Final Days in India

March 25 2013

Final Days in India

Yesterday I spent 1½ hours with the top leaders of our ECI church. These men are visionary pioneers who have seen God grow the ECI to over 3500 congregations. As OMS field director I had a list of items to discuss with them. God knit our hearts together with open and heartfelt sharing. Although I am just an ordinary fellow from Middlefield, the Lord seems pleased to let me serve at this time. I also spent time with Dr. Onesimu, the principal of our Chennai Bible Seminary. A former student of mine from the early 80s, he and I have a special relationship. He shared some personal challenges he faces, but is determined to press forward. His vision includes reaching new areas of Chennai with the Good News. 

 

On Sunday, I preached in his church and he translated. Many were moved by God’s command for us to lovingly reach out to people around us still without Jesus. After the service Glenda and I met with 10 young adults and challenged them to pursue obedience to God’s will for their futures. One young lady now in university wants to work among women trapped in the sex trade. Her father, Panneer, works with World Vision, ministering among street children and disabled kids. 

 

I’ve mentioned several dreams and a vision for the future. In each one of our lives  God is inviting us to discover and fulfill his design for our days here on Earth. The first step is to ask God. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” I pray that your life will bring much joy in the service of Christ as you step out in faith to fulfill your own dreams! 

 

This journey to India is nearly complete. Our ministry has been fruitful; the stories of God at work are many. Your prayers have played a vital part in enabling God’s Spirit to touch lives. Thank you for standing at our side! The harvest, said Jesus, is ready and ripe. Today is God’s moment for India. There is much work yet to be done! 

Yours for the unreached of India,

Roger & Glenda

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church planting, church multiplication, faith multiplied, joymissions in India

We continue to follow Roger and Glenda in India…

March 20 2013

We continue to follow Roger and Glenda in India…

We are now in Bangalore, in the south of India. 89 church planters have come from three states. Because 20 more people than expected came, things became a bit chaotic with the logistics of finding more lodging and another training hall down the street! Never mind, you either learn to be flexible here or you probably won’t come back. Unfortunately, my body is struggling with some kind of bug. I am trusting God to touch me as I rest tonight. Your prayers would surely be welcomed! Glenda has written a summary of our final couple days in Bhopal. Hope you enjoy!

Following the Bhopal training we took the opportunity over two days to see God at work around the city. You may remember that almost 30 years ago an industrial explosion occurred on the outskirts of Bhopal with more than 16,000 killed by poisonous gas. Because of this tragedy one would expect a dusty, depressed and demoralized city. However, there are areas of beauty in the lakes and gardens as well as evident economic growth. More than that, though, we caught glimpses of inspiring growth of the church! 

Pastor Amos is the T&M coordinator for Madhya Pradesh. In recent years he has been working closely with Abdul M., training him to be a church planter. Through their ministry, five people were ready to be baptized that day. When we arrived at the church, only two of the five had arrived. One of them, an undergarment salesman, couldn’t come on time because his bicycle tire was punctured. He had been instructed to bring dry clothes to put on following the baptism. He thought he was being asked to bring his merchandise. He bundled up a huge assortment – so much the bike’s tire couldn’t handle the weight! While waiting for him, we interviewed another two candidates who were present. Our co-worker, Jim Hogrefe, pointed out a rat that was near a drain. Soon after I felt little feet scurrying across my foot! Afterwards Jim and Roger made several witty suggestions as to the name of my “pet rat!”

Both of the men who were lovingly baptized by Amos, as well as a farmer who was baptized later that day, were all faithfully discipled by Abdul. He travels several hundred kilometers each month to encourage and train new believers. We are so impressed by this humble, hard-working, dedicated servant of God. 

We drove past the remains of the Union Carbide factory on our way to visit a middle-aged couple who now follow Christ. A house church regularly meets at their home. Not long ago they sensed God was calling them to build an “upper room” on top of their existing house so that more people could attend. It will seat over 100, Indian style! Stepping out in faith, they took out a loan and construction is well underway. We were privileged to be asked to help dedicate this room for the glory of God. I am SO thankful to God for the opportunity to have my heart touched by God’s people in this land.

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: answered prayer, church planting, faith multiplied, God's provisionmissions in India

Joseph in India

March 15 2013

Joseph in India

Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt. Previously he was his father’s favorite with great dreams from God. Now he labored in Potiphar’s house as a lowly servant. But several times the Bible repeats the phrase, “the Lord was with Joseph.” In his darkest hour, when Joseph languished in prison for a crime he never committed, God was there with him. A divine purpose and plan was unfolding!

