To all of you who prayed and gave for the camping ministry in Pakistan, you should know that your prayers were answered. (Just so you know, we raised the amount needed, plus an extra $21 which was sent on over with the needed funds).
I'm back in America now, but during my last days in Honduras, I received continual reports from Pastor Shaukat telling all about the experience. Each day I received 60-100 photos and videos. Yesterday he wrote saying:
By the grace of God, our youth camp is completed, and my vision is completed through this camp. Two hundred campers were able to join us in this camp, and it was a very blessed time to share the gospel. We divided all the campers into four groups, and every group was led by 12 councilors. During these four days, all the campers and youngsters were given our individual attention. We preached about the lives of four characters, John, Joseph, Jacob, and Samson. The insight into these four characters was very effective for the youth. As a result, eighty youngsters accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, and seventy-five decided to dedicate their lives to spreading the gospel of Christ in the future. I have sent photos and videos.
Young people (actually young adults) came from the nearly two dozen churches Shaukat and his team have started and brought with them a desire to study God's Word, breathe the fresh mountain air, and influence the unsaved friends they brought with them. And they could do all this because of your generous giving.
The camp was delayed because of heavy rains and mudslides, but when the skies cleared, they jumped in the rented busses and escaped the city's crowds, noise, and pollution to roam the wonders of God's creation. Each day they enjoyed great food, games, and study time, and there was time for preaching throughout the day.
At the end of the fourth day, after they gathered for a group photo, most young adults headed for home with Christ in their hearts and a desire to learn more about Him and teach others cemented into their minds. Shaukat, however, did not go home. Instead, he gathered some of these followers of Christ and headed out to the deserts to evangelize more unreached villages. Before arriving home, the new disciples learned how to witness and plant a new church. Now they will enroll in his multiple Bible institutes and be trained as church leaders, church planters, and pastors. And yes, there were female converts, too, but this is a male-dominated society, and the tribal women are a bit shy to be photographed. So here you see the men and boys that accepted Christ.
So, I ask you, was your spiritual and financial investment in winning and training Pakistani young adults in a four-day camp profitable? You bet it was! Thank you for making this possible, and be watching next week when I will pass on to you a need we have for this group in Pakistan.
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
Thank you to all who gave to complete the funding necessary for the Vacation Bible Schools in India and the building/repairing of the widow’s house in Pakistan. I hope no one was offended by my reminder, but I often have people say they didn’t get our email and didn’t know about the need, thus the reason for my repeating it.
As photos come in over the next few weeks, I will share them with you.
In the meantime, please pray for our people around the world. We may have a few bare grocery store shelves, but they have completely bare cupboards at home and no funds to purchase the little available food. I’ll send you a report in the next few weeks.
In case you missed the earlier emails, you can read them here;
India Vacation Bible School
Pakistan Widow's House
Week after week, you put up with us, sharing projects with you. I apologize if we go overboard, but we have learned over the years that some will give for one thing but have no interest in another. (Personally, I am that way. Some things don’t move my spirit, and others move me to do all I can.)
Allow me to give an analogy that applies to myself -- food. If I owned a steakhouse, you might come and visit me once a month, but if I owned a Golden Corral, you could come three times a day and not eat the same thing twice for a month. (And if you don’t know what a Golden Corral is, you need to come to Augusta and experience it. I’ll gladly be your guide!)
Usually, when we present a need, it is supplied in full within one hour to three days. That’s why I said you amaze me. But every now and then, I must drop the ball in explaining the need because your interest doesn’t seem to be there. By the way, we don’t do projects for the sake of doing projects. We do them because of the significant needs that come to us from our roughly 1,500 directors in nearly 80 countries. They present needs to us they feel are worthy and needy, which they cannot fulfill. Then we try to pick those that we think will interest you, benefit them, and will visibly and physically display the love of God to their unbelieving neighbors.
Recently, I presented you with two such projects -- but not yet completed, though both came close. So today, I want to ask you to reconsider helping with these so we can move on to others. (And you don’t have to eat steak again.) Right now, we are preparing some fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn on the cob with some apple pie, and a scoop of … I digress.
