WWOB goes to India – October 2011 – Amazing timesMinistry | Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Pastor Todd Beal and I (Tim) are in Lucknow, India (actually Midway) at the United Fellowship Conference with thousands of pastors and leaders from all over India through Assembly of Believers Church – Bishop Augustus Anthony (Brother Tony). We flew into Delhi on Sunday and got to the conference Monday afternoon. They had invited us to play and minister at the opening night (Tuesday) of the conference which is their yearly Worship Concert. Pastor Rocky Anthony put together an amazing group of musicians and singers (over 100 in the choir) performing and ministering all original songs from their churches. What a delight to hear such great variety, unique form, quality musicianship and passionate execution of each song – complete with lights, dancers, and phenomenal musicianship!
There were over 10,000 in attendance on this first night! Todd and I ministered in the middle of the program with three songs hand-chosen for this special occasion: Our God (Tomlin), Here in Your Presence (Egan), and Holy, Holy Holy Lord. We had procured a nice cello from Delhi (from a Jewish synagogue) and so I was able to play to my heart’s content. I started off with the Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suite #1 Prelude that lead into some improv and free worship that ultimately lead into ‘Our God’. Then we flowed into ‘Here in Your Presence’ with Rahul Patrick joining us with some great guitar riffs, followed by the classic Holy, Holy, Holy Lord (God of Power and Might) where we released Todd’s trumpet. It really kicked! Such an honor to be a part of this great event! (side point: the cello A string broke the night before and we found out a guitar B string works on a cello! Take note all you aspiring cellists!)
Famous Indian comedian, Johnny Lever, shared a funny and powerful testimony of God’s redemption in his life followed with an altar call with hundreds responding to the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
The next morning the United Fellowship Conference started (over 3000 Indian pastors and leaders). I had the privilege of leading worship in the opening service. Though we sang mostly in English, the response was encouraging and we even sang some in Hindi! Pastor Erik Rangel from Yuma, Arizona preached an amazing word to open the conference – to love one another as Christ loved us! Simple yet profound – great response. Then it was a great set of Hindi songs followed by more speakers and great responses.
In the evening the conference continued with more worship, special music and special speakers in this beautiful conference grounds (it sleeps, feeds and seats more than 8000)
The second day of the conference we were once again honored to lead in worship this amazing group of pastors and leaders from all over India. Their response was amazing and we introduced a little more Hindi songs. What a flow! In the afternoon I taught over 400 leaders and worship leaders on prophetic music and worship. It was delightful to see them let loose with their own songs again and again, ending with singing a prayer of blessing over those around them. The Holy Spirit truly moved among us and stirred the deep longings for His presence and His voice in the congregation! That night Todd and I lead worship for the whole conference in the main arena (complete with lights and bugs of every imaginable size and shape) and had a powerful time blending our voices with theirs, releasing a great sound of worship. Todd then preached on the Jesus, the Light of India!
The final morning, during the worship (in Hindi) we heard the sweet sound of pure and spontaneous worship. It floated through the air so effortlessly and beautifully that we easily could have stayed there all day and no one would complain. It’s humbling to see the fruit of the seeds we have sown in the worship here. The worship team sat beautifully on a simple chord progression and no one was in a hurry. No clapping, no shouting, just pure adoration. Then we (all the speakers) were brought up to the front of the conference to honor us and pray for us. A tremendous honor and humbling, knowing the great sacrifice of these wonderful people who sat in front of us! God is doing a powerful work in India through these and countless others all over this land. Big thank you to Brother Tony, Mark Smucker, Pastors Michael, Rocky, Patrick, Shanu, Nixon (amazing meals), Marvin (on the sound), new friends Sally Guest and her father Ross Davies from New Zealand and countless others who blessed us in so many ways! It was also wonderful to see so many of the students from the International School of Worship there!
