Greetings to you brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray today that by God’s grace you are making your decision to serve our Lord clear and decided as we see the waymarks of prophecy rapidly fulfilling. As we see the signs given us by the Master in Matthew 24 fulfilling themselves with stunning accuracy, I pray dear brethren that you would take courage today as we are nearing home.
We are ever grateful to God for your prayers and letters of encouragement that come our way from time to time. The letters of encouragement that we receive via e-mail from you are a true sense of comfort and strength to our family as we labor for the master in the mission fields of India. We are also grateful to God for your financial support that is helping this Ministry to fulfill our part in the Great Commission.
Since our last blog, much has transpired in Tamil Nadu where we reside. We wrote to you with the title of “meeting the crises” and we explained to you the difficulties we were facing at the hands of some Hindu youth as we sought to construct our Church. We sincerely thank you for your prayers, we are happy to report to you that not only did the Lord hear our prayers but He answered in a dramatic fashion. As I reflect back a few weeks, I remember having a day of prayer and fasting and asking the Lord to respond to this situation in such a way that these individuals would know the true God. After much earnest prayer on this issue we received word that the individual who was responsible for organizing this disturbance had a sudden and terrible attack of insanity. We prayed and asked many of you to pray for us, shortly thereafter this individual woke up one morning going about his daily duties, and before the sun set he was bereft of his reason and a total lunatic. We will be quick to say that we do not take delight in or rejoice in the suffering of anyone. As we know that this man’s family will suffer as a result of his present condition. However, even in the bible there are cases such as Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and Pharaoh King of Egypt where God who gives the power of mind and reason, at time sees it best to remove it to humble the hearts of proud men. In such cases and under such circumstances all that we his humble servants can say is Amen. Interestingly enough it was in this same Village on last year that we were accosted by these same group of Hindu youth and a few days later the leader died suddenly and unexpectedly. A few weeks later a second high ranking member of this same group of extremists also died mysteriously. I hope and pray that these signs will serve as warnings and cautions against future attacks from this group.
Please keep our ongoing Evangelistic meetings in your prayers, many souls have attended nightly and some have committed to learn more about Christ. And in other places we have already reaped several souls in baptism. Please pray for these news souls as we and the Villupuram bible workers partner together to teach them the precious truths of God’s word. We have been earnestly seeking to educate and inspire this newly formed team of bible workers. This is a new venture for the Villupuram region and many of our workers have only a basic bible education at best. This is a daily struggle especially to motivate them as many have been in a luke warm condition for years.
God has also been blessing our church planting endeavors here in Villupuram. We recently had an inauguration ceremony for a new church plant in a town called Kallakuchi. This is a very large town with a few hundred thousand people but sad to say until recently no Adventist presence. In this district we met a most remarkable young man by the name of Deavanbu, who became an Adventist from reading a tract given to him by someone. He was later baptized and immediately began to evangelize and share his new found faith with his mother and his wife who also believed and accepted the truth. Several other families were also witnessed to by this young man and they were also baptized. When we met Deavanbu we discovered that he had converted to Christianity from Hinduism. Without any pastoral leadership of any kind he went from place to place sharing the love of Jesus with many people. He told us that the nearest Adventist Church was almost 1 ½ hours drive and that all of the new converts were being transported in his vehicle to Church on Sabbaths. He appealed to us to please do what we could to assist him as there is no Church there for our people. We hope by God’s grace to place a Church building there soon for our newly formed Adventist Company. Please pray for us that the Lord would open the way for us, remove road blocks that will inevitably come, and help us to expand and occupy new territory for Him. Please remember Deavanbu as he has boldly taken his stand for the Lord in this vast heathen District. We have also embarked upon a project to re-open some village Churches in different places that have been closed due to lack of care and nurture. We hope by God’s grace to rebuild as it were the old waste places and to rebuild the broken down walls of The Remnant Church in India.
Mark Finley writes in his devotional book Solid Ground that, “Christianity is not giving up bad things so I can be saved; it’s giving up good things so others can be saved”. Our family read this excerpt for devotion on the first day that we arrived in India back in August. This had me thinking daily about how true this statement was. When I came into the truth back in 1996 I knew that I had a lot of bad habits that had been formed over my short 18 years of life. With neither of my parents being Christian or never really reading the bible or praying, I did not know how to come to Jesus. I only knew that there was a better way of living than what I was taught . I focused on what I was supposed to do as a Christian or more importantly not supposed to do. This seemed to be my focus for years. I should not drink or smoke, eat any unclean things, refrain from going to places that I know would be a bad influence, and so on. I always loved people and enjoyed community service. I loved encouraging the down trodden and the underprivileged. This was easy for me and natural. I even had a passion for it, but I placed so much emphasis on what I was not supposed to do. It wasn’t until my family and I entered into full time Mission work that I truly understand what a Christian was. To live as Christ lived. Not to focus over and over on the things that “WE” shouldn’t do, or the things we have to give up, but to focus our lives on reaching the lost. This is what Christ’s Mission was all about, to heal the sick, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked and comfort the widow. This is what He saved us for. He saved us to serve. When we serve others that cannot repay us except with a smile and a hug we are saving our own souls. When we bring hope to a hopeless soul, give simple medical advice to a mother with a sick child, pray for and encourage the drunkard we are participating in Christ’s Mission. Jesus’s life was centered on other people. He lived, breathed and even died to save people. We are most happy and content with our Christian walk when we focus our lives on saving others. Even though being a full time Missionary has it’s definite struggles and sacrifices, our family is the happiest that we have ever been because we believe that we are saved to serve.
Here in India it is increasingly difficult to be a Seventh Day Adventist and to keep God’s Sabbath Day. Many of those who become Adventist suffer greatly because unlike in the US most have to work on Saturdays. Or if they are day laborers the can only collect their pay on Saturdays. Many find it a real challenge and if they are not firmly grounded they leave the Church. We also discovered that they are many young women in our Churches who are illiterate and unskilled and as a result unemployed. This led me to do some thinking about what we could do to help this tragic situation. We came to understand that our people need some employment ventures of their own. We have devised a plan to provide some stitching classes that would help some women in a local Village to become self employed tailors. We would like to start this program as soon as possible but we are in need of some sewing machines to get started. We can purchase these machines at a cost of $150 . If the Lord impresses you and you are able to support this project please feel free to make a secure donation on our blog site through pay pal at www.3goingforward.wordpress.com or contact us for other donation options. May God richly bless and keep you in His care. From Tamil Nadu South India, blessings to you, Maranatha.
Marion, Gavin & Noah Simpson……………3goingforward Ministry.