Different faces, different ages, different personalities, different testimonies, different experiences, eyes alive and bright, gentle and joyful smiles, but the same Lord Christ and our unity in Him. We were met at the Vijayawada airport in the state of Andra Pradesh by Pastor Joseph, a very warm and knowledgeable 3rd generation Christian Brother, with some Anabaptist influence. We were very warmly welcomed and comfortably situated at the church / orphanage / school that Pastor Joseph is director of, and by his wife Suseela and family of 4 children. We enjoyed many delicious meals provided by Letha, our Christian sister with a servant’s heart. We met the 11 sweet children that didn’t have a home they could go to while school was not in session so they stayed at the compound with us. The four day Shepherds Conference was at a Mission School where Pastor Joseph is director. We felt the absolute necessity of prayer each morning and evening, before the 30-minute drive on narrow, busy, and rough roads through the congested villages. Each day’s attendance increased even though the temperature was from 100° to 110° with humidity each day. (Whew!!) God’s grace is sufficient in all things.
The Vadlamanu, India Conference Group
Merle’s sessions were on John 15, our relationship with God, with each other, and with the world, illustrated by the vine and the branches. (A fruitful ministry) Supported by our teachings of the sufficiency of Jesus and the assurance we have in Him and His Word, such as the doubts and fears we may have and the brokenness, usefulness, and security we have in the hand of Jesus. The blessing also of seeing the preeminent Jesus followed by some precious possessions given to us, then teaching on husband/wife, family, and our common church family relationships, also our Holy Spirit gifting. All teachings were to support and edify each other, to go, reach, and teach an unreached world for Jesus. There was much testimony to the teaching by the gentle nodding of heads in agreement, some even before Pastor Joseph so ably translated for us. Those attending were first generation believers, all with a common focus and interest to know more of God through Jesus Christ and HIS Word.
1Tim. 3:1 This is a true saying, if a man desires the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. Seventeen men of God, appointed by their church to minister, desired the office of bishop. Scriptural teaching, support, and prayers were offered by several. These godly men were anointed with oil by one of their own India bishops. The word and work of spreading the gospel multiplies!! Seventeen godly men were ordained and over 100 attendees were given a certificate of attendance. A portion of Matt 28: 18 & 19 was fulfilled. (Go ye….) We were blessed to visit and minister to a leper camp by giving surplus supplies from our four-day conference. A large bag of potatoes, a large bag of onions, and rice (50# ea.?) was received with thanksgiving. After sharing a brief message of praise and encouragement and hearing many hallelujahs we were awed again by radiant smiles and eyes because of the connection/fellowship we have in Jesus. Praise Him!!
After traveling all night from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Vijayawada, India this dear brother Joseph Raju was a very dear sight to behold. Joseph served as our host, coordinator, and translator all the way through. He was also the conference facilitator. Thank you so much, Pastor Joseph. May God receive the glory for your hospitality to us.
A very important principle from my perspective was and is that these opportunities to minister are not sacrifices, they are blessings! This is my wife’s perspective: The conference was a real blessing in my life. To see brethren and sisters in the Lord in a completely different setting than we in America are used to. As we traveled to and from the conference we saw very sober, unsmiling faces on people that worship the Hindu gods. In comparison we worshiped Jesus with a very happy people that have been in the Hindu worship but now know Jesus as their Savior!! The relationship we have with Jesus makes us shine from the inside out no matter where in this world the Lord has placed us, from the wealth of America to the poverty of a leper camp. Thank you, Merle and Judy, for the invitation to minister. Thank You to all for your prayer support and to our Maple Grove church family for your generous monetary support for this conference.
Editor’s Note: The above article was written by our MTM guest teacher Dean Kinsley. Brother Dean and his wife Nina are from New Carlisle, Ohio. We thank God for the gifts He has equipped them with to prosper His Kingdom.
Another Editor’s Note: The following testimony was written by Pastor N. Joseph Raju our native coordinator and translator from the Church of the Living God Ministries ~ Merle D. Flory, Assistant MTM Director
“The Macedonian Teaching ministry helps our native gospel workers to be Ordained and certified by the Shepherd’s conference from 25th thru 28th Aprils 2016 ignites their faith and talents to practice in the ministry, there are hundreds of native evangelist depends upon other people to perform Lords supper, water baptism and marriages. Now the Macedonian Teaching ministry makes it possible to stand every man in fullness of Christ as whole Col 1; 28, we believe that this is real Macedonian call for us to help in the ministry to further in fruitful results by abiding with True vine such as Biblical truth. We are very thankful for spiritual help as well as spiritual help, we are expecting two more conferences in our neighboring districts where we have church planting ministry for God and for the Nation”.
MTM News Flash: Raymond & Naomi Burkholder will be traveling to Cairo, Egypt for a “Kingdom of God” leadership conference May 10-13, 2016. Please do pray for them as they minister at this conference. Thank you.
Photo Album of the Vadlamanu, India Conference.
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