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Pastor Terry R Baughman

Friday, February 13, 2009

Changes in the Wind

It has been my privilege to participate in the ministry of Christian Life College for the last fifteen years. This college has been an important part of my life. Little did I know how much my life would be changed when I met the evangelist at the Arkansas District Youth Camp in 1973. His name was Kenneth Haney and he was the former international Pentecostal Conquerors’ President. He asked me to come to Stockton, CA to attend Western Apostolic Bible College. I enrolled in college that fall and graduated from WABC in 1977 with a B.A. in Bible and Theology.

I don’t recall when the desire to teach at the college first came to me, but it was within the early years of my ministry. I readily recognized the difference this Bible College made in my life and I wanted to see others experience it in the same way. In 1994, seventeen years after my graduation, I was invited me to come back to Stockton and join the staff at Christian Life College as the Campus Pastor. The following year I was asked to be the Dean of Students when Phillip Dugas resigned and moved to Portland. When Dr. Raymond Crownover accepted a position with UGST in St Louis, I was asked to fill the role of Academic Dean in 2001. I became the Executive Vice President in 2003 when Dr. Jeffery Garner accepted a pastorate in San Francisco. I continued to fill the position of Academic Dean while serving as Executive Vice President until 2007 when Jarrid Younkin joined the staff and assumed that responsibility.

I appreciate the opportunity to have served in so many facets of leadership at Christian Life College. My life has been enriched by my association with each faculty member, every student and the wonderful heritage of this institution and the Haney family. I am proud to have worked with them and been a part of this ministry. Gayla and I have grown and developed in ministry and in our personal lives. Gayla completed her B.A. in Christian Music and I was able to earn a Master’s degree in Exegetical Theology through Western Seminary while teaching at the college.

We have been able to minister to hundreds of young people, become acquainted with many of our alumni, publish books, and plant a church in the Bay Area. As of the first of the year, I have resigned as pastor of the church we planted in Pleasanton seven years ago. Stuart Young, pastor of Victory Point Pentecostal Church in Livermore has been elected as pastor and we have merged our congregations. Stuart and Darla Young assisted us in planting the church in Pleasanton and were with us for three years before they started their church in Livermore, CA. They will do well with the increase in size and finance as they continue the great work they are doing in the Tri-Valley.

I have been elected as co-pastor (and pastor-elect) of Life Church in Gilbert, Arizona, where my father-in-law is currently the pastor. For several years Pastor Robert Bibb has wanted us to come and assume the pastorate where he has been for the last eight years. Last summer we agreed to come and the church unanimously voted for us to be the pastor of this growing congregation in the east valley of the Phoenix metro area. We were committed to complete the academic year at Christian Life College and assist in a smooth transition of leadership. It is our intention to make the physical move to Arizona during the summer of 2009.

This will be my last year as Executive Vice President of Christian Life College. I have offered to come back and teach on a limited schedule in the fall of 2009.
Pastor Nathaniel Haney spoke very positively in response to that offer.

It was my desire to make this public statement of our decision so as to allay any rumors or misunderstanding concerning our transition from the leadership of Christian Life College. We have had some great experiences and have many good memories of our years in Stockton. We have no regrets and are very grateful for the opportunity to have been able to serve God in the ministry at Christian Life College. I see good things happening and believe the best years are yet ahead.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

An Invitation to India

A small prayer group based in Texas provides spiritual support for the work of God in Gujarat, India. They continually pray for a revival of Holy Spirit baptism in a predominantly Hindu nation. The leader of this group, Sister Elizabeth, has a tremendous passion to see her homeland come to know the saving power of Jesus Christ. Not only does she pray, she contacts ministers in the U.S. and asks them to go to Ahmedabad to teach and preach in one of their annual church and minister’s conferences.

Two years ago, Brian Henry and I accepted one such invitation and went to India to minister in the conference. Again this year Christian Life College was contacted to see if we could send someone to teach and preach in this conference. I accepted the invitation and prepared to go. Initially, another minister planned to go with me and applied for a visa. Two weeks before our departure he advised me that he would be unable to accompany me for ministry in India.

After agreeing to go to Gujarat, I text messaged my son, Rhette, in Arizona, “How would you like to go to India?” He instantly replied, “I would love to go to India!” I was happy to hear his enthusiasm and we began to make plans for him to join me on this ministry trip. This will be his first international trip other than Mexico or Canada. He has an interest in international business and is currently enrolled in college classes working toward a degree in this field. It means a lot to me to be able to share this trip with him and give him the opportunity to see the broader picture of the world and ministry in a very different culture.

