I am primarily an evangelist and teacher who travels around the world in apostolic ministry as God leads and enables me. In addition to preaching and teaching the Bible, I mentor our key partners to be more strategic and impactful for the Gospel in their countries and cultures, just as they continue to mentor me. I am relationally focused rather than program or project focused in ministry relationships and partnerships.
“Through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
(II Corinthians 9:11)
Dear Ministry Partners,
Patt and I send you our special Thanksgiving love and greetings. We pray that you will have a very special Thanksgiving week and day with family and friends, just as we intend to.
I also hope you will take a few minutes off from cooking … eating … football games … watching the Thanksgiving Parade … napping – to peruse this report. It will add a BIG THANKS to your Thanksgiving Day.
Frankly, we have been preparing for Thanksgiving all year long – all made possible by your love, prayers, compassion and financial support. There is not time or space for us to even begin to share just one picture from each of our beloved national partners. But I am going to try and summarize as many as possible in this pictorial report.
Please take a moment to at least scroll through the following pictures showing just some of the things that you have made possible this year. It is our prayer that these pictures will bring “extra thanks” to your Thanksgiving Day.
So buckle your seat belt as we make a whirlwind trip to many countries and corners of the world where “ … your generosity” has resulted in “ … thanksgiving to God.”
PRE-THANKSGIVING IN THE BAHAMAS …
This past weekend, Patt and I made a quick pre-Thanksgiving trip to Freeport, Bahamas, where we went to fellowship and minister with Pastor Wilbur Outten and his wife, Barbara – partners of over 30 years. Wilbur is the pastor of the Freeport Bible Church, whom we have had close partnership with for decades.
As we arrived, there was a strong topical storm with horrific rains. When we got to the church, the men were having a “cook-off” competition as part of this month’s emphasis on men, with the theme of “game-changers.” And under Pastor Wilbur’s leadership, these men are real “game-changers” for the Kingdom of God in the Bahamas.
So look and “lick your lips” at what they were cooking under the tent – each one seeking to surpass the other as the best cook with the best recipe!
When we were finished foundering ourselves on BBQ Ribs, smoked conch and chicken Hawaiian, we prepared for our two Sunday services – which were great “Thanksgiving Celebrations.”
The praise team led in enthusiastic worship, and the men, dressed in their
favorite "athletic jerseys", presented a special song.
After Wilbur’s gracious introduction, I spoke on “Being a Game Changer for the Kingdom of God,” wearing my T-shirt representing the persecuted church – especially those under assault by ISIS and Islamic terrorism.
On Sunday evening I did a Global Mission Overview for the key leaders of the church – with a special emphasis on the “Persecuted Church.”
After I spoke, Wilbur showed a picture of their first mission church in India built in partnership with ECI and us. He renewed his challenge to build more this next year.
INDIAN THANKSGIVING (WITH LOTS OF HOT CURRY!) …
The above picture of Pastor Wilbur with their sister church in India is a good transition to Bishop Ezra Sargunam and the Evangelical Church of India (ECI). As you know, we have been in close partnership with ECI for over 3 decades.
Across the years, Bishop Ezra has been unrelenting in evangelism and church planting across India – both among the responsive groups and resistant groups. As a result, they have now planted:
Today they average planting 3 new churches a week in some corner of India – with a goal of planting one a day! That’s a vision that will put renewed mission thanks in your Thanksgiving!
Patt and I will be returning to India in January 2016 to participate in the “Diamond Jubilee” (75 years) of ECI’s ministry. At that time, Bishop Ezra will “pass the leadership baton” to others as they continue to press toward their vision of 100,000 churches and 10 million members!
While we have been in active partnership with Bishop Ezra and ECI in conferences, church buildings, agape pastor’s homes, children’s homes, etc., we are now emphasizing various self-support projects such as sewing programs and goat-raising (bottom of report). These self-help projects bring special thanksgiving from widows and needy women.
SINGAPORE THANKSGIVING …
One of Bishop Ezra’s students is Pastor Joseph Jabemany. He studied under Bishop Ezra in Chennai as a Bible College student and caught his vision for evangelism and church planting. As a result, he pioneered the Yishun Evangelical Church in Singapore, which primarily ministers to the thousands of Tamil Indians living and working in Singapore.
