Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The God of the Living

Brother Chandan shares:

“I serve among a tribe that lives in the remote jungles of north India. The tribals are poor, illiterate, and survive on the produce collected from the forest and cultivation they carry out on cleared forest land. They are often a oppressed people. 

Some of the villagers in this remote tribe carry out all kinds of sacrifice. Last year, I began to pray for these villagers. None of them had heard about our Lord. I was unsure when I visited them if I will be accepted or killed. Yet I prayed; and with God's courage I went to them.

When I reached the first village, the villagers encircled me. I told them, "I have words of life, if you will let me share." I told them the story of the Roman centurion who came to Jesus for the healing of his sick servant (Matt. 8:5-13). After I shared the story, one of the elders said, "These are truly words of life." They were hearing about Jesus Christ for the first time in their lives. They asked me to continue to share.

I spoke about a God who heals our hearts and our lives. As I closed, one man rose up and said, "I have never heard such words before. Our entire village and my family have faithfully worshipped the spirits of these forests. But we constantly remain under dark weight. A weight - of illnesses and quarrelling and uneasiness - remains upon us." The day that I visited and spoke; five members of one family became sick.

The villagers asked me to stay with them and continue to teach in the evening. I shared from the life of Abraham and slept in one of their huts.  I very carefully shared about Isaac being taken up for sacrifice and how God offered a ram in his place. I briefly shared about the perfect sacrifice of God in Jesus Christ. I did wonder if I will be killed that night, but I trusted in God. When I woke up the next day, I was very glad to be alive.

Later that morning, before I headed out of the forest, I decided to go to the home of the family whose five members were sick. The villagers were informed that I was visiting this sick family. Soon, the entire clan and several villagers gathered around the hut. As I went in, the head of the clan said, "If your Jesus is a true God, then ask Him to heal this family. We want to see if your book is true for us."

I had a God-given courage in my heart. After all, I represented Him as a living God. So, with all the boldness of the Kingdom of God, I put my hand on the head of this man and began to pray. As I began to pray, I noticed that the oldest man began to breathe heavily. I did not fully understand all that was happening, but realized that God was doing something. Then their teenage daughter, who had severe and constant chest pain, sat up. I continued to pray with all that I had. By the end, all five family members were able to get up from their sick beds, move around, and declare that they felt perfectly well.

The family immediately put their faith in our Lord. The elders have asked me to return so that they can think more about the 'living words' I have shared.”

We request your prayers for Brother Chandan and this village. 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Leprous Heart

In the Western Ghats (mountain ranges) in south-eastern India are found the Koya and the Domba tribe. Not long ago, we began to reach out to these tribes. There was severe opposition followed by persecution. However, our missionary brothers and sisters stood strong in prayer and in the Lord. 

Now, in one of these villages lived a lady infected with leprosy. She was shunned by the villagers and lived a lonely life. She had tried with-craft, magic, sacrifices and every thing that her tribe was aware of. Yet, the numbness and lesions kept on growing. One day one of our traveling evangelist visited her village. He began to share with her about Jesus healing the ten lepers (Luke 17:12-19). She was suddenly interested. "Can Jesus heal me today?" she asked. Our missionary stretched out His hands and began to pray. He then asked her to pray to Jesus every day. "Believe in Jesus. He is gracious to the poor," he explained. 

The lady went home, wondering about the encounter she had that day. 

When the lady woke up the next morning, she felt a drastic difference. Her faith was emboldened. She began to pray. To the surprise of the villagers, this leper lady was visibly and completely healed in few weeks. In few months she was completely restored. "My Jesus has healed me," she began to tell others.  The tribal village began to open up their heart. The village chief invited our evangelist and said, "My heart feels leprous. How can my hearts be healed by Jesus?" Our missionary brother shared the Good News of Jesus becoming man to provide forgiveness for our sins. At the end of their conversation, the head-man of the village bent his head and informed that he was ready to receive God's forgiveness. Today, more than 40 people gather in that village every day to worship our Lord Jesus Christ. Many other villages who heard of this miracle have also now opened up their doors to the Gospel. Praise God!

Monday, 23 November 2015

It Was a Cold and Dark Night

A Slum
In a cold, dark and twisted slum in Central India, Binod stumbled over some trash. He was drunk, again. Bhargav, his three-year-old son, heard the angry shouts of his father from a distance.  He looked at his mother, Resam. He was afraid of the violence that would follow, as it happened each night.

Resam quietly placed herself between the small door of the hut and the wooden box, where Bhargav hid himself. Resam’s body became tense as the rickety door of the hut squeaked open. Binod’s bloodshot eyes scanned the room. He shouted for food and then plopped himself down on the mud floor. Bhargav was relieved. “No beatings today,” he assured himself.


