by Richard Lee
12 April 2009
The invitation came, via email, of course. Even among the poorer nation “snail mail” is hardly used. This is the 2nd time I have the opportunity to go over for a mission trip to this nation.
In 2004, Bro. Rengarajoo invited me to go with him. He was a student in Dhaka University then and he helps start this new congregation with the local preacher, bro. John Gain. The church was at its beginning and rented a single storey house for their weekly meetings and also runs a small English medium kindergarten.
The New Testament church was the theme of the lectures. In between, we were invited to speak in Jyoti Foundation, Save the Children, USA and homes of some members. Attendance was small but encouraging. Interest in learning God’s word was painted on the faces of those present. We stayed in The Leprosy Mission, Dhaka. Unfortunately, in 2004, there was civil riot when we were there. Transportation were few. Government bus were burnt if they ply the road to pick up passengers. This year. 2009, before bro. Rajendran and myself left, we read about the mutiny. Oh…. The day before we took off, one of their biggest shopping complex, Bashundara City, was set on fire.
We left on 14th March, 2009. Air Asia flight into Dhaka was a blessing. What was supposedly to be above RM2, 000.00 in airfare, cost us less than RM650.00. Now everyone can fly to Dhaka for mission work. The plane was packed and “perfumed” and passengers were using their phones when the plane was about to take off here but it landed safely there. Thank God. I booked for heavier baggage to load some additional old/used clothes, spectacles, literatures for distribution and food for “mum mum.” Upon arrival, bro. John Gain was there to meet us and took us to the “church of Christ hotel.” The then single storey rented building is now double storey.
Mmmm…… They continue to use the building for worship, church meetings, provide English language education to church members children as well as the neighborhood’s. This program is supported by the brethren in USA. A guest room, more classrooms, bigger auditorium is needed because the church has grown through the years.
On Sunday morning, I was given the opportunity to share with three prospects (They had earlier study with Bro. John.) and they subsequently were baptised. Since Sunday is a working day there, worship service was conducted on Sunday evening. Bro. Rajendran spoke on that Sunday. His lesson was translated.
The week of lectures begin on Monday with 29 students. We started at 9.00am and ends about 9.30pm (five sessions every day except for Friday. Each lesson about 2 hours including translation. (I am thankful to Bro. Rajen for joining me this trip as he helps take care of half the lessons I have to teach.) Temperature was above thirty C and electricity supply interrupted few times a day. Wondering what is the reaction of Christians here when the air con. is down? By the way, it is non-air con. room there, “fan only.” At the end of the seminar on “How to Start the New Testament Church”, two more were baptised. Many of them promised to win one soul for Christ this year. 21 out of 29 showed interest in starting or help start a new work in their village / town.
What a joy! We bought Bibles and song books for distribution to those who requested for it. We bought some chairs for the church of Christ in Dhaka. I promised to go over to their village / town IF and WHEN they have become successful “fishers of men.” This is one way to show them our support and to encourage them. Anyone care to join, please let me know. Dhaka is now booming and has improved much. New roads, shopping center and etc. With “everyone can fly” now flying there, I trust that there will be some who will join in the bandwagon of this Mission.
Let us continue to pray for their faith, the church there and that the Gospel Light will not only shine but penetrate into every corner of this densely populated nation. “Go” of Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:15 still means “Go” today.!
On behalf of the Badda church of Christ, Dhaka, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to those who have supported this trip and for all your prayers, especially to God for our safety.