(Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013) Today, Monday, we had the first of 6 pastor’s Conferences in a row this week. It went very well – God blesses them all. I’d like to tell you about 2 of the people who attended, though, for that will help you meet the pastors of India, the faces you see in the pictures.
DAVID is a young man in his late twenties. He is of Gypsy background – they were the original inhabitants of India before the Hindu’s moved in thousands of years ago. They are like our Native Americans, and have been treated much the same. They are looked down as below the lowest caste. David had a good factory job but was demonically oppressed. He tried cult remedies but nothing happened until a pastor prayed for him and he was delivered. His life totally changed. He was baptized and joined a church. He told his family about his new faith but to this day none have followed him. He helped his pastor whenever he could. Seven years ago he felt God calling him to leave his good paying factory job and start a church full time. People mocked him and said he should do both but he knew God’s calling and quit. He has used the money he saved to start building a church building for his 2 congregations of 10 and 15 people to meet together. He lives in a tiny shack on the property while working on the building.
He has a deep burden for the poor community where he lives. (We had to park the car and walk across stones in a creek to even reach the village.) He calls his church Victory prayer Hall. He wants to build a room on the back for a home and is looking for a wife. We helped him a bit financially and will do so in the future as it is possible. If we have enough resources we’d like to include David as one of the pastors we sponsor. A picture of David and his church in progress will be up soon.
MATTHEW & ESTHER took those names 25 years ago when they became believers. They grew up Muslim but didn’t want their Muslim names any more. Esther had been severely demonized and nothing helped her. She tried Muslim healing techniques and special locations, then Hindu temples and some of the most popular pilgrimage sites for healing in India but nothing set her free. Then she was invited to a church and went. A Christian prayed for her and she was immediately delivered. She and her husband both became believers and were baptized. Ten years ago, in their early 50’s, they built a house in their village with a second floor that could be used for a church. They have a small congregation of exHindu and exMuslim people coming. The local Muslim community has officially banned them and forbidden any of its people from having anything to do with them, but a small church meets regularly for worship and prayer. I first met them today when Matthew quickly hobbled up to take my brief case so I wouldn’t have to carry it. A picture of Matthew and Esther will be up soon.
Several members of the church came by for prayer while we were there. A young mother started having eye and head problems as couple weeks ago. Doctors in the biggest nearby city couldn’t help her. One eye ball is growing and moves about on its own, out of her control. The sides of her face are getting hard and numb. It is progressing fairly quickly. She asked me to pray for God to heal her. A woman in her 70’s was also present. She suffers from arthritis and joint problems and can hardly get around. She is a fairly new believer but has faithfully told every single one of her relatives about Jesus, and families in India are quite large! A man in his 30’s was there asking for prayer for a lung condition. A 12 year old boy came for prayer also. It was quite a variety for a congregation, but Jesus clearly was with them. They are the church Jesus loves and died for! A picture of these people will be up soon.
These are the people and the situations we work with each day, multiplied many times over. Usually 50 pastors plus a dozen wives attend each day. Neither one of these 2 had any church background or any Bible or pastoral training. They work independently so don’t have any resources or support. Still, they faithfully do what they can out of a heart of love for Jesus. Our teachings, books and fellowship with other pastors is a real lifeline for them. Thanks for your part in praying and giving, God answers your prayers and blesses all you do. Thanks!
Matthew 18:19-20 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Pray for David, and for Matthew and Esther. Pray for the thousands of pastors and wives throughout the world who are similar to them. Pray for the faithful pastors God has put in your life as well.