God has heard your prayers! By His grace Juanita and I are enjoying good health, maybe not 100 per cent, but well enough to be about the work. We plan to return to India on January 15, 2007. Our tickets have been purchased. We are packing bags, and are ready to go (Matthew 28: 18-20).
It has been our pleasure to travel among our supporters since mid-September. God's people are a joy to be around. There is more interest in our mission efforts than I can recall at any other time. Thank you so much for your love and confidence in us (Romans 10: 13-17).
We love the work we are privileged to do. More than that, we love you-the brethren- who support us; who, in spirit, go with us to the fields that are white unto harvest. This is God's work. We are His co-workers, and we are builders together of the kingdom of God. Mortals engaged in an immortal mission leading to the salvation of all who will hear-receive and obey-the Word of God which we proclaim in Jesus' name.
Our view of missionaries generally causes us to remember some of the great names of courageous followers of Christ. You, no doubt, have your list of favorite examples. Mine includes William Carey, John "Praying" Hyde, Amy Carmichael, Greene Lawrence Wharton, J. C. Bailey, and Charles and Ann Scott.
If you ever had any doubt about whether God is continuing to raise up such courageous servants in our own generation then you will be encouraged by reading the following letter from brother Jyothi Raju, a teacher in one of our Hyderabad Schools of Preaching and an evangelist to the untamed wilderness of northern India.
My Dear Brother Jerris,
Hearty greetings in the Almighty name of Jesus Christ. I am fine and doing well, hopes the same with you, your family and for your work to the Lord's kingdom. I have enjoyed working with you while you were in India and thanks for your service in this country I got a chance to write you before I leave for an adventurous trip in Arunachal Pradesh of Northeast India. Right now I am in Miao of Arunachal Pradesh, and tomorrow morning I am starting 5 days walk to reach Gandhi gram area which is in the border of Manmar (Burma) and China. Since 1 week I have been working in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh of Northeast India. I will be in this part till the first week of January 20.
I wrote you several months aback about Vijoynagar area and I will write you much after the trip if everything goes well by God's grace.
That area is a separate world, I don't have any idea where I am going and how that will be. I won't be able to contact anyone for 15 days starting from tomorrow. There is no telephone facility (either incoming or out going), there is no Internet, no news channels or any newspapers. I will be in another world. If I want to come back for any reason, say an emergeny, I have to walk again 5 days. But how can I do this in an emergency situation?
I have promised to those area people that I will visit them in this year and to keep my promise I am making this risky trip. I hope some good will be done by this trip, so lam taking this risk.
I don't have any experience in walking long distances, but I have to walk 5 days; I don't have experience in walking in the deep forest but I have to walk in the forest; I don't have experience in staying in cool places, but I have to bare this and here it's freezing; I don't know swimming, but I have to cross river several times. It's a dangerous and life risking trip friends, but I am willingly doing this as I gave a word to those people and as it helps to extend God's kingdom.
If God's willing and ever thing goes well, I am scheduled to be back in Hyderabad on 5th January 2007. I will write you in detailed about my forest life after I get back to home.
Your prayers are a must and necessary. I am taking this risk only by trusting God. "In God I Trust".
In His Service,
Jyothi Raju G.
The words of James Calvert, a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, come to mind. On his voyage to Fiji the ship's captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here." That is the kind of spirit we often see among our native Indian brethren. They often serve as examples to us.
GOD GIVES THE INCREASE
CAMPAIGN RESULTS: JANUARY 1-DECEMBER 8,2006
PER MEETING IN 2006
Since 1979, our team has conducted 835,000 Gospel Meetings. As a result of those meetings 2,420,000 precious souls have been baptized (an average of 2.9 per meeting since 1979). Of those baptized 13,346 have been denominational preachers. To God we give all the honor and glory. His Gospel is the power to save; we are His co-workers.
The numbers do not tell the whole story. Behind each of those baptized is a person- a living soul. Each soul is not just a number to God; nor are they just numbers to us-they are our brothers and sisters. We want to see all those baptized remain faithful to Christ and His church. We want to see them grow in Christ. We want to watch as they mature and become more and more like Jesus as time goes by. We want to see them complete the circle by developing into soul-winners for Christ.
PLEASE CONSIDER SENDING A GIFT TODAY
We are keenly aware of the fact that God is behind all that we do. New congregations are being planted daily. Preachers are being trained. Needy children are being cared for. Bibles are being given to those who do not have them. The Gospel is being preached (almost 350 Gospel eetings per day). On an average day, 660 souls are baptized into Christ. With your help, we can do even more. We need your help to make things happen in India-home to the most religious people on earth. Please send a gift today. Your generosity is appreciated.
Brethren, I do not wish to write much about our financial needs. I think you are well aware that mission work costs a lot of money. (I presented a complete budget in our September 2006 Newsletter which I would refer you to. I can send another copy if yours is missing-just email me or call the Manassas Church office and request a replacement.)
We really do need to receive your financial gift as soon as possible. The India Treasury is $8,000 dollars short of where it must be in order for us to do all the work for which we have the opportunity. I plead with you on behalf of the lost souls who are eager to hear God's Word. Please do not turn a deaf ear to their cries for salvation.
There is much benevolence to be done-food and clothing for the hungry and needy. Church buildings must be constructed...Bibles in their native languages are to be purchased...Bicycles for preachers...sewing machines for preacher's wife's and so much more. Please help us today. An envelope is enclosed for your convenience. Please make all checks payable to: MANASSAS CHURCH OF CHRIST INDIA FUND.
Thank you for your prayers and sacrifices for the building up of the kingdom of God.
Passed away Dec. 11, 2006
Fellow Missionary to India.
He will be missed by both American and Indian brethren whom he served to his last breath. He planned to go to India in January 2007.
Craig Phillips and Teresa Cloer who will be married around Christmas.
They will make their home in Bombay where Craig has served as a missionary for some 14 years.