Serving Alongside International
We recently received a report from one of our ordained IFBC elders, Dr. Manohar James, who is serving as the Executive Director for Serving Alongside International. They are reaching, serving and training people in Asia for Christ. He reports on one of his recent trips to India, and how the Lord is at work in that country. Below is a summary from his report.
“Last week I safely returned to the US after having a wonderful time of ministry in India, especially training 953 pastors in one-day and two-day seminars in four regions of India. I was also blessed by preaching in special prayer meetings and encouraging God’s flock through the Word of God. I can’t express how grateful I am to have completed the ministry trip and training seminars before the dangerous COVID-19 brought national and international travel restrictions globally. It was perfect timing.
Nagpur Seminar, Feb 25-26, 2020
430 pastors attended the two-day seminar on Understanding Difficult Passages in the Bible. It was our largest group of training seminars. The participants, who represented various denominations, came from Nagpur, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Vizag Region, Feb 28, 2020
The seminar was attended by 120 leaders, who spoke Telugu. Nic and I taught on the topic of “Church Ministry Management.” Pastors were revived and refreshed by the teaching as indicated in the feedback forms.
Nidadavolu Region, Feb 29, 2020
We organized a training seminar in this region for the first time. It was attended by 215 leaders from various denominational backgrounds. The seminar topic was Understanding Difficult Passages in the Bible. In the survey forms, pastors requested us to organize more training seminars.
Mummidivaram Region, Mar 2, 2020
This seminar was attended by 188 leaders. Many of them came as far as 1o0-kilometers by bus and mopeds. The seminar topic was the Church Ministry Management. At the end of the seminar many leaders came up to tell how transformative the conference for them was.
Preaching and encouraging the flock
Nic and I had the opportunity to encourage the believers with the Word of God in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tami Nadu. During weekdays, I preached in special meetings and met with Christian leaders to discuss about issues the church is facing in India.
In the last week of February 2020, five Churches were forcefully closed by Hindu Nationalist leaders in a place near Mummidivaram where we had our training seminar. Those five churches were planted among the fishing communities and have been in existence for the past fifty years. Anti-Christian leaders threatened pastors and the congregants by the help of local politicians and policemen. They managed to take over the church buildings illegally. They forced about 450 members from those churches to go back to Hinduism by threatening to outcaste and disqualify them from social benefits.
A few Christian leaders have legally attempted to claim back the church property and fight for their religious freedom, but the situation of COVID-19 has halted their attempts as India is locked down for a month. Please pray for the congregants and the pastors that they may stand for their faith and boldly fight for their rights.
Let’s also faithfully pray for the people in the US. The pandemic has been shaking us. I know some of us are very worried and live in fear. I want to encourage you to continue to trust God as He is still on the throne and in not surprised by what’s happening. Please read Psalm 91 by placing your name into it.
Manohar James, PhD