Editorial: Ramani Kurian
Walking in the Light
As we have ushered into a new year, many of us have taken up new resolutions. New beginnings are always good and pleasant. We aspire to achieve great things in life. We as Christians need to take into consideration what is the great task for which we have been called to. We are given a special calling to do the mission of our Lord. God says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” I Peter 2: 9. We are no more in darkness. We are in the light, the marvelous light which will brighten us up whereby we will be able to accomplish the mission entrusted with us. Therefore we need to walk in the light.
When we are in darkness we cannot see anything what is in there. We are ignorant of what is happening around. We will be groping in darkness not knowing what to do. We are in our sinful condition. Self alone will be our focus. How to gratify our selfish desires, no matter what happened to others, becomes the whole purpose of life because we have no connection with the Light who said “Ye are the light of the world”. The end result is that we will be tied up with the world and our hearts will be filled with “all malice, all guile, hypocrisies and envies and all evil speaking” 1 Peter 2:1. To get out of such kind of a situation we need to get connected to the source of Light-Jesus our Lord. Mere words are insufficient to get connected, we need to experience Jesus in our lives to be out of the darkness which we are in. It is possible only through the study of His word asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. A sincere seeker of truth will never be cast out without help. Therefore let us make a resolution to seek the truth and walk in the light as we have entered into the new year.
When we get connected with our Lord Jesus, we will be able to see how He lived while He was on the earth. He lived among the people, mingled with them, attended to their needs-- healed the sick, comforted the down hearted, cast out the devil, fed the hungry. Nothing was done with an intention of self glory, but to make others comfortable. When we are in the light, that light of unselfishness will enter into the heart of each one of us. We also will be able to do the same mission that he started out in the world while He lived here. That is what is expected of us by heaven- to walk in the light. When we really know him, our vision will be enhanced and we can see perfectly well what our real condition is. Jesus is the Light and by beholding Him we will be changed into His likeness. He was full of compassion for every one of his erring children. When we feel the need of a cleansing He is ready and willing to cleanse us. But that choice is ours. We need to seek to be cleansed. Unless we feel the need of that cleansing, it is impossible for us to walk in the light of Jesus. Many a time, we are proud, arrogant and self-seeking, without being aware of it. Unless we surrender ourselves to the cleansing power of Jesus, we will remain still in darkness. When we surrender our ‘self’ willingly to the source of power, the compassionate Savior, He takes control and we will become new. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” 1 Cor.5:17. Take a moment and think! Am I undergoing the new birth experience in my daily life? As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to serve our fellow beings with the same compassion and kindness Jesus showed while He lived here on the earth. An unselfish service only will be acceptable to the Lord. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in Heaven” Mathew 5:16. Remember glory and honor belong to God alone, not to any human being. God bless you.
Jeevan Jyothi Pathfinder Club, Hosur
The Jeevan Jyothi Pathfinder club was established about two decades ago when the Southern Asia Division office moved from Pune to Hosur. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The church which neglects to train up the youth and children will soon find that they drift away from the truth and finally leave the fold. Pathfindering is a program that is committed to train the children and youth in the ways of the Lord so that they would grow to be the pillars of the church in the future.
As it has been the practice in Jeevan Jyothi Church, this year the Pathfinder leaders took up the challenge of nurturing and training the children of the church and the community. With the enrollment program in January 2012, about 40 children became part of the club. Ten master guides were put into action to care for the needs of the group which was divided into seven small units. The master guides were given the responsibility of mentoring by being role models for the children. We had fifteen Adventurer and 25 Pathfinder members. This year we had three students enrolled and completed successfully the PLA class (Pathfinder Leadership Award) and six students worked hard and completed the APLA class (Advanced Pathfinder Leadership Award). These seniors had the honor of being invested by the General Conference Youth Director Elder Gilbert Cangy at a youth Congress meeting organized by SUD youth department on November 10, 2012 in Bangalore. It was a memorable event. When working with children we realized that we needed to use new and fresh ideas to capture their attention and make an impact in their lives.
As we prayerfully worked out the programs and even though there were challenges, God became the only refuge to hold on to. Therefore by God’s grace we sailed through the year gaining victory after victory with each event passing successfully. Some of the activities that we undertook were Nature walks, Pot painting, trip to the zoo, trip to Mysore Palace, overnight camp in the Division campus, and Summer Camp in Denkanikotai. The pathfinder Club hosted three major events this year to bless the church and the community.
1) Art Exhibition on 26th January, 2012: The pathfinder children colored pictures depicting the National theme. It was an event that triggered the patriotic spirit in the children and audience
2) Science and Bible Exhibition on August 15, 2012: This was a unique exhibition ever seen. The theme was based on “Creation”. It was an attempt to create an awareness of how God created the world in six days and how Science is a revelation of God’s handiwork. The exhibition was divided into seven booths, each was to depict simple science experiments based on that day of creation. For example Light was created on the first day, so the children showed experiments on light on the first booth. The event was a great success.
