South Asian Leadership Conference [SALC] -- Delhi
In three days, Feb 22nd -24th, amazing, exciting and moving stories of faith and perseverance were shared from every region. We felt fortunate to fellowship with brothers and sisters of whom some had not been able to attend SALC for 11 years because their visas had been rejected. Despite sickness and persecution being ever present companions, their courage and love for God increased our faith and moved us to tears. We heard how God continues to work powerfully. Hurdles had fallen, obstacles had been removed where faith had flourished. Brothers shared examples of impossible victories and of how God's Word was changing lives in new mission fields. Dreams are alive, brothers and sisters, and many of them are now reality. In 2006, 570 brothers and sisters were added to God's Kingdom. Please continue to pray for mission fields.
The teaching was passionate and intense. Mature brothers and sisters with years of faith and experience taught with fire and vulnerability. Just as Paul urged the corinthians to imitate his example as he imitated the example of Christ, so too, we desire to imitate the passion, faith, zeal and love for God that these faithful men and women of God exemplify.
To read the rest of the article, go here: http://www.incoc.org/articleFull.asp?artID=34
New Year's Eve All Night Prayer -- Chennai
[A] powerpoint presentation on the districts of Tamilnadu that were yet to be evangelised and a brief on the satellite churches gave the church an idea of how much prayer and evangelism was needed to help save the lost. It was encouraging to see 80 brothers and sisters who were baptised in 2006 take the stage (pictured right). How the church cheered and clapped for them! A special prayer was sent up in thanks and asking for their protection.
The year that was - A video of the special happenings of 2006 brought back a lot of good memories as snapshots of events in the church came into focus and well-known faces looked back at us.
For the Peace of the World - There was much sadness as the horrors of 2006 unfolded on the screen - wars, natural calamities, bloodshed and terrorism. The brother and sister who prayed were deeply troubled as they cried out for the peace of the world we must live in everyday.
Bible Reading - In keeping with the theme and to kickstart our personal Bible study for the year, the church read the book of Galatians along with the six brothers who read each chapter from stage interspersing them with prayer.
Skit on the fruit of the Spirit - Single brothers and sisters enacted a modern version of the Good Samaritan where the good samaritan is a leper! Starting out humourously it ended with such powerful performances by the actors that the audience was left moved to tears. The Good Samaritan became real as never before.
Miracles and Goals - The final moments of the All Night Prayer were spent in each of us individually writing down the Miracles we were thirsting for and putting them into the Drop Box on the stage while putting on paper all that we hoped to accomplish in the 12 months ahead. There was much desperate prayer over these as we knew that nothing we desired or wanted to be could ever be accomplished without the help of our God.
The Miracles lists of the year 2006 were returned to us and many were moved to see what God had done for them without them even remembering what they had written a year ago. However, miracles or no miracles, the truth is no matter what the year, it is God who keeps us alive, happy, hopeful, faithful and fruitful. To him be all the glory now and evermore.
To read the rest of the article, go here: http://www.incoc.org/articleFull.asp?artID=28
Kolhapur Mission Team -- Pune
We had the privilege to send off the mission team from Pune to Kolhapur on the 8th of October 2006. It was a memorable event as the church prayed for them, gave them tokens of appreciation and encouraged them. Rakesh Chavan and his wife Anita will be leading this mission team. We appreciate their willingness to take up this responsibility. They are accompanied by two sisters -- Monika Kharchane and Monika Sonawane from Pune and two brothers -- Pradeep and Robert from the Sholapur church. We also appreciate our brother Jacob Patil who has been patiently waiting and praying for the church to get planted in his hometown. He has been traveling and coming to the Pune church regularly and now he has a church right next to his house in Kolhapur. Praise God who faithfully answers prayers.
Jacob Patil had become a disciple in 1998 in Pune. He had got baptized in just four days. We had studied with him morning and evening daily. He later went on the mission team to Ahmednagar. Four years ago when his father died in Kolhapur he had to go back to handle his father's business there. Since that time he has been faithfully praying and waiting for the church to start there. It is amazing to see that God???s word does not return empty, but accomplishes what God desires (Isaiah 55:11).
For the past couple of years or so leaders from Pune have been visiting Kolhapur and have been reaching out to families there. Jacob Patil, on his own, has also been doing meetings and prayers with different families also.
Prakash Kale and his family who are disciples here at Pune are originally from Kolhapur. Prakash made a couple of trips to help us find the halls and accommodation in Kolhapur as well. Prakash was brought up in an orphanage in Kolhapur and has many relatives also over there and he is very keen that they all become disciples. He and his wife are planning to go there periodically to reach out to their relatives.
The amazing thing about this whole plan is how God took care of the needs of the mission team and blessed it. Rakesh and Anita wanted to send off their things in advance. The day before they sent off their things, in our neighborhood a lady, Mrs. Chaya, who has been associating with our church for sometime came to offer us some Bibles and other study books. We delightfully welcomed the offer. Rakesh and Anita had come over to our place to spend time and in their presence twelve Bibles in Marathi of the New & Old Testament arrived with another dozen of New Testament copies and almost 500 booklets on the book of John. This was right in time to be sent off for the needs of the mission team.
Another amazing thing that happened -- we asked Rakesh to buy a second-hand Reliance mobile so that he can communicate with us easily as we also have a Reliance phone. It's amazing that when he visited his ministry in Dhapodi (which is not a financially well-off ministry) a brother who works for Reliance gave Rakesh a gift and what do you suppose it was -- a brand new Reliance mobile. Our God is awesome; he knows our slightest needs and before we even pray he gives us more than we can ask or imagine. We thoroughly saw the hand of God leading these plans in such a wonderful way.
Not only that, the hall that the church will be meeting in has a story behind it. The location is about ten minutes from Rakesh???s house, five minutes from the station and bus stand, right next to a ground and a garden, perfect for Christians to use for ministry purposes.
The hall is owned by a non-Christian family-owned trust who has even offered a room there for the brothers to stay. This family has been very co-operative towards us. The church in Kolahapur will be having their first invitation service in this hall on November the 26th. The program is titled, "Life to the Full."
Our God is an awesome God! Praise God!