Greetings in Jesus Name!

This last month has been a busy one and the Lord has opened so many doors for us to preach here.  He has truly given us great favor in the village we live in and the ones we’ve been preaching in.  Since our new translator arrived about two weeks ago we’ve been busy village preaching, open air preaching, having house meetings, and having a youth meeting at our house on Fridays.  Our translator, named Ishmael, is a brother who is a convert from Islam and works with us each Monday-Thursday.  On the weekends he goes back to his town to be with his family and fellowship. 

                                          (Brother Ishmanel - Above Pic)

Then there is another brother I met here who’s been a great blessing and has translated for us many times when the other brother is gone.  We’re truly thankful the Lord has provided genuine brothers for us to work together with in the Gospel.  Especially when so many of the pastors here seem greedy for gain, serving money, instead of serving Christ.  We’ve had many pastors come by our house wanting to work with us, set up meetings, and of course they only need so many $$$$ to do it.  But we’ve committed each one of them to prayer seeking if it was the Lords will to work with any or not.  It’s been amazing to see God’s faithfulness as He has shown us who to work with and who not to work with.  God is faithful!

There’s so many things I could share.  I’ll highlight a few of the outreaches and share what the Lord is doing.


VILLAGE OUTREACHES

One of the brothers I’ve become friends with, name Michael,  has really helped us out by showing us many of the surrounding villages where we can preach.  Most of these villages have no one who preaches there on a regular basis.  We’ve chosen about 6 or so villages to preach in so we can rotate them and go to them on a weekly basis.  Each day we’re able to have about 2 to 3 meetings in different villages.   This way we can continue to sow the seed of God’s word in the hearts of the people and we’ll get to know them as we continue to come.  While I know we’d all like to see people saved the first time we preach to them, and sometimes it does happen, it’s usually not the norm.  So by God’s grace we’ll be faithful to continue to preach the gospel to them and watch God give them the increase in their heart. 

The villages we’re preaching in now are predominately Hindu with a smaller Muslim community.  Some have a few believers in them but most of the “believers” here are not believers at all.  They are simply Christian by birth (which is impossible) and have no idea what the gospel is.  There’s one village by my house we’ve been able to preach in a few times.  Here’s a few photo's of the village: 

When we go to the villages it’s usually me and two other brothers.  We’ll find an area to set up in and usually start with some songs.  While we’re singing one of the brothers will go door to door and let others know we’re having a meeting and that we will be preaching about Jesus Christ.  By the time we’re done with a few songs there will usually be a small crowd gathered together to listen.  I’ll preach the Gospel and one of the brothers will translate.  I usually almost always preach two messages when we preach.  I’ll preach out of a text and explain the Gospel and then I almost always go and preach out of Acts 17 as well and relate it to India.  Because this country if FULL of idolatry it’s a great portion of scripture to expose idolatry for what it is and to lay some foundational truth about God and the Gospel.  After one meeting a couple families invited us over to their house (grass hut) to have tea and talk more.  Both of them began to take their idols down and throw them away!  Now, I’m not convinced these’s families are born again yet but God is certainly working in their hearts.  We were able to share with them some more one on one, pray with them,  and leave them with bibles.  Since we’ll be going to these village on a regular basis we’ll be able to continue teach them the word and, by God’s grace, see them enter into true salvation. 

Another time we went back to this same village all the men had gone to the city to try to get the power company to bring electricity to the village.  So when we started the meeting there were a few women and LOTS of children.  So we decided to do a meeting just for the kids.  Brother Ishmael and I, spent the next couple hours teaching the children bible songs and sharing some of the miracles Jesus did during His lifetime.  It was really a joy to teach the children about Jesus and to see them get excited as we shared. 


OPEN AIR PREACHING

While our village meetings are open air preaching we also decided one night to go preaching in a village center.  It was a place where four roads came together and was sort of an intersection for the villages.  We went at dark, and I wasn’t familiar with the villages around us, so I was a little nervous.  But myself and Ishmael stood up on a small wall with our mic and started preaching.  I started out sharing my testimony and before long there was a good size crowd.  Maybe 20-25 people who stopped or had come to listen.  I preached on sin, God’s righteousness, and the Judgment to come, and Christ as the only way to be saved.  It was more interactive as I asked people questions and let them respond.  It was amazing.  As I preached on sin you could see the conviction on people’s faces.  I then preached Christ to them and exhorted them to turn to the One true God.  When we were finished we again talked one on one and passed out bibles.   It was a good night.  And though I started out with fear I left rejoicing in the Lord. 