Today at lunch we met and prayed with the manager of the hotel, also named Joseph. His story is quite amazing. From an unemployed immigrant from Sri Lanka to the general manager of a good sized hotel, he has faithfully served with excellence. Yet he still considers his “job” to be sharing God’s love and Word with those around him. He often prays for the sick, imparting faith and healing. Now he stands at the crossroads of a new beginning, seeking to start up a number of hotels dedicated to the glory of God. He is trusting the Lord for many more miracles!

Earlier, Glenda I shared tea with a co-worker named Durai Suami. He is a young, very intelligent man of 35, and is committed to doing all things well. He is above all a servant of God, who faithfully carries out any task required of him. He is a teacher at our OMS/ECI Bible seminary, academic dean, practical ministries coordinator, associate pastor at a local church, editor and publisher of the ECI Church Planter online magazine, and hopes to soon embark on his PhD studies.

I told him of my vision to begin a compassionate church planting ministry in a slum somewhere around Chennai. We agreed to pray and gather information until I return in May. We will be seeking a T&M trainer who will begin the work under ECC supervision. In addition, D.S’s wife Ruth is a nurse who could help with a medical compassion ministry. Please pray for this dream to become reality.

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: God's provision, life changemissions in India

Hello Again!

March 14 2013

Hello Again!

Let me introduce you to 3 of our ECC church planters. We are in awe of what they are accomplishing for the kingdom of God!

Of the 64 who participated in the training, two were women. Narinder, is around 45 years old, and has been a widow for nearly 10 years. She lives in the village of Kaler, in the state of Punjab. She has started up 2 house churches and is training two others to reach 2 more villages. Kashmiro is somewhat younger than Narinder, but has also been used by God to plant one church group. Fifty people meet weekly in her home for worship. Kashmiro, from a Sikh background, was wonderfully healed of an emotional/mental condition 6 years ago. Now she is known as a prayer warrior with a great burden to serve the Lord. 

Whatever she learns she applies immediately. Glenda and I challenged Kashmiro to pursue regular meetings with a person of peace in the neighboring village. She will pray for needs, share Bible stories, and has a goal of starting a house church there by June. Both ladies hear Bible stories from their T&M trainer and then pass them on to their people. We encouraged them to keep in touch weekly by phone along with monthly visits to pray together and celebrate what God is doing! They live 30 km away from each other.

We also spoke with Ujjwal Sardar, a 40 year old man from the Sunderban Islands, in West Bengal, near Bangladesh. He loves to write and sing songs that tell stories of God’s grace. He does so with great emotion and dramatic gestures. He was a farmer who was earning only $3 dollars a day and trying to support his wife and 3 children. His father got very sick and the family was desperately seeking help from the Hindu gods as well as medical people. 

Nothing changed. 

It was as that time that he met our ECC team leader Patra, who shared with him the Good News of Christ. Ujjwal began to anoint his father with oil and pray for healing in Jesus’ name. His father improved dramatically. As a result, Ujjwal and his family grew strong in faith and he began sharing his faith story with others. However, one day while doing ministry, his son called him to say that someone had set their house on fire! Ujjwal quickly turned to God in prayer asking for divine intervention. Within ½ hour his son called back to say a sudden rain storm had put out the fire and the house was not destroyed! Since then, the arsonist has asked forgiveness and begun attending the house church started in the village.

Much to our amazement, Ujjwal is teaching the T&M strategy to 15 pastoral workers who are each establishing house churches on 5 different islands. Many have become followers of Jesus and in April, 500 new believers from ECC outreach around the islands will be baptized! When we asked Ujjwal, “Why such abundant fruit?” He replied, “Continuous prayer.”

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: answered prayer, church planting, faith multiplied, train and multiplymissions in India

More from India

March 11 2013

More from India

Bhopal...

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?

Tags: church planting, missions in India, person of peacetraining

More from India

March 11 2013

More from India

Bhopal...

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 have such deep commitment? Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church planting, missions in India, person of peacetrainingtrain and multiply

Greetings from India!

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

 

 

Tags: dynamic service, missions in Indiajoy

Off to India!

March 4 2013

Off to India!

Greetings from Middlefield! The air is cold and the gray sky punctuates the stark landscape as I gaze out the window. Nevertheless, sap buckets are hanging on the maple trees and daffodils are pushing up out of the cold earth. As it does every year, spring is knocking at the door! I pruned the grape vines and cleaned the asparagus patch in anticipation of new and fruitful growth. 

