“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29, NIV)
Fanatics disturbed Pastor “K’s” workplace and seized the sewing machines through which he ran a sewing center. They put him behind bars for few days and threatened him of further consequences if he continues to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. The political situation has gotten worse in this place and Pastor “K” and his family needs our prayers more than ever – they are in serious jeopardy.
Pastor “K” sent us an urgent prayer request: “I am fine and we hope you are fine. The situation in this area is not good; one fanatical person gave report to police that Christians are converting others. I was put into jail and a friend of mine was an advocate before the court and then he gave bail for me to be released. When released from jail I had to move from my rented home as fanatics would come and break windows and threaten me and my family. Please pray for me as I am making repairs to my home, pray as we may have to change homes once again. Also, please pray for me and my family as we continue to minster here that God will open a way for the Gospel!”
Another Pastor from the same geographical location, Pastor “V” wrote us providing an update on their ministry as well as the fear they have for their lives. “Many times believers have been threatened to leave working in this group. They are bold enough to share the gospel to this group touching the lives. We are doing certain compassion work to show them the love of Jesus. The good thing is that the people in very secret are coming to know the real God and people are coming to Christ.” Pastor “V” and his family are doing tremendous work even though their lives are threatened and they are forced to leave the place and demanded to not share the gospel. Despite the oppressive and difficult situations, Pastor “V” and his family are touching the lives of people, sowing the seeds of Good News. AMEN
Sample of prayer requests we receive:
Pray for the protection of our family as we are threatened daily.
Pray that God will give us His wisdom and new strategies to reach others more effectively.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for MY sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-12a NKJV).
It is hard for us to wrap our minds around the fact that a person who is so passionate about reaching his family, friends or people of his tribe for Jesus Christ, they will endure unthinkable persecution. However, this is the life of many of our Christian partners that minister in some of the most difficult, unreached areas in the world. Many have come to me, after being persecuted, telling me how honored and worthy they feel to be persecuted for the Gospel. For most of us, this is hard to understand and grasp, but it does say in God’s Word we will be persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus even said, my paraphrase, if they did not accept ME what makes you think they will accept you, you will be persecuted because of ME!
If you are not already aware, pay close attention, as the persecution of Christians is not only happening abroad; however also in our own back door. There is an intense religious war right here in America! It is being fought every day in our schools, our government and our businesses.
To mention a few examples: Columbine; attacks against Chick-fil-a for their Christian stance; protests against Hobby Lobby for their Christian beliefs yet they stood firm against abortion – There are countless more!
The persecution of believers here in America is increasing! We can learn how to endure persecution and use it to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the words that Jesus spoke, from biblical accounts of others, of brothers and sisters abroad and in the US. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring Good News, who proclaim peace…” (Isaiah 52: 7a NIV)
A Prayer of Compassion from Mother Teresa:
Lord, open our eyes that we may see you in our brothers and sisters. Lord, open our ears that we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, the oppressed. Lord, open our hearts that we may love each other as you love us. Renew in us your spirit. Lord , free us and make us one. AMEN.
Helping Hands In Motion is committed to prayerfully and financially supporting our persecuted faithful believers in ministry. Please join us in lifting them up to the Lord for protection and endurance. And fervently pray for America! This wonderful country was founded by Christians, based upon freedom of religion and expression. These liberties are now in danger, one-by-one they are being removed. We must earnestly seek God and ask Him for help!
PRAY: We ask you to pray with us for the persecuted while they passionately serve and take the Gospel to difficult areas.
SUPPORT: We ask you to financially support the ministry of Helping Hands In Motion, as we encourage, enable and empower national indigenous leaders with resources to reach their communities, cities and countries for Jesus Christ!
Jesus said: “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” —John 12: 26
I have been making annual mission trips to India since 1998. I have to admit looking back, in the beginning, I was drawn to the place more by my love for adventure than my passion for souls. The passion for souls came as I sensed the spiritual darkness of this place and began to see the hunger and desperation of the beautiful people of India.
On one Sunday while we were in India on this last trip, as we traveled around an old building we came into a courtyard area where a small church group would usually meet; however this day was a little different. The courtyard was surrounded with houses and buildings giving it a closed in, more intimate effect. Today, the small courtyard had run out of room as there were many in attendance. Why such a large crowd? Because many had heard that after the morning service a medical team from the United States, would be seeing patients and tending to physical needs. God had a bigger plan!