International travel has certainly affected my worldview and given me a different perspective of the Scriptures, such as “God so loved the world,” and “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” Our world can be mighty small if we never see more than our home town.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

After a very busy week, today is the countdown to our departure for India. Two weeks ago my wife and I flew to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the General Conference of the UPCI. We attended our respective committee meetings: the Board of Regents, Division of Education, and a special study group for the Women’s ministry of the UPCI. It was also our responsibility to represent Christian Life College at the annual conference.

After a week of conference and travel it was back to school and the office. The last week was filled with faculty meetings, teaching classes, and preparing assignments or substitutes to cover the classes I will miss while in India. Of course, there are always the unplanned calls, emails and issues that must be addressed. I maintained a detailed “to do” list so that I would not miss anything that had to be done before my departure.

Gayla and I picked up Rhette at the Oakland airport Friday evening about 10:00. He flew in from Phoenix after work so he could be with us for a couple of days before we fly out. Saturday was filled with packing (what do I really need?), last minute purchases (gotta have snacks!), and preparation for Sunday in Pleasanton (what will I preach?). We had a music practice Saturday evening with the praise team and pizza following!

I was up until 1:00 AM taking care of countless details: online bills, church arrangements, and communicating with classes about assignments by email. Finally, when I went to bed I was still going through my mental checklist (What have I forgotten?). Unable to sleep, I got up, logged on the computer and checked in online with Singapore Airlines, before I was finally able to go to bed and sleep.
Dawn was barely breaking Sunday morning when I got up and pulled my sweats on for an early morning walk. A walk is my way of clearing the mind, praying, and thinking.

Before we left for church, we had to have everything completed and packed for India as well. We left the house about 11:15 for an hour commute to Pleasanton. In the service I shared some of the burden I have for India and a video presentation of my last trip. I preached on Spiritual warfare and how we are “Mighty in God!” My focus was on India and the spiritual battle in the U.S. with the upcoming general election. It is time to prevail in the Spirit! Prayer is our only recourse!

Following the service, several of us went to Fuddruckers to eat. Since our flight didn’t leave until after midnight, we had plenty of time to eat and fellowship. I fueled the car for my wife and then we went to Starbucks for coffee and to “hang out’ for about an hour before making the drive to the San Francisco airport. Gayla dropped us off at the International Terminal and we said our goodbyes. She will be attending the district board planning session the next few days so maybe she won’t miss me too bad!

Rhette and I had time to spare as we checked in about 9:45 for the 1:00 AM flight. He was impressed with the upscale shops in the airport after we went through the security checkpoint. There is Gucci, Coach, Mont Blanc, and other ritzy shops to take your money before you leave the States. We found a comfortable spot to wait out the time before our scheduled boarding at 12:30 AM. We made calls and I worked a little on the computer while I had an a/c plug-in!

Rhette watched my stuff while I went to the restroom. When I returned an older Chinese gentleman was lying on three chairs with his head on the arm of my chair. It was rather awkward sitting two inches from his bald head  but I refused to be pushed out of my seat near the electrical outlet. Rhette got a nice picture of me!
Since we were on row 61, near the back of the Boeing 747, we were among the first to board. We sat in the center section by the aisle. The plane was nearly full, but God was gracious. The other two seats in the middle section of our row were vacant! Rhette moved down and we had a little more room to stretch out. Very nice for a 13.5 hour trip to Hong Kong!

I settled in for a good nap as we took off from SFO. About two hours into the flight they served supper! I had the chicken and vegetable selection, complete with Waldorf salad, dinner roll, cheese and crackers, and chocolate cake! Very nice!

After our early morning dining, I had no trouble sleeping for about four hours. Flying west and crossing the International Date Line thoroughly confuses the senses of time. Not only do you feel the time is mixed up, you lose a day flying west. We chased the darkness so it did not get daylight until we reached Hong Kong. We left SFO at 1:00 AM Monday, but it was Tuesday morning about 6:00 when we arrived in Hong Kong, China. We flew all night across the Pacific Ocean. According to the flight path screen, we were flying between Japan and the Philippines, and across Taiwan. As I write this, my wristwatch says it is 12:30 PM (Monday). No wonder I’m hungry again. But, it’s still dark outside!

Stop in Singapore

A seven hour layover in Singapore gave us time to meet Missionary Steve Willoughby and look around downtown after touring their church facility.

