January was a busy month for Pastor Paul Gantham and his son Pastor Victor Abraham and their congregations. These brothers, and their wives, minister at the Adda Road Advent Christian Church in the State of Andhra Pradesh. Their main church is at Adda Road (pictured below) and has 212 members, and they have outreaches at Bala Ventakapuram (renamed Calvary Healing Mountain by Pastor Victor Abraham ) with 360 attending regularly; at Nallclapalli with 32 members; at Markonpapuram with 22 members; at B C Colony with 25 members; at Lademarupuram with 26 members; at Narapareddypuram with 35 members and at Botikiripadu with 45 members. Most of the members of all their churches are very poor, farmers or labourers and all are from remote, village areas. Adda Road itself is in a remote area, at the junction of two major roads – the village is actually named Ustumvaripalli Village but thankfully is commonly referred to as Adda Road!
From the above information you will understand that every month is a busy month for these two brothers and those from their congregation who assist them in their service for the Lord. Pastor Victor Abraham has sent information and pictures about three particular events which they were involved in during January.
On Sunday 13 January there was a baptismal service at the church at Adda Road – a wonderful baptismal service! One hundred and twelve (112) members from the Adda Road Church and the Calvary healing Mountain outreach were baptized! 44 men and 68 ladies; 70 people from Adda Road and 42 from the Calvary Healing Mountain outreach.
Please rejoice with Pastors Paul Gandham and Victor Abraham, as they had the joy of seeing this “fruit for their labour” and add your joy to that in heaven (Luke 15:7) for these new members of the Christian family and pray that they will grow in the grace and the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Sadly, the following Sunday, 20 January, the joy of the last week was replaced by sorrow as they conducted the funeral service for one of their believers – Rah Elamma, a lady aged 70.
In India, particularly in poorer areas, funerals are usually carried out very soon – within hours – after death. A short service for family and mourners is usually held at the deceased’s home, then one at the church, before the procession to the cemetery for burial, which only the men attend.
Brother Victor Abraham sent a draft of his address to those who gathered for the funeral, who would have been encouraged by his words, spoken of course in the Telegu language…
“The Bible tells us that there is not only life after death, but eternal life so glorious that ‘no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9). Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to the earth to give us this gift of eternal life. ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus took on the punishment that all of us deserve and sacrificed His life to pay the penalty for our sin. Three days later, He proved Himself victorious over death by rising from the grave. He remained on the earth for forty days and was witnessed by hundreds before ascending to heaven. Romans 4:25 says, ‘He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.’
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate proof of life after death. Christ was only the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. Physical death came through one man, Adam, to whom we are all related. But all who have been adopted into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ will be given new life (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). Just as God raised up Jesus’ body, so will our bodies be resurrected upon Jesus’ return (1 Corinthians 6:14).
The Bible says that it is appointed for us to die only once, and after that will come judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The free gift of eternal life is available to all. ‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him’ (John 3:36). We will not be given the opportunity to accept God’s gift of salvation after death. Our eternal destination is determined in our earthly lifetimes by our reception or rejection of Jesus Christ. ‘I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation’ (2 Corinthians 6:2). If we trust the death of Jesus Christ as the full payment for our sin against God, we are guaranteed not only a meaningful life on earth, but also eternal life after death, in the glorious presence of Christ.”
On Wednesday 23 January Pastor Victor Abraham and some of the church members gathered at the home of one of their church members (they always refer to them as “believers”) – Mallela Kondaiah – to dedicate a new house which is being constructed. They used as their Scripture reference words from Isaiah 32;18…
“And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in a quiet resting place.”
Please pray regularly for Pastor Paul Gandham and Pastor Victor Abraham and their wives and for all those believers who regularly assist with the activities at all of the places at which they hold services and minister to the people. Pray that in the power of the Holy spirit, there will continue to be many who recognize Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Pray especially for Victor Abraham’s wife Swapna are expecting a baby in March. They ask us to pray for continued good health for Swapna and for the safe delivery of a healthy baby.
Pastor Victor Abraham asks us to pray especially that the Lord will provide the necessary resources that are needed to both continue the ministries and assist those of their believers who have practical needs. He wrote…
Dearly beloved in Christ, God is awesome and mighty. He can do anything he chooses to do. But your prayer support and help is needed for us. Every Christian must have integrity, in the Bible many servants of God have that and were used by God supernaturally. I am not boasting to say this but through Christ he enabled me to do his service. We were so faithful in small things he gave us this bigger ministry to impact his kingdom on this Earth.
I am requesting you to help and support to these ministerial needs. “Mostly people were farmers, labourers and very poor people. All are from remote village areas. It’s very hard for me to be stable in financial aid.”