The work in India has produced over 2,000,000 baptisms, has built schools, clinics, and church buildings, preachers' training, publications and bibles, Lectures and Studies, Women's programs and Foster homes, even Gospel Films to be used in Conversion.
Jerris has been involved with the team that worked to produced all of this. Jerris first teamed up with Ron Clayton in 1987. The autonomous Team meets in Hydrabad to discuss shared goals. They discuss the statistics that are kept on the India Church of Christ and work on common goals.
Jerris has been a preacher, evangelist, and missionary for many years. Originally from Snyder, Texas Jerris N. Bullard graduated from Lubbock Christian University, Abilene Christian University, and Sunset School of Preaching. He has preached in Texas, Pennsylvania, and spent 11 years in Great Falls, Virginia. In 1985, he became a full-time missionary to India under the oversight of the Elders at the Manassas, Virginia Church of Christ. Jerris is married to Juanita, who is originally from Baltimore. They have both completed numerous mission journeys to India; by 2008 Jerris had made 51 and Juanita 20 mission trips to India.
Jerris personally works to raise his own funds each year to do his part of the work. But the work is much larger than most imagine. Although Jerris began this work over 20 years ago, his partner Juanita, only began her work in the year 1999. She is now able to teach the women, a thing that was not done enough in the past because of the native traditions. Jerris is supported by individual Christians within the Church of Christ.
His work is alway ongoing, and always growing. Just as thing cost more here, they are beginning to cost a lot more in India as well. In a year the cost of printing bibles has gone up 80%, and a plane flight from $1,500 to $1,850, and we can expect that to increase quickly in the near future.
Our goal is to teach the Word to as many people as possible throughout all of India. In the past we also worked in Bangladesh and Nepal—the wars plus civil unrest have caused us to stop working in those places which have large Muslim populations. We have worked with the idea that the native people are best suited to evangelize their own countries. This means that Americans in the short-time we have to work hi India likely cannot master their languages, cultures, or religions. Therefore, we have established schools of preaching (based on models of schools of preaching here in the states) in which we teach and train the native evangelists to go to their own people with the Gospel. We have a philosophy which we call the "4-T" approach to the work. This may be informative: "Teach 'em...Train'em...Trust'em...and, Turn'em loose." Our goal is to make the Indian brethren full partners with us in the work now—not in the distant future. This must be an Indian work for it to ultimately succeed. They plan the work with us, teach in our preacher-training schools, and are, in fact, doing the bulk of the work. We give them their due credit for their labor for the Lord and His glory.
EQUIPPING NATIVE INDIAN PREACHERS
The training of our native Indian preachers usually takes place in a school of preaching. Our schools range from one-day per week schools to six week schools, to three month schools, to six month schools, one three year school, and three two year schools. All the schools require some funding—from bus fares to meals, to clothing for the students, to salaries for the teachers who are also full-time preachers. This means that we need a few dollars for nearly any one-day school to as much as $600--$850 dollars per month for the longer more advanced schools with dormitory space for 15-35 students.
We send these trained men out to do their work.. .their ministries. We follow-up on all of our graduates as often as possible. The follow-up is often done by experienced native preachers since there are just too many men for us Americans to see. I began working with 45 native preachers who had been converted and trained by Brother J. C. Bailey and Charles Scott—both missionaries with whom I also worked. Today, we have a work force of over 20,000 native Gospel preachers. We give all the glory to God. He has done a mighty work hi our day and age. Of these men, we (including 6 other full-time American team members who work with us, and who are responsible for their own India mission work budgets) support less than 200 native preachers. Most get $50.00 per month, a few get $75.00 per month, and fewer still get $100.00 or more per month. Those who are supported are necessary to assist all of the American missionaries in doing our campaign work, in teaching at our schools of preaching, and in serving as our interpreters. Juanita and I support, through the work funds we raise, 25 full-tune native preachers.
As the work grows so does the need to train preachers. That means we also must construct a few church buildings which double as schools of preaching. We have 5 such buildings under construction (or in the planning stage now) ranging in cost from $14,000 to $65,000 each. We rarely construct buildings for the brethren which only have a single use purpose such as, worship. Most of our over 50,000 congregations are house-churches and do not have a "church—building" as we normally use the term. Therefore, we can say that most of the congregations are self-supported. Unfortunately, they are very, very poor people and nearly any unusual need sends the brethren running to the nearest missionary from the states seeking help for their "overload." By the grace of God, through your gifts, we are often able to help. We give thanks to God for this.
A TEAM OF EIGHT AMERICANS
There are approximately 35-40 American preachers who are full-time in the Indian Mission Work. Of these, we work with a team of eight. One of those is Ron Clayton. Ron and I formed our team in 1987 and have worked together in harmony all of these years. Each Team Member is separately responsible for raising his own funds including his own salary. We do not co-mingle funds. We are each responsible to our own Elderships. We co-operate, but are independent. We may work wherever we wish and with whomever (meaning other faithful Americans in the work or any Indian brethren of our choosing) we wish in doing our work in India. This is God's work. We are His co-workers. None of the Indian brethren belong to me or to any other American missionary or team of workers. All of us, Indians and Americans, are God's people and brethren washed in the precious blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Juanita and I go to India twice each year January through March and late July through mid-September. When we are in the states we are busy most of the time fund-raising and reporting to brethren who support us in the India mission work. We would be honored if we may be of service to you in the India Mission Work. If we may visit with you and show you some slides or have a power point presentation of our work we would be pleased to do so. Of course, we seek your prayers and financial help in carrying out this part of the Great Commission. Thank you in advance for your regular gifts and prayers.
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