Regional Director Visits South and Southeast Asia

PHILIPPINES—Australasia-Oceania Regional Director Aaron Hudson took a 15-day trip from February 9 through 23, visiting the Philippines, Singapore, India and Sri Lanka.

While in the Philippines, Mr. Hudson met with key personnel involved in projects for moving the regional office, spent the Sabbath in Manila and attended a wedding. On February 12, he and Preaching Elder Broderick Tongco traveled to Singapore to meet with Vince Cheong and Maisie Young, the only members in the “Lion City.” The two Singaporeans were spiritually energized through a Bible study, updates on God’s Work, encouragement and counsel over warm fellowship and spicy Asian cuisine.

On February 14, the two ministers flew 2,345 miles northwest to Mumbai, India, where six of the nine members in India live. Member Anup Medhi flew in from New Delhi, while Sanjay Davis took a 24-hour-long train ride from Chennai, eastern India. Member Lillian Basani from the state of Andra Pradesh was unable to come. For two days, the ministers spent time with the members in individual counsel and group fellowship. On the third day, the group went out for coffee and a meal. On the Sabbath, the members were encouraged through the messages to endure unto the end and to remember God’s promise of spiritual inheritance. Mr. Hudson also showed them videos on the Kingdom of David and Solomon Discovered exhibit and discussed Feast of Tabernacles plans with them. Out of an ocean of 1.4 billion people in India, these few continue to back God’s Work despite the trials and tests.

On February 18, Mr. Hudson and Mr. Tongco traveled north to New Delhi to meet with a family of new contacts: Dennis Ghoghara and his wife, Abhilasha, and their 14-year-old daughter, Neriah. Living in Rajasthan, a state in northern India, Ghoghara first learned about the truth in 1999 after someone introduced him to Church literature. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Hudson invited them to the Church, increasing the Church’s population in India by 33 percent.

From New Delhi, the ministers flew south to Colombo, Sri Lanka, where they met with a former Church member, conducted a baptismal counselling and had dinner with all nine Sri Lankan brethren at a member’s home. The next day, Mr. Hudson gave an update on the Work and a Bible study, followed by a group lunch and individual counselings. At sunset, Gihani Fernando was baptized. The following day, the group rented a van and traveled two hours south of Negombo to visit the ancient City of Galle.

While on the road, the members continued fellowshipping, laughing and entertaining themselves through carpool karaoke.

From Sri Lanka, the two ministers returned home, eager to share their experience with Australian members. Mr. Hudson said he believed this trip proved to be deeply inspiring seeing how God’s people, despite being so far and so few in South Asia and despite their difficult circumstances, are growing strong in faith, joyfully enduring and supporting God’s Work.