September Prayer Points

September 1st, 2014

Prayer Points SEP vv

There are many who have written about the spiritual life, but few have done so with as much depth and clarity as E. Stanley Jones. A passionate follower of Jesus, Jones’ missionary endeavors in India were and are legendary — and that’s a modest assessment. One well-known Bishop, a contemporary of Dr. Jones, described him as “the greatest Christian missionary since Saint Paul.” While that may sound like hyperbole, there’s a great body of missionary work to support such a stellar endorsement, including the Christian Ashram movement, which continues to this day.

Dr. Jones understood the importance of prayer and wrote extensively about it, even going so far as to say that “all reformation, individual and collective, begins in some one’s prayer closet.” Though we may have never put it as succinctly or eloquently as Dr. Jones, we have, from the earliest days of our ministry, embraced the truth that prayer changes things. It “digs the channels from the reservoirs of God’s boundless resources to the tiny pools of our lives.” There’s nothing like it in the world. For more than 22 years we’ve lived on the receiving end of unimaginable blessing, and that’s because an omnipotent God has chosen to respond to the persistent, believing prayers of his people.

THIS MONTH, PLEASE PRAY FOR…

The healing of Pastor Dhanu Nayak. Dhanu is a faithful servant of God and an important part of our ministry. He pastors in the state of Odisha, which over the last several years has become a hotbed for violence against Christians. Dhanu was rendered blind by what is known locally as “black magic.” We are asking God to restore his sight completely so that the villagers will know that Dhanu’s God is more powerful than the god of this world.

Our dear brothers, Pastors Marsel and Pradeep, both of whom are part of the Vision Nationals’ family. Like Dhanu, these men and their loved ones live in the state of Odisha. Because of their Christian faith, they are experiencing intense religious hostility from those in their village. Their food rations have been cut off and so has their access to the village well. Please continue to pray for the safety and well-being of Marsel, Pradeep, their respective families, and their congregations during this outbreak of persecution.

The three new churches that were started in August by Pastors Surya, Satti Babu, and Anandha Paul. Pray that the gospel will continue to take root and grow and that many in the surrounding communities will hear and respond to the good news of Jesus.

The flourishing of the Indian church, especially in those areas where religious persecution is on the rise.

God’s continued blessing on Madhurawada Church, which serves as an outpost of the kingdom of God in the city of Vizag. We thank God for providing this growing congregation with a new building and a new opportunity to minister to more people through a second worship service that is done entirely in English. As you pray for God’s continued blessing on this extraordinary church, please keep her leaders, parishioners, and not-yet-Christian neighbors in mind.

The completion of the four church buildings that are currently under construction. It is our prayer that in the months and years to come these buildings will be filled to capacity and become a testament to God’s grace in the predominantly Hindu communities in which they’re being built. Pray for Pastors Jeremiah, Joseph, and Devaraj as they oversee construction of these new churches.

The 20 kids who are now being loved and cared for at a new children’s home we opened in L.N. Peta, Srikakulam District, two months ago. As the footprint of our ministry continues to expand, please pray that God will provide the resources we need to minister to the most vulnerable, potential-laden population in India: children.

The completion of our new school, which we’re hoping to finish in the next few months. Again, it bears repeating: God’s provision for this project was nothing short of amazing, and we give him all the glory. Once it’s ready for occupancy, this new building will provide us with the space we need to educate hundreds more children, many of whom come from materially-poor families.

God’s favor to rest upon us as we plant churches, train nationals, and care for orphans and widows in India.

Thank you for praying for Vision Nationals — it “moves the arm that moves the world.”


Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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India in the News | 08.28.14

August 28th, 2014

India in the News AUG

Once a month we cull the headlines to bring you stories from the world’s largest democracy — its politics, economy, culture and everyday life.

India swaps ice for rice in new bucket challenge

“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has morphed into a considerably warmer and drier alternative in India. Enter the ‘Rice Bucket Challenge.’ Indian journalist Manju Latha Kalanidhi, who works for the U.S.-based rice research website Oryza.com, says when she first heard about the ice bucket challenge, she got thinking. ‘Why waste water?’ she asks. ‘I felt like doing something more locally tangible.’ ” read more

Modi to launch plan for every Indian household to have bank account

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will promise on Thursday to provide a bank account for every Indian household when he launches a major initiative that could save billions of dollars in welfare spending and help mend strained state finances. India has grown to become Asia’s third largest economy, but nearly two-fifths of its 1.27 billion people do not have a bank account.” read more

At India Fest, thousands take in culture without passport

“One indication of Minnesota’s growing Indian-American community is the ever-expanding annual celebration of India’s Independence Day. On Saturday, India Fest drew more than 10,000 people to the State Capitol’s mall, packed with henna artists, booths, food and cultural dances — the biggest event that the India Association of Minnesota has held in at least 10 years.” read more

