After a gap of three years, the Lord enabled Brother Bernie Wold to leave the USA on 25th December and personally see the GEM INDIA Campus and the other ministries in India, from late 27th December 2012 through 9th January 2013. Bernie consistently anointed and prayed for all who came forward at the close of each service in all seven GEM churches.
December 28: We went to see the construction site in Vijayawada in our GEM vehicle and reached back to GEM Campus by evening. The progress of the construction greatly amazed Bernie. When this structure is completed, we will be able to officially launch GEM activities in this urban area.
December 29: Bernie spent time with the Murala family, rested some, and went to our first meeting in a local village Kunaparajuparva where GEM Pastor Samuel is serving. Many people attended and Bernie preached to the Christians and non-Christians attended the meeting. Message: John 21 – “Do you love Me?”
December 30: Bernie preached in GEM INDIA Campus Church. Message: Matthew 16: “Deny yourself, Take up your cross, and Follow Me.”Soon after the service, we traveled to an open-air gospel meeting in a post-Christmas celebration at Palakol which is 90 miles from the campus—a four hour journey. Bernie drove for a while. At the meeting, Bernie briefly spoke on John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” I preached after Bernie was finished. We got back to GEM campus at 1:45 AM.
December 31: Bernie preached at GEM INDIA Campus Church before midnight and did the cake cutting for 2013 at 12:15 AM. Message: What our heavenly Father does for His followers.” The service ended at 1:30 AM.
January 1: Bernie preached again on New Year’s Day at GEM INDIA Church. Message: “Not Able but Available to God.” Then we traveled to K.Illindraparru, 60 miles away from GEM Campus. Bernie preached in our GEM church that evening and we stayed in a house in the same village. Message: James 1:1-4 – “Interpret your Obstacles from God’s Perspective.” GEM Pastor Agamana Rao serves this church.
January 2: After resting and fellowshipping in K.Illindraparru during the day, we traveled to Surampudi, the village in which I was born and worked as a farm boy in my early years. GEM Pastor Rajarao received us at 8:30 PM. After Bernie anointed and prayed for two of our pastors and a visiting pastor, he then anointed each person in the audience while praying for each one. Several people were overcome by the Holy Spirit, many people were healed, and a demon was cast out of one person. When Bernie was ready to preach, there was a temporary power outage so Bernie preached in the dark. Message: “The Manifestations and Workings of the Holy Spirit continue.” The service ended at 12:30 AM. From this GEM church, we traveled to a local train station. Bernie, Joshua and I got on a “sleeper” train at 2:40 AM and travelled for six hours to Vizag.
January 3: Pastor Daniel, another GEM pastor, received us at Vizag and drove us through 60 miles of mountain roads until we reached Araku Valley, a border city between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states. After checking into a hotel, we drove on some back roads until we could not drive any further. We then hiked for more than three miles to a primitive mountain village located at an elevation of 3,482 feet about sea level. It is a dangerous forest where terrorists hide and bears and jaguars live. Due to the setting sun, we had a short worship service with these tribal people and then hiked down the mountain as it got dark. We drove to another mountain village. Bernie spoke again in a house church before returning to Araku Valley to sleep. Message: Joshua 6:1-21; I Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4 – “Seeing Obstacles through God’s Eyes as He Refines us for His Purpose.”
January 4: We visited the very famous Borra Caves, some famous water falls, and a coffee plantation in the area. We had the worship service in Daniel’s church in the evening where Bernie taught. Message: James 5:16; Galatians 6:1-3 - “Accountability.”
January 5: We left Araku Valley in the morning, reached Vizag, and drove to the Bay of Bengal. We enjoyed seeing the warm waves for 30 minutes and then hurried to the train station. We found our seating in the train at 3:08 PM—two minutes before the train began the seven hour journey to Vijayawada. Abraham received us at Vijayawada railway station and we reached GEM Campus at 1:00 AM.
January 6: Bernie preached and I served Communion in GEM INDIA Campus Church. Message: Ephesians 1:1-14; Acts 15:11 – “God’s Abundant and Available Grace.” Bernie freely distributed fifty sarees and blankets to the women and men who have been regularly attending the church. GEM INDIA New Year calendars were also shared. In the evening, we visited another GEM church where Pastor John Babu is the pastor. Banjara tribal people and shepherd caste people are the members of this church. This church is located in harsh bush country. Bernie distributed candies to the folks and preached a sweet sermon. Message: John 6:5-13; Luke 21:1-4; Acts 4:13 – “Ordinary in our strength or God’s greatness in us?”
January 7: Bernie spent the day talking, anointing, and praying with the three families that comprise the GEM INDIA Campus Staff.
January 8: Bernie packed his things, we took final pictures, and we began our ten hour journey to Hyderabad. While Abraham drove our GEM vehicle most of the time, Bernie drove for a while. Bernie, my sons, and I discussed about the needs and the future plans for developing GEM INDIA. We reached the GEM church of Pastor Vijay at 9:00 PM. Bernie preached again. Message: Ephesians 2:1-10; II Corinthians 9:8-15; II Corinthians 12:5-10 – “Motivated by the Grace of God.” The service ended at midnight. We drove for ten minutes and stayed in guest rooms at Andhra Pradesh Bible College.
January 9: Bernie preached to the Bible college students at 8:40 AM. Message: Isaiah 55:3-5; Revelation 1:5-6; Acts 1:8 – “God’s Three Witnesses through the Ages.” At 11:30 AM, he taught for one hour in Vijay’s church. Message: Genesis 3 – “Character is built through God’s Testing and Proving.” We started to the airport at 3:00 PM to bid goodbye to Brother Bernie. We were sad to leave him at the airport in the late afternoon while he awaited his flight to Paris and them back to Los Angeles.
We thank God for sending Bernie, blessing him with strength, and protecting him during the entire journey. We thank Brother Bernie for adjusting to our Indian food, our culture, and our cultural behaviors. We also thank him for taking the time to prepare sermons of exhortation and to anoint/to pray for many people. We thank all of you who faithfully prayed for Bernie during this latest trip to India.
In His Service, Brother Joseph Murala
Reminiscence: Though my four trips to India have always confronted me with similar challenges, this most recent trip was the most blessed one to me because of God’s “indescribable gift” which is grace. I have never been bathed in His grace to such a wonderful degree. I desire that my inner strength will continue to fade away, so His eternally abundant grace may fully empower me for His glory. I spiritually leaned on the chest of Jesus and heard His heart beat. I remained calm through most of the difficulties in India. Only two times as a passenger did I really struggle with agitation because of two reckless drivers. I was able to preach/teach in all seven GEM INDIA churches plus two other churches; I saw the progress of our GEM structure in Vijayawada; we plan to open our GEM English Medium School on June 1, 2013; I had wonderful fellowship with our GEM INDIA Staff; I loved being with our orphans and playing cricket with them; I was blessed to see how the orphans are being taught in the ways of Jesus; I experienced God’s unending and all powerful grace working in and through me during the entire trip; though I was ready for preaching/teaching, God directed me each time to deliver His fifteen messages just a few minutes before I would speak; God always gave me His tremendous strength to speak; I returned to the USA excited what God did in India.
Enabled by His grace, Bernie Wold