Thank the Lord for a very successful trip to Chennai from 3 to 11 September. I visited all but one (Bihar) of YJM’s ministry partners and also had the opportunity to meet with Paul Sunder Raj from Bihar as he was in Chennai. All of the partners’ ministries carry on but have problems of one kind or another – financial or government regulations or both.
Bihar ministry is being blessed and is growing. They are beginning to build their third church building. They are having regular baptismal services of quite large numbers. The school is doing very well – 680 students from standard 1 to standard 10. They have two good candidates for the position of Principal, which will release Paul, who has been carrying this responsibility for many months and will allow him to be involved in ministry, He will remain as Assistant Principal.
The Guindy Children’s Hostel now houses 102 children. The AC Conference has not provided any funds for many months – the Mission has doubled its monthly contribution and is presently their only source of funds. The cook has left because she was not being paid and the warden – Nelson – and his wife (who are also not being paid) are carrying a huge responsibility and are under great pressure. They all need our prayers.
Shelter Trust which cares for 20 children and 10 adults – all HIV positive – is a magnificent ministry which God is blessing and using to give wonderful quality of life to these folk – their aim is to give love, Life and laughter. They continue to expand their facilities. Rev Solomon is tremendously committed to his calling and task.
Peace Children’s Care Home run by Rev John Matthew has had to close down because of new government regulations concerning ownership of property. He has bought some land out near the east coast and has a small building on it and is having a daily session after school for six days a week for about 80 children from nearby fishing villages. They are assisted with school homework (most of their homes have no electricity) and have Christian input and are given a snack or meal each day. They intend to build a bigger hostel building and will then take back their original hostel children as well as minister to the children from the village.
Christ Special High School at Sankarapuram is now in its own new custom built building and caters for about 65 physically or mentally handicapped children. They give wonderful loving care and good education and encouragement to these children. They still need to expand their building to provide extra facilities and want to buy adjacent land for play areas.
The Abishek Karunya (Mercy Anointing) Primary School for Gypsy Children at nearby Kallakuruchi has had to close as the government opened a public school using their 50 children as a basis for the school. They are now teaching the mothers of the children sewing skills and jewellery making – both to earn cash for their families – at the Abishek Sewing School. NZ fund recently provided 2 new sewing machines and tables etc. for them. They are teaching batches of 20 ladies for a 6 months sewing course. Of the first recently graduating class of 5, 3 ladies have already become self-employed and have bought their own machines.
FPTL (Faith Prayer Tract Link) New Life Home at Namakkal, Kolli Hills, run by Pastor Kirubakkaran is looking after 32 children in their small rented house. 29 are at school and 3 are under school age. They desperately need to have their own land and buildings because of the government regulations. Kirubakkaran continues to minister in the Kolli Hills and has two church buildings in the hills provided by wealthier people where he has services every Sunday. He continues to save babies (total now 189!) but because of government regulations he cannot keep the babies in his home any longer. He is finding homes for them and rescued two little ones just a couple of weeks ago.
ADDRES Centre has scaled back its activities with drug addicts and HIV positive folk as the numbers have dropped dramatically, and government funding has been cut back. They are still caring for and supporting their earlier contacts but are now moving into providing training to enable rehabilitated folk to get job skills to earn their living. Their new ministry is Stepping Stone Innovative and they are starting with a TV and Radio announcing course, a Beautician’s course and a Catering Course. They are presently in rented premises but have purchased a plot of land and in time will build their own building.