Baseball stars plucked from poverty in India to become pro players in the US

“The amazing tale of two dirt-poor Indian boys who became pro US baseball pitchers after being discovered on a reality TV show has been turned into a Hollywood movie. Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel grew up in rural villages and had never even heard of the game but were picked from 37,000 other Indian lads in the TV talent search. They left India for the first time and were signed to the famous Pittsburgh Pirates — just 13 months after taking up baseball.” read more

Poverty, lack of education undermining efforts to end child marriage

“India has witnessed a decline in child marriage in the last two decades, but going by the slow pace it will require another 50 years to abolish the practice from the country, according to UNICEF. ‘Child marriage has been declining at a rate of one per cent per year in the last two decades, but at this rate it will be eliminated in 50 years or so,’ UNICEF Child Protection Specialist in India Dora Giusti told PTI.” read more

Kandhamal Day recalls persecuted Christians in India

“As awareness and concern about the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq grows, persecuted Christians in India are raising awareness of their own plight. Monday marks the sixth anniversary of the horrific violence that erupted against Christians in the Kandhamal District in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, formerly known as Orissa. It is reportedly the worst outbreak of anti-Christian violence in post-independence India.” read more

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Training Leaders in India

August 19th, 2014

training leaders in india

Training leaders is one of our passions. We love it. Other than prayer, we know of no better way to equip the church for mission in the Indian context than to invest in the ongoing development of her leaders.

As we do each July, last month we hosted a pastors’ training event at our campus in Vizag. Despite the heavy rains that blanketed our city, hundreds of Christian leaders joined us as Pastors Richard Brindley, Michael Woodall, Dustin Selzak, Jeff Potts, and Joab Rico facilitated a week-long exploration of “The Multifaceted Gospel.” Those who had the privilege of hearing these men, each of whom traveled from the U.S. to teach, were emboldened to fix their eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.

In addition to the pastors and church planters in attendance, the faculty and student body of Master’s College of Theology also participated in the conference, as they do every year. In many ways, this event serves to strengthen and encourage the Master’s College family as they embark on another academic year, full of new challenges and opportunities.

As the week progressed a great surge of spiritual renewal swept across our campus, and by the time the last session ended there was an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what took place. In answer to our prayers, God spoke through each one of our conference speakers and saw fit to revive the call and commitment of so many of our pastors, students, and staff.

For every opportunity to train and encourage Christian leaders in India, we give God thanks. He makes it possible. But our gratitude doesn’t end there. The fact that our partners are so committed to proclaiming the gospel in all of its multifaceted brilliance that they’d be willing to travel halfway around the world to share that message with us is incredible. We are so grateful that they came.


Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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To Trust God Completely: Majesh Anthony’s Story

August 12th, 2014

Majesh Anthony Story

God’s grace in the life of Majesh Anthony has been nothing short of amazing.

Now a full-time employee at Vision Nationals, Majesh’s journey to Vizag began in the southern Indian state of Kerala, where he grew up.

Born into a devout Roman Catholic family, Majesh was very religious as a boy, but his piety would be challenged when he left home to begin his undergraduate studies. No longer required to attend Mass or adhere to the teachings of the Catholic church, Majesh began drifting away from the virtues that defined his upbringing and started dabbling in alcohol and other intoxicants as a means of escape.

During this season of wandering, Majesh’s father, a day laborer, became extremely ill, and Majesh was forced to come home. With his dream of becoming a college graduate now on hold, Majesh began working in the fields, hoping to make enough money to provide for his family’s most basic needs.

A hard worker, Majesh did all he could to care for his loved ones, but his father’s mounting medical bills sent his family to the brink of insolvency. Majesh, now desperate for help, started reading the Bible. It was there, in the pages of Scripture, that Majesh began to hear the still, small voice of God. And according to Majesh, God’s instructions were unambiguous: Leave your life of sin and trust me completely. Without delay, Majesh responded to God’s gracious invitation, and a short time later, in April 2004, he was baptized.

Following his conversion, God continued to speak to Majesh, but this time he responded more slowly, cautiously. A call to vocational ministry was not what Majesh had in mind, but God made it clear on more than one occasion that Majesh’s future was in the church, serving in some capacity. Finally, in 2008, after nearly four years of running from God, Majesh surrendered yet again to the still, small voice. A year later, he enrolled in our college and began studying for ministry.

Today, Majesh holds a Bachelor of Divinity degree and works with our team in India. A bright student and capable minister, Majesh said his dream is to “go for higher studies, serve as a teacher, and get involved in church ministry.” It is our prayer that his dream will be realized.

Your generosity makes stories like these possible. By supporting our ministry, you empower us to help students from materially-poor families earn their degrees. On behalf of Majesh, Kumari, Srinu, Lavanya, Prasad, Padma, and so many others, thank you for giving to Vision Nationals.


Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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August Prayer Requests

August 1st, 2014

August Prayer Requests

God’s provision is all around us. All we have to do is observe the natural world in order to see God at work. Creation is bursting with reminders that God provides. Knowing this, Jesus implores us to look around, to pay attention: “Look at the birds of the air…Consider the lilies of the field.” As we do, faith rises in our hearts; worry dissipates; trust in God grows; and we become more and more confident of this: that our Father knows what we need before we even ask him (Matthew 6:8).

