Greetings to our friends, supporters and prayer partners, and welcome to this fourth update for 2019. Thank you especially for your faithful prayers for those who serve the Lord in the Asian countries we have taken an interest in for many, many years in some cases and for just many years in others! Thailand and Myanmar are the “youngest” as far as we are concerned and it is now 15 years since lasting contact was made in those countries! God is answering our prayers and those of the good folk at the “coal face” in what in some cases are very difficult countries to minister in for our Lord.
INDIA | Yesuway Jeevan Mission
It is with great sadness that I advise that Immanuel’s wife Rani, pictured with Immanuel in happier times when they visited Auckland in 2011, fell asleep in her beloved Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at 6.20 am India time on Tuesday 25th June after suffering a massive heart attack. Immanuel was with her when she died. Her funeral service was held at the family’s home church, the Lutheran Church at Anna Nagar, at 4.30 pm the same day.
Please pray for Immanuel, and their family – daughter Jennifer and husband Wilson and their daughter Shibi and son Steven; daughter Judy and husband Selvin and their daughter Ruby, and son Jerry and wife Deepa and their son Frank – as they adjust to life without their loving wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother. Rani was a tremendous supporter of Immanuel and his ministry for the Mission – he and we have lost a very faithful prayer warrior.
The water supply situation in Chennai, and in fact Tamil Nadu State as a whole and some of the adjacent states of India has reached crisis point. The last monsoon rains in late 2018 brought much reduced rainfall to that part of the country, and Immanuel tells me that the city’s four main reservoirs are all empty and although infrastructure to transport water from other states is available, the wide shortage of water means that no area has enough for their own people, let alone to help others in need. The picture below shows what is left in the city’s Puzhal reservoir – virtually nothing!
The well on the Guindy compound is dry, and their deep bore-well will only pump water for a few minutes at a time before running dry. This situation has never occurred before in the living memory of Brother Joseph, one of the faithful staff members who has served His Lord at Guindy for 53 years!
Immanuel had extra tanks installed several months ago but the Chennai Corporation, which supplies water to the city cannot deliver water to fill them. Immanuel enquired late last week (21 June) about an order placed on 6 June and was told that there were more than 3,500 orders ahead of his order! Even bottled drinking water is virtually unavailable at present and Immanuel has ordered a water purification system to purify the little quantity of bore water they are able to pump to give those who live on the compound access to good quality drinking and cooking water.
The southwest monsoon is overdue and would bring some respite, but it has been “stuck” well to the south of the city and the state for some time and this unusually sluggish movement of the monsoon has literally left Chennai high and dry – from 1 June to 19 June the city has received only 0.3mm of rain as compared with the normal rainfall in that period of 40mm – a 99% deficit!
Please pray for this situation, both for our staff at Guindy and for the people of what is India’s 6th largest city with about 9.1 million population.
A similar water situation applies in North Odisha where Pastor Ahaj Kumar Pani ministers – he recently wrote…
“FEEDING THE HOMELESS- NORTH ODISHA MISSION
This is a summer outreach ministry we have been doing for three days in North Odisha Mission.
Very hot and dry weather here, homeless children and needy people are very much hungry and thirsty. No one is there to help them providing food and clothes and water that is except AAM North Odisha. We are reaching to the unreached with the love of God by doing some compassionate works towards homeless kids and people.
God is great and mighty in acts who is helping us to spread His love by feeding the homeless.
Please pray for the homeless children and for the needy people in this village who are living without food and clothes and shelter. Pray that they may have great hope in God.”
“NORTH ODISHA SUMMER CAMP RANAPUR VILLAGE 31-05-2019
Ranapur village is 83 km away from Bhubaneswar city, and very hot. Because of the heat, we thought no one would show up for camp. We were surprised to see almost 100 people from the village singing and dancing and ready to learn. Most of the village people with children at camp are from Hindu background, we took an opportunity to spend some quality time with them. We told them stories about the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and the prodigal son. It was a wonderful time teaching about Jesus and His love towards mankind. Also we did some healing and deliverance ministry for the village people who were sick and possessed by the demon spirits. God is doing wonders and miracles through our ministry with summer outreach program, many were healed and cured by the power of Jesus Christ who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We also conducted some special programs for the children of this village. Children were overwhelmed and very happy while singing and dancing. By God’s grace we are reaching to the unreached people with Gospel. God is helping us to spread His message of salvation to the people of North Odisha. Many were able to hear about Jesus from us while conducting prayer meetings here.
Pray for the village people and for the children who for the first time heard the Gospel from us. May they accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Pray for the spiritual growth of each believer, and for ministry expansion here in North Odisha.”
As he looks for as many ways as possible to show Christian love and compassion to his people, Pastor Pani is reaching out with what he calls a “helping hand” to some of the many in his area who live their lives with physical disabilities. He wrote…
“Financial assistance and support service for people with disabilities. The physical plight of the disabled is obvious, but the financial obstacles they face, while less evident are equally disheartening.
