Since my last update in December our brothers and sisters in South East Asia who serve the Lord under the Advent Christian banner have continued their ministries and the Lord has brought blessing into the lives of many to whom they have ministered. Your interest, your encouragement, your prayers and your support in many practical ways are a blessing to me, to ACGC’s World Outreach Department and of course most importantly, to those who serve the Lord at the “front line” in India, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and the Philippines. May God bless you as you have blessed our folk in South East Asia.
The end of the year brings the need to report statistics to the Advent Christian General Conference in the United States for their reporting to their Executive Council of details of the ministries of all those around the world with whom they are involved and support. Statistics of course can be dull and boring but I am sure that you will join with me in thanking and praising the Lord for the statistic presented from the two Conferences in India which indicate that in the Advent Christian Conference of India, including their outreaches in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, during 2013 they were blessed with 1018 baptisms from their 85 churches with a total membership of 20,125 and the “loyal” Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches were blessed with 66 baptisms in their 7 churches with a total number of 1,170 members.
Please pray for these newly baptised brothers and sisters, remembering that in many situations public acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour brings stresses and pressures and sometimes ejection from their wider families.Pray too for the pastors and leaders of their churches as they seek to nurture them in their faith and guide their Christian walk.
JESUWAY JEEVAN (“Jesus is the Life”) MISSION, through its 10 ministry partners, is now able to minister over a wider area of India than has ever been the case in the past. Their ministry partners are now spread over four States of India – six in Tamil Nadu, two in Andhra Pradesh State, and one each in Bihar and Manipur States.
YJM continues to work closely with the two Advent Christian Conferences — the Advent Christian Conference of India (ACCI) and the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches (FBHC) — both based in Chennai, in Tamil Nadu State. These organizations represent 130+ years of AC ministry in India.
Since 2009, YJM has expanded their involvement in Christian ministry by seeking out a number of organizations outside the AC family which they support financially. These organizations have been carefully chosen for their Christian principals and principles and YJM has entered into written partnership agreements with each of them and receives regular reports from all of them. Mission Manager Immanuel or other YJM staff visit them from time to time, and are pleased to see how the funds sent to them are being used wisely.
- Five of these organizations are involved in the care and welfare of orphans and underprivileged, sick or handicapped children;
- One is a rehabilitation and job training centre for adults affected by HIV/AIDS and /or alcohol or drug addiction;
- One is a large children’s home/school for poor children;
- Three are outreach ministries of the Advent Christian Conference of India in other states of the country.
Most of these organizations, particularly those which care for children, are residential and as well as being cared for and educated the children are involved in Christian activities and are taught Christian principles and are pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Please pray for these ministry partners and for those who lead them, and for Mission Manager Immanuel as he liaises with them. Reports of their ministries appear on our website www.acmissionz.org.nz – India News – from time to time but below is a recent news item about one of the newer partners – BALUNAYAK BANJARA TRIBAL MINISTRIES at Baluthanda, Andhra Pradesh.
Pastor B.Balunayak who with his wife leads this ministry, ministers regularly to the poor, sick and homeless people in his district. He recently sent some pictures of his ministry to some of the many homeless folk who literally live at or around railway stations. They congregate outside the station during the day, begging for food or money and sleep on the warm platforms during the nights.
Pastor Balunayak and helpers from his little church congregation regularly provide food for these unfortunate folk. They also minster spiritually to the children of the many families who live in very basic conditions in the scrub around the town’s edges. See right hand picture above.
On India’s Republic Day, January 26th, Pastor Balunayak received a Social Service Award having been nominated for the award by the District Collector. The District Collector, who is the senior government official in the area, presented his award accompanied by other city and government dignitaries. YJM is very proud of our brother who thanked the Lord that he had been called to serve Him by serving his fellow citizens in this way.
The Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar also reported its statistics to ACGC which included the following – during 2013 they were blessed with a total of 351 baptisms in their 46 churches with a total membership of 1,734.
Please pray for these newly baptised brothers and sisters, remembering that in Myanmar in many situations there is still considerable anti-Christian pressure from local and government authorities and residents of the strongly Buddhist population. Pray too for the pastors and leaders of their churches as they seek to nurture them in their faith and guide their Christian walk.
Thank the Lord for progress made by Myanmar towards true democracy and pray that this progress may continue.
Pastor Timothy, one of the Conference leaders and the leader of the Advent Christian Church of Myanmar, recently forwarded information concerning one of his missionaries/church planters.
Pastor Aungthang who has a small church with a few members, is ministering among Buddhists in the Hlegu District in the Pegu Division, near Yangon City. He and his wife are also helping poor children and orphans, especially with their education. His wife is a nurse and many sick people come to their house and she does what she can to help them, in the name of Jesus. (Picture below right) Please pray for Pastor Aungthang and his family (below left) and for their ministry.
Pastor David, President of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar recently forwarded information concerning one of his missionaries/church planters. He wrote…
“His name is Pastor Aung Khant and he is from the Buddhist background. He received Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord and he has a burning desire for his brothers and sisters from Buddhist background. When those in Buddhist background. Please remember in your prayer for church planter Aung Khant.”n he received Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord his family expelled him from the family. Now he has become a church planter among those in the Buddish backgroud. Please remember in your prayer for church planter Aung Khant.”
Please pray for Brother Aung Khant and pray that the Lord will provide for his support and for transport for him as he ministers.
