Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Trip to India

From the Pages of Nathan’s Journal by Nathan Graham (Pastor Ike’s son)

January 24, 2007 we were heading to Cleveland airport.  It was snowing, but I didn’t care because I was going to India where it’s hot and nice.  We made it to Detroit, and it was cold there too.  Pastor Hoyt was already on the plane so we met him on the plane.  We flew from Detroit to Amsterdam and we made it to Amserdam okay.  We got there at 3:30am and it was cold there too but it wasn’t snowing.  When we got to our next gate in Amsterdam, the security pulled me over and it scared me really bad.  We arrived into Bombay airport in India; dude, we had to wait like 13 or 14 hours.  It was long.  We slept on the hard chairs on the hard chairs and the hard cold marble floors in the airport.  Dude, our flight was sweeet!  We had our own personal screen in front of us so we could watch movies; listen to music and other stuff.  It was tight.  The food was sick on the plane though.  We ate in the Bombayairport for breakfast and it was awesome.  The restaurant was called Café Coffee Lounge, and they had good food.  When we where flying from Amsterdam to India we flew over Mt. Ararat.  That was awesome!  On Jan. 26th, we arrived at Coimbatore from Bombay.  That flight was long too.  The Rajan family was waiting for us outside.  When they saw us, they greeted us and gave us flowers.  Then, Paul Rajan took us to a restaurant called Super Cook.  They had good food there.  When we were heading to our hotel, we saw a family of three riding on a little motorcycle.  It was crazy!  The road was scary too.  I thought we were going to get in a car accident.  The way people drive – it’s crazy!  When we got to our hotel, our room was pretty nice and our beds were hard like a cardboard box; and showerhead barely worked but Pastor Hoyt fixed it.  The next day we left to go toPondicherry by train.  When we got to the train station, it looked pretty bad.  I have never smelled anything like it!  There was trash everywhere.  We saw rats on the tracks.  I thought that was cool.  When one of the trains stop, people are crazy.  They all rush to get on.  Our train was sweet.  We got to sleep on it.  Our cabin was a sleeper cabin because it was going to take 10 hours to get to Pondicherry.  On the train there were no covers or pillows.  Everybody in India stared at us like every single time.  Well, we arrived inPondicherry at 5 or 6 in the morning.  We went out for breakfast, they we went to church in Pondicherry.  Munisamy is one of the elders there.  Dad did the sermon and Pastor Hoyt did the communion part and so then they had their first communion and it was a historical moment for the Indian GRACE BRETHREN churches!  It felt great for them.  I think I know; it felt great for me because I was there when it happened.  They did the three-fold communion.  The hotel we stayed in had no covers so it was cold at night.  Oh yeah, at church the ladies sit on the right side of the room and the men sit on the left side of the room.  Their building is fairly new and they are still working on it.  When we ate they served us curry, cabbage, rice, potatoes, and a chip like thing.  It was good.

After Pondicherry, we took a car to Chennai.  We went shopping and we went looking around in Chennai.  In Coimbatore, Paul took us sight-seeing.  We visited a prayer center which was really cool, and we visited cool temples in another state.  We drove through where the Tsuname hit; that was awesome to see.  We flew to Kochinot see dad’s old friend.  His name is Abraham Thomas and his wife’s name is Grace.  Grace fixed us American food.  It was awesome.  She fixed us fried chicken, corn, rice, curry, some kind of greens and for desert, she fixed apple crisp with ice-cream on it.  It was good!  Then after that Abraham showed us (well, he showed dad, Pastor Hoyt and Paul) around his house.  I was sleeping.  I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, but dad woke me up and he showed me around Abraham’s house.  It was amazing!  It was like paradise (lol).  He has his own banana trees, jack fruit trees, papaya trees, coconut trees and he grows his own pepper.  It’s amazing!  The reason we went to see Abraham was so dad could spend time with him and to hear his input about the whole thing about all the churches in India that want to join the CGBCI.

After we got done seeing Abraham and Grace, we went to Sankarankoil to see Samuel and his family and his work there in Sankarankoil.

