Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our Lord told us that there would be those who would hate us and persecute us just as they had done to Him (John 15: 20).
Since August our brethren in India have suffered heavy persecution. Our poor, gentle and loving brethren have once again had to bear the callous, hatred of their fellow countrymen—radical Hindus—who will stop at nothing to reclaim Hindu converts to Christ.
In a letter to brother Ron Clayton, who is currently doing mission work in India, one of our native Indian preachers wrote about the situation in Bangalore:
Dear Uncle Ron,
Greetings to you in Jesus Precious name.
I hope you received my last email. 1 sent you an update of the situation here in Bangalore and other areas ofKarnataka. To further update you on this issue. I have been closely observing the developments and this is what I see.
Last Sunday was very tense. People who attended church everywhere were very scared. Our congregation had very few people attend because of fear of attack. According to our expectation a couple of churches were attacked in Bangalore 3 Km from our Home near the ring road. Then Christians came in protest and the ring road was blocked couple hours.
The situation is so bad that there is a policeman at every single church in Bangalore. The police man sleeps there at night as well. The very fact that there is a policeman at every church signifies the threat that lingers. At the Midicanhalli church we were asked not to come because groups came there in the morning and threatened to attack if we conducted services.
I am deeply sorry to say that we will not be able to have VBS classes in November. As the police have requested us and all churches in Bangalore to cut down on their actives temporarily in sight of the security situation here in Bangalore. Unless the real people behind the attacks are arrested we are under constant threat. I think it is wise not to have any programs for our children during the holidays. It is better than regretting later if anything unfortunate happens.
Jonathan Paul Raj
What are we to do when they persecute us? The Lord gave this instruction to the Apostles:
When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes. Matthew 10: 23
This is exactly what we must do. There is work to be done.. .there are receptive people to reach for the Lord.. .and persecution is not to be found everywhere.
We weep with those who weep. Some have been martyred for their Lord. Others have lost property. Some brethrens' homes have been burned. A few church buildings vandalized...communion trays destroyed.. .song books torn apart. All brethren have been terrorized.
The Lord also said:
Have no fear of them....do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul....So everyone who confesses me before men, I also will confess before my Father who is in Heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in Heaven.
Matthew 10: 26-33
As of this writing the three months long wave of persecution appears to be ebbing. We thank God for His mercy. (Compare Matthew 24: 22.)
THE WORK CONTINUES—GOD GIVES THE INCREASE
To God we give all the honor and glory. The angels in Heaven rejoice over every soul that comes to the Lord.
THE PRESENT ECONOMIC SITUATION
What a nightmare! Our grandparents told us horror stories about the Great Depression. Now such financial losses have happened to all of us. Many of our fellow citizens have lost their jobs...their homes...their retirement funds...their hope. The church has also been affected with losses in contributions. So has our work. We have lost (or will have by the first of the year) $2,200 dollars per month!
We need your help. We have not heard from some of you in a very long time. Please consider this letter as a personal appeal. We do not wish to place a burden on anyone. However, if God has blessed you and prospered your way please consider helping the India Mission work today.
Several native Indian preachers will have their support stopped unless funds to maintain them are received by the first of the year. I fear some preacher's support will be totally stopped and others will be reduced. Pray about this.
Difficult and necessary cuts will have to be made. Benevolence will be effected. Church building construction will be stopped, and has already been halted in most cases.
How will we buy Bibles? Or pay for transportation, food, and lodging for our native workers? The entire budget is crying for your attention.
God will provide. His Word is sure. Our experience of living by faith for over forty years of ministry has taught us that God is with us, and He will provide through His people for His work. May you be one of those through whom He will bless the lost that they may be found, and all the brethren's needs be met.
IF GOD WILLS
We are looking ahead to January 14th or 20th, 2009 to return to India. (The actual date will be decided in December.) There is still so much we want to do. Please pray for our safety and health. Also pray that we will have the vision to see the opportunities God presents for service. The field (over one billion four hundred million souls) is white unto harvest.
FALL REPORTING TIME
Juanita and I will be traveling among the brethren from this time until December 21st. That is a long while to be on the road and away from one's home. We are motivated to do this because of our love for lost souls and for the church in India. That is to say, we do this because of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
We will not be able to visit all of our supporters at this time. As the work has grown so have the number of supporters. We are grateful for this because the work requires you as a supporter and hopefully your congregation will help as well. However, the dilemma we
face is seeing everyone in a timely manner. We ask for your understanding. If we miss you in the Fall, we will make it our priority to see you in the Spring, God willing.
As you are praying please remember our suffering brethren.
And, please help us financially as you are able. Thanks.
Grace and Peace
Jerris N. Bullard
Last week I enjoyed preaching a Gospel Meeting for the Oxen Hill, Maryland Church of Christ. I shared with the brethren some thoughts about evangelism which I would also like to share with readers of our newsletter. I suggested four "secrets" of evangelism which hopefully will be of encouragement to you as you seek to win souls for the Lord:
1. God is the Evangelist; by invitation, we are His co-workers.
2. Don't worry about methodologies: The real secret is "to just look them in the eyes and tell them about Jesus. "
3. Evangelism is what happens "as you are going."
4. The principle of sowing and reaping. Sow in tears... Reap in Joy.
I am reminded of the prayer of John Hyde, missionary to India almost 100 years ago, "Lord, give me souls or I die. " The Lord's business was people. So should ours be.