Monthly Archives: June 2013

Konnect with the Kids ~ 2013

Christmas Gifts - 2011

The time has come to begin the Konnect with the Kids ministry for the 2013-2014 school year.  Konnect with the Kids  is a program to give a gift or needed items to orphans, foster care & boarding school children in India who are associated with the church planting ministries.  The foster care ministry is a great opportunity to share the gospel with children in India.  All children are taught the Bible every day.  Their parents also hear the gospel when they come to visit their children.  We know of at least one mother who believed after hearing the gospel at the church services when she would come to visit her child.  If you would like to hear salvation testimonies of 2 children from Agape Home click here to go to the testimonies page.  The child you sign-up for is a specific child you can pray for, but any money/gifts you send will be split evenly between all the children.  We ask that you don’t send anything that can’t be shared.

  • We are going to send money to buy gifts/needed items for the children 3 times in the next year.  Each child will have a packet for each of the gifts listed below.  You can take just one gift or you could take all of the gifts for one child.  If you are interested in being a part of this ministry please e-mail OrrvilleGrace@gmail.com and you will be send an info packet and a picture of a child.  CGBCI Foreign Missions only transfers funds to India once a quarter to avoid multiple bank charges.  In order for the money for the gifts to arrive in India before the needed time we have to transfer it quite a bit in advance.  Below is the transfer schedule for each of the gifts.
  1. Christmas gift ($20 Suggested Donation) – September 18th, 2013
  2. Clothing ($20 Suggested Donation) – December 18th, 2013
  3. School supplies and uniform ($35 Suggested Donation) – March 18th, 2014
  • Please have your check mailed by the dates listed above.  Make your check payable to
    Grace Brethren Church and send it to:
    CGBCI Foreign Missions
    P.O. Box 217
    Grimes, IA 50111

If you have any questions, contact Pastor Ike Graham or Joy Miller.
You can call 330-683-3526 or e-mail OrrvilleGrace@gmail.com

If you would like to see all the pictures of the children for this school year, click here.

India Children’s  Ministry Explanation

Most of the children cared for by our Brethren in India have at least one parent.  We call this kind of ministry “foster care” or boarding school ministry.  Very few of the children are orphans.  Most of the children in foster care are under the care of our Brethren 4-5 years.  There are some children whose parents have died or whose remaining parent is in prison.

The ministry serves multiple purposes.  It provides recognition of Christian love to unbelievers thereby providing opportunity for witness.  It provides for a need among the people which curbs persecution against Christians.  It provides the opportunity to witness to the children and their parents and to teach the Bible to both.  Interestingly, 90% of this kind of ministry in India is carried out by Christians.

Consequently, your involvement in this ministry goes well beyond a specific child.  In fact, you may only be able to help a specific child 4-5 years.  However, continued involvement in this ministry provides opportunities for witness to many.  Thank you for participating.

Agape Home Children 6-23-13Picture of the children at Agape Home taken on Sunday, June 23rd.

To see more pictures from Sunday, June 23rd click here.

Categories: Konnect with the Kids Ministry, Orphan & Foster Care Ministry | 1 Comment

Maragathamani’s Testimony

Maragathamani & Joy

Maragathamani & Joy Miller in 2011 at Agape Home.

Maragathamani has lived at Agape Home for the past 4 years, at least.  The 2009 & 2011 India teams were both able to meet her while in India.  Her story is a testimony to the amazing things that happen through the ministry to children in India.

She shared her testimony at a youth meeting that was held during the 2013 India Trip.  Here is her testimony with “America English” subtitles.

Below are some pictures from his baptism at Agape Home on May 16th.

Maragathamani2

Maragathamani1

Categories: 2013 India/Myanmar Trip, Testimonies | Leave a comment

2013 Myanmar/India Trip Report

Asia Map

Myanmar

The history behind our trip to Myanmar is filled with many ups and downs.  What began in 2011 as an apparent door of opportunity with Aung Kyaw Moe, went by the wayside in January 2013 when he changed his mind regarding a pursuit of joining the CGBCI because of his refusal to be accountable with funds.  This nearly shut down our going to Myanmar until an acquaintance of Dr. Whitcomb, Neng Khan Thang, invited us to come under his auspices.  Dr. Neng Khan Thang is a conservative, fundamental Baptist with a doctorate in missions from Bob Jones University.  He and his son-in-law, Dr. Hung Kim, who has a Ph.D. in Old Testament from Bob Jones, were very helpful in assisting us with an investigation of tribal church planting opportunities in Myanmar.  They provided information regarding the culture, government, and current church planting opportunities in this emerging country.

Dr. Thang and Dr Kim

These Brothers have started a seminary in Yangon and currently have about 40 students.  They also have a Bible Institute where they train men for the ministry and after the men have served for a few years, then they encourage them to go on to Seminary.  The pastor of their church plant, Canaan Baptist Church, is a graduate of their Seminary.  We shared about our Practorium program and they are very interested in getting Dr. Whitcomb’s DVD courses for their classes.  We had a number of discussions regarding trine immersion.  It was a good and profitable interaction.

