“... those who wait for the Lord, will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with deep gratitude that I report, that the Lord has been extremely gracious in the addition of four new souls to our fellowship. There was a sense of great jubilation in our church, as four sisters were baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Most of the readers may recall a person by the name Karthik in my previous reports. A few months ago, Karthik showed a tremendous amount of interest in the gospel and looked like a very promising candidate to be baptized. However, we are quite disheartened to see him continue to drift away from the Heavenly Father. He stopped coming to the fellowship and started living in sin. Please pray for him. When Karthik was attending the fellowship initially, he also brought his mother (Padmavathi) with him. Even though he has walked away, she kept coming to the church. For the last 8 months, she has attended the church. She comes from a Hindu background but did attend a Roman Catholic church. She even remembers a time (when her husband died suddenly) when she threw the New Testament away from her and decided never to read it again. With her husband, she found it increasingly difficult to manage the household, so she packed up her bags, and she took her two children to a different village.
The way the Lord drew her is amazing. Her son Karthik was a drug addict, an alcoholic, and even served time in prison. When she saw Karthik was talking about the Lord Jesus, she couldn’t believe it. Seeing Karthik, she said, “I never saw him like this in my entire life, for he was always a violent person.” She said, “I know Jesus is the True Living God. We took Karthik to many temples with the hope of seeing him changed, but it is only Jesus who changed him. He is Real and True, and not any (Hindu) gods or goddesses.” One of the things that pricked her conscience, was whether God would ever forgive her for throwing the New Testament. I assured her that if she repented of her sins, he would forgive her. To see if she understood the gospel, I asked her, “what was the greatest thing Jesus did for you?” She replied, “what can I say? The most Holy One died for a sinful person like me. Is there any greater thing than that?” I asked her several different questions, just to see how she would answer. Although she is not the most educated person, she answered every single question correctly and biblically. The Holy Spirit must have revealed it to her.
She has two sons. The eldest son struggles with an acute mental illness, and would sometimes have to be restrained. She has been serving him faithfully over the last few years. Would you lift up sister Padmavathi in your prayers regularly? What God has done in her life is a miracle. She would appreciate every prayer that you would offer on her behalf.
A few years ago, we rented an apartment in Vinukonda. During our stay there, a Muslim lady by the name Kareema used to come and help my wife clean the house. My wife got to know her well and had the opportunity to share the gospel with her several times. Kareema used to come to the church from time to time. Kareema brought a woman named Nagoorbi with her, and she has been attending our fellowship for the last two years.
Nagoorbi also comes from a Muslim background. She has no family. Her husband abandoned her. She has no children. She supports herself by helping others in domestic work. She works hard. After making a profession of faith, she was asked why she wanted to get baptized, and whether the act of baptism brings about any salvation to her. She vehemently said, “I am being baptized because Jesus Christ bled and died for my sins. That’s why I am being baptized.” When I heard that, I couldn’t restrain my emotions. As I look back, while there are many educated, sophisticated, and “well-to-do” people in Vinukonda who have no interest in Jesus Christ, this obscure, humble woman comes to the surface proclaiming that Jesus died for her. What can you say to the marvelous and wondrous works God’s grace? How appropriate it is for us to remind ourselves what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:26, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong…….so that no man may boast before God.” Would you lift up Nagoorbi in your prayers? That she would continue to live for the glory of God and to the honor of her Savior, Jesus Christ?
Koteshwari’s and Swapna’s:
Koteshwari has also been coming to the fellowship along with her daughter Swapna. Koteshwari is the mother of Yogesh. He made a profession of Christ in 2017 and has been encouraging both his mother and sister to come to the fellowship. They continued to come to the church regularly for the last two years, ever since Yogesh got baptized. To put it in Koteshwari’s words, “it was my son’s baptism that opened my eyes. I actually felt ashamed that my son is being baptized and I was not. As I attended the church in the last couple of years, through the pastor’s preaching, I understood that Christ died for my sins. I repented of all my sins before him. Even though I cannot read the Bible, I want to listen to the Word of God. My daughter reads it to me every day. Before I came to know Christ, I had no peace in my life or my marriage. I got married when I was a very young person. It has always been a pretty rough ride. I used to engage in verbal warfare with my husband, but God has taken it all away.” Would you please pray for Koteshwari, and for her continued growth in her spiritual life?
Swapna started coming to the church along with her mother two years ago. To put it in her own words, “I was severely ill a few months ago. I was really nervous. The church prayed for me during that time and I am thankful for that. The Lord ultimately heard the prayers and he healed me. Many times, the preaching of the pastor convicted me. I realized that Jesus Christ died for my sins. Before I came to know Christ, I used to watch films, TV, etc... Now, they are all gone.” Would you please pray for Swapna?
Last Sunday, we also welcomed Ramakrishna and his newly wedded bride Nagamalleshwari to our fellowship. Ramakrishna and Nagamalleshwari got married on the 10th of August. The Lord’s name was glorified during their wedding ceremony as I had the opportunity to speak to the couple, and also the crowd. Would you please pray for their marriage and that Ramakrishna and his wife may grow in their love towards the Lord Jesus, as they seek to serve Him and the church? Would you please pray for a sister in our fellowship by the name Padmaja as she is awaiting her medical test results (Biopsy)?
May the Lord’s Name be praised - and as Jeremiah sings, ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness!’ (Lam 3:23), shall we also sing with him, as we reflect on all that He does towards unprofitable creatures such us!
In His Grace,