That morning started early as the team not only traveled a long distance, we had to prepare all the supplies that would be needed for our journey and for the camp. Our Indian brothers had several ministry needs to tend to while there, so our 1 large team had to divide up into 2 teams on this day. The medical team would travel a long distance to make it to the poor and needy people living in Tea Garden Village. Most of those living there worked in the Tea Garden. Normally speaking in order for a villager to receive any medical treatment it would take a long journey which would require money, which most do not have, to visit a physician and receive treatment.
The other team headed off to visit another distant village church, where funds had been previously given to build a new Church facility. The US team traveling with us had provided the funds to build this new facility and while in the area the pastor and area leaders wanted us to come and dedicate the new church building.
What an incredible time we had as we dedicated the church building in this mostly Hindu village! The church building provides a place for those whom have received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior a place to Worship. The church building also legitimized the ministry in the village and the villagers would have a greater respect for the Pastor and his ministry. In turn, many more in the village would come and hear about Jesus Christ and receive Him as their Savior. The small village church was abuzz and full with anticipation, knowing westerners were coming. We were overjoyed because we knew the Word of God would go out to many more people and they would give their lives to Jesus!
Back at the medical mission site, one of the team members shared the Gospel where many responded and many came for healing prayers. God performed marvelous miracles that morning!
Just as the service was ending, the second team traveled to the Tea Garden Village and joined forces for the long day ahead while working and praying for the medical needs of the villagers. We began preparations to “open” the clinic as hundreds filled the courtyard, eager to be seen and treated by physicians. As always there were many more villagers than we could be able to see, but everyone did all they could to see as many people as they could in caring for, touching, diagnosing and praying for every person they seen. The day came to an end simply due to nightfall as there was not enough light to assist anyone further. In total at that village, we seen close to two hundred patients; unfortunately there were countless more needing to be treated.
As I looked over all the faces who had been seen and treated and then looked in the faces of those not treated there was joy, but also a tremendous sadness – IT WAS DIFFICULT! So many people, so many needs! I remember praying and asking the Lord: How do we help them all? It hurts to turn them away without being seen? His answer was, “Do what you can for those whom you have seen, leave the rest to Me.” I am not sure what answer I expected or if I expected Him to perform a miracle of making the daylight last longer. But I knew He was right, I had to give it to Him. It didn’t make it any easier, but I knew it was what He wanted. I was reminded we help one person at a time, do all we can and leave the rest to HIM!
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.” —Psalms. 40: 1-3
In total we held 4 different medical clinics during our time in India, God healed so many people through this incredible team that gave all they could to be a servant for Jesus Christ.
A medical mission opens the door in many ways to share Jesus with people. As you can see the anticipation of being seen by a medical person for physical healing opens opportunities in numerous ways for spiritual healing. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Entering into the USA at 5AM through the New Jersey International Airport it was evident we were in the Christmas Season. It was great to be back home after such a long journey; emotions of Joy came upon me as I thought about Christmas. So, I wanted to express that Joy to others, giving greetings of “Merry Christmas”. Follow by various replies; along with the surprised, joyous and amazed expressions; “Merry Christmas to you’’ or “Thank you, the same to you”, or the most challenging “Happy Holidays”. To which I say, “MERRY CHRISTMAS”!
Friday comes; with the one of the most evident, heinous cases of pure evil and sin. So many lives, so many young innocent lives, taken! Emotions once again come upon me, this time not as pleasant; as I dealt with questioning, anger, heartache and concern! Turning to Him in difficult times as these; asking God to be with these families, this community, USA and the world!
With Actions and Emotions such as these, where do you turn, but to Lord and the scriptures. There, we are reminded; Zephaniah 1:14 “The great day of the Lord is near – near and coming quickly.” 2Timothy 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
These words do not make it any easier, but helps me understand. We are in a war and it is the forces of evil against the forces of God! Christian’s we must take a stand we have been quite too long, thinking that is what Jesus would have us do. Jesus was always going against the “status quo”. He was always standing up for what was right, no matter the consequences. We want a quiet life! We pray for things to go easy and no difficulties. Guess what? That is not what Jesus experienced and He tells us that is not what we will experience as “His Followers”. Matthew 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
Throughout the scriptures we have HIS promises; Deuteronomy 20:1 “When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, Because the LORD your GOD, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.”
