Dear Rev Ilie Tomuta ,
Greetings from New Delhi in the mighty name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
I am sending you the October issue of Tortured for Christ that has been written and compiled as an informative and introspective pamphlet about the ministry of the persecuted as well as an inspirational discourse for all Christian brothers and sisters.
This month`s editorial is a clarion call to tackle persecution in the only way that the Lord has shown us – through unconditional and exceptional love. It is easy to love each other when things are smooth but the real challenge for us is to reach out with love to those who are harsh on others, who victimise, torture and inflict others with soul wounds. The theological section examines the Biblical references of women`s roles as partners with God and the delicate balance that is required of them to fulfil their worldly chores and their spiritual commitments.
Among the incidents of violence occurring against Christians in India, we report the murder of two pastors in Chennai and Maharashtra respectively. We bring you the biographical story of one our students at MJC, which we hope, will illustrate how our mission is helping to save and nurture the lives of hundreds of girl children.
Christmas is fast approaching and so we begin our efforts to collect Christmas gifts for the orphan children at MJC. Our endavour, as usual, seeks to provide gifts of a practical and useful nature. Please do support us in this campaign and help bring a smile to a child`s face.
Yours in His service,
Dr. Mary Job
HELP 354 DAUGHTERS!!!
GIVE THEM CHRISTMAS GIFTS
ON 22nd DECEMBER 2015
This year we wish to give a packet of clothes for the daughters of MJC as a Christmas Gift. The package will include: (1) One complete set of blue uniform [blouse, pants, belt, tie, socks] (2) One complete set of white uniform [blouse, pants, belt, tie, socks] (3) One pair of white athletic shoes (4) One pair of black shoes for school (5) Three sets of undergarments (6) One casual/daily-wear dress (7) One Special Occasion/Sunday dress (8) Feminine Supplies (over 275 girls are above 12 years of age). This pack is the most valuable gift you can give the children as these are not things that can be broken and discarded in a few days, but necessities that the orphan children need and will use daily as they go to school, exercise on the athletic field and worship in the Chapel. Our current costs for the complete list above are about 4000 rupees per girl.
You can send Rs. 4,000/-in favor of :
MICHAEL JOB ORPHANAGE, Near Sulur Boat Lake,
Ravathur P.O., Coimbatore Dist, Tamil Nadu – 641103, INDIA.
or to GENESIS MISSION
Write the check to Philadelphia Church and on Memo put Genesis Mission for Michael Job Orphanage
LOVE IS THE ANSWER TO PERSECUTION
by Dr. Mary Job
Aylan Kurdi – the 3 year old child whose body was found on the seashore of Turkey has become the face of human crisis that an increasingly large population is facing in Central Asia due to the ISIS movement. The innocence of the child who did not realize the magnitude of the problem his family and country were facing was in stark contrast to the bloodshed that the followers of ISIS inflicted upon its victims – who are ordinary people trying to live a normal, happy life. On the other hand, the response to Aylan’s death reflected a resurging faith in humanity. The outpouring of grief from people all over the world who mourned along with a shattered helpless father stood as a symbol of hope. There was a demand for proper migration facilities for refugees and a change of policies in countries into which these people were fleeing. The horrific conditions which Syria and its adjoining countries are facing have become the moot point of discussion among world leaders, media, activists and people like you and me.
While it is impossible to wipe out persecution because the thirst for religious, economic and social dominance is ingrained in humans, it is possible to douse the flaming effects of persecution through the soothing balm of love. Love can heal the wounds of those suffering under their persecutors and it can influence the harsh ideology and violence that fanatics uphold. Love is that magic potion that has unlimited benefits. In distributing it freely and abundantly, the doctor of our souls – Jesus introduced us to a medicine that works to erase all the problems and evils affecting mankind.
