HARVEST FAITH BIBLE COLLEGE (IMPHAL MANIPUR) in partnership with Capture and Release Ministries Inc.
There are currently fifteen students enrolled at the College. I arrived in Imphal on the 13th March, 2016 and left on 18th April, 2016. We didn’t advertise the college at all. All the students have come in response to the revival taking place across Manipur. They all have home fellowships of varying sizes. We only accepted students that are already in some form of ministry. The majority of the students have come from Saitol and are from Meitei (Hindu), Vaiphei and Kuki tribes. Only one of the students was Spirit Filled although they had all come in response to what they had heard about through the revivals.
The Indian culture is to treat the teacher with complete respect and not to argue. This aspect of their culture made it difficult to see whether or not they were grasping what was taught. However, within the first few classes they began to open up and were prepared to ask many questions as the bible shed light on the doctrinal beliefs of their churches and to realize that I expected them to debate their beliefs. Also as a sign of respect to the teacher, they have been taught not to take notes while the teacher is speaking. Once again I had to remove that expectation and I am pleased to see the students taking notes as classes are taught. The majority of students have home fellowships in their homes and the challenge of the College is to further enhance the growth into strong and growing churches.
I was expecting the students to be more advanced in their learning and it became clear that they needed the milk of the word first. All of the students have had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and were slain in the Holy Spirit although none spoke in tongues. The experience was the first time for many of them although they had heard about such things from the revivals in their own areas. I taught a lot of basic theology and quite a bit of pneumatology. It was difficult going because Minthang translated into two languages making things slow going but not impossible. The students loved the classes. When discussing the basics of pneumatology, the frequent response was why hasn’t our church taught us this? Why indeed.
They were also given a church planting assignment which opened their eyes up to the ways that their church plant could be implemented.
We took some of the students to our preaching assignments and had some involved in the ministry program. A number of them are very good singers and some were given the opportunity to deliver their testimony in front of a larger audience- a very good experience for them.
I taught the students how to use short skits in evangelism. I also taught them several kids’ games as a means for attracting an audience and for the possibility of running a kids’ program. The students loved the games and could see the possibilities in evangelism.
Before I left a very kind person contributed a donation to the bible college running expenses. This was a big weight off my mind as the running costs of the bible college are met by faith.