We have been Commissioned and Commanded to “GO” into the World and make disciples. Let these examples of evil awaken us to answer HIS “GO”! Lives are counting on us to take the Gospel to a lost and dying world! Jesus has Commissioned and Commanded us to “GO”! What are we waiting on?
As the day quickly approaches, if we are to “Impact the World” in the name of Jesus, we must “Invest in lives”! With Christmas upon us, as we end one year and begin a New Year, let us renew our vow, as HIS followers, to “GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES”!
We need a Redeemer.
The price wasn’t gold or silver. The cost of our redemption was a lamb. The Lamb.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29
The very Person who is our Rescuer, our Redeemer, knows you. He knows your heart and your desires and your struggles. And His concern is YOU! He longs for you to experience still moments with Him, to allow His presence to wash over you.
Today, I invite you to linger in His presence…and to know that He is Immanuel, God with us.
-Devotional excerpt by Teri Lynne Underwood.
All of us of Helping Hands In Motion wish all of you a Joyous Christmas season, with renewed passion and strength to “GO UNTO ALL THE WOLD AND MAKE DISCIPLES”!
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”~ 1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT
From all of us of Helping Hands In Motion and our partners, we want to express our heartfelt Thanks this Thanksgiving to you.
Psalm 100 (NASB)
A Psalm for Thanksgiving
All Men are Exhorted to Praise God!
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. 3 Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.
With warm thoughts and prayers at Thanksgiving!
May GOD bless you with every good gift from above! May God touch you with love, compassion and kindness! May God keep you in safety wherever you go! May the love of God be granted to you for who you are, One of His children!
May you and your family be blessed on Thanksgiving, the remaining of this year and throughout your life!
Planes, Trains and Automobiles, is the title of renowned children’s author Richard Scary’s book about Busy Town, but is also is the culmination of the fifteen days we spent traveling to India and Sri Lanka. Because of the gift of your prayers and resources my Dad and I had the opportunity and privilege to travel on ten planes, spending countless hours each day in Jeeps and vans and many mornings of waking up attempting to remember where we were and what the agenda for the day was. But with as much travel as we did, we also had the privilege to meet thousands of our brother’s and sister’s in Christ who live in places where living out the Gospel is very different than in the context many of us live in. We were honored and privileged to see God at work through his Church.
One of the many joys we had was traveling with eight talented people from around Indiana. Along for the journey was, Pastor Kim Schuessler, the talented videographer Vence Vida, emerging leader Libby Parker, and the incredible Alanna Story; Ally, Anna, Ben, Joel and Stephen. Each weekend we traveled to partake in youth gatherings, joining with thousands of believers and others who were hearing the message of the gospel for the first time. We saw how the Holy Spirit moved through the preaching of Kim and my Dad and the powerful worship through song led by the band. The culture of the people in Meghalaya (pronounced Meg-a-laya (like the ending sound of Himalaya)) was what caught my attention. As a student of Intercultural Studies (how cultures interact) I was fascinated to see how people would receive the tall, white Americans. But almost everywhere we traveled we were shown the upmost respect and hospitality. Even with just a moments notice a home would be prepared to welcome us with milk tea and treats, even if that is all the food they had for the day.
After the first youth convention my Dad, a national leader from the church in Meghalaya, Borman Roy Sohkia and I traveled to Sri Lanka to lead a leadership training for the pastors there. It took us two and a half days of travel to finally arrive in Norton Bridge, where the theological school and training center is located. For a day and a half we shared with 24 pastors about the Five Principles Training focusing on the five areas of Leadership, Visioning, Spirituality, Knowledge & Culture and Relational Connectivity. The pastors were tentative students; engaging with us and considering the words of truth we shared. Sri Lanka is a pluralistic context, recovering from years of civil war, with two languages and multiple people groups, religions and extreme poverty, the church in Sri Lanka faces a great many challenges. One of the topics that the pastors engaged with was the session on Knowledge and Culture. As the culture is a pluralistic society it is difficult for the church to know what is acceptable contextualization for the church. We talked about the wisdom of God and if we know God and His word, then we can better know what cultural forms are acceptable for the church. This topic was greatly engaged with and the church leaders were very eager to seek wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
One of the other joys we had while traveling was to be hosted by the incredible Syiem family. We met this family through our dear friend Bakryman who spent many days in our home in Anderson while working on his doctorate at Anderson School of Theology. Bakryman is married in to this incredible family. His wife is one of ten children, many of who kept us well fed, warm and safe in all of traveling. One of these was Pyniaid. Pyniaid was one of our drivers and coordinators, helping us get where we needed to be. He is also a young man who seeks after Christ and is looking to serve in the local politics. He could claim his birth heritage as a Khasi royal, but instead he is seeking to get elected through honesty and hard work. Honoring the Lord who he has given his life too.
