God is doing amazing things in India through pastors that were trained in I-DENT 12 years ago. A couple of them were a part of a recent I-FILM training and shared stories of how they initially doubted their ability to learn I-DENT.
A small ITEC team recently traveled to the sun-drenched landscape just outside of Hyderabad, India for an I-FILM training. The city and surrounding area is about 65% Hindu, 30% Muslim, and just shy of 3% Christian.
I-DENT Training 12 Years Ago
ITEC first visited Hyderabad 12 years ago, in partnership with an indigenously run ministry, to facilitate an I-DENT training with several pastors from rural villages in the area. All ITEC training trips are fast-paced. Instructors and students cover a large quantity of material in a relatively short period of time. Students sometimes doubt their abilities during the training and instructors sometimes fear that students will not carry on with their new skill.
Two of the men in the recent I-FILM training were part of the I-DENT training 12 years ago. They candidly shared significant doubts they initially had in their ability to learn the I-DENT curriculum. They even invited Mincaye to come along for the training to inspire and give them confidence. This is documented in an ITEC video entitled Those Same Hands (watch the video at the end of the post).
When God is at work, Satan notices and does his best to influence us with emotions like doubt and anxiety. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The doubts that these pastors faced are a signature of that prowling lion that seeks to devour us.
Dentistry Swings Open Doors to Share the Gospel
In spite of the doubts 12 years ago, these pastors completed the I-DENT training and have continued to use their training frequently over the past decade. They shared numerous stories of how God has used their dental training to share the Gospel with people who otherwise would not have been receptive. It was overwhelming to hear about all the doors that God is opening up for them in a country resistant to Christianity. One of the pastors shared a story about being shooed out of a village that later welcomed him with open arms as a dental heath worker. God provided that opportunity to share the Gospel by meeting a physical need.
The pastors have been improving their dental skills for over a decade, making them extremely competent professionals. They shared stories of how the few dentists in the surrounding area were referring them patients with cases they couldn’t handle! Think about this for a minute… Pastors who were skeptical of their ability to learn I-DENT are being referred patients they can minister to both physically and spiritually. What an amazing God we serve.
Eight New I-FILM Graduates
All eight students graduated from the I-FILM training earlier this month. They learned a lot over the five-day training, and produced their first, short documentaries by the end of the week. Most of the students, including the pastors, shared that the I-FILM training was more involved than they expected. The pastors, however, were able to encourage the whole class with their confidence that God will use their I-FILM training to open doors for the Gospel.
Imagine what God can do in our lives if we hand all our doubts and fears over to Him!
Those Same Hands
ITEC travels to India in 2005 to train pastors in I-DENT.