Vision 2 Hear is in India until March 10th working with our partner Sion Assembly Church in Vijayawada. We are very excited to be here and assist in sharing the gospel of Christ through preaching and meeting needs of people. The travel took us about 42 hours ( including the layovers) to get to our final destination for the next several days. Aside from a few minor challenges, our trip was uneventful, but long. Having spent yesterday and today recovering and catching up on much needed sleep, we have ventured out into the community already to visit some of the church locations and see some of the people.
This small sanctuary hosts the first services for SAC on Sunday mornings at 6am. With about 40 or more people sitting inside and then more outside, Pastor Ravi kicks off the day with the first of 7 services!
Pastor Rajendra and his brother Ravi take turns commuting to the various locations on Sundays, sharing the responsibilities of pastoring and preaching.
The small strip of land on the right is where the newly founded church at Noona meets on Sunday evenings at 7:30pm. With over 100 cramming onto this dusty pathway, the church gathers and worships God each week. They are currently looking at another space to better accommodate the growth of the church.
We also stopped by the grave sites of pastor’s mom and dad. It was interesting to see how they honor the dead and their more specifically their parents. The grave site will be redone with a headstone that will have both pictures of their parents engraved on it.
The graveyard was broken into three sections with the Christian section being the middle and the Hindu on one side and the Muslim on the other. I was able to go over to the Hindu side before we left and actually view a burial. This was very interesting! The man was placed in an upright sitting position and put into a hole about 6 feet into the earth. There didn’t seem to be any kind of embalming given to his body. I captured some pics of the family and the gentleman but I won’t post at this time.
This pic is from the Christian side where a recent burial was made. You can see the fresh flowers over the heap of dirt. On top of the flowers there were some sticks of incense burning.
Here’s a major reason why supporting the work in India is so important. It’s because people are dying and they need to hear the message of Life In Christ. With more than 1 Billion people in India and the majority of them being Hindu or Muslim, it is vital for the churches in India to have our prayer and financial support. Everywhere we turn, there are these kind of shrines on houses and buildings. With people offering their gods food, money and prayers, it’s sad to see such worship to a god that cannot hear them. As partners with SAC ministries, we are helping to make sure the gospel of Jesus Christ is being shared in a society that doesn’t know the God who created them. More updates coming soon!
For more pics, check out www.vision2hear.com
I arrived back in Atlanta last evening around 5pm. Once I collected my baggage and had my car dropped off, I began the little more than an hour drive back to Covington, GA. Once I got onto the highway, I knew I was back in GA…the traffic was slow and the roads were packed with rush hour traffic. But I couldn’t help but remember the roads and traffic in India and be a little more than grateful for even being able to have a car in such traffic.
Our trip home was a little eventful with challenges from flying “stand-by” but there was nothing over-the-top-major. We did have a little snag in Amsterdam when we checked in. Unknowingly, Brandon had scheduled his flight time for a later departure than ours. So we had to make some quick adjustments and try to get ours switched so we could all fly out together. We were able to make the adjustments. However, once we arrived at the gate a couple hours later, the lady working for KLM was not very happy with us citing that we had caused them major problems. She thought we had simply wanted to skip the first flight in hopes of getting better seating but this was not the case. After explaining a few things to her, she calmed down but one thing’s for sure, she was not a happy camper.
We eventually made our way back home and got through customs without any hiccup. I will make plans to write a more informational final blog detailing the trip and what I gathered from it next week, once I get readjusted to life here. I have many things to take care of this weekend, as well as I’m preaching two services at my church. Thanks so much for your prayers and support. Here are some of the pics from the last few days in Vijayawada.
Yesterday we went through some of the slums in Vijayawada. It reminded me of Nicaragua and Nigeria to some degree as you will see in the pics below. While we walked and took pics, we stopped and went into some homes, handed out candy bars to the kids and told people of the outdoor meeting for the evening.
We went through two areas. It was the second one where we had an impromptu performance of the Shark Song to promote the evening event. all the kids loved the song and we further promoted the crusade.
After coming back to the house, we had a meal, worked on various things like web design for the ministry here, discussion of other ministry needs and preparation for the evening service.
It was close to 8:15pm before we made it to the location, which was only a couple miles from the house. The streets were very crowded due to a wedding taking place. But there were about 200 people gathered around awaiting our arrival. We all shared testimonies and I shared several songs with WAVE. Brandon sang a couple songs and then I got to share a sermon and encourage the people.
At the end of the service we prayed over almost all of the people who were in attendance. There was one boy whom I prayed over that shared some of his story with me afterward. Please keep him in your prayers. This boy’s father committed suicide and his mother was “bewitched” (his words) and she died. He is now living with his grandparents but is in need. There are kids like this with similar stories throughout the slums and all across India. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift toward Vision 2 Hear so we can help. If you’d like to give toward helping orphans in India, please donate here: India
It’s just one week away, Giving Tuesday, that is. I’ll be in India during this time (I leave on Saturday). With this week leading up to it though, I’d like to ask you to consider making a donation toward Vision 2 Hear. May I submit 4 major reasons why Vision 2 Hear could use your support?
#1 Our ministry serves to equip followers of Jesus to making other disciples. Over the course of the last year, we have been able to invest in several student leader’s lives. We had an intern from Germany who traveled with V2H for close to 6 months. Your support helped make that possible, covering meals and even helping him take a trip with us to Nicaragua. We also had another intern from the USA traveling with us concurrently who also benefitted from V2H supporters. Both also traveled to multiple locations within the states sharing and performing with WAVE. Neither of those guys would have been able to experience Nicaragua as a cross-cultural first-time experience nor learn about leading, speaking, and growing deeper in their relationship with Christ apart from V2H helping make it possible.
#2 We also provide a news site called TheYouthCultureReport.com which provides news daily on trends, stats, media and educational articles related to youth ministry. This site is great for parents as well as those serving in full-time ministry. The Youth Culture Report also generates a weekly Top 10 list that is emailed out each Friday for those who subscribe. This site has been operating as part of our ministry for the last 3 years and has global reach as we see people from all around the world tap into our site for sources each day.
#3 V2H is committed to helping around the world. I just got back a couple weeks ago from Nicaragua and El Salvador and as I said, I leave for India on Saturday. God has allowed us to have meaningful relationships with people in several countries through the years. V2H has sponsored kids for their education (right now we are paying for one guy’s college fees in El Salvador) and we have helped others purchase motorcycles for sustaining a business to digging water wells to provide life and health. Your donations allow us to give to those in need and help them get education, maintain a healthier life and ultimately understand the love of God in Christ.
#4 The last reason I would give is because without your support none of this would be possible. We are a non-profit organization and we do not have lots of sponsors nor supporters. God has been faithful and I am sure He will remain faithful. I’m just wondering if you are one of the ways God will show His faithfulness in provision for what we need to continue into 2015? Would you consider making a sacrificial gift now or in honor of #GivingTuesday? We have many people we would like to help and several mission trips/projects slated for 2015. We need your support and prayers. If you feel led to give, donate here.
As I close, let me say I am deeply thankful for all of you have given and supported us through the years. Vision 2 Hear started in 2002 and here we are 12 years later doing things around the world I would have never imagined. It is my prayer this Thanksgiving that you will be blessed for all you have helped us to do around the world this year. May God richly reward you for your generous support of V2H.
President of Vision 2 Hear Ministries