Saturday, 19 July 2014

Golapally Pitchee


Golapally is a sleepy little village in India. Lalta lived in this village. She was known as the Golapally pitchee, the crazy girl of Golapally.



TWENTY LONG YEARS OF BONDAGE

Lalta wandered through the streets of the village. She would often beat up people and throw stones at those walking in the streets. People were afraid of her. Her family tried to tie her up with ropes, but it was difficult to keep her restrained. She refused to take a shower or comb her hair. She would also often tear her clothes and run through the streets naked and screaming. Her family was afraid to sleep at night because they were afraid of being attacked by Lalta. Her violence terrified everybody. She had been the crazy girl of Golapally for twenty long years.


JOURNEY ON AN OX CART

One day, a friend visited Lalta's family and shared, "There is a Christian man who preaches about Jesus Christ. Their God hears their prayers and has compassion on the sick." Their hope rose as the friend shared about a mentally challenged girl who had been completely healed.

The next morning, the family of Lalta managed to tie her hands and legs. They put her in an oxen cart and, as directed by their friend, took her to the hut of Yohann, the IET missionary. They tied her to a cement post and left her with Yohann and his wife.   

Yohann says, "I did not know what to do with Lalta. But I knew that our Lord always had compassion on the rejected and the sick. So, I decided to take her in and let the presence of Christ heal her."


GRACE OF GOD HEALS
Yohann

Yohann and his wife began to pray for the girl. They were afraid to let her go free from her ties, at first. But, within few days, they observed a great calm in her. The girl was not violent and stopped screaming. They continued to pray. By the end of the first week the girl could be untied. They continued to pray, and by the second week the girl started to eat on her own and decided to take a shower. They witnessed slow progress in Lalta each week as they continued to pray. "The healing presence of God gradually delivered her," says the smiling Yohann. 

The girl was completely healed by the end of sixth week. 

"Completely healed," emphasizes Yohann, "by the grace of God alone!"


HEALING A BROKEN WORLD

Village congregation meeting in home
Yohann took the girl back to Golapally. The villagers were amazed. "I was the Gopally pitchee for twenty years and now I stood before them calm, smiling, and completely healed," says a beaming Lalta. As a result, soon several families put their faith in Christ as Yohann explained the power of Christ to not just heal our bodies but also our souls.

Lalta with her husband, today
Today, a beautiful village church gathers several days each week to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Lalta and her husband are pillars of this congregation. Lalta declared, “I owe everything to my Lord and my God, Jesus Christ!"

What a privilege we have to be the healing hands of our Lord Jesus Christ in this broken world. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Taking the Whole Gospel: Village to Village

Story Told by Sister Pusma: 

South Asia has a very high rate of illiteracy in rural villages. I go from village to village six days a week teaching villagers how to read, write and count (literacy classes). At the end of the sessions, I share stories. These are stories from the Bible.  

I was in a new village, where I started a literacy class. At the end of one teaching session, people gathered to hear a story.  I shared a gospel story. The villagers then said, "Young lady, your story is a good story; it's very interesting."
  But a family in a nearby house was crying. I asked, "Why are they crying?"
 The people replied, "Last night, a poisonous snake entered their house and bit their oldest boy. Many charmers came and did many things, but nothing could save the boy."


I decided to visit this family. I went to them and said, "Don't cry, dear brother and sister. God is with us."
  Just then someone came out of the house and said, "It looks like the boy is dead."
 I told them again, "Don't cry. I want to tell you a story." But because of their grief they could not listen.
 

So I went into the house and said loudly, "Don't cry. Listen to me!" I shared the story of Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis chapter 3). And I told a second story from Acts 3:1-16 about the lame man who was healed.
 I then decided to pray.

I prayed a long time for the boy, but he did not open his eyes. So I continued telling stories and praying late into the evening. Then we went to bed. Early the next morning the boy was breathing and opened his eyes. When the village people heard the news, they came running to the house. 

They asked, "He did not die. How is this possible? The snake was a poisonous one. The young lady did something to revive him."
 I shared about Jesus Christ, who heals our bodies and soul. Several people—including seven from the boy’s family—accepted Christ and decided to take baptism baptism.
 

Meanwhile the mayor of that village, who had  tuberculosis, was listening to all this and witnessed the healing. She asked me, "How is this possible?"   So, I told her the story from Mark 9:14-29 about how Jesus healed a demonized boy. After she listened to the story I prayed for her. Not long ater, she was completely healed from T.B.


