Dear friends, supporters and prayer partners,
I arrived back in Auckland a week ago today from the United States, where I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the Twelfth Triennial Convention of the Advent Christian General Conference of America at Charlotte, North Carolina. As has been my experience at earlier conventions, those of us who made up the International Group were very warmly welcomed and enjoyed sweet fellowship with each other and with the delegates and visitors who attended the convention. The international group, pictured during a visit to the ACGC denominational office to meet the staff members who kept the offices open during the convention, included folk from the Philippines, Japan, India, Myanmar, Malawi, Haiti and New Zealand; those resident in the United States who minister in Honduras and Mexico and urban ethnic ministries within the US, as well as the World Outreach Director and the three Area Directors. A number of invited representatives from other countries were unable to obtain visas to enter the United States
Director of World Outreach Jeff Walsh had developed a convention within a convention for the outreach personnel and while the US delegates were in business sessions, our group was having our own time of reporting and sharing and being ministered to. We were able to participate in our choice of a very interesting series of workshops. We were the guests of the WHFMS ladies at their banquet at the beginning of the convention and an ice cream social was arranged for one evening where each country had its own display table, and all of the convention attendees could attend and meet and chat with the international visitors. One of the most moving events was the parade, at the beginning of the Sunday morning service, of the flags of the United States, the Christian flag and the flags of the other 28 countries around the world in which there are Advent Christian ministries affiliated to ACGC.
Another notable and moving event was the re-commissioning of Jeff and Penny Vann who are coming to serve in New Zealand in partnership with our Advent Christian Conference of New Zealand and its churches and I was privileged to be part of that event as President of ACCONZ. They will continue to carry out their duties as Asia/Pacific Area Directors and Co-ordinators of the Global Training Initiative, but will have about 15 hours each per week to work with ACCONZ and its churches and ministries to assist us to develop growth and sustainability. This appointment has been made possible by funding made available by the Piedmont Advent Christian Conference in North Carolina and we are very grateful to them for sharing their resources with us. Present plans are for Jeff and Penny to arrive in New Zealand in January next year.
Please pray that they may be able to obtain the necessary NZ visas to enable them to come.
Sister Ruth Devairakkam recently reported as follows…
“Greetings in the precious Name of Jesus.Thank you for praying along with us.
A Couple looking after their aged Father: An amazing miracle took place in this couple’s life. God restored their marriage and they are able to deal with the negatives in their personalities. In the process of looking after their aged father, they are able to see who they are in the Lord. Today there is peace and harmony in their home. They are keeping in touch with us.
Sharing Jesus to a Young Lady: The lady with whom we are sharing Jesus is experiencing the presence of God in her situation.
Grief over the Death of her Husband: A lady who was in great grief after the death of her husband is now finding strength in Christ Jesus to manage her life through His Word.
Recently, Wilfred and I were invited for a house dedication by Simon, Wilfred’s younger brother. The house is near a port, 90 km from Kluang, Malaysia. We prayed for the house before Simon’s family moved in. Simon and his family visit us often and pray with us.
- A lady in our neighborhood requested us to pray for her relative, going for an operation. Please pray for a successful operation, and that she will be delivered from any form of fear.
- A young lady is seeking restoration with her mother. Pray for a breakthrough from every obstacle to their relationship.
- Pray for our Christian friends who are facing spiritual warfare in their lives, for God’s empowerment to walk in victory.
In the last update I asked you to pray that the Lord would provide for the leaders of the AC Conference in Myanmar as they were faced with substantial costs as the 223 orphan children they care for started a new school year.
Thank you for praying – the Lord answered your prayers and we were able to send a substantial amount to be shared among the four leaders on the basis of the number of children they each care for.
ACCM President Pastor David replied as follows…
“Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ from Myanmar.
We are happy to report about materials distribution to our children ministry. Most of children received writing books, pens, pencils, school uniforms, umbrellas and school bags. Now they are ready to go to school.
Most of children they never saw this kind of good materials in their life. When they received this materials in their life they are happy and their life is changing now. They never had this kind of materials in their life before they came to our children homes. Now they all are happy. Thanks for your helping for children ministry.
Thanks and God bless you.
Please also pray for Pastor Kenneth and his wife Eunice (pictured below right with two of their three children). They care for 16 orphans in their own home. Some years ago Kenneth had a small Bible School in his home when he lived in a different location. He feels the Lord’s leading to start a Bible School again. He recently wrote…
“I send you the up-date photos of our family and our children along with this letter. I also sincerely would like to inform you about our Bible School and my prayer request. In the past two week I was searching a house for Bible School but I could not find it. Therefore, I have a plan to build a house in our campus. I do believe that we can finish within two weeks. The expenditure is 1,200,000 kyats equal with US$1250. After building the house we will start to open Bible School. Please remember in your prayer time for this urgent need. I am very sorry to inform you about this, but you are the only one whom I have to share all my difficulties and my needs. Tomorrow we will start building the house and some of our pastors and students will come and help us. Please do remember us in your prayer time.”
