Dynamic Downtown Worship in the Anglican Tradition

Testimony by Burwell Boykin on the 2018 St. Michael’s Healing Mission to India

Mission: A hundredfold yield

By Burwell Boykin

Better than Apple at $70 or even downtown Charleston in the 70s, investing in the LORD and His work brings the highest yield.

Genesis 26:12

“Isaac planted crops in the land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him”

Like a modern-day Isaac, Bishop Probal Dutta is planting seeds of the gospel throughout India. The Lord has given him a vision and continues to bless his work. We the members of the mission team bear faithful witness to the hundredfold yield of the Lord’s blessing upon the Diocese of Durgapur.

  1. Hearts are transformed — individual lives & family destinies are changed by Jesus.
  2. People are healed — physically & spiritually.
  3. The Gospel is spreading like wildfire — they are starving for more than bread & water.
  4. We are building churches — along with them schools, clinics & Safe Houses.
  5. Leaders are raised up — equipping for the next chapter.
  6. Children are protected from sex-slavery — often plucked from its grasp at the last moment.

Previously withering on the vine, the Diocese of Durgapur has been transformed by Bishop Dutta into a vibrant community of believers with ministries expanding and roots deepening. The DoD is now a model for explosive and sustained Christian growth.

In Kunoor — a mission outpost ablaze in God’s blessing — worship is dynamic, powerful and contagious. I even found myself dancing along with David Booman and the Rev. Naru. And I don’t dance.

You hear of “people coming out of the woodwork” for things … This is a place where one family rode their bike (one bicycle – four people) 40 miles each way just to receive prayer and worship with all of us during the Festival of Hope. Their return voyage was at night — in the rain. That didn’t deter them.

In India, having an actual church building is crucial. It serves as a Lighthouse. It adds credibility. The existence — or construction — of a Christian church shows the people that there really is something to this Jesus. In a land of 1.4 billion people where 79% are Hindu and persecution of Christians is often allowed, church-building is a most necessary tactic. At $10,000 each, the ROI is astronomical.

Today there are more people in the ravages of slavery than throughout the centuries of the Transatlantic slave trade from Africa. It is an abomination. We can help. Instead of generalities or even statistics, I will now relate just a piece of the story of someone we met.

A few years ago, Pryanka lost her father. Her mother was an alcoholic and decided to sell her for about $400. Just like that. She sold her child for less than many people spend on Christmas presents for their child. Through providential circumstances, Bishop Dutta learned of this, intervened and essentially “bought” her a second time. Now she lives at the diocesan compound, is a model student, a pianist and classically-trained violinist, as well as a black-belt in Tae Kwon Do. So instead of a blood-boiling sight or statistic attributable to sex trafficking, we met, and you now see in the picture above, she is a happy, healthy vibrant teenage girl living a “normal” life. How can we measure the value of that?

I share this photo of myself with little eight-year-old Rogina because she is one of our favorites. She’s cute with her crooked smile, cropped hair and tiny frame. But we all noticed her last year because she never smiled. Though she was very involved — participating in group activities, playing games with the other children and responding completely respectfully when addressed — she seemed to be simply going through the motions. I remembered thinking about it last year while in India: “what has this child had to endure? What has she seen, the likes of which most of us dare not even consider? What in God’s name do I have to complain about?”

But by God’s grace, you can see that, just one year later, she is all smiles. She has grown a head taller and she’s into everything — not just going through the motions. In the loving care of the godly team at the DoD, children are saved and given a chance to become faithful disciples.

A hundredfold yield, indeed. Thank you, LORD.

When asked why he and Jean are now focusing much of their ministry efforts on India, Johnnie Corbett replied “We go where the Lord is moving and where He calls us.”

May my heart always be like that — like the good soil from Matthew 13 in The Parable of the Sower:

“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred…times what was sown.”

 

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