Photo Tour: South Asia Bible Commentary Launch
by Ben Homan
The ceremony marked a groundbreaking moment in the church in India and across South Asia. In the photo below, an attendee at the event reads through the program, which includes the following prayer:
Grant us to be grateful from our hearts for the endeavors of your servants who with the zeal of the Spirit wrote the South Asia Bible Commentary. May it enable your people to understand your Word and obey and apply it in their contexts so that our nations are prepared for the Master to come to harvest his field for the everlasting Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It was such a blessing to be able to attend this event. Whenever I fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, I am sharpened and inspired by their passion to extend the Gospel even in the midst of persecution and opposition. In the photo below, I am talking to Langham Scholar Jacob Cherian, one of the Editors of the South Asia Bible Commentary and Vice President and Dean of Faculty at the Centre for Global Leadership Development (formerly the Southern Asia Bible College) in Bangalore, India.
The photo below shows our very own Chris Wright, International Ministries Director of Langham Partnership, delivering the sermon. Following is an excerpt:
This South Asia Bible Commentary, then, is not only a gift to South Asia – which we pray will enable the great Christian populations of the countries in this region to fulfill the calling of our faith, to obey the teaching and follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by works of love, service, justice and the care of creation, to live as good citizens, bringing blessing to their own countries and nations;
But also, it is a gift from South Asia to the rest of the global Christian church in many other lands and cultures, who, as they eagerly receive and read it, will hear the voice of this region speaking through and alongside the voice of the Scriptures we share in common throughout the world. That is our hope and prayer in Langham Partnership.
The launch event was a time of celebratory thanksgiving, filled with bright colors and joyful Indian music and worship. The photo below shows the Indian musicians performing for the event and the sign behind them captures the essence of the South Asia Bible Commentary: Faithful, Clear and Relevant.
My participation at this event was a humbling reminder that God uses Langham Partnership to equip and resource leaders who then go on to serve Christ and grow His Kingdom. This is made possible because of people like you. Below is a picture of Langham Scholar Havilah Dharamraj, a senior writer and editor of the South Asia Bible Commentary and professor and dean at the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies in Bangalore, India. After the ceremony, she said, “It’s only with writing for the South Asia Bible Commentary that I really came to realize what my doctoral studies were for. I came to realize what a great gift Langham had given me in training me to be able to read the scriptures faithfully, and that this gift should be used for the church in my part of the world. Writing for the person in the pew, for the man on the road, that was such a joy and such a great privilege.”
Pictured second from the right is Langham Scholar Finny Philip. Finny is the president of Filadelfia Bible College in Udaipur, which not only sends students to plant churches and help equip rural pastors in the region, but also operates Open Door Publications, which prints and distributes Christian books in the region, including the South Asia Bible Commentary.
Pictured below is Rahul, one of Finny’s staff members who works to help equip the church throughout northern India. I remember very clearly something he said on my last trip to India as it relates to the South Asia Bible Commentary, and it is the reason for the joyful celebration.
“If you have a book in our language (context), you have Christ in our culture.”
Pictured below is a pastor and his wife in the Rajasthan province in northern India. For many pastors who serve across India, the South Asia Bible Commentary will be an invaluable resource as they shepherd new believers with God’s Word.
Pictured below is his congregation, who walk miles to reach this humble church on a hill. Not pictured are the people gathered outside, listening to the message through a loud speaker. In the majority world, theological resources like the South Asia Bible Commentary do not collect dust on the shelf, but equip pastors on the frontlines to teach the Bible to their flocks.