We began our partnership with Pastor Joseph over 30 years ago. Through the years his work has grown in Singapore, Malaysia and India. As a result, they have been funding the building of small churches in rural India. To date they have built 143 village churches – with each one bringing praise and thanksgiving to the local people. And all of this is from one moderate church in Singapore of just several hundred members. This begs the question: “How many mission churches has your local church funded in other countries?!”
Pray for Pastor Joseph as he leads his church on their march to reach their goal of 200 rural churches in India by the end of 2016!
THANKSGIVING IN NEPAL (WITH DHAL BHAT) …
As you know, since the killer earthquakes in April and May, we have been deeply involved in relief and rebuilding under the leadership of Pastor Hanok Tamang, our original partner in Nepal dating back to 1989. And as per Paul’s exhortation in Galatians 6:10, our primary focus has been on helping the “needy saints” who lost their homes and livelihoods.
After the first phase of relief distribution, we moved to tarps and tents, then to small metal houses. Now since winter has set in, we are doing blanket distribution for warmth. Each family gets one large blanket – which the whole family sleeps under. Can you imagine?! Currently we are focused on 300 more Christian families who lost everything in the earthquakes and aftershocks.
Pastor Gyan Sunawar, who heads the Everest Base Camp Outreach, is also proactive in relief and development in his area of Nepal.
In spite of the killer earthquakes and on-going after-shocks, the church continues to grow weekly. Just this week Pastor Hanok sent these pictures of over 20 new believers who were baptized in the river – which was very cold this time of year!
The trusty truck – or “donkey for Jesus” has been busy night and day carrying relief and rebuilding supplies since the earthquake. This past week it was filled with new believers going to the river for baptism.
The new believers and other church members have a special service “down by the river side” before the baptism.
Pastor Hanok teaches the group on the significance of baptism as followers of Christ who will be “ … buried with Him in baptism.”
Identified with Christ's death, burial and resurrection.
Twenty new believers and followers of Christ in Nepal.
THANKSGIVING IN THE HIGH HIMALAYAS …
Another key partner many of you are familiar with is Pastor Sangge Sherpa. He has been instrumental in evangelism and church planting – literally at the “top of the world.” Many of you followed him through a life-threatening fall that almost cost him his leg. But by God’s grace and some good medical care, he is back in the high Himalayas sharing Christ, planting house churches and baptizing new believers. Say a special Thanksgiving prayer for him on Thursday.
Sangge standing in Lukla, the highest fixed-wing
airport in the world - and the most dangerous!
Taking the Gospel to remote villages where it has never been heard.
Establishing small house fellowships along the way.
Baptizing believers in the icy waters of the Himalayas.
REFUGEE THANKSGIVING AMONG ISIS VICTIMS …
With the recent Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon and the Sinai, the attention of the world this Thanksgiving is especially focused on ISIS and other franchised terrorist groups. Because they have declared the headquarters of their Islamic theocratic Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the Middle East is tenser than ever before in history. Hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered through suicide bombers, executions, crucifixions, beheadings, burnings and wanton acts of barbarism – all in the name of Allah. Millions who have escaped death have become refugees overnight in countries like Syria and Jordan. Untold multitudes have flooded into Europe seeking asylum.
As a ministry, we continue to do all we can to help with the more than 12,000 Christian Refugees in Jordan. Father Khalil Ja’ar is one of our primary partners whose church has become a major refugee center – mostly for Christians from Iraq who were sentenced to “conversion or death” by ISIS.
Words are inadequate to describe our thanksgiving for him as he seeks to minister to this multitude in his church every day. He has truly become a father to the fatherless.
Since we have now sent out the last designated funds to him, we hope many of you will be moved to give a special “Thanksgiving Offering” for our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East.