We returned to Coimbatore and Sarah took us to a tailoring school where a whole bunch of ladies practice sewing.  Dad shared he testimony with the ladies there.  Two of them were Muslim and 12 of them were Hindu.  Back in Coimbatore, we all took a walk and dad passed a guy on the street that fixes shoes so he got his shoe fixed.  At the Rajan’s house they have a children’s ministry and we got to go to that.  It was cool.

After we got done visiting the children, we headed off to see Paul’s dad in Rajapalayam.  We took a train again to get there.  It took 5 hours by train and 2 hours by bus.  It’s like our there in the Boondocks!  His dad takes care of children from broken families or they are abandoned.  Everywhere I went, they would follow me.  It was great!  The kept giving me handshakes.  It seems like I shook ten hundred hands.  Everybody in Rajapalayam was very nice.  It seems that people in the country are nicer than people in the city.  We visited a couple of the other villages too.  I think we visited like two villages; I don’t remember well.  We went back toCoimbatoreto go to church and I believe dad preached.  After the sermon they had communion there.  It was their first time too so it was another historical moment.  There three little girls kept staring at me.  It felt weird (lol).

On Monday, we went shopping for gifts for family and friends and at the store where we were, there were three guys that walked in dressed up like women. The looked NASTY!  Monday was our last day in Coimbatore.

Tuesday, it was time to go and we left at1:00pm.  I had like 5 minutes to get what I wanted and I forgot about the time.  I had dad, Paul, Sarah and Pastor Hoyt all looking for me.  It was great!  Finally, they found me and then we headed for the Coimbatore airport to go home.  We left from the Coimbatore airport to go to Bombay and we had a 7 hour layover there.  We got on the plane like 12:00am, I believe.  We got to the Amsterdam airport to change planes and, like our next gate was like close by, so that was great.  We got on our plane to head to the Detroit airport and from Detroit back home to Ohio.  We got back home at 3:00pm.  That was the end of our trip.

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Categories: 2007 India Trip | Leave a comment

NET ’13 :: Highlights

NET '13 Banner

The National Evangelism Team (NET) is a team of young people (high school/college age) led by Pastor Del & Grace Miller that travels for 2 weeks during the summer.  Their focus is evangelism, but they assist the churches they visit in many ways.  NET is a great way for young people to get their “feet wet” in missions and help them grow closer to the Lord and fellow believers.  Four NET members have had the privilege of traveling to India on those ministry trips as well.

These are some of the team member’s highlights from the 2013 trip.
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♦ Josh Miller ♦

I deeply enjoyed interacting with other believers and experiencing the common bond that we have in Christ. This occurred at many different times and in many different ways. The first was at conference, getting to spend time with old friends and making new ones was a great pleasure.  Then it was off to the different churches that we were able to visit, the people that you meet at the churches are a great blessing.  It is hard to surpassed how close you can get with fellow believers then when you are able to stay with them in their home. There are many reason that we are told in scripture to show hospitality (Romans 12:13) and I think that bringing a closer bond with other believers is one of those reasons. The other opportunity that we had to bond with fellow believers was at the Brethren World Assembly, going door to door and last but not least with fellow teammates. The encouragement that can be gained through building one another up can be so helpful in our spiritual walk and I pray that we all look for how we can be an encouragement to others. – Josh Miller

♦ Rivkah Kran ♦

Tuesday morning, we entered the Findlay GBC church and found that the basement was flooded. Even though we were scheduled to have music practice and go door to door, the guys began to help with the long process of cleaning up all the water. While they were doing that, the girls went upstairs to do team devotions and spent time in prayer. That time really impacted me because we were able to honestly trust God with the plans of the day and thank him for the challenges and “bad” things that happened. We were living the message that we shared each day in our programs and experiencing a side of ministry we hadn’t expected: uncomfortable and unpredictable, and glorifying God through it all. – Rivkah Kran

♦ Joy Miller ♦  

The theme of conference this year was “Creating a Culture of Evangelism.”  Hearing all of the messages on evangelism before we headed out for the NET trip was a very big boost and encouragement!  Specifically, Pastor Tom’s message “” was a GREAT challenge to me.  He challenged us that if we were to each share the gospel at least once every week, that would be 52 times in a year.  If one of those turned into a salvation decision and everyone in the room took the challenge, that would be 250 salvation decisions before conference next year.  WOW!!  Wouldn’t that be amazing!!!  We each need to ask the Lord daily for opportunities to share the gospel and for courage to take them.

