SPATE OF VIOLENT INCIDENTS
There has been a series of persecution of Christians in the last two months.
An 80 year old pastor was severely beaten up along with others when he and four others were conducting a meeting in Sarawani, Rai Bareilly. Pastor Santosh Kumar Shivpuri was grievously injured along with seven believers while they were in the middle of a house prayer in the home of Pastor Rampal. A mob entered the house and beat up all who were present. The police arrived and saw Pastor Shivpuri in a critical condition; but they left him with his family and went away. The unconscious pastor was then taken to Kanpur city for treatment by his family, and he has now re-gained consciousness and been declared out of danger.
In another incident, Pastor Sajju K. John from India Mission and 20 other pastors were taken into police custody while they were in the middle of a staff prayer meeting. Here too, a violent mob of people forcibly entered and disrupted the meeting. They then took the pastors and walked them through streets, humiliating, beating and abusing them before taking them to the police in Robertsganj, Sonbhadra district. Unable to file any charges on this group, the police later released them in the evening. However, the scars of the injuries and the trauma of humiliation are still fresh in the minds of our Christian brothers.
A 75 year old mother of a pastor was attacked and her leg was broken by fanatics in Village Rakba, Post Gopalapur, Jaunpurdistrict. Itwari Devi is the mother of Pastor Nanheal, and she was beaten up in July last year too. The miscreants demanded that she should not give her home as a venue for prayer meetings that her son holds.
On January 29, Awdhesh Savita, was forcibly taken from his home in Randar, Jalaun district by 200 extremists, who accused him of trying to convert three people to Christianity. His head, moustache and eyebrows were shaved, and he was festooned with garlands of shoes and carried through the streets of his village riding a donkey. They then took him to their organization’s headquarters and when the police arrived at the scene, the extremists refused to hand over the man. Only after the arrival of reinforcements, was Awdhesh transferred to the district police station of Orai. Police is investigating and trying to reconstruct the episode. Inspector General, Sharad Sachan, reported that three complaints have been filed, two of which are borne by the members of a militant wing of the majority community. They allege that Awdhesh lured them with the pretext of attending a satsang [a gathering in which people meditate together.] and instead tried to convert them to Christianity. One of the complainants even said that Awdhesh forced them to eat cow meat against their will, and then threw images of gods on the floor and forced them to step on them. Awdhesh has strongly denied these ludicrous allegations.
We require urgent prayers from our supporters for the victims of these attacks. We ask for prayers of healing for Pastor Shivpuriand Itwari Devi. We also need prayer support for the truth to be revealed and the safety of Awdhesh and the pastors who were abused and falsely sent into police custody. We want an atmosphere of peace, tolerance and harmony to prevail and urge the government departments to help in speedy justice and reinforcement of law and order to enable peaceful co-existence of different communities. We know that such acts of violence are totally against the interest of our country. (Source: Persecution.in)
Your sacrificial contribution can be sent to us at:
Tortured For Christ, V-31, Green Park Main, New Delhi-110016, India.
THE BITTERNESS OF CRUCIFICXION LEADS
TO THE SWEETNESS OF RESURRECTION
by Dr. Mary Job
It is a universal truth that there are two faces to a coin. There is birth but there is also sure death. There is happiness but sorrow is also an equal shareholder. There are wars between people, communities and people, but harmony and peace also prevail after the periods of strife.
The presence of two extreme opposites is a fact of life. It is what man destined for his self ever since Adam ate the apple that Eve offered him. It is the price that has to be paid for not being obedient to God and giving in to temptation. For our Heavenly Father had clearly instructed: “You may eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the Tree of Conscience – for its fruit will open your eyes to make you aware of right and wrong, good and bad. If you eat its fruit, you will be doomed to die.” (Genesis 2:17) God made us in His image – pure and good but the devil put his evil in us through the apple. Thus, we are in a state of constant struggle, trying to be like God but succumbing often to the desires of our ‘other’ side.
No one can experience the beauty and wonder of resurrection without going through the fire and pain of crucifixion. It is how we undergo and withstand the trials of this life and this world that will take us to Eternal Life. God has fulfilled His promise to us, by sending His Son on this earth and showing us the path that needs to be followed in order to enter through the narrow gates of Heaven. Now it is our responsibility to choose that path and stay on it despite all its treacherous pitfalls so that we can pass through to the Promised Land. It is a road full of the greatest challenges, as Jesus explicitly said, “Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers or sisters – yes, more than his own life – otherwise he cannot be my disciple. And no one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me.” (Luke 14:26-27)
As we observe Good Friday and Easter this month, let us remind ourselves of the pain that Jesus went through to direct us to the way that will take us to glorious life with God. Let us not run away from the trials that we have to face, but rather embrace them gladly just as Jesus embraced the cross. He died voluntarily for the fulfilment of the Scriptures that destined him as the one to save humanity. He gave up his life so that others could have a chance at life. Let us ask God for the strength to do the same, and then let us wait with patience for God to absolve our sins, resurrect our souls and welcome us into His abode.