YOUTH/COLLEGE MEETING

There’s this young man (20 yrs) who is at our house every day.  He doesn’t speak good English but he comes over to just hang out when we’re home.  He’s pretty much a compulsive liar and has no real ambition except to hang out with his friends.  He reminds me a lot of myself before I was converted!  He’s a guy who knows just about everyone in town and he’s always brining his friends over to our house.  (I know the Lord has him at our house for a reason - and we're praying for his salvation!)  So a few weeks ago we asked him to invite his friends over on Friday night and told him we would have a bible study and talk about Jesus Christ.  The first night he brought about 15 young men over and it’s been the same almost every week.  On the first night he brought all his “Christian” friends who go to a “Christian” school in a large city about 45 minutes from here.  Since they go to a Christian school I asked them to explain to me the central message of the bible.  They all just looked at me with blank stares on their faces and had no idea what I was talking about.  They all said they were Christians by birth (which again is impossible).  I spent the next couple hours convincing them of their sin, showing them they were NOT Christians, that if they died in their current state they would go to Hell, and preached to them how there is forgiveness of sin’s through faith in Jesus Christ.  There was no confusion when they left that they too must repent and be born again just like the Hindu’s and Muslims.  The good new is that a couple of them have continued to come on the following Fridays.  Each Friday there’s a couple guys who continue to come and then there are always new friends that he brings over.  This last week we had more Hindu’s and a couple Muslims come as well.  I never really intended to start a youth meeting… and I wouldn’t really call it that.  The Lord has made a way though for these young men to come to our house so we can preach Jesus to them and teach them the word of God.  Please keep these meetings in your prayers!!


HOUSE MEETINGS

Another outreach we do frequently is house meetings.  We’ll meet someone and get invited over to their house for dinner and be able to preach to them and their neighbors.  There are always kids that come over to our house to meet us and play with our children.  Usually the children speak some English because they are taught it in school.  There are these two brothers that always come by and they asked us to come and have dinner with their family.  They’re from a Hindu family and their house is in walking distance from ours.  We had dinner and scheduled a time when we could come back the following week and have a bible study.   The next week we all went back and there were about 20 people there to hear the word of God (family and neighbors).  The brothers and I sang some songs and then I preached the Gospel and again preached from Acts 17.  People seemed pretty attentive when I was preaching from acts.  Lisa said she saw one young man get mad when I was preaching about idols.  He got up and left.  The rest listened and followed along in the bible.  When we were finished we prayed for just about everyone individually.  We again passed out bibles and had dinner with the family.  Lord-willing we’ll have another meeting at their house soon!  (We’ve actually had several house meetings like this in different places)

BIBLES, BIBLES AND BIBLES

Seems the word had gotten out that we are Christians and have bibles . J  Over the last two weeks, on almost a daily basis, we’ve had many people come to our house and ask for bible.  Some we’ve never met before.  Some are what people call “nominal” Christians  (which means that if they died they would be lost and go to Hell) and some are Hindus who are interested in learning more about Christ.  We had one lady who came by for a bible the other day and we had a home meeting at her house 2 days ago and have another one scheduled for this next Tuesday.  It’s been a blessing to be able to give bibles and see people come and ask for them.  I know that if they will just read the word of God it can do FAR more than my preaching for one or two hours can.  In fact the first thing I do before I preach the Gospel is always lift of the word of God and share some passages that talk about God’s word and what it will do for us if we receive it.  My sincere hope is that after I’ve preached they will take the word of God home and begin to read it for themselves….that God will give them faith…and that they will meet God through Jesus Christ and be saved.  We’ve actually run out of whole bible (praise God!) and will be getting some more.  I did find a place where we can get some free new testaments and have some on their way to us.  As far as ministry needs that’s pretty much our only need at this time.  If anyone wants to help with bibles we can get them for about $2-$2.50 each (whole bibles) and is definitely money well spent!!