We had the privilege of doing a program at the rehab center where Peggy Jones was staying for her rehabilitation after her knee surgery.  When the patients started arriving for the program there was a lady in the back that had some kind of brain injury. When we started singing I noticed she raised one of her hands in the air and left it there for the rest of the program. None of us understood how significant this was until the end of the program. One of the nurses who was a believer told my mom, Grace, that the lady with the brain injury was also a believer and hasn’t been able to lift her limbs for a very long time. But during the worship songs she found a way to raise her hand to worship the Lord in the only way that she could. Wow!!

On the last Friday night of the trip we held a cookout and program at the Findlay GBC.  We had been inviting people all week during door to door outreach, but we still didn’t expect a very big turnout.  The Lord did a great work and surprised us and we had around 30-40 people from the community show up.  I had the privilege of seeing 3 ladies that I had invited come to the program.  The church had rented a jumpy house for the cookout and it was a great draw for the kids and afterwards the parents just stood around and talked while their kids jumped.  It gave us many more opportunities to share the gospel with the people that came. – Joy Miller

♦ Elizabeth Miller ♦

One highlight for me was going door to door in Findlay.  There were about six different times we went out, inviting people to a community cookout/programat the Findlay church and trying to get into a conversation about the gospel.  It was encouraging how many people were open to hearing the gospel.  Of course, there were some people who made it clear that they were not interested, but on the other hand, we also met some believers who were encouraging to us.  It was neat to share stories and experiences after each canvassing time.  – Elizabeth Miller

♦ Jerry Brundage ♦

One highlight from the trip this year was when we were going door to door evangelizing, I was able to run into a man named Dick Strohm, who had been the University of Findlay’s football coach for 24 years. When I asked him about the Life’s Most Important tract we were using, he said you would know that if you had read my book. As we were talking to him, I found out that he came to know the Lord during some health issues. I asked what kind of health issues, and he told me that he had had a stroke, two bouts with cancer, and SIX heart attacks!!! The Lord definitely had a plan for this man, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of that book.  – Jerry Brundage

♦ Joshua Steiner ♦

One of my highlights was the good number that turned out for our final program on Friday night in Findlay. All week, we had been going door to door and inviting people to come to the community cookout and program that would be happening on Friday night. Many people said that they would come, but we have learned that, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean very much because they often do not show up after all. To be honest, I was thinking that the same thing would happen again this year. Friday came and we spent most of the afternoon setting up outside for the community cookout and program. As the time for it to start drew near, we all went inside for some final preparations and prayer. When we were done, I went outside to prepare some final things and was shocked when I opened the door. There were at least 10 people there from the community that we had invited! No one took an official tally of all those that showed up from the community, but we are guessing that there was right around 40 community people there! I was so thankful and also humbled by my little faith. I am praying that God’s Spirit would continue to work in the hearts of these people, many of whom were unsaved, but had the opportunity to hear the gospel clearly presented to them throughout the program. – Joshua Steiner

♦ Ali Reinhardt ♦

This year during NET, I enjoyed the bond we shared with believers. It is so awesome knowing that you can walk up to a complete stranger in the churches we visit and build a friendship off of the relationship we share in Christ. This is especially evident when we go to our host homes. There are so many people who open their homes to the team. Sometimes, we go to our homes never having previously met the host. But no matter what, by the time we leave, we have created this unforgettable bond with each person we stay with. It is so amazing knowing that each one of these relationships began with our common bond in Christ. – Ali Reinhardt

