Merry Christmas to India

Hello everyone.  Recently, in the central village of our region, we have begun having weekly kids’ clubs.  It is the heart of the church to give Christmas gifts to the many kids who attend weekly.  We want to give these kids a gift box.  It will include a new pair of clothes, some sandals, a Telugu Bible, and a toy.  Each box would cost $50.  We are looking to give 40 kids presents this year.  Thanks for all you do to bring joy into India. 

 

Persecution on the Rise

Originally Published in November 2017 E - Newsletter

During India's last election, a very conservative and pro-Hindu party took power.  This party stands on slogans like "India for Hindus and Hindus for India."  As this party came to power in all branches of government, many Christians began praying for safety in the upcoming season of persecution.  That season has finally begun.


In Andhra, the state where our work is located, incidents of intimidation are on the rise.  There are videos and testimonies of Christian pastors being brought before Hindu idols and forced to bow down and give loyalty.  And many pastors do bow. 

There are reports of Christian preachers being confronted on the streets and fields of India.  Those ministers who preach in the open air are now threatened and forced to shut their mouths.  This is unheard of in Andhra. 

On television, Hindu priests come on and say that Christians and Muslims are guests in this Hindu home and that these tourists better mind their manners, or they will be kicked out of the country.  This rhetoric flows down to the towns and now to the villages.

We are asking for prayer for the Christian pastors of India.  They are the ones who will be targeted first.  If you can strike down the shepherd, perhaps the sheep will scatter.  Pray for courage, for boldness, and for resolve.

The Letter

This is a letter found in one of the villages we work in.  We know not its author or how many of this letter was printed.  But it's existence reveals the rising anti-Christian sentiment in the nation.  Please pray for our pastors.

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Persecution

I write to ask for prayer.  There are whispers and stories circulating about some real persecution happening in our region.  We are trying not to react without verifying what is story from fact, but the amount of stories coming out of Andhra tell of an emboldened effort against the fledgling churches.  Please pray for the disciples of Christ that they would have courage in the face of adversity. 

Pushing forward on all fronts

Work started on the 2nd church building in India this week.  The team is pressing forward on all fronts.  Teams going into new areas for witnessing about the risen Christ.  Buying materials and laborers to finish the church buildings.  Continuing the weekly Kids’ Club in the village.  Jesus is on the move, and they are beginning to feel the pushback.  More on that next week. 

From Kid's Club to Sunday School

The Kid's Club was such a huge success in the village that the church has begun a weekly Sunday School for them.  After church, kids can either stay (or come down) and have a meal.  Then there will be games, skits, bible stories, and the giving of the gospel from one generation to another.  Praise be to God!

Kids Club India!

While here in Flint, MI, Pastor David was able to take part in our church's Kids Club.  He saw our skits and games and lessons.  He took that home to the village of India and just had their very first Kids' Club.  They expected only the church kids to come, but many Hindu children came!  For 5 days they did crafts and games and skits.  And the children heard the name of Christ and were invited to call upon His name.  The gospel goes forth, to even the little children.

Four Churches Begun!

We announced just one week ago that we were attempting to finish 7 church buildings to advance our work of church planting in the villages of India.  

As of this writing, we have 4 of those churches sponsored!  Amen!

If you or your church or your family or your Bible Study or Sunday School would wish to commit to the $1500 to finish an Indian church, you call help us to complete this goal before the year comes to a close!

Building buildings, planting churches

Originally published in September's E-Newsletter

Every one of our Indian church planters shepherds multiple congregations.   Like Methodists across the newly settled west, these men of God travel each week to meet with the gathered sheep of many different villages.  They meet in living rooms and in fields.  It is a beautiful thing.  You don't need a church building to be a church.  

But our church planters are running into a problem.  Our strategy is simple.  Live in a large, central village and then go inland (away from the highway) and preach Jesus.  When a village sees people accept Christ, they begin having weekly meetings.  For our church planters, the gatherings in the large central villages have seen incredible fruit.  Hindus confess Christ, are baptized, and walk in the way of Christ.  These central churches are like the church of Antioch; they are the sending body.  These central churches have grown so large they won't fit in a living room, and out in the field they get rained out or burned out by the sun.  For years our planters have been buying a few bricks at a time and slowly building a place to meet.  The time has come to shore up these central buildings so that they may more effectively reach inland.  

It is time to build some buildings.  It is time to give these poor believers a roof to protect them from the rain and the sun.  These are not like American buildings.  They are not going to have windows or AC.  These are concrete blocks with a few ceiling fans.  We have 7 churches that are ready to put up roofs.  These faithful believers have donated bricks to the point they are ready to put up ceilings.  Each church needs $1500 to get the roof up.  As of today, one church has already started construction.  We sent David home with enough for that first church.  Flint City Church has committed another by Christmas.  I am traveling to India in April and will be visiting these 7 villages.  It is my hope and prayer to fund the other 5 before I leave.  

If you or your church, Bible Study, Small Group, or Sunday School would like to adopt one of these churches, you will be able to see the immediate results of your gift. For I will be seeing these places with my own eyes and can bring back photos to any group that wishes to build a building. These buildings will be on the frontline of planting even more churches!  Build one building, and you help to plant 3-5 more village churches.  Help us go forward into the harvest fields!

For more information on what God is doing in India, feel free to check out our website: www.claycups.net

America Highlights

While David was here in America, a great deal of work was done.  The plight of the untouchables was spoken about, and there are many who are now praying for the church of India.  There are people praying for the salvation of India's 1 billion residents.  These prayer partners are the backbone of the work we do.

We also gained new supporters who have committed to faithfully give to the work.  Even when only giving $10 a month, that $10 puts petrol in the gas tanks of motorcycles.  That allows one pastor to shepherd 3-5 village churches.  So even that little gift can have lasting and powerful gospel fruit.

It was a great trip for David. Thank you to all for welcoming him and blessing him.  

September....

Coming in September, we announce our great plans for the coming year.  Exciting things coming your way in just a few weeks!

Home sweet Home

David has landed safely in India.  He enjoyed his 60 days here in the states, and left encouraged by his American brothers and sisters.  Thank you to everyone who made David feel at home.  He is grateful and sends his appreciation.  

I will write more about his time in America in the next few weeks.