Our *ride* from SFO to Singapore

After 13.5 hours in the air we stopped in Hong Kong for a crew change and refueling before proceeding to Singapore.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We landed in Hong Kong about 6:00 AM local time. We were allowed to get off the plane even though we were continuing on the same 747 to Singapore. We took our carryon bags and boarding passes and stepped out on Chinese property, the Hong Kong airport facility. I turned on my world phone and called my wife. She was planning to be in Bakersfield today for a meeting with Sister Mullings as they outlined the agenda for the planning session with the Ladies Ministry department of the Western District. Fortunately, they were a little late getting started. It was 3:14 PM Monday in Bakersfield and I got through on the first try. Technology is amazing. It sounded like she was standing right there even though we were talking from China to California. Technology also has its price. This particular phone is about $4 per minute. However, it doesn’t take long to say “I love you” and “I miss you!”

Fortunately, the signs in the Hong Kong airport were bilingual – Chinese and English. We found it amazing to see some of the various terms used that are different from the U.S. The restrooms were identified as “toilets,” the elevators were “lifts.” We only had an hour in the airport but it gave us an opportunity to stretch our legs and walk around before the next flight. A free internet display was sponsored by some online business colleges. There were about eight work stations set up for internet access. I was able to check my email and respond to some before boarding the flight to Singapore.

The continuation of flight SQ1 scheduled three hours from Hong Kong to Singapore. We had a nice breakfast as we began the journey. One good thing about Singapore Airlines is their quality service and meals. We were well taken care of.

The ride got bumpy as we finished our breakfast. It was the most turbulence we have experienced yet. I’m thankful the overnight flight was smooth. At least it did not interfere with our sleeping!

We arrived in Singapore on time and made our way through immigration and out into the ticketing area of the Changi Airport, Terminal 3, a new terminal since my last visit two years ago.

Missionary Steve Willoughby met us in the lobby and took us to their church in the Chinatown Point business complex. They lease the fifth floor of one of the pavilions, a section that was once a theatre. One of the theaters is setup as a studio where they can film video productions. The larger theater holds about 500 and is where they have church. When we arrived they were preparing to baptize a young woman who had been attending Bible Study. We met several people there including one of the native pastors and an associate missionary (AIM), Brother Dabbs.

We looked around at some of the shops in the center and then went to a food court area where we had some of the local fare, noodles with some strips of meat. I had pork; Rhette had beef. We also had some soup with dumplings in it. It was very good. With all the food vendors cooking in this indoor area it was sweltering. The fans did little to refresh us. Brother Willoughby had some errands to do so we took a walk around several blocks of the city in this area. We went by a large Hindu temple and a Muslim mosque. The religious conflict is evidence by these diverse worship centers in close proximity to the Pentecostal Church! We found a clothing store where we browsed around a bit and almost bought some tee shirts. However, the sizing was so different it looked like they would not fit us very well!

We made it back to the complex where we met Brother Willoughby again and he took us back to the airport. We took the connecting train to Terminal 2 from which we would be leaving for India. We strolled around looking at some of the shops and found a free internet area where we checked our email. About an hour before our scheduled for a 7:00 PM departure, we found our gate for Ahmedabad and waited for them to open up the security checkpoint. In this terminal each gate area has its own security area. A team arrives about 45 minutes before the flight to screen the passengers as they are allowed into the gate waiting area.

There were few passengers on this Boeing 777 for Ahmedabad. I would estimate 50 or less. As a result, we had all the room we desired! In the entire back section of the plane there were only about eight people. We were definitely able to stretch out – but still not exactly like my bed at home. The arm rests would not fold up all the way which would have helped! We ate a little. The masala on the menu definitely told us we were on the way to India. We slept most of the way. The turbulence was rather consistent during the five hour flight. I guess we were rocked to sleep!

As approached the city and looked across the lights of Ahmedabad we saw a variety of fireworks being set off. This is the evening before the Hindu New Year, Diwali. They love fireworks and especially loud firecrackers! We heard them all day on New Year’s Day and occasionally throughout the week.

It is always a little culture shock to land in Ahmedabad. Motorized stairways are driven up to the exit doors of the airplane. You then load onto buses with windows open wide inviting the evening air to cool the passengers. The arrivals are shuttled across the tarmac and dropped off by the doors to the terminal where a line forms to clear immigration. Due to the fact that there were few passengers on this flight, the lines moved quickly and we were able to get through before our baggage was delivered on the carousel.

Every nation has their way of handling tourists and other visitors to their country. Here, it seemed like there was some redundancy. The immigration form had a tear-off tab on the bottom. After the customs officer cleared us and stamped our passports another officer intercepted us and said, “Put your passports away. Hold this in your hand.” He emphasized his English words as he handed us each item. Okay that was simple enough, except we had to pickup our luggage and go to the “washroom.” When Rhette came back out of the restroom he had put the tab in his passport so he took it out to retrieve it. The same security officer saw him again and emphasized, “This in your hand, passport in your bag!” We laughed at the incident all week!

