Greetings friends, supporters and prayer partners,
During 2014 the ACMissioNZ Trust Board adopted a new Mission Statement…
“Convinced of the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ, Advent Christian Missions New Zealand exists to support worldwide, outreach ministries of the Advent Christian General Conference, with particular emphasis on ministries in the Asia- Pacific region, and to Encourage, Equip and Empower those ministries to be obedient to His Great Commandment and Great Commission.”
This week’s issue of Advent Christian General Conference’s E-News contained the following information as the 2015 PENNY CRUSADE was introduced in the United States…
“Did you know that our mission fields reported a total of 4,451 baptisms in 2014? Did you know that 21 new churches were planted by our international conferences last year? The membership of Advent Christian churches outside North America is 50,356. The funding of our outreach ministries is primarily dependent upon our annual appeal through Penny Crusade. Last year, the receipts from Penny Crusade funded 87% of the total Outreach operational budget. We are truly grateful for the tremendous support of our missions, missionaries and field leaders. I hope the figures above will be an encouragement to those of you who contributed to the harvest and planting recorded in 2014.”
Please join us in bringing praise to the Lord for these very positive statistics, and in particular for the fact that 21,541 of the membership figure for Advent Christian churches outside North America are within the Asia-Pacific region – 19,690 in India and 1,851 in Myanmar – and 2,557 of the 4,451 mission field baptisms were in the Asia–Pacific region – 2,230 in the Advent Christian Conference of India in Tamil Nadu; 66 in Bihar; 31 in Andhra Pradesh and 102 were in the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar. Four of the 21 new churches planted were in Myanmar.
As you pray and as you give financially, God is blessing those who walk in His ways and precepts and serve Him faithfully in these and other countries and the great, worldwide family of God continues to grow. Thank you for your prayers and support of the Advent Christian ministries which ACMissioNZ supports.
Rev. Paul Selvin, Pastor of the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Church at Nandanam, Chennai, reported as follows following their procession through the streets of their community on Palm Sunday morning…
“Praise the Lord. Last Sunday God blessed us in mighty way. We started to walk in the street at 9 o’clock; around 300 believers gathered, and they were so happy to give glory to God. Children did not get tired on that day. They every one wore a crown. We couldn’t forget that wonderful moment till now. All praises to Almighty God.”
Once again, Mission Manager Immanuel recently had the pleasure and joy of attending another baptismal service – at the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches’ Sathiyavasal Church at Vadapalani. The name Sathiyavasal translates as “The Way of Truth”. Twelve candidates were baptised and received into membership of the church. Each candidate was given a new Bible provided by Yesuway Jeevan Mission. Because of age and infirmity, two ladies were unable to enter the baptistry, which is right on the street frontage of the church building, and were baptised with water poured over them (see picture below).
Sathiyavasal church was founded in 1985 and is now the largest church in the FBHC, with a membership of 150 families or about 450 people. The Pastor is Rev A Paul Benjamin and he is assisted by his sister-in-law Bible Woman Sister Grace Isaac.
The church has a very busy and successful ministry, both in its own community and in other areas of the country. They have a network of prayer cells throughout their district, and area leaders have regular prayer walks through their communities. They also have a busy hospital ministry. During the third week of every month Pastor Benny takes a team of members to do outreach ministry in rural villages on the outskirts of Greater Chennai and once each year they send a substantial team to do outreach ministry in other parts of the country – to North India in October or to the south of Chennai in June.
Please pray for the leaders and members of these churches at Nandanam and Vadapalani, and thank Him for His blessing of their ministries.
ACGC’s World Outreach Director Rev Jeff Walsh and I visited Nakhon Phanom from 16 to 20 February and enjoyed fruitful fellowship and discussions with Maeo and the rest of the team at Christian Mission Naratchakwai concerning the future shape of the ministries and how ACGC can assist. We also had the opportunity to have discussions with some of the leaders and members of the Christ for All People Churches Association of which CMN is a member and which the late John Middlewood was one of those instrumental in setting up.
