It is now 30 years since bro. Tim Galbraith, with his bride, sis. Sarah, moved to live in India at the end of March 1979.
How enormously India has changed in that time, especially the cities. The growth for the Truth was slow at first, as the seed struggled to germinate in a totally different soil. Many came to support bro. Tim. Especially important in this were those who came for a really long time, several for one or even two years, some for several months each year.
Then the Lord began to really grant the increase: 500 brethren and sisters, then 1,000, and now more than 1,500.
However, with such growth came a fresh challenge: how to develop viable ecclesias. The Bible Week system developed, initially one for all of India, then more as there was a need to develop them in different areas, and numbers were too great. We compare the challenges the Apostle Paul faced with our difficulties in developing ecclesias, labouring “until Christ is formed” in them. The 18 states of India where, as yet, there are no brethren and sisters are full of untilled rice fields! But the 9 states where there are brethren and sisters still have room for an enormous amount of growth.
Some brothers came for 1 or 2 years, and others for up to 6 months. In the last 5 years
this has hardly happened. At present we have one brother from NZ who is there with his family for 2 years; it is a great blessing, but there is far too much work on his shoulders.
The committee decided at its last meeting to make a special appeal for more people to go for longer periods.
Finance is understandably an issue for most in making this commitment. The Victorian ACBM Secretary, bro. Graham Reeve, is keen to talk to any who would take up this challenge if only they could see a way of making it financially feasible.
There are quite a number in India during December and January, mostly for 2-4 weeks. This is good: they will be useful.
Another couple is going for 3 months from January. But what about the rest of 2010 – or 2011 – until our Lord come?