Posts Tagged ‘india’

A Christian Home Burned Down by Extremists

A Christian Home Burned Down by Extremists

“At the Peyton Sahi relief camp which houses 35 families and 130 distraught tribals, Chabila Naik, a man who ran an orphanage for 50 children in Sarangada spent three days in the forest after their houses and churches were razed [with fire]. He has not been reunited with the children,” VOM sources said.

Stories coming from persecuted believers in Orissa are heartbreaking. Christians spent days hiding in the forest following the attacks that erupted on August 24, after the murder of a prominent Hindu leader by Maoist extremists. “One family which did not want to be named said they had to leave their elderly mother in the jungles while the others walked through rain and darkness for 60 hours to get out of Kandhmal,” VOM sources added.

“We had no choice; I could either save my wife and two kids, or stay with her and ask for death for all of us. But, I am sure God has saved her, though I have no idea where she is,” the man told VOM sources with tears in his eyes.

read it all here

I am deeply saddened by these developments. I would have gladly gone, but I must respect our brother’s wishes. I have not mentioned his name and I ask that you do not either, as I do not want to make him an easy target by linking him with missionaries on the internet. Please pray for him, his family, and his ministry

Beloved Rev.Brother Robert Sturdy, Sister Stephanie, David and all the loving families in Trinity Episcopal Church, Myrtle Beach,
Greetings to you all in the most precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

By the grace of God we are fine. I’m sure this email finds you all safe under the mighty wings of our Lord.

Dear Brother, I myself could not able to come out of the shock. Today only I remember what I was doing when the terror attack started on 26th night. Actually I was writing a letter regarding your visit to our home. I was half the way through. In that letter I asked about all of your names and age to book rooms and to book ticket to (deleted) where my son is ministering. I was planning to take you all by train to give you an exposure to rural India and also most of our people’s main transportation is train.( A short trip ) While I was writing that letter my wife called me and told me to listen to the news. Brother, I want to tell you the amount of disappointment that I have gone through cannot be expressed in words. On 27th after my morning prayer, I wrote to you regarding what has happened in Mumbai. Brother, in (deleted), where we live is in a vulnerable position, very close to Sri Lanka and seacoast. We had so many attacks during the past. Many Srilankan leaders are killed in this city. We ourselves are scared to move out now. At this juncture let us not take any risk. Our safety is very important. So let us wait till the Lord clears the way for us.

Brother, our thoughts are not His thoughts; our ways are not His ways. God in His own wisdom does things according to His will and plan. Today’s latest news is that 50 to 60% percent of the overseas visitors to India have already cancelled their flight tickets and hotel bookings. You can just imagine the amount of loss our nation is going through. Now the USA secretary Condoleezza Rice and the senator John McCain visited India and had talk with the Prime Minister. The USA forensic team is here to help India to find out whose hand is involved in this terror attack. On the whole it is a great loss to our nation.

Brother, I have been praying to the Lord to guide me regarding your mission to our churches and other ministries during the month of February 2009. The Lord has been reminding me about your safety. So it is best to wait for His perfect time.

Please tell our brothers in your team that this may not be the right time to visit India due to the terrorist problems. We feel that we have lost a great chance to meet, pray and share our ministry. Hope the Lord will give yet another chance to meet at the earliest possible.

Brother, you asked about our needs. We wish to express our heartfelt thanks for what you have been doing to our ministry and us. We have experienced your generous support, love and concern during the past. Regarding your support during this Christmas, I just leave it to your discretion. Please extend your support to our ministry as the Lord leads you and the beloved families in Trinity Episcopal Church. Thank you very much for all your prayers and support.

Hope you are busy with Christmas and New Year programs. Once again please convey our greetings, prayers to your family and all the families in your church.

Yours in Christ,
(Name Deleted)

Pray for our friends in India

Posted: November 27, 2008 by limabean03 in Current Issues, Trinity Tidings
Tags: , ,

terrorist-attack Several sites in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, were hit Wednesday night by a wave of terror attacks, reportedly aimed at Americans and Britons, that left dozens dead and hundreds injured as Indian forces battled with terrorist gunmen to free hostages from two luxury hotels.There were varying reports of at least 50 and as many as 100 people rescued from the Taj Mahal where a fire had broken out, and India’s NDTV reported Thursday morning that authorities had the scene under control. Meanwhile, police continued to evacuate people through the Oberoi hotel’s basement, and gunmen reportedly had taken hostages elsewhere in the city.

