The Western Orissa Churches Leadership Conference, March 3-7, 2014 was held in Sonapur, India. “By the Grace of God,” … were the four words used over and over by native leaders and pastors involved in this 5 day conference. Sharing this phrase with us, demonstrates humility, recognizing God and others are responsible for the achievements in their lives, families and churches. Hospitality shown to our MTM team was the outward proof of the inner grace they were speaking of.
The grace and presence of God surrounded, in-filled, inspired, directed, provided, and protected us in this highly sensitive area over and over again. For this grace we say “Thank you” to God. For the hospitality, we say “thank you” to our native coordinator, Pastor S.K. Daniels & the Western Orissa team. For the prayers and financial support needed and received for this conference we say “thank you”, dear supporters.
Orissa State, has a population of about 41 million. Estimates show only 5% Christian. In this state, it is not uncommon for pastors and evangelists to be beaten and humiliated, Churches and homes demolished and Bibles burnt. Often the first and last request in our conversations among the 85 attendees was, “Will you pray for us?” Due to health issues Brother Raymond was advised to not travel to this conference. This was like a death to him, as well as all of us at the conference. The daily sessions starting at 9 am, with evening revivals ending at 9 pm, this all looked rather overwhelming to me.
The MTM Teaching Team, L-R, Merle Flory, Marvin Kauffman, (PA, USA), Daniel King, (PA. USA) Judy, Merle’s wife.
By God’s grace alone, there were two Brethren from Pennsylvania who obtained special local permission to attend the conference. Brother’s Daniel King and Marvin Kauffman daily put their hand to the plow and never looked back! I thank God for the beauty of older and younger men in ministry together. Brother Daniel shared out of a transparent heart places we are called to walk with Jesus, after conversion. Brother Marvin from Romans 12 put shoe leather on 3 principals: A Living Sacrifice, Gifts of Grace, and Marks of a True Christian, and what it looks like in ministry.
During praise and worship, before services started on the last night, we sensed the spirit moving across the crowd like a wave of the sea. One was crying out for prayer against demon possession and several couples for barrenness. Prayer was made and the Word was preached, and God has promised it will not return unto Him void. HALLELUJAH!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!
The Sonapur (Orissa State) India Full Conference Group
Editors Note; The above article was written by brother Merle Flory who serves as assistant director of MTM. Thank you brother Merle & Sister Judy for giving of yourselves unto the Lord and being a great blessing unto our dear brothers and sister in Orissa state of India.
The Testimony Of Marvin Kauffman
With the combination of Brother Merle’s messages on “Three Vital Relationships” and Brother Daniel’s theme on “Transparency – Walking in the Light” we were very blessed. God moved in hearts and we rejoice in what He is doing. Bro. Merle asked us for a commitment to ask our wives two questions; 1.) Ask your wife whether she feels beautiful and 2.) Ask her whether she feels special. The next day we were asked to share what our wives said. There was confession of need as well as sharing the blessings of good relationships. What a growing exercise! Men, you should try it with your wife. J
We experienced the hand of God in more than one way this week. God knows when we have a need, but sometimes wants to know our hearts before He answers. Because I used the projector for each of my teaching sessions, I needed electric power. The power was off just before my session, and I thought I would share without the projector. This particular time my message had lots of Microsoft PowerPoint props that I thought were needed, but I knew that God is in control. I gave up, and decided to share without the props. As normal we prayed before the session, but a special prayer was raised that the power would return. God answered at the last minute! The power came back a minute before I was supposed to start. We serve a caring, trustworthy God! It seems He wanted me to surrender to Him, and then He answered. May God receive the glory due to His name, and may we all carry the seed that was planted in our hearts to our respective places.
The Testimony Of Daniel King
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! God is good! All the time! I couldn’t help but begin this little report with these words as they were words that rang and echoed in the conference building many, many times. It was truly a blessing and refreshment to my own life personally and I felt like I received far more then I gave. It was the first MTM conference that I attended and I felt very privileged to be a part of it. God is truly the answer to all of our needs. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. “Philippians 4:19” Thank you Jesus.
I would like to honor and thank Brother S K Daniel who hosted the conference in Sonepur, India. He as well as Brother Pranab Mukherjee did most of the behind the scene work to make this happen. The majority of the attendants were Pastors and evangelists from the surrounding regions as well as others, both brothers and sisters, who were seeking fellowship and teaching. The stories of these dear brethren who are being faithful in taking the gospel to some very remote areas of India have truly humbled me. They shared how God is moving in the new areas that they are visiting. It was however a joy to be able to serve and feed these people with the living word of God.
Brother Merle Flory was the guest speaker and was teaching on relationships first with God himself, then with others and the world. First he laid a solid and clear foundation by starting with creation, then on through history until the time of the Kings. He taught that relationships with those around us can only flourish if we have an unhindered relationship with our Father in heaven. All throughout the messages he would insert very practical points that applied the teachings of Christ in relation to our need for obedience to them. Both he and his dear wife Judy opened their arms and hearts wide in love and prayer for the hurting.
Brother Marvin Kauffman and I also taught one session each per day. Marvin has a heart for India and is currently seeking God’s will concerning moving to India with his family and working with children’s homes. Both he and his father have made many trips to India already. He was teaching on Romans 12 bringing out many practical truths concerning our responsibility as followers of Jesus Christ. On one of the days God placed a burden on his heart for marriages and caring for our wives. It was so refreshing to hear the desires that God has for our marriages as it seems that if the marriages in the church are suffering then the light of Christ is dimmed and the world is left without a living testimony of God’s love toward us.
The worship team from Nagaland was a real bright spot in this conference. Two young men and two young ladies lead the worship before each session. They would encourage us to worship God using more than just our mouths. I couldn’t help but think of us on that day when we enter through those pearly gates how the sheer joy of heaven will cause us to erupt in praise and we will not be able to contain ourselves. The approximately 50 children from the nearby children’s home absolutely loved the worship time. They worshiped God in such a free way that it brought tears to my eyes especially considering the pain and trauma that some of these children experienced. God bless those brothers and sisters that reach out to the unwanted and orphaned children.
Editors Note; A very special thank you to brother Marvin and brother Daniel for being instant in season and instant out of season in preaching the Word of God. These dear brothers did not know they were going to preach at this conference until when they arrived there. May the Lord reward you openly for your labor of love among these dear church leaders in Orissa.