The first need was supplying funds for the Vacation Bible Schools in Tamil Nadu, India. The plan was to have one triumphant VBS in each of the 38 districts of that State. Our strategy was not only to bless the 150 children in each location but also to use it as training for the other churches in the area. Pastor Thomas wrote me yesterday and told me that some of the VBS classes had finished and that he has sent the local church leaders along with hie Bible College students to serve in the others. He also told me that they would do even more if they got enough funds. The request was for $5,700 to do all that, and you gave $3,562, so we have an outstanding need of $2,138. Click here and select "Special Projects" and then "India VBS" to give online. Otherwise you can mail in a check and designate it to "India VBS" but please let us know it is coming.
The second need was to repair the house of a widow and her children in Pakistan. She works as a maid and is, of course, uneducated with few opportunities. Her believing husband died unexpectedly about five years ago. She has asked for nothing during all that time and remained faithful to her church. Her three oldest are studying God’s Word at our Bible College and serving almost daily on evangelism teams. Several months ago, heavy rains caused her roof to collapse and destroyed their belongings. Her family of five lives in a two-room “house” with their neighbor’s family of five. We want to share God’s with her from God’s abundant provisions to us, demonstrating our great God’s love to her unbelieving neighbors. We want to repair and refurbish her house. The amount we need to do this is only $3,272, of which you already gave $2,638. (Obviously, her house is not like mine or yours.) We need only $634 more to give this family a new house.
Please click here to help this widow and her family, select "Special Projects" and then select "Pakistan Widow House". Otherwise you can mail in a check and designate it to "Pakistan Widow House".
Well, globally, many of ours are, and this allows us and you to reach children around the world whose parents will let them attend a time of teaching with songs, games, and food. And in many cases, these are parents who otherwise would not allow their children exposure to Christianity. So, this is a once-a-year opportunity for our churches in southern India to reach the children has grabbed my attention. Over the years, you have become acquainted with pastor Thomas Maher and his ministry. I am amazed at how his work grows and grows, but when I received his recent email, I knew this was something I wanted us to help with. So let me reprint his letter here for you to read.
I have a vital prayer request for your prayerful consideration. We have been holding Vacation Bible School for the children of Tamil Nadu State in all the districts. We hold these Vacation Bible Schools with our pastor's help in all 38 districts of our State of Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, we could not conduct these Vacation Bible Schools in the last two years because of Covid-19.
Our burden is to hold 15-day Vacation Bible Schools (from May 9-21) in all 38 districts, reaching 5,700 children. (There will be 150 children in each VBS.)
I ask for your prayers and help because we need to provide lunches, Bible stories, VBS materials in the Tamil language (which are rare and expensive), and a gift for every child on the final day of Vacation Bible School. Please pray because there is a need for $300 for every district. $300 for each district is just $2 for each child (150 children) to be trained for 15 days, including their food and gifts.
Please let me know if you have any way to help with this outreach. Your response will be greatly appreciated. I have attached a few pictures of our latest year's VBS that will give you an understanding of VBS in our rural villages.
I know how complicated it is for a pastor to organize and effectively run one VBS in his church and train 40 or 50 kids for five days or a week, but Pastor Thomas will oversee 38 separate VBS with 150 children in each -- for fifteen days. His pastors are well trained, and they have discipled their members to help, and in addition, the students at Thomas' Bible College will also lend a helping hand.
Please rush and offering to us by giving online if you can so we can get an international wire sent to him in time. As you can see, even $2 will go a loooong way with this incredible opportunity.
38 separate VBS with 150 children equals 5,700 children being taught God's Word for fifteen days in a pagan land. What an outreach! And yes, $5,700 is a lot, but when you consider it is only $2 per child for the fifteen days, it is really nothing at all. So, if you would like to help, you need to do so quickly -- an online gift would be the best way. Click here and select "Special Projects" and then "India VBS". Otherwise you can mail in a check and designate it to "India VBS".
Thank you, and enjoy some photos from their previous VBS.