The little group of 11 Advent Christian members which meets at Ruth and Wilfred’s home in Kluang were not able to report any baptisms for 2013, but they were blessed by reporting that two of their contacts, who they had prayed with and for, and counselled, had made decisions to commit their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Please rejoice with them and thank the Lord for the faithful ministry of this group. Pray too for those two new Christians asking the Lord to strengthen their faith as they walk in His ways and precepts.
Ruth Devaiarakkam, the leader of the group advised us of the plans made by the group as their 2014 goals and activities, as follows…
“Our Advent Christian Church group in Kluang, Malaysia has the following plans for 2014:
Weekly worship Service in the home of Ruth Devairakkam and Wilfred.
Holy Communion Service
Monthly Holy Communion Service in the homes of ACC members.
Bible Study / Prayer Meetings
Twice a month Bible Study / Prayer Meetings in the home of Ruth or the homes of ACC members.
Ruth and Wilfred’s home is open for daily prayer by appointment.
One on One Evangelism
Market-place evangelism whenever there is an opportunity, or when friends visit Ruth and Wilfred. Sometimes ACC members bring their friends over to Ruth and Wilfred’s home for the purpose of sharing Jesus.
Ruth and Wilfred will be going for hospital visitation with ACC members who are available for the visit.
Kluang Combined Churches Activities
Our ACC group will be participating in the Kluang Combined Churches activities, including the Combined Prayer on National Day.
Our ACC group will be assisting at Christian Funeral Services whenever there is a request.
We will be of assistance at Christian weddings upon request.
Visiting New Contacts
We will be visiting the homes of new contacts.
Visiting a Children’s Home
Our ACC group will be visiting a selected Children’s Home.
Community Assistance in the Neighborhood
Our ACC group gives community assistance in some housing areas, whenever there is an urgent need, for example when there is a flood or a need to rush someone to the hospital.
Your prayers for our above-mentioned plan will be much appreciated. God bless you. Ruth”
John Middlewood and Maeo at Christian Mission Naratchakwai (CMN) are rejoicing at very good reports at recent health check-ups. Thank you for praying for them in this regard.
John offers his thanks for your prayers for many aspects of their ministry. He is seeing that prayer answered for Pastor Boonta and his family who he says are doing much better. Pastor Boonta is attending their Sunday services again and is teaching an Adult Bible Class at 9 am each week. They have never had an adult class before and John sees this as a real blessing. Pastor Boonta will be preaching at one Sunday service a month beginning in February and has also started a program of visitation in the village of Naratchakwai. It will be of great help to the overall ministry of CMN to have this assistance from a Thai pastor and of course it will also reduce the pressure on John and give him time for other parts of the ministry.
Please continue to pray for Pastor Boonta’s family. His wife Phon is making slow progress in recovery from her severe illness last year and cannot go anywhere where there is loud noise. This means that she cannot be in the church service but has to listen from nearby. Their daughter Bow is virtually bed-ridden because Pastor Boonta is no longer strong enough to lift her from bed to her wheelchair or into a vehicle – this means that both Phon and Bow are missing much necessary medical and physiotherapy treatments and check-ups. John is researching the availability of a reasonably priced bed-lift device of some kind to assist in this situation – please pray that he may be able to find and fund something suitable.
John also asks us to pray as follows…
“Pray for Bee, Parn, Ploy and Lita. They are the mainstay of the Christian Mission and the programs here. They will be starting in a discipleship class next week and they have started a Bible Correspondence course. Pray that they will have the strength and wisdom to carry the loads they have accepted. They are the leadership team for the Mission. Most of the work they do would be done by adults in other churches. God has blessed us with a dedicated team
Bee also preaches (she prefers to call it “talks”) at the Sunday morning service once a month (see picture at right) and the young people enjoy and listen very carefully to what she says. Please pray that she will be able to fit all this responsibility in with her fourth year university studies to qualify as a teacher of English.Pray for Fanta and Jane – they are our mainstays in the English Camp program and teaching English here at Christian Mission.”
A number of the members of “Some Youth Group” – the youth group at the Takanini Community Church (formerly Takanini Church of Christ) – pictured at right as they recently carried out an “act of public service” at a local hostel – are saving hard to pay for a “fellowship and service trip” to Christian Mission Naratchakwai at Nakhon Phanom. They are keen to visit an overseas mission site and are looking forward to spending time with the young people at CMN, and interacting with them, perhaps visiting their schools and best of all in John Middlewood’s opinion, talking to the Thai young people in English over a period of 10 to 14 days to encourage them in conversational English!
Many of these Kiwi young people are also saving hard to pay for their education but they are also very determined to reach their goal to visit Thailand in the not too distant future.
The Thai young people are also very keen to have them visit and to encourage them have offered to “save up” their Thai baht to help the Kiwis pay for their hotel accommodation. We hear that they have already saved enough baht to pay for two night’s accommodation for four people!
Please pray for these young people – in New Zealand and in Thailand – that they may with the Lord’s help reach the goals they have set for themselves and that the trip will be a blessing to all concerned and will be, as most short-term mission trips are, life-changing for them in some ways. If you know of any young people who may be interested in joining the team, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org – we would be pleased to give you details and to welcome new members of the team.
Many thanks once again for your prayers and your partnership with us in Advent Christian ministries in south-east Asia. God bless you as you serve Him in this way.