I continued to visit the village to teach them A,B,C and also the Word of God.  She told me one day, "Stay in our village and tell more stories." So I stayed two days and two nights and told all the stories from Genesis to Exodus. Now there are 50 people who gather every week to study from the Word and pray to the living God in that village.
Praise God!  I am an ordinary literacy worker, but God chooses to use me to take His whole gospel.

Pray for the women missionaries! 


Story Told by Ms. Pusma. Edited by: Khosla & Paul K

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Reality of Persecution

Jeremy Reynalds (Feb 13, 2014)

(Los Angeles, CA)—The worst anti-Christian pogrom of the 21st century has come not from Islamic extremists but from Hindu nationalists in India, an expert told a hearing in which U.S. President Barack Obama was challenged to quickly fill a key religious freedom post. 

According to a story by  John L. Allen, Jr., author of "The Global War on Christians," today told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations that one reason Christians are increasingly persecuted is that Christianity is expanding in countries where religious freedom is lacking. Some states in India are prime examples.

While most estimates of deaths from the 2008 attacks in India's Orissa (now Odisha) state are around 100, Allen said the figure could be as high as 500.

"India's northeastern state of Orissa was the scene of the most violent anti-Christian pogrom of the early 21st century," he said. "In 2008, a series of riots ended with as many as 500 Christians killed, many hacked to death by machete-wielding Hindu radicals, and thousands more injured and at least 50,000 left homeless."

A pogrom is a violent riot aimed at massacre or persecution of an ethnic or religious group.

Tehmina Arora, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom-India (ADF-India), told the subcommittee that the impunity that violent mobs enjoy is an important factor in anti-Christian persecution in India.

Police resist filing criminal complaints and have on several instances allegedly threatened to falsely incriminate victims in some cases. The hostility of the state machinery towards the victims of communal and targeted violence was most evident in the aftermath of the violence in Orissa.

Arora added, "The National People's Tribunal on Kandhamal, (in) a private inquiry titled 'Waiting for Justice' clearly outlined the apathy of the state administration towards the victims and their families. The report also highlighted the fear faced by victims and survivors as well as the refusal of police to register complaints."

In many cases, only orders from the High Court in Orissa prompted police to file First Information Reports against assailants, Arora said. In one case, a Christian whose house was burned down filed a FIR but no case was registered against the named suspects.

"I was attacked during the 2008 riot and my house was burnt," Gajana Digal told ADF-India. "I lodged an FIR in the local police station, Tikabali, which was not registered against the accused persons… I have repeatedly sought help from the local police station for my protection but no action was taken in spite of my petition dated 19 May 2010 against the criminals with specific names like Dahia Mallick, Sudhira Pradhan, Ajiban Mallick, Mantu Gauda and Biranchi Behera. My petition was not registered and no action was taken against the accused persons."

As in other states, the government of Orissa has failed to effectively prosecute those accused of carrying out violent attacks against the Christian community, Arora said.

Though the Orissa government claims it took strict action against the accused, statistics show that of 827 FIRs filed, charges were brought in only 512. Just 75 cases ended in convictions, with only 477 people convicted, primarily for smaller or "petty" offences such as burning of houses and damaging property, she said.

"Only nine people have been convicted for their role in killing of the Christians," Arora told the subcommittee. "Human right activists claim that as many as 84,000 people were accused by the victims in the over 2,500 complaints sent to the police. The acquittals have been due to shoddy investigation and lack of judicial oversight."

In several murder cases, police failed to gather key forensic evidence such as bone fragments after mobs set bodies on fire; nor did they produce key witnesses at trial, she said.

"Police also failed to provide adequate protection to witnesses, many of whom later retracted their statements made to the police allegedly due to fear and intimidations," Arora said. "Even years after the violence, Christians in Kandhamal, Orissa continue to live in fear, unable in many parts to return to their homes and fields. They have been threatened and coerced to convert to Hinduism."

Elliott Abrams, a commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), told the subcommittee that lack of an ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom has sent a message of apathy to countries that routinely persecute religious minorities. 
He added, "And if there is a long vacancy, it weakens the attention of the executive branch, it weakens the efforts of the executive branch, and it sends a message to countries around the world of inattention and lack of concern."

The Obama administration has not set a timeline to nominate another ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Obama, whose administration has come under criticism for limiting the definition of religious freedom and doing little to protect it, defended his record before 3,500 people attending the Feb. 6 prayer breakfast.