THANKSGIVING AMONG REFUGEES IN EUROPE …
A day after my recent departure from India with Murli Menon, he left for several weeks of ministry in Germany and Austria, where he goes annually to teach and preach. Murli was especially excited about this trip because of the opportunity he would have to minister among an even more diverse group of people from many countries. Here is an email I received from Murli today, complete with a couple of “selfies” …
I’m having such fun sharing faith with Iranians, Iraqis, Kurds, Syrians, Nigerians, Eritreans, Albanians, Germans & others. I’m deeply impressed by German response to the refugee crisis. Their compassion is Biblical & I am hoping to write a detailed report in the coming days. Thank you for your prayers.
Since Murli will be in Europe through Thanksgiving, pray especially for him that God would continue to give him safety, wisdom and discernment in ministering to this diverse group of people.
THANKSGIVING IN MALI …
In addition to the horrific Islamic Terrorism in Paris a little over a week ago, there was also a major act of Islamic jihaddism in Bamako, Mali. It took place at the most famous hotel in the city, the Radisson Blu, resulting in the murder of 27 people.
In response to this Islamic barbarism, we once again saw that President Obama will still not connect the words “Islam” and “terrorism.” He continues to use more vague terms like “extremism” and “radicalism” – but completely disassociates from the religion of Islam that has clearly birthed and nurtured all this carnage! More and more of our military and terrorism experts are agreeing that until our President and his administration are willing to “name our enemy,” we cannot defeat it.
We are thankful that our primary partners, who have relocated to Bamako from Timbuktu, are all OK in the wake of this latest terrorism in Mali.
In past reports you have read about Pastor Nouh Yattara (above), Professor Mohamed Yattara and Pastor Mohamed Ali. They each continue their very busy ministry activities in Bamako and other parts of the country as travel as terrorism permits.
Professor Mohamed continues to lead his “Bible School in exile” in Bamako from Gao, after al-Qaeda ravaged the city.
Pastor Mohamed Ali and his wife had a thriving ministry in Timbuktu until the Islamic terrorists took over the city for over a year. Even though the French routed the terrorists, Pastor Ali's ministry had to be relocated to Bamako.
Both a preacher and a musician, Pastor Mohamed Ali is a unique
instrument for God's Kingdom in Mali.
THANKSGIVING FOR BUILDINGS…
Through the generous partnership of people like you, we have had a number of significant building projects taking place this year in several countries. I especially give thanks for the large “African Tabernacle” in Hwange, Zimbabwe, under the leadership of Pastor Simon Mkolo. Our partnership with Pastor Mkolo also goes back nearly 4 decades.
Now that the major structure has been completed, we have been tiling the inside of the Tabernacle. In addition to using it regularly for their own ministry, they are able now to rent it out to other groups, which help generate funds for their own ministry.
In addition to tiling the African Tabernacle and building a large chancel area, we have also funded a large kitchen - which is almost completed.
It will be a joy to visit this Conference Center, and to see these new buildings
on my upcoming trip to Zimbabwe in December.
THANKSGIVING FOR ANIMALS …
A number of our national partners in several countries are especially thankful this Thanksgiving season for goats, pigs and chickens we have helped them to purchase. Often a few animals can make the difference between life and death … poverty and prosperity … health and sickness … sending children to school … medical help.
So as you enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey or ham, give special thanks for these gifts of animals that many of you have helped make possible. And pray that the animals would stay healthy and reproduce – bringing food and help to their owners.
In Manipur India with Pastor Soia Chinkhosoi…
In Zimbabwe with Pastor Godfrey Mkolo…
In Kenya with Philip Kabiru…
THANKSGIVING FOR GARDENS …
As you know, helping set up “drip irrigation gardens” has been a passion and priority of mine since the very earliest days of our ministry. Not all of our partners are in situations where they have the land for gardens. But whenever possible, we help them start gardens of various size. And since Thanksgiving Day cannot be separated from food in America, I am thankful for all of the food we are helping people enjoy through our various gardening projects. Here are several …
In West Bengal, India with Johny Rai …
In Haiti with Pastor Esperandieu Pierre …
In India with Murli & Usha Menon …
There is really no conclusion to Thanksgiving! It is not the celebration of a day – but the life-style of the Believer. When you consider God’s incredible gift of grace to each of us through the Lord Jesus, we cry out with Paul: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (II Cor. 9:15).