Click here for Video: India 2011 Part 1 – Lucknow
The next morning we took an ‘interesting’ 4 hour taxi ride to Allahabad (2nd oldest city in India) to minister with Pastor Arun Michael and his wonderful team of pastors and leaders. On the ride, we worked hard with Pastor Michael to translate a few common songs into Hindi that would flow musically as well as lyrically. They came out beautifully and we will probably use these again and again. Pastor Michael has a real gift in making these songs ‘sing’ in Hindi. Thank you Pastor! In the evening the church was packed with eager worshipers. The local team lead worship and then we followed. We immediately tried out the new Hindi songs much to the delight of the people and got into a great flow. Todd’s beautiful song,’ The Sweetest Name I Know’, translated into Hindi, was a great hit and ended up being the theme song for the weekend!
Sunday morning we had a great time in both services singing, releasing, and preach/teaching about the wonderful presence of Jesus and our response to Him – shachah! I felt such a great personal release to preach there like never before and they were so responsive that it made it even easier to minister with confidence and great joy. After the service we prayed with many for healing, encouragement and recommitment. What a great and humble group of people. A big thank you to Pastor Arun Michael, Pastor Glorious, Vivak (great worship leader) Ajeet and Prince and a powerful group of people who treated us so wonderfully. We had to get back to Lucknow so after a quick lunch we returned with a harrowing 5 hour taxi ride (in the dark of night!) but we made it (thanks for braving it with us Pastor Glorious and Vivak!). Thank you Jesus! We’re alive!
Click here for Video: India 2011 Part 2 - Allahabad
Today, we flew from Lucknow in the north, to New Delhi and then on to Coimbatore in the extreme southern tip of India. What a contrast of weather. They are experiencing the tail end of the second monsoon season so every day had it’s time of deluge! Wet, wet, wet. We stayed the whole week at the Bethel Bible College in a nice room.
Our first day in Coimbatore was dedicated to visiting many of the wonderful ministries Bethel City Cathedral (Dr David Prakasam) has established over the years. We returned to the precious leper facility, inhabited with joyous and vibrant people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and passionate in their love of Jesus. To lift up holy hands with them is humbling and stirring to say the least. To blend your voice with such faith all around you is powerful. We found out that these sweet people had raised more than 50% of the funds needed to build their new chapel. Industrious, faith-filled, joyful and loving community where God abides! God bless Pastor James and Persia for shepherding this wonderful group of saints. Next we went to a boys’ home and got blown away by such a boisterous display of song and dance that we just had to join in have fun with them for a bit. They even got to play Todd’s trumpet! Then we returned to the Widows’ Home that we visited two years ago to the same sweet ladies of faith that live there. After some greetings and exhortations we prayed for them and that was powerful. What faith abides in that house! We call them the ‘Happy Widows of Coimbatore’! These were the gallant saints who had been praying for my brother, Pastor Wendell Smith for six years and now are praying for Gini and the family faithfully. They just don’t give up – because God doesn’t give up either! We ended our day at another boys’ home and after lunch with Pastor Peter Prakasam we had a rousing time of singing with the boys. Who could not love these people? God bless Pastor Peter Prakasam for overseeing all these wonderful ministries. In the evening, Todd met with the sound team at Bethel while I had a great session with the main worship leaders there.
Today we taught two sessions at the Bible College – an enthusiastic group of young adults training for pastoring and leadership in the church of India. After some stirring songs (plus trumpet and cello – they rented a cello for me here too) I shared on the shachach and proskuneo and guided them into bowing and worshiping through challenges they face. Todd shared on the Royal Priesthood and shared his Zimbabwe story of God’s protection in adverse circumstances. Our good friend, Manoraj was our amazing translator once again. In the evening, we visited another widows home near the church and ministered to these beautiful ladies. Then we worked with the sound and the musicians of Bethel. Great rehearsal.
In the morning, our session with the Bible College was punctuated with some prophetic worship. After a sweet visit with another Widows Home near the church (Pastor Williams), we proceeded to the Worship Conference at Bethel City Cathedral in their beautiful new facility – hosted by Pastors John and Terry Prakasam. Over 200 worship leaders and pastors from all around attended. Pastor Sam lead the first worship time, setting the tone for a powerful conference. We sang a few songs then jumped into prophetic songs and released a sense of purpose from the beginning. Afterwards, I taught on the Vision for Worship in God’s church. Great response.
