The Opening of Kalvapalli Church

August 28th, 2015

Kavlapalli Church was born out of a family’s desire to reach a neighboring village with the Gospel.

As we shared last February, Pastor Madhu Naik lived in a neighboring town with his wife and two young children when he felt called by God to go to a nearby village called Kalvapalli. He began sharing the Good News with villagers, and in a short amount of time dozens of people confessed that Jesus is Lord. A church quickly grew around this confession, and before long there were more than 40 people worshipping Jesus every Sunday, all of them first generation Christians.

When it became clear that the congregation would need its own building, Madhu approached us and asked for financial assistance so that he could begin building a church in the village. Moved by his story and his faithfulness, we quickly gave Madhu’s project the green light, and today a church is now standing in a community that was previously unreached.

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The exterior of Kalvapalli Church

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Ribbon cutting before the inaugural service

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The church was filled almost to capacity for the building dedication.

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Pastor Madhu baptizing new Christians following the dedication of Kalvapalli Church.

Help us build churches in India.

The growth of our church planting ministry has created an extraordinary opportunity to give towards the building of new churches. In most cases, a new church — like the ones we recently completed in Uppaluru, Duggivalasa, and Kalvapalli — costs around $5,000 to build. Typically, the pastor oversees construction of the building, and the congregation makes a small but sacrificial contribution towards the project. We are then able to provide a generous grant so that building materials can be purchased and construction can commence. With dozens of churches waiting to be built, your tax-deductible donation to the Church Building Support fund can make a tremendous difference on the ground.


Since 1992 Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for India’s most vulnerable. Donations to support our work are greatly appreciated. All gifts are tax-deductible and can be designated to the ministry, fund, or project of your choice.

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August Prayer Points

August 4th, 2015

More than anything else, the prayers of God’s people are what sustain us as we plant churches, train nationals, and care for the most vulnerable in India. As we wholeheartedly embrace a posture of dependency on God — inviting his kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven — he graciously acts on our behalf.

Here are just a few of the things we’re praying for this month:

Our children’s home in Srikakulam District.

Under the leadership of Pastor Raju, our “Caregiver-in-Chief” at Master’s Home for Children in Srikakulam District, things have been going very well. There are now twenty-five formerly at-risk children being loved and cared for in a safe, familial environment. As you have opportunity, pray that God would make a way for us to buy an acre of land so that we can establish a permanent residence for our kids. Pray, too, that we would continue to make a difference in the lives of India’s poorest children.

The resolution of our property tax issue.

Continue to pray about this issue. We’re still working to reverse an exorbitant property tax increase involving our main campus in Vizag. Without a resolution, we can’t finish Master’s School, a project that has been more than a year in the making. We really do need God to intervene in this matter, as only He can.

Continued spiritual awakening among the Lambada people.

As we mentioned last month, God has opened a door for us to begin a new ministry among a tribal people known as the Lambada. Recently more than 30 people have become followers of Jesus Christ in the villages of Gangaram Thanda and Kattukinda Thanda. Churches are now forming, and our pastors are discipling those who have been born again. Pray that the Gospel will continue to take root and grow among the Lambada people.

Our church planting ministry.

God continues to bless our church planting efforts in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. As our churches grow, the need for permanent church buildings becomes much more pronounced. Over the next sixty days we’ll be dedicating a handful of new church buildings, many of them in communities where just a few years ago there was no known Christian presence. It’s an extraordinary thing to see the church flourish in a place where, prior to the arrival of a Vision Nationals pastor, there wasn’t even a whisper of Jesus’ name.

Comfort and healing for those who are sick.

Continue to pray for Pastor Yesu Rao following his motorcycle accident. He is still recovering from his injuries. Also, Pedda, one of the young men in our churches, has renal failure. Pray that God would heal him. Pray, too, for Sunitha as she copes with chronic back pain. Cancer has ravaged Upendra’s body, and doctors are now telling him that he will have to have a portion of his leg removed. Pray for this young man as he deals with this devastating disease. Others, like Sudhakar, are also facing surgery in the coming days. Please pray for them.