All through the Bible, the importance of love has been emphasized again and again: Romans 13:10 reads, “Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.” John 13:34 asserts, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” James 2:8 reiterates, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself,’ you are doing right.” The instructions from the Almighty, therefore, are clear. The only question is whether we have it in us to love the way God loves us. This is where Christ is our example, and by following Him, we learn how to love others, heal them and help them rid themselves of hate emotions, such as anger, lust, greed, jealousy etc. Let us start now, in our own lives, so that the ripple effect can embrace all humanity. Only then, will deaths like Aylan’s be justified.
Your sacrificial contribution can be sent to us at:
Tortured For Christ, V-31, Green Park Main, New Delhi-110016, India.
CHENNAI: PASTOR MURDERED
A 43-year-old pastor, Martin Luther was murdered in cold blood by a gang of fanatics on 13th September, Sunday, while he was riding his two-wheeler with his wife. According to reports, the pastor was travelling on the Virudhunagar-Srivilliputtur stretch, when an armed gang of men, all aged between 20 and 25, intercepted him near Samathuvapuram. Within a few seconds, he was targeted with knives and within the next few minutes he fell in a pool of blood. Shocked to see her husband bloodied and motionless his wife Josemin (38) alerted the police. However, by the time the Amathur police reached the spot, the killers had escaped from the spot. The body of the pastor had multiple stab wounds, which the police immediately seized and sent for post-mortem. Josemin, who tried to prevent her husband from being attacked, also suffered severe injuries. She has been admitted to the Government Hospital for treatment.
The pastor who was residing near Pandian Nagar apparently had an issue with some neighbours. However, nothing concrete has been established. The police want to question his wife for some leads but have been unable to do so since she is still in a state of shock. A case of murder has been registered. No arrests have been made so far, but according to a senior police official special teams have been set up that are on the lookout for the assailants. Please pray that the police may soon arrest the killers so that justice can be ensured for the pastor. We ask God for strength and peace to prevail in the hearts of the family of the murdered pastor.
Your donations for Love In Action Society can be sent as a crossed
Cheque/Draft and MO/EMO in favour of: ‘LOVE IN ACTION SOCIETY’
addressed to: V-31, Green Park Main, New Delhi – 110 016
MAHARASHTRA: MISSING PASTOR’S BODY FOUND
A Kalwa-based church’s pastor, Saji Panicker (52), who also worked as a section engineer with Central Railway, was allegedly killed in Murbad taluka of Thane district, Maharashtra.
The Murbad police said that Panicker, a resident of Rambaug in Kalyan, had gone missing from his house on 31st August, Monday. After searching for some time, his family filed a missing person’s complaint with the local Mahatma Phule police.
On 1st September, Tuesday, passers-by spotted a body lying among some bushes, a little away from Kalyan and informed the Murbad police, who registered an accidental death report and sent the corpse for a post-mortem examination. While following the case, the Murbad police learnt about the missing person’s complaint filed with the Mahatma Phule police. The cops then informed Panicker’s family, who identified the body on Friday night. Panicker’s wife Sharmila has alleged that her husband was murdered and filed a murder complaint with the police on Saturday. Investigations are on and the police have not arrived at any conclusive result. Meanwhile, the pastor’s kin are extremely distressed and are convinced that he was murdered due to his faith. We lend solidarity to the family of Pastor Panicker and pray that the truth of his death be revealed.
WOMEN AS GOD’S PARTNERS
by Mrs. Emily Jacob
We have been studying about the Risen Lord Jesus and what it means to have a personal relationship with Him through His Holy Spirit that makes our everyday life meaningful. In the Bible, both Old and New Testaments give us examples of women who were God’s partners. When we study the history of the Christian church we find many women who were used by our Lord in different parts of the world as channels of blessings.
In the book of Exodus we read that the Pharaoh gave instructions to the midwives to kill all the Hebrew boys at the time of their delivery. (Ch.1:15-22) But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the King’s orders. They allowed the boys to live. So God was good to the midwives. In the New Testament, Jesus, unlike in the Jewish culture of which he was part of, did not limit the role of women. He came that all may have life and have it to the full. (John 10:10) Women were with Jesus alongside His disciples and we find Jesus welcoming their active presence in His ministry. We find Apostle Paul acknowledging with gratitude several women in his Epistle to the Romans Ch. 16 who stood with him, supported him and even risked their lives for the cause of the Gospel.
