News From Our Churches – May 15, 2019

INDIA – AC Conferences

May is Vacation Bible School Season

If past statistics are anything to go by, there will be about 13,000 children and young people attending Vacation Bible Schools. VBS is held by most of the 71 churches of the Advent Christian Conference of India and the 15 churches of the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches during the month of May, which is the summer vacation month throughout India.

VBS programs are usually held over five or six days of a week. Sometimes they begin early in the day and provide a hot breakfast and a snack lunch for all who attend, but most often they start at about 9:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. and provide a cooked lunch for those attending. They usually include games, handcrafts and other interesting activities – and of course, two or more biblically based lessons for children and young people of various age groups each day. The final day usually sees the children’s groups performing skits or dances that follow with prizes and snacks. Parents are invited to attend. Many of the children and young people who attend are from Hindu households, as the parents use VBS in their area as a school holiday activity for their children. Many adults from the church congregations are recruited as teachers and helpers, and the pastor usually gives a Christian challenge to those attending the final day’s activities.

Following are details from some of the churches that have had their VBS early in the month:

  • Teynampet Prayer House of the FBHC (Rev. Regi Christopher)
    One hundred eighty children attended in the first week of the month. The Teynampet church is literally in the middle of a slum area and as you can see from the pictures below their relatively small building was again “full to the brim”!

  • FBHC Church at Ramapuram, (Rev. Solomon Rajan)
    Rev. Rajan wrote: Vacation Bible School was conducted at Ramapuram Blessed Hope Fellowship Church from April 29 – May 4. Forty children attended the VBS with 15 teachers leading them. The theme of the VBS was Eternal Life-giving Jesus. Many children were blessed as they got to know the love of Jesus.Every day snacks were provided. On the last day the children participated in all programs like dance, memory verses, drama and finally were gifted prizes and sent home after a happy chicken biriyani meal. President of BHFC, Pastor Jerald graced the occasion as chief guest and distributed the prizes. Thank you for your prayers.”

    Rev. Solomon Rajan presents a shawl to Rev. A. Jerald, the FBHC President, which is the way they honor guests.

  • Balunayak Banjara Tribal Ministries (Pastor Balu Nayak)
    This is one of Yesuway Jeevan Mission’s ministry partners based in Mahabubabad in Andhra Pradesh State. Pastor Nayak has sent pictures of the VBS activities held at their branch church in Baluthanda.

  • Fellowship of Blessed Hope Church at Nandanam, Chennai
    Baptisms and VBS

    Pastor Paul Selvin and his congregation at the Nandanam Church of the Blessed Hope Fellowship are thanking and praising the Lord for the working of the Holy Spirit recently in their congregation. On Sunday, April 14, they witnessed the baptism of three people from their congregation.

    Pastor Paul Selvin, with his wife Sweetlin and three candidates.

    Then from April 28 – May 5, 115 children from the neighborhood attended their annual Vacation Bible School. As you will see, they literally filled their little church!

INDIA – Bihar

Denny Moses writes:

One of our mission pastors, (name withheld for security reasons) is undergoing some severe problems by the local idol worshippers called “bajrangdal.” On May 10 while the pastor was conducting the fasting prayer in the house, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and bajrangdal people forcibly entered and brutally abused the pastor. They blamed him for converting the Hindu people by providing them money and valuable articles, thus they have charged on first information report (FIR) against him. Five various types of cases have been registered against him. The church has been disturbed completely. The pastor serves in that area with his wife and children. All of the church members are in perturbed condition. Please, we need your earnest prayer. Now the head ministry leader and some other pastors will meet with the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) regarding this case. Please, let us join in prayer to get victory in the name of Jesus Christ.

INDIA – YJM Ministry Partner: Odisha Mission (Pastor Pani)

Yesuway Jeevan Mission was recently able to once again send Pastor Ahaj Kumar Pani in Odisha some funds from ACGC International Missions’ “Bread of Life” program. He wrote as follows:

Feeding the Hungry and Homeless

People of North India are very poor and needy; poverty and hunger are very high. People do not get daily food to eat and water to drink. They die every day from starvation. Life for North Odisha peoples is always difficult and painful. Poverty is the main issue at North Odisha Mission.