TERROR IN THE NIGHT
Collecting Firewood from Jungle
Resam was a hard worker. She woke up early in the mornings to gather firewood from the jungle to sell and earn money to feed her family. She also washed dishes for the landlords in town. She also had to find time to take care of her home, all by herself. Consequently, her tiny body was malnourished and very weak.

Kerosene Stove
Now, she moved quickly to serve her drunken husband. After a few bites of the food she had prepared, Binod thrust the plate aside. He yelled at her that the food was stale and too spicy. Resam cowered, whispering an apology, and tried to explain that the stale food was all they could afford. The rage wafting off Binod seemed to force the very air to grow quiet and still. Their son Bhargav froze. Without warning, Binod jumped up and grabbed the lighted liquid kerosene stove. He emptied the kerosene over his wife and threw the lighted stove at her. The fire quickly consumed Resam’s frail body.

Resam's screams blended in with Bhargav's in hellish harmony. The smoke and the horrid smell began to fill the hut. The neighbors rushed in and extinguished the fire from what was once Resam.

The terror of that night would always haunt Bhargav. 

RESCUING BHARGAV
P.T., an IET missionary, works in this slum. “This is where God has called me,” he says. He goes from home to home to pray for those hurting and comforts them with the Word of God. In many cases, he finds money to help those who are hungry or who have emergency medical needs. "It's difficult at times, because I myself do not have much. But when God asks you to reach out, we do it out of love and obedience," he says.

An iet children's home
One day, while visiting Bhargav’s grandmother, P.T. noticed the small, quiet boy with haunted eyes. The little boy listened from the shadows as P.T. shared the Gospel with his grandmother, his caretaker. Throughout the following days and weeks, Bhargav watched his dear grandmother’s transformation--walking straighter, eyes brighter, and genuine smiles. The changes made Bhargav curious, but he had no means of expressing that.

iet children
One day, his grandmother returned from visiting P.T. with tears in her eyes. She put Bhargav on her lap, hugged him close and said, "I can't give you the life you need, Bhargav. I'm too old. You're better off with P.T. I have asked him to raise you up, since with me you have no future. He has agreed." Large tears fell down his cheeks as he clung to his grandmother. He didn’t want to leave. He'd already lost his mother and father. Unable to say     anything, he simply held on to his grandmother and cried.

LIFE ABUNDANT
Bhargav Now
P.T. greeted Bhargav as the first child to enter IET's seventh orphanage, called Mercy Home. He calls him John, because his life is starting anew. Since he arrived at the orphanage, John has grown into a happy boy who goes to school and likes to play soccer. Every summer he spends the vacation with his grandmother. Today, eleven children along with John learn and grow in this IET Children's Home. Here IET provides a safe place to live along with food, clothing and the best education possible. They are loved and cared for by IET missionaries who stay with them. Bhargav says, “I want to be a teacher when I grow up.”


CHRISTMAS 2015
This Christmas we want to provide each of the children in our orphanages with a big Christmas meal. This would be $3 for one child. A separate and appropriate Christmas gift for each child in our orphanage or under our care can be provided for an additional $7. 






Saturday, 17 October 2015

Pray for Nepal


Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. China lies to its north, and India borders the other sides. Nepal was a monarchy for most of its history. Its current geographical configuration came into being under Prithvi Narayan Shah, who united the various small kingdoms in the eighteenth century.

                                       Source: Caravan Friends

In June 2001, Nepal faced a great crisis when the Crown Prince Dipendra killed his father, King Birendera, his mother, and then shot himself. King Birendra's younger brother, Gyanendra, inherited the throne. He was highly unpopular, however and faced armed resistance from the anti-monarchical Communists. In 2008, the monarchy was abolished and a multi-party democratic republic was established. In September 2015, the new Constitution of Nepal was finalized.


Nepal is a developing country with low-income economy. It ranks 145th on the Human Development Index (out of 187 countries). Corruption, hunger, poverty, and communist influence are some of the major challenges that plague this beautiful nation. Hinduism is practiced by more than 81% of the Nepalis. 9% practice Hinduism, 4.4 % are Moslems. Christianity consists of 1.4% of the total population. Eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains – including Mount Everest – are in Nepal.

Nepal Flag
The Nepalese people are spread across the nations of Nepal, India and Bhutan. In the last decade, the Nepalese people have been very open to the Gospel. This has been God’s doing.

Meanwhile, attacks against Christians has also been on the rise in Nepal. There were a series of church bomb blasts in Nepal few weeks ago. Incidents of burning of Scripture, physical attack, and threats have increased multi-fold in recent weeks. A radical religious group, Morcha, has warned many of our pastors to stop their work.   

Recently, a mob gathered in a village where we have a congregation. The mob beat up the pastor and his wife and threw stones.

A few days later, one of our junior leaders in another city was arrested by the police without charges, and held illegally in jail. A mob gathered in front of the jail the next day demanding the death of our junior leader, Pastor Mark. We had to take him and his wife back to India due to the danger. Two of our village congregations have been recently asked to stop prayers and Bible study.