Asserting that promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy, Obama appeared to agree with long-time pleas from advocacy groups that the White House regard international religious freedom as an integral part of national security.

"History shows that nations that uphold the rights of their people—including the freedom of religion—are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful," Morning Star News reported he said. "Nations that do not uphold these rights sow the bitter seeds of instability and violence and extremism. So freedom of religion matters to our national security."



Source: Morning Star News Report 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Gospel of Peace

Every culture loves stories. South Asian culture is no different. The life of every people group in the nations of South Asia revolves around stories. No festival is complete without stories shared in oral or play format. Family history and value transference from an early age happens not primarily in written formats, but through oral traditions passed down from one generation to another. Even sages of the ancient religions here pass down truths in the form of stories.


So, it is only natural for us to use oral stories to create open doors and develop friendships. Stories are a culturally relevant tool to share the gospel truth in an intelligent form.

Read the story shared by one of our church planters, Rakesh (translated as told):  

               “Omlattau is a remote village. Many families live here. This is the story of one of the families that was oppressed by evil spirits. From the one-year old son to the oldest man, every one of their extended family members was oppressed by evil spirit power. And one by one they were dying; each year another family member would die. I learned about this when a relative came to me and asked for help. She said, "My nephew died. My husband's younger brother died; his older brother died. This has been going on in our family for lots of years now."
     So I began visiting this family in the village of Omlattau. I told them the story from Mark chapter one where Jesus was preaching in the synagogue.
"A demonized man began to speak. But Jesus told him, 'You are not staying here. You go out.' All the people in that synagogue were believers, but one of them had an evil spirit." I told that story to the members in this family.
     From time to time, I continued to visit that home; each time I went I told them a story, I shared the gospel, and I prayed. Now the Lord's presence come there through His Word and prayer, so the evil spirit had to leave that house. Now, they have peace. 
     But when the evil spirit left that house, it went into a neighbor's house! That family performed all kinds of things to try to get better, like idol worship rites, witchcraft and medical treatment. They spent a lot of money, but they did not get free from the evil attack.
     Finally the whole family came to me for prayer. I told them many stories from the Bible and faith increased in their hearts. As soon as they started believing Jesus Christ, the evil spirit left and now they have peace.
     Two or three kilometers away there is another village. One day a man came to me for prayer. He has a daughter who is oppressed by an evil spirit and his wife also was under a demon spirit's power.
     After he shared the problems that were going on in his family, I began telling him the New Testament stories. I shared faith stories and told him, "Keep your faith in Jesus. One day you will get peace from Jesus." I told him, "You believe. I am praying here and the LORD is doing a miracle in your house."
     When I finished my prayer, he went back to his house. I had not yet visited that man's wife and daughter, but two days later he came and told me, "Brother, through your prayer, we got deliverance from the evil spirit!"
     He said, "I know it was the power of Jesus Christ. Before I met you, I did lots of things to get help -- I went to the Hindu priest, the witchcraft and the doctors and I was spending a lot of money, but my family was not receiving any healing. But as soon as I met you and you prayed, your prayer started working in my family. And we got healing from Jesus." 

Now the whole family is growing in peace and faith in the Lord Jesus."


Praise God for the deliverance and peace that His gospel brings to our soul and families.   

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

2013: Few Glimpses

Widows Care



Widows Gathering







Few Other Images from 2013



 Unreached Tribes

Followers of the Way





Generator Set: To the next village


Newly Planted Church



Village Hut


Into the Mountains: Borders of Myanmar


Being Raised Up in one of our Homes


One of our Eight Children's Home


Coming Together to Worship





Children's Ministry



Relief and Rehabilitation: Hurricane Phailin Victims 









Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Bala's Drawings


Drawings of Bala, a child in one of our Orphanages
Village School

A Village


Followers of the Way

Monday, 14 October 2013

Phailin


Cyclone Phailin was the strongest storm to hit India in more than ten years. The storm, which made its landfall on Saturday, has destroyed several huts and laid waste large crops. Thankfully, due to early large-scale evacuations, the loss of human lives was minimum (23 people). However, the damage to property is extensive.

The weakened storm is now moving towards neighbouring states, leaving heavy rain. 

The immediate need is to provide clean water, food and plastic sheets. Our leaders are on ground to assess the need and provide immediate aid packets to those effected. Thank you for your prayers.