American Advent Mission North Odisha took initiative to distribute fresh meals to 57 families, including children at Gandhichowk mission field. We are committed to working with poor communities and developing strategies for sustainable transformation in the life of many people.

The purpose of AAM North Odisha Mission helping hands is to address the problems of the hungry and homeless in North Odisha, to raise community awareness of their plight and determine a course of action to help.

It is a hot summer season in India, people are so thirsty and hungry. There is no one to give them food and water except AAM North India.

We are currently helping several orphaned and homeless children in Khaliyakani by providing them with a comfortable accommodation as well as food, clothing and education. House parents who love and take care of these children provide them with the love and security that they need to live and grow up to have a dignified life. It is our vision to start many more of these orphanages so we can extend our helping hand to bless the countless children who are orphans and have no one to take care of them.

Distributing Treasures

In mid-January this year, Mission Manager Immanuel asked Rev. S.R. Paul Aruldoss, a good friend of the Mission and a former President of the Advent Christian Conference of India and the current pastor of ACCI’s church at Saidapet, to visit Pastor Pani and his team in Odisha. Pastor Paul spent a week with Pastor Pani and his team visiting their various outreach areas. On this trip, Pastor Paul took him some Treasures (solar-powered, solid state, digital audio players developed by an American organization, World Mission, which have Old and New Testament stories, the Story of Jesus and a favorite audio tool, God’s Story: an 80-minute audio panorama of the Bible, recorded in many languages) with the material recorded in the language spoken by the people of Odisha: Odia.

Pastor Pani has sent details of the testimonies of some of those to whom he gave a Treasure:

An old man from a hillside ministry field received an audio Bible. He was not able to read the Bible for a long time due to his eyesight, but now he is able to receive the Word of God while operating it and hearing God’s words through the help of the audio Bible. He is very much thankful to God for his audio Bible.

A woman from a slum village ministry field is very much fortunate to get an audio Bible. She is a newly converted believer, coming from Hindu culture and idol worship background. She is always holding the audio Bible in her hands and continuously hears the Word of God. She is very happy.

A disabled woman from Jharsuguda mission field who was lying on sick bed received an audio Bible. She had not been able to read the Bible for many years due to her illness and old age, but now she is able to hear the Word of God through the help of an audio Bible. She very much appreciates it.” (Pastor Paul Aruldoss with Pastor Pani)

Ministering to Homeless and Disabled Children in the Belpahara Mission Field

Life in India is incredibly difficult for children with disabilities and for their caregivers. AAM North Odisha seeks to develop the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the children under its care and to support their families, often coping with poverty, loneliness and isolation.

We reach out to homeless individuals through street and mobile outreach services and once we engage with homeless individuals, youths and families with children, we help to find shelters for them to stay in and we provide beds, blankets, food, clothes and free medical treatment (medical camps) so the people with disabilities can become stable and productive members of their communities, as well as help homeless children to go to schools.

We have laid down plans to help the poor and homeless this year. We plan to meet more than 700 homeless people and poor children who are not able to go to school.

NIGERIA

Nigeria AC Conference has selected 16 members from different churches for training in the Advent Christian Theological College. These new students have started their school training. Some are evangelists and some are pastors. All of them are working effectively in their churches to become future ministry leaders.

The conference plans to conduct the matriculation ceremony to welcome these students into their institution in August of this year.

PHILIPPINES – Oro Bible College (OBC)

Baptisms

Below are photos of newly baptized converts in the Philippines. OBC interns were able to participate in these baptisms during their internships.

Loay Bohol
An OBC intern baptizing a new believer.

Iligan
An OBC intern in Iligan assisting the pastor and the candidates for baptism.

Cagayan de Oro
OBC intern at Blessed Global Fellowship in Cagayan de Oro assisting the pastor in baptizing a new convert.

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