While I could go on picture after picture … partner after partner … project after project … page after page – I must stop! Otherwise, you will not give thanks for the length of this report!
May God give you a blessed Thanksgiving Day with family and friends – knowing from these few pictures, that your spiritual family is far BIGGER than you may have thought – and your circle of friends encompasses the globe! And it just doesn’t get better than that!
Now go eat some more turkey and dressing with a new heart of thanksgiving!
Thankful for your partnership,
JL & Patt
P. S. It is hard to believe that the Christmas Season is right around the corner! And many of you have already started shopping for those special gifts for Christmas 2015. This Christmas, it is our prayer that you will remember a special Christmas gift for one of our national partners in the Third World.
Just like the Magi traveled a long distance to present their gifts to the baby Jesus, your gift through JLPF will travel to some of the distant corners of the kingdom of God. Many needs will be met by your love gift, and many grateful hearts will praise the Lord for your generosity!
For Kingdom Advancing Gift giving ideas, please click on the picture of our 2015 Christmas Brochure at right. Thank you in advance for your gift of love to our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ in the Third World!
“Long Live France!”
(This popular French patriotic expression is much like our “God Bless America!” or the British “God Save the Queen!”)
Dear Ministry Partners,
Thanks for praying me back across the finish line here at home after this past mission marathon through Nepal, Bhutan and India. I especially appreciate those of you who followed me through the “field reports” I sent out as often as possible – whenever I had Internet access. God certainly did “ … exceeding abundantly above all we could have asked or thought” (Eph. 3:20)!
Upon my arrival back home, I had hoped to be able to continue to report on this past Asia trip – as well as my upcoming trip to Africa on December 1st. But this latest massacre in Paris by Islamic jihadists diverts and demands our attention. It is another historic political paradigm-changing event that forces us to face the painful reality that we are literally involved in “World War III.”
ISIS has openly declared a global Islamic Caliphate under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Now controlling land the size of Britain across swaths of Iraq and Syria, this can no longer be called a “regional conflict” in a remote corner of the Middle East. Nor are these “random acts of violence” by “radicals” or isolated “terrorists” – as President Obama and much of the media want us to believe.
The recent downing by ISIS of a Russian plane over the Sinai, and terrorist bombings in Beirut, prove their diabolical reach and deadly capabilities go far beyond their current headquarters in Iraq and Syria.
The deadly reach of ISIS has now extended to the very heart of Europe, with the multiple Paris attacks that left 129 dead and some 350 seriously wounded.
While President Obama naively said that ISIS had been “contained,” the French knew better. As a result, Francois Hollande, the President of France, called this Islamic terrorism a clear “Declaration of War” that would be answered with “merciless” retribution! Sadly, rather than standing bold with France – our oldest American ally - Obama has again stuttered and stammered on American leadership. This has left a dangerous and deadly vacuum in the Middle East that President Putin has boldly and aggressively filled.
Francois Hollande, President of France.
All of this Islamic terrorist carnage is part of a carefully orchestrated and executed plan to extend the reach and dominance of fundamental Islam from the Middle East … to North Africa … to the Far East … to Europe – and ultimately to America. Then the penultimate goal of finally “wiping Israel off the map” as the “little Satan” after the “Big Satan” of America is eliminated or “Islamicized” – like much of Europe today, and brought under the rule of the Caliphate and Sharia Law.
Contrary to the political and geographical fantasy being propagated through the United Nations, a “Two-party State of Israel and Palestine” will never be tolerated – by either side. That is just another temporary political appeasement and illusion on the road to a worldwide Islamic Caliphate. Any other understanding of Islam is sheer fantasy and illusion – as even a cursory reading of the Koran will clearly prove.
MASS MUSLIM MIGRATION
As I wrote in an earlier blog (please click here to read Refugee Migration or Islamic Invasion), this recent mass migration of Syrian and Iraqi refugees is a strategic part of this age-old Islamic jihaddish strategy of: immigrate … infiltrate … propagate … DOMINATE!
The late Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi bodly declared:
“We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, without guns, without conquest—will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”
The systematic Islamization of Europe through immigration is proving Gaddafi’s prediction true.
