Missions, India, and college update by Ernest Abraham
EDITED: Ernest graciously corrected a few errors and gave me more information on GFA to share with you. So I have re-posted this as a current entry so you can read this article again with all the corrections. The main differences were that his father has planted 140 churches (not 40). And I thought, that in light of current events in India, some people might want information about GFA so they can help pastors who are spreading the Gospel under EXTREMELY adverse circumstances. Please keep Ernest in your prayers as he continues his education.
Ernest began by telling us God is good. He told us, before we get over one encounter with God, we need to drink again so we can stay filled with Him.
We are sponsoring Ernest’s graduate education toward missions. He plans to go back to India and use what he has learned to help his people. But while he is here, Ernest is praying God will use him to make a difference.
At college he began a prayer group. The people at his college talked about God but many did not have time or energy to give to God. Initially 8 people came to the prayer group, but because it was early in the morning, the attendance began waning until it went from 8 to 6 to 4, to 3, to 2 and then to 1.
In January they were praying daily, by February people claimed they stayed up late to study so couldn’t make the prayer group. (You should know Ernest is taking a double load of classes so he can complete his studies sooner to get back to the mission field.)
There was a Korean Christian population at the college and they were praying for hours at a time, not realizing how long they were praying. They would start at 11 and pray until 12:30 at night, and often longer than that. This group started because two brothers started praying God would work on the campus. They prayed three years, before seeing results. Now some of his fellow students are praying with that group, and for many it was an adjustment to pray with such intensity.
Ernest feels a pressure to make sure the John 3:16 message “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” goes throughout the world.
Ernest asked us to pray for his school and the people on the campus. It is one of the influential campuses in the Evangelical colleges.
Ernest said the book of Numbers also has indications of the second coming of Christ, but did not give us specifics – I want to know more! The people at his college have a lot of Biblical knowledge, but have a disconnect with Spiritual reality even though they know the Word of God. He wants people to pray not only for the students but also for the faculty. Fourteen of the faculty are on various strategic and decisive committees for making statements of faith.
In the United States many know the Bible and even claim to have a so-called “Christian culture” but they are devoid of tangible supernatural power. His mission is to reach people who do not know about Jesus.
Knowledge of Jesus can offend people. He talked about a village church in India who were having a large local gathering of believers. The local Hindu leaders got mad at the Christians and came in and destroyed the church building and badly beat up the Pastors and congregated believers. There is a wave of persecution that is happening in India. Yet Christians are on fire for the Lord, in spite of the persecution. Often times people lose all they have because of persecution and they do not have much. Yet they also pray for us.
To spread the Word of God requires teamwork – it is not a one man show. We need to walk the street and do the job that God has for us. To walk for Jesus.
The people being persecuted hold onto a peace in the midst of persecution, a peace that passes all understanding.
In one of the towns Ernest’s father had planted a church (his dad has planted 140 churches in the rural areas of India – areas where the huge evangelical campaigns do not reach), 100 people came in a large truck and beat up the preacher and the people. They destroyed whatever they could. These people were willing to pay the price and work for God.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. We need to know how much He cares for us and not let anything stop us from doing His work.
Our church supports many foreign missions. (Pastor Don told us the money that our church sends to Ernest’s father is split out among many of the pastors. A missionary family can be very blessed by $60 for they live very simply.) Ernest told us it is not just money, but also our prayer for the missions that matters. Ernest said, “Money is necessary but our resources come from God.” So prayer is the key.
I am honored to know Ernest and I know he will accomplish great things for God. After his talk I was chatting with him after service and he let me know over this semester he has about 9,000 pages of text to read and that includes other academic assignments.
Hoping your day is blessed. Take some time today to pray for missions, for the people in areas of the world that face intense persecution. We really have it so easy we get kind of lazy in our faith. But for many of these people, they are held together by prayer and a relationship with God. Check out this website: http://www.gfa.org/ to see how you can help spread the Word of God.
Note: GFA asks for a $20/25 support because they have multiple supporters covering a single missionary to ensure that the support is not cut off totally at any time. GFA pools support from 3-7 sponsors, per missionary.
Although it is relatively inexpensive it costs $25 to support a child in an orphanage / child development home (for those from very poor or abusive homes/ environments, missionary kids whose parent’s work in high risk areas etc.), $30 to support a prospective native missionary student at a bible training center, $25 to support social workers and aid workers, $60 to support a single missionary in rural areas, $75 to support missionary families in rural areas and around $125 (average) to support missionaries in Urban areas. The reason I’m correcting this is because otherwise people may be misled to think that the figures are exaggerated, when they hear someone (other than GFA) speak of the financial cost of missions.
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