Thank you very much to those who have prayed and to those who have continued to send gifts to provide “TREASURES” for the ministries in India, Myanmar and Thailand. Because of gifts from the Lord’s people in New Zealand and the United States, in early October 15 “TREASURES” in the Hindi language were hand delivered to Chennai for Pastor Paul Sunder Raj’s ministry and 10 in various languages were delivered to the AC Conference leaders in Myanmar.
Gifts for nine units have been given in New Zealand and some of these will probably be sent to Thailand where the units have proved very helpful. Some will probably be sent to the contacts which Christian Mission Naratchakwai has in Laos, across the Mekong River from Nakhon Phanom.
The cost of a TREASURE is US$50 (NZ$64 at present) If anyone or any church or group would like to further assist with the provision of these very useful gadgets, please contact our ACMissioNZ treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com.
The Holy Spirit continues to work in Advent Christian Conference Churches.
One of Mission Manager Immanuel’s most pleasant duties is, by invitation, to attend regular baptismal services in Advent Christian churches to present, on behalf of the Yesuway Jeevan Mission, a new copy of the Bible to those who have been baptised. During the past few weeks, he has attended baptismal services at two more of the churches of the Advent Christian Conference of India.
This lovely, little church is at Vadenemili, near the sea about 45 kms from Chennai. There are 10 families in the congregation – about 35 members. The Pastor is Rajan Jebaraj. Because of a shortage of fresh water in the area, the baptisms of 5 people were carried out in the ocean – Area Pastor Gnanaprasad is pictured offering the right hand of fellowship to the candidates after the baptism.
At the urban church at Saidapet, not far from the Mission compound at Guindy, the pastor, past ACCI President Rev Paul Aruldoss, baptised two candidates – a lady and a man. The man is a convert from the Hindu faith from the Brahmin or highest, priestly caste.
Saidapet church is one of the oldest churches in the Conference and currently has 25 families attending – about 75 believers.
Please praise the Lord for these new members of His great, worldwide church, and pray that they will grow in the grace and in the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Advent Christian Conference of India’s BIHAR OUTREACH at Khagaria recently conducted its annual PRAYER CAMP. Pastor Denny Moses reported on behalf of Paul Sunder Raj’s team that “By the grace of God it went amazingly. God touched many people and many committed their life to pray for world-wide ministries.”
They had invited three guest speakers – Pas. R.K. Abraham (from GEMS), Pas. Ranijth Gabriel and Sis Shakeela (from ACA). Pas. Ranjith Gabriel has been blind from birth. He spent 21 days fasting before this prayer camp and Pastor Denny Moses reported that “he preached enthusiastically ‘.
“Different sections were held for the people: for pastors, women, youth, married people and children. In these meetings they prayed for various points: world peace, political matters, continents, Nations, National leaders, spiritual people, perishing souls etc… “
On the final day they had a baptism service in which 17 people were baptized “for the glory of God. Included in that number was a young, handicapped girl who showed her enthusiasm to God by taking baptism.” (seated at front)
On the final day of the Camp they enjoyed fellowship with a child dedication and a communion service which was followed by a shared “love feast” – a meal.
I had the privilege of spending nearly two full days with John Middlewood and Maeo on 3 and 4 October, on my way to Myanmar. He had just returned from a further trip to the hospital at Khon Kaen where he was to have had a second biopsy taken from the tumour in his lung that had been discovered several weeks before. Unfortunately because of blood pressure problems the biopsy was not carried out. John was obviously not 100% well but was his usual bright self as we discussed the future of the ministry at Naratchakwai in considerable depth. On the Saturday morning we had a long discussion with Pastor Boonta, a pastor from a very small church (which has been in recess for some time) of the Christ for All People Churches Association. Pastor Boonta has been assisting with the CMN ministry for several months and recently accepted the responsibilty for all the preaching at Christian Mission’s Sunday services and visiting contacts in the village of Naratchakwai because of John’s ill health. During that discussion Pastor Boonta was offered and accepted a position as Pastor on the staff of the mission – please thank the Lord for this answer to our prayers over many months for the provision of a Thai pastor for the ministry, and thank the Lord for Pastor Boonta’s willingness to accept the position and the responsibilty that it entails.
John had a further appointment for Monday 13 October at the University Hospital at Khon Kaen, about four hours’ drive from Nakhon Phanom, to have a second biopsy for suspected cancer in his right lung but sadly was transferred by ambulance to the hospital earlier in the weekend of 11/12 October when his overall condition deteriorated. Since his admission he has been on life support in an Intensive Care Unit and tests and scans have revealed that he has “cancer right through his body”. His responsiveness varies and he is being fed and given oxygen through tubes and is unable to communicate verbally or in writing now. He is getting the very best of care but the latest information we have is that his condition is not improving and the doctors have indicated that they have done all that can be done for him. Please pray that John will know the peace of his Lord’s presence and that those responsible for his care will have great wisdom and compassion as they keep him as comfortable as possible.
Please also pray for his wife, Maeo, who is staying in Khon Kaen and is visiting him as the hospital allows. Please also pray for John’s daughter, Margaret and his sister Esther, both of whom are in the United States. These three ladies are very naturally very concerned.
Thank the Lord and pray for an American friend from Florida – Ed Miller – who spends about six months each year living near to the Mission and is presently there – who is liaising with Maeo and keeping in contact with John’s daughter and sister in the United States and others including the United States Embassy in Thailand – John is still a US citizen. Thank the Lord and pray also for Canadian missionary Dorothy Gerbrandt, a long-time friend and colleague of John and Maeo, who has also been very helpful and comforting to Maeo and Pastor Boonta and has visited John on several occasions.