3) Week of Prayer from November 17 to 22, 2012: Another unique event that culminated into the investiture service was the week of prayer that was completely hosted by the children for the church. The theme was based on the concept developed by the director of the club Alwyn Mark who said “If Jesus were to give you a HI Five what would it have”. He says it would have five avenues or channels through Jesus wants to train the young people. These five channels are: 1) Bible: for it is a lamp unto our feet. 2) Nature: for it is the handiwork of God.
3) Music: for good music is heaven bound. 4) Pioneer Stories: for the bible says do not remove the landmarks of the past. 5) Health: for our body is the temple of God. The children of the club presented messages on each topic each day. They called it the “Hi Five from Jesus”. It was a blessed event and the children enjoyed it.
The investiture service was held on 24, November 2012. SUD youth director, Ravi Shankar was the guest of honor.
He spoke of the Pathfinder Club being a worldwide organization committed to training the youth of the church in a holistic manner which includes the Spiritual, Social, Physical and Mental aspects of the child’s development. That evening 15 adventurers and 25 Pathfinders were invested for the completion of their requirements. It was a high week and weekend for the club as they took over the Sabbath services also. LeRoy Samuel, the Sponsor of the club shared God’s word with the congregation on the theme “Creation Speaks out God’s glory”. Part of his message was delivered by the pathfinder children.
This year, in the history of the Pathfinder Club, the church witnessed how much the children and youth of the church can do for the church if they are motivated and guided enough to accomplish their task. The counselors and junior counselors were encouraged to render their voluntary service to guide and motivate the children. We, as a club, are thankful to the Lord for His marvelous leading. Only heaven knows what impact the club has had on the children. We just hope that they would become strong pillars of the church in future, holding responsibilities and gaining victories in Jesus’ name. Please keep the club in your prayers as we move on into the future, praying for the courage to stand.
Theme song of the week of prayer:
Courage To Stand
We are called to stand for such a time as this
We must fight for what is right and learn to trust in Him
We have a truth to live for, a promise to defend
Stand up tall stand up proud ‘till the very end
Chorus. Stand strong, stand firm press on until the end
And claim the promise of His word
We have got a message let’s spread it through the land
Praying for the courage to stand
Let’s run but let’s not hide proclaiming once again
To fight for what is right showing love unto all men
Not fearing what may come nor looking to the past
Trusting everything we are to the one whose love will last
Standing, standing, standing on the promises of Christ my savior
Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God
Praying for the courage to stand x 2
Alwyn Mark, Director, Pathfinder Club, Jeevan Jyothi Church
Women’s Retreat: Jeevan Jyothi English Church, Hosur
The women in the Division headquarters church were offered a day off from their routine work and deliberations on Sunday 25th November, 2012. Lissie George and Ruby Anbiah, women’s ministries leaders of the church, planned for an outing for the women to Jain Farm, a retreat center, around 50 km away from Hosur. At 8’0 clock in the morning we boarded the school bus and reached there by 8.45. After having breakfast there, we moved into the spiritual session of the program.
Premila Masih, Division Women’s Ministries Director delivered a beautiful message on hospitality. She encouraged each woman to be hospitable and caring. Gracifills Sangma, Jamuna Gompa & Kunta Biswas presented an excellent skit about a wealthy man who yearned to earn more but lost his wealth, family and even health. The skit demonstrated how covetousness brings destruction and ruin in human life. We learned that it is always good to be content with what we have and to live an acceptable life before the Lord.
Next, Deborah Samraj engaged the women in a Bible game in the way of a written quiz based on the book of psalms. It was a delightful experience for all the women and inspired us to keep close touch with the Bible. We also had a season of prayer after which we departed for our social enjoyments. Some of us enjoyed swimming in the swimming pool and others walked around watching the different attractions in the farm. By evening we returned to Hosur after refreshing ourselves for a day. We thank the WM leaders and all those who supported to make this day possible for the women of the church.
Lay training program in Shillong
Recognizing the need for the involvement of the laity in evangelism, Tony Rykers, a lay man from Australia conducts training program for lay people to reach people with the message of the second coming of Jesus. Responding to his call a lay training program was organized in the Khasi Jaintia Conference from June 23 to 24, 2012. The programs were held in Shillong Central Church.
Inspiring instructions and counsels were given by Tony Rykers from the Cornerstone Ministries, Australia. Along with the members many local church pastors were also present. Pastors had their training program on how to use the final events DVD study guide. All the pastors and the members who attended the two days training program were greatly blessed and enriched. They rededicated their lives to work for the Master in the days to come with vigor and enthusiasm.