I explained the situation to them regarding Moe and they said, “It sounds like he’s not a real elder.”  Then, Dr. Kim said, “It was not the will of God for you.”  Well said.  We asked them what they thought about bringing in a team of church planters to plant churches among the tribal people who have not heard the Gospel and who do not have a Bible in their own language.  They were favorably inclined toward this possibility.  In fact, Dr. Kim said, “It would be a blessing.”  The major hurdle would be visas.  The government of Myanmar is undergoing such major changes that Dr. Thang and Dr. Kim aren’t sure themselves what will happen and are cautiously optimistic about the future for believers and church planting.  They think the election of 2015 will provide some answers as to the future of Myanmar politically.  Interestingly, the May 21, 2013 India newspaper, “The Hindu,” ran an article entitled “Myanmar leader in historic White House visit.”  One portion reads, “The most critical test of reform will come in 2015, when Myanmar is scheduled to hold elections – testing whether the military and its allies would be willing to cede power, potentially, to Ms. Suu Kyi.  Bob Kulp had also shared an article with me from “World” magazine on the opportunities pastors in Myanmar now have. We all agreed that the Lord can open doors which no one can shut.

GBC of MyanmarDuring our time there, Pastor Ike preached Sunday morning at Grace Baptist Church, with Dr. Kim interpreting, while Joshua and Benjamin gave their testimonies and sang “I Sing The Mighty Power of God.”  This church is composed of mainly people from the Chin tribe of Myanmar. In the afternoon, we repeated this at Canaan Baptist Church, a church plant, where the service was in Burmese because most of the people there are from different tribes.  The country is made up of 7 major tribes who compose the 7 states of Myanmar.  However, there are 135 subgroups.  Many tribes have not yet received the Gospel.

Tribal manBrothers Thang and Kim took us to the “National Villages” where there is a display of the 7 major tribes with traditional housing, occupations and some information about the tribes.  Then, from Tuesday to Thursday, we visited 2 tribes in Shan State.  We walked for 2 hours into the mountains to visit the Pelaung tribe.  The children, dressed shabbily and covered with dirt, greeted us as we approached the village.  I gave away all my Planter’s peanuts to them and our guide gave them his cookies.  We were invited into a house and spent some time drinking tea and talking to the grandfather through the interpreting help of our guide.  The grandfather showed us his Buddhist “Bible” and we learned about his family.

Water TribeThe next day, we visited the Inle tribe who live on the shores and in the water of Lake Inle.  The houses are built on poles.  There is one road which leads to the lake and then you must take a boat to get to the villages.  People have made a tourist town out of the boat launching point and the Inle people have capitalized on the tourists going to see them.  Our guide “Jimmy,” a professed believer who is a part of the American Baptists (started by Adoniram Judson), told us that there are 200,000 people in the Inle tribe and not one of them is a believer.  He said, “They need another Judson to go to them.” May the Lord raise up that man or team.

Even though Craig and Sara Noyes may not go to Myanmar, to have this information and present it to a potential “Judson,” may be the reason why the Lord took us to Myanmar.  May His good, acceptable and perfect will be accomplished through this investigative trip.  Borders between Thailand and Myanmar are being relaxed now and New Tribes is working in Thailand.  It would be possible to reach people in Myanmar from Thailand.

India

AirportOnce again we were warmly welcomed by the Rajan family at the airport. After arriving in Coimbatore, we made our way to Agape Home. We enjoyed a brief ministry to the children on Sunday and Monday before the beginning of the 2013 CGBCIndia National Conference on Tuesday. This was a historic conference, because this was the first time that a number of the men from Tamil Nadu and Odisha spoke at the conference. It was an opportunity to see how they preach, what they preach, and to briefly evaluate the theological content of their messages. Overall they did well. I continue to be impressed with the character and skills of Nehemiah Bardhan.

One of the most important issues regarding the church planting effort in India is the theological depth of the church planters. This has been somewhat of a puzzle over the past four years. We have tried to shore up the gap in their theological knowledge by teaching our statement of faith more than once. But in keeping with the indigenous principle of church planting, we must have the men there teach their own men. We had a discussion with Paul Rajan about this. We agreed to have Nehemiah Bardhan and David Selvaraj teach the other men in block courses every six months because they are the most theologically capable men.  Paul took responsibility for making sure that this happens.  It will need to be put in our updated written plan for India.  I think that Nehemiah can be compared to Raymond in Cameroon in terms of theological ability. This seems like it would be a better approach than simply giving them our Practorium courses or making numerous trips ourselves to teach them.

We met with the 3 groups of church planters in Odisha at separate times to find out how things are progressing and how the Lord has been blessing them. We were very encouraged to learn that the men in Golamunda had baptized 15 believers before coming to Conference.  The men in Semala were preparing to baptize 6 believers after they returned from Conference.  The downside was the report from Umarcot.  Joseph Suriya is the leader there.  The group he was leading experienced a division and he moved to a location some kilometers away with the rest of the people.  That work has been slow and tedious.  Paul will be visiting Joseph to try and understand what obstacles there are.

