During these challenging times, we at LCA are praying that this year will see better days ahead for you and your family. Many we know have found the last few weeks very difficult and our thoughts are with you all.
Over the past 3 months Andhra Pradesh & Telangana have seen the effects of Covid-19 decrease as the numbers of cases have declined. On the other hand, they are living with unknown diseases & viruses which have caused health concerns. Over the Christmas period, food and clothing was distributed by Carmel Ministries & New Life Disabled to widows, needy children, the homeless, leprosy & HIV families.
The Church in Andhra Pradesh has recently been experiencing an increase in opposition to its activities. Christians are blamed wrongly for damage purposely done to temples by extremists. Home groups, gospel rallies, tract distribution, and use of PA systems can be objected to. River baptisms now need permission before taking place, so the freedom of Christians is now being eroded.
Despite all this, the ministry work of our partners is still going on and lives are being changed for good, for which we give thanks to God.
It is good to hear that the Bible College & Vocational training Institute have resumed classes after the damage done to the building from the heavy rains & floods last year. All lectures are now conducted online. Due to the virus there are currently fewer students enrolled from other states in India.
The 40 children in the Home have all kept well and safe during these days but Carmel Ministries School has not been given permission from the local Government to reopen. The children are receiving online teaching but unfortunately those from the local slum areas are missing out due to limited technical resources.
The village Pastors have permission to hold services, but the attendance is low. Despite these setbacks, it is very encouraging to hear some amazing testimonies such as Ambica’s.
Ambica is from the Lambadi tribe and was very much into idol worship. Unfortunately, one day her 12-year-old son had a serious accident and went into a coma for almost five months. Ambica went to different gods for prayer but he was not healed. A lady from Pastor Yesuratnam’s Church shared her testimony of how Jesus had healed her and requested her to attend an all-night prayer meeting. After 2 months of prayer by the Church, Ambica’s son came out of the coma and recovered very quickly. Ambica came to believe in Jesus and was baptised this year. Pastor Yesuratnam is now able to minister in her village where all are idol worshippers and addicted to liquor.
New Life Disabled
Unfortunately, there is still no opportunity for the disabled to go for their operations which would give them an improved life and brighter future.
The Church ministry has seen a new Church plant recently start up in a house in a nearby village. The opening was held outside, next to the house which along with the owner was blessed and prayed for.
Sujatha shares how one man came to the main Church with many debts and struggles. He had nowhere to turn for help. The congregation prayed for him and he came to receive Jesus as his Saviour. As the days went by God blessed him and helped him to pay back all his debts, and he has now started up a small shop which sells stationary goods and some daily necessities. Last month Sujatha had the joy of opening the shop and praying for God’s blessing upon it.
Online teaching is continuing but there is hope that the school might reopen sometime this month.
One of the children LCA support wrote the following: “I am Samuel and studying 2nd grade in Bens School. I like to play a lot, read story books, and sometimes draw pictures. We celebrated Christmas at home, and I was very happy wearing new clothes and going to church along with my family. I got a gift from my school for Christmas. I was very happy when I received a gift from school. I thanked my madam for the surprise gift. I was very sad for a long time because of lockdown but Christmas made me very happy. I went to church, sang songs, prayed to Jesus to protect every one of us, and to bless all of us with good health. My father is a teacher, but he lost his job, my Mom a home maker. I am doing online classes. I like my school very much and am waiting to go back”.
Thankfully an LCA supporter is sponsoring Samuel every month for £25 so enabling him to continue his education.
Like us LCA’s partners are looking forward with renewed hope & trust in God for 2021. In the meantime, please give PRAISE for all that God is doing and PRAY for LCA and its projects.
Thank God the ministry work continues despite the opposition experienced.
Praise God for the 20 baptisms which took place at the beginning of the year.
Pray for peace in Andhra Pradesh, especially for the religious fights to stop.
Pray for finances to get through to our project partners which at present is having difficulties due to a recent new rule in India.
Pray for the Trustees meeting on Saturday 6th March for God’s guidance in these challenging times.
LCA is very grateful for your continued support & prayers enabling us to continue to support the work in India.
God bless and keep you safe and well in this new year of 2021.