I had been asked to present a sermon to the graduating class of Grace Christian Bible College on Saturday. The theme I was given was “Feed My Sheep”. Jesus told Peter to do this not once but three times. Sounds pretty important, and that’s putting it lightly. I look at it as a speech that is meant to inspire troops for battle. Yes, as Christians this is not our home. The world is a battle field. What better way to rally these troops on the importance of feeding your sheep then through the God inspired word.
Not only are there those students from Kerala, but also Orissa and Bihar provinces. These provinces are in north eastern India and are more hostile to Christians. Bihar has been referred to as the “cemetery of missionaries.” Because each province in India has their own language, the sermon was translated in two languages, Malayalam and Hindi.
When we arrived at the college and departed the vehicle, we were corralled into a room with 20 graduates clothed in black caps and gowns. Temperatures were in the 90’s with high humidity. We were given caps gowns to put on as well. I felt so unworthy to be giving this sermon. After waiting for several minutes that felt like hours due to the heat, we were lined up and walked down the rocky hill to where the ceremony would be held. As we headed towards the stage music was playing. Once again I felt unworthy.
After I preached the sermon, it was time for the presentation of graduation certificates which was similar to graduations are done in the United States. After certificates were presented, there was a laying on of hands. The mission team was asked to lay hands on the graduates and pray over them. It was amazing how God was and still is moving.
Once the praying was complete, it was time to have pictures taken with the graduates before we departed. When we made the return walk back up the hill, the hill was lined with the graduates. With humble hearts we had a chance to all look into there eyes and speak words of encouragement, which here means saying “praise the Lord”. There could be no better to end it than by praising God and giving him the Glory.