Three Charis Bible College (CBC) graduates founded Forgoston International Ministries, located in Chennai, India. Russ Forgoston, his son David, and David's wife Judith began ministering to the people of India two and half years ago. Since then, the missionary trio has implemented three main programs in Chennai, which have been quite fruitful and have seen exponential growth.
One program that the Forgoston's launched is called Grace Discipleship Training. Their program is based on the 48 lesson curriculum Andrew co-authored with Don Krow, called Discipleship Evangelism. Upon witnessing a noticeable lack of biblical foundation in local church leadership, the Forgoston's felt led to start the program in order to reach out to area pastors to give them a better understanding of the Word. The program has helped many leaders come to know God more intimately and as a result, the Forgoston's are receiving reports that some Indian churches are growing and thriving like never before. At the end of 2009, 350 pastors and church leaders had completed the training program.
In order to accommodate growing interest in the Grace Discipleship Training program, David explained that they have decided to video the teachings and dub-in various language translations. This will allow more pastors access to the materials and lessons, enabling them to view them as often as they choose. Although the Forgoston's have only just begun this process, many have expressed interest in these products.
Another program the Forgoston's set into motion is called the Jeevan Bank project, which is a micro-loan program, and so much more. Russ explained that they wanted to offer something that would help the poor. Through the Jeevan Bank, those with an entrepreneurial heart can obtain small loans to start their own businesses. This loan program goes beyond traditional banking practices in that the loan recipients are taught how to manage their money, how to promote their businesses and how to make wise decisions as their businesses grow. The program has been largely successful. A total of 162 micro-loans were given to India's poor in 2009. The Forgoston's have seen many lives transformed through the opportunities this program has offered to the people of India.
"I am continually amazed when I think about the favor that God is pouring out on our mission. We are walking through doors that I never imagined would be opened for us. Things are being set up and plans are going into motion that are absolutely extraordinary," David said.
In 2009 the trio also opened the doors of Charis Bible College, India. The Forgoston's enrolled 60 first year students during their inaugural school year. They currently offer full and part-time programs and correspondence courses are also available. David, Judith and Russ each teach at the school, and use DVD curriculum as well. Students also experience live praise and worship three times a week. The Forgoston's goal is to share the Gospel truth with the people of India through the courses at CBC.
Years ago the Lord placed 2 Timothy 2:2 on Andrew's heart, which became his vision for CBC. In that verse, which is a picture of discipleship, Paul explains to Timothy that he should take what he had learned from Paul and commit the same lessons to faithful men around him who would be able to teach others as well. Like Andrew, the Forgoston's are doing just that; continuing the line of discipleship by being faithful to share with others what they have learned.
"Being a missionary in India for the past couple of years has really stretched me," said Russ. "I believe that my relationship with God has become deeper and stronger and the reason for that is directly linked to me following His call and letting Him fulfill the plan that He has for my life."
The Forgoston's ministry endeavors are captured in the short video posted below. Interestingly, the husband and wife video production team of Jeff and Autumn Nakkula are also CBC graduates and missionaries. Jeff and Autumn founded Catalyst Ministries International, a helps ministry organization that comes along side others already doing the work of the ministry. They utilize their media and TV production skills to help document and promote ministries such as the Forgoston's as they minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jeff and Autumn are also missionaries in India at this time.
To Learn more about the Forgoston's growing ministry visit Forgoston International Ministries. For a more in-depth look at the Forgoston family's call to ministry, watch The Forgoston's Destiny Story and read the article Like Father, Like Son.