Greetings to our friends, supporters and prayer partners, and once again my sincere appreciation for your continuing support and encouragement in so many ways, especially for your prayers.
The weather throughout South East Asia continues to bring very different concerns for those who live and serve the Lord in different countries. Our brothers and sisters in Myanmar are still experiencing flooding from very heavy monsoon rains and those in Tamil Nadu, India are still experiencing severe water shortages and slightly lower but still high temperatures. It is the rainy season in Thailand, and when it rains it is like being under a relatively warm waterfall – for days on end! It’s warm but very wet!! Ploy and Parn ask for prayer because they are sick due to the weather. They say that they have “3 seasons in one day”.
They often arrive at university wet as they travel quite a distance on a motorcycle.
As you pray, please pray that the Lord’s people – leaders and church members – in all the countries we are interested in, will know the Lord’s provision and protection and that their ministries will not be hindered by these natural weather events.
The temperatures in Metro Chennai (9 million plus inhabitants) have continued to drop a little since the last update, and there have been short periods of light rain on a few occasions, but the city is still very hot and very short of water. Monsoon rains are not expected until late October at the earliest, so the provision of water for the city and surrounding areas remains a major problem. Immanuel continues to buy tanker loads of water to keep the families on the mission compound going – thank you for praying about this matter. Please continue to pray that our YJM families, members of AC churches and indeed all the residents of this huge city, will somehow have sufficient water as their summer continues.
Thank you for praying for the sale of the Guindy land – it seems that the British/Indian joint venture company which I mentioned in my last update was not, in fact, the “Lord’s buyer”! It may have been the “Lord’s buyer” but the negotiations have in the last few days been sabotaged, we believe, and the prospective buyers have stopped talking to us, or even to their own land brokers, about the deal. Sadly, it seems very likely that whatever has caused the shutdown of the deal has come, directly or indirectly, from within the Indian Conference. Please pray that the Lord will change the hearts of those men who oppose the sale of the land in the way it needs to be done to protect the capital in the long term, or ask the Lord to somehow remove them from the scene? Fortunately, the same broker had a “stand-by” enquirer who is willing to purchase the property at the same price as the earlier company, and Immanuel is beginning discussions and negotiations with them, but we are very much “starting from the beginning “again!
The sale would bring the possibility of much needed financial stability for the Advent Christian Conference of India and its ministries and would allow YJM/AAM to greatly extend our ministries, and Immanuel is also working on downstream matters concerning the proceeds of the sale.
Please continue to pray, that this latest new enquirer may finally be the Lord’s chosen one and that the sale will be completed as soon as possible.
YJM ministry partner Pastor Ahaj Kumar Pani in Odisha, continues his busy ministries and continues to regularly communicate and express his appreciation for our financial assistance and our prayers. As I have said before, the State he ministers in is one of the more difficult ones in respect to anti-Christian sentiment and activity, but he and his team continue to reach out into new and mostly unreached areas with the Gospel. He recently sent us pictures of another small group in a rural area in which he ministers, and of children’s ministry they are conducting in an area named Belphara, with children who live in a rural slum area.
He continues to feed orphan and underprivileged children in many different places with funds supplied quarterly from ACGC’s BREAD of LIFE program, and funds which YJM send him every month.
Pastor Pani’s team now numbers ten
(see picture above) – Rev. Ahaj Kumar Pani; Pastors
Mathew Behera, Daniel Sagar, Surandra Horpal and Pramanda Behera; Missionaries Bhagaban Santa and Banau Murmur and Missionaries Sisters Binita Mashi, Mami Pani and Runu Heal.
Please pray for these brothers and sisters and all to whom they minister. Pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit many may be brought into the family of God.
YJM ministry partner Pastor B.Balu Nayak who ministers in Mahabubabad in the Telangana area of the Andhra Pradesh State recently brought us up to date in regard to the church building in Mahabubabad. They have completed the smaller church building in their outreach town of Baluthanda, and he advised that the congregations in each town are “growing very good year by year.”
He advises that the church building at Mahabubabad is nearly 50% complete (see pictures), with the main structure completed. They now have to complete the building by buying and adding brick walls, wood, for doors and windows, electrical works, paint works, flooring stone works, iron security screens, bathrooms and latrines and a wall around the entire compound, with gates. As you can see, they are using the ground floor for their services, and this is certainly better than meeting in the open air as they have been doing for years, but they are longing for the building to be complete both for worship services and for good accommodation for the pastor and his family. Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide for this faithful group.
Pastor Balu Nayak is rejoicing that with some donated funds which ACMissioNZ was able to send them recently, they were able to drill a bore-well, which produced large quantities of sweet, good quality water at 170 feet (52 metres) depth. They will be able to use this to supply water for the church and parsonage and members, and also for the people in the village – when they can afford to buy and install an electric pump and the necessary piping and electrics. Please pray that the Lord will provide here too, so that they can show Christ’s love to the villagers by helping them with the supply of water.[clear]
The Facebook posting from Christian Mission Naratchakwai’s service on Sunday 6 August began with these words…
“Here we are to worship, here we are to bow down, here we are to say that You’re my God.
เราเข้ามาเพื่อนมัสการ เราเข้ามาเพื่อถ่อมตัวลง เราเข้ามาเพื่อบอกว่าพระองค์คือพระเจ้าของข้าพระองค์
Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said,” Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
มัทธิว 19:14 ฝ่ายพระเยซูตรัสว่า “จงยอมให้เด็กเล็ก ๆ เข้ามาหาเรา อย่าห้ามเขาเลย เพราะว่าอาณาจักรแห่งสวรรค์ย่อมเป็นของคนเช่นเด็กเหล่านั้น”
…and there was a good crowd of “little children” present, including several newcomers who always get the opportunity to introduce themselves and receive a special welcome.