Several years before his death, Gaddafi also warned: “If I go down, Europe goes Black!” And he also predicted that the Mediterranean would become a “sea of chaos” through wave after wave of Islamic immigration. In the last few months, we have seen that Muslim prophecy coming true!
In recent months, this uncontrolled, uncontained and unvetted mass Muslim migration from Refugee Camps in Iraq, Syria and North Africa has been called the “largest refugee crisis since World War II.” Untold hundreds of thousands of displaced people – mostly Arab Muslims - have made their mass exodus from the Middle East, across Turkey into Greece and throughout the rest of Europe – especially Germany. Many of these European countries were already stretched to the limits with previous waves of Muslim migrants invited in to increase the decreasing populations and become the backbone of the work force. Now their social welfare systems will be stretched beyond the limits of endurance and sustainability.
Unquestionably there are thousands of very needy and destitute people among this migrating mass of humanity – especially women and children. But equally certain is the fact that the Islamic radicals and terrorists have embedded untold numbers of their jihadists among them. This uncontrolled mass of humanity is a natural “’Trojan Horse” for them to use to sneak in untold numbers of their terrorist operatives – as the recent Paris attacks proved.
Most news pictures and videos show that the vast number – if not majority – of these supposed migrants are able-bodied young men who are leading and filling the ranks of this Muslim exodus. Again, there is absolutely no way of seriously vetting these undocumented masses!
While America definitely has a strategic humanitarian role to play in this tragic situation, inviting in some 10,000 of these predominant Arab Muslims is political, religious, racial, cultural and economic suicide! For this very reason, a growing number of governors have said to the Obama Administration that they would not allow them to enter their states.
What we should be doing is eagerly admitting Arab Christians with whom we share a common heritage - but that is not politically correct. Admitting Arab Muslims is the priority of our current administration.
CHRISTIAN RESPONSE AND RESPONSIBILITY
The Bible is clear that we are to be loving and compassionate to the “aliens” living among us. That’s because they remind us that we are all “aliens” in one way or the other (Ex. 22:21; Lev. 19:34; Deut. 10:19; I Pet. 2:11; Heb. 13:2; Gal. 3:18, etc).
But wisdom also instructs us to be discerning in our relationships with the “strangers and aliens” living among us. Moses had to constantly contend with the “alien attitudes” of the “mixed multitude” that left Egypt with them (Ex. 12:38). Their lives, living and location had to be regulated among the Israelites (Num. 2:2; Deut. 23:7-8).
Because this “mixed multitude” would not conform to the theocracy of Israel, their selfish motives, different values and cravings often led to dissention and idolatry among God’s people (Num. 11:4). And because of this, many of them were ultimately severely judged by God (Num. 14:22-24; 32:11-15; Num. 25-26, etc).
Through Joshua’s leadership, God finally required the aliens to live under the same rules and regulations as the Israelites. There could be no dual religions or multiculturalism (Josh. 8:35). And finally under Nehemiah, the aliens who would not conform to their host country had to be deported (Neh. 13:1-3).
In sharing these few verses and principles, I well realize that America is not a theocracy like ancient Israel. However, Paul made it clear that we were to learn from this Biblical example of the exodus and occupation of the Promised Land by the children of Israel (Rom. 15:4).
If nothing else, the horrific events in Paris are a bloody wake-up call to Europe, America and the world. ISIS has not been “contained.” Nor will they ever be contained under our current “leaderlessness” as a nation. This latest act of Islamic terrorism will and should redefine the theme of the current 2016 presidential election debate. This is no longer an abstract political debate between the Democrats and Republicans … the conservatives and liberals … the right and left. At stake is Western civilization as we have known it. It is nothing short of a life-and-death “clash of cultures” between Western democracy and the Islamic Caliphate that will either lead to a new “Dark Ages” unparalleled in history – or the triumph of “ … life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
You and I face a clear choice between God and Allah … the Bible and Koran … the mosque or the church … the freedom of the 10 Commandments or the bondage of Sharia Law. Neutrality is not an option. Passivity is fantasy. Continued “leaderlessness” is national suicide!
