Dear brothers and sisters,
Every year, we celebrate God’s faithfulness toward us, specifically providing the Church a building three years ago. This time of year, we usually conduct a pastors’ conference with a few evangelistic meetings. However, 2020 has been a strange year so far, and we thought we would have to put off our celebrations this year. In addition to the ‘pandemic dilemma’, we were to put up with unforeseen bad weather around the same time. But praise God, we were able to have both the church anniversary service in the morning and the evangelistic meetings in the evening. Both went really well as God’s Word was proclaimed and His Name was glorified.
We had a visiting church planter speak from Isaiah 64, reminding us of the goodness of God’s Fatherly love towards wayward sinners like us (Isaiah 64:8), and the necessity to examine ourselves in the light of God’s love and mercy. Our hearts were filled with both conviction and joy. In the evening, another pastor preached the evangelistic message from Mark 10:17-27 (The Rich Young Ruler). After the meeting was over, I encouraged people to go home to seek the Lord’s face. Afterward, one of the students at our church-based training program told me that both he and his wife prayed to God after they got home. It was really encouraging to hear. I am hopeful that there would be more people who would seek the Lord in the secret place, recognizing their spiritual and moral bankruptcy, while also understanding the pardon that God offers in Christ.
I wrote about Naik in my previous report. He has now asked if I would baptize him and his wife. I told him that I cannot baptize anyone without hearing their testimony, examining their profession, and seeing their willingness to be a part of the church. To begin the process, last Sunday Naik brought his wife and asked me to interview her after the morning service. It was encouraging. When I asked her to tell me about what she knew about Jesus, she told me about His substitutionary death. She also told me how she has read the entire New Testament. I was very much pleased with her answers. I also reminded them that baptism must not be taken in isolation, without having to do anything with the local church. When someone is baptized, he/she is brought into membership into the local body (Acts 2: 41). But, there are some hurdles that Naik and his wife need to overcome at their home. Naik’s parents insist that they shouldn’t go to church on Sundays, but work. So, please pray that God would intervene and that their parents may let them go to the church without opposition.
Although this year has been a very different one in terms of lockdowns, face masks, quarantines, and social distancing, we have been able to see God’s grace in a special way. We believe God has sent more people to the church during this time, more than ever. Please pray as we have to follow up with these people and reach out to them. Pray that the Lord would change them.
Please pray for one of our church members who is now receiving treatment for bone cancer. She is a very active member of the church. Her passion for Christ is admirable and her faith in God is an example to others. We are devasted by this news, but we haven’t given up our hope yet. We keep praying for her. Would you pray as well?
On behalf of our church and our family, we wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!