Vijaykumar1One of my highlights was the baptismal service. Ever since the beginning I have questioned our involvement in Agape Home with the children. So it was particularly rewarding to me to see three of the children whom we know
baptized on Thursday, May 16th. It demonstrates the wisdom of the men on the foreign mission panel who have promoted our involvement with Agape Home. In addition to those three, four men from Odisha and two women from Cholapuram were baptized.

 

FeetwashingAnother highlight was the communion service. In my opinion the communion service was the best one that we have had there. I say that because of the interaction between the men from the different states who washed each other’s feet. There was an obvious expression of love and joy. Also Paul’s brother-in-law, Saseed, participated in the communion service. It was his first time to ever experience threefold communion. He attends a Plymouth Brethren assembly in another city. When he was asked afterwards what he thought, he said that he was very happy and delighted in the service.

Pondicherry2The week after Conference, we traveled to Pondicherry.  Pastor Ike spoke at an outreach of the church there on Saturday evening where there was a mixture of mature believers, new believers and unbelievers.  The next morning, Joshua gave the Sunday worship message.  There were about 70 present.  Then, we left for Rajapalayam to accomplish a number of things:  We visted Torbay House.  The government has shut down 6 orphanages in the area because of poor facilities and mistreatment of children.  They commended Paul for Torbay House. We participated in an outreach at Paravakkudi school to youth and young adults.  It was impressive that about 100 attended.  Pastor Ike and Benjamin gave their testimonies and Joshua spoke.  There was good interaction with the unbelievers.  Later in the week, Pastor Ike spoke at a Plymouth Brethren Assembly because they are considering joining the CGBCIndia.  Please continue to pray for our brethren in India.  We will sharing more stories on Foreign Missions Night at Conference (Sunday Evening, June 30th).

 

To see pictures from the trip to Myanmar and India

Myanmar/India Trip (2013)

Categories: 2013 India/Myanmar Trip | Leave a comment

Myanmar Pictures – 2013 Trip

plane

Flying to Myanmar

preaching

Pastor Ike preaching in Myanmar.

Tribal man

One of the reasons for the trip to Myanmar was to investigate the opportunities
to take the gospel to a tribal group that has never heard the gospel.
Here the team is talking to a grandfather of one of the tribes with their guide interpreting.

tribal boat

Another tribal area…on the lake.

To see 196 pictures from the  time the team
spent in Myanmar, click on the link below

#1 – Travel & Myanmar (2013)

Categories: 2013 India/Myanmar Trip | Leave a comment

Vijaykumar’s Testimony

Vijaykumar has lived at Agape Home for the past 2 years.  The 2011 India team was able to meet him soon after he moved to Agape Home.  His story is a testimony to the amazing things that happen through the ministry to children in India.

He shared his testimony at a youth meeting that was held during the 2013 India Trip.  Here is his testimony with “America English” subtitles.

 

Below are some pictures from his baptism at Agape Home on May 16th.

Vijaykumar2

Vijaykumar1

Categories: 2013 India/Myanmar Trip, Orphan & Foster Care Ministry, Testimonies | Leave a comment

India Trip Report – June 2, 2013

Pastor Ike Graham and Joshua Steiner were able to share another short report of their trip with pictures during Sunday Morning Worship at Orrville Grace Brethren Church on June 2, 2013.

Here is a video of that report so you can hear some of their stories.

Categories: 2013 India/Myanmar Trip | Leave a comment

Pastor Moses Lafon – Cameroon, Africa

Moses LafonPastor Moses and his wife Blessing (picture taken in 2008)

Thursday Evening, May 30th, Moses Lafon, one of the pastors in Cameroon, got sick and Friday morning he passed onto Glory. From the human perspective it was totally unexpected. His wife’s names is Blessing and they have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. Lang is a church in the far north west part of Cameroon and they have a large Christian school ministry. Please pray for the family and the church. – Craig Noyes

 

Please be praying for Pastor Moses’ family and
church as they go through this difficult time.

 

Below is a message from Pastor Afoni in Northwest Cameroon.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The whole fellowship of brethren churches in Cameroon are in deep sorrow at the passing away of Pastor Moses Lafon of Lang church.  He has left  behind a wife and two kids under the age of five.  We thank the Lord for his life and ministry of winning souls .  1Thessalonians 4.13-18 is our comforter (see below).  We intend to give him a befitting burial on behalf of all the brethrens in the world knowing that his soul is hidden in Christ Jesus.  We shall continue to comfort and support the wife and kids in the best way possible.

Thanks for your prayers,
Pastor Afoni

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep,
so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God
will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the
coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel
and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to
meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 

Categories: CGBCI Missions, Prayer Requests | 1 Comment

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