Nepal, India, and the Power of Prayer

Nepal_mapThe unfolding humanitarian crisis in Nepal continues to be at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers. As the death toll continues to climb and survivors begin the arduous process of rebuilding their lives, there is little doubt that the storied resilience of the Nepali people will be tested. They have experienced so much loss, a heartache made even more unbearable because of the suddenness of it all. In a moment, their lives were unalterably changed by an earthquake 22 times more powerful than the one that devastated Haiti in 2010. Loved ones gone. Homes and buildings reduced to rubble. Entire villages wiped out; only ruins remain after the earth’s violent, sudden shaking.

This is a time to stand in prayerful solidarity with the precious people of Nepal, to intercede for the millions affected by this natural disaster, to remember that our brothers and sisters in Christ are among those who are suffering. As children of God, we understand that prayer, far from being weak and ineffective, has great power as it is working. Pray for every person that has been touched by this tragedy. Ask God to quiet the ground that trembles beneath their feet. Ask Him to breathe peace over the entire region — over every man, women, boy, and girl who, even now, struggles to find rest.

As you pray for Nepal, don’t forget to pray for our dear friends and ministry partners in Kathmandu, Joel and Sue Garrison. Just days after the earthquake, when news of widespread damage to Nepali villages began to surface, they established an earthquake relief fund in order to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the families and churches within our organization.

In India, the footprint of our ministry continues to expand. This month, please pray for…

Favor with the local government. Earlier this year the local government made a unilateral decision to increase our property taxes by sixteen hundred percent, an exorbitant figure that was determined arbitrarily and feels to us like extortion. We are in the process of appealing this decision. As we talk to local authorities, please ask God to make them favorably disposed towards us. It can be a very difficult process, and we have no guarantees that they will rule in our favor. We need God to intervene in this matter.

Master’s School. Though we’re expecting the new school building to be finished in the next two months, use of the building could be delayed if the property tax issue (mentioned above) isn’t resolved. Once completed, the new classroom space will provide us with an extraordinary opportunity to educate hundreds more children, many of whom come from materially poor families. Pray earnestly that God would give us favor with local authorities. In order to have our property taxes reduced, we need a miracle.

Master’s Children’s Home. You may remember that we opened a new children’s home in Srikakulam District last year. Twenty at-risk children found refuge in a safe, familial environment. Next month that number will grow to twenty-five. As we seek to empower and educate the children God has entrusted to our care, we need your prayers. We have some big decisions to make about where to educate our kids. Ask God to help us discern which area school would be best for them to attend. We’re also praying about whether or not to purchase an acre of land so we can build a permanent home for our children.

Ten Thousand Churches. God continues to bless our church planting ministry. There are new churches forming almost weekly, and new church buildings are being dedicated at a rate of at least two a month. It’s an extraordinary season of growth, and we don’t see signs of it slowing down anytime soon. Would you join us in asking God to provide for the needs of our church planting ministry?

Master’s Fellowship. Madhurawada Church, known locally as Master’s Fellowship, continues to grow, and so we’ve added a new staff member, Mr. Prabahakar. He just graduated from our Bible college last month, and we’re thrilled to welcome him and his wife, Beulah, to our team. Pray for Mr. Prabahakar as he makes this transition from student to staff member, and continue to pray for Master’s Fellowship.

Joey and Yisel Zorina. The Zorinas are in the early stages of planting a church in the world’s most populous city: Tokyo, Japan. Pray for Joey and Yisel as they proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of Jesus among the second-largest unreached people group in the world. Pray, too, that the Gospel will take root and grow in the hearts and lives of those who participate in their weekly home meetings and an upcoming outreach event on Saturday, June 6.

Wisdom and strength. Growth is often accompanied by significant challenges, and we are certainly experiencing our fair share of them. More than anything else, we are desperate for God’s empowering presence, for the wisdom and strength to carry out our mission here in India. As we prepare to make key hiring decisions within our ministry, would you ask God to lead us to the right people? We need His guidance every step of the way.

Thank you for praying for me and Raji over the last thirty days. It’s encouraged us greatly. We are truly humbled and grateful that you have chosen to partner with us.

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