Pyniaid, Ba Bakryman, Ba Borman and so many others not only helped us to see the Lord’s faithfulness and work among the Khasi and Sri Lankan’s but also at work with in us. Thank you so much for your faithfulness to pray and support our family. We are so thankful for you. Our Lord is so faithful and we have observed that through your gift and blessings.
Thank you. Kuple.
Burom I’u Trai (Glory to God)
Gina Shaner & Mark Shaner
To whom it may concern,
It is my great honor to endorse Helping Him Ministries and the incredible work and ministry that they are engaged in throughout Haiti, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka. They are a servant based ministry that is committed to the great commission through the local church. They facilitated this group of ten and another group of three to another part of India in the same two week window. All of those who journeyed on these two trips speak very highly of the work that is being accomplished in the name of Jesus.
Whether it is through giving or going to see for first hand where the Kingdom is flourishing in these days, I would recommend Helping Him and the incredibly vast ministries they are doing.
They truly are partners who come alongside the body of Christ.
Pastor Mark N Shaner
East Side Church of God
Pastor of Students and Missions.
As you read this you will see that I do not have names of individuals or areas. The ministry could be greatly jeopardized if their names and locations were provided.
When we made it to New Delhi our friend and national Leader Brother R was waiting for us at the airport. We were spending the night in Delhi then heading out for D early Sunday morning. It would take approximately 10 hours to get to our desired location. We had rented a private vehicle with a driver to make the long journey; since it would be just the 5 of us (including our driver) in the vehicle, we would have the opportunity to enjoy the ride, talk some, and enjoy the sights.
We were making pretty good time until we reached the state of Punjab, and wouldn’t you know it, they were having a religious festival and literally thousands of people were traveling! Every so often along the road there were eating stations, where travelers could stop and eat free. If you wanted, you could stop and eat every few miles as you traveled. Many were wearing something with the color orange, signifying their pilgrimage. Our traveling time had been considerably affected by all the people, then we made it to where
everyone was traveling and the traffic came to just about a standstill. We slowly moved forward until we came to the destination where the main road had been blocked and we had to take a detour. We went off the main road and through side roads and dirt roads and paths to make it back to the main road an hour later. Our 10 hour ride turned into a thirteen and half hour ride!
When we reached our destination it was getting late and we were very tired from the long journey. Upon our arrival we were welcomed by our friend, the wife of our national leader, Sister D. It was late, but not too late to go and have a little snack and enjoy some time of fellowship with our friends.
Like I had told you earlier we are now on the Western side of the Himalayan Mountains around 6000 ft elevation, needless to say, this area is very mountainous. Everywhere you walk you are either going up or down, there are not many flat places. For flatlanders like us from Texas and Florida accustomed to very low altitudes, it was challenging at times.
We would be in this area for the next few days, our main purpose for being here was to spend time with our national leaders to encourage them and spend time together in prayer and worship. There are very few Christians in this area, our national leaders ministering here crave fellowship with other believers. The ministry in this area is very difficult, maybe one of the hardest. The people here are very difficult to reach for Christ; the national leaders have lead one person to the Lord in the last several years as they have been ministering here in this location. The streets are crowded with many people, several are here from the West, so we did not stand out so much (being of lighter color). There is a strong spiritual stronghold in this area; we spent time in prayer walks and just praying as we walked through the streets.
One of our prayer walks was on a specific path, many of the ones in this area follow this path chanting and praying. As you walk this path you encounter many statues, rock formations and other religious items signifying their religion. You feel an oppressive dark presence as you walk and pray to the One True God. As Ken, John, myself and our leader walked and prayed we got separated, not far from each other, and it was not planned. But I believe it was good, we were able to pray and come against the spiritual strongholds – separately. We had been reading Acts 16 before we made this prayer walk (if you don’t remember what it is about, read it, I can’t give a short summery). At times, I felt as though someone would turn and be pointing at us, yelling that we serve the Most High God. For me, I found myself aggravated at how the people were being deceived by this deceptive, oppressive spirit and I wanted to yell out against this spirit and rebuke it in the name of Jesus. Which I did do, but not in a yelling voice, I just spoke out against it in a louder prayer voice.
