All the pastors in the conference really benefited from the knowledge of Reverend David. This is what we want from the honorable CLC USA. Reverend David’s trip to the CLCI once again reemphasized the importance and faithfulness of the Lutheran doctrines.
Night Public Gospel Meeting at Thakkalapaadu Village:
As part of our CLCI evangelism program, on that evening we held a special public Gospel prayer meeting in that village. Reverend David preached on “God’s Mighty Victory at the Red Sea.” Everybody was thrilled to hear that much-needed sermon. As a matter of fact, this village is full of horrible customs of false beliefs and rituals of sacrificing animals to idols and evil spirits. That night I had a tough time in translating that sermon, because I was filled with great excitement when I heard about the “warrior aspect of God’s nature,” which was a new thought to me. At the end of the prayer meeting many people came forward for individual prayers with the visiting missionary. This shows that the Word of God ignited many minds and touched the hearts of many people in that village as the Word was broadcast through the loud speakers and gave much comfort to their frightened hearts. Reverend David prayed for many sick people individually with much patience.
Without any doubt I can say that Reverend David’s visit to the CLCI was a great success to the CLCI ministry. Once again, I thank the honorable CLC for your kind labor of love and work in sending this visiting missionary to India for our spiritual benefit. We once again thank and praise God for the wonderful assistance we have been receiving from the respected CLC Mission Board, KINSHIP Committee, CLC visiting missionaries, and volunteers. You all have been contributing so much to the life and growth of the CLCI.
Pastor Jyothi Benjamin is the Chairman of the CLCI. His home is in Nidubrolu, Andhra Pradesh State, India.