With our summer travel plans sadly postponed this year, we asked several members of our teams from 2019 to reflect on what they were doing this time last year. Next up is David, reflecting on his experience with the Dehli Bible Institute, a training and sending organisation reaching northern India.
This time last year, our group of 12 had just moved from one area of New Delhi to another, vastly different area; previously surrounded by slums, we were now in the midst of embassies and government buildings. We arrived at Delhi Bible Institute (DBI), where we would be staying for the next 3 days, and were shown around the campus by a member of the faculty.
DBI was set up in the mid-50s as one of the first Christian organisations in the capital, focused on training and equipping believers in the Gospel, in order to send them out to the rest of North India, where they would support and teach existing churches, as well as proclaiming God’s Word to the unreached people of India. This is one of a number of campuses across North India, which have had a total of around 75,000. Many of the resources DBI uses are in English, which not all of the students are fluent in, so English classes are also provided in order to fully accommodate their studies.
In our short time at DBI, we were given the opportunity to have fellowship with the students and a youth group from the church at DBI and talk about the similarities and differences in our Christian walks. It was so eye-opening to hear about these young believers in a part of the world where it is dangerous to profess the Christian faith be so excited about spreading the Gospel, while also admitting to personal struggles that we could relate to back in Ireland.
On our final morning at DBI, we were taken to a local Christian school in order to give an assembly to the children; however, we were only told on the way there that there were around 3000 children at the school, which required some last-second changes to our plans for the assembly. We met the principal and were shown around the school, where we were told that about 95% of the pupils were from non-Christian backgrounds; however, the school has a strong Christian ethos which is used to teach the Gospel to the children, through assemblies, RE classes, and the example of the believing teachers.
Our time at DBI was extremely uplifting, and it was heart-warming to see that, even in India, which we can easily imagine being spiritually dark, there is a strong Gospel influence and passionate believers intent on spreading the message of God’s Word to the unreached people of this massive country.