The leadership team at CMN have prepared a very well thought-through program for this year, recognising that without the late John Middlewood’s leadership and enthusiasm and skill at teaching English, there had to be significant changes made. Their program concentrates on faithfully sharing the message of Life in Jesus Christ, and in reaching out in many practical ways to the children and young people, and to show Christian care and compassion to the elderly folk and those who are alone and shut-in in their village and surrounding villages. They also presented a very realistic budget to cover the ministries in the amended program – without the very significant personal funding which John regularly put into the ministries there is a considerable shortfall between the budget and presently known income but the leadership team has determined that they will treat 2015 as a “trial year” The members of the CMN Leadership Team are looking to the Lord, through His people, to provide the difference and confirm that they are seeking to minister in the centre of His will for them, for CMN and for those to whom they minister.
Please pray regularly that the Lord will provide the necessary funds to allow this vibrant ministry to continue. Please also pray regularly for the members of the leadership team – for Pastor Boonta and his ministry of preaching and teaching at Sunday services and pray that the Lord will bless the visitation that he does in the villages. Pray especially for strength for him as he also copes with the stress of caring for his very sick wife (Phon) and his invalid daughter (Bow).
Pray also for Maeo and the team of young ladies – Parn, Bee, Lita, Ploy and Job. (L to r in picture) The young ladies are all still at school or university and have very heavy leadership responsibilities at CMN whilst continuing their studies. These five young ladies have all accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour – pray that their faith will remain strong and will grow. Pray too for Maeo’s brother Dtee, who assists with many practical matters around the compound, including driving, that his faith may grow also. Please pray for all who attend the services – adults and children – praying that the Lord will continue to minister to them all to keep them close to Him.
A special presentation was made to Miss Bee Nittaya Suree at the morning service at Christian Mission Naratchakwai on Sunday morning 29 March. The presentation to Bee (at right in the picture below) by Maeo and Ploy, was to acknowledge and congratulate her on her recent completion of a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Nakhon Phanom. She has majored in the teaching of English and is now qualified to seek a position in a State High School. The late Brother John Middlewood would have been thrilled to have been present on this occasion as it was he who encouraged Bee, and many other young people in the Nakhon Phanom Province, to study and become proficient in English, both to improve their own job prospects for the future and to be able to teach others to do the same. Bee has been an integral part of the English teaching program that Christian Mission Naratchakwai has taken to numerous elementary, middle and high schools in the district for many years. Whilst CMN’s English Camp program is presently on hold, Bee is now seeking a position in a high school, preferably one that is reasonably close to Naratchakwai, to enable her to continue making John’s vision a reality in the lives of local Thai young people.
After the presentation Pastor Boontaa prayed for Bee, thanking God for her faith in Jesus Christ as her Saviour; for her tremendous efforts in sharing the leadership of the Mission and its ministries and activities whilst studying during her five year university course, and for her willingness to continue to minister in the future, both in the classroom and at the Mission, and seeking the Lord’s continuing guidance, blessing and provision for her.
Please pray for Bee as she applies for positions, asking the Lord that it may be His will that she obtain a position close to CMN so that she is able to continue to carry out the very valuable and onerous responsibilities she has accepted as her part in the leadership of the Mission’s ministries and activities
Because of continuing generous gifts we are able to send regular remittances to the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar to assist them with their ministries, both in and around Yangon and in other parts of their country. Gifts from donors provide regular monthly support for two church planters in remote parts of the country – Sister Thurzar and Brother Noah Ling – and funds to help the four leaders of the Conference to care for and educate the total of 248 orphans and underprivileged children and young people who they care for. A recent remittance brought the following response and pictures from Pastor D…
“Greetings and thanks for your sent gift for our children ministry and church planter. We bought some of new clothes, slippers for some children. It is a big blessing for our children home. They send greetings and thanks words to those who are praying and helping for children home. Please see attachment of pictures. Thanks, DHL”
In the interests of keeping this update to four pages I have had to leave out many other interesting and exciting items – please be sure to browse the rest of our newsletters.
Once again, my sincere thanks for your partnership in the Lord’s ministries in South East Asia. I thank you for your prayers and encouragement and financial support for our brothers and sisters in the LORD in the past and I ask for your continued prayers for them and for their ministries during 2015. God bless you as you serve Him in Missions in this way.