Friday, November 25, 2005

Christmas Greetings from India

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned”

“………… I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles”

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. And the people of our country are now witnessing this great Light.

How great it is to share this Light among these heathen nation by our AFLC(I)! This is our joy that we AFLC(I) have this opportunity to bring the GOOD NEWS to the gentiles in this country.

Through out those past years you, brothers and sisters, AFLC US did a wonderful work in this country. Your prayers are great and supported us miraculously in this great work. For all these great things that you did for our country we praise our Lord and give you thanks.

Now again the Christmas has come. We wish you a happy Christmas. And May the spirit of Christmas abide with you and bring you great joy.

Have a blessed Christmas.

Rev.Dasari.Luther Sastry
AFLC of India

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

World Relief - Thanksgiving

"O Praise the Lord, for it is a good thing to sing praises unto our God; yea, a joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful."

One act that all Christians share, regardless of status, nationality, income level, or surroundings, is the opportunity to give thanks and praise to God, our Father.

What a blessing it is this holiday season to reflect on all that God has done in our lives. As an act of Thanksgiving, we reach out to help those who are suffering and reflect the love that God has shown us. Families and communities hurt by poverty, disease, war, natural disaster, separation and persecution face daunting obstacles. But by sharing resources, we can help provide comfort, build community, and facilitate forgiveness.

We are not to do this alone. Christians are called to come together as a body - it is the Church that brings life and hope to those surrounded by darkness. In communities around the world, local congregations and leaders receive training, funding and support - thanks to the generous giving from churches and supporters partnered with World Relief. Because of this collaborative effort, some of the poorest people on earth are experiencing transformation in their own lives, in their families, in their churches, and in their communities. Many people are singing praises and thanksgiving - because they have experienced His love and understand that His mercy endures forever.

This year the world has seen tremendous hurt caused by natural disasters and continued violence, but we have also witnessed acts of caring and peace and reconciliation.

I thank the Lord that we serve a God who can accomplish much through imperfect vessels such as us.

Have a blessed holiday.

Sammy Mah
World Relief

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Darwin Jacksons - Missionaries on Loan

We had a great week with our fellow workers from Elim Free Lutheran church. It was exiting to involve some of the Mexican brethren from campo Ceuta the first night as we visited each of the buildings inviting the people to come see the JESUS film. Pastor Ismael even shared afterward, inviting all to come the church on Sunday.

The second night we were in Tayoltita where a man afterward shared a testimony that we had given him a tract last year that God used to save him, and now he has been free eleven months from a bad drinking problem. He is now ministering to another man, helping him in the same way.

The third night we didn’t end up getting into campo san Juan, but instead went up to campo Caymanes. Not finding anyone there, we went to campo la Bomba, and there found the people very open, many inviting the folks from Elim to sit down and chat a while. Many of them confessed faith in Jesus after a time of prayer afterward. We experienced the “white fields” of Campo Bella Vista (beautiful view) very open to us and the Gospel as well.

Campo Largo Chruch

Paul and Becky Abel inform us that this year's Primavera Church in Campo Largo is off to a good start. They now have a church council and a full church schedule which keeps us busy with programs on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday each week.

The members are excited to have their first experience with a choir and preparing for a Christmas program. We also had a clothing sale which was a big success and helped us raise some money for the building project.

Paul has been very busy with the building project. The pre-fab stucture for the church should be up next week and then the roof will go on. Our original plan changed considerably when we contemplated the long-range goals for our building. We might have to be satisfied with things being rough for awhile but we will continue to proceed as God leads and provides.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Infant Home Receives Gifts

The Miriam Infant Home in Brazil recently received a gift of outdoor pre-school toys. Children are placed in the infant home by the courts. While in the home they are cared for and taught about Jesus.

Pray that the children will experience the love of the care givers and accept the love of Christ as a result.

Primavera Church in Iguacu Falls

Recent pictures of last year's Primavera Church show the beautiful structure that has been built in Iguacu Falls.

The Primavera Church Project raises $10,000. for a church building in Brazil. The church is built on land purchased by the national church in Brazil. This type of cooperation provides help to build the church and ownership by the local congregation.

Individuals and churches have given funds to build three churches in the last three years.

The Primavera Project has been so successful we are starting a similar program in Mexico.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Empowered to Witness

“‘Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness...’ After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” -Acts 4:29, 31

Where does the boldness to proclaim Christ come from? The believers in the book of Acts recognized that they did not have the power in themselves to be witnesses of the risen Jesus Christ, but that the power to witness came from the Holy Spirit. Before He ascended, Jesus had told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about” (Acts 1:4). Why were they to wait? They needed to be empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to be Jesus’ witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Boldness in witnessing comes when we learn to be confident in the almighty power of God to use us, His servants, mere earthen vessels.

At Bethel Free Lutheran, where I am serving my Seminary Internship, we have embarked as a congregation on a study of the book of Acts. Pastor Lloyd Quanbeck and I are preaching through the book, and the mid-week Bible studies also focus on Acts. I have been continually amazed at the boldness of the apostles to proclaim Jesus even in the face of suffering and death. They were convinced that this Jesus was truly the Savior of the world and that every human in all the world needed to hear about Him. Being a witness is not a matter of trying harder or setting your mind to it. Witnessing happens naturally when the Holy Spirit of God produces the fruit of love in your heart that overflows to those around you. Missions is rooted in a love for people and a concern for their souls.

Rhoda, Elijah, and I are very much enjoying this year of Internship in Minot, ND. We feel very loved by the folks at Bethel and are enjoying Minot. No one told us though that winter starts in early October up here... Elijah is looking forward to being a big brother in early December! We thank God for blessing us with another child. We will be completing our time in Minot and returning to Minneapolis at the end of May for the AFLTS Graduation. Lord willing, I will be ordained in June and we pray and hope to be in Uganda by this time next year. We do thank you so much for you prayers as we prepare to go. We have been encouraged so much by so many of you who are excited with us at this new step in AFLC World Missions. May the Gospel of Jesus Christ go forward with great power in your community and around the world.

Nate Jore

Seminary Intern, Bethel Free Lutheran, Minot, ND