I was a little nervous about getting our luggage as we watched bag after bag come out on the carousel. They were collected and placed on luggage carts and still no sign of ours. Finally, near the end, Rhette’s came out. At least we had one! Mine followed close behind. No problems!

The next step was to take your bags to be screened on the way out. I thought that was unusual. A security guard took our famous little immigration tab and handed it to the screener. We walked around the x-ray machine and picked up our luggage. The screener had laid our tabs on the edge of the scanner. Rhette asked if we needed them. “Yes, take them!” We cautiously took the tabs and made our way about 10 feet where another officer was collecting them! We finally got rid of them and out the door, after exchanging some U.S. greenbacks for Indian rupees. Our $120 US became $4900 rupees.

Pastor JP was waiting for us at the door and led us to a taxi that would take us to Anand where the conference started the next morning. Earlier he had taken his family to check into the hotel and he rode the train back to Ahmedabad to meet us at the airport. He was unsure how much luggage we would have so he had arranged for two different taxis. Because we were traveling light, only one check suitcase and one carryon each, we were able to get into a small Tata to make the 1 ½ hour journey to Anand.

It was great to see the first impression for Rhette in a taxi as we dashed through the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The confusion of the traffic and driving on the opposite side of the road is always a thrill when you come to India. We had many more experences, but this was a fun introduction to what lay ahead. The Expressway between the cities is very nice and tempts you to think it is the US other than the large antiquated buses and trucks that travel the Expressway. It is a toll road and bicycles, scooter, mobikes (motorcycles) and motorized rickshaws are prohibited. It allows for much safer travel at higher speeds than what is possible on other roads.

We arrived at the Surabhi Regency Hotel where we stayed in our previous visit and checked in about midnight. I was relieved when Pastor JP said that we would begin the conference the next day, Wednesday, at 11:00 AM. That would give us one morning to attempt to sleep in if possible. We got some bottled water from the hotel, ate a few snacks, showered and retired. It was not over 35 hours from the time we left SFO to our arrival in Anand, Gujarat, India.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Due to the time change I was wide awake at 6:00 AM. or it could have been the bomb blasting. Apparently this conference always coincides with the Hindu New Year celebration, Diwali. They celebrate with abandon. Fireworks and lots of firecrackers punctuate the day. Some of the explosions sound like a supercharged M80, the largest firecracker I can ever remember as a child growing up. Rhette got up shortly after I did and began to get around. We ordered the service coffee (two cups, hot water, instant coffee, milk and sugar) and two cheese omelets that I remembered being tasty from the last trip. The omelet and toast was 40.00 rupee (about $1 US). It makes a good meal and it is safe! (I hope.)

I prepared for the ministry today printing out the sketchy notes I have made for each day of the conference. About 10:45 Chrione (Pastor JP’s son, also called Kenny) came to our room to see if we were ready. We went next door to the room of Pastor Jaiprakash and met his family. Chrione is 13 and already about 6’3”, a tall good looking young man, and the drummer for the conference. Glory is the middle child and she is a senior in high school. The eldest girl, Blessing, is completing her second year of college, majoring in Commerce.

After a brief visit and prayer, we loaded up to make the 10 minute drive to the conference grounds. It was the same location as the conference I attended in 2006, convening on the old grounds of a hospital that has been closed for nearly 20 years. A Christian organization now owns it and makes it available to various groups for meetings such as this one.

We met Gabriel, Pastor Anil (JP’s cousin from Anand), and some other pastors and leaders of the camp. They had to offer us some masala tea as others prepared the music and equipment for services. We had a time of worship and then the traditional welcome, the presentation of a flower garland for the guests and leaders of the conference. Rhette was thoroughly embarrassed when they called him to the platform and honored him with the floral garland. We were allowed to return to our seats and then after another worship song I was introduced to preach the first message of the conference.

After making the appropriate remarks and greetings I introduced the concept of what I felt led to speak this week in the day session. I plan to speak on some areas of fundamental doctrine of Scripture. Today I began with faith, the “one faith” of Scripture, and the importance of believing in a living relationship with Jesus. It went pretty well, however the people are adjusting to the conference and to me. They did not immediately respond at the conclusion of the message, but Pastor Anil had them come forward when I turned the service back to him and led them in prayer and commitment.