While in D we visited the various ministry opportunities that our Brother R is involved with. Not only are they trying to reach people who are following this religion, they are reaching out to the down and outcast in this area, also. They have a very vital ministry reaching those affected by drugs, alcohol, Aids and other life killers. They have reached out with the love of God to help many receive help and get clean, while others don’t. They have had some leave their Care home, only to fall back into the old life style, some have even died. Both Brother and Sister R would tell these heart breaking stories, with much sadness; I am sure many tears have been shed between these two people. There are several that have come through the Care home and have turned from their ways, received help, been restored, they have experienced the Love and Word of God in many ways, and they will not forget the God who loves, cares and speaks to them.
Our time passed by quickly, too fast for all of us; before we knew it we had to leave and travel back to Delhi for our flight to the USA. When we went through Punjab we took a different route and missed most of the congestion around the religious festival. Our trip back took us just around eleven hours. We spent the night in Delhi visited a few sights; I even climbed a very high tower (maybe a hundred feet or so) overlooking Old Delhi. Then before catching our flight home, the three of us had a facial, they massaged our head and upper body and I had a haircut, all of that for about seven dollars. Last of the big spenders! A little relaxation before our long flight home.
We left with mixed emotions; this trip has had some glorious times of Celebrating and Praying to the Most High God! We were energized, challenged and drained; all at the same time. We left in body but not in spirit! We have a partnership with National Indigenous Leaders to reach some of the most non-Christian areas in the world. We celebrate together our relationship and partnership with the MOST HIGH GOD!
It seems every time we travel in India, there is a strike or a holiday that disrupts our travels or those traveling to be with us. This trip has been no different. During the end of the 50th Celebration in Siliguri a strike prevented several people from attending the momentous Celebration. God made it possible, even in spite of the strike, for us to get done what He wanted done. We just had to adjust, be flexible and adapt to Him!
On Monday, after the Celebration in Siliguri, we traveled around the local area visiting the property for the new Outreach Center where a border wall is being constructed. We also visited a few other ministries before calling it a day and making preparations for the next day’s travels to the Bhutan border.
Tuesday started real early for us as we prepared to leave for Makrapara Child Development Center and the Bhutan border, which is about a four hour drive. We went to the Bhutan border first then went onto the Makrapara Child Development Center; we made it there before the children started to arrive when they get out of school. It is a great sight to watch the 213 children walking into the area; they arrive by age groups,
the youngest arrive first to the oldest arriving last. They then line up, have prayer, get their food, go sit down and wait until everyone in their group has food, they pray once again, then they eat together. This procedure is followed by each age group as they arrive at the CDC. After their meal they have classes to help them with their school work, and then on this day, it was playing and singing praise songs, which we joined in with them, before being released to go home.
After they were released, we went to visit the family where John and Judy Boedeker sponsor their son. John had carried gifts and pictures for the family from him and Judy. It was a wonderful time for everyone!
We spent the night in the area at one of the guest houses out in the forest. The next day was also to start very early in order to ride elephants through the protected forest area. We try to do some tourist things on each trip for the Team Members who have never been to India before; this trip will not have as many opportunities as we do normally, so we thought with this being Ken Merrifield’s first trip, this would be something fun to do
We had to get up early to start the 6AM excursion; early morning is the best time to see the wild animals. This trip was no exception; we saw a rhinoceros, deer, water buffalo, monkeys, peacocks, parakeets and some other birds. It was an exciting time for all of us!
After our ride we were all quite ready for breakfast! Afterward we traveled to the Riverside Church to dedicate their new building. Cyclone Aila had come through the area last May and destroyed their church building; we had given them funds provided by your donations to rebuild their building. They wanted us to dedicate the building since we were in India. There were not many people able to attend the Dedication Service, for it was mid-day and most people were out working in the fields. After a short greeting we started the service, John shared a few words of encouragement and then prayed before we entered, Ken gave a challenge from the Word, then I shared and offered a prayer of dedication. It was a wonderful service for an exciting ministry! This is the only witness for Christ for miles around this church; it is in India, but is on the Bangladesh border. We traveled back to Siliguri to eat, get clean clothes and prepare to
head out Thursday morning for Hope CDC and Sikkim.
