“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20,21
Dear Brothers and sisters,
The year 2016 became a history. We, as mortals, cannot go back in time. Whatever is gone is gone. Occasionally, when I get up in the morning, I get this strange feeling of who I am and what I am doing and it takes a bit of time to put things back into the perspective. I once read in an article (I can’t recall the title of the article) saying “we (human beings) are locked away in a box of time as it were.” How true is that?!! All that we do, think and say is inextricably linked with time. Even to think what is beyond time is beyond our imagination. Everyday we wake up, we eat and drink and go to work. Everything looks just the same every day. But we must admit that our circumstances do not remain the same everyday. Everyday brings new challenges to solve, new problems to sort out and new situations to deal with. In the midst of what remains to be monotonous and uncertain, we have the Rock of our Salvation; the Lord Jesus Christ to hold onto (Psalm 95:1, Matt 6:34). It is with the great hope we have in Christ Jesus, we wish you all a Very Happy New Year (Titus 1:2).
First of all, I must extend my apologies, as I could not write to you as often as I would have liked to. I hope you all understand that. God was extremely kind with us the last year. Many changes took place in the church life. First of all, our old church building was demolished and we are currently gathering in the Children’s Home. The reason why we demolished our old building is that it was too narrow and the steps were too steep to climb on. The construction of the church began just a month ago. We just began to put the pillars. We are going to build a two-floored construction just like the previous one. But, this would be a bit spacious one. The reason (after a lot of prayer) why we are going to build this building is not to get glory to ourselves but only to minister to the local people with the life-saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to train many pastors to preach and teach the Word of God and take care of the flocks the Lord has entrusted to them. Would you please that the Lord would help us finish this building by the end of August 2017?
The Church Life: We thank the Lord for His continued guidance and grace toward us in spite of our unfaithfulness and cold-heartedness. We are actually looking forward to welcome a few into the church membership this year. Please pray particularly for Ramu, whom we met on the streets and he has been coming to the church since the last six months. He comes from Hindu Background. Would you please pray for him (His parents are still Hindus and they would not approve of him becoming a Christian) and us as we counsel him and lead him to the baptism? And there are quite a few (Kishore, Dina, Mary, Yogesh, Rajita, Koteswari, Akhila).
We as a church, I believe, are growing in the faith and love towards one another (Phil 2:1-5). I must confess, we did not think much about the fact that the church was like a family. But in the recent years, by His Grace, the Lord is helping us to love, help and respect one another so that His name may be glorified in our community and beyond, especially in these times when our society is split apart due to various reasons. Would you please pray for our church that we may increasingly reflect our Redeemer and Savior?
Please continue to pray for a couple of deacons and an elder. We have a couple of brothers to be considered for the office of the deacon. Please continue to pray as we explain to these brothers about the biblical qualifications of being in the frontline ministry.
We, as a church have had quite a few opportunities to reach out to our community during the Christmas season. We had a carol service. There were a few unbelievers who came to the meeting upon our invitation. The Lord helped us to sow the seed of the gospel. Would you please pray for the seed that has been sown? Our desire is that the Lord may help us become an Independent (Self-supportive) Reformed Baptist Church so that we may serve not only our church members and others but also guide the other local churches in our area.
The Bible Training Institute: The Pastors are being benefited from what we teach them on monthly basis. Please pray that there may be more resources for these pastors in Telugu to preach the Word expositionally and to know more about the Ecclesiology. Would you please pray for Tom Babu (One of the teachers at BTI) that he may be healed? He has a severe throat problem and he has been suffering from that since many years. Because of his health problems, he is unable to come and help us in the BTI ministry in the last couple of months. Please pray that the Lord may heal him.
Sarah Ross Memorial Children’s Home: We now have 11 boys at the Children’s Home. Please pray for these boys may be saved as they are continually being exposed to the gospel of our Savior. But it is also a great challenge to keep these young children straight. Please pray that the Lord would give us abundant wisdom and grace to love these boys and take care of them as our own.
My Parents: My parents and my family are doing great. My parents are currently taking care of the village ministry apart from helping us in various capacities. We thank the Lord for them.
My Family: I truly thank the Lord for my family. My son Shane and my daughter Shireen are growing super fast. Please pray that they may both love the Lord Jesus from the bottom of their hearts and serve Him in the future? My wife Vijaya is doing great. Thanks for all the prayers on her behalf.
In His Grace,