We wanted to give you an update on how vacation Bible school went in India that you prayed for and supported. While not quite the full amount came in that was needed, $5,376 out of the $5,700 need, the team were still able to accomplish much! Please read below the note from the team and be blessed with the results of your giving and prayers!
Greetings to you in Jesus Name! Hope you are doing well. You have been in my regular prayers and thoughts. I want to thank you for your sacrificial support for holding Vacation Bible School in 27 districts for 4050 children. There were about 2871 children saved. Praise God!
Honestly, it would not have been possible for us to hold VBS without your support. Thank you for your support. You have been in my prayers.
I have also attached a few pictures of the most recent VBS. Hope these pictures may be blessings to you. May God Bless you
Is that a typo? Not at all. Jesus fed the 5,000, but we got close with 4,500 (500 families), and ours is not a one-time meal but food for two months. Our Magnificent Lord said we would do greater things than He did, and our Lord allowed us together to do so. With Him, all things are possible!
In late January, I wrote you about the suffering and starvation of a region in central Asia where we have many house churches whose combined total is 500 families. An average of nine per family adds up to 4,500 people, without food, without blankest, and without gas to cook or heat their tiny apartments. Yet, you gave abundantly as if the need was your own, doing for others what you would want someone to do for you and your family. Here is a summary of what we purchased for the 500 families on the brink of starvation in central Asia.
Each family was given:
For your pleasure and better understanding, I requested that we receive a report from one family so that you can read a testimony of what your giving accomplished. So here is what one of our pastors sent us:
One of the five hundred families we helped had neighbors who lived near them. This family consists of five children and their parents. The father works five days weekly far away and returns for two days to spend time with his family. They are a Muslim family and are under the care of a religious man (Imam) who helped him to find work.
The desperate wife received no help from the Imam. So, she began to ask her neighbors to help her and her children, to keep them warm and fed, but no one could because everyone was going hungry and cold. But, when she knocked on the door of our Christian family, the wife told her, "bring your children, and come stay with us, and I trust my God will provide for all our needs." So, she brought her children and stayed with them for twelve days. In the house, there were eleven children and three adults.
The Christians shared with them what we had given for their family. At every meal, the Muslim woman watched them pray before eating and saw how they read their Bible and prayed before going to sleep. This was one of the Bibles you smuggled into our country for us. On the third day, this Muslim lady asked about the book, why they read it every night, and why they pray differently from the memorized Muslim prayers. Of course, these new Believers shared with her the answer to all her questions, and she became under great desires to have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Then, on the eighth day, she came to the knowledge of salvation and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her savior. Now they are working to reach her husband for Christ.
There are reasons for our suffering.
There has been a "perfect storm" of conditions that prompted this need:
Meeting the needs of others, especially your Christian family, as the book of James teaches us, is an ongoing need, especially now with the situation in Ukraine. Although it may seem overwhelming to us, hearing of so many needs in so many places, this is, in reality, a constant. Our Lord will sort it out by leading some to help with one need and others to help the others. Our responsibility is to let you know the needs and let those who suffer know that they are neither forgotten nor abandoned. After all, it could be us in need, waiting for affluent Believers elsewhere to relieve our suffering.
One last word…
What we raised was to carry these families through the remaining winter months of February and March. Now that Spring is here, there is hope that seed can be planted and a harvest comes, alleviating their suffering. Then all they have to be concerned with is losing their lives for the cause of Christ. But, until that is evident, they still need our help. So many of you are giving to other needy causes, but if the Lord should direct you to help these Believers in Afghanistan and their neighboring lands, please do so.
You all know by now about our farms in Myanmar. They are up and running a bit now; still, the civil war in that country continues. Pastor Vel wrote the other day to give me an update and shared a story that was a blessing. I thought it would be to you as well, so here it is.
Yesterday, our deacon and I brought our church's widow and her three grandchildren to our new farmland and built a temporary hut for them to stay. They have been living on the side of the road in our area, on municipal property, and they were forced to leave the place by the military on Tuesday. So, the widow came to me and asked for help and said that she wanted to live in our new land. So we brought them and built for them a temporary shelter.
A very simple hut and I pray we will be able to build a better or decent one than this soon. We also need to build a toilet as well. Our farm watcher, his older brother with our deacon, and two of our orphan boys helped build the hut.
How wonderful it is to see those among the poorest of God's servants doing what they can to take care of a family in even worse financial shape. How grateful I am for them and for you, whose offerings for recent projects have allowed us to help so many churches, families, and pastors.
We wanted to share with you a short video from Raju Ankanpalli Gujjalli's family for the help the support that you sent. Click below to view the short video. Thank you again for fulfilling this need!
Each day Pastor Shaukat sent photos and videos of the camp, starting with teaching sessions for the 30 workers from his churches. Many of the photos were of them eating (I guess he knew what was important to me) and many of the services. One night at 11:30 PM, I hooked up with them via Zoom and preached (talked) to them from scripture. It was a blessing to see how they received the Word, though the 5-second delay was a little hard to get used to.
Shaukat wrote this morning to tell us that 50 of the campers (from Hindu and Muslim backgrounds) accepted Christ during the four-day camp, and 70 campers committed to join his team as co-laborers. He has selected from among them to attend his youth seminar this Sunday to begin their training.
Michael and Daniel thought it would be good to have Joshua Martyn (our videographer) make this short presentation for you using the photos and clips Shaukat sent us. I know it will be a blessing to you. (BTW, the next season of Ernest Livingstone is in the final stages of post-production, so get ready to re-join him in his missionary adventures.)
In about 5-6 months, he will have his winter camp. So if you want, you can give now in preparation for that or wait for our notice. Enjoy the short video, filmed entirely in Pakistan