Dear friends, supporters and prayer partners,
Thank you for your prayers for our brothers and sisters in South East Asia who serve the Lord under the Advent Christian banner. God continues to answer your prayers and again I can report that men, women and young people are accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and are being baptised. There are many more recent encouraging reports from our Advent Christian workers on the website – www.acmissionz.org.nz – please check them out!
On Saturday 12 April, the half yearly General Body Meeting (General Meeting) of the Advent Christian Conference of India convened and elected Rev. A. Francis Thangadurai to the positions of President of the Conference and Chairman of the Trust Association of the Advent Christian Conference of India Pvt Ltd (which organisation holds the properties of the Conference in trust for the members) for the ensuing two years. He will be eligible for re-election for a further two years at the end of his first term of office. Rev Francis Thangadurai has been Vice President of the Conference for the past four years and has also ministered at some of the larger churches of the Conference in recent years.
In advising us of his election, Rev Francis Thangadurai wrote…
“I am happy to inform you, that I have been entrusted this post of President by our Lord Jesus Christ. Though there were many hurdles in this attempt, our Lord has strengthened me with His grace to achieve this position. God helped me throughout my career from the day that I have dedicated myself to his ministry. Moreover, I request you to join hands with me in prayer in developing this great mission in India in future and I also expect your full co-operation in rebuilding the ministry of AC Conference and its churches.”
American Advent Mission/Yesuway Jeevan Mission was pleased to have the newly elected President of the Advent Christian Conference of India, Rev. A. Francis Thangadurai, recently visit our office at Guindy to formally “present his credentials” as it were. He was accompanied by the Conference Treasurer Rev P. M. Vijayaseelan and Senior Pastor Rev. S.D. David. As is the custom in India, Mission Manager Immanuel acknowledged and honoured Rev Francis Thangadurai with a shawl. (Pictured)
Please keep Rev Thangadurai in your prayers as he leads and rebuilds the Conference over the next four years – his responsibilities will be great and at times onerous.
Pastor Prakasam pastors a Fellowship of Blessed Hope Church at Guduvancheri which is a suburb about 35 km southwest of central Chennai and which is a major residential area for a large, important commercial/industrial district in which many tertiary educational institutions, IT companies and industrial factories, including a major motor-vehicle assembly plant, are located. He recognised the Lord’s specific call to minister at Guduvancheri in 2007 and together with his wife Leema and young son Paul Asre has ministered there since then.
His ministry is based in the home he rents – property in the area is very expensive – and this causes him ongoing problems as most of the house owners are Hindus and are unwilling to rent their properties to Christians and particularly to have Christian ministries based at their properties. Even if the owners are willing, their neighbours and friends often pressure them to not allow Christians to rent. His congregation presently numbers 25, with an average attendance of about 15 at services and meetings He has had to move his family several times in the seven years he has been ministering there and it seems that he may soon again need to find a new rental house. Yesuway Jeevan Mission plans to purchase property for a church and residence in the area when funds are available – please continue to pray that the property at Guindy will be sold as this will provide funds towards this project.
On 20 April Pastor Prakasam had the joy of baptising his 14th convert to Christianity – Mrs Joyce Kamatchi. (Pictured at right). Please pray for Mrs Kamatchi, that her faith may grow as she has been obedient to her Lord’s admonition that she publicly acknowledge her faith. Pastor Prakasam advises that Mrs Kamatchi has a medical problem – “a lump in her stomach” – please pray that it may be the Lord’s will that this will be healed. Please also pray for Mrs Kamatchi’s husband who has yet to become a Christian.
Please pray regularly for Pastor Prakasam and Leema as they faithfully serve the Lord at Guduvancheri.
Rev Jerald, together with his wife Anu and daughters (pictured – a few years ago) ministers for the Lord at the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Church at Senthil Nagar which is in a northern suburb of Chennai, about 22 km from the Central Railway Station. He started his ministry as a church plant in 1994, with no believers and now has 60 families (about 200 individuals including children) worshipping regularly.
On 3 April Rev Jerald had the joy of baptising four young people from the congregation and they were welcomed into membership of the church, with the right hand of fellowship, at the morning service on Sunday 6 April.
As is the case with most of the churches of the Fellowship of Blessed Hope and the Advent Christian Conference of India, the Senthil Nagar church held its VBS (Vacation Bible School) early in May – the main summer holiday month in India. They had 75 children attend for six full days. The program includes many varied activities including Biblical teaching and the provision of meals and snacks.
Please thank the Lord for those who were willing to commit a full week of their holiday time to be teachers and helpers at Senthil Nagar and at many other AC churches. Pray also that the Holy Spirit will have opened the hearts of many of the children and young people to His Word and to the message of Life in Jesus Christ
Please pray regularly for Rev Jerald and Anu, and those of his congregation who assist him in the ministry at Senthil Nagar
Praise the Lord for answered prayer! Because of a substantial gift from a generous donor in New Zealand, Pastor Roy Rocha and his family were able to make a second trip to Tacloban, on the Island of Leyte. During his first trip earlier in the year to help with relief to the many hundreds of thousands who had been affected by Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ or ‘Haiyan’ as it was known in the Philippines – reported to be the strongest typhoon ever to strike land anywhere in the world – Pastor Roy felt the Lord’s strong call to him and his family to return to minister further both practically and spiritually. His full report is on the ACMissioNZ website, but I quote from the beginning and end of that report as follows…
“Dear Friends @ ACMissioNZ, Thank you very much for your continued partnership in the work of the Lord. Your prayers and support made our MISSION TRIP possible, to God be all the glory forever and ever!”
and at the end of his report…
“Early morning, I prayed towards the mountains and declared blessing to the Land. I praised God for the HOPE which is in his SON our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Before we left, we went to Ormoc (a nearby town that was also badly hit). We stayed and in some way ministered to a pastor with his family who lost his whole church building. There I saw phrases that say: ‘Ormoc is ROOFLESS but not HOPELESS’ ‘Ormoc is HOPEFUL and THANKFUL, because of you GENEROUS PEOPLE’
Once again friends @ ACMissioNZ, thank you for your prayers and support!
