Establishing self-sustaining Samaritan Strategy teams in new areas.

The “Samaritan Strategy” (SamS) program helps churches demonstrate God’s intentions in every area of life.  It uses step-by-step exercises called “disciplines of love” and “seed projects” that serve to disciple people to grow according to the biblical model seen in Jesus’ life.  A SamS project has four phases: (1) network, (2) training, (3) coaching, and (4) commissioning.  Harvest has coordinated over seventy SamS projects around the world, and, in the first semester of 2017, 381 churches participated in the program. In Mumbai, India, Harvest associate Rev. Sanjay Thul coordinated one of these projects and here is his story.

NETWORK

January, 2016 – Contact
We praise God for the opportunity to explore Navi-Mumbai –New Bombay– as a new area for team building. In this environment of multiple languages and cultures, churches are growing, but it was challenging to reach locals and migrants, people from cities, towns, and countryside and offer them the SamS program. I contacted ten pastors and leaders by phone and emails, and, at first, their response was both inquisitive and suspicious of what Harvest Foundation and SamS would have to offer.

February and March, 2016 – Vision casting meetings
From my initial contacts, I shared the vision and mission of Harvest with four pastors, Rev. Daniel Patole (Hindustani Covenant Church – HCC), Rev. Ebenezer Dharmendra (Messiah Assembly of God – MAoG), Rev. Vishwas Ingle (Church of North India, Panvel), and Rev. Alexander (Pastor of Christian & Missionary Alliance, Vashi). We had four meetings to cast the vision for this program, and in two of them I spoke to larger groups. On Sunday, February 21st, I shared “God’s Present Intentions – The Church as Window” to approximately fifty people. On Monday, March 17, I talked to fifteen pastors and leaders in their monthly gathering.  Equipping the churches and their leaders were experiences of immense joy.

Mumbai Group


TRAINING

April, 2016 – Wholistic Ministry Training (Basic Level)
Praise God for the wonderful time that we had with twenty-five pastors and leaders, men and women who were able to attend the training at the MAoG Church. Harvest Associate, Rev. Vijay Rajulwala, joined me to teach our eight core lessons.  Daniel Patole shared at the morning devotions and Anugrah Krutwik Patole and Uriya Pani helped with music. The participants enjoyed times of prayer, discussion, and the exercise with Kingdom Math cut outs. They were overjoyed with the discoveries, and looked forward to attending further sessions. The hosts assisted us with food, tea, and snacks. We praise God for His help, and thank the praying and supporting partners for their participation.

Mumbai Group Training

Mumbai Participants in Training 

Mumbai Seed Project – Planning 


June 26, 2016 -Wholistic Ministry Training (Advanced Level)
In the second training, the participants better understood and embraced the vision.  They were encouraged to plan and do at least one seed project and report in the next training. Their participation, enthusiasm, and fervor increased, to the point of moving them to be more involved in community life.  Some testimonies:


Mumbai Discipline of Love


COACHING

August 2016 – Training of Trainers(TOT)
We gathered twelve people at MAoG Church, Panvel for a TOT. Vijay taught the topics “A Competent Disciple Maker” and “Discipleship and the Samaritan Strategy Program”. I taught “Small Group Leadership Training”, “Discipleship and Planning”, and “What Kind of Disciples? What Kind of Churches?”, using Harvest materials and blogs. The participants reported a seed project:

Mumbai Seed Project – 1 Before

Mumbai Seed Project – 2 During

Mumbai Seed Project – 3 After


October, 2016 – Mentorship
I mentored fifteen people using phone, Skype calls, emails, and face-to-face meetings.  In a two-day visit to the area, I mentored six people. They prepared  to teach a vision conference at the Sukhapur Baptist Church (SBPC), Panvel on October 28, 2016, and at the MAoG and HCC churches combined on October 29, 2016.

Mumbai Training


COMMISSIONING

October, 2016 –  Vision casting presentations

At MAoG/HCC we had an attendance of twenty-four people.  Rev. Mathew Paul taught the lesson “Our Target-God’s Glory”, Pastor Debsingh taught “God’s Present Intention – Church as Window”, Pastor R. Samuelraj taught “Jesus Model for Growth and Service”, Rev. Ebenezer Dharmendra taught “Discipline of Love”.  They showed the video “Church as Window” and photos with seed project examples from around the world, Kolkota, and Panvel. I shared about Harvest vision and mission. Local churches provided accomodations, tea, and food –chicken biryani and paneer biryani.  Rev. E. Dharmendra testified that the church participants were blessed and encouraged.

Mumbai Commissioning 


June, 2017 – Commissioning

We thank God for helping us do the two vision casting presentations of the SamS program in South-West Mumbai, Panvel. We have been waiting for this final step almost seven months until the pastors and leaders who were equiped through the wholistic ministry training took up the challenge to complete the project. Rev. Daniel, Rev. Dharmendra, Rev. Mathew Paul, Rev.Uriya Pani, and Pastor Debsingh invited their own members from HCC, MaoG, and Providence Evangelical Bible Seminary to participate. There were three groups with forty-nine, twenty-two, and twenty-seven participants. The subjects were taught with great enthusiasm. The participants were motivated as they heard and received the challenge to serve Christ with the church as Jesus served. There was offering collected to meet the food expenses. This was part of their participation as they were encouraged to become self-sustained. I stayed at Pastor Debsingh’s house. The facilitators were encouraged to conduct training sessions and equip the churches arround Mumbai, for which they have made the commitment and asked us to pray. We praise God for the strenght and guidence in the SamS ministry. We thank God for the help and support raised for us to serve and equip His people in this part of the world.  Thank you very much for supporting and praying for us.

Mumbai Fellowship 

THANK YOU
We are grateful to the Harvest team in India and to the participants in the SamS project in Mumbai.  Your servant spirit and collaboration blessed many people.  We thank the donors who so generously contributed to this project, without your participation we would not be able to go that far.  We praise the Lord for His provision, guidance, and protection, and  pray that this experience may be multiplied for His glory.

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