Greetings to our friends, supporters and prayer partners and welcome to the first update for the New Year. Once again my thanks for your support and encouragement in so many ways, in particular for your faithful prayers for those who serve the Lord under the Advent Christian banner in Asia – in India, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand.
Thank you for praying for the sale of the Guindy land – please continue to do so. Immanuel and ACCI President Rev Francis Thangadurai are continuing to talk to two seemingly serious parties who are interested in purchasing the land, but discussions are still “on hold” because of the court case I mentioned late last year. It has been brought by a small group of four members of the Conference’s Executive Committee (EC) against the President, and their fellow EC members, citing that they are ineligible to be serving in their respective positions. The case has been called in court many times over the past three or four months but has constantly been deferred, often because the judge did not turn up! Our Advocate, Brother Ravi Paul, who will be representing the Conference and the Mission, has indicated that negotiations should not continue until judgement is given, as if we got to the stage of having a Sale and Purchase agreement ready to complete the sale, it would be unwise to have the President of the ACCI to sign it if the legality of his position is in question. Please continue to pray that one of these two new enquirers may finally be the Lord’s chosen one; that He will clear the pathway 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. He has particularly appreciated the funds which have been coming from the ACGC’s Bread of Life Project, which has now come to an end, as it has made it possible for him to give good meals to literally hundreds of the poor and destitute in his area, and at the same time share the Gospel with them. He recently sent pictures and reported as follows about a visit to a new area late in January…
“Yesterday we did a feeding program here in Orissa. More than 90 people got together in our feeding camp.”
“We met a man who was lame during our outreach ministry here. He was on the footpath. He was found in a very critical condition. We preached the Gospel to him and prayed for a miracle to get completely healing. Please pray for this lame man who heard the gospel first-time from us. Please pray for him so that he can accept the Lord as a personal Savior.”
Pastor Paul Nilivan (at right rear in the picture below) who is the leader of the CHRIST SPECIAL HIGH SCHOOL for physically and intellectually handicapped, and deaf children at Sangkarapuram in Tamil Nadu, sent this picture of his happy staff and children and their dog, with best wishes for the New Year and appreciation for the regular financial assistance that YJM is able to send for the children.
Please pray for these children and for the staff of the school who serve the Lord and the children sacrificially.
In mid-January the team at Christian Mission put up the following on their website…
“Hello everyone. How are you?
This week is the second week of this year, we hope everybody here will be happy and get more blessing from God. This week we worshiped God together then we had teaching English in the afternoon. We have 2 classes, Class 1 studied English then made flowers, it is called Sakura, next week we will build a sakura tree together. Class 2 study to sing an English song and dance. The children were very happy and had fun with dancing. Thank you God for this week. God bless you.”
Parn (pictured above with the microphone standing behind the laptop) led the service and there was a good number of adults present. Please thank the Lord for the slow but steady increase in the size of the group which gathers for worship on Sunday mornings.
The next week they posted…
“Oh, God, please open our eyes for us to see all the wonders and power of your name.
We are together and worship God together. We made Sakura trees in the afternoon and we taught English. Thanks God for every day.”
On Saturday 27 January, Christian Mission hosted the regular fellowship and prayer meeting of the leaders of the six member churches of the Christ for All People Churches Association. Lita and others from the CMN leadership team led the worship time and assisted with the serving of the meal which followed the meeting. Please pray for these brothers and sisters and their churches and ministries in the area around Nakhon Phanom.
On Sunday January 29th, Maeo, accompanied by her brother Dtee who drives the Mission’s vehicle, and Pastor Boontaa, Job and Guitar, took the Soup of Love to some of the elderly, sick and needy folk in their village – Ban Naratchakwai. They also handed food parcels to two of the “shut-in” residents. As is normal, they handed out Christian tracts to all to whom they ministered. These ministries are greatly appreciated by the recipients.
MALAYSIA – 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. Christian ministry is not easy or without danger in Malaysia (for instance, they cannot sing loudly when they gather for worship because their Muslim neighbours may complain to the authorities – they almost whisper when singing!), but Ruth and Wilfred faithfully continue their one-on-one ministries of friendship, practical assistance and counsel to friends, neighbours and other contacts.
For many years Ruth and Wilfred have been concerned for the difficulties that some of the members of their group have in getting to their Sunday worship gatherings at their home, and to the regular meetings during the week which rotate around the members’ homes. Public transport is not good from where some members live and some have difficulty finding funds for transport. We have discussed on several occasions the possibility of purchasing a second-hand people mover vehicle to assist with these situations. Ruth and Wilfred have advised that their group has raised a third of the cost of such a vehicle (about 5,000 Malaysian Ringgits – NZ$1,750) and we would like to assist them to solve the problem also. ACGC in the United States are looking for a church or a group to assist also. Will you please pray that the Lord will open the way for us to help our brothers and sisters in Malaysia with this situation?
Pastor Timothy, leader of the Advent Christian Church of Myanmar, reported in January that as they celebrated Christmas 2017 he had baptised seven new Christians. He wrote…
“By the grace of God and your prayer helped, I gave water baptism to seven new Christians at my home church on Sunday, December 24. God bless our Christmas.”
He sent some pictures of the celebrations and of the children enjoying them!
The leadership of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar voted Pastor David Hung Ling to the position of President of the organisation for 2018. Please pray for him and his family and his co-workers. Brother David’s group, the Fellowship Bible Church of Myanmar, has a number of churches throughout their country, they have a Bible College in Yangon which has about 30 students and they care for about 100orphans or underprivileged children in several locations around Yangon City. They have just obtained a large block of land on which all the Yangon activities can be consolidated and are presently very busy setting up the compound. The Presidency will be an extra responsibility at a very busy time for him. Please pray that the Lord will provide and that he will have wisdom and good health and strength as he allocates time and effort to his various responsibilities.
Pastor Roy Rocha and his family had a difficult year last year – 2017. Pastor Roy, who pastors the thriving Advent Christian Movement church in Manila, has been very unwell for many months and is slowly recovering from “burn out” suffered early last year. He is presently waiting to have an MRI on his spine and brain to try and identify why he is in constant, severe pain. He can no longer lift anything – even something small like a chair. The MRI is, of course, very expensive. His younger son had an accident playing basketball and suffered a serious fracture to his arm which required complex surgery and the insertion of plates. Roy and his wife Llerma and their children have been and are suffering financially, physically and emotionally – please pray regularly that the Lord will heal and provide for them. Pray too for the church congregation and their ministries.
Once again, my sincere thanks for your partnership in the Lord’s ministries in South East Asia. Thank you for your prayers for and encouragement to and financial support for our brothers and sisters in the LORD who we support in their service for our Lord. Please pray that they will know the leading, guiding and blessing of the Holy Spirit on their ministries.