Thursday morning started early in order to travel up to Sikkim and arrive before dark, but there were some ministry concerns that Sanjay had to address before we left, which caused us to leave later than we wanted. We made it to Hope CDC around lunch time, spent some time there so Ken could see this ministry before heading to Sikkim. At this project they are training some of the younger mothers in sewing and craft making as a skill to provide an income for their families. Before we left, they presented each of us with a small table place mat; we were very blessed by their gift.
We then headed to Sikkim, which is about a four hour drive up the mountains on a very curvy, windy road that leads you into the foothills of the Himalayans. It is a beautiful ride, but for some who have gone with us before felt a little different about it . . . they actually have called it a very frightful ride! They were not able to relax and enjoy the beauty. We made it up to Gagtok, Sikkim about 5:30 PM and church service was at 6PM., so there was not much time before we walked down to the church for the evening
service. The Worship Service is always upbeat and spirit filled, young people lead the Worship with much of the congregation being young people. John shared from the Word of God and then we had a time of fellowship before our evening meal. Afterward we headed back to the hotel for the night.
Another early start the next morning to drive up to the top of the mountain to the look out point to see the Himalayan mountain peaks, but it was so cloudy we were not able to see them. I always enjoy going up to this point and looking at the Himalayan peaks, thinking of the awesomeness of the Lord and singing “Majesty” (to myself, of course, no one else would want to hear my off beat singing). I felt bad for Ken; he would miss the beauty of this sight on this trip. “On your next trip you will see it”, I told him.
All too quick, (well maybe not all too quick, for it was cold there on top of the mountain!) we headed back down to the church for breakfast and to talk with Brother Marshal before making the five hour trip back to Siliguri. We spent the last evening with
Sanjay and his family, Sanjukta, his wife, prepared a great evening meal. With our stomachs very full, we headed back to the hotel to prepare to leave this area on Saturday afternoon. When we were in Gangtok, Sikkim we were around 6000 ft elevation on the Eastern side of the Himalayans and by Sunday evening we were around 6000 ft elevation, still be in India, but on the Western side of the Himalayans.
You will never believe what is happened on Sunday and Monday! India is had another holiday, it is called Holi Day. Many businesses were closed. On this holiday many people throw “colors” at other people. Colors is a dried powdered paint, in various colors, and is put into balloons or bags and then thrown. People everywhere have this colored powder all over them; they look for willing, and unwilling, targets to throw their own colors at. Like I said earlier, there is always some type of holiday here in India! This time we had to watch so we were not someone’s target with colors all over us!
Until next time . . . be blessed and keep praying!
Music filled the air as we praised the Lord in songs being sung in several languages, with the young and old alike enjoying the praises being lifted to the Lord. This was an exciting time, as brothers and sisters filled the worship center that had traveled from all over representing various cultures, to praise the Lord with each people group expressing their praise in their own distinct way! We had gathered in Siliguri, India to celebrate 50 years of ministry with the local Church of God congregation. In spite of strikes that had been instituted, causing severe transportation issues, around 300 people had come to commemorate this historical time in the life of the Siliguri Church of God.
The celebration was to start on Friday morning at 9AM, but because of the strikes and people having difficulty getting to Siliguri, we didn’t get started until 11AM. There were to be three services on Friday where John Boedeker, Ken Merrifield and I would be preaching. John and I were asked to preach on the history and beliefs of the Church of God, Ken was going to speak on mission.
Each service had a time of Praise and Worship, where expressions of culture dance were presented. It is so exciting to experience worship with our Brothers and Sisters of various cultures as they would spontaneously gather and worship the Lord in dance and song.
With the day starting late, and breaks and meals in between the services, it was late in the evening before Ken spoke. He shared a little on missions, then shared that he felt like the Lord was leading for us to have a time of praying for the sick and inflicted. Many came forward for anointing and prayer, with many receiving a touch from the Lord. Our Heavenly Father is so awesome!
Another strike had been called on Saturday from 6AM until 6PM, causing even more difficulties with people coming and going to the Celebration. Saturday morning SudiptaNada from National Fellowship led us in worship then preached on
following the Lord as He leads. We
had lunch, spent time in fellowship with several Pastors and Leaders before the evening service. Local Pastors had been invited for the evening celebration service of another great time of praise and worship, and then Susanta Patra, from National Fellowship, challenged everyone that we need to be reaching the lost for Jesus Christ.
