Greetings to you once again and thank you for your faithful prayers for those who serve the Lord under the Advent Christian banner in India, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar. We continue to hear of pressures and problems and difficult situations, but we also get reports of God’s power working in the lives of those who hear the message of God’s love and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Your partnership in prayer and financial support plays a significant part in those eternal results.
Without doubt the greatest need for prayer continues to be centred on the situation in India. Immanuel, FBHC President Prabu Manuel and Treasurer Regi Christopher continue to be under tremendous pressure from the group of rebel pastors who are continuing to say and do things and instigate activities which are unbelievable for those who profess to be ministers of the Gospel.
To be fair, we think that the nefarious activities are mainly being carried out by a smaller group of 5 men – J Daniel, J Solomon, A Manova, K George Kennedy and Immanuel Ragu – please pray expressly for these men and their families – pray that the Lord may change their hearts and minds and bring them to walk in His ways and in righteousness once again and to honour the commitments to serve Him in sincerity and in truth that each of them has made in the past.
Please also pray for the other 8 members of the group, who we feel are probably being driven by the (misguided) hope of financial gain and are probably not aware of the extent to which the five leaders of the group are prepared to go to obtain that wealth. They are also probably unaware that in the unlikely event of the leaders of the group attaining their goal, they – the 8 – may get little or nothing whilst the leaders get most or all!
Please thank the Lord for very helpful support that we are receiving from most of the leaders of the Advent Christian Conference of India, who stepped into the very difficult situation on 8 September and assisted Immanuel very successfully that day and who continue to support him in various ways. Unfortunately, their attempts to mediate with the rebel group have not thus far been successful, but we greatly appreciate their support and assistance.
Please also pray for and thank the Lord for the nine Pastors and one Bible Woman who have remained faithful to the legitimate Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches leadership and to the Mission. Pray especially for Pastors Prabu Manuel and Regi Christopher, who along with Immanuel are the subject of the legal suits and injunctions brought to the court by the rebels. The rebels are in contact with some of these loyal folk, trying to entice them to join their group – pray that the Lord will give them the courage to stay on the straight and narrow pathway.
The Chennai Civil Court gave judgement early this month in favour of J Daniel for one of the injunctions he sought – a stay on the sale of the land at Guindy which the rebels claim belongs to them. Our lawyers, Ravi Paul and Achuthan have just this week received the written Court Order and are so disgusted with the judgement that they are taking an appeal to the High Court rather than the Civil Court on the basis of “unfair process” which is rarely used or accepted by the High Court and is really a criticism of the judge and his process. They are seeking the staying of the Order and of all the other actions taken by J Daniel. The main suit hearing was set down for hearing on 17 September and on that date was adjourned until 19 October. With the appeal under way the hearing is likely to be adjourned again on the new date until the appeal is heard and judgement given. If our appeal succeeds all of J Daniel’s actions are likely to be permanently stayed. Pray for wisdom for our lawyers – Ravi Paul and Achuthan.
Please pray that all of these matters may be dealt with promptly by the Courts – that would be unusual for India – and of course pray that the results will be in our favour and will allow all concerned to get back to what is most important – the ministry of the Gospel.
Please also continue to pray for the sale of the land at Guindy. In spite of the legal action, we are continuing negotiations with several parties who are showing very keen interest in buying the property at what we consider to be a good price. The fact that there is more than one party interested of course may ultimately mean a slightly better price. We are keen to get this matter concluded so that the AC Conference will be in a position of long term financial stability, and the Mission will have financial resources which will allow us to be financially self sufficient in India and to expand our support of the ministries of our partners in the Lord’s work in India.
We have recently put a comprehensive report from Pastor Paul Sunder Raj up on the website, which gives details of the way the Lord is blessing the ministry of his team in Bihar, North India. If you haven’t read that report, please do so soon. Please continue to pray for Paul and his team of pastors and the teachers at St Xavier’s school – the impact of their ministry is very substantial. As you pray, also give thanks for the many lives that are being changed in Bihar.
In Naratchakwai, Northeast Thailand, John and Maeo Middlewood continue to be very busy in their ministries with children and young people. They have recently had thorough medical check-ups and are thanking the Lord for good results – rejoice with them and thank the Lord.
Their ministries, both from the Christian Mission Naratchakwai compound and in association with several other churches in the area, and in the more than 30 schools in which they teach English to the students, continue to touch many young lives with their witness to their Lord by the love and compassion they show to literally hundreds of children and young people. They seek prayer for their 7 “daughters” who live in their home and who they are helping through their studies at secondary school. Semester exams are being held in the last week of October and much is riding on the outcome of the exams. John mentions that the four that have not accepted Christ are more worried than necessary. He says that in fact they are all quite bright when compared with their peers.
John and Maeo will be hosting a meeting from 3 to 10 November at their compound at which the four Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar leaders will be present, along with Rev Ron Thomas, Executive Director of the Advent Christian General Conference, Rev Tim Fox, World Outreach Director of ACGC and me. Sadly India Mission Manager Immanuel, who was also to attend, is unable to leave Chennai at this time.
Please pray that the fellowship and discussions and planning for the future during this time will be blessed by the Lord. Please also pray for safety for all attendees as they travel. Please pray especially for two of the Myanmar leaders who are presently having difficulty renewing their passports – pray that all four of the ACCM leaders will be able to attend. Thank the Lord for John and Maeo’s willingness to host this meeting and thank the Lord for the provision of the wonderful facilities with which He has blessed the Christian Mission Naratchakwai.
Reports from Myanmar indicate that those who were suffering from Dengue fever – adults and children alike – have recovered well. This is an answer to the many prayers that were raised to the Lord by folk around the world. Please thank the Lord for His answers and for the return to health of all those involved.
Because of the generosity of the ladies of the Central Region Women’s Home and Foreign Mission Society in the United States, a further three bore wells are under construction at the homes of Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar leaders’/ believers’ homes and a further two are still to be drilled. These wells will be a real blessing to our brothers and sisters as they provide sufficient good quality water for them and for their neighbours. The leaders express their gratitude for the supply of good water for their people, and advise that they are determined to share this blessing with their Buddhist neighbours and friends.
The ruling military junta in Myanmar (who call themselves the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)) announced on 13 August 2010 that multi-party general elections are scheduled to be held in Burma (officially Myanmar) on 7 November 2010 in accordance with the new constitution which was approved in a referendum held in May 2008. They indicated that the general election forms the fifth step of the seven-step “road map to democracy proposed by the SPDC in 2003, the sixth and seventh steps being the convening of elected representatives and the building of a modern, democratic nation, respectively.
Sadly, this is not as positive as it sounds! One commentator describes the situation like this…
“Not surprisingly the whole thing is a ruse — as the 2008 constitution that the junta dictated guarantees that 25% of the Parliaments’ seats will go to the military. It’s kind of hard for an election to be free when 25% of the outcome is already decided by law… It stipulates that no amendments to the charter can be made without the consent of more than 75 percent of lawmakers.”
We therefore need to continue to pray that the Lord will restore true democracy to Myanmar so that the present prohibitions on Christian ministry and worship will be replaced by true freedom to worship, and all the people of the land will be freed from the burden of oppression that they currently bear.
Use GoodSearch www.goodsearch.com or Google www.google.com to read more information on “Elections in Myanmar”.
Thank you once again for your partnership with us in Advent Christian ministries. God bless you as you serve Him in this way.