♦ Philip Moeller ♦

Since our purpose is to share the Gospel, I have always appreciated how we keep the Gospel central in all our services and conversations.  What made this stand out to me was our visit to the Conference of Brethren Churches.  We first attended a panel discussion for youths to express ways in which each denomination could improve.  One factor that seemed clear was that youths today are wanting the solid preaching of the Word of God – beginning with a clear presentation of the Gospel.  Later that evening, NET shared with the whole conference.  As I watched those in attendance it was interesting to observe how the reactions went from “who are these people” to “these people clearly present the Gospel!”.  You could tell from the eyes of every believer in attendance that they loved to hear the old, old story of Jesus and His love.  It was a wonderful reminder to me of what every believer has in common – we are all saved by the grace of God. – Philip Moeller

♦ Daniel Miller ♦

One of the highlights from the NET trip this year was going canvassing.  Doing canvassing is usually not my favorite thing to do, but this year I actually enjoyed it.  The people of Findlay in general seemed to be open and responsive when we talked with them.  I was able to give a full presentation of the gospel message to six different people in the week that we did the canvassing.  One woman even asked me what she had to do to have eternal life after she recognized she was a sinner and separated from God.  Please continue to pray for the contacts that were made, for the seeds of the gospel that were planted, and that God would be working in their hearts.  – Daniel Miller

♦ Jonathan Reese ♦

A highlight from this year of NET would be fellowshipping with my fellow brothers in Christ.  This fellowship allowed me to grow in my faith by talking to them about different theological questions; questions on Christian living and how we can better glorify God in our daily actions.  This fellowship also allowed me to share with them events going on in my life where I need prayer; and by doing that, I am able to draw closer to God as well as my friends.  This year during Conference, the friendship level was discussed with having different levels of friendship, and without any doubt I can say that all of these men are true Life-on-Life friends.  Also another highlight for me was having a NET service at the church I attend; Center Church.  Usually on a typical Sunday, we have about twenty-four people there, but during the NET service there were at least one hundred and twenty people there!  That is just one of many examples on how God can turn something little into something big.  All of those who attended got to hear the Gospel and our church was encouraged. – Jonathan Reese

♦ Bryanna Stergios ♦

I thank the Lord for the blessing of being a part of NET this year!  Two of my many highlights are the door-to-door times and the visit to Marie’s house. I was really surprised at how many people from the Findlay area were willing to hear the gospel. They were very open and honest.  I pray that some of the people that we spoke with will ask Jesus into their hearts. I also enjoyed getting to go to Marie’s house and being able to sing for her. She was so sweet and I was happy that we were able to visit her.  – Bryanna Stergios

Note: Marie was an elderly church member the team had the privilege of going to see.  They were able to sing and give some of their testimonies for her.  She was a blessing!!

♦ Benjamin Miller ♦

There were many special moments and events on NET ’13, but I will just share a couple that stood out to me.

Cleaning up the water in the church basement at Findlay GBC was one of the highlights from the trip, especially the second flooding on Wednesday.  I was very glad we were there to be able to help, so the church members didn’t have to clean it up by themselves.  We really had a great time doing it.  Everyone pitched in to help in some way, and we worked together as a team to clean it up.  When the water inflow started to slow and things weren’t as hectic, we started to sing.  I think we were a blessing to the church, and we were also blessed in the process.

Another highlight was listening to the youth panel present at the Brethren World Assembly on Saturday evening toward the end of the trip.  Each of them was asked to share his/her testimony and then discuss what their churches were doing well and how the church could improve in the area of ministering to youth in the church.  Joshua and Joy had been selected to represent our fellowship.  I thought that several of the youth had some valuable insights to share, and Joshua and Joy especially did an outstanding job (although I may be just a little biased).  A couple of the youth mentioned that the older believers in the church should reach out to the youth and help mentor them.  One of the things Joshua talked was about the importance of parents teaching their children at home instead of relying on the church to train them spiritually.  Many children leave the church when they get older because they have never had a change of heart and trusted Christ as their personal Savior.  One of the things Joy talked about was the importance of youth being involved in serving in their local church. – Benjamin Miller

