The children singing “Happy, Happy Welcome”
to welcome the 2013 India Team to Agape Home.
Keep checking back for more pictures and videos taken by the 2013 India Team.
Keep checking back for more pictures and videos taken by the 2013 India Team.
Pastor Ike Graham and Joshua Steiner were able to share a short report of their trip with pictures during the Wednesday evening service at Orrville Grace Brethren Church on May 29, 2013.
Here is a video of that report so you can be up to speed on what happened while they were in Myanmar and India.
The team took over 5000 pictures and movies during their trip and hopefully we will get some of them sorted and ready to post in the next couple of days.
– Joy Miller
The luggage made it before the team did. We were able to check one thing
off the pick-up list but as Betty said “Not the most important part”
Prayer, thanking the Lord for the team’s safe return!
Thank you so much for all the prayers you have offered on behalf of the 2013 India Team (Pastor Ike Graham, Joshua Steiner and Benjamin Miller). They have begun their journey back to the USA and they have over 24 hours of travel time left before they make it to Cleveland. Please pray that none of their flights get changed/delayed and that all their luggage makes it safely. – Joy Miller
Below is their flight schedule in USA Eastern Time.
Monday, May 27th
9:10am Coimbatore – Chennai, India 10:30am ARRIVED
5 1/2 Hour Layover in Chennai
4:15pm Chennai – Frankfurt, Germany 2:25am (arrive on Tues.) TRACK THEIR FLIGHT
Tuesday, May 28th
3:40am Frankfurt – WashingtonDC 12:30pm TRACK THEIR FLIGHT
3:01pm WashingtonDC – Cleveland 4:16pm TRACK THEIR FLIGHT
My brother and I both thoroughly enjoyed our time in India when we were there in 2011. We would have LOVED to go along this trip, but the Lord made it very clear to both us that it wasn’t His will for us to go this time. We wanted to send our love in some personal way so we decided to make a video greeting to send along with the 2013 India team. We thought you might enjoy seeing it.
Last night we went to a Plymouth Brethren church about an hour’s drive, from where we are staying in Rajapalayam, to do an evangelistic outreach meeting. There was a very good turnout. I counted 65 people before Pastor Ike started preaching, but at the end of the message it looked like a few more people had slipped in during his message, so there were probably over 70. Pastor Ike preached a very good message titled “Why We Need the Bible.”
After we got back to Rajapalayam, we went to a restaurant that we have been going to almost every day since we’ve been here called “Food Park Restaurant.” I ordered Gobi 65, a deep-fried cauliflower dish, and Joshua ordered Chicken 65 or deep-fried chicken (a very common dish in Indian restaurants). The other 3 were served most of their food, while I was still waiting for my Gobi 65. Joshua gave a little bit of his “chicken” to Pastor Ike and me, and we all 3 thought it was a little different than normal, but didn’t say anything. After a little while the Chicken 65 arrived and we realized that Joshua had been eating my cauliflower dish, thinking it was his chicken. After all, everything tastes a little bit like chicken, doesn’t it? We had a good laugh about that.
This morning after breakfast we went to a waterfall called “Five Falls.” It is really only one waterfall this time of year because the other 4 are dry. On the way back this afternoon, we came upon a herd of water buffalo being herded along the side of the road (not an unusual sight in India). As Paul started passing the herd, one water buffalo got spooked and decided to run to the other side of the road right in front of us. Paul turned sharply and skidded to a stop just in time. We were thankful God kept us safe. Not only could it have damaged Paul’s car, but hitting it could have resulted in a very large fine.
Tonight (Saturday) we are going to an open-air outreach in Sankarankoil. Please pray for Pastor Ike as he speaks. Also be praying that God would work in the hearts of all those who have heard the gospel this week and that He would bring them to salvation. Tomorrow we will be going to church in Cholapuram where David Selvaraj is the pastor. It has been very interesting hearing the history of that church.
The village of Cholapuram was completely closed to the gospel until they drilled a water well there. One day Paul noticed a shelter in the village that he said “wasn’t fit for goats to live in” and found out that a widow was living there with her children. God supplied the means for the Christians to build the widow a new home. God has slowly opened the door as they have done different means of outreach in the village to help the people. They helped tutor and feed some of the children after school every day. They started a sewing class for the women. And they were allowed to show a few Christian films in the village. The widow, whose house they had rebuilt, donated part of her property to be used for the construction of a church. One of the widow’s daughter, Kali, lives at the Agape orphanage and was baptized during conference, and her mother was one of the five baptized yesterday in a mountain stream. It is amazing to see how God has worked in Cholapuram.
It is hard to believe that the time is coming to a close here in India. Only three more days and then we will be in the air heading for home. The time has flown right by.
Since I last wrote we visited another tribal group on Wednesday night. These people live in houses constructed for them by the government in an effort by the government to get them to move out of the mountains. The man that Paul and David talked to in the village informed us that there were 20 families living in that village, with at least another 20 families still living in the mountains. Paul later told us that there are other people who live further back in the mountains who only come out a few times a year to sell honey and other supplies. Paul and David asked the man if anyone had ever come to talk to his people about God. His response: “No.” Who will be the first to share with these people the truth about the only true God?
On Thursday we spent the morning recording footage for a video that we want to put together about the amazing work that God is doing in Cholapurum. Hopefully you will all get to see that when it is completed.
