My wife, Lois, and I were in the hall of the host hotel at the 2008 IPHC World Conference in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, when we saw Bishop Moses Kumar and his lovely wife, Dora, coming toward us. After greetings were exchanged, the bishop asked if Lois was the actual Lois Hanson, who served as the secretary to the IPHC World Missions Director, Rev. R. L. Rex, during the years of 1973-1977. After thanking Lois for doing extensive research assisting him in the writing of his first Ph. D. dissertation, Stepping Stones – A History of IPHC Missions in India. A firm friendship was initiated, and the bond during that time culminated with an invitation to come to India for a time of ministry at our earliest opportunity.
We began ministry in India around 2009, and every year we were able to teach and minister to the pastors, church planters, and local church leaders. In 2011, we wrote to our churches in the States.
The Hyderabad Bible College in South India is advancing to newer levels of ministry in the training of church planters and equipping their ministers for growth, evangelism, and discipleship. The bishop of India, Dr. Moses Kumar, has a vision for the enlargement of the Bible College to meet the opportunities of ministry in India. In order to meet the challenge, the library of the school needs to be upgraded. Lois and I will be going there to teach the leaders of the conferences and to set up and organize the library on a computerized system of classification.
We need up-to-date computers and theological reference books in English, Hindi, and Telegu. Operation Teaching Tools and Carolina Graduate School of Divinity are helping with E-books and books in print. However, we still need at least three computers and software to classify and access the books. Would you help equip Church Planters and Pastors to fulfill the Great Commission in our lifetime?
Bishop Moses Kumar is seeing growth as his leaders are challenging each one to bring one each year since our two seminars there. Lois was busy training library staff and cataloguing a mountain of books for the Bible School. At last report, there are over 3,000 books in the computerized system.
In 2011, we taught the church planters “The Ten Steps of Discipleship.” Bishop Moses Kumar challenged his pastors to lead their congregations to adopt the goal of “Each One, Bring One, Each Year.” I returned a few months later to teach the “Ten Steps” to the local church and conference leaders.
Lois set up the Hyderabad Bible College Library on a computerized classification system. Dean Bapujee said, “We have been longing for this library for years.” Bishop Moses Kumar stated: “Thanks to the commitment and passion of Sister Lois Hoyle our library is in the right hands. Now, we have a very well-organized and computerized library in the city of Hyderabad. It will help bring us accreditation for our graduate program and will bless many generations to come.” Muchas gracias to the Texas Latin Conference, especially El Aposento Alto Church, for faithfully contributing to our ministry fund, making the purchase of the computer and library software possible.
In 2014, we taught at the Church Planters School, as well as a Women’s Ministry retreat, a couples’ retreat, and a prayer retreat in India. Hugh also ministered in Visakhapatnam, India, with leaders from all of the Indian conferences, a trip that took him on a 12-hour train ride to the coast, which was a new experience for him.
In 2016, Dr. Hugh Skelton accompanied us. Dr. Skelton was director of the Center for International Christian Ministry when Bishop Moses Kumar was a student. We spent two weeks ministering at the School of Church Planting. Hugh Skelton, even at 87 years of age, gave a tremendous challenge to the young ministers, sharing many examples of his personal testimony, through many years of ministry. Lois also helped get the library software updated and spoke at a couples’ retreat at the local church.
Through the years, we have seen the Donald Memorial Church and Ashram grow in numbers, outreach, and vision. I was encouraged by the testimony of one of the members of the church, brother Israel, who, a year after the class was taught, stood in front of the congregation and shared our teaching on the Drama of Redemption along with skillfully drawn diagrams.
Lois and I value our friendship with Bishop Moses Kumar and Dora, as well as Bishop Samuel Moses and his wife, Smitha, as they provide exemplary leadership in South India. We have wept with them at the passing of Dora’s mother and rejoiced with them at the wedding of their daughter, Smitha. We have been made to feel a part of their natural family as we are all partakers in the family of God.
Congratulations on reaching the 25th year of ministry in Hyderabad. Donald Memorial Ashram has grown from rocky desert land to a beautiful church, a hostel, a three-story Bible College building, and a school to accommodate over a thousand elementary and secondary school students.
Our prayer is that through the Power of the Holy Spirit, this ministry will grow from grace unto grace, unto the Coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and King.