Dear praying friends,
First, yay!! John is home!! Next, a few updates before his report…
Thanks so much for praying for my dad. He still needs your prayer, especially for when he has a procedure done next Thursday, December 12th, to try to re-open some closed avenues that will bring more oxygen to his heart. Please pray for all of my family for peace, confidence and resting in the Lord’s hands, & for His glory throughout, and for healing for my dad, Rick. Thank you, it means so much!
Please notice at the end of our letter we will give you the information you will need to order Kwik Trip gift cards as a way to raise funds for SERVE India. It is a program that will give 10% of whatever you spend, while you get to spend 100% of what you bought… so no more cost to you and SERVE India gets 10%. A special ordering time by December 9th for Christmas stocking stuffers! Please check it out…
The trip that we were planning for our usual March time frame has been changed to January instead!! So, we are leaving in only 5 weeks!!!! Please be praying for the team as we prepare (John & Terri, Rick, Brad, Jean, Stephanie, David (Nanda, yay!) & his friend, Ian). We will include more specific prayer requests next month. Thank you!! :)
Now, from John… :)
Dear Prayer Partners of Serve India,
Greetings in the matchless name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am so happy and thanking God for safety and travel. This trip to India was an interesting one because our Andhra Pradesh (AP) state is dividing. Because of that, there was much protest and turmoil in the state. The whole state, both sides of the division are in the war of words and criticism with each other. The whole state including government offices, schools, transportation, and electricity’s board went on strike for months. No power, no transportation, and no markets. It was a dark place in the months of September and October.
Our national Pastors and Christian believers conducted fasting and prayer for the situation. Thousands were gathered in multiple rural churches for 24 hours for intercessory prayer. God's spirit was moving among the places Pastors said. Hundreds of other prayer requests were coming. God is gracious and His grace is sufficient, and prayers were answered, healing took place, and God is glorified. I had an opportunity to join some of these prayer meetings. I was very blessed by meeting newly changed believers and hearing their testimonies. Praying with them was the highlight. The Lord strengthened me and renewed me through their newfound faith in God. Thank you, God, for your promises!
The decision to split the state is on hold until the next discussions, and life is normal for now. Many are still suffering because for those months no paychecks and no income. It is difficult for many. Please pray for our state (AP) & our people, for peace as the decisions made move forward.
After this turmoil we were also faced with Cyclone Phalin, which struck the coast of AP and Orissa with devastating results. The cyclone affected the poor fisherman communities by destroying their few precious possessions, including extra clothing, beds, and utensils. Followed by Phalin came days of heavy rain. Much of the rice crop, ready for harvest, was lost. Four of our churches were affected by this cyclone so please pray for the needs of the people. SERVE India provided emergency relief of rice, lentils, and clean water. We need more funds to be gathered for providing blankets and clothing. If you would like to help, please mark your check memo for ‘cyclone relief’.
This year we are rejoicing in completing two church buildings, and hope to dedicate them to the Lord during the team’s trip in January. Please pray for Pastor Thomas, who was in an accident and is now in serious condition. Also, please pray for Pastor Joshua, who was attacked at one of the showings of the Jesus Film recently. He and Pastor Prasad have a small team who regularly show the Jesus Film in many unreached areas. Many have come to know the Lord and churches have been established through this film ministry.
Please pray they will not be disappointed and they will be able to carry on their ministry.
Thank you for praying for my trip to Sierra Leone (SL). I traveled with a friend from India, who is a business man, and joined with our friend who is from SL. We had a fruitful and productive trip. SL is a war-torn country, and you can still feel the fear & the insecurities of the people. We were thankful to meet some strong believers who really care about their country. We saw so many potential opportunities for Indian Christians to be a blessing, but we are seeking the Lord’s wisdom & guidance in how to go forward. Please join us in praying for His leading in what He has for us to do in SL.