Pastoral 2017

Daily Vacation Bible School 2017

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 10 December 2017

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Gethsemane Children’s Ministry (GCM) praises the Lord for seeing us through this year’s Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS). This year’s theme – “Sing unto the LORD” – was drawn from Isaiah 42:10, “Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.” The children were taught six lessons altogether from selected Bible passages based on the theme.

The LORD has been good to GCM. It was a challenge to find a venue to host this year’s DVBS, but God had prepared 202B, Ponggol 17th Avenue for our usage. He gave us 49 children (from ages 2 to 12) to learn about “Sing(ing) unto the LORD.” He also provided 7 teachers for the 3 classes: Nursery to Kindergarten (N-K), Primary 1 to 3 (P1-3), and Primary 4 to 6 (P4-6). In addition, He moved the hearts of 14 volunteers to help out in the various aspects of the event.

202B Ponggol 17th Avenue is a familiar place for many of the children; it is the home of The Gethsemane Care Ministry (TGCM). As such, there were some enthusiastic ones who came very early daily over the 3-day event. There were also those who loved the venue so much that they didn’t want to go home, and had to be “dragged” home!

The children were divided into three classes for Bible lessons. The N-K class used the hall on the ground floor, whereas the P1-3 class had their lessons held at the porch just outside the house. The P4-6 class had the privilege to use the “hallowed” hall of Gethsemane Bible Institute (GBI) for their lessons. Overall, everyone enjoyed the conduciveness of the premises.

One of the lessons’ objectives was to encourage our Christian children to glorify the LORD God with their own songs. They are to sing like Moses or the psalmist regarding how the LORD had helped them in times of afflictions and difficulties. Another aim of the lessons was to declare the glory and praise of God to the unbelieving children, that they might come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The children also had 3 hours worth of craft lessons, where they were divided into two groups. All of them made a box and a frame, plus a file and a notebook for the older kids, as well as a letterholder and a tambourine in the case of the younger ones. All these items were made from recycled materials, such as Bible Witness calendars, which have Scripture verses on them!

An interesting feature of this year’s DVBS was the Bible activity time, where the children were given opportunity to share their reasons for singing unto the LORD. Below is a selection of what some of the children said:

Needless to say, the children looked forward to the games time daily. The children were divided into two teams to compete with one another. There were different games planned by respective volunteers over the 3 days, which were executed with the help of many others, including adults. Though the adults were there to help oversee and organise the games, they sometimes couldn’t resist joining in! Certainly, each afternoon was a fun-filled time for all the participants, even the spectators.

Finally, there were those who laboured at the back of the house to feed the children and volunteers; also not forgetting those who helped to ferry the children to and fro the DVBS premises. They are the unseen workers of the LORD! Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped in one way or another – whether it be in the designing of the registration form, the planning of various activities, or the execution of them all, etc. Truly, may the LORD help us remember to sing His glory and praise all the days of our lives while we have our being (cf. Psalm 104:33)!

 

“Mission Report from Vizag, India”
(Testimony from Pr Sujith Samuel from India)

Dear Pastor,

I thank God for enabling you, your sons, and Bro Benny to visit Vizag. The visit was much needed and I am sure you all have become more aware of the situations in Vizag, as well as in Orissa.

Your teachings during the Friday evening Bible study, the pastors’ meetings on Saturday and the sermon on Sunday were really appreciated by those who attended. Many of them already began to ask me when you would be visiting Vizag again. I also thank God for enabling Cornelius to teach the children on Sunday.

I am grateful that we also got opportunities to discuss matters like registration as a trust, the possibility of setting up a publishing company (like that of Bible Witness Media Ministry), and also regarding a suitable place where we can house our activities. May God guide us as we make decisions on these matters.

I thank the church for the prayers, as well as for the gifts given, for the ministry here. May the Lord continue to bless our mission efforts.

In Christ,
Sujith

 

“A New Gospel Front”

Dear Pastor,

Thank you so much for the prayers and support for the work here. I do also remember Gethsemane B-P Church and your ministry in my prayers.

Yesterday, I started door-to-door evangelism in a village suggested by Deva Kumar. The majority of the villagers are Hindus, and there are only two Christian families there. There is also no church in that small village. We (Deva Kumar, Praveen, Leo and I) distributed the tracts (Telugu version of “An Appointment to Keep”) and shared the Gospel at each home we visited. We couldn’t cover the whole village in just one such visit. As such, I am planning to go there every week for evangelism.

In the outskirts of Vizag, people usually don’t travel much distance to go to a church. They prefer to have a church in their own village. Thus, organisations (like Vision Hill Tribes) which went and shared the Gospel were able to establish many churches in such villages. This village, which I have just mentioned, can be one of our “targets” and if God wills, we can have a Sunday gathering there. If this would not materialise there, I will consider another village. In time to come, it is good for us to be prepared to get a place to build a meeting venue inside the village for the believers to come and learn God’s Word.

Henjit and his brother Joyson, together with Bro Praveen, had expressed their readiness to come to me to study God’s Word. But I am concerned whether they will be able to do so every single week. I will talk to them and work out a GBI course-plan from January 2018.

I will convey your regards to the fellow believers here.

In Christ,
Sujith

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