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
EASTER. . . THE REALITY AND
POWER OF LIFE BEYOND DEATH
by Mr. Thomas Koshy
The Christian communities commemorate the suffering, death and resurrection during the month of March. The day of resurrection, celebrated as Easter is on March 27 this year. The western churches designate 40 days before Easter and eastern churches 50 days before Easter to focus on the sacrificial life of Jesus Christ.
Jesus influenced the world more than anyone ever lived. The calendar refers to AD that stands for “After Him” and Sunday is the Holiday for a majority of the nations. He came with a divine message of love and preached on loving God and loving neighbors. He came willingly to pay the price for the sinful man so that the sinful will become sinless and receive eternal life. Mahatma Gandhi has acknowledged the influence of Jesus on his life and philosophy including that of non-violence, a key message of Christ.
The message of Easter comes from an empty tomb.
- The empty tomb opened the door beyond death:There was a Roman seal to proclaim to the world that Jesus was dead and it was guarded by soldiers of the most powerful country at the time. There was nothing to stop the will of God Almighty. The Roman seal was broken! Jesus was not a “dead end”. He rose from the dead, and it left the evidence for the world to see that it was not a meteoroid hitting the tomb! He is Risen indeed.
- The empty tomb was a Prophesy fulfilled:Isaiah 53, the classic prophecy details the death of Messiah for the sins of His people. More than 700 years before Jesus was even born, Isaiah provided details of His death. The Messiah will be killed as a vicarious sacrifice for the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:5-9). The Messiah will be silent in front of His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; 1 Peter 2:23). The Messiah will be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60). The Messiah will be with criminals in His death (Isaiah 53:12; Mark 15:27).
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead was also foretold. The clearest and best known of the resurrection prophecies is in Psalm 16:10, also written a millennium before the birth of Jesus: “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” Yes, He came with a life without decay of body.
- The empty tomb is the foundation of Christianity:The best demonstration that Jesus was the Son of God is that nobody ever foretold their death, resurrection and was successful in making it happen. This was performance beyond anyone has ever done! This is the most convincing evidence for any skeptical believer. The Gospels give ample testimony for his resurrection.
Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Let us summarize his ministry.
He put on humanity that we might put on divinity.
He became a man that we might become children of God.
In infancy, he startled a king; in boyhood he puzzled the theology doctors; in manhood he ruled the course of nature.
He walked upon the billows, hushed the sea to sleep, and healed the multitudes without medicine.
He never wrote a book; yet the libraries of the world are filled with volumes that have been written about Him.
He never penned a musical note; Yet He is the theme of more lyrics than any other subject in the world.
His message was very simple “follow me” that is, to imitate the nature of Jesus in our lives. Once, a Church School was putting on a tableau show of “Jesus on the cross”. The understanding was to have Roman soldiers on each side of a man on the cross with a bleeding body as Jesus. When the curtain was to opens, the soldier had to pretend spitting on Jesus. The curtain opened, and instead of pretending to spit, the solider accidently spat on Jesus. The man on the cross immediately said, “Wait till I come down, I want to pay you back really good for what you did”. Even when you are just acting for Jesus, isn’t it difficult to be like Jesus even for a couple of minutes?
