The Malhavaranallur and The Periya Sevalai Villages
Hello Family, greetings to you it has been a few weeks since our last blog but that has been because we have been extremely busy here in the Vineyard. By God’s help we are now in the Evangelistic phase of our Mission trip. It has taken us 2 months to visit most of the Villupurum district Churches, meet with and organize the Pastors and Lay Pastors and seek to lay a foundation to begin .
Things here are quite different from what one might expect as far as Evangelism goes. There are no bible workers here to prepare the way for us, there are only a few lay Pastors who are dispersed over a vast territory here in Villupurum, So we have had to do the bible work and outreach work to get to this point. But we thank and praise God that in spite of sicknesses, discouragements, inconveniences, heat, mosquitoes, monsoon rains and many other trials God has kept us and we are moving steadily forward with an even firmer and stronger determination to complete our Mission here in India.
Some of the pictures that you will see in this week’s blog came from a Village here in the Villupurum called Malhavaranallur. I know it is a really long word but the local people say it here with no problem. It took me about 1 week to learn to say it correctly.
Whenever a person hears the word Village one normally thinks of a small community in a rural district. Well Malhavaranallur is very very rural Village, but it is a far way from small. I can honestly say that I have never seen so many Children in one place in my life. It seemed that everywhere you looked every step you took there were children all around you. I was usually busy taking care of the electrical equipment and setting up, but Marion was always surrounded by a large number of Women and Children. As you can probably imagine, people in these very rural places have never seen anyone of her race and so it was truly a moment of awe and amazement for them. I felt sorry for her at times as she could not walk without people (adults and children) staring and many touching her from every angle. One lady even wanted to give her a baby girl as a gift, to which she graciously said no thanks. Another wanted her to allow Noah to marry one of her daughters when he got older. On the 1st night of our meeting we counted almost 200 people who were in attendance. These very poor people in this Village have no Church building and so we were forced to worship outside as it was the only place that could accommodate all the people who showed up. But being outside meant that we had to contend with the rains which interrupted our meeting several times of our week long Campaign. Nevertheless in spite of the rains and constant electrical problems we finished our Meetings with several souls committed for baptism.
The next Village that we visited was a Village named Periya Sevalai. This Village has an actual Seventh Day Adventist Church which was a blessing as we did not have to deal with trying to conduct a meeting outside with a Laptop and Projector and running from the rains.
The Pastor of this Church is a man by the name of Ahab Daniel. This man’s son is a one of the Pastors of the Southern Asia SDA Church in the Washington DC area. We received a very warm welcome from Pastor Daniel’s Church family in Periya Sevalai . There were church members who had many struggles and trials but their faith in God was truly remarkable. There was one young Brother who is the son of the 1st Elder. This brother has been suffering with brain tumors since he was a very young boy. He’s had so many surgeries that we can’t even number them but still this brother Pastor’s one of the local churches in his area on a volunteer basis. He is very sick and is awaiting surgery but he still came out to the meetings and was enthusiastic to be involved. There was another Sister who came to the last meeting after she attempted suicide by jumping in front of a bus. One of the locals brought her to Pastor Daniels church because his church is known to help many in the village. I (Marion) prayed with this sister and asked her why did she attempt to commit suicide? She told me part of her life story. She said that she got married in 1994 and her husband started physically abusing her shortly after they were married. I asked her if she could stay with some family and friends to get away from the abuse but she was very reluctant because she has four children. My heart was touched with sympathy for her and her situation and I even told her that my Mother was physically abused by my father when I was very little. I wanted her to know that it was not her fault and that others have experienced the same abuse but by God’s grace they were able to escape. These are just a few of the stories that we hear on a daily basis when we go village by village here in Villupuram. The Lord is giving us strength and wisdom to reach out to many people who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the marvelous power of his love.
As you can imagine there are many calls to us for help from every side. Most of our expense here besides our transportation is what we give away as donations to people. The needs that we encounter on a daily basis are beyond the power of words to describe. We know that we cannot meet every need but by God’s grace we assist who we can. There are many, many children in these Villages both boys and girls that just walk around completely naked as many of them have no clothes.
We are embarking upon a project on this Christmas Season to provide as many Children as we can with clothes. We are in need of $10 donations per child so that we can provide clothes to some of the Children in this Villupurum Region, many of whom are in desparate conditions and suffering terribly. If you are impressed to support at least one child in India this Christmas season you can make a secure donation at our blog: http://3goingforward.wordpress.com/ just click on the donation button. Please continue to pray for us as we labor to finish God’s work here in India. Sincerely, The Simpson Family.