When we think of women in their everyday lives, naturally, a question comes to mind as to how they could be God’s partners with their numerous chores, whether they were single or married, and with or without a family to attend to. Let us find an example from the Bible. In the Gospel according to Luke, Ch. 10:38-42 Jesus provides us interesting insights.
Martha and Mary lived in Bethany near Jerusalem along with their brother Lazarus. They are mentioned only in the Gospels of Luke and John. It looks like Jesus was no newcomer to the family. He takes the freedom to go there with his disciples and Lazarus is mentioned as someone whom Jesus loves. (John 11:1-3, Luke10:38) Jesus and his disciples receive warm hospitality as Martha opens her home to them. When thirteen people walk into a house where you have food ready for just three people it can be a bit overwhelming, and that can be the reason why Martha the elder in the home was worried if she would fall below their expectations. These were certainly no days of ‘fast food or home delivery’! One would most probably start out from grinding the grains to serve food. Yet Martha was ready to serve.
What about her sister Mary? She sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. (Luke 10:39) We read about Paul who sat at the feet of Gamaliel. (Acts 22:3) It was not common for Rabbis to accept female disciples, but Jesus accepted Mary and her willingness to learn from Him. So in the family at Bethany, we have two women representing two very important roles. The service of Martha suddenly took a twist and turn. We read, “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” (v40-NIV) As a result she was naturally unable to relax or enjoy her guests and even found it harder to accept Mary’s lack of initiative to help with the work involved. The pressure inside Martha rose to the extent that she comes to Jesus to settle the matter. She wondered why Jesus did not instruct Mary to be of help in all the preparations.
What was Jesus’ response to the problem at hand? Did He take anyone’s side? Did He minimise one and indicate that action was not important? Jesus very gently made it clear that it was not only priorities but attitudes in carrying out the duties/responsibilities also that were equally important. Martha was essentially serving the guest who is in her house. 1John 3:18 reads, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions.” Martha was no doubt trying to show her love by serving. However, she was distracted and weary, she complained against her sister who, according to Martha, was demonstrating an insensitivity to say the least, by simply sitting at the feet of Jesus unmindful of her own sister who was sweating away. The Apostle Paul reminds: Do everything without complaining or arguing. (Philippians 2:14)
If Martha is able to do what she is doing without complaining then she should be able to enjoy what she is doing and at the same time honour her guest as well. Jesus does not ask Martha to drop everything that she is busy with (in serving) and instead to come to sit at His feet. Nor does He ask Mary to get up and go to help her sister. A significant point is made clear in His answer, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her’. (Luke 10:41) To Martha, serving her guests was the priority and she was particular not to fall short of the cultural expectations. To Mary, having Jesus in her home and listening to the wonderful words of life from Him and sitting at His feet was indeed a rare privilege. She wanted to make the best use of that ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. The perishable food that we obviously labour to serve as an act of hospitality is important and yet it all comes to an end when once is it is served and consumed. The routine surely continues as a necessary labour of love and care. Yet what we do to enrich our spiritual life is eternally valuable and never perishes.
The above discussion is very familiar to most of us, but we struggle in reality, to strike the right balance. The point Jesus highlights to Martha and Mary is better said than done in many of our day to day lives. Some of us are busy ‘doing good’ every minute of our waking hours. However, do we fail to realise that our attitudes – right ones – are critical to yield joy and fulfilment in what we are keen to do? We need to remember that in order to continue to serve graciously and consistently we need to sit at the feet of Jesus to get our priorities sorted and to imbibe physical and spiritual strength. This will lead to the glorious witness of Christian servant hood.
