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The Genesis of Vision Nationals

October 22nd, 2014

How we grew from a single church plant into a multi-faceted ministry that touches thousands of lives each year can only be described as an act of God’s pure grace.

It all started when Jesus called a young man from a Hindu family to follow Him…

“I was seventeen years old when my father, a devout Hindu, came to Christ after a miraculous healing from paralysis. From that time on he studied the Christian Scriptures and vowed that all of his family would serve Jesus Christ as the only God. Despite the miracle, I was not about to trade the gods and scriptures I had loved since my childhood for a “Western religion.” I could not deny Jesus was a god; he had healed my father, after all. But by no means would I serve Christ as the only God.

“Angry at my father’s conversion and convinced that the Bible would affirm the plurality of gods, I poured over the Bible my father had given me, looking for the evidence I needed to convince him that the Bible was consistent with our Hindu beliefs. What I found instead was: ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them…know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.’ (Ex. 20:4-5; Deut. 4:39)

“Still angry, unconvinced and certain that the plurality of gods must be affirmed somewhere in the Bible, I studied the Scriptures for six months looking for the answer I wanted. Then one morning, I awoke a Christian. To this day I can’t explain what happened, except to say that everything changed. As I looked out my bedroom window at the people walking by, a thought occurred to me that I had never had before: ‘They need Jesus!’ And so it began that from the moment He saved me, God burdened me to plant churches to reach people with the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Together with my wife, Raji, we give thanks for all that God is doing through Vision Nationals. His faithfulness is astounding. How we grew from a single church plant into a multi-faceted ministry that touches thousands of lives each year can only be described as an act of God’s pure grace. Yet even today there are millions upon millions of Indians who have never heard the simple refrain that so many of us take for granted: ‘Jesus loves you.’ We invite you to partner with us as we carry that hope-filled message to those who so desperately need to hear it.”

If you’d like to learn more about our ministry, we’d encourage you to download our new brochure and watch our latest video.


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Cyclone Relief Fund Established

October 16th, 2014

Many of you have asked how you can help our ministry repair and rebuild what’s been damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Hudhud. Your willingness to engage in our efforts to provide immediate and long-term help to those who have been affected by the storm has been amazing, and we are so grateful. The outpouring of support has been a great encouragement to Arjuna and his team as they deal with the aftermath of the cyclone and assess the damage.

Thankfully, no one within our network of ministries was injured or killed by Hudhud, which slammed into Vizag at around noon on Sunday. However, our campus, which is located just miles from where the eye of the cyclone made landfall, sustained heavy damages: windows were knocked out; all of our trees were uprooted; Master’s School’s classrooms were completely destroyed; our library has a foot of standing water inside; and a significant portion of the concrete wall that forms a perimeter around our campus has been knocked down.

Additionally, Master’s Fellowship’s new building, which was dedicated less than two months ago, suffered extensive interior damage. Hudhud’s high winds blew the glass out of the windows and caused the ceiling and lighting in the new auditorium to come crashing down.

Obviously, the situation in Vizag is severe. After being completely exhausted within hours of the cyclone’s arrival, the city’s supplies of gasoline, potable water, milk, and other basic necessities are now being slowly replenished. The communication, energy, and transport infrastructures are being gradually restored, though Arjuna said that it will be quite some time before the city’s power grid is back online, due mainly to the fact that some 20,000 poles that carry electricity to Vizag’s homes and businesses were knocked down.

As Arjuna continues to assess the immediate and long-term needs of our pastors, their churches, and the city at large we’re asking not only for your continued prayers but also for your financial help. The news stories, pictures, and videos that are emerging online reveal a city and two states (Andhra Pradesh and Odisha) that are reeling after experiencing one of the worst cyclones in recent memory. Our on-the-ground response to this natural disaster will need to be undergirded by the generosity of our partner churches and other concerned individuals. If you can help at all financially, please do.

Thank you so much for caring about our ministry and the precious people we serve. Your kind words and prayers, which have been steadily streaming in over the last 48 hours, have been a bright spot in an otherwise dire situation.

Give to the Cyclone Relief Fund.


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Cyclone Hudhud Hits Vizag — Please Pray

October 14th, 2014

Cyclone Hudhud Hits Vizag

UPDATE: If you’d like to help us repair and rebuild what’s been damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Hudhud, a relief fund has been established.

***

At around noon on Sunday, Cyclone Hudhud made landfall on India’s eastern coast. Vizag, which is where our ministry is headquartered, was hit hard. Though we don’t have any immediate reports of injury or loss of life within our network of ministries, the cyclone, with winds in excess of 100 mph, tore through the city, destroying homes, toppling trees and power lines, blocking roads, and displacing thousands of people. According to Indian officials, Vizag has to be entirely rebuilt.

Across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (formerly Orissa), damage is widespread. According to one report, “winds demolished about 80,000 thatched homes belonging to poor tribal people.” Though Indian disaster teams have already begun relief operations, the BBC is reporting that “further heavy rains have been forecast in Orissa, prompting fears of flooding in the wake of the cyclone.”

cyclone_hudhud_donate_4_aWith 70-80% of Vizag’s trees uprooted, its airport closed, and its roads impassable, it’s going to take a herculean effort to clear the debris and begin rebuilding. In the meantime, a shortage of essential supplies, like milk and drinking water, has created a sense of desperation among Vizag’s two million residents. And with no electricity, not even cellphones can be recharged.

This is an unprecedented moment for our ministry. As of this morning, we’re not sure if our campus, which is located just a few miles from where Cyclone Hudhud came ashore, has sustained any damage. More importantly, we have yet to hear from the majority of our pastors, many of whom live in rural areas, and all of whom were affected in one way or another by this devastating storm.

Please pray, especially for those who have lost loved ones. As we get more information out of India, we’ll do our best to share it with you.


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