Sometimes God works the same way. He allows us to face restlessness, frustration, confusion and even failure, so that his purposes might be advanced in our lives. He “trims” our vine so that we will seek his face with a single minded focus. When we finally put Jesus at the center of things, we invite his energy (i.e., the Holy Spirit!) to work in new ways. 

I need that right now as Glenda and I anticipate our departure for India. I would be foolish to go into a cross-cultural ministry without a dependency upon God and the spiritual equipping that he provides. We are sent to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything that Christ commands us. Nevertheless, our enemy does not sit idly by. He yields his turf, and the ones he holds captive, very reluctantly, and not without a fight. But victory belongs to Jesus. He has already bound the “strong man” (Mark 3:27) and defeated Satan through his death and resurrection. Through your intercession we anticipate kingdom advances “as you help us by your prayers” (2 Cor.1:11). Would you please lift us up daily before the throne of grace? Thank you! 

Our 3 week journey will take us to Delhi, Bhopal, Bangalore and Chennai. We will invest ourselves in the training of leaders who are planting new churches and helping others to do the same. We call this church multiplication, and it is happening in hundreds of villages and communities throughout India! We will teach, coach, encourage, exhort, visit, and celebrate the works of God. 

Blessings in Christ, Roger & Glenda Kruse

Roger & Glenda obeyed the call to GO! Who else will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: trainingmissions in India

What is a Person of Peace?

February 25 2013

What is a Person of Peace?

The teaching on the person of peace described in Luke 10:1-20 and similar gospel instructions of Jesus in Matthew 9 & 10 and Luke 9 form the only explicit New Testament instruction on how to evangelize.  From this passage we can see that a person of peace is:

  1. A person of receptivity.  He gives food and lodging to the evangelists who went ahead of Jesus
  1. A person of referral.  Since the evangelists were instructed not to move from house to house, the most logical way for them to connect with the whole town was through the relationships that the person of peace introduced them to.
  1. A person of reputation. From the Luke 10 instructions and the fulfillment of those instructions in the following passages, it seems clear that a person of peace is a person of reputation, (they have a known reputation, either good or bad).

Review the scriptures cited below to see if Jesus’ pattern of discovering and staying with a person of peace to announce the Kingdom of God in word and deed was played out in the following passages.

    • Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1-10
    • Andrew – John 1:40-42
    • The Samaritan woman – John 4:1-42
    • The lame man at Beautiful Gate – Acts 3:1- 4:4
    • Cornelius – Acts 10
    • Lydia – Acts 16: 11-15
    • The Jailer – Acts 16: 25-34

In Every Community for Christ, we are teaching evangelistic church planters to pray for look for, stick with, and disciple persons of peace.  We then empower persons of peace to reach their family, friends, and other people in his or her network with the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ.  As we talk to people who have given serious attention to sharing the Gospel and planting churches, the vast majority can describe one or more persons of peace who has multiplied the impact of his or her ministry. 

Who will seek Persons of Peace? Who will multiply the local church? Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: evangelism, person of peacetraining

Greater Love

February 18 2013

Greater Love

Three of us sailed to a village called N- to give baptism to 11 people from four families. It took us four hours by boat to travel. We conducted the first worship service at that village. When I asked Yu (55 yrs) why they decided to become Christians, his answer was quite simple. He said, “I was a witchdoctor and village priest. But when I look around my surroundings, I began knowing that it is not good to be animists anymore for my community. Then we all turned to the major religion of the country. But we found difficulties in some of its teachings, like if you can give more (merits), you will get salvation. Since we are poor, we can’t donate enough money to get to heaven. We even struggled to propitiate evil spirits by offering our animals while we were animists. 

When we got sick and needed to be hospitalized, we saw a great difference between believers of other religions and Christians. There is no visiting, no care, no prayer among other believers and animists. But there is in Christians. Even though they don’t know us, they care and love one another as brothers and sisters. They visit and help with whatever they can. I found great love in this religion, which I think is the mark of true religion. Your missionaries told us that there is forgiveness if we repent and believe in Jesus and get salvation which is free, attainable even for the poor like us. That’s why we decided to believe Jesus and become Christians.”

We entered Yu’s house, and we did what they called house cleaning. That is removing all the items relating to animism or other religions. At one corner, we found some bones of animals and leaves that were used for spirit worship. We also found a picture of monks, tracts and flowery leaves that are offered to an idol. After prayer, we did consecration of the house.

After that we held the first service sharing the full account of the Gospel, inviting them to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and gave baptism.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

Who will help to fulfill the Great Commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church planting, evangelism, person of peacevictory over darkness