On 13 August, they celebrated Mothers’ Day, which in Thailand is also the day for honouring the Queen of Thailand, and there was a large gathering of children and their families in church.
The Facebook post began…
“Thank you God for today. Today we celebrate Mother’s Day at our church. Everybody is very happy with their mothers and grandmothers! Thank you! Happy Mother’s Day!!”
The children honoured their Mothers in the traditional Thai manner; Christian Mission gave their monthly food parcels to two needy folks from the village; Maeo had a special greeting for those present, and there was a special celebratory meal after the service.
Christian Mission has for many years been the agent in their part of Thailand for a United States organisation of ex-servicemen who served their country in and around the area during the Vietnam War, as the late John Middlewood did. The members of the organisation – TLCB or Thai Laos Cambodia Brotherhood – contribute personal funds which are used to provide scholarships for children and young people whose families could not otherwise afford to pay for a good education, or perhaps for any education. Many of the children who have been members of the Christian Mission have received scholarships but many others who study in Elementary and High Schools and Universities in the area have benefited from assistance from TLCB. TLCB funds have also provided buildings and equipment, including books for school libraries and water purification equipment for many schools. Students come each month to collect their funds from Christian Mission, and are always very appreciative of the assistance they receive.
Graduation time is always a thrill for Christian Mission as students that TLCB have assisted, return to acknowledge the assistance they have received. This young man, “Mr.Wason Pa-Om got a scholarship from T.L.C.B since high school (Ban Peung school). Now he has graduated and he is a Thai teacher at Kasedsomboon school, Chaiyaphum province. Thank you, T.L.C.B, for giving him a chance to be successful in his life”[clear]
Kluang Advent Christian Group’s ministry
Please continue to pray for the small group of faithful, Advent Christian believers who gather weekly on Sundays for worship in the home of Sister Ruth Devairakkam and Brother Wilfred in Kluang and in members’ homes for Bible study and communion during the week. Please remember that because they are in a Moslem country, they cannot raise their voices in song as we can as we worship, as the neighbours may complain to the authorities about the “noise”, and they may experience trouble from the authorities!! They have to sing very softly! Christian ministry is not easy in Malaysia, but Ruth and Wilfred faithfully continue their one-on-one ministries of friendship, practical assistance and counsel to friends, neighbours and other contacts.
Ruth has recently advised that their elder daughter Joanna, who now lives in Malacca with her husband Kenneth, has been selected by her employer – the Malaysian government – to receive a scholarship to study at one of the international universities in Kuala Lumpur for an eighteen-month course for a Master’s degree in Business Management. Jerusha is also doing well and will next year finish her studies, also in Kuala Lumpur, for a degree in Psychology. They both visit Kluang frequently and assist their parents with their ministries.
Sadly, the folk in Myanmar have not communicated very well in recent months. You might like to pray, please, that they will appreciate and respect their involvement with ACGC as an Advent Christian Conference, and will be prepared to communicate and be accountable as members of the AC family.
You will have seen in the news that there is considerable fighting and difficulty in the western State of Rakhine. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing from Myanmar across the border with Bangladesh.
Global News recently stated that “Tensions between Muslim minorities and Buddhists in Myanmar have been simmering for years. Deadly violence erupted in Myanmar in August – forcing thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee.” and “The crisis erupted on Aug. 25, when an insurgent Rohingya group attacked police outposts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. That prompted Myanmar’s military to launch “clearance operations” against the rebels, setting off a wave of violence that has left hundreds dead and thousands of homes burned — mostly Rohingya in both cases”
Pastor Timothy has written asking for prayer for this situation as follows…
“Dear fellow workers in Christ. I would like you to pray for Myanmar people especially for Christian Churches. Many people are dying in Rakhine State, fighting Bangali Muslims and Burmese army. The Govt do not allow study in houses and worship in houses.”
(Wikipedia defines “Bangali” as follows… “The Bengalis (বাঙালি Bangali), also rendered as the Bengali people, Bangalis and Bangalees, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group and nation native to the region of Bengal in South Asia, which is presently-divided between Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal.”)
The latest information we have in regard to the situation in Marawi on the Island of Mindanao, which is very close to Cagayan de Oro (Oro Bible College and several AC churches) and Iligan (where the Philippine Advent Christian Conference has two churches) is from PACCI President Rev. Efren Miranda, who wrote…
“The war between the government’s troops and the Mautes is still on. Though, a recent report said the enemies are now confined within 500 meter radius. The situation is now getting better, but the military still advises the residents in Iligan to be more vigilant as the terrorists are expected to conduct counter attacks as they are believed to have inflicted and saturated in places other than Marawi.
“The war has affected in the adjustment of church activities here in Iligan City, because the government has implemented a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Until now, conducting activities during the night is strictly prohibited. Conducting outings, fellowships and baptisms is limited to places where the military approves. The war has also affected the livelihood of church members in Iligan, who were employed in Marawi City. Since it broke out, they have been prohibited to go back to the area and it is now totally damaged. There are no casualties reported in terms of lives from our church members so far.
Reports also said there are citings of Communist insurgents observed in the rural areas of Iligan, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon. Meaning situations in these areas are unstable.”
Please pray regularly for all the ministries mentioned above, and for all those involved – those who minister in the Lord’s Name and those to whom they minister and share the Good News of Life in Jesus Christ. Pray that through the Holy Spirit, the Lord’s power, peace, provision and protection, will be very evident for our brothers and sisters.
May God bless you richly as you serve Him in Missions by your prayers and support.