Master’s School and Master’s College of Theology.

Our academic institutions are at the heart of our efforts to equip and empower nationals to make a difference in South Asia and beyond. As we prepare to hire new faculty for Master’s College of Theology, we’d really appreciate your prayers, especially for wisdom and discernment.

Across campus, Master’s School continues to grow, enrolling dozens of new students this academic year. Pray for our teachers and students. We are so thankful for the opportunity to educate the next generation and to do so in a way that brings God glory. Recently, one of our students, Susanna, received a six-year, full-ride scholarship from one of the most prestigious engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh.

The completion of our first large-scale water project.

Sometimes you just have to stop and celebrate God’s amazing grace. At times, his provision is overwhelming. And that was certainly the case when, through a generous partnership with Living Water International and Living Stones Churches, we were able to bring safe drinking water to five villages in Srikakulam District. As a result, there are now more than a thousand people, the majority of them women and children, who no longer have to make a 2-3 mile trek to gather a day’s supply of water for their families. To God be the glory!


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An Engineer in the Making: Susana’s Story

August 4th, 2015

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Susana Chikkala

The burden of material poverty is difficult to ignore when it means that your parents can’t afford to send you to school. When money’s scarce, education often becomes a luxury, something children have to learn to live without, even if school fees amount to little more than the cost of a latte at Starbucks. Sometimes the need to survive trumps everything else, and parents have to make a tough choice: send the kids to school or send the kids to bed hungry, again.

It’s a choice few of us can imagine having to make. And yet every few weeks, Susana’s parents, John and Jyothi, had to make that difficult decision, which meant that Susana and her sister, despite being unusually bright, were undereducated, cut off from reaching their potential because the poverty they were born into had too often forced their parents to keep them out of the classroom.

It’s a story we hear again and again, and one we’ve been working hard to rewrite through our efforts to care for and educate the next generation.

Some of the brightest children we know come from families where conditions of extreme poverty are the norm, and they’ve been the norm for generations. For these children, education is a lifeline — it’s their way out of poverty. And though that may sound like hyperbole, it’s the honest truth. Education has a significant role to play in effecting lasting change in the lives of the materially poor. John and Jyothi’s daughter, Susana, is just the latest example of that.


Help us transform the lives of India’s poorest children. Help us bring Master’s Village to life.


Susana has excelled in a way we could’ve never imagined when she came to our children’s home just a few years ago. Having aced her Secondary School Examination in April — which is an exam all Grade X students have to take in order to pursue higher education — Susana received a six-year, full-ride scholarship from one of the most prestigious engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh, the Indian Institute of Information Technology. Her parents, still struggling to make ends meet as they plant churches among the rural poor, are rejoicing that their daughter has been the recipient of so much grace and blessing. We share their joy. We celebrate Susana’s success. And we thank God for her sponsor, the person who made it possible for Susana to step away from village life and receive a quality education through our children’s home.

If we hope to break the cycle of generational poverty that is so pervasive throughout the developing world, we have to figure out a way to keep kids in school, empowering them to reach their God-given potential. As Susana and so many others have shown us, access to a dynamic educational environment is an on-ramp that connects students to outcomes that would have been unimaginable were it not for the opportunity to learn.


Since 1992 Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for India’s most vulnerable. Donations to support our work are greatly appreciated. All gifts are tax-deductible and can be designated to the ministry of your choice.

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An Update from Tokyo

July 29th, 2015

Joey, along with Franklin Tseng, and Jay Kyle (right), at the conclusion of City to City's 4-week intensive.

Joey, along with Franklin Tseng and Jay Kyle (right), at the conclusion of City to City’s 4-week intensive.

Tokyo, Japan, 10:08 PM EDT — I came back to Tokyo two weeks ago, after being away for a month’s long training in 3 global cities with City to City Asia Pacific. I sincerely want to thank those of you who have supported us through your prayers and giving. While being away in other Asian cities I realized how Japanized I had become. I feel a sigh of relief that I am back on Japanese soil, but a great sense of “holy discontent” grips my heart, especially as I pray for Japan.