Praise God there were no strikes on Sunday, the morning service started at 9:30 AM, and the Siliguri Church building was packed out! Susanta Patra led us in worship, with Amos Moore from Nepal preaching on “Looking Ahead at the Next 50 Years” from Isaiah 6:1-8 with the challenge of: “Who will go for the Lord?” with our response: “Send Me”. After this powerfully challenging service it was, of course, followed by one last time of food and fellowship, before we ended the weekend of celebrating this momentous time in the life of the Siliguri Church of God!
This week we have been and will be traveling to several churches and the two Child Development Centers in this area. Please pray for our travels and our times at these
various ministries! Ken also got to experience an elephant ride for the very first time! John and I have ridden before, but on this ride, we did get to see a lot of animals – which is always very nice.
Now back to work and sharing Jesus! Make sure you take a moment and look at the
The Siliguri Celebration was an awesome day in the Lord! Due to strikes going on throughout various areas, people were delayed in arriving to the convention, so they waited to start until most people were there – about a 2 hour delay, so things went way beyond the expected time. They were eating dinner around 9:30 PM but everything sounded like it was still in full swing in fellowshipping at that time!! Excitement filled the air – even across the phone lines!
I spoke with Sister Sue* and she also said it was a wonderful, but hectic, day at the convention! The Lord was blessing many people. She and her husband, Pastor Sam*, traveled to attend this celebration; as did many of the people we minister with and love dearly.
Richard and John Boedeker had been asked to teach about the Church of God throughout this convention, and John and Richard did excellent jobs when they spoke. Pastor Ken Merrifield delivered the superb message in the evening service. There were many young adults and teenagers present . . . people who needs Christ in their life.
Richard had wrestles with what he was to share about all night long prior to Day One, for he was being lead to teach on salvation, not just the Church of God. So he did do some teaching on the Church of God, but he went into salvation. Afterward when we were talking on the phone, I asked him isn’t salvation what the Church of God is all about? Not just “the” Church of God, but all of the Churches that belong to God. Without salvation there would be no churches!
Tonight Ken and John are sharing a room while Richard and young Pastor Ben* are sharing a room. Pastor Ben and Richard are very close, so they are enjoying their time together and counting this unexpected time together as a blessing.
So Day One was wonderful, exciting, joyous, exhilarating, hectic and long. Now they rest to prepare themselves to start all over again on Day Two!
Please continue to keep them in your prayers. There is a different feeling about this trip – something is going on, many can feel it. So they are waiting to see what adventure – what experience – what challenge the Lord is preparing them for. Their prayer is that Christ’s Name be exalted and glorified in whatever He has before them! Don’t get me wrong please … whatever this is, it could be absolutely awesome and great! Or it could be something requiring a lot of abundant prayer – either way we know God is in control and we are bathing this trip in prayer! We desire to praise Him in all things . . . and wait to hear how marvelously God worked in a “certain” situation. And hopefully that many, many souls came to know our Savior and King personally! Hallelujah!! Won’t you join us in this prayer?
* Names have been changed for persecution and security reasons.
Greetings to you, we pray that you are enjoying the Blessings from our Father! We need to say “Thank you” for all your Prayers and Support, especially during these past several weeks. As you can imagine, we have been in a fast paced race trying to keep up with all that has been happening in Haiti. Besides that, many things have been happening in India and Bangladesh, which most of you know is where we have been called to minister.
We thought we should send a message informing you what we know about the relief efforts in Haiti and what is coming up in India.
As some of you may be aware, Phil Murphy went back to Haiti on Wednesday, February 10th to further assess the relief efforts required and make preparations for an Assessment Team that will be joining him on Monday, February 15th. Bob Edwards, the Global Missions Coordinator of Church Of God Ministries, says this about the team going to Haiti: “…we have moved to send in an Assessment Team of four persons who will determine the present pressing needs, establish a priority list of what needs to be accomplished next, determine how various ministry teams (work camps) can be utilized over the next many months, and determine what other resources are available in country. This select Assessment Team is made up of Phil Murphy, Don Smith, Glenn Bethune, Art Clawson, and a person representing the National Association.” He went on to say:
“We are working closely with other Church of God organizations such as Children of Promise and Helping Hands in Motion so that our efforts are not duplicated. Our focus is going to be on Church of God Haitians who has been severely affected by the earthquake.”
