An account of what was seen and what was felt during a recent trip to Chhattisgarh and Orissa
Rajan Thomas, Bahrain
RAJNANDGAON & DURG
The Chattisgargh youth camp held at Rajnandgaon was a wonderful experience. It was good to see an enthusiastic crowd of new generation youth from the local families and Assemblies of the State.
The Evangelists and Elders in and around this area mostly consist of those who have been born and raised in the State. They provide leadership for several outreach ministries and Assembly-planting activities. Apart from that, it’s interesting to note how Bhilai and other surrounding areas have become a hub for translation of materials into Hindi. The most notable achievements being the translated versions of the ‘Ryrie Study Bible’ and ‘Basic Theology’ of Charles Ryrie, which was a dire need for North India.
The Evangelist Bro. Sibu Thomas & Biny in Durg are being wonderfully used by the Lord. Bro. Sibu, a P.G. in Commerce, left his lucrative job at Delhi Airport to serve the Lord along with his wife Biny, who is a paramedical graduate. As they are born and raised in Bhilai, their cultural and linguistic affiliation to the place helps a lot.
They have planted five village Assemblies in and around Durg. In order to impart training in the Word of God, they also run a Bible School at their residence-cum-Assembly hall. Bible study camps are also arranged periodically to spiritually cater to the Believers of village Assemblies. The Assembly Hall and the limited facilities adjoined to it are used for accommodation, etc.
THE NEED: Bro. Sibu provides leadership to a group of local Evangelists engaged in village ministries. Their names or details are not on any fund lists and are not well-known. They need to be supported.
For more details log on to www.brethrenassemblies.com
BILASPUR & RAIGARH
During the 70s, a senior railway employee resigned his job and committed himself for the Lord’s work – Bro.Harrison Roat, the pioneer Evangelist of Bilaspur. His three sons are also full-time Evangelists. His eldest Son Robinson serves the Lord at Raigarh after his studies in Bharat Bible College, the second son Benjamin pioneers in Bilaspur after his P.G. in Arts and M.th from ACA. Sampson, the third son, after the P.G. and studies inn SBC is in full time work and involved in Bible translation work into Khamari dialect . This blessed evangelistic family is involved in village evangelism and Assembly-planting ministries.
Three Days of Bible Study meetings at the Raigargh Assembly Hall were attended by Believers of Village Assemblies was a blessed experience.
Bro. Robinson planted 5 Assemblies in Raigarh District. There are 5 co-workers who help him in Village evangelism. Their names are not recorded on any lists of Evangelists as such, a common scenario not only at Raigarh but in all other mission fields I have visited. Who will support such co-workers? Normally, the gifts received by senior workers are shared with them as well. Special attention needs to be given to the Assemblies and individuals in this area.
The team led by Brothers Robinson and Benjamin in reaching out to villages are producing everlasting results. Works progresses incredibly even amidst opposition from radical groups.
a) Villagers are fond of music and songs which is a good media to reach out to them. Bro. Benjamin is a very good singer who leads Christian concerts. They do not have a proper P.A. system suited for this requirement. It would cost around Rs.1,00, 000/- at least.
b) The adjoined room of the Assembly Hall where Bro. Robinson and his family lives in is not sufficient as his children are growing. He has started the construction of a small house for himself and for the guests. They need assistance.
For more information on ministries in Bilaspur and Raigarh, please contact:Evg. Robinson Roat - 0091-9424191158 – firstname.lastname@example.orgEvg.Benjamin Roat - 00919424188916
Sewa Ministries administered by the Raipur Assemblies is a channel to support the Lord’s servants of Chattisgarh.
Account Name: Society
for Evangelical Workers Aid, Account No. : 30093934982,
IFSC Code : SBIN0005194, Bank : State Bank of India Branch, Telebandha,
aipur, Chattisgarh .
The long journey by bus to Jagadalpur through hairpin roads was tedious, similar to the ride to the High Range of Kerala. Jagadalpur has been a mission centre since the 70s and the ministries of late Lord’s Servant Bro. Mathew Abraham is well-known. Prior to that, the Lord’s servant Bro. C.A. Geroge, Kumbanad, reached there as a Tentmaker.
Wonderful ministries have been triggered by Bro. Jim Mathew and his wife Sis. Priscilla, with a team of local Halbi-speaking Evangelists is going on. The Lord’s servant Bro. E.P.Jose and family are also involved in village outreach and Assembly-planting. They run a hostel for village children as well.
The Bible translation into Halbi language has been a lifetime project that Bro.Babu Thomas and his wife Grace have undertaken. Currently, the translation of the Book of Revelation is going on. The premises at Tokpal house the Assembly as well as several outreach ministries.
All these pioneers have been involved in developing strong ministries among the Halbi Villagers of Bastar District which deserve STRONG prayers and ACTIVE support. Expenses for transportation/fuel are high as long miles are to be covered to reach villages. Also remember the Halbi-speaking local Evangelists, as their support mostly goes from these senior Evangelists.
