When Bible Schools or Weeks first began in India 25 years ago it was easy to house everyone under the same roof. The first two, in 1983 and 84 were actually held in the newly built first stage of the Moinabad Home and were under the auspices of the Hyderabad ecclesia. But they began to outgrow this facility and when the 13th Bible Week was held in 1995, a total of 120 brethren and sisters came from many diverse parts of India to Elim near Bangalore to enjoy a memorable week with studies led by bro. Bob Lloyd.
It was not easy to organise such weeks, some travelled for 40 hours to get there. Another problem was translation – bro. Bob’s talks were translated into 3 different languages with microphones being hooked up to different speakers in different buildings. Then followed an explosion of ecclesial growth as the 20th Century neared its close. We had to cease calling our gatherings “All India” Bible Weeks, bringing together and organising a program for more than 400 brethren and sisters was just not practical.
If you include the Moinabad End of Year Gathering there are now seven Gatherings each year in India (as there is going to be a separate Gathering in Kerala this year). While this solves the translation and excessive travelling difficulties, it minimises the beneficial effects of the interaction between Indian brethren of different cultures and languages, which is a pity. The development also creates a burden on available speakers, although with a greater number of “home grown” speakers being able to step up and take a leading part this is not too much of a burden – but it is a pity when there are no overseas speakers at all available.
The next Bible School (for bre & sisters in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu) is due to be held at Elim, near Bangalore from May 4th to 10th: the one in Kerala, probably from 14th-18th May. Overseas visitors welcome.
– David Caudery