In the evening we had a Gospel outreach in that village where David is ministering and pastoring the church. Pastor Ike preached a very good salvation message. According to my ruff counting there were about 30 people there. As I looked around I could see some other children who were within sight that were watching what was going on. As I observed the shabby clothes that they wore and the unkept hair, I was humbled once again with the great poverty that exists around me right now. However, the more I thought about it I realized that the much greater need that exists is the deep spiritual need that those children and millions of other people here in India have – the need of a Savior.
It was really neat after the service to hear the testimonies of the four people who were going to be baptized the next day. I was surprised to learn that two of the women are the mothers of two of the girls who were baptized last Thursday at Agape Home (Maragathamani and Kali). It was so neat to listen to their testimonies and how God has worked in their life to bring them to the point of salvation.
This morning (Friday) we had a baptismal service at a river. There was a little bit of trouble finding a spot suitable. We were turned away from the planned location by some guards who told us that we could not go there. However the spot that we were then sent to worked out well; God is good! After the baptisms Benjamin preached a message on the importance of demonstrating Christian love to one another. There were 27 people there and at least 20 monkeys, which were quite distracting and even a little ferocious.
The plan for this evening is to go to a Plymouth Brethren Assembly about 40 kilometers from here, where Pastor Ike with preach. Pray that the contact with these people will go well, and that we can be an encouragement to them, as I know they will be to us.
Thanks again for all of your prayers. I look forward to sharing more stories with you all when I return.
We received 2 e-mails full of pictures from the team in India this morning.
I love getting all the pictures they send and I thought I would share some of my favorites from their trip.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. – Joy Miller
The children waiting to welcome the team to Agape Home.
The children carrying the team’s luggage to their rooms at Agape Home. They LOVE to help!!
Joshua & Vijaykumar. We met Vijaykumar when we were at Agape Home in 2011.
I can’t wait to see the video of his baptism and testimony!
Vijaykumar’s baptism on May 16th, 2013
Kali was another child we met at Agape Home in 2011.
She was always ready to help and was a great example to the other children.
She was also baptized on May 16th and gave her testimony to a group of over 100 people on May 22nd.
Some of the youth that came to the youth retreat with Benjamin. I just love their smiles!!
On behalf of Benjamin, Joshua and myself, I want to say “Thank you” for praying for us. God’s hand is evident in the things we have been experiencing; especially safety in travel and good health in oppressive heat. It was so exciting to baptize 3 of the Agape Home children on May 16th and then to see 2 of them share their testimony in front of about 100 people on May 22nd, of which about half were non-believers.
Vijaykumar had never heard of Jesus before meeting Paul Rajan and going to Agape Home.
At Agape Home, he heard the Gospel and eventually came to Christ.
On May 16, 2013, he was baptized by trine immersion. Then, he shared his testimony on May 22, 2013
with about 100 people of whom about half are not believers. God is at work in India.
Peter Sipka told me that before they left for the CGBCIndia Conference, they baptized 15 in Golamunda, Odisha. Nehemiah is preparing to baptize 6 new believers.
Today (Wednesday), we visited tribal people in the area near Rajapalayam. We spent the entire morning talking to one family and enjoying palm nut fruit right from the nut of the palm tree.
Then, we later went to visit the forest people for whom the government built houses trying to get them to move out of the forest areas. About half of them have, but they don’t sleep in the houses because they’re afraid that the roofs will fall in on them! I said to Paul, “So they don’t trust the government, right?” And he responded, “That’s right.” To which I replied, “I can understand that.” Paul said to the grandfather of the village, “Has anyone ever come here and talked to you about the One true and living God?” The grandpa replied, “No, no one.” Let that sink in. Paul said that there are many villages where people have not yet heard about Jesus.
1. For the outreach in Cholapuram Thursday night. We’re expecting about 30% of those who attend to be non-Christians.
2. For the message at the Plymouth Brethren Assembly on Friday night. It is very humbling for me to think that they will considering joining us based on what I say. Pray that it will be God speaking through me. We will also be having a baptismal service on Friday morning. The widow at Cholapuram will be one of 3 getting baptized.
3. For the outreach in Sankarankoil on Saturday night. There will be many unbelievers there also.
4. For the message at Cholapuram on Sunday morning.
We went to a tribal area this morning (Wednesday). Apparently they used to live out in the woods about 37 (?) years ago, but the government made a lot of the tribes move closer to the city because they didn’t want them hunting and destroying the natural resources. They speak Tamil, and in my opinion, don’t live too much differently than many other Indians. The housing might be a little more primitive, but a lot of other Indians live in primitive housing.
The schedule got changed a little. We are not going to a Plymouth Brethren church tonight. Instead we are going to another tribal area near the area where the baptisms will take place on Friday. We have the afternoon free. PI, Joshua, and I hunted around for a hardware store to find a nut and bolt to make the type of tripod using a water bottle. We found a place and they gave a nut and bolt free of charge.
Tomorrow we will be in Cholapuram all day. We are recording a video of David for next year conference explaining how the church got started there. I haven’t heard the story, but it sounds like it will be interesting. Then in the evening, there is some sort of meeting.
On Friday Pastor Ike will be baptizing a few people (3, I think) and he and I will both speak briefly (15-20 minutes each). In the evening, we will be going to the Plymouth Brethren Church (the one that was on the schedule for tonight).