Master’s School Reopens

November 7th, 2014

masters school reopens

Cyclone Hudhud left Master’s School’s classrooms in total disrepair, which meant that our students and teachers had to meet in makeshift classrooms inside our dormitory and administration building for the last few weeks. After a lot of hard work to remove debris and replace the entire roof, we reopened our classrooms on Monday.

While there’s still more work to be done, including having new ceiling fans installed in each room, students and teachers were eager to get back into their classrooms and resume a normal routine. We’ve made remarkable progress since the storm, and as you can tell from the the picture above, our students are happy to be back where they belong.

Your generous donations to the Cyclone Relief Fund have made our recovery efforts possible — thank you!


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November Prayer Points

October 31st, 2014

nov_prayer_points

As we deal with the aftermath of Cyclone Hudhud — a powerful storm that swept through our city nearly three weeks ago — we have been consoled and empowered by this simple prayer found in Isaiah 33:2: “Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”

As you have opportunity, would you ask God to strengthen us in every conceivable way? We know that He is not reluctant to do so. In fact, Isaiah reminds us that “…the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.” Join us in laying hold of God’s grace and compassion, especially on behalf of our city. There are still so many who are suffering.

THIS MONTH, PLEASE PRAY FOR…

All those affected by Cyclone Hudhud. Thousands are still without electricity, access to potable water, and other basic necessities. Throughout the month of November, we plan to do as much as we can to help those in need. (If you’d like to make a donation, a Cyclone Relief Fund has been established.)

Pastors Marsel and Pradeep. Over the last several months, these men and their families have experienced intense persecution as they serve Jesus in the state of Odisha. Now they’ve lost their homes. Hudhud barreled through their villages and swept everything away. Using money that’s been given to the Cyclone Relief Fund, we are now in the process of helping them rebuild.

Master’s School. Our classrooms were nearly destroyed by Hudhud’s high winds and heavy rains. After assessing the damage, we went to work, removing all the debris from the classroom floors, replacing the entire roof, and fortifying the walls that sustained structural damage. Two days ago the school reopened. There’s more work to be done, but we are grateful for the progress we’ve made so far.

Our pastors. So many were impacted by the cyclone; their stories are still coming in. For those who sustained property damage, whether to their homes or church buildings, we’ve been able to offer financial assistance so that they can rebuild.

Master’s Fellowship. Unfortunately, Master’s Fellowship’s new building, which was dedicated in late August, suffered extensive interior damage. Hudhud’s high winds blew the the glass out of the windows and caused large sections of the ceiling, as well as most of the lighting, in the new auditorium to come crashing down. The church’s leaders have asked us to pray that “all be restored.”

The unreached people groups of India. What we know based on research compiled by Operation World is that “the world’s least-evangelized peoples are concentrated in India. Of 159 people groups of over 1 million people, 133 are unreached.” Pray that God would continue to use our ministry to bring the good news of Jesus to those who so desperately need to hear it.

Our church planting ministry. Last month we started new churches in the state of Odisha. Continue to pray for the safety and well-being of our pastors and their families as they venture out in faith. And pray that many will hear and respond to the Gospel as a result of their obedience.

Current building projects. There are four church buildings currently under construction, with plans to start building two more next month. We thank God for his provision for each one of these projects. Please pray for those who are overseeing construction of these new facilities.

Wisdom and strength. As we deal with the aftermath of Cyclone Hudhud and continue to plant churches, train nationals, and care for the orphans and widows in our midst we need God’s wisdom and power to rest on us.

We are so grateful for your prayers. We take great comfort in knowing that there are hundreds of you seeking God on our behalf. Thank you.


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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After the Storm

October 28th, 2014

Sixteen days ago Cyclone Hudhud made landfall in Visakhapatnam (Vizag). With winds topping out at 130 mph it ravaged the city where our ministry’s headquartered. Countless trees were uprooted. Thousands of utility poles were knocked down. Homes and businesses were flooded. Roads were rendered impassable. Not even Vizag’s airport could withstand Hudhud’s fury.

By the time the cyclone had weakened to nothing more than a low pressure area over Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India, it had damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes and affected (at least) 2.1 million families.