So dear friends, these days communications have become so easy and remarkably quick too that we all wake up eager to check what messages we have in our mobiles. Important no doubt; but if I ask my Lord as to what is the most important thing I should do to start my day what will He say to me today? Shall we all make a conscious attempt about making the right choices in our daily lives and fulfil them with the right attitude at the right time everyday? Right choices at the right time with right attitudes can surely bring forth the joys of living creatively and fulfillingly.
HE LIFTED ME FROM THE MIRE OF POVERTY
I am Hatneithem (Jolly). I am a native of Manipur. I am currently studying in Grade 10 at the Michael Job Senior Secondary School. I came to the Michael and John Job Centre (MJC) in 2007. My father had passed away when I was only 8 years old. I was very close to him and his death was the hardest moment for me and for my family. Also, he was the only breadwinner of our family and we were dependent on him for our survival.
After he passed away, I was not able to go to school anymore like my friends. I took on the responsibility of looking after our neighbour’s children, in return for which I got some money. My mother started selling vegetables to earn money for the family. There was never enough especially during the rainy months. I was in great despair. I could not understand why God had been so cruel to us and snatched away the little happiness we had. I prayed to God every day and in my prayers I fought with Him and cried a lot. One day, my mother returned home in great excitement. She told me that a Christian lady who was from a neighbouring village had told her about a place called MJC, which helped financially-poor and persecuted Christians’ children by providing them with good education, food and all basic necessities. She told me that she had requested that lady to recommend my name. A month later, I entered through the gates of MJC, and it became the greatest blessing of my life. I started going to school again, and most importantly, the spiritual guidance I received here helped me get over my father’s death. The community of friends that I got here brought me great joy. Today, my days are filled with exciting activities, study and prayer. God transformed my life, and my ambition is to help transform others’ lives through my work.
MADHYA PRADESH: CHURCH ROBBED
St. Joseph Church in Ganj Basoda, Sagar diocese, in the state of Madhya Pradesh was robbed on August 13. Thieves used the cover of darkness to break into the church and steal cash from the collection box.
“This is the third theft or attempted theft from this church” in less than a year, parish priest Nitish Jacob complained. The first was on December 3 when thieves stole about one lakh rupees. A second attempt took place on February 15, but was foiled. Bishop Anthony Chirayath of Sagar bemoaned what he said was a complete lack of police action in trying to stop attacks on Christians in the state, which encourages criminals to commit further acts. This can be supported by the fact that the suspect stayed on the premises for almost one hour.
Although the images are unclear, police believe “the robber is a local person who is aware of the workings of the Church”. Bishop Chirayath and other Christian leaders say there have been at least 100 attacks on Christians in the past 12 years, with more than 20 occurring in the last six months. The alarming fact is that not one prosecution has taken place. We urge our supporters to pray for the thousands of believers in Madhya Pradesh.
A NOVEL WAY TO CELEBRATE
BIRTHDAY! WEDDING! WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!
BIRTH OF A CHILD!
With 376 daughters of Martyred and Persecuted Christians
Breakfast US$ 200 Lunch US$ 400 Dinner US$ 300
This will provide one meal to 376 daughters plus 142 staff members. Send in your photograph (hard or soft copy) and cheque one week before the occasion. The photograph will be shown on the large screen in the Dining Hall where all the daughters gather. The daughters will sing “Happy Birthday” or “Count your Blessings” with your name and pray for you. You can witness this through a DVD of the day’s celebrations which will be sent to you later.
Your donations for our daughters at Coimbatore can be sent by
crossed Cheque/Draft in favour of:
DR JOB’S MISSION INC.
1772 Willis Ave, Merrick, NY 11566, U.S.A
Founder: Dr. P.P. Job
Patron: Bishop Florin T. Cimpean
President: Mr. Thomas Koshy
Vice President: Rev. Ilie U. Tomuta
Secretary: Mr. Saji George
Treasurer: Mrs. Anitha George
Please visit our websites: www.mjc.ac.in