Final Events DVD Training Program at Aizawl, Mizoram
Final Events is a DVD produced by the Cornerstone Ministry, Australia and distributed free of cost to anyone who is interested to watch the same. There is a specific way of using the same and one can reach many people with the warning message of the second coming of Jesus.
The Final Events DVD training program was organized in Mizo Conference on June 29, 2012. Inspiring instructions and counsels were given by Tony Rykers. He taught the pastors how to make use of the Final Events DVD to reach the people for Christ. Pastors were inspired and committed to make use of this facility to make people ready for the coming of Christ.
You may also contact Pr. C D Mathew
Let us all work together, use all the means and facility available to finish the gospel work. May we get ready and also make others ready for the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rajaratnam Jones
MARATHI – VOP BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL REOPENED
Marathi VOP Bible Correspondence School was reopened on Sep 18th 2012 at the Central Maharashtra Conference, Pune by Western India Union. Hidayat Masih, SSPM Director, SUD, R Y Jadhav, President of WIU, L D Battise, SSPM Director of WIU and J N sathe, President of CMC were present to grace the occasion. A brief history of Marathi VOP School was presented by L D Battise. Hidayat Masih delivered a devotional message after which he reopened the Marathi VOP School. Other officers and Staff of WIU and Central Maharashtra Conference had witnessed it. We pray and dedicate this school to God who would help us to spread the everlasting gospel message to many Marathi communities in Maharashtra.
DVD EVANGELISM TRAINING PROGRAM
DVD Evangelism Training Programs were conducted in three unions--Southwest, Southeast and Northern India Unions in Southern Asia Division. Jonathan Kuntaraf, Director, Sabbath School & Personal Ministries, General Conference; Chester Clark 111, ASI Director; and Hidayat Masih, SSPM Director, SUD were the resource personnel who led out these DVD training programs successfully.
Southwest India Union: DVD Evangelism training took place in Ernakulam, Kerala on October 30 & 31, 2012. K J Varghese, SSPM Director, was the coordinator. Around 115 people attended all the sessions.
The Resource personnel gave them training regarding how to win others to the Master using the New Beginnings DVD, CD. All the delegates received a DVD player and New Beginning Sermons and a book with evangelism training materials.
Southeast India Union: DVD Evangelism took place in Chennai at St. Thomas Mount on November 1 & 2, 2012. Rajamani Muthu R, SSPM Director, was the coordinator. Delegates numbering 155 from all over SIU units safely arrived to the training place; attended all the sessions enthusiastically. All of them recieved the New Beginnings DVD, CD, and a book with evangelism training materials.
Family get-together Week
Thrissur Central Church celebrated the family get-together week on September 29, 2012. Joseph Skariah was the speaker for the Vespers and the Sabbath for this special week.
He awakened the church with beautiful illustrations of God’s love for His people. Children presented beautiful roses to their parents & they in turn held the roses high above their heads & waved together to thank God for His blessings on the families. After the divine service a fellowship lunch was served. Altogether it was a wonderful time for everyone.
Journeying with Jesus:
Week of Prayer at Priyadarshini College of Nursing
About 50 to 60 % of attendance in our churches consists of women. Some women are called by God to serve in their local churches and in their communities. One of such active women (Lay Leader) in Andhra Pradesh is Madam Lily Choppala. She has been playing an important role in support of Lord’s work in various aspects. She takes part in church activities; on her own she established a church; at present she is running a Nursing School and College. She also runs a school-- Tholath Memorial high school in Rajamundry, AP.
When asked, she highly testified of the leading of the Lord in her life. Recently I got the opportunity to work closely with her when she invited me to be the speaker for a week of spiritual emphasis. The theme was “Journeying with Jesus”. The messages were focused on young people, nearly 250 girls who came from different religious backgrounds. Emphasis was on daily walk with Jesus. In spite of rain, many came to listen the messages based on bible truth and end time preparation. There was good music, lively stories by Lilly Satyavadi, and great singing by the students.
Lily Choppala also invited nearby Christian leaders, pastors and members. It was truly a time of revival. There was question answer sessions and prayer sessions. Finally on November 3rd Sabbath services in Rajamundry was a time of celebration for the local members and students of Priyadarshini College of Nursing. We had seven girls taken stand for Jesus by baptism.
It is the desire of Lily Choppala to run the school exactly on Adventist principles and guidelines. Many young people take decision for Jesus in this noble institution. Some testify that the experience at Priaydarshini has not only enlightened them in Nursing career but also to know Jesus and learn clear Bible truths. We praise God for active lay people in our church. We want to wish God’s rich blessings on Priyadarshini college of Nursing as they continue to shine for Jesus.