We ate our first authentic meal with the people at the conference. It was a dish of white rice, roti (a type of whole wheat tortilla), potato and cabbage stuff, and a spicy mix you could use on the rice or bread. It was tasty but I worried about the spices. It caused me a little indigestion this afternoon and Tums became my friend again. We came back to the hotel about 3:00 PM and rested this afternoon. I felt worse when I got up from my nap at 5:00. Jet lag works both ways!

Service was planned to begin at 6:00 but there was a problem with the lighting so the start was delayed for a little over an hour. They are trying to get enough light to make good video copies of the messages for their new website. The lighting contractor finally arrived and patched in three more lights to add to the stage during the worship service. Pastor JP preached tonight from the book of Ezekiel and the valley of bones, “Come to life, Stand up, and speak the word of faith.” He challenged everyone to accept what God has already done but to speak out the faith of their heart and receive the miracle and the touch that they desire from God. One lady came to Pastor JP after service and confessed to receiving a miracle in her eye. She had lost the vision in her right eye and came praying specifically for that need tonight. God healed her during prayer in the altar service.

Rhette and I struggled with jet lag tonight in service. After taking the nap this afternoon we were very tired and fought to stay awake during the preaching. It was very good and Pastor JP had everyone stand a couple of times (I think it was to help us!) during the message. After service we had some more local food. This time it was yellow rice with a potato stew. I ate the potatoes out of it and a little of the rice. It was still rather spicy. I think that is a requirement of Gujarati food!
When we returned to the hotel, I ordered two American Cokes and we prepared for bed. The Cokes were in the old 10 ounce glass bottles and were 20.00 rupees each, so about 50 cents.

Indian Women

Rhette captured this candid photo of two women and a child resting on the grass during a break at the conference.

Speaking with Interpreter

Gabriel translated every session and led worship throughout the conference.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I awoke a little before 5:00 AM. I tried to sleep a little longer but eventually gave up and got up. I reviewed my sermon notes and updated my travel blog. I hope to get something posted before I return! Due to the lack of an internet connection at the hotel and the full schedule for the conference, I haven’t found time to go to the internet cafĂ© (haha) down the street. I’m not sure they have been open the last two days. They were definitely closed on Wednesday for Diwali (the Hindu New year celebration). I’ve learned that many places close from two to five days for the holiday (They know how to observe holidays!)

Rhette and I ordered the cheese omelet once again with coffee. Today’s order was a little heavy on the green onions. In the present state of my digestive system I purposed to order the omelet without onion after this! O yes, today the toast was not buttered but they brought salt and pepper with our tray. I guess there are trade-offs! Every day holds surprises! We enjoyed our simple breakfast and got ready for an early start today.

We met Pastor JP in the lobby at 8:30 and made our way to the conference grounds. They were already singing when we arrived. We entered into the worship service for a few minutes when Pastor JP asked if we wanted tea. It has become somewhat of a ritual already. We have to have tea before each service! They serve us their traditional masala (or spice) tea. It is very tasty and hot. It is served in a small cup (about 3-4 ounces).

In the first session Pastor Anil (local pastor in Anand) preached in Gujarati. I have no idea what he preached, but it sounded good! I used the time to review my notes and the scriptures. We had a break between sessions and had more tea.
The next session began at 11:00 AM and after a time of worship I was called on to teach. I continued the doctrinal study from Ephesians 4:5-6. Today I emphasized the oneness of God and preached the message, “What is Jesus to you?” There was a decent response and people seem to be warming up to my ministry and adjusting to the conference environment.

After the session, they again brought food to us prepared on the grounds. It was a good variation from our previous dishes. They had grilled chicken, very tasty, and white rice, roti (the wheat tortillas), masala (very spicy), and a raw cabbage salad for us to try. While it was easily my favorite dish of the week, I have been battling indigestion and stomach problems from the spices of our new food. So, I ate cautiously and tried to avoid the masala (which means spices).

When we had finished with lunch and visited awhile with some of the leadership, we returned to the hotel to rest for the evening service. I laid down for a nap, but about the time I dozed off, the power went off and the A/C quit. The room was cool enough but without the noise of the fan I could more easily hear the honking of traffic, the occasional explosion of firecrackers and celebratory bombs, and the noise of people on the streets below. After a few minutes I decided to get up and work on my notes for the evening service. Rhette was reading a book he brought with him. He decided to stay awake this afternoon and try to get more accustomed to the time so he could sleep better tonight.