Please thank the Lord and pray for the four young ladies at the Christian Mission – Bee, Ploy, Parn and Lita – (pictured below) who over the past few weeks as John’s health has deteriorated have stepped forward to take over planning and organising and running all the ministries and the Sunday service at the Mission. They are doing this in addition to their school, university and work responsibilities. Pray for physical and spiritual strength for them all.
Please also thank the Lord and pray for Pastor Boonta, (pictured below) who has stepped up to take over all the preaching and visiting responsibilities at the Mission. Pastor Boonta has serious responsibilities at present with his own sick wife Phon but has readily agreed to assist the Mission in this way.
Pray also and thank the Lord for Dtee, Maeo’s brother, who is attending to the many practical matters, including driving, at the Mission.
Please pray that all these folk may know the peace and power and presence of the Lord as they serve Him.
Asia Pacific Director Rev Jeff Vann and I will travel to Nakhon Phanom shortly and we would appreciate your prayers for safe travel and wisdom during our time there. May we be able to minister comfort to all those mentioned above.
World Outreach Director Rev Jeff Walsh, Asia Pacific Director Rev Penny Vann and I recently visited our brothers and sisters in Myanmar for a few days. We fellowshipped with each of the four leaders of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar as we visited their ministries and met their families and some of the children they are caring for. (below left) We also had the privilege of meeting and fellowshipping with the students at the three Bible Colleges that are part of the ministries of the conference member organisations. (below right)
Most of one day was set aside for a seminar for the four leaders and a small number of key leaders from their organisations – leaders who were chosen according to the instruction in 2 Timothy 2:2, “…faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Penny Vann and Jeff Walsh led the seminar on the topic “How to teach AC distinctive theology in your ministries.” During the seminar we enjoyed fellowship over a meal of delicious Burmese dishes! The fellowship was sweet and comments indicated that the seminar was helpful for our Burmese brothers.
We also enjoyed a time of discussion with the four leaders of the conference in regard to the structure of the conference and the direction of its ministries in the future as together we seek to share the message of Life only in Jesus Christ in their country. Please pray for the President Pastor David and his co- leaders as they discuss these matters at length and seek to decide on a constitution and by-laws etc. that will allow the organisation to develop a structure that will allow it to be effective and to grow as it reaches out to those in their country who need to know of God’s love and His message of salvation in Jesus Christ.
A few months ago we reported about the flooding at the properties of most of our AC conference folks as the rainy season brought unusually heavy rain. The rain has stopped and the floods have abated but in the case of Pastor David’s Bible College it has left a “legacy”!! There was so much rain that the water table in the area has risen substantially and has been polluted by the flooding to such an extent that their bore-well, which used to produce clean water now brings up dirty, yellow water – pictured at right – which their rather basic filter system cannot clean sufficiently to make it suitable for drinking or cooking. It is not even really suitable for washing clothes and bathing but they are having to use it for those purposes because of the quantities required.
They are having to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking and the quantity required for the Bible College’s 42 students and the 96 children their organisation cares for is proving very, very costly for them. Pastor David has asked us to pray that the Lord will provide the approximately NZ$3,200 (US$2,500) that is need to procure and install a suitable system to filter the quantity of water they use. Please pray as requested and if the Lord leads you to contribute to this need our treasurer will be pleased to hear from you.
Pastor Timothy, leader of the Advent Christian Church of Myanmar, has advised that a new ministry has recently joined his organisation. The ministry is located in Taungman Village in the Minbu District of the Magway Region which is the largest of seven administrative divisions in Myanmar, and is to the north of Yangon in Central Myanmar.
Taungman Village has approximately 500 families living in it – about 2,000 people – and there was only one church there until Pastor Tun Naing began his ministry there. His church already has six families attending services and he recently had the joy of baptising two converts – pictured right.
Please pray for Pastor Tun Naing and his wife and 3 children (picture coming soon) and pray that the Lord will protect and bless them and their ministry of the Gospel.
Please continue to pray for the small group of faithful Advent Christian believers who gather weekly for worship in the home of Sister Ruth Devairakkam and Brother Wilfred in Kluang and who gather in members’ homes for Bible study and communion during the week. Thank the Lord for their one-on-one ministry of assistance in many practical ways and for their spiritual ministry, including very specific prayer, to their neighbours, friends and other contacts.
Ruth recently wrote as follows…
“Greetings to you in the matchless Name of Jesus. We praise God for His mercy and grace over our lives.
A young couple, who often keep in touch with us, were looking after their aged father, during his time of illness. God has been granting them wisdom, understanding, love, compassion and care for this situation. Recently, he passed away at the age of 85. They have requested us for prayer. Please pray along that God will replace their feeling of emptiness with His presence, love and strength during this time of bereavement and surround them with caring people, so that they will find emotional strength.
Some students have requested us for prayer. Pray for them so that they will be able manage their time and plan well to study. May the Spirit of the Lord rest upon them during their examinations.
A friend has recovered from an illness. God saved her from going for a major surgery. She appreciates our prayers. Pray for her so that this situation will draw her closer to God.”
Thank the Lord for the answers to our prayers in the lives of those to whom they minister.
Once again, my sincere thanks 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 as we seek to assist them in whatever ways we can. God will bless you as you serve Him in this way.