The conference continued all day Friday. It started with a great time of worship led by Lelin (powerful) followed by us leading them into a season of spontaneous worship. I finished my teaching on vision and then Todd shared on the seven words of praise – powerful teaching and really got them participating from silence to shouting – especially the teaching on barak (kneeling, bowing, prostrate) which had all of us on our faces before God. We finished the day with breakout sessions for singers and musicians. I took the singers through a vigorous workout on vocal quality and gave them tools and ideas to enhance and improve their voices daily. We came back together for a final teaching on what it truly means to ‘lead worship’.
The final day was incredible with Todd finishing his teaching on the shabach, leading into a great teaching on Breakthrough worship! Then of course, we ‘brokethrough’! Powerful. We finished the conference by exploring the new spiritual song in our worship. Song after amazing song was released in the people after some simple instruction of how God would sing through us – through His word, thanksgiving, prayers, etc. The times of sustained worship and song being birthed were stirring to watch and to hear. Most had not experienced this level of release in song and were enjoying it so immensely. We then anointed every person present to sanctify them and set them apart for the ministry of worship in the house of God. Many tears and much joy everywhere!
Our time in Coimbatore finished with a bang at the main services of Bethel (they have 3 Tamil services in the morning and 2 English services simultaneously – with over 4000 believers worshiping together) We shared briefly in the early (6:30AM!) Tamil service and invited them to join us in the evening. Then we led worship in both English services; I preached in the first one and Todd in the second. It was nice to be able to minister without an ‘interrupter’ (interpreter) since you can say so much more and get your own flow going. I shared on Persevering Worshipers (Abraham, Lot, and David) and gave them a glimpse of worshipers around the world who persevere in their worship (Guatemala, Uganda and Kamchatka). We never give up – but press in to all that God has for us. Todd preached on being the light of India in everything we do and say in the world around us.
The evening service was given to worship and prophetic sharing and singing. There was a literal deluge outside so we thought many wouldn’t be able to come because of transportation. But they showed up, drenched to the bone and ready to worship! It was absolutely off the charts! By now, we have a little more grasp of some of the Tamil songs so we were able to jump right in with their language and sing with them instead of ‘to’ them. We led them in dancing, celebrating and responding to the call of God on their lives. At one point I had those who had illnesses and sickness in their bodies to come forward and (I’ve never done this before!) had them dance during ‘Trading My Sorrows’ while the young maidens danced around them like Miriam at the Red Sea. It was a sight and beautiful thing to behold as joy replaced sorrow and laughter replaced tears. Song after song encouraged the spirit of worship. Todd actually started the night with his prophetic trumpet blasting. I accented moments with the cello (my voice of choice) and together we had an amazing night with an array of styles, dynamics, tempos, and textures that was an arranger’s dream! I love to worship God in this environment, it is so freeing. The thousand or so worshipers with us were rejoicing and responding all night long. None of us wanted to stop but time had it’s way of moving along and the buses wait for no man. So our time in India ended on a tremendous up-note. A big thank you to Pastor John Prakasam and Pastor Terry Prakasam for their amazing hospitality, as well as Lelin, Sam, Manoraj, Abby, Pastor Peter Prakasam, Mohenraj, Jacob (took wonderful care of us at the Bible College), Carolin, Andy, Daniel, David, Rohen and all the great people of Bethel!
October 31-November 1
After a ton of goodbyes and packing up all our clothes and our memories, we headed to the airport in Coimbatore – then on to Chennai, to New Delhi, to Amsterdam and then to Seattle and FINALLY home sweet home (Portland, Oregon) to my sweet wife Maryl!
What a great two weeks full of variety, fruit, release, joy, healing, impartation, faith and new seasons for all! We love you India and we will return!
Dr. Tim Smith and Pastor Todd Beal – Worship Missionaries