KORAPUT DISTRICT, SOUTH
I had a flash back to 1982 when I met
a newly-married young couple in Mumbai as they were preparing to leave their
high-earning secular jobs in the Gulf and move to Jeypore, Koraput District,
the most primitive district of Orissa, while I embarked on my journey to Gulf. They are
Bro. Sunny T. Daniel, a Finance Manager by
profession and his wife Sis. Rachel, who worked
a nursing tutor after her paramedical graduation.
Three decades of their pioneering work evangelism has been a tale of sacrifice and self-renunciation. The dear Servant of the Lord is now at CMC, Vellore, undergoing treatment and Bro. K.M.Paul, another pioneer missionary to Koraput is undergoing treatment as well. The result of their efforts and of several others who laboured for the Lord during 80s and 90s produced immeasurable fruits. About 60 village Assemblies and 65 full-time servants of the Lord (including several Timothys awaiting commendation) and hundreds of Tentmakers, trained by the senior Evangelists are involved in pioneer evangelism.
While descending down eastward
towards Koraput from Jagadhalpur,
my memories flashed back to the Conference and Evening Gospel meetings held in
April 2013 conducted by Toyaput Brethren Assembly, when
about 1000 attended and about 40 came to the Lord.
The Conference and Gospel presentations held between October 12th and 15th was a special experience. Trucks full of people, of whom only 50 per cent were believers, from villages arrived at the Lutheran Mission facilities on a mount at Laxmipur. About 2,500 men, women, children and youth stayed, ate and fellowshipped together within the limited facilities. It reminded me of Convocations in the OT. In the plenary sessions as well as other split-group sessions during the day, NT Assembly principles-related doctrines were taught, a call back to the first century Assembly life...something that’s missing in several Assemblies in India. About 350 teens and young adults attended the youth sessions while about 200 children attended the children’s sessions. There were two messages in the evening, the first being a Doctrinal-oriented Gospel presentation and the final being a core Gospel message with an invitation to respond.
The net result? About 120 responded and were counselled for salvation. They are being referred to the Assemblies area-wise and the follow-up is going on.
These gatherings were held by consistent prayers and laborious efforts of five Assemblies in Toyaputa and Laxmipur area and by the teamwork of almost all Evangelists in Koraput District, but it’s also the prayers and support of Assemblies elsewhere in Orissa and outside caused to bring such results.
Most of the Assemblies are housed in thatched mud hut-type Halls. Adhivasi land cannot be transacted or registered by any outside Trusts, but Elders from the Adhivasi families can buy and register the Lands in their name.
At the moment, requirements of four Assembly Halls are pending as they are awaiting funds. Believers in these areas are taught to give, but their meagre income-based contributions are not sufficient. There is a common joint account operated by Elders of Toyaput area, through this responsible assemblies administer these funds and distribute them equally to the needy areas of Hall construction. Account Details: Mangaldan Chetty, Danu Koleka & Indubushan Takri – A/c.No.32626488057, IFSC N0000121, CIF 86497557873 with SBI, Koraput, Code 121, Odhissa, India.
BRO.APRAO WADEKA AND KUWI -SPEAKING
TRIBES IN THE DENSE FORESTS OF KORAPUT DISTRICT
While getting ready to begin our journey in a very old Maruti 800 car, I overheard Bro. Keshab Korkara, a senior RBI General Manager who played an important role in organising the Conference, whisper a word of warning to Bro. Aprao saying, “Take care...”, the significance of which I only perceived as we passed through the hairpin roads, through the dense forests where intense Maoist presence is active. Our journey was to Bankidi, where there is an Assembly in the forest. About 100 Believers from Kuwi-speaking tribes gather there.
If Peter was an Apostle to the Jews and Paul an Apostle for the Gentiles, Bro. Aprao is ‘The Evangelist’ to the Kuwi-speaking tribes. As a first fruit Believer from the Kuwi tribe, he has been specially trained by Bro. Sunny T. Daniel, who also had his studies at NIBI, Alwar. To be precise, he established four Assemblies in those dense forest regions and strong outreach ministries are going on in the Tribal Villlages, assisted by three other Kuwi-speaking Evangelists.
1) The Assembly at Bankidi bought a land in the name of three Elders. There is a need for a hall with some facilities to house 200+, not only for the regular meetings but for joint gatherings and camps of other three Kuwi Assemblies around the area. They have calculated a budget of Rs.12,00,000/-.
2) If the very old Maruti 800 car is replaced with a new Jeep, team work in the tribal forest villages will become easier.
For more information, please contact Bro. Aparao wadeka, Nuaguda, Laxmipur-P.O. , Koraput-dist. Odisha-765013, India. Email : email@example.com
Mahatma Gandhi said “India lives in her Villages’, still a fact even in this hyper age. As God blessed us with several facilities and comforts, our pioneer Evangelists at the forefront are mostly’ ‘outside the comfort zone’, (a term coined by great Servant of God, George Verwer).
Let’s, break our comfort zones; try not being just limited us only by prayer and financial support. Take time as individuals, families or as Assemblies to visit some mission centers in order to demonstrate our ‘fellowship in the Gospel (Ph.1:5).
And let’s curb our luxuries and avoid those extravaganzas and wisely use our resources towards the necessities (Ph.4:16) of our frontline soldiers and ministries.
RAJAN THOMAS – firstname.lastname@example.org