“These threats and attacks have not shaken our faith,” said Pastor Mark. “Pray for Nepal. Pray for us.”


PRAY FOR:

1.  The radicals who have pledged to rid Nepal of all Christians. May God move their hearts with His love and truth.

2.  For the persecuted believers. May God grant them strength. May they be a light in the midst of great darkness.

3.  For reconciliation amongst the various people groups, particularly the minority groups that have been traditionally kept from progressing.

One of our Girls Orphanages in the border of Nepal
4.  For the political leaders of Nepal. May God give them wisdom to truly lead this nation.

5.  For the plague of sexual trafficking. It is estimated that about 15,000 girls are trafficked from Nepal every year. We have two orphanages by the borders of Nepal and is planning to start a third one sometime soon.

6.  For our leaders and pastors. Every one of them needs God’s presence and wisdom to serve in Nepal.  

7.  For a spirit of prayer to be poured out for Nepal. 


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Nepal Update

Our outreach to the earthquake affected areas of Nepal and India continues. I just returned trekking through remote mountain villages of Nepal, visiting villages and overseeing the relief work. We were the first ones to reach most of these remote villages. It was a privilege to see our team of missionaries reaching those in physical need as well as touching the lives of those in spiritual need.


Congregation on Mountain Top
In one mountain top, which we reached after almost 90 minutes of trek, the pastor gathered the believers who had lost their everything. They had gathered under a tent we had provided. As we bent our knees, he opened His Bible to Habakkuk 3:17-19 and read, Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”


 Please know that there is still great need. We are shifting our focus to reconstruction of destroyed houses and churches now. Please see the opportunity you have to give at the end.
I am pasting below the latest updates describing the situation in the region, along with some encouraging pictures.

Taking relief supplies home
·        Through our gifts, more than 10,000 people have now received help in various districts in Nepal. This is in the form of food, shelter, clothing, medicine and prayers.

·         To this point, suffering people in about 100 villages have been helped by our relief work.

Fallen Homes
·         The Gospel has been shared with all the people who have been helped. In addition, the church planters distributing the supplies are praying with the people and counseling them.
Relief Supplies

·         The death toll from the earthquake has now passed 8000 people. In some villages, no one survived. Avalanches moving at a speed of 186 mph killed many people.

·         Our Nepal area junior leader told us, “We could see the houses sway like a rocking chair. The destruction was inevitable.” I, too, experienced several aftershocks when visiting remote villages. 


·         Many people are still sleeping outside because their homes were badly damaged or destroyed. In one village where we had provided tents, the villagers told me, "We now have to keep watch at night because a leopard is now prowling this area."
Cement Bags 

·         Our church planting partners continue to provide basics like food and water. However, they have now begun to provide tents for shelter, beds, sleeping mats, cooking pots, clothing, and basic supplies like tin sheets for roofing and cement to help with house repairs. The goal in this second phase is to “help the victims re-start their lives.”

·         Tragically, families and villages are still being discovered which have not yet received help. Relief supplies are being provided to them as they are found.

·         Several thousand people have now received medical care from the team of doctors we equipped with medicines and supplies. By the end of 
this week, at least 10,000 people will have received medical relief through these doctors.


·        Cholera and diarrhea which often result from poor sanitation and lack of clean water are “becoming common”; we have provided medicines for those as well. For those requiring surgeries, they are being transported to one of our partner Christian hospital in the borders to be treated.

Going to the next mountain
·      We are currently focusing on villages and remote areas where most aid agencies or even the government have not reached out to .  Our field leader from Kathmandu reports  “Even today, a large number of villages have not
Tents put up in a leper village
received any relief aid
.  Several villages in remote mountains are running short of supplies and are not sure how long they can survive without relief supplies."

·         Kathmandu police say nearly 900,000 people have left the Valley in the past few days. This means, in the villages where our relief efforts are focused, our workers are now helping and ministering to a second wave of people, who also need resources. 


·         Because churches meet on Saturday in Nepal, it is estimated that several hundred believers died in the collapse of churches.

·          Providing spiritual encouragement to our believer brothers and sisters is critical. The congregations have started to meet again for worship and study of the Word of God. I trekked to many remote villages and found great strength.  
Some metal roof sheets put up as temporary shelter
.         Our next focus is to purchase reconstruction materials (metal roof sheets for $10 each, cement bags for $7 each, bricks, etc.) to help the people rebuild their houses and be able to stand on their feet again.

Thank you for your giving and prayers. Your compassion and prayers for Nepal is greatly appreciated.

Nepal

                                                                                                                                                         
Tents and Blankets
Destroyed Homes


 Our next focus is to purchase reconstruction materials (metal roof sheets for $10 each, cement bags for $7 each, bricks, etc.) to help the people rebuild their houses and be able to stand on their feet again. To give, please press the Donate button at the top (right) or bottom of this page.