28th January 2017

India Update #2

The team in India are now nearing the end of their trip. Caner and Joanna Mutu have sent us a quick update about what they've been doing.

Greetings from Mumbai #2 from Hastings Community Trust on Vimeo.

Andrew Bunt

Posted by Andrew Bunt


26th January 2017

India Update #1

A small group from King's are currently in India, serving some of the churches with which we have relationship. Here's a quick update from Paul Mann telling us a little about what's coming up over the next few days.

Greetings from Mumbai #1 from Hastings Community Trust on Vimeo.

Andrew Bunt

Posted by Andrew Bunt


7th February 2016

Mumbai trip report

Crazy roads, beautiful colours, curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner, overwhelming poverty, and among it all incredibly vibrant churches – these are just a few of the things seven of us experienced on our trip to India last week.

Our church has been connected to The Life Church in Mumbai for over a decade. Some of you will remember when Praveen, who leads the church there, preached here in August 2014. We've been building relationships, looking to support the churches connected to Praveen and their work among the poor for some time.

Paul has visited a few times and last year he went out there will Aled. This year a team of us went – Paul and Aled, Phil and Jo Gobbett, Martin and Sue Clarke, and me. We arrived two Saturdays ago and the first thing we did, after a little sleep, was head out for our first curry breakfast. We had an introductory meeting and lunch with Praveen and his wife Jennifer and then were whisked off to shop for our India Day outfits for church the next morning.

At The Life Church we were welcomed by their congregation of about 200 with garlands and Paul preached in English, translated into Hindi. The rest of the team brought words of knowledge and there was a flood of people to the front for prayer – some responding to the words; others just wanting prayer from us. It was a great privilege to pray for probably well over 100 people, before lots of them wanted pictures taken with us.

Not long after the meeting finished we set off on a bus for the Builders' Camp – a three-day retreat for over 40 leaders in the church. Paul spoke three times and the leaders from Mumbai said that they were particularly blessed by having our team there to pray for people. There was incredibly joyful, exuberant praise – it was a lot of fun as we all worshipped God together.

After the camp, when we were back in Mumbai, we went to visit a hair and beauty salon run by Novella, a woman in the church – she's built up an incredible business that she is using to train others, giving women employment and skills and with a heart to equip many women from the slums. Just down the road there's a cancer hospital and Novella gives free haircuts to women who are losing their hair due to their cancer treatment.

A few of us visited the hospital briefly – I've never seen anything like it. It's the best cancer hospital in India so people travel from all over the country and from other countries too. As we walked towards it, there were dozens of people living and sleeping on the pavement, waiting for an appointment. By the entrance, there were many more waiting. And inside, hundreds more people waiting for their number to be called. Some people wait months, sleeping on the streets. It's hard to imagine this being the best chance they have of beating cancer.

Following on from this we were taken on a train journey, which is quite an experience – again hundreds of people crowd on and you just have to move as quickly as you can to get on because there's no polite waiting while others get off the train!

Later the same day we visited one of the slums. A guy in the church called Paul told us that when he was 10 his dad's business was struggling so he and his family moved into a slum for five years until the business got back on track – it had never occurred to me before that people move into slums. I assumed they were born there and tried to make it out. Paul from Mumbai took us into the slum he lived in, showing us inside the house that was his – it was one small room, no electricity, no water, home to five or six people.

That night, Martin and Phil led a seminar on biblical principles in business. This was one of three specialist meetings we had. Entrepreneurs in the Mumbai church came along to hear from Martin and Phil and learn from their experience, while the following night I spoke at a similar meeting on God’s heart for the poor and Aled spoke to another group of people about worship.

The next day half of us went to the Kendra Project, a nursery in a slum that our church has supported financially and with gifts of books, crayons, etc. The other half went to a similar nursery in Kalyan, 90 minutes away by car. These nurseries are changing the futures of dozens and dozens of children. They’re starting their education and when the kids go home able to speak a little English and having learnt the alphabet and numbers, their parents are amazed and it raises their aspirations for their children to the point where they start to believe it’s worthwhile to send them to school when they’re old enough so they can have the chance at a better future.

