Monday, May 6, 2013

Batala, the Spiritual Harvest

Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest- John 4:35

Amid the wilderness of Parliament Questions pouring in, I knew it would be too much to undertake a week end trip to Batala, Punjab.  Still I put myself in a standby mode. So on a dreary Friday while I was trying to decipher what members or more precisely their semi-educated aatmis tried to say in less than 150 words, Team A hit the Grand Trunk Rail Road. In 12 hours they would reach their destination. It’s about the same time they might be having Punjabi breakfast the next day that I got a call from the Chairman, Vumsuan. Himself being inducted in Young Man Christian Association (YMCA) the day before, and being a senior officer in the Intelligence Bureau, the Chairman was not able to join team A. Like him two other members had opted to leave Delhi on Saturday which became Team B.
Siam the treasurer of the Missions Committee and an ace photographer was indispensable in the team. Yet he has a family. His wife, who was away on official duty at Dehradun and leaving the two kids in his care, would return on Saturday. So he was in Team B in the company of the Chairman and Lawma.
Lawma had to shoulder certain responsibilities, travel to regional headquarters. On the basis of reports and assessment conducted by himself with some of his sub-ordinates, the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) the premier manpower recruiting agency confers posts at the deputy level in their hundreds every year. Unless the Field Visiting Team is back in Delhi by evening on Sunday, work on Monday would be hectic. He wouldn't compromise with his responsibility. Under the circumstances Lawma opted out. That left only the Chairman and Siam in the Suzuki Wagon R. And I agreed the offer of joining Team B.
I had early lunch. Kim volunteered to arrange to get me my travel accessories. I headed to office full throttle all the way from Dwarka to Parliament, a distance to 21 kilometers. Since I reached office as late as 1 PM, I was barely able to sort the questions and process a handful of the Priority ones leaving the rest to be attended to on my return from Punjab. I had to drive back home and be ready for departure at 8 PM.
During the year 2012 the Tualsung Baptist Missions Committee had a plan to visit the mission field. Pastor John Singsit, the Missionary who physically bears the Cross there had paid a visit to Delhi that year. A reciprocal visit by the Committee could not materialize due to engagement of the committee members to their respective lines of service. The fund was carried over to the year 2013.
Every time there is interaction between the hand-to-mouth government employees in Delhi with the Batala mission, something happened. Last year John brought back a PA sound system on his return to Batala from Delhi. The first ever study team that visited the mission centre this time, had found out that there is a need of projector for visual aid in preaching the gospel. Setting up a school has potential to create a better atmosphere for believers to shine. The pastor’s family lives through the erratic power supply without an inverter. Some more works I might have undertaken had I been an Ambani. The team returned with ‘financial implications’ in mind.
Fortunately, Reverend L. Khamkholun, the ex-General Secretary of the EBCC Headquarters who is in Delhi for medical treatment found the testimony of the study team impressive. The Committee hoped, almost felt assured of the financial commitment of Dorcas Hass, the heart of EBCC. But God helps those who help themselves. Let’s do it! The Committee reconsidered the draft Missionary Day Program.
One single worship service. And the devotees, who witnessed the video footage and the stills brought back by the team offered INR 17000.00. That would be deposited to the account of EBCC Headquarters.  The market rate of a low budget projector being around INR 35000.00, the difference in the cost is left to be met by Dorcas Hall.  
As regards establishment of school, that is desirable if Delhi could afford it. On the part of the Headquarters, the system is such that, an agenda, even if brought in, would be subjected to voting by delegates from the member Churches who have their respective priorities.