We met Pastor JP in the lobby about 5:45 and returned to the conference center. Again, we had tea as the service began. Each service has begun to build in excitement and participation. Tonight Pastor JP sang one of their traditional songs (I believe he wrote it) adapting a Gujarati dance beat. The people responded and they danced around the front of the stage area. They seem to really enjoy these times!

Tonight I preached on a series I’m using in the evening sessions, The Ministry of Jesus, from Luke 4:18-19. I emphasized the themes of being “led of the Spirit” and the preaching of the Gospel. There was a wonderful response to the Word and many came forward for prayer.

As I prayed for a few people, especially some children, I began to feel stomach cramps and a little sick. I walked outside the tent for a few minutes and reached the conclusion that I had to get back to the hotel. Pastor JP was singing with the praise singers and I was worried that it might go on awhile. As soon as they concluded, I asked if we might come back to the hotel and explained my problem. He graciously consented to bring us back and he returned to the grounds to visit with everyone. I took some Tums and the indigestion seemed to pass. We considered ordering some food from room service (another omelet?), but then decided to wait until morning to eat. Maybe giving my stomach a rest from any food will help! I called home and talked to my wife. It was good to talk without worrying about the money. By using the local SIM card (from Blessing) in Rhette’s phone it is very inexpensive to call the States. Gayla was getting around to go into the office. She got home from Bakersfield last night and was planning to be back to work today. She had a couple of voice lessons scheduled with students.

I considered looking over my notes for tomorrow, but being tired after a long day, I gave into the temptation to go to bed early. Rhette beat me to sleep. I think he must be exhausted from the jet lag and was asleep before I got off the phone. I went to bed before 10:00 PM.

Conference kitchen

Here's the chef, a 70 year old man who headed up the team cooking for the conference feeding around 200 each day.

Friday and Saturday

Wow, we have been so busy I haven’t had time to write in this travel blog since early Friday morning when I woke up at 4:00 AM. We have been attending at least three of the four sessions each day and I have been teaching/preaching twice each day since Wednesday. Any spare time I spend pouring over notes, seeking God’s direction for the next service, and catching a few z’s so I can keep going! I have been getting up between 4:00 and 5:00 each morning to have some quiet time of preparation for the day. It is usually after 11:00 before we get to bed. If I can get a short nap in the afternoon it helps keep me going in the later service!
I’ll try to summarize the last two days before I return to my sermon preparation for this final day of conference.

Friday, we met in the lobby about 8:30 AM. Blessing, Glory, and Chrione (we found out his nickname is Kenny) went before us in a rickshaw (a motorized three wheel taxi). They are praise singers and the drummer so they have to be there and ready to start on time.

I preached in the early session about 9:30 AM. The lesson was an extensive lesson on Baptism in Jesus’ name, entitled The Name that Saves. Pastor JP preached on the importance of the name of Jesus. He referred to the Hebrew names of Yahweh and emphasized “YAH” in the names given to God.

This afternoon we went to Subway for lunch with Pastor JP, Gabriel, and Pastor Manoj (conference director). I guess they were feeling sorry for us having to eat Indian food everyday. Rhette rode on the back of the motor scooter with Manoj (pastor of two churches and conference director). He held on for dear life! We had a roast chicken sub and shared some salad. It was good and very similar to what we get in the States. It was very thoughtful of them to consider our tastebuds!

Following lunch we came back to the hotel for a little rest and to get ready for the evening session. Rhette agreed to play the keyboard for me and harmonize with me, We sang the course Jesus in English, and then in Hindi, Yeah-sue! I guess they enjoyed it! Asked for an encore!

I preached from the series, The Ministry of Jesus, a message on The Healer of the Brokenhearted. There was a good response. There was a wonderful spirit of brokenness and seeking God for restoration. We sang some more of the same chorus for the altar service. I felt better today (my stomach and digestion) after a little break from the Indian spices! So, after service, I declined the camp food and we returned to the hotel and had room service. Rhette ordered the Toast cheese, a grilled cheese sandwich. I made a mistake by ordering the club sandwich thinking it might be American style. It wasn’t. It was three pieces of toast with cucumber, tomato, and a fried something that might have been mostly potato … full of Indian spices. Masala club sandwich would have been a better description! Rhette ate some of it and shared his grilled cheese with me.

Saturday morning, Rhette went to the conference in a rickshaw with Blessing. He wanted to experience the whole adventure! It was only 10.00 rupees for the taxi fare to the conference grounds, quite reasonable according to our economy. About 25 cents!
I taught in the first session Saturday morning. I have been developing the lessons for the day sessions based on fundamental doctrines of Scripture. Ephesians 4:4-6 provides a basis for these lessons, “one body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, etc.” However, since Pastor Jaiprakash expressed his intention to make Saturday night the time for people to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and have special prayer for healing and deliverance, I swapped the lessons for Saturday, saving the message on The Promise of the Father for the later session. Saturday morning, I preached the third lesson on the ministry of Jesus in Luke 4:18-19, Deliverance from Oppression.

