Hindustan Bible Institute
Hindustan Bible Institute
It’s been about 18 months since I spent a few days in Chennai, India. I was a little uneasy as I prepared for the trip. I was “on my way” to Uganda, but took a stop in southeast India before the medical mission. It was a strange juxtaposition of cultures, I must admit. It was a good opportunity to visit India and the Hindustan Bible Institute (HBI).
Even though I had known Bobby Gupta (the president of HBI) for years, I was a bit apprehensive. India is a very different place from SoCal or Bombo, Uganda. To my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed my days in Chennai. I must be honest, however, that I was a bit sheltered. I ate and slept and spent most of my time on the campus of HBI. I taught some classes, spoke at chapel, and had what you’d basically call a private chef preparing meals for our band of four.
We did venture off one afternoon for a walk around the city. And we ventured up to St. Thomas Hill, an historic church to learn some history and get an overview of the city. But I was still sheltered, but what did I learn?
First, I know nothing about India from those four or five days. It was hot. Very hot. All the time hot. I saw a modern city, in the midst of a construction project to build an elevated rail system. Traffic was controlled with k-rails keeping cars on their own side of the road. We avoided rush hour on the road and got around just fine. The food was delicious. I felt quite safe on the HBI compound. We toured a Hindu temple, just before a holiday to celebrate Ganesh, one of many gods. I found that all quite depressing. The gods on display along the streets screamed of a huge need to have truth proclaimed. But I still know very little of India.
Second, I came away impressed with the ministry of HBI. Very impressed. Their heart for people and God’s Word has driven them to raise up pastors. They do that through a formal seminary and Bible college, but also informally for pastors to come a few times of year for training and then return home to practice what they’ve learned and do the work of an evangelist. They also are involved in children’s ministry and women’s issues and poverty concerns – and well, everything. I was beyond impressed with what they were accomplishing. And why. They cast a clear vision and move forward in that vision. It took a couple of days to tour all that was going on within the buildings of that compound. They are impacting India for Christ and planting the seeds to change India for generations to come.
The president of HBI, Bobby Gupta, is with us this morning and this evening. It is sort of a big deal to get that much of his time and attention. He is a man of God, equipped to do the work of God in this generation. He is a key figure in the evangelization of India. Listen to his heart. And pray for HBI today.