To see pictures and videos from the NET ’13 Trip click on the link below to
go the team’s facebook page. (accessable to anyone online)
National Evangelism Team Facebook Page

Categories: CGBCI Missions | Leave a comment

Updates on the Ministry in India ~ September 2013

GOLAMUNDA, ODISHA

 Peter & FamilyBrother Peter Sipka is the team leader for the men in Golamunda in the state of Odisha.  He sends the following prayer requests:

Praise the Lord for a new family in Bagamunda where Brother Lalendra is serving.  In Gangiapada, two new men are attending the church.  They are preparing to baptize the new believers there.  In Chacarbhata, Brother Sagar reports that two people were added to the church and three new persons are coming.  In Chaparia, Brother Bag reports that Hindu people are threatening the church and the believers. Every week, youth and children meetings are conducted apart from Sunday Service. Please pray for the other Hindu people, for the health of my wife and children, for the financial needs. In Magaraguda, Brother Pradeep reports that three women and two men are additionally attending the service and three people are ready for baptism. Other “Christian” groups are opposing the planting of CGBCI churches.

SEMALA, ODISHA

 Nihimiya Bardhan 2013In Semala, Brother Nehemiah is the team leader.  He sends the following prayer requests: Our team was able to distribute 1500 gospel tracts and 500 other gospel books through our outreach and other ministries. About 100 people responded to the gospel about 20 people are being prepared for baptism.  Please pray for Gupteswar and his wife they don’t have any children.  Please pray for Brother Surendeep Pradan’s wife who had surgery.  Please pray for Brothers Surendra, Ramesh, Barja, Sangram and Surendeep; their families and ministries that the lord may use them mightily for his glory.  Please pray for Chaudhary Chatria that the Lord will save him.  He is always standing against the Lord’s people.  Please pray for the people who have received the gospel they may accept the Lord.

UMARKOTE, ODISHA

Joseph Suriya 2013

Brother Joseph Surya is the team leader in Umarkote.  He sends the following prayer requests: Each of the men on our team have been carrying out extensive outreach into the areas and villages where they live.  Please pray for David Hanu who is planning to be married soon.  Pray for Brother Nag who needs more tracts and Bibles.  We all believe that it would be advantageous to have a church building rather than just meet in our homes.  Pray that the Lord will supply buildings for us to meet in if that is His will.  Pray also that the many tracts and Gospel books that have been distributed will take root and sprout in the good soil of the hearts of those who have received them.
Please also pray that we might reach our financial goal for the support of the church planters.  As of today, we are $4,000 behind for our 3rd quarter goal.  Please send financial support to:

CGBCI Foreign Missions
P.O. Box 217
Grimes, IA  50111

For more information, go to the web site:
www.insightintoindia.wordpress.com

If you would like to download the bulletin insert version of this update, please click on the link  below.

September 2013 India Update

Categories: CGBCI Foreign Mission Updates, Ministry Update | 2 Comments

Konnect with the Kids :: Christmas Gift Reminder

Agape Home Children 6-23-13Hello,
 
I would like to say a big thank you to each of you that has committed to being a part of the orphan/foster children ministry in India.  This is just a reminder that if you signed up to sponsor the Christmas Gift for a child in India and we need to have the money by September 18th.  If you have already sent your check, thank you and we appreciate your continued prayers that the children would realize their need for a Savior while they are at the children’s home.
 
Please send your checks to:
CGBCI Foreign Missions
PO Box 217
Grimes, IA 50111
 
The suggested donation per child for their Christmas GIft is $20 dollars.
 
If anyone else would be interested in being involved with this ministery, we still have 3 kids who need to have their gifts sponsored.  Click on the links below to see the pictures of those children.
 
In Christ,
Joy Miller
Categories: Konnect with the Kids Ministry, Orphan & Foster Care Ministry | Leave a comment

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