Many of you are anxious, feel the need and call to go to Haiti and aid in the relief work. We have responded and asked for you to keep that excitement and desire to help strong, for the time is coming when you will be able to help. As you read earlier efforts are being made to determine when and how Construction Teams will be able to go in and to start helping the people of Haiti rebuild their homes and minster to them. Several aspects have to be examined before these Construction Teams go in: safety, food, water, fuel, building supplies – just to name a few. When we go in, we want to be as efficient as possible, so we will be able to help the people the best that we can. So for those of you who are waiting on to be included on a Construction Team, keep the excitement and keep vacation time available to go and help! You will get an opportunity to impact and help rebuild the homes and the lives of the Haitian people. Haiti will not be rebuilt in a few months or even a few years, it will take a long time and we need committed individuals, churches and businesses that will stay with us for the long period of time.
Also, many has been contacting us about going to Haiti with a Medical Team, here is what we have been told. Right now they are still looking for medical teams to go down and help with all the medical needs. Most of the surgeries have been completed and now medical personnel are needed to nurse all those who had surgery and provide care for the injured. They want medical personnel skilled in Trauma Counseling and Post Traumatic Stress; they need RN’s, E.R., E.M.T. and trauma personnel. What you should try to do is put a team from your congregation, hospital or constituency to form a team to go and serve.
Els Verelot, who helps with medical teams going into Haiti, said teams need to consider:
INFORMATION FOR SENDING TEAMS
1. Your team needs to be self-sufficient, including pillows & air mattresses. Think ‘camping’ but without pots and pans.
2. QCS Earthquake Crisis Center will do the logistics for you: finding the hospital/place for you to work.
3. Your teams preferable should have: ER nurse(s), pre/post op nurses.
4. Bring your own supplies as much as possible
5. It is recommended that your stay in Haiti is NOT shorter than 1 week
6. When you are staying at QCS, we will provide ‘housing’ and food/drinks
7. To help our organization, donations are welcome
8. Need your Date and time of arrival. Are you arriving at PAP airport? Or by land from Dominican Republic?
9. Your return plans.
10. Do you need transportation?
11. Any other information that you think is necessary for us to know before you arrive.”
Take all of this into consideration, when you have made your decision about going to help, contact me and we will get your information to Els Verelot and John Ackerman in Haiti and they will do what is necessary in Haiti, and if that time frame is available.
I (Richard) will be leaving for India on Monday, February 15th for two and half weeks. This trip has been planned for some time, the Siliguri; India Church Of God is celebrating 50 years of Ministry. We have been involved in that ministry for the past 12 years, they have asked for us to participate in this joyous occasion. I did receive a message from them saying that they would understand if I would have to cancel due to the crisis in Haiti. After much prayer and discussion, we thought it would be the best to participate in this momentous time in the life of the Church in India. I will be able to keep in touch by phone and email with the relief efforts in Haiti, while in India.
Phil Murphy and the Assessment Team will be in Haiti while I am going, when they travel back to the US, I think around February 20th, they will be meeting in Anderson, Indiana and make the plans for the continuing relief efforts in Haiti. Phil can keep me posted on the updates and plans for work teams going to Haiti and Helping Hands In Motion involvement in the relief efforts.
Debi, my wife, will not be traveling with me to India, she will be home, needless to say very busy; keeping everything moving forward, keeping you informed as she is informed and keeping our prayer warriors engaged in every aspect of the ministry. She will be answering your calls and many of your messages, she will be there to help and assist in every way.
This has been a long message, I will not apologize for that, we need the information passed on. Please share this with your family, friends, church and other interested parties. If they have any questions, they or you can contact Debi or me at 772-878-7007 or by email or on Facebook.
Please let me close with these requests:
• Continue holding the people of Haiti up in your prayers!
• Keep praying for Phil and Lonnie Murphy!
• Pray for the Assessment Team going to Haiti!
• Pray for the teams that have been, that are now and the ones that will aid in the relief ministry in Haiti!
• Pray for Debi and all of the others (literally hundreds) support individuals that keep the relief efforts moving forward!
• Pray for the India trip, the Team and the 50 year Celebration in Siliguri, India!
Helping Hands In Motion