Casualty figures varied, with most media reporting at least 80 dead and 200 injured. Of the gunmen, at least four were dead and nine arrested. NDTV is reporting five suspected terrorists were dead, but that couldn’t be confirmed.

Eleven police officers were killed in the attack, but it was not clear if they were included in the number already reported dead, Reuters reported.

It isn’t clear yet what motivated the attacks, which also targeted a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station, though eyewitnesses said gunmen were heard shouting questions about who American and British passports.

read the rest here

If you are considering the mission to India in February make sure you do a lot of prayer over whether or not God is calling you. The situation is only deteriorating. Those who do go, however, will bring gifts and encouragement to the saints and this will be a tremendous blessing both ways.

The real cause of the violence against Christians in Orissa, and now elsewhere in India, is the fear among extremist Hindu movements that many “untouchable” and “tribal” people will turn to the Christian faith because of the appalling treatment they receive from their caste-ridden communities and the love and care they are shown by Christian humanitarian organisations. Some of those who receive such care, but by no means all, become Christians of their own free will. Is this so unacceptable in secular and democratic India? (more…)

Charlie Jordan passed this on.  I think this is a fair critique.  Many of the churches that I have been in contact with use mission trips as a way to spiritually develop their home congregation and never think intentionally about building meaningful, constructive, permanent, and effective relationships abroad.  In February Trinity will lead a mission to India.  Our purpose?  To greet and encourage the saints, begin a long term relationship, and explore ways that we could help contribute to the work of the Gospel in the most effective and efficient way possible. 

This past summer, from evangelical churches nationwide, more than one million of the faithful departed for the mission field, taking up Jesus’ “Great Commission” to “go and make disciples of all nations.” The churchgoers hoped to convert souls, establish churches and meet other human needs. But they did not intend to serve for years or whole lifetimes, like such pioneers as Jim Elliott, who was killed in Ecuador in 1956 evangelizing to native people; or Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission; or even the awful fictional caricatures of African missionaries in Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “The Poisonwood Bible.” These new missionaries came home after only a week or two.

Short-term mission trips to Africa, South America and Southeast Asia have become very popular in the past few years. They are a keystone strategy of evangelical pastor Rick Warren’s plans to help Rwanda. These trips, like Christian missionary endeavors overall, encompass a wide variety of activities, from evangelization and “church planting” to health care and economic development. The billion-dollar question, however, is whether they’re worth the cost. Are short-term missions the best way to achieve the goals of Christians? Critics argue that sightseeing often takes up too much of the itinerary, leading some to call short-termers “vacationaries.”

It’s hard to judge the fairness of this characterization, since almost no one runs the numbers. Estimates of how much churches spend on short-term missions go as high as $4 billion a year, according to the Capital Research Center. The literature is sparse, most of it focusing on the spiritual aspects, for the missionaries themselves. And these aspects are sometimes oversold.

Calvin College sociologist Kurt Ver Beek surveyed U.S. missionaries who built homes in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. After coming down from a post-trip “high,” the short-termers did not evince much change in their lives. Only 16% reported “significant positive impact,” including in prayer, friendships and financial giving. Then Mr. Ver Beek surveyed those whose homes were rebuilt by missionaries and those whose homes were rebuilt by local nongovernmental organizations. He found that there was “little or no difference” in the spiritual response of the beneficiaries.

read it all here

I received this from our mission partner in India this morning.  I have deleted his name.  Trinity members will know who I’m talking about.  Despite the trouble, I still intend on visiting him in February.  Pray for him and the Christians facing persecution in India..

Beloved Rev. Robert C.Sturdy,
Greetings to you all in the wonderful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
By the grace of God we fine and I am sure this email finds you all safe under the mighty wings of our Lord. Please convey our greetings and prayers to all at home and all the families in your church. We pray for you all daily.

I am writing this letter urgently requesting you all to pray for us earnestly at this time of difficulty. Our Christian brothers and sister are facing trouble in many parts of our nation. The trouble started last month in the state of Orissa where hundreds of churches and homes are destroyed and thousands of tribal Christians fled to the forest. A few people died and hundreds of people injured. As the trouble continues there the near by state of Karnataka Christians and schools, hospitals and churches are attacked by the Hindu religious fanatics belonging the BJP political party. Now the trouble spreads to the other states in parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu where we stay. Please pray that the Lord may protect His children at this time of trouble. Please pray for the people involved such unwanted atrocities against Christians and they may realize their fault.

We pray for you all. Please do pray for you us and the Christians living in the trouble-some areas of our nation.

We continue to pray for you all.
Yours in Christ,
<name deleted>