2013 India/Myanmar Trip

Update on the Ministry in India : January 2016

Updates and prayer requests:

Recently, Brother Paul sent the followiLokhantha Tandi IMG_2588ng updates and prayer
requests: Please pray for brother Lognath Tandi (in picture below) in Golamunda. He is seriously affected by a stroke recently and was admitted to a hospital. He is struggling physically. Prayers are needed much for him. Also pray for brother David Hanu in Umarkote. His infant daughter is not well.

 

Brother Paul also mentioned that he is praying for our Bible teaching trip to Myanmar. We are scheduled to leave this Saturday, January 16, 2016. By way of reminder, we were invited by a Plymouth Brethren pastor who was studying here in the U.S. to come and teach their Fellowship elders Grace Brethren distinctives. We will be in Myanmar preaching and teaching January 19-30, 2016. If you have not received a prayer card, like the one below, you may request it from Joy Steiner at orrvillegrace@gmail.com You can also call her at 330-683-3526.

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Please pray for us. Here are some of our requests:

  • For safe travel and good health there and back.
  • For the men who hear the truth to be drawn to a conviction about Grace Brethren distinctives because they are biblical and not for other reasons.
  • For the interpreter(s) to understand well and convey accurately the biblical truths that we will be teaching.
  • For every listener to understand the truth well and not read into what is being taught.
  • For an agreement to partner together in order to plant churches in Myanmar; especially among tribal groups which have no Gospel witness.

 

In last month’s India ministry update, you were informed of a financial goal deficit that we were facing for this quarter. Praise the Lord that many of you responded and, except for the orphan ministry, all financial goals were met for this quarter. Thank you so much!

 

You may send financial gifts for the ministry in India to:
CGBCI Foreign Missions
P.O. Box 217
Grimes, IA 50111 Telephone: 515-986-9698

For more information about the ministry in India, go to: http://www.insightintoindia.wordpress.com

 

If you would like to download the bulletin insert version of this update, please click on the link  below.
January 2016 India Update Bulletin Insert

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Categories: 2013 India/Myanmar Trip, CGBCI Foreign Mission Updates, CGBCI Missions, Ministry Update, Uncategorized | Leave a 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)

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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)

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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.

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“Happy, Happy Welcome” Song

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.

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India Trip Report – Short Version

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

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The team is HOME!!!

hugs - small

The team made it safely and ON TIME!
Thank you to everyone for their prayers!

 

Luggage - small

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 - small

Prayer, thanking the Lord for the team’s safe return!

Please pray for Benjamin as he makes his final flight
home to Oregon tomorrow around 1:00pm.

If you would like to see more pictures from their
homecoming please click on the link below:
The team is HOME!

Categories: 2013 India/Myanmar Trip | 1 Comment

2013 Trip Return ~ Flight Schedule

AirplaneThank 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

 

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