We are sharing financial help to the people with disabilities and for their medical treatment.
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory bless them with all spiritual blessing so that they may experience the divine healing and deliverance by the power of Jesus Christ.”
I have been asking you to pray for the sale of the Guindy land for many months, even years – thank you for continuing to pray. Please continue to pray regularly as we slowly – very slowly at times – take one step at a time towards the completion of a sale. There is still a court case – brought by a senior member of the Advent Christian Conference of India – that is holding up what will be a very major and critical step in concluding the sale, and the wheels of the justice system in India most often turn very slowly. Sadly we have recently heard that yet another ACCI member has taken a case to the court!! Perhaps a step backward! These cases are a total hindrance to the sale of the property – once they are determined or withdrawn we will publicly call for bids for the property, and we presently have parties who are very keen to buy the property immediately the court gives its decisions.
The proceeds of the sale will bring the possibility of future, financial stability of the Advent Christian Conference of India, and the significant extension of the ministries of Yesuway Jeevan Mission and its ministry partners throughout India.
THAILAND |Christian Mission Naratchakwai
On 23 June 2017, the Naratchakwai Elementary School, which is just a few hundred metres from Christian Mission down the main road to the village, where Maeo spent her working life as a teacher, was destroyed by fire. Since its inception, Christian Mission has had a close relationship with the school and the late John Middlewood spent many, many hours there teaching the children English.
On 30 June that year, the team from Christian Mission took their Soup of Love to the many people who had gathered to assist with the demolition of the ruins following the fire, to make the site ready for rebuilding the school. There were many people from the village present to assist that day, and there were many large pots of the Soup of Love and many helpers, and another opportunity for Christian Mission to show care and compassion for the people of the village!
The rebuilding of the school has recently been completed, so Christian Mission took the Soup of Love again to Ban Naratchakwai Elementary School in June 2019 to celebrate the new beginning and to show that they still care for their community!
After the morning service on Sunday 23 June, their Facebook post read “Happy to see each other. Thank you God for today 🙏 Even the weather is very hot, but we are happy to worship here”
After the service and Sunday School, and the lunch together, English lessons for the children were held and were followed by some “fun and games”!!
Please continue to pray for Maeo and Brother Boontaa and for the seven girls/young ladies who make up the Leadership Team and for Ploy who leads the team. Thank the Lord for the time and effort they put into planning and supervising every aspect of the ministry, including the English lessons.
MALAYSIA | Kluang Advent Christian Group
Please continue to pray for Sister Ruth, Brother Wilfred and their small group of faithful, Advent Christian believers who gather weekly on Sundays for worship in Ruth and Wilfred’s home in Kluang and in members’ homes for Bible study and communion during the week. Christian ministry is not easy or without danger 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 Devairakkam and her husband Wilfred (pictured 1st and 2nd from the left) attended a recent Pastors Fellowship. The pastors are from various denominations but come together for prayer and support. Pray for the united efforts of the pastors in their city, and that their fellowship will bring encouragement and their spirits will be renewed and strengthened.
Sister Ruth asks for prayer for the following:
- “A prominent businessman that they meet with regularly for prayer. Recently, he lost his appetite and was experiencing sleepless nights for a few weeks. After meeting for prayer, he regained his appetite and was able to eat. Give praise for this breakthrough in his life and pray that he will continue to grow stronger in his faith.
- A businessman who meets for counselling with Ruth and Wilfred, that God will intervene supernaturally, so he can experience the increase of God’s presence, peace and special favor.
- Awakening spiritual senses of those whom Ruth and Wilfred disciple, that they will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.
- Praise God for some individuals, young and old, who are now seeing a spiritual shift and a sudden breakthrough in their situations and for the discipling that they received from Ruth and Wilfred.
- Praise the Lord that a broken marriage has now received healing through the Lord’s intervention.”
MYANMAR | Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar
Please continue to pray for the leaders of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar, and for the ministries of their organisations.
We have not had much communication from Myanmar recently, but Pastor Timothy wrote of a recent visit to the Chin State, which is his home state and is where much of the ministry of his organisation, the Advent Christian Church of Myanmar, is centred. He spoke of having had good fellowship as they discussed the future of their ministries there and in and around Yangon.
He also advised that Pastor Sein Kyaw Aye, who he recently asked us to pray for following a fall caused by high blood pressure, is much better now and is home from hospital. Please thank the Lord for healing for this brother and for the answer to our prayers.
He also asked us to pray for his oldest daughter Siam, “who is studying the Word of God at Evangelical Bible School in Yangon, for a Master’s degree this academic year.”
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 in South East Asia who are so committed to sharing the message of LIFE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST with their people. Your support means a great deal to them.
Please pray that they will all know the leading, guiding and blessing of the Holy Spirit on all their ministries and that they will have great joy in their service for the LORD as they see fruit for their labour.