This page was created to keep you updated on trip and ministry updates for the mission
work of the Conservative Grace Brethren Churches, International in India.
History of how the sister fellowship between the CGBCI in the USAand our brethren in India began.
The initial contact with India began at the end of 2004 following the Tsunami and tidal wave which also devastated southeast India. Brother Paul Rajan was searching online for websites of Brethren Churches which might assist them in their relief efforts to Christians in the Chennai area. He came across the website for the Orrville Grace Brethren Church and read the statement of faith. The only thing that differed from his belief was communion. However, after studying communion via correspondence with Pastor Ike Graham over a period of 10 months, Paul agreed that three-fold communion is a biblical doctrine. After that 10 month period, in the fall of 2005, Paul was planning to be in the USA for a business meeting in South Dakota and asked if he could meet with Pastor Ike Graham. Pastor Ike met Paul at the airport in Cleveland, Ohio and they drove to Orrville to meet. During that visit they recorded a video interview to be given to the Foreign Mission Panel of the CGBCI. The video and correspondence was then presented to the Foreign Mission Panel by Pastor Ike. It was decided that Pastor Ike Graham and Pastor Aldo Hoyt would make an initial exploration trip to India in January of 2007. Pastor Ike also took his son, Nathan, along. During this trip, in January 2007, they met with each of the men that were working with Brother Paul and brought back a report to the FMP. Pastor Ike stressed the fact to Paul that the CGBCI plants churches. That is our primary role. The men in south India discussed this. Then, they made a formal request to join with the CGBCI as a sister Fellowship and called themselves the CGBCIndia making church planting their primary goal. As they say, the rest is history.
Since then we have been striving to equip our brethren in the following areas:
By Leadership & Bible Training (Practorium Classes)
From the beginning of our involvement with the Brethren in India, we have emphasized the need for biblically strong leadership in the church planting effort. The men ofIndiahave taken this to heart. We have spent many hours teaching them our Statement of Faith and answering numerous questions which they have raised about the Statement of Faith and other biblical topics. We have also spent time answering questions related to the application of biblical truth in the lives of believers in India. In addition, Dr. Whitcomb has provided many courses which the men have been using for their own study and to teach other faithful men. We need your prayers for our current effort to provide more Bible courses on DVD in their own language.
By Financial Support
The Lord has told us in Philippians 4 that He will supply for all of our needs. Often He uses fellow believers to accomplish that. It is very humbling to see how generous the believers in India are. They help fellow believers and unbelievers too. They help with doctor bills. They built a house for a widow. They feed, cloth and house many children and even send them to school when they themselves don’t have a lot. There are those who make only a few dollars in a day and yet they give. How often do we share what God has blessed us with? We have so much and we can be the means by which people’s prayers are answered.
Jim Elliott once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” That statement is truer than we realize. So the next time the Lord asks you to give, don’t say, “no;” and remember that the One who asks is the same One who provides for all of us.
By Prayer Support
The believers in India need our prayer and support on a daily basis. They need to know that we are behind them and they need to feel God’s protective comforting arms around them. We need to remember all our missionaries overseas and in the USA in our daily prayer. The Bible makes it very clear that prayer is a positive experience. Why worry when we can pray? Why worry about things we have no control over when we can turn it over to the inventor of life? We’re commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to “Encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” Some of you may never have the privilege to meet the wonderful people from India and may never get to encourage and build them up face to face, but God can; and one way we can reach them is through prayer. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and are instructed to act as a body. Please remember we have parts of this body throughout the world that need extra encouragement, love and comfort. Paul Rajan and his family realize this and pray for all of us on a regular basis. We may never know why God brings a person to our mind, but continue to take the time to pray for them.
By Encouraging the Brethren through Short-term Missions Trips to India
A very tangible way that we are able to encourage and equip our brothers and sisters in India is to take short term mission trips. It is one thing to hear about the great needs that exist – physical and more importantly spiritual – but it is another thing to see it with your own eyes. It seems like whenever you go on a missions trip the goal is to be an encouragement to those whom you are seeking to minister to. No matter how successful you may be at that, it always seems that they are more of an encouragement to you. It is one of the great things about the body of Christ.
Sharing our testimonies and teaching, is another way that we had the privilege of encouraging our brothers and sisters inIndia. Because of the threat of persecution inIndia, most of the pastors and church planters haven’t had an opportunity to have any formal Bible training. One of the goals of the short term trips is to teach Practorium classes for the Pastors and Church planters.
Short term trips are great way to strengthen the connection between the churches here in theUnited Statesand around the world. The sister churches inIndiaare encouraged by our presence there. The churches inAmericaare also encouraged as they hear about all that God is doing, from those who have traveled there.
By supporting the Orphan & Foster Care Ministry
There are 2 different children’s homes that are run by our sister fellowship in India, Agape Home and Torbay House. Each home has a house mother and a cook that live at the home with the children. Each home is 2 stories and houses both boys and girls. There are two large dormitories, one for the boys and one the girls. There is also a large meeting room and the church holds their worship services at Agape Home and the children get to be a part of the services. Most of the children cared for by our brethren have at least one parent. We call this kind of ministry “foster care.” Very few of the children are true orphans. The most common reason that children come to the orphanage is that the parents can’t afford to take care of them. Most of the children in foster care are there for 4-5 years until they are old enough to work and help support their family.
This ministry serves multiple purposes. One, it provides recognition of Christian love to unbelievers, which provides opportunity for witness. Two, it provides for a need among the people which curbs persecution against Christians. Agape Home and Torbay House have both been recognized by the government as two of the nicest orphanages inIndia. Three, it provides the opportunity to witness to the children and their parents and to teach them the Bible.
One way we are equipping our brethren to take care of these children is through the Konnect with the Kids ministry. We send funds 3 times a year to help purchase gifts and other needed items for the children. You can help by signing up to fund a gift for a child at Agape Home or Torbay House. We can also pray daily that the children will come to know the Lord.
The Orrville Grace Brethren Church is the sponsoring church for the CGBCI church planters in India.
Please contact them with any questions at OrrvilleGrace@gmail.com