Pastoral 2012

Our Commitment To Global Missions

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 27 May 2012

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Every true church must have an unswerving commitment to what her Redeemer and Lord has entrusted her to do, even to go into all the world and preach the Gospel and baptise and make disciples (cf. Matthew 28:18,19; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47-48; Acts 1:8). Challenges to her efforts in global missions may be many and very exacting, but she must not flinch. The Lord has promised to the church that He will be with her in her global efforts to spread the Gospel – “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20).

I, as the pastor of Gethsemane B-P Church, am thankful to God for our church’s commitment to worldwide Gospel missions. Since 1991, our church has been praying that the Lord would open before us new Gospel frontiers. We have also been praying that the Lord would call, equip and send labourers into Gospel missions. God’s answers to our prayers for the Gospel missions have been most astounding, for He has granted us greater blessings than we have asked. The Lord has demonstrated His great faithfulness in keeping His promise of His presence and help in our Gospel efforts.

For His glory and for your prayerful support, let me mention our Gospel missions. In the Philippines, we have four mission churches (in Cebu, Bohol, Bogo, and San Antonio), and a new Gospel outreach in Pangasinan. We also have a special Gospel ministry to the drug addicts (TGCM, Cebu), and a Bible Institute (GBI, Cebu). Five missionaries minister in our various outreaches in the Philippines (Pastor Reggor Galarpe and Preachers Edsel Locot, Richard Tiu, Dominino dela Cruz and Eliezer Ortega). The Gospel work in Pangasinan needs a full-time preacher; let us pray for the Lord’s help to strengthen the Gospel door opened to us in that place.

In Ethiopia, we have two congregations. Our first mission work was started in Addis Ababa six years ago by Pastor Ephrem Chiracho. With the help of two more co-labourers (Preachers Engida and Imane) a second mission work was started in Alem Gena, about 18 kilometers from Addis Ababa. By God’s grace we have acquired a piece of land in Alem Gena, and have built a complex for the church and Bible Institute (GBI, Ethiopia).

Now, my brethren, we must further increase our labour for the global advancement of the Gospel. We must pray for more faithful and fervent labourers, for new frontiers, for more grace, strength, wisdom and provisions. There must be a greater involvement of our people in the mission stations of our church. Let there be more people to go and spread the Word; let there be more sacrificial and generous giving; let there be more enthusiasm in helping our mission outposts, and let there be more concerted efforts to encourage and foster fellowship with our missionaries and their congregations. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

A Brief Report of My Two Weeks in our Ethiopian Mission Field

During my two-week missions stint (May 7-21) in Ethiopia, I was overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving as I remembered the grace, goodness and faithfulness of the Lord, who called me to the preaching and pastoral ministry and gave me the privilege of bearing His Word into this far land of Ethiopia. Dear flock of God, you too must be thankful that the Lord has used our church in such a triumphant way to exalt our Lord’s saving name in far lands. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish” ( 2 Corinthians 2:14-15).

The Building Project

The buildings are completed, except for some final rectifications and tidying up. In fact, all activities such as classes and worship services are held in the buildings. God willing, Pastor Ephrem and family will move into the staff quarters in June to give leadership to the Bible Institute and the church in Alem Gena.

However, there are several things that need our urgent attention. We need two water pumps to get water into a large water tank for distribution all around the premises. It is also necessary to dig a well within our compound as the public water system does not bring water everyday.

Another urgent need is to construct a retaining wall around the premises to prevent water rushing down from the hills during rainy season. This needs to be done as soon as possible to prevent any damage to the buildings we have erected. Then we also need to pay attention to landscaping, drainage and growing grass and trees around the compound.

All the above mentioned needs were not part of our initial building plans. Let us pray that the Lord will provide for all these needs. In my quick estimation, another S$100,000/- will be needful.

Gethsemane Bible Institute, Ethiopia

Classes began with a day of prayer on May 7th. Though five students were expected to come, only three were present. Of these three, only two are admitted. One did not produce proper documents, and was rejected. “Many are called, few are chosen!” In the second week of the new semester, a pastor’s wife joined the institute for part-time studies.

The two young men who are admitted into full-time theological studies are Bayera and Zechariah. They are eager to learn God’s Word, and ready to serve the Lord. I taught them Pastoral Theology for two weeks. Since I had to finish my syllabus, I taught five hours everyday. The regular lecturers are our three preachers – Rev. Ephrem, Engida and Imane.

Though it is a small beginning with two students, we have great hopes about equipping and sending faithful men to the Lord’s harvest field.

6th Anniversary of Gethsemane B-P Church, Ethiopia

Last Sunday, the two congregations came together to praise the Lord for six years of our mission work in Ethiopia. About 80 men and women gathered in the new church sanctuary in Alem Gena. The people gathered in front of the church with singing. Then Rev Ephrem read from Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Temple taken from 2 Chronicles 6. Then he invited me to lead in the Prayer of Dedication of the church. After the prayer, everyone walked into the church with singing. In the worship service that immediately followed, brethren sang with great joy and thanksgiving. Then I preached from 2 Timothy 4:1-8 on the topic, “Divine Charges to the Pastor and His congregation”. I have expounded five divine charges to the churches of last days. These five charges are: (1) Preach the Word, (2) Watch Thou in All Things, (3) Endure Afflictions, (4) Do the Work of an Evangelist, and (5) Make Full Proof of Thy Ministry. My sermon was interpreted by preacher Engida. After the service, everyone was treated to light refreshment. Immediately after the worship and fellowship, I headed for the airport to return home.

Dear brethren, thank you for your earnest prayers for my ministry, good health and safety in my travel. All glory be to the Lord who blessed me in this missionary journey to Ethiopia. Finally, but not the least, I express the greetings conveyed by our missionaries, their families, and all brothers and sisters in our churches in Ethiopia.