A couple of months ago I thought I was heading to Bangladesh, but due to some last-minute changes to their immigration policies, I wasn't able to make the trip. So, when I returned from Nepal a few weeks ago I sent in my Bangladesh visa application and prayed and waited. Just a week ago I received a notification that my visa was being processed. When it arrived in the mail a few days later I was surprised and thankful that they not only approved the visa for this visit but also granted my request for a five-year visa! That means that my visits to Bangladesh should be much easier for the next five years!!! Thank you, Lord!
So, tomorrow I am scheduled to fly from St. Louis to Chicago to Istanbul to Dhaka, Bangladesh. I also have a local flight from Dhaka to Saidpur scheduled a couple of hours after I arrive in Dhaka. This flight will save me about 11+ hours in the car and will allow us to begin the pastoral training seminar in the northern part of Bangladesh one day sooner.
Pastor Monotosh has a full schedule planned for us. While in Bangladesh I will have the privilege of working alongside the pastors, teachers, elders, evangelists, and leaders of the Bangladesh Lutheran Church Mission (BLCM) to proclaim the Gospel at several BLCM congregations, preaching stations, and evangelism fields. I will also have the opportunity to teach a three-day pastoral training seminar for fourteen pastors, elders, and evangelists.
I am excited and thankful for the privilege and opportunity to work with these dedicated disciples of Jesus to proclaim the truth of God's saving word in this nation that is predominately Muslim. The U.S. government estimates the total population of Bangladesh to be 159.5 million. According to a 2013 census, Sunni Muslims constitute 89% of the population, 10% Hindus, with the remaining 1% being Buddhist and Christian. (U.S. State Dept. website) There is much work to be done in Bangladesh. Praise the Lord for this opportunity to serve Him by assisting those who preach the Gospel to the people of Bangladesh!
Your prayers for safe and uneventful travel are requested and much appreciated!