Measapogu Wilson, Director Ministry to Families, Children, Differently abled & Prisons, SUD
They Shall See His Face…
Annual Conference for Sight Impaired
Behold, He cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him… Rev 1:7 NKJV. One day soon your eyes will be opened and you will first see Jesus face to face. When I preached on this, there was smile and relief upon the young and old in the conference for Blind recently. Adventist church is a caring church. We care for hearing and sight impaired. We have 25 pastors working among the deaf in ECIU, SEIU and SCIU. We thank God for the noble organization-- Asian Aid-- for their support to the most unfortunate in the society. We have a school for sight impaired in Bobbili (AP) and for speech & hearing Impaired in Kollegal (Karnataka). Many physically handicapped children find hope through these special schools. Many students excel in studies, local community activities and more importantly knowing Jesus who will make them whole one day when He comes.
We have many sight impaired believers spread all over the division. In particular we have 50 or more members in and around
This year we gathered at Sunshine campus from October 25 to 28. About 50 believers, children and others have wonderful messages on preparation for end time, quality Christian life etc. At the end of the conference, Sabbath day, 27th October, was a very special day for them. 10 people took baptism and joined the Adventist faith. Leadership of SCIU, Bangalore Metro Conference and Sunshine Home gave their full co-operation. We thank them sincerely. We look forward to have such fellowships for disabled in other unions too. We thank all who contributed in making this programme a success. Kindly pray for the disabled ones that Jesus be their strength.
Measapogu Wilson, Director, Differently abled.
Music workshop for Northeast India Union
Music Workshop for Northeast India Union was conducted at two places; Aizawl on 23rd October and in Shillong on 25th October 2012. The workshop at Aizawl started with a devotion by P C Liansailova, a retired departmental director and a well known song composer. He also took one paper on “How to Compose Christian Music/songs”. The main resource person was Edison Samraj, Director, Adventist Media Centre (AMC) Pune. He presented papers on the following subjects:
- (i)Guidelines to Christian Music
- (ii)Concept, Content and Context of Christian Music
- (iii)Rudiment (Basic) of Sacred Music
- (iv)Significance of Christian Music
At the end of the workshop, a music association for the Mizo Conference was formed. The association was named Mizo Adventist Music Association (MAMA). A resolution from the music workshop was sent to the Mizo Conference Executive Committee to endorse the Association so that it can serve as a platform for the musicians/singers/composers to a level that their work can be benefited by the world church through AWR and other electronic media of the church. In all 16 singers/composers/musicians of the Conference attended the workshop, which include Vanlupuii & Tlanthangi who are singers of repute.
The workshop in Shillong is meant mainly for Khasi Jaintia Conference. Though the attendance in this workshop was thin, yet the participants were the cream of Khasi Jaintia Conference with regard to music. Edison Samraj being the main resource personnel presented his papers. “How to Compose Christian Music” was presented by Standhope Hynniewta. At the end of the workshop, a visit was made to the Khasi Jaintia Conference office to see the room for setting up a recording studio. The union would like to put on record its appreciation to Edison Samraj for his valuable presentations, and we look forward that his visit will bear much fruits and the music ministry will be raised to a higher level.
C C Dkhar, Communication Director, NEIU
Inauguration & Dedication of Education and Evangelism Centre at Newasa Since Newasa, in Ahmednagar District, occupies an important place in the History of Seventh – day Adventist Church in Maharashtra, this strategically located town required a State of Art Building and a Magnificent Infrastructure to cater to the needs of the Church & the School. The Lord, through ‘Maranatha Volunteers – International & India’ has made this dream come true. November 26, 2012 brought hundreds of guests to Newasa to witness the Inauguration & Dedication of the newly constructed “Education and Evangelism Centre” [ EEC ]. The officers of Western India Union-- R Y Jadhav, President; Sanjeevan Arsud, Executive Secretary and Rakesh Chavan, Treasurer-- led out in organizing this auspicious occasion.
Besides the SUD President, R. John, and Treasurer, G S Robert Clive, the occasion was graced by the presence of Don Noble, Director, Maranatha International, Laura Noble, Member of Maranatha Volunteers Internationals’ Public Relations Team, Darrell Hardy – Vice President, construction, Maranatha International, Vinish Wilson – Director Maranatha India, and Maranatha volunteers & board members. After much prayers, the centre was inaugurated and dedicated to God's glory. The WIU, on behalf of the North Maharashtra Section, the Newasa church members and The Nolla McHenry Memorial English Medium School, would like to say a big THANK YOU to ‘Maranatha Volunteers – International & India’ for their generosity. Anupam Nowrangi – Communication Director – WIU.