11 May 2011 ~ Comments Off

E-pray: May 2011

Dear praying friends,

 It is very nice to have John home with us again!  He has been home about a week now and finally has his time switched around again.

We thought we would send along a section of a report that Pastor Matt wrote up after returning from our trip some weeks ago.  We always love for you to hear about what God is doing from a fresh perspective.         

 At our first pastors meeting, we sat with about 30-40 pastors plus their families and some others (total of about 70-80) who are working with churches in tribal areas on the border of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. We drove many miles, then walked about a mile, and waded across a river by foot, before coming to the place where they gathered. When we arrived, the pastors were singing, dancing, and worshiping the Lord. We were amazed by their stories of ministry and church planting in the face of many challenges. Their worship overflowed with joy and we apparently encouraged them by journeying to spend time with them.

In the evening, we went on to Jeevah Jellum, which means ‘living water’ in Telugu, a leper colony that John has worked with for at least 5 years. We spent time with this amazing group of people in worship and prayer. Over the years, these hopeless castaways of society have become resurrection-hopeful believers. Paul and Jolee, who have been here many times, testified to the dramatic changes over the years. The smiling faces told the story of how things had changed in their lives.

We visited a couple of different churches and also saw the recording studio where John is editing the Mini Bible Institute into an updated language format for his pastors. We experienced a beautiful worship service with encouraging words from Pastor Titus in his poor fishing community. He is clearly a shepherd who loves his people. We visited another church after lunch, where we were treated as royalty and were encouraged to see how their pastor, Sudacher, is equipping other pastors with helpful technology. We then went to a coastal fishing village on the edge of Visak, where Pastor Setyam is establishing a church in the face of persecution. Since the construction of a new Hindu temple, he has faced more opposition because the church is seen as detracting from their worship and solidarity as a community. He has been beaten and shunned multiple times but continues. His example is outstanding. John helped us to see how the establishment of a physical structure validates it in the eyes of the people. Often persecution may decrease once a church has built a structure in which they can worship.

At the Training Center we visited with 70-80 pastors, plus their families, who had gathered for their monthly time of fellowship and prayer. It is an impressive place with a lot of space for gathering, accommodations, and classrooms for training. We were also excited to see how John has established agricultural initiatives to sustain the ministry: 50 coconut trees, many new mango trees, pepper and vegetable plants, and a large space dug out of the ground for the new tilapia fish farms (hoping for help from our friend in Bangladesh).

          John is busy now catching up with things around here and we are spending much of our time preparing for our trip this summer.  Please pray for us and the team as we finish up with all the preparations, including Josh’s plans to spend the Fall in India.  We will be sending out a prayer guide next month to help with more specific prayer requests.  Our family will be leaving a few days after the high school boys finish school. The team will be coming at the end of June for 2 weeks.  We are so excited about this trip!! 

          As always, we are SO grateful for your prayer and SO reliant on it, so thank you, again, for joining with us in this way!

                                                             His joy and blessings, Love, The Nanda’s

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