Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. By the grace of God we have just completed another wonderful mission to India. God is so good! He provided for our every need and answered a host of prayers on our behalf. We are grateful. We are humbled when we reflect on all your prayers, gifts of money to do the work, and your love for us and those to whom we have been privileged to teach the Word of God. Daily we "troubled the waters" as God gave the increase.
Over 8,500 were baptized by all of our team members-Indians and Americans-during our twelve weeks long campaign. The church in India is multiplying. To God be all the glory. We are honored to greet you on behalf of the Churches of Christ in Bombay, Ulhaznager, Hyderabad, Kurnool, Bhophal, Suripet, Bidar, Pamidipadu, Bangalore, Vijayawada, Bhadravathi, Imphal, Churanchpur, Siliguri, Bierpara, Tulsipara, Garubusty, and Garucheri as well as thousands of other cities and villages where Christ is now known.
We enjoyed the company and fellowship of sister Dorothy Weaver from Pittsburgh. Though she is 83 years old, she is young in heart and spirit. When Dorothy expressed a desire to work with us in India, we wondered how we would be able to take care of her. It did not take long for us to recognize that we would not be taking care of her but, rather, she would be taking care of us! The Indian brethren fell in love with her...and appreciated her able teaching of the Word of God. We are thankful she came to India and encouraged us.
THE MAUTAM (FLOWERING OF THE BAMBOO) FAMINE
The economy is everyday news. We are especially concerned with rising gasoline and food prices. Housing costs are troublesome. But few places are experiencing famine as are the people of the northeastern state of Manipur, India. The Mautam famine is a cyclical problem which happens "when the bamboo flowers" about every 50 years. At that time rodents (mice and rats) multiply at unusually rapid rates. Hundreds of thousands of rodents begin to devour every living plant-especially rice, other grains, and bananas-which are the basic staples of nearly every Indian home. One may compare this to a locust plaque in order to appreciate the damage done to human food sources. In the past few days at least 28 people have starved to death. That troubles me deep down in my soul. How can this happen in our world...in our day and age? It is happening. We feel a sense of urgency to do something to help these poor suffering people.
Manipur is one of the so-called "Christian" states of India with an estimated 60% calling themselves Christian. (A sister state is Nagaland where almost 100% of the Nagas are "Christian".) Unfortunately, the Hindu government of India is turning both a blind eye and a deaf ear to cry's for help from this "Christian" corner of its country. Therefore, we the people of God must and will act to help all we can. Please think about Brother R. Sanga's letter below as he eloquently describes our efforts in the month of March to help some of the most desperate among our brethren. Then as the Indian brethren are prone to say, "Brother please do the needy."
View the video on "Mizoram Mautam Famine" in the media files.
I with brother Pan Valte, Faculity member oflmphal School of Preaching and my Son Brother Mang proceeded to the Angels' Place (our orphans home) and Brother Lalramlawm, Superintendent, Angles' Place to dispatch 50 bags of rice to the acute victims of Mautaam Famine who are in a village called Mualnam and Songtal situating in the Southernmost corner of Churachandpur District, Manipur, N.E. India. It is about 195 KM away from Imphal, the capital city of Manipur.
We set off by 10:25 am from the Angels' Place and tarry a little at Churachandpur for arranging one truck for the rice bags. By 10:45 am, we started our journey to our destination.
The road was long and tiresome. Our pick-up van and the truck with 50 bags of rice rushed along the rugged and steep road running between the slope hills. Thick forest covers the hills most beautifully green forest with different flora and fauna, rivulets with cool water gently flowing. The cool breeze blowing and serene forest with the sound of animals far and few between is really enjoyable. In this way we rode on and on and eventually, by around 6:00pm we reached Mualnuam. No sooner we had reached the village than the village people gathered around us with astonished and wonder looking. We told them that our brethren in Christ from the States of America received our sad story from myself and they promptly respond to your needs. And then, we proceeded to Songtal village where 12 households of the church of Christ are living which is about 10 KM away from Mualnuam village. We unload 10 bags of rice to the Songtal Church of Christ, a nearby village to Mualnuam. They were so happy and thankful to our God for the help. We then came back to Mualnuam. The people eagerly awaited us till we reach them. As it was already 9:00 pm, we hastily arrange a meeting following our dinner in which I preaches and teaches the Gospel of Christ and God's Words. People are very much receptive. Then we propose to distribute the rice the next day early morning, we called all the neediest Family members and distributed rice to 73 households at Mualnuam village.
By around 10:15 am, we started our return journey on March 27, 2008. We reached the Angels' Place again by 3:00pm and proceeded to Imphal and we reached home by 6:00 pm. This is, in short our works of ministry for the sake of the Lord's Kingdom and Almighty God at this time of blessing from you. I would like to reiterate that the poor and humble villagers who could not express their thanks through words. Their appearance, behavioral actions shows that they are so happy and highly appreciate indeed.
Brother, the Mautaam Famine in Manipur and Mizoram is, in fact threatening and fearful. No food/rice, people are living hand to mouth, as they do not have money to purchase rice. Please pray about this as we also fervently pray for you as you raise the funds.
In Christ, R. Sanga, Director, Imphal School of Preaching
FUNDS ARE NEEDED
Money is always a need in the mission field. We feel compelled to bring to your attention not only the famine relief but also the following matters for your consideration and prayers:
• Famine Relief-immediate one time need-$10,000
• Monthly support for 25 Preachers- $1,875
(Average monthly support for each is $ 75.00.)
• 10 Church buildings are under construction (or soon will be). Construction funds are a monthly need and will continue to be so for at least 2 years. $10,000 per month.
• Two Major Campaigns lead by the Bullard's per year @ $40,500 each or $675 per month.
The work is huge! It is the Lord's doing. We offer Him thanksgivings for prospering each of us with jobs, which provide for our personal needs as well as the needs of the poor.. .especially the needs of the lost. Please help us to take the gospel to them. The fields are white unto harvest. May the harvest be great and result in great thanksgivings for the Lord's glory.
Brethren, as urgent as it has ever been, we need your gift now. There is so much to do.. .so many souls depend on your gifts. You have been so generous over the years going back to 1978. How can I ever thank you for your regular, monthly support and one-time gifts? No doubt, the only real thanks you need will be to see the souls of the unknown and unseen brethren you had a part in reaching for Christ through a couple of missionaries whose hearts burst with joy when they think of your fellowship in the work. Thanks for all you do.
Juanita and I are now traveling among the brethren we were unable to see in the Fall of 2007. If you have not seen us or heard from us...take heart, Lord willing, we are coming to you and will be calling soon.
Grace and Peace
Jerris N. Bullard Missionary
And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim Him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good news!" Romans 10:14-15