March 11 2013
More from India
Today we began training 60 church planters from all over northern and middle India. What a privilege to encourage, strengthen and equip them for their amazing ministries. We also took time to coach all of the more experienced trainers while their team members listened in.
One former Muslim, Abdul, is a photographer by trade but now delights in introducing others to Isa Al Masih, better known to you as Jesus! He says he has “no problems” since meeting the Savior but did ask for prayer for his 10 disciples who have been kicked out of their homes since becoming followers of Christ. These men he is training have each started a house church using the Train and Multiply strategy.
Another one of our ECC leaders is Anil, from the state of Uttar Pradesh. He is training 15 church planters who are each training two more 2nd generation pastoral workers. Anil and his wife travel by bicycle (she sits on the back!) five days a week around 30 km to different villages visiting the new house churches and their leaders. When I asked him how I could pray for him, he said he “needs more time” to get his entire ministry done!
Still another church planter, Govardhan, has a goal of starting 20 new house churches as he trains 7 workers in 2013. He has also entered 3 villages in a remote forested jungle area where the people are semi-naked and speak a unique language he is trying to learn in order to share with them the Good News. He often faces opposition and threats in different places but says he is “not afraid to die.” I could go on, but you get the message. These men are the real deal. They serve Christ with determined obedience, joyfully bringing others to faith and establishing them in new worship groups.
So often I feel wimpy compared to these brothers (and sisters!) in Jesus. May God strengthen and help me to learn from them!
Who will have such great faith? Who will show such deep commitment? Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?
March 6 2013
Greetings from India!
Greetings from India! Glenda and I have had a good first few days back in this very diverse and needy land. We began by spending time with an American family in New Delhi. Their hospitality and practical help was a real blessing as we adjusted to a 10½ hour time difference. One highlight was visiting the Lodhi Gardens where the remains of the Sayyid and Lodhi dynasties are wonderfully preserved. These Muslims ruled northern India in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The other day we travelled to another part of Delhi, a city of over 10 million people. There we worshiped with believers from two of our ECI churches. The 9:30 service was in the Hindi language and the 11:00 service was in Tamil. We didn’t attend the first worship gathering at 8 am in the Telegu language! At any rate it was a joy to share God’s Word with the hungry and attentive hearts of those who came. We spent quality time with both pastors, T. Victor and P.K. Robert, who was widowed two years ago and is suffering badly from gout. We enjoyed a delicious chicken curry dinner with him and his family after the service in their humble little home connected to the rear of the sanctuary.
Early in the Hindi service a man came crawling in on his knees and stayed in that position the entire time. Afterwards I greeted him and discovered he has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk and can speak only a little. However, his warm smile and earnest faith quickly won me over. His name is Purushottam, and he gets around in a rickshaw converted into a cart he can pedal with his arms.
Amazing courage and perseverance is wrapped up in a bundle of joy!
Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?
November 14 2012
Editor’s note: OMS missionary Roger Kruse, an itinerant missionary, serving as the field leader for India and the church multiplication facilitator for the South Pacific, recently traveled to these two nations. Below is a couple testimonies he shared in reports to his prayer team.
By Roger Kruse, One Mission Society field leader for India
…Before going on to the second house church we had lunch at the home of a faith-filled lady named Sona. What a powerful faith story she shared. As a Hindu woman she suffered greatly with back pain for seven years. She went to many doctors without relief. She made expensive offerings at the temple, sacrificed a goat and sought help from the gods. But all was to no avail. Her pain grew worse until she was bedridden and began to lose hope. In her despair she tried to commit suicide. Finally, she met a Christian who encouraged her to pray to Jesus for healing. She stubbornly refused, thinking he was trying to convert her. Three more months of excruciating pain followed until finally, one day, the name of Jesus came to her lips. She then asked her husband to take his finger and make the sign of a cross on her back. Immediately, a sensation like fire drew the pain out from her body. After seven years, she was free from her suffering! Soon, she was telling her fellow villagers what had happened and bringing them to Jesus. She became a person of peace, eventually helping to sponsor a new house church in the village. She and her husband now regularly welcome 30-35 children to their home for Sunday school classes. She beams with joy and speaks confidently of God at work in her life answering prayer. She told a story of her brother-in-law who played a joke on her by calling on the phone and pretending to be a man of God from the U.S. Afterward, she felt led to pray that God would bring just such a man to her home. Today, her prayer was answered!
Last night, we heard the faith story of Sambath. He works for the city electric company as a linesman. One day Sambath was high up on a pole making repairs. He cut a wire supposedly not hot, but suddenly, it was! The current seized his body and his hands were fixed onto the wire. He hung there, tied to the pole with his climbing belt for around 30 minutes, apparently electrocuted and without life. His coworkers were sure he was dead and reported it to the main office. However, Sambath, who at that time was beginning to learn of Christ, remembers calling on the name of Jesus for help. Immediately, a light from above pierced his heart, and he became conscious. His grip on the wire was freed and to the utter disbelief of those watching, he climbed down the pole. He was taken to the hospital and declared healthy, with only some scratches. From that day on, he has enthusiastically shared his faith story with others, radically committed to know and serve Jesus. He and his wife, Victoria, have since opened their home to friends and neighbors who come each week for worship. Another man in the group told of his young son who was bitten by a cobra while working in the rice paddy. Though hospitalized, the boy’s condition looked bleak. A Christian came, prayed, and the youngster recovered. The family embraced a new faith in Christ. Wherever we visit, we hear such stories of God at work touching lives. May the Lord’s name be praised in this great sub-continent, more and more!