According to Operation World, these are just a few of the challenges facing the Japanese church:

Too often traditions and forms of worship have authority nearly equal to the Bible itself. Nonessential forms of the Church must be adapted to look less like the introduced Western culture of years past and more like 21st-century Japan.

The strong Confucian tradition in Japan has admirably created a society with high ethical standards; the need for the Church to maintain these standards as a minimum can often lead congregations into legalism.

At least 70% of all churches have an average attendance of less than 30. Too much is expected of the pastor. Pray for pastors willing to activate lay people to engage in persistent, innovative outreach to non-Christians. Most churches will not have even one baptism in any given year!

The lack of men in churches. The drive for success and desire to satisfy the demands of employers make it hard for men to openly identify with and become active in a church. On average, women attenders outnumber men 7 to 1.

We are hopeful in the Gospel.

Despite the contextual challenges we face, there are new Gospel-centered church plants coming up in Japan — more so in Tokyo. We’re so glad that three church planters from Tokyo and one from Osaka were represented in our recent City to City training. We also meet with movement-minded leaders, missionaries and church planters in Tokyo every two months for mutual mentoring and prayer. Prayer is so catalytic. There’s nothing else like it. This is why, more than ever, we need you to come alongside us as partners in mission, for the sake of the Gospel.

We need your partnership for the Gospel.

We are ready and feel more equipped than ever to lead this church plant to the next stage. In the coming weeks and months we’ll have information and vision meetings, which will allow us to connect with potential launch team members and volunteers. We would like to move closer to our target location, Shimokitazawa, but the rent and cost of living is higher than our current location in the Tokyo/Kawasaki border. My wife and I are both volunteers, working part and full-time jobs to support ourselves while leading this plant. But Japan’s working hours and demands often rob us of time and energy. While the workplace has been a good place for Yisel and me to share our faith, we also know that work has limited our ability to effectively lead this planting effort. Tokyo is a very expensive city to live in. In order for us to lead this church plant with fresh energy and spiritual vitality, we are prayerfully seeking to raise full-time financial support.

Take the next step with us: pray, give, and share our story with others.

To learn more about our ministry, you can watch this video and visit our website. Feel free to write to us — knowing that you’re praying for us is a huge encouragement. Connecting with us on Facebook is another great way to discover more about who we are, and we’d love to get to know you via Skype — our Skype ID is life-in-christ.


If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to support the Zorina’s work in Tokyo, you can do so via our online giving page. When prompted, simply choose “Zorina Support” from the drop-down menu.

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New Wells for Five Villages

July 29th, 2015

Through a generous partnership with Living Water International and Living Stones Churches we were able to bring safe drinking water to five villages in Srikakulam District. Construction of the wells was completed this month, which means that there are now more than one thousand people, the majority of whom are women and children, who no longer have to make a 2-3 mile trek to gather a day’s supply of water for their families.

This was our first large-scale water project, and it would not have been possible without the leadership of Pastor Raju, the expertise of Living Water International, and the generosity of Living Stones Churches. We are so grateful for the extraordinary investment of time, energy, and resources made by each one.

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The well in Vadavalasa, the village where Pastor Raju lives and ministers.

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The well in Duggivalasa, the village where Pastor Shankar Rao planted and pastors a church.

Santakaviti
The well in Santakaviti, the village where Pastor Appa Rao planted and pastors a church.

Jadapeta
The well in Jadapeta, the village where Pastor Narayana Rao planted and pastors a church.

DL Puram
The well in DL Puram, the village where Pastor Prabhu Kumar planted and pastors a church.

Did you know?

According to Living Water International, many women spend 20 hours per week collecting water, some walking 7 miles a day, often for contaminated water. Too often the walk is not safe for them physically. It is women and the children they raise who suffer most without water, and who benefit most from access to it.

Water-related diseases cause 2.2 million deaths a year; every day, diarrhea takes the lives of 2,000 children in Africa — more than any other single cause of death. Safe water, a toilet, and clean hands could prevent 90% of these deaths.

