Pastoral Exhortation

Mission Report from Vizag, India

Written by Sujith Samuel Sunday, 10 September 2017

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Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

I thank the Lord for helping me to be in Vizag for the last three months. I was totally new to the city. But God helped me to slowly settle down here. There are many difficulties, but God is sovereign and He is guiding. Through this report, I like to update the church regarding the work here.

When I came here, I did not have a place to stay. I stayed in a hotel. After searching fruitlessly for a place myself and also through my contacts here, I thought I would not be able to get a place to stay. Many house-owners were not giving rooms to single persons. Every time I make a call to a flat-owner, he would say that he would rent out only to families. After much enquiry, I saw an advertisement about the current flat in a rental service website, and the owner who is staying abroad was willing to give the place for me to stay. Thank God for His provision. There are many restrictions though. I cannot conduct meetings or religious activities there; but I am thankful to the Lord that I got a place at least to stay.

Almost every Sunday, I attended Sunday meetings in a fellowship group affiliated with the Free Presbyterian Church. There are four families attending these meetings regularly. All of them are very supportive and very friendly to me. They regularly pray for me and encourage me. The pastor of the group is very passionate about mission work and he preaches very well. He will be out of India for some weeks. Please pray for safe journey (to and fro) for him and his family. They also gave me opportunity to share from God’s Word in their meetings on some Sundays. I thank the Lord for preserving such a small group in this city.

I had the opportunity to be involved in prison ministry in Parlakhemundi (Odisha) for some weeks before the jail authorities stopped the meetings and I am not going there anymore. (I request your prayers for the authorities to give permission to re-start the meetings.) Bro Henjit who was involved in prison ministry there, started coming down to Vizag to learn theology in English. Though he had studied theology in a fundamental Baptist bible college in the Odia medium, he is very much interested in learning theology in English. Thus, I started teaching him Systematic Theology. Another person from the outskirts of Vizag also came for some classes. Please pray that these brothers will continue to come to learn from God’s Word. Since the prison bible-study is stopped, Bro Henjit is trying to start a bible-study in his home. Pray that he will be able to get people to continue his work in that small village.

Some weekends, I visited some rural Baptist churches in Vizag. I went with a Christian doctor who goes for rural evangelism almost every weekend. He practises in the clinic from Monday to Thursday; and from Friday to Sunday, he will go out for weekend evangelism. His grandfather had planted some churches in the outskirts of Vizag and also in hill stations like Arakku. He will visit those churches. During most of my visits, I was given opportunity to preach, while this doctor would translate my messages from English to Telugu.

I also received opportunities to visit some “Naxalaffected” (i.e. by far-left radical communists) areas in Orissa. The Christians there live in much fear. They are very poor and even mobile coverage is very limited. In many parts of Odisha, persecution is quite severe, but yet many Christians continue to remain faithful to the Lord. There are a lot of small churches in Odisha and in the border-areas of Andhra Pradesh. But most of the pastors do not have formal training. They are also not well-educated in English. Worse, good Christian resources are not available in English or in the local language. Thus, there is a need to educate these pastors and supply them with good resources so that the people under their care may benefit. If we can translate and publish some basic bible-study materials in the local languages, that will be very useful for them.

In order to continue the work here, we need to get a place which allows freedom of worship and also we need to get legal registration with the government. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I thank Gethsemane B-P Church for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for me and the work here.

 

Testimony of Sis Juvy Lynn Anaviso

Dear Pastor Koshy and brethren in Gethsemane BPC, Singapore,

Greetings in the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

I want you all to know that I am now in Cebu, the Philippines and currently studying as a full-time student at Gethsemane Bible Institute, Cebu. The Lord has been so good to me here. I am truly grateful to the Lord for how He has arranged for me a place to stay. I am staying now at Sister Ophelia’s place. Sister Ophelia is one of the members of Gethsemane BPC, Cebu.

I am also thankful to God for leading my path here in GBI, Cebu, where I have enjoyed studying His Word. I thank God also for providing me lecturers who love God and love His Word. I thank the Lord for His provision of books and computers for GBI. I also want to thank God for the support I am receiving from the mother church, Gethsemane BPC, Singapore.

With all these provisions and goodness from the Lord, I take it as a double confirmation of His will for me. I can truly say that it is indeed His will for me to come here, for I can see and experience His cooperative will at work.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, please continue to uphold me in your prayers. And please continue also to remember Gethsemane BPC, Cebu and Gethsemane Bible Institute, Cebu in your prayers.

Thank you and all glory be to God!