May God raise up a new breed of leaders who will boldly and selflessly lead this nation back to God – starting with the church, because “ … judgment begins at the household of God” (I Pet. 4:17)!
For National revival through the Spirit and Word,
PS: While I cannot verify the validity of all of the footage of this video, it is well worth watching. While there is an obvious political motive and motivation behind this brief video, it is still a sober presentation of what much of our news media is not reporting. And if only 1/10 of it is accurate, it is a challenging wake-up call for all of us Americans on what could soon be headed our way.
Jim Anthony presents at the BAM Seminar.
Dear Asian Pilgrims,
I send you greetings from Coimbatore, South India, where we have just finished our last full day in India. As I write this final report, we are headed to the airport in Mumbai/Bombay for our long 15-hour non-stop flight to the States. Before blasting off on that marathon flight, I wanted to shoot you one final "field report," and thank you for praying us across the finish line of this Asian Kingdom Adventure.
Yesterday was focused on our final BAM Seminar for this trip. It was "over the top" in terms of participation and response. There were 77 Indian businessmen and businesswomen present. All were Christians, with the exception of two Hindus, whom we welcomed with open arms and hearts.
Jim Anthony once again did an outstanding job of motivating and mentoring on "Business As Ministry.” Many spiritual transformational seeds were planted, and we are confident those seeds will bring great fruit in the months and years ahead for God's Kingdom here in India.
BUSINESS AS MINISTRY (BAM) SEMINAR ...
We were graciously welcomed with gifts before our teaching time began.
CHRISTIAN INDIAN ENTREPRENEURS ...
It was a special joy to hear brief testimonies of successful Christian Indian business entrepreneurs who are serious about the full integration of their faith in the marketplace. Pray that the Gospel would go forth in increasing measure through their lives and businesses, and rejoice that the Lord used your prayers and support to make these Kingdom connections possible.
Christian Indian CEO's shared their testimonies.
A time of prayer and committment.
FINAL MINISTRY FOCUS IN INDIA ...
We had the joy of concluding our teaching time in India on the beautiful campus of Impact International. George, Jim and I shared a time of teaching for the Bible College students. While Jim and I continued with BAM, Jim’s son, James, shared his own story as a young entrepreneur. What a blessing to see this father-son tag team for the Kingdom!
A special time with the college students at Impact International.
UNEXPECTED MEETING …
I was blown away to meet the couple pictured below. They approached me before the seminar started, holding a personal letter I had written to them in 1989 while with New Directions Ministry. Previously, they had expressed a desire to meet me, and now after over 2 decades, we finally met in the fullness of God's time, as they have recently returned to India after a number of years of living in America. Please pray for this strategic “son and daughter of the soil” as they minister in the land of their birth.
On behalf of George Tissiere, John Jordan, Jim and James Anthony, and myself, thank you again for praying us safely and successfully through Nepal, Bhutan and India. George will remain here for a few more days of ministry, but John, Jim, James and I will be very close to landing at RDU – in good ol’ North Carolina – by the time you read this final update!
Until my next report,
Greetings Fellow Asian Pilgrims,
As I write this latest field report, we have just completed our first full day here on the campus of Impact International with Murli and Usha Menon – dear friends and partners, dating back to 1986. Frankly, neither of us could have ever remotely envisioned what God had in store for our partnership. That's the adventure of following Christ and watching His plan unfold one step at a time!
Murli & Usha share how God brought this beautiful campus into existence.
One of the primary purposes for this visit was to dedicate the final block of the classroom complex that we had been working on for several years. Our son, Joseph, funded the first set of buildings and classrooms through NDI/FTH in honor of Patt and me. We had the joy of dedicating them a couple of years ago. (Please click here to read an earlier report on Impact International).
The classroom block built in our honor
by our son Joseph and NDI/FTH.
Murli & Joseph, and Murli, Usha, Patt & I at the dedication several years ago.
Through the partnership of JLPF and Providence Church in Raleigh, we were able to complete this second phase. It was very special to have George Tissiere, Mission Pastor at Providence, to help inaugurate this new section that will serve as the Ad-Min block for the College, including a large Conference Room and bathrooms. This addition will make the facility more attractive to be used as a conference venue by outside groups – helping provide income for the ministry.
