Monday, April 7, 2014

Election 2014

India has begun it's national election today.  Every five years, the country votes for new members of Parliament and elects a new Prime Minister.  There are some things about the election process here that are strange to us, who are used to the American political process.
The election just starts today.  It won't be finished today...or this week, or even this month.  The voting will be going on from now until May 12th.  (That's a lot different than our one day elections!)  The results of the voting will be published on the 16th of May, more than a month after the voting starts!  That's a lot different than the results of our US elections being "projected" before the polls even close!

The different states vote on different days.  Some of the larger states have more than one day of voting.  Votes will be cast in Chandigarh on April 10th, and in the state of Punjab on April 30th.  The reason for the staggered voting is mostly due to security concerns.  There are always riots and violence associated with the elections. (Don't worry, we stay at home and away from polling stations on election days.)  There will be over 2 million police and security officers dispatched through the country to protect the polling stations.  There are also concerns about corruption.  Somehow, this staggered process is supposed to cut down on fraud. (Hmmm..I wonder)
High tech voting booth!
Interesting facts about elections in India:
This election there are 814.5 million people registered to vote.  This is the largest number of voters in the world.
More than 100 million new voters are eligible to place their votes in this election.
This election is estimated to cost 35 billion rupees (about 580 million US dollars). This excludes the cost of security and what individual political parties have spent.
The parties are estimated to have spent 305 billion rupees ($5 billion US dollars).  This is second only to what was spent by US political parties in the 2012 election ($7 billion US dollars).
Please pray for this election.  Things could change drastically here in India depending on which candidate comes into office.  We are praying for God's guidance, protection, and peace, no matter what the outcome of this election, because we know that all things are in His hands.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bible Conference 2014

Thank you to all those that prayed for our Bible Conference!  Everything went extremely well, and all the meetings were a blessing.  The attendance was high every night (over 150 every night and the last night over 200), and we saw people saved and hearts touched. 
There were pastors visiting from different parts of India, and we enjoyed good fellowship.  We especially enjoyed our fellowship with Pastor and Mrs. Eda from Mumbai.  They have been serving God there for 33 years!  This couple is always a blessing and encouragement to us in the ministry.
We held separate classes in the mornings for the pastors and ladies.  Alyssa and Naomi were pressed into service as translators for the ladies classes. This is the first time they have translated in a formal class setting.  It is a blessing to see them using their knowledge of the languages to help in the ministry.
We are so thankful for the ways we are seeing God working in hearts.  Our desire is to see souls come to Christ and follow Him wherever He may lead them in life. 
They were singing "Jesus is Coming Soon".  Reminded us of our college days, singing this same song in the choir.
Thank you for your prayers for our family and the ministry here.