We also visited a mobile leprosy clinic that sees 150 patients per week, giving them free treatment and free medicine. They have 976 patients from one leprosy colony alone – there are six colonies in Mumbai. Those with leprosy are completely ostracised from society, often living under the freeway, the lowest of the low. The man who runs the clinic said: “They are rejected by society but loved on this van.”

Next we went to the Purnata project, a rescue centre in the heart of one of the red light districts. On just two streets of 100 metres each, 700-800 prostitutes are based. Each day, 30 of their children come to the rescue centre for schooling and food. This is giving them a chance at a better life – meaning that the girls don’t have to become prostitutes themselves and the boys don’t have to become pimps. The prostitutes themselves are given sewing, jewellery-making and English lessons so that they have alternative ways to make money. One of the most heart-breaking things we heard is that many of the women are trafficked from India, Nepal or Bangladesh, but later go on to run houses of prostitutes themselves. It’s a tragic cycle that the church is trying to break.

We had the great privilege of spending time with different ‘lighthouses’ in the church – mid-week groups in homes – where we had the opportunity to bring a short message and pray for people. We saw some people healed, others clearly encountering God in powerful ways.

And on our final day, Paul preached at two churches and Aled preached at one – Aled and I were in Kalyan at a church of maybe 40 people: after Aled spoke and a guy called Mahesh and I shared very brief testimonies, Aled asked if anyone wanted to become a Christian and seven people responded, four of whom were first time visitors to the church!

It was an incredible trip. We went there to bless and serve Praveen and the churches he oversees, but actually were massively blessed ourselves. I think God did deep stuff in all of us, and we got the privilege of building even deeper relationships between King’s Church Hastings and The Life Church Mumbai. Thank you for praying for us while we were away.

Natalie Williams

Posted by Natalie Williams


31st January 2016

Last morning in Mumbai

On the team's last morning in Mumbai, Paul spoke at two churches while Aled and Natalie travelled to Kalyan, where Aled preached and Natalie shared some of her story. Here's a few seconds on what happened...

Natalie Williams

Posted by Natalie Williams


29th January 2016

Message #3 - Phil & Jo at a Mumbai nursery

Yesterday Phil, Jo and Natalie visited a church-run nursery in one of the Mumbai slums...

Natalie Williams

Posted by Natalie Williams


27th January 2016

Message #2 + worship from Mumbai

A 1-minute video from Paul in Mumbai, along with a snippet of worship India-style...

Message from Mumbai #2 from Hastings Community Trust on Vimeo.

Natalie Williams

Posted by Natalie Williams


23rd January 2016

Message from Mumbai

A team of seven from King's Church Hastings arrived in Mumbai, India, yesterday.

Paul Mann, Aled Cousins, Martin & Sue Clarke, Phil & Jo Gobbett and Natalie Williams will be spending the next eight days with some of the Newfrontiers churches in Mumbai under the care of Praveen Darole.

Here is a 50-second message from Praveen about what the team will be up to and what to pray for...

Natalie Williams

Posted by Natalie Williams


5th September 2014

Interview with Praveen Darole

Our good friend Praveen Darole from Mumbai, India, recently visited us here at King's Church Hastings. He spent some time with the leadership team before preaching at King's on Sunday 31 August. We took a few minutes to find out more about Praveen and his church...

Natalie Williams

Posted by Natalie Williams


31st January 2014

Five go to India – update from Steve

Paul Mann, Steve & Lori Young and Paul & Hazel Woods travelled to India on Sunday to encourage church leaders there and continue to build relationships.

This morning, we received this update from Steve:

Great final conference meeting last night. Passionate word from Paul. Prayed for filling of the Holy Spirit – many people touched and great testimonies of healing.

Please pray for discernment for the future as we say our goodbyes to the great folk here.

At the time of posting this, the team is half-way into an eight-hour train journey to Mumbai. Please keep remembering the team in your prayers, particularly for the remainder of the trip and for a safe journey home on Monday.

Natalie Williams

Posted by Natalie Williams












Adrian Pursglove
Aled Cousins
Andrew Bunt
Bekky Andrews
Carol Dipple
Janice Cousins
Kerrie North
Kevin Rose
Kristina Thurlow
Natalie Williams
Paul Mann
Santino Hamberis
Sian Francis-Cox
Steve Young

@kingshastings on twitter