Following the morning session we had a break for tea before beginning the next session about 11:00. Pastor JP preached on being a love slave of Christ from the book of Exodus. It was very touching at the end of the message as he referred to Christian persecution in India and how as a love slave you continue to serve God whether you live or die. The recent uprising of radical Hindu fundamentalists in the state of Orissa has caused Christians all over India to be concerned for their safety. The radical Hindus have focused on disturbing baptisms of Christian groups in Gujarat. I suppose it is because they view baptism as a sign of one’s conversion to Christianity. The church here has two locations where they bring converts to baptize them. They have quit baptizing them during the conference to avoid attracting persecution to the believers.

In the afternoon break Pastor JP took us to the veg restaurant we went to last time we were here. It is in the basement of another restaurant. It was tasty but still very Indian!

Gabriel and Pastor Anil went with us there. After lunch we went by the hotel for about 45 minutes. I laid down but did not get a nap. We went back to the conference grounds for the late afternoon session. Pastor JP has been really choked up from all the dust, especially after the dancing in the service Friday night. He changed the schedule and made the late afternoon and evening session all one long service. He asked me to just go ahead and do it all! When the service began they had one of the village churches singing a special song. It was basically just the drums and congos and went on for 30 minutes or longer. They really got into the dance! Pastor JP said in the local village services they can go on all night singing and dancing.

When the service was turned to me I taught on The Promise of the Father and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I told my experience in receiving the Holy Ghost as a young teenager and some of the obstacles I had to overcome. At the conclusion I turned the service over to Pastor Anil. He called for all those who wanted to receive the Holy Spirit. Many came forward, probably close to 100 people. He led them in corporate prayer of repentance and encouraged the elders to pray for them. Many received the Holy Spirit. When asked, at least 50 raised their hands. I’m not sure how many of them was first time. Pastor JP estimated 20-30. I guess we don’t have to concern ourselves with numbers as long as people are receiving the Spirit and growing in God!

Following the prayer for the Holy Spirit, Pastor JP had people line up for special prayer for healing. He took them one by one praying for specific needs with Pastor Anil and Gabriel. As the line continued to grow, he asked for my help and between Pastor Anil, Pastor JP and I, we prayed for three at a time. I had to have an interpreter to find out specific needs to pray for. Pastor Anil helped me and then one of the elders from Ahmedabad stepped up to help me. We prayed for a lot of people, probably about an hour or longer. Several confessed to receiving instant healing or miracles.

Finally, Pastor JP asked for all who were possessed or oppressed by demons. We prayed for at least six who needed deliverance. An obvious peace came over several of them after prayer and casting out the devil.

We concluded the service about 9:30 --- about 6 hours for this service!
We returned to the hotel about 10:30 exhausted and a little hungry. Rhette and I ordered grilled cheese (cheese toast) and Coke before going to bed. I also called Dad for his birthday. It was 11:00 in India but about 12:30 Saturday afternoon in Arkansas when I called. He was actually down at Toleda Bend lake in Louisiana. When no one answered at home I called dad’s cell phone and caught him there.

Rhette with young men

Rhette with Sanvedan, Linus, and Aditya, young men of Faith Church.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday morning we met in the hotel lobby a few minutes before 9:00. We went to the conference grounds where service was just beginning. The Sunday schedule was a little different from other days. We basically had two services. The first was planned to be about four hours, there would be a break for lunch and we would return about 2:00 for the final service and conclude about 4:30. They have to vacate the grounds to make room for another group that is coming in for a conference.

The morning service had two features that we haven’t seen this week. Apparently, they observe the Lord’s communion on the first week of each month. Being together on this Sunday was a special observance as they were able to share communion together. Pastor Jaiprakash led the service by first offering the communion to his elders. They in turn served the people who lined down the aisle to come forward to receive communion. The Bread was a sweet bread that would be similar to a small square of cake. They shared a common cup … Rhette and I were happy to go first following the elders. It was a most unusual tasting fruit juice … I didn’t ask questions!

They also received the only offering of the week. Two large square cans (previously vegetable oil containers) were painted and used as offering receptacles. People marched around and gave their offering to the Lord. It was touching to see them come and give knowing how little many of them had.