PREACHING IN MUSLIM VILLAGE

I specifically want to ask for prayer for the next couple of weeks.  Michael, a dear brother the Lord has allowed me to meet and fellowship with, has shown me a village not too far from my house that’s probably about 90% Muslim.  It’s a dark place.  You can just feel it when you enter the village.  There is a local pastor there who’s been preaching and laying his life down to reach the village.  In fact he was financially well off, living in Hyderabad, when he forsook everything to reach the Muslims with the Gospel.  Now he lives in almost poverty so he can preach and reach the Muslims in the village with the Gospel.  He has nine children and often goes without food for periods of time.  In fact, one time they went without food for so long one of his kids got sick and died.  The pastor didn’t tell me all this…Michael did.  The pastor just had joy on his face as he talked about the Lord and introduced us to a mother and daughter who had come to Christ.  So we’re planning on going there and preaching along with this brother a couple times a week to help him reach those in the village.  We’ll be holding open meetings similar to our other meetings and going door to door as well.   If you could, please specifically keep this in prayer.


UNCLEAR GOSPEL AND FALSE CONVERTS

Ironically one of the greatest hindrances to the Gospel here are the PREACHERS!  So many of them preach a watered down half truth Gospel.  They apparently fail to tell their congregations that if they believe in Jesus they must FORSAKE their idols AND Hindu customs.  So you’ll see many so called believers who still paint their nails orange (Hindu custom), they’ll still have pictures of Idols in their homes, paint their children’s face around the eyes, do witchcraft on their children when they are sick and many other superstitious things.  When I ask them about it they’ll just try to say it’s India custom.  But the FACT is India custom comes from Hinduism.  When I point that out they’ll finally, reluctantly, agree with me. But they don’t see it as that important…yet their congregations are half dead.  You’ll sometimes go into a “believers” homes and find they’ve removed all the Hindu pictures and replaced them with these false Catholic pictures of Jesus (the one where he has the burning heart in his chest).  So instead of praying to the idols they pray before this picture of a false Jesus.  So they replace one idol with another idol and the preachers seem to be content.  It reminds me of what the Lord said in Jeremiah 6:14 “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. “   They fail to teach people that God is worshiped in “Spirit and Truth”.   (John 4:24)  They think the people are spiritually healed while they are actually still in bondage.  And when they don’t teach people that they must repent of and forsake their Hindu customs they are saying it’s ok to drink from the  cup of the Lord and the cup of demons at the same time…. contrary  to what the Word of God says (1 Cor 10:21)  So along with the saving message of Jesus Christ we always preach on these things as well.  Jesus was clear in Luke 14 regarding the conditions of discipleship and we should be clear about what it means to follow Jesus if we truly love people and the Lord.  The truth sets men free!  But if you don’t tell them the whole truth you leave them in bondage.  This is the case of much of the church here. 



THE OTHER IDOL


Everywhere you turn here there are idols.  There are probably 20 billion idols in this country…maybe more.  They are easy to see.  They look demonic.  They are usually some half man half animal creature with at least 4 arms.  Anyone walking into this country would easily agree with Paul when he saw Athens and say this country is “wholly given over to idolatry”.  But the bottom line truth is America is the same way!  And as many of you know Americas idol ($$$) seems to be in big trouble right now and unable to deliver those who are trusting in it.  People think the idolatry here is bad because it SO obvious.  It’s easy to look at and see how sick and perverted it is.  But the idolatry of money, possessions, comfort, ect is NO different.  God says that covetousness IS idolatry.  All idolatry is sin and NO idolater will enter the kingdom of God.  Whether you physically bow down on your knees before some demonic statue or with your heart you bow down and serve money, it makes no difference to God.  It’s all the same.  God lumps them all in the same class and excludes all idolaters from his Kingdom.   I don’t know what lies ahead but if things keep going they way they are it’s only going to get worse.  And if you’re secretly in your heart trusting in money, seeking possessions, and living for this life - even if you claim the name of Jesus, you’re going to be like the man who built his house on the sand - one who hear the word of God but doesn't obey. (Matt 7).   Your ruin will be great, your life will be a disaster, and you’ll end up in Hell.  I pray that before things get worse that you will evaluate your heart/life in light of God’s Word.   Let the Lord begin to expose any sin in your heart and truly begin to trust and obey Jesus.  “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”  (Romans 10:11)


Brethren, we ask that you continue to pray for us!  Pray that God would continue to graciously open the doors for us to preach and see a harvest of souls come into His kingdom.  The day of our final redemption truly does draw closer.  Let us all finish our race reaching for the prize! 

IN Christ,

Sean & Lisa

www.preachingjesuschrist.com
(there are more family pic's on Lisa's blog)

 


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