THIS MONTH, PLEASE PRAY FOR…

Pastors Marsel and Pradeep, both of whom are part of Vision Nationals’ church planting network. These men and their families are serving Jesus in the state of Odisha, and they are being persecuted because they are Christians. Their food rations (which are provided to India’s poor by the Indian government) have been cut off and so has their access to the village well. Pray for the safety and well-being of Marsel, Pradeep, their respective families, and their congregations during this outbreak of hostility.

The flourishing of the Indian church, especially in those areas where hostility towards Christians is on the rise.

God’s continued blessing on those who attended last month’s pastors’ training program. We thank God for providing us with another opportunity to equip and encourage the church and her leaders.

The completion of the five church buildings that are currently under construction, as well as the capacity, financial and otherwise, to build many more. We have been asking God to make it possible for us to build 12 new church buildings this year.

The English-speaking congregation (or “English church”) that is now forming in Vizag. The church’s first worship service is slated for Sunday, August 24.

The new children’s home we opened in L.N. Peta, Srikakulam District, on June 18. We are so grateful that God has allowed us to expand our ministry to at-risk children beyond Vizag.

The safety of those involved in building our new school. God’s provision for this project was nothing short of amazing, and we give him all the glory.

God’s continued favor as we renew our government-mandated recognition of Master’s School. This has been an arduous process, but we are now in the final phase. Continue to pray.

God’s grace to rest upon us as we plant churches, train nationals, and care for orphans and widows in India.

Thank you for praying for Vision Nationals. It makes a world of difference.


Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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India in the News | 7.28.14

July 28th, 2014

india in the news july

Once a month we cull the headlines to bring you stories from the world’s largest democracy — its politics, economy, culture and everyday life.

Christians targeted as Indian villages outlaw non-Hindu practices

“Religious freedom groups have expressed concern after several villages in central India moved to outlaw the open practice of Christianity. According to World Watch Monitor, the villages of Belar and Sirsiguda in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district have passed resolutions banning all non-Hindu religious activities, a move that has already led to a rise in anti-Christian violence, according to church leaders.” read more

New Poverty Formula Proves Test for India

“India is wrestling with an important question: How do you count the poor if you can’t agree on the definition of poverty? Debate over redrawing the poverty line—the product of reams of academic research, field surveys and mathematical modeling—might seem arcane but carries great consequence. Under a new formula proposed last month by a government-appointed committee, nearly 30% of India’s 1.2 billion people would be classified as poor,” read more

India, the Next Great Basketball Superpower?

“Without warning, basketball has made front pages in India. There were two pieces of news, within a few days of each other. The biggie was that the NBA now had the first Indian-origin player in its sights. Simran “Sim” Bhullar, a 7 feet 5 inches, 163.3 kilograms, 21-year-old Canadian, the Ontario-born son of Indian immigrants, made it to the 2014 NBA draft. He was not one of 60 picked during the draft, but the next day, Bhullar signed a contract with the Sacramento Kings.” read more

Seven joys of train travel in India

“To fall asleep in Mumbai and wake up in Bhuj, travelling from Delhi to Kolkata or Lucknow to Varanasi – the journey is endless, but the one connecting factor in my travels across elephant land remains the Indian train. Perhaps a product of the British rule, today she reverberates with the rhythm of India. Romanticise her, or rubbish her, there are some pleasures which no other mode of transport can provide. Here are seven joys that are unique to train travel in India.” read more

Monsoon revival keeps rain above average

“India’s parched rice, soybean, cotton growing areas will receive more rainfall next week as the monsoon is expected to continue its wet revival phase. Rains in the northwest India grain bowl as well as in soybean belts of western-central parts are expected speed up summer planting activities. India’s farm sector accounts for around 14 percent of the economy but two-thirds of the country’s 1.2 billion people depend on farming for their livelihood,” read more

Kerry to woo Modi’s India, but quick progress unlikely

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits India this week as Washington tries to revitalize ties it sees as a counterbalance to China’s rising power, but rapid progress is unlikely, despite the reformist reputation of India’s new leader. The visit by Kerry, and a trip by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel next month, follow the resounding election win of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May and are meant to create a good climate for Modi’s planned visit to Washington in September.” read more

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Our Story: “An Act of God’s Pure Grace”

July 16th, 2014

Our latest video was just released, and we’re thrilled to share it with you today.

Filmed on location in India by the generous and creative folks at Let There Be, this brief, inspiring film tells the story of how Vision Nationals grew from a single church into a multi-faceted ministry that touches thousands of lives each year. As one of our board members said, “The story never gets old.” Indeed, it doesn’t.

Vision Nationals is an act of God’s pure grace, and this film beautifully captures that sentiment. Please take a moment to watch the video and share it with others. And thank you for partnering with us as we plant churches, train nationals, and care for orphans and widows in India.


Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been fulfilling the Great Commission in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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