Let me close with the story behind a familiar chorus that we sing often:
Around 200 years ago there was a revival in Wales and many went as missionaries to different parts of the world. Assam, now one of the states of North East India was one such place where missionaries went. Assam had many aggressive natured tribes. The men considered it an honor to kill and exhibit the skulls of their enemies in their homes to display their bravery. As a result of the patient work of missionaries, one family, husband and wife with their two sons put their trust in the saving faith of Jesus Christ. The head of the family put into words a song to mark the new commitment. Their new-found faith was so contagious that several other families started to come to the Lord. But this change in the tribe agitated the villagers and they brought the whole family to the village square where the village chief confronted them with a choice-either to leave their new-found faith or face the consequences. The man did not know what to do. He looked at the boys whom he loved so dearly; but he knew he could not renounce Jesus Christ. He sang, I have decided to follow Jesus, No turning back, No turning back. The archers pulled back their arrows and shot dead his two children. When the two boys lay dead on the ground the tribal chief told the man that he would give one more chance to renounce Jesus or the man would lose his wife. He looked at his two sons and his wife, but he knew he had to acknowledge Christ before the men and not renounce Christ. He sang the next two lines of the song, Though none go with me, Yet will I follow, No turning back, No turning back. The archers shot their arrows and killed his wife. The tribal chief came to him with the last option to live or die. The man looked at his dear family on the ground and realizing that he had nothing more to lose in this world sang, The Cross before me, the World behind me, No turning back, No turning back. And he too was shot down. With the dead bodies of four in front of the chieftain, he was speechless. He could not simply believe what he just saw and thought to himself that Jesus Christ for whom the whole family died must be real. Reports suggest that the chieftain accepted Christ as his Saviour on the spot and in the days and months that followed several from the tribe accepted Jesus as their Saviour. How could this happen? It happened only because one simple ordinary man and his family decided to stand up for their faith.
I have decided to follow Jesus (2)
I have decided to follow Jesus (2)
No turning back, No turning back.
Though none go with me Yet will I follow (2)
As we go through the great Lent, and on to Passion Week and Easter, let us examine our faith. Are we following Jesus in safe and secure circumstances now? What if the religious weather changes around us? Ordinary people all over are following Him for the reality and power of life beyond death is surprisingly so true. Following Jesus is not a part time commitment, to choose when the surrounding is desirable. Following Him involves a full time commitment. How well are we following Him?
ATTENTION: Those who wish Tax Exemption for their donations for our daughters at Coimbatore can send it as a crossed Cheque/Draft and MO/EMO in favour of: ‘MICHAEL JOB ORPHANAGE’ addressed to: Near Sulur Boat Lake, Ravathur P.O., Coimbatore-641103, Tamil Nadu, India.
You can also transfer the money from bank to bank, as per the following details : Account Name: MICHAEL JOB ORPHANAGE, Account Number: 0294053000015670, Bank: The South Indian Bank Limited, Branch: Pallapalayam, Coimbatore-641016, Bank Address: 155 Trichy Road, Pallapalayam, Gandhi Nagar, Ondipudur PO, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu – 641016, IFSC Code: SIBL0000294. When you transfer the money from bank to bank, please write to us all details at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am Vimala from the southern state of Tamil Nadu. I belong to a Hindu family, and as is characteristic of its religious tenets, a son is preferred over a daughter. Therefore, my family, especially my father, was very disappointed when I was born. Given that they were economically poor, my birth signalled heavy expenses in the future. I remember that till I was 6 years old, I had a very tough time because I was always discriminated against. I was not given the opportunity to go to school until I was 5 and that too happened, when a local health worker insisted that my parents should send me to a Government school, which was free of cost. I envied my brothers who got all the attention, love and facilities. Then, things changed for the worse.
My father died after a brief illness. My mother sold the little land on which we used to farm, and decided to shift to the city so that she could work as a housemaid and earn a living. It was at this time that our neighbour’s daughter was admitted to a school called the Michael Job Senior Secondary School. Our neighbours were Christians and very friendly and caring by nature. A pastor who is known to my grandmother was kind enough to help me. He talked to a Pastor who lives in Sulur, where the MJC exists and they together extended their help and talked with Dr. P.P. Job where children lived and studied free of cost. My mother came to the Michael Job Centre, and met with Dr. P.P. Job, and put forward my case. He said that he would consider admitting me because of the trying circumstances we were undergoing, but he told my mother that the Michael Job Centre was a Christian institution where Christian practices were followed. By then, my mother was desperate. She said she did not care what faith I was brought up in, as long as I was safe and could avail opportunities for a good future.
Today, both my mother and I are practicing Christians because we felt this is the true path of love. I began living at the Michael Job Centre in 2002, and now I am doing my final year of graduation in English literature. I consider myself fortunate that I was born a girl and could therefore become part of such a wonderful institution. I am thankful to the Lord for choosing me as His child and planting me in a beautiful garden where I could bloom. I have a family, beyond my biological one, which respects and loves me as an equal. I believe God has written a beautiful destiny for me.
A NOVEL WAY TO CELEBRATE
BIRTHDAY! WEDDING! WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!
BIRTH OF A CHILD!
with 354 girls from underprivileged and challenging backgrounds
Breakfast US$ 200 Lunch US$ 400 Dinner US$ 300
This will provide one meal to 354 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
1713 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Chicago, IL 40440
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
Head Quarters: Love In Action Society,
V-31 Green Park Main, New Delhi – 110 016, INDIA