I hope you will enjoy these few pictures of the dedication celebration led by Murli, Usha, the girls from the home, and the Bible College students.
The dedication and ribbon cutting, a wonderful
celebration of God's faithfulness.
What a privilege to publicly thank and affirm the workers who built the building – each of whom are full time employees of the ministry. With all the building and construction work done by them, it is a ‘win-win’ for everyone.
I shared from Exodus 31 about “Bezalel and Ohaliab" – two master builders and craftsmen whom God raised up, anointed, and equipped to build the tabernacle. Today was a “celebration of partnership" – made possible by our combined efforts.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
P. S. As I write this latest report, it is the major day of the Dwali Festival. This festival commemorates the mythological return of the Hindu god, Ram, from exile. The celebrations take place with fires and firecrackers. All night extremely loud fireworks are sounding forth everywhere! It reminds us of our July 4th celebration with “…bombs bursting in air!”
As I write this latest Asian update, it is Sunday afternoon and I am on my flight from Delhi to Coimbatore via Bangalore. We just left a glorious worship service – this time at the Angurah Church and Children's Home. It is another long-term partnership that is over 15 years old and focuses primarily on the large Nepali Diaspora in Delhi.
This ministry was the vision of Pastor Bharat Tamang, whom I first met through Pastor Hanok Tamang in Nepal. He had pioneered a work among the Nepalis working in Delhi, most of who dwelt in horrible slum situations. Through his passion for evangelism and his ministry of healing, many were healed spiritually and physically, but they had no place to meet and shifted around from one slum home to another. Through the generous gift of a ministry partner, we were able to buy a small piece of land and build a church outside Delhi, pictured at left. There were hardly any houses or buildings in the area at that time, but today the church is totally surrounded – mostly by Indian Hindus. (Please click here to read a report on Pastor Bharat's ministry).
This past year we built a large addition on the church for the children, as well as a canopy on top of the building. The canopy will allow greater use of the space by the church and children – rain or shine! This was my first visit since these additions were added – so a special time for the men and me.
I hope you will be blessed in a small way by these pictures that represent another BIG blessing we enjoyed today!
The addition and rooftop canopy.
Jim & I shared the preaching time as Tabitha translated.
At right, Jim shares musically as a "singing entrepreneur."
All Christians are taught to give, regardless of their socio-economic situation.
They give thier tithes and offerings, plus gifts of rice for the poor.
The children from the home shared a special song.
The reading of the Word.
The Youth Worship Team and the children from the home
participated in the service.
Worshipping the Lord together.
Prior to rushing to the airport, we were treated to another delicious Nepali meal prepared by Pastor Bharat’s wife – which made it very hard to "eat and run!"
After our Nepali rooftop lunch, Pastor Bharat shared pictures and stories
of people recently healed through prayer, who are now attending
Before leaving the new rooftop of the church, you MUST meet Tabitha's grandmother. She is in her late 80s but still very active. Since her love is flowers, she has filled every available space with a wide variety of beautiful and fragrant flowers – which she waters, prunes and maintains daily. You saw some of her "green thumb" expertise around the front of the sanctuary in the pictures above.
And make sure you read her T-Shirt, which is a timely Biblical warning to any who are lazy and indigent! It says "Idleness is the holiday of fools." She is my kind of woman – still growing in and for the Lord! No retirement in her plans!
Thanks again for going on this Asian Pilgrimage with us to this point. We still have one more exciting visit and time of ministry with Murli and Usha Menon, my longest standing partners in India, so be watching for my last reports from there before flying home. I will send them with a heart overflowing with thanksgiving for all God has accomplished through our partnership with the Lord, with you, and our beloved national brothers and sisters! It doesn't get any better than this because it is living at the interface of time and eternity!
PS: I want to again thank my sister, Judy Baer, and her “Closer Walk Bible Study.” This wonderful group of women organize annual fund-raisers (yard sales) to support these children. (Please click here for a recent article on their work). Thanks ladies, with love from your adopted children!