Shalom Native Mission
Shalom Academy Ministries – the school is halfway through the year and we are still counting on God’s goodness and mercy. In spite of the many challenges the school faces daily and the temptation to compromise, the standard continues strong. Some teachers came with wrong expectations (higher pay, could “work” around the set standard, and so on) and others have left. The enrollment did not pass the 300 mark, but we are happy to work with what God has given us. It is far better to have ten young people submissive to God’s word and meaning business with God than a multitude in rebellion. I praise God that there are a still a few Daniel’s who dare to stand, no matter what the circumstance and the consequence.
On the bright side, we have better commitment overall from the teachers this year compared to last year. We have seen greater participation from the teachers in extracurricular activities such as teacher’s devotions and chapels. Hoinu encourages time spent in prayer every night with the students who are living on campus. The prayer time each evening has been a blessing to her and to the students and continues to open up opportunities to develop relationships and to study God’s word together. More good news is the results of the 2013 State Board Exams for Shalom as excellent; of the fifteen students appearing at the Board exams, all passed: fourteen in the 1st division and one in the second division. The school is closed for summer vacation most of the month of June. We praise God for the wonderful way of showing us how gracious He is.
Pastor Kamal Gurung – New Church Plant in Siliguri
This month Kamal is focusing on establishing a witness for Christ in their new location in Siliguri. Since the area is predominantly Hindu, they are reaching families through reaching children. They are starting a fellowship with the kids at their home. Each week they have eight children ages 9-14, all from Hindu families and some from the Brahmins, a priestly caste. The plan of reaching families through a children’s ministry, neighbor by neighbor, and family by family is slowly gaining ground among the Hindus.
Motorbike for reaching the unreached project—Special prayer is sought from friends and prayer partners to raise funds for a scooter for mobility and for reaching wider areas. Transportation is the single highest money spending area that can be reduced to meet budget constraints just by providing a scooter. Last fall, the result of several pastors getting two wheeler transportation made a difference in their ministries in terms of time and money savings and the ultimate goal—in seeing souls saved.
Pastor Natum Singh of Bible Baptist Church, Imphal
Reports of a steady growth in membership as more families and young people from Hindu backgrounds have been won to the Lord. Consistent soul winning efforts among the Hindus is finally bearing fruit, and fruit that will last eternity. Through the witness and the testimony of three of our sisters in the Lord, two people have trusted Christ. It takes quite a stand to commit to follow Christ from a Meitei Hindu background. Four young men are attending Church services on regular basis. We are praying for their obedience to God’s word in baptism.
Pastor Lun Singsit—Siliguri
Pastor Lun was a guest speaker at Pastor Seiboi Kipgen’s church in the area. The invitation was a special one, to preach at the funeral of one of the church members. As the Gospel message was preached many unbelievers heard the gospel and saw its power to transform people. A mixture of believers and unbelievers heard the Gospel and realized that they needed a touch from God. The only power is the gospel power that can open the mind of a Hindu who has been trapped in the cycle of reincarnation. It is God who gives us both to will and to carry out his good pleasure.
An opportunity only God can provide–Lun was invited to visit a Hindu neighbor’s house. This man had just lost his father. The Lord prompted him to share about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave and expound the word to mean those who died trusting Jesus will be raised just as Jesus was raised. This brought quite a stir in their hearts since this is a new concept they never heard in Hinduism. To a Hindu, reincarnation is what they believe, contrary to the resurrection of the saints. The family was so enamored with this doctrine and wanting to learn more that it led to a weekly Bible study in their home. Since then two more families have joined the study. Pray for God to open their eyes of understanding and to turn from their idols to serve the living God.
Pastor Ratan Chetri:
The highlights of pastor Chetri focus on the neighboring country of Burma. Several Bible study groups have sprung up under his leadership within the country. The gospel has penetrated deep into Burma and the people are equally deepened in their faith. Praise God that a newly converted house into a church is completed and will be a place of worship. Every single dollar spent on this conversion was raised within the church family.
Weekly Home Bible study groups in various locations is growing and they are following the book “Firm Foundation” in Nepali. These Bible studies are conducted in three langauges: Nepali, Telegu, and Thadou-Kuki, involving about a hundred people or so. We praise God for pastor Chetri, who can speak all three langauges as God has gifted him uniquely to communicate the gospel. The Burmese are hungry for God’s word even in the midst of their new found political freedoms. Our prayer for them is that the Burmese will know the true freedom that comes only in Christ.
On the home front
We had several busy weeks as we prepared for travelling to Chicago, IL, the beginning of July. Kamlen qualified for Taekwondo Nationals and competed July 4th. He performed well for his first appearance at Nationals. We are proud of him and his efforts. We will then spend some time with family in WI, enjoying time with Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Chong managed to finish the fish pond just before leaving and the three ever growing goldfish (they range from 5 -8“) are enjoying the extra space. Chong is already planning on what fish to add. He will need to cut short his time in WI as work had several things needing his attention arise. But we are thankful for the time he was able to relax just a bit. Rhoda begins the task of preparing for school next year—hard to believe the kids turn 10 in just a few weeks—no relaxation here! Time truly has flown since we brought two scared little kids home to learn what family is all about. We are thankful for God‘s working in our lives and the lives of our children. Truly God IS good.
Chong, Rhoda and the kids