Since this was the last service, time was given to honor several people who had helped with the conference. The leadership were honored with garlands and we again were so honored. Pastor Anil said many nice things about us coming and the blessing we were to them. Today was also Gabriel’s birthday! I gave him a copy of my latest book, A Season of Purpose, as well as my notebook from the conference. I also gave copies of the book to Pastor JP, Pastor Anil, and Pastor Manoj.

My last message (the ninth!) focused on the Great commission. Due to the schedule I kept it brief and tried to make the possibility of reaching the world more real. I used a illustration involving several people. First, I picked about 12 people and talked about how I could be close to a small group and lead them but I would be limited in how many I can effectively reach. I had them sit down and then called three: Blessing, Eddie, and Steven. I talked about mentoring and discipling them to reach others. I had them go out and bring three each. That made twelve. Then I had each of those go out and get three each. It really illustrated the power of multiplication in discipleship. “Go therefore making disciples in every nation!”

We lingered a good while after the service. The sound company tore down their equipment. The chairs were picked up by another group. The church had to collect all their music and media equipment. Several just set around visiting as though they hated to say goodbye. Plans were made that we would go to Pastor Anil’s home for dinner so we returned to the hotel for a little while before going over there about 9:00. They were very hospitable and fixed chicken, roti, and rice. Then they brought out apples and bananas. After dinner we retired to the living area and had masala tea (some of the best I’d had) and then they set out chips! We were filled physically and spiritually after a full week of ministry.

Rapid Transit

Many modes of transportation are used in India. One of the most novel is the camel drawn wagon occasionally seen among the traffic.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Response to The Washington Post Comic

Here is a copy of the email I sent to The Washington Post last week, in response to the controversial comic ridiculing Sarah Palin for speaking in tongues. TRB


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in opposition to the flagrant disregard for a major religious segment of our nation exhibited in Mr. Pat Oliphant’s comic of September 9, 2008. Speaking in tongues is a common practice of Pentecostals as noted in a study by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:

"Pentecostalism and related charismatic movements represent one of the fastest-growing segments of global Christianity. At least a quarter of the world’s 2 billion Christians are thought to be members of these lively, highly personal faiths, which emphasize such spiritually renewing “gifts of the Holy Spirit” as speaking in tongues, divine healing and prophesying. Even more than other Christians, pentecostals and other renewalists believe that God, acting through the Holy Spirit, continues to play a direct, active role in everyday life."
(http://pewforum. org/docs/ ?DocID=140)

The faith of Governor Sarah Palin and her religion (whether or not she speaks in tongues) should not be ridiculed in a respectable newspaper. Take issue with her politics, her policies, or her public life, but to berate her private religious practice is akin to mocking a Muslim’s prayer rug, a Jew’s tallit, or a Catholic’s rosary.

Personal attacks of this nature belie the professionalism of your publication. Though it will not undo the damage done by its publication, I would request a public apology for this offensive printing. In the future, kindly show the same tolerance and respect for Pentecostals that you do for other religious groups. If political correctness is your mantra let it be extended to include all religious faiths, including conservative Christians and tongue-talking Pentecostals.


Terry R Baughman

The Washington Post "form letter" response

Dear Reader,

Pat Oliphant is a syndicated editorial cartoonist carried on news sites across the country. It is the nature of an editorial cartoonist to be provocative and offer up unique -- and often controversial -- viewpoints on the issues of the day. I have always opted for the approach that we should not limit the cartoonist's freedom of speech. We prefer to present the cartoon and allow you, the reader, to make the choice on whether to read it or not, and to express your own freedom of speech if you're bothered or offended by it.

Jim Brady
Executive Editor,

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Welcome to our World

Yesterday was a special day. My wife became a grandma. I'm not sure I'm ready to be called "grandpa." However, a very special girl was born at 8:24 AM to my daughter and her husband of almost 6 years. They are wonderful parents and seem much better prepared for this moment in life than we were twenty-five years ago.

We are so blessed to have a healthy mother and child. The birth was a C-section, something we never experienced, and as a result there was no labor or long hours of waiting before the birth. Madison Nevaeh Sullivan entered the world after a scheduled surgery weighing exactly 8 pounds and measuring 20 1/2 inches long.

To Madison I say, "Welcome to our world. We will join your parents and the broad network of family members and friends to create a safe and loving environment for you. I met you in your mom's room and you slept in my arms, seemingly quite content and trusting. You already have a place in our hearts and will always have a place in our lives. We love you! (p.s. you can call me anything you want!)"

Click here for more pictures!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pics from the Trip

I've started uploading pictures from our trip to Spain and Portugal. To see our postings click here!