Water-related diseases steal 443 million school days a year. Roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm stunt growth, cause debilitating anemia, and follow kids into the classroom, shrinking cognitive potential. Illness causes absenteeism and early drop-out. Simple solutions can keep kids in school.


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Mobile Medical Camp Serves 381 Patients

July 21st, 2015

Patients queuing up on the first day

Patients queuing up on the first day of camp

With a vision to love and serve the poor, our churches in Visakhahpatnam have banded together to bring mobile medical camps to some of the most impoverished communities in and around the city, the latest being the village of Kurmannapalem.

Through a partnership with Human Care Foundation, an Indian-based charity that provides teams of healthcare professionals and diagnostic equipment to sponsoring organizations, we were able to serve 381 villagers over the course of two days. It was an extraordinary event that could’ve easily stretched to a third or fourth day because the needs in the community are so great.

In places like Kurmannapalem or Natayyapalem, where the burden of material poverty is overwhelming, access to health screenings and proper medical care is a luxury very few can afford. Which is why we go. It’s a life-saving mission. Because in addition to undergoing a battery of routine tests and receiving a thorough physical examination, each patient is scanned from head to toe using the latest magnetic resonance imaging technology. This allows for more accurate diagnosis of disease and gives patients a more complete picture of their overall health. For those who need it, medicine is provided, as are referrals to specialists who can treat advanced disease — all at no charge to the patient.

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Registration of patients is step one in the process

Caring for the most vulnerable in a holistic way is one of the greatest privileges we have as followers of Jesus Christ. Showing mercy, especially to the poor and marginalized, is one of the hallmarks of our faith. Sponsoring a free medical camp in a village that is overlooked and underserved is a great honor for us. We love the people of Kurmannapalem, and we want to see them flourish in every conceivable way.

If you’d like to help us continue to bring mobile medical camps to impoverished communities like Kurmannapalem, we invite you to make a donation to the Master’s Fund. Every dollar helps. Prayer, too, is vital in sustaining the work we do in India — nothing is more powerful and effective than you interceding on our behalf and on behalf of those we serve.


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Planting Churches Where Churches Don’t Exist

July 10th, 2015

With a passion to bring the Gospel to the unreached, our pastors have established more than 550 churches since 1992, many of them in rural villages that, until very recently, had never heard a whisper of Jesus’ name. And though we’ve said it before, it bears repeating: it’s not an easy thing to establish a church in a community with no known Christian presence. Many of our pastors experience varying degrees of hostility and opposition as they begin sharing the Gospel in a new place. It’s not uncommon for the saving message of Jesus to be perceived as a threat. Stories of persecution, even martyrdom, have garnered international attention in one state where we work. Planting churches in a country like India is a challenging, rewarding, and sometimes dangerous endeavor, but the faith of our pastors compels them to make disciples no matter how difficult the circumstances.


For as little as $10 a month you can support church planting in the heart of the 10/40 Window.


As a movement of first and second generation Christians eager to proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of Jesus among the least-reached and least-resourced people on earth, we are certain that Christ is the key to human flourishing. And it’s that conviction that fuels our efforts to identify, equip, and support church planters in South Asia. If you were to strip everything away and distill Vision Nationals down to its essence what we hope you’d discover is a ministry committed to bringing the Gospel to the nations through the local church. We want people to know that Jesus changes everything.


Building a new church in India isn’t very expensive, usually around $5,000 from start to finish.


The growth of our church planting ministry has created an extraordinary opportunity to give towards the building of new churches. In most cases, a new church — like the ones we recently completed in Uppaluru, Duggivalasa, and Kalvapalli — costs around $5,000 to build. Typically, the pastor oversees construction of the building, and the congregation makes a small but sacrificial contribution towards the project. We are then able to provide a generous grant so that building materials can be purchased and construction can commence. With dozens of churches waiting to be built, your tax-deductible donation to the Church Building Support fund can make a tremendous difference on the ground.


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