Please continue to pray for John and Maeo and their team at Christian Mission Naratchakwai. John and Maeo celebrated their birthdays on 22nd and 29th June respectively. John’s latest newsletter reads, in part, as follows…
“Greetings from the Christian Mission and another year older.
Up to now it has been a busy and a wet month. So far we have had about 6 FEET of water come down. Our pond is full to overflowing, just as our blessings are. About this time every year I praise God for the location of the house and mission. All directions go down from us here.
The last Sunday in May we took our Soup of Love to the Senior Citizens’ Home – the only one in Nakhon Phanom province. (pictures below) We went with Cheng Yuen High school and their 30 member band and 20 or so Thai dancers. About 80 seniors enjoyed listening, dancing and eating for about 2 ½ hours.
- John, Mao and Dtee – health, strength and wisdom as leaders.
- Bee, Lita, Ploy and Parn as they lead just about everything. They are all back in school full time now and are carrying a heavy load and doing it willingly. We thank and praise God for that.
- Pray God will work in our village. It has been over 12 years now and many have died knowing about Christ but not accepting him. They are running around praying to anything and everything but God.
- Pray for the students that come on Saturday and Sunday – that they may be willing to learn and accept Christ; that their parents may honor their request to be baptized.
- Pray parents will come with their children on Sunday and hear and accept the word of God and the Good News of Salvation.
- Praise and thank God for those who pray for us here and provide the funds to do God’s work. Without you we would be doing nothing. It is a continuing battle WITH your prayers; I am not sure I would even want to try if you were not joining us in prayer to drive Satan out of the people in our area here, as well as the rest of the world.
- Join us in praying for Thailand. We have been asked [by the Thai authorities] to pray for Thailand, for peace, fellowship, friendliness, and participation in all activities. We are praying that they will come to know Christ so they can really know these things.
God Bless, John, Maeo and the rest of the team.”
Please continue to pray that the Lord will lead John to a suitable Thai pastor to join their team at Naratchakwai. This is an important, even vital need for several reasons – to ensure succession of leadership for the ministry; to relieve John of some of the preaching and leadership responsibilities and to present a Thai face to the ministry to counter the excuse given by many that Christianity is a “foreign religion”.
Thank the Lord for Pastor Boonta (pictured right) and Bee who each take a turn at preaching once a month.
Please pray for the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches’ church at Nandanam.
(pictured below left) It is located in one of the older, residential suburbs of Chennai City. It was started about 1985 as a church-plant from the church at Vadapalani and is presently pastored by Rev Paul Selvin, (pictured below right with his family) the son of the late Pastor Paul Isaac who was for many years the pastor at Vadapalani until his untimely death.
The church now has a membership of 85 families (about 200 people) and is very active in its witness to the community in which they are located. Considerable emphasis is placed by the entire congregation on witnessing to their community, and church members are trained and encouraged to share their faith with those around them.
The ladies of the church gather for a Sisters’ Fellowship once a month (pictured below left) and on Palm Sunday, 300 people participated in their procession of Christian witness through the suburb (pictured below right)
Please pray for Rev Paul Selvin and his congregation and thank the Lord for their willingness to reach out with the Gospel into their community. Pray especially that the Lord will provide in regard to the provision for additional space to house their growing numbers. They are looking for ways to add facilities above the existing building.
I ask you to pray especially during the next three weeks or so for a situation we have with the Mission’s bank account in Chennai. To meet government imposed regulations the bank has been demanding copies of certain original registration documents for the Mission, which we cannot produce for them as they have been lost over the many years of the Mission’s ministry in India. This week the bank has advised us that if we cannot meet their demands by 24 July they will close our account. Although we have another bank account this is the only one through which we are able to receive funds from outside of India, so the closure of the account would have the potential to seriously impact our ongoing ministries.
We are presently seeking to obtain and produce something that may meet the bank’s requirements but we will not know until about 18 July whether that item is available.
Please pray for wisdom and guidance for Immanuel at the “front line” of this situation, and for the rest of the World Outreach leadership as we deal with this matter. Pray that it may be the Lord’s will that the work of His kingdom may continue in India uninterrupted.
Thank you very much for your prayers and support for our brothers and sisters in South East Asia who serve the Lord under the Advent Christian banner and for your partnership with us.
God bless you as you serve Him in this way.