Thank you for sending me there! Thank you for the partnership in giving HOPE! ‘It is a great thing to serve the Lord’
In Christ, The Rocha Family, your friend, your missionary, for the glory of God”
Please continue to pray for Pastor Roy and his family and those who minister with him in the Novaliches district in Quezon City in Metro Manila and as they are willing to reach out to other parts of their country with Christian love, care and compassion.
“Prayer Item 1
Lately, some young couples, Christian and non-Christian, from our neighborhood and outstation, have approached us for advice and encouragement, regarding how to look after their aged parents during their illness. Some of them had visited me when I was taking care of my parents, the late Rev.and Mrs. T. Devairakkam, at my home for three years, and also when they were ill before passing away. I was able to encourage these young couples, as my husband Wilfred and I had the experience of looking after my parents, which was a challenge to us, as God taught us many things to enable us to be with them and be for them when they needed us most.
This year the Lord is leading young couples, whose parents are living with them, to seek us for encouragement in their situation. Please pray along with us for these young couples, so that they will be strengthened by the Lord, to look after their aged parents with care, compassion, love, patience and perseverance, and to be spiritually sensitive to their needs and feelings, and for emotional and spiritual strength to overshadow them.
Prayer Item 2
Pray for our friends in our neighborhood, Christians and non-Christians who come to my home to learn more about Jesus. They have received Bibles from us earlier. They are English-speaking Chinese people, Tamil-speaking Indians and English-speaking Indians. They also request us to pray for them when they visit us.
Prayer Item 3
A non-Christian lady from outstation has requested us to pray for her son, so that he can recover from dengue fever speedily. We are sharing Jesus with her. Please pray along with us for God’s personal encounter and intervention into their lives and situations.”
“As of Saturday morning, we were fearful that there would be very few people at our Easter Service because most people were still out of town and we did not expect them back.
First blessing from God was that he sent Nun back for a week and she was here and we had a chance to talk and catch up with each other. God has blessed her and she will be changing her major and go back to the university as an English Major with the goal of becoming a teacher. She will be a good one, please pray for her. Our prayer is that she would move back here and go to school and again help us here at the mission. She is considering it. [Nun played an important part in leadership at CMN a couple of years ago and went to Bangkok to seek an opportunity to study nursing. Ernie] Sunday morning, we had several students bring parents with them to church this morning. This, I think, is another first for the mission. The parents have been invited back and we pray they will return.
Third blessing, Laobada [church] appeared with 7 people this morning. A few days ago, they were not sure they would be coming. Praise God
We had no idea how many people would show up from Sang Hin village, because Jane had not told us if anyone would be coming. About 15 showed up this morning. All told we had 60 people. Close to a record for a Sunday service not combining with others. When the dust settled, we had 60 people in church this morning. We thank and praise God because Friday night in my prayers, I placed the whole day in his hands. “
Christian Mission Naratchakwai has always played a very active part in life and activities in Naratchakwai Village. It was no surprise therefore when John and Maeo advised as follows concerning the village hospital/clinic, which is just a few hundred metres down the road from the Mission…
“On May 7, 2014, the Christian Mission made a donation to the local village hospital to add an emergency room and treatment center as part of their expansion and preparation for inspection and accreditation sometime next year. The Christian Mission donated 30,000 baht total – almost $1000.00. This money was originally planned to be used for helping the churches in the [Christ for all People Churches Association], but after almost 5 months and little or no communication and no plans by other churches asking for assistance, the board at the Christian Mission, after lots of prayer and discussion decided this would be a better use of the funds and in the long run probably benefit more people. (Pictured at right: Maeo handing donation to the hospital Director)
We are also going to involve the village hospital in locating children with medical problems that cannot be handled here at our hospital. Thai Lao Cambodia Brotherhood has been providing assistance in the past and we want the Mission to get involved in it too in a small way to start, and see what happens.
Please pray for guidance, wisdom, health and strength for all of the work God seems to be leading us into.”
Please continue to pray for John and Maeo’s helath and that the Lord may lead them to a suitable Thai pastor to join the team.
“In our country the authorities, community leaders, parents and Monks are working together to defend from Christianity and to fight Christian activities. They have started Truth Schools for children in many places now (like children’s Sunday school). Therefore there is fear among churches and Christian leaders. By the grace of God our churches, orphanages, Bible schools and Children’s ministries are going well today.
My teaching class for poor students also is continuing well. I have two young girls newly converted from teaching class. (Picture below, left)
I have teaching class for missionaries from different Churches (how to plant home Churches effectively among unreached people). I train 10 – 20 pastors in one month or two months. I love very much this work.
(Picture below middle)
After celebrating Easter Sunday, we also have eating fellowship (chicken curry).
All of our students will start their new classes very soon. (Picture below right) We really need your support for our children and their education needs – school uniforms, admission fees, school bags, books, pens and others.”
Please pray that the Lord will bless the ministry of all the members of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar and that the ministry of the Christian message will not be hindered by the new activities mentioned by Pastor T.
The number of orphans and underprivileged children cared for by the members of the Conference has risen to 223 and most of them are old enough to attend school. The new school year begins in June in Myanmar and all four member organisations of the Conference are faced with significant costs, as mentioned in T’s report, as the children go back to school. Please bring this pressing need before the Lord in the coming days and weeks.
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.