ds Barry Webb Evangelistic Ministries ... (301) 786-4217 ... bwemi@juno.com ... setlinc.com/bwemi
Serving the Lord and the local church through puppets, ventriloquism, chalk art, vocal and instrumental music and old fashioned Bible preaching.
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India 2003India 2003Barry left the US on January 7, 2003 for 28 days in India to work with Pastor Chandrasekar Eda, (Fundamental Baptist Ministries - India), and with Matthew Thomas in Kerala State. He arrived safely in Mumbai, India, and was met at the airport by Pastor Shekar. He spent Thursday through Sunday preaching at the Calvary Baptist Bible College daily, and holding nightly meetings in two churches that Pastor Shekar has started in the city of Mumbai.

India 2003India 2003On Monday, Barry flew to Vishakapatnam, a city on the east coast of India in the state of Andra Pradesh. It is located on the Bay of Bengal. From there he traveled by jeep to Kakinada, four hours further south. From Monday through Thursday nights Barry preached twice a day, in a different place or village each time. At the beginning of this week something happened elsewhere that affected the rest of the trip. In the south Indian state of Kerala, an American preacher was attacked by a band of Hindu fanatics. He was on his way back to his vehicle after an open air evangelistic meeting. This ignited a firestorm of debate in the country over whether foreign preachers should be allowed to preach in India. Each day the newspapers were full of follow up stories. When the preacher was released from the hospital, he was deported! Articles appeared in the national papers that the Hindu leaders knew of some fifty other foreign preachers in India at the time. (Including Barry!)

India 2003India 2003The Hindu officials were compiling a list of these preachers, and were going to hunt them down and have the authorities remove them! This, of course, caused concern for Barry among the believers with whom he was ministering. He was not worried about it while he was with Pastor Shekar. Barry and Pastor Shekar moved around so much that officials would not have located them before they were gone. It did, however, change the way they conducted meetings. Instead of large meetings in public places, they had smaller ones on church properties. Then lost folks who came were coming onto "church turf". It was also a more direct help to the individual churches. Frankly, they even saw more souls saved that way! On Friday they returned to Hyderabad for more services. There were two services a day on Friday and Saturday in various places. Travel between these meetings averaged over two hours of jeep travel on rough roads. On Sunday, Barry preached four times in four churches in seven hours!

India 2003India 2003The following Monday Barry flew to Kerala State to hold a week of meetings for Brother Matthew Thomas. This was the state where the preacher was attacked, and Barry was only ninety miles away. The concerned believers took precautions to protect him, and to minimize conflict in the area. They had three nights of meetings in the town of Vengoor, about and hour and a half from where Barry was staying. Each night, a van load of believers would rendezvous at the house, and escort him to the meetings. They arranged to arrive at the service after it had started. They parked inside the church compound walls. After the service was over, they immediately loaded Barry in the jeep and, with the escort, returned him to the house.

India 2003India 2003Thursday through Sunday Barry preached at a newly planted church beside the house where he stayed. In 1999 he and his father had the privilege of helping to start this church when they preached public evangelistic meetings in the town. The church met in a house then. Now they have a beautiful building. Barry met a man who was saved in their meetings in 1999. He is now a deacon of the church, and has won many to Christ! Praise God for this fruit that remains! Instead of the usual publicity announcing an American preacher the banners for this meeting only mentioned a special speaker. The affect of increased persecution was apparent here. There were fewer unsaved at these meetings. But, despite the intimidation, there were still a number of souls saved.

India 2003India 2003On the last week of the trip, Barry again joined Pastor Shekar. This time they traveled to the north Indian state of Sikkim. A graduate of Shekar´┐Żs college is planting a church in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains at the town of Namchi, (which means "top of the sky") You can understand the name when you from the town you are look down on the clouds. They flew to West Bengal, and had a four hour jeep drive to Namchi where they held three days of evangelistic meetings. It rained for the first day of services and was very cold. This hindered the attendance. But, for the other two days, the weather was nicer and the crowds good. A number of souls trusted Christ in the meetings, and the church was encouraged. These were the first evangelistic meetings they had tried in Namchi. They later baptized nine people. On Barry's last day in Sikkim, he visited the foremost Budhist temple in the world, and witnessed a religious ritual there. Barry returned to Mumbai that weekend, and spent his last Sunday preaching at the two churches where he started his trip. As his aircraft lifted off of the runway a day later, Barry was filled with mixed emotions. He was thankful to leave India safely, without any personal persecution, but he felt for his Indian brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing increased future persecution. Please pray for these believers that are standing faithfully for the Lord in India.

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