As storms of this magnitude often do, Hudhud made a mess of things, not only in Visakhapatnam but across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. As cleanup continues throughout the affected region, there is little doubt that things could have been much worse — mandatory evacuations and early warning systems minimized injury and loss of life.

Though our campus wasn’t immune to the damage caused by Hudhud’s high winds and heavy rains, we continue to thank God that our students, staff, and teachers were kept safe. Our children, too, were protected from the storm’s ferocity. And not one of our pastors has reported anything more serious than property damage.

With our Vision Nationals’ family intact, unharmed — which is such a gift from God — we’ve been able to concentrate on rebuilding. We’ve already removed much of the debris that blanketed our campus and started repairing what Hudhud damaged or destroyed. Like the rest of Vizag, we have a long way to go, but everyday we’re making progress.

As you have opportunity, remember to pray for us, our city, and all those affected by the cyclone. During this phase of the recovery, the needs are great, and we want to be in a position to help as many people as possible.

Help us rebuild. Give to the Cyclone Relief Fund.


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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, 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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October Prayer Points

October 1st, 2014

October Prayer Points

Recently we saw two incredible infographics produced by our colleagues at Operation World. The first one compares the population of Indian states (and union territories) to that of other nations. What it makes obvious is that India’s a big place with a lot of people, many of whom live in extreme poverty.

The second infographic focuses on the Christian population of Indian states and territories, as compared to the Christian populations of other countries. What it makes clear is that there remain millions of Indians who have never heard the simple refrain that so many of us take for granted: “Jesus loves you.”

Both infographics include a prayer focus that we want to bring to your attention: India has more human need and more unreached people groups than any other nation on earth. Believing that Christ is the key to human flourishing, we know of no better way to begin addressing these enormous challenges than through prayer. On our knees we can begin to see the needs of India (and our world) from a new perspective.

THIS MONTH, PLEASE PRAY FOR…

God’s continued guidance. As the footprint of our ministry continues to expand, we are constantly reminded that we need God’s help to make wise decisions that are in sync with His will. Our heart’s desire is for God to be glorified in all we do.

Pastor Dhanu Nayak. As we shared with you last month, Dhanu was rendered blind by what is known locally as “black magic.” Please ask God to restore his sight completely. There is no shortage of evil in this world, but God is greater still.

Pastors Marsel and Pradeep. With religious hostility on the rise in certain parts of India, including the state where these men live, Christians are suffering. Marsel and Pradeep have had their food rations cut off and are not allowed to access the village well. During this outbreak of persecution, ask God to protect and provide for Marsel and Pradeep, along with their families and congregations.

Pastors Surya, Satti Babu, and Anandha Paul. Two months ago, each of these men, along with their families, stepped out in faith to start new churches. Pray that many will hear and respond to the good news of Jesus as a result of their obedience.

The unreached people groups of India. According to Operation World, “The world’s least-evangelized peoples are concentrated in India. Of 159 people groups of over 1 million people, 133 are unreached.”

Our church planting ministry. Starting this month, we will begin planting new churches in Rayagada district, which is in the southern part of Odisha. Pray for the safety and well-being of our planters and their families as they venture out in faith.

Master’s College of Theology students. During the third week of October, all of our students will be involved in hands-on ministry in and around the city of Vizag. Please ask God to surround them with his favor as with a shield as they proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel during this week-long practicum.

Master’s Fellowship. After moving into a new building in late August, Master’s Fellowship, also known as Madhurawada Church, continues to flourish. Just a few days ago, through the generosity of one of our partner churches in the U.S., God provided the congregation with the financial resources they needed to buy a new sound system.

Current building projects. There are four church buildings and a school currently under construction. We thank God for his provision for each one of these projects; it has been nothing short of amazing. Pray for those who are overseeing construction of these new facilities.

Master’s Children’s Home. Our new children’s home in L.N. Peta, Srikakulam District, opened just a few months ago. Nearly two dozen kids now call it home. Pray for the children and their caregivers.

God to be glorified in all we do. As we plant churches, train nationals, and care for orphans and widows in India we long for God’s name and renown to be known and treasured among our people.

Thank you so much for praying for 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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