As we near the end of another school year, we are thankful for the students God sent that we could educate and show the way of God. Twenty-nine years ago God laid a burden on my heart to provide a Christian education to the children of my village. Shalom Academy was begun with the vision of reaching unreached Hindus with daily godly instruction. The fact that we still stand strong adhering to the core values based on the Scriptures that we began with, remains a distinguishing mark from the other schools in the areas. Shalom has experienced many administrative changes, but those changes never altered the objective of the school for “teaching the young mind while reaching their souls.” Three Hindu men, coming to us as teachers, found Christ and changed their direction forever, and are now serving their Lord leading others to Christ. As I look back and consider the thousands of dollars spent and the heartache experienced, I am tempted to ask if all of this was worth it. The answer is a resounding yes, and we will do it again. I, on behalf of the mission and my family, thank all of you who have stood with us and supported us financially and prayerfully. Your partnership in the ministry has been a strength and an encouragement to us and for those involved in the frontline.
We praise God for the sustaining power of the prayers of the saints and truly we experienced victory in two fronts, we had the best results in the high school state board exams, and about 30 students received Christ as their personal Savior during Vacation Bible School. We faced many challenges throughout this calendar year. The enemy’s tactic of creating disunity among the teachers and the staff was unsuccessful. Some teachers not only left the school but regrouped and worked against Shalom Academy by serving as teachers in new start-up church. The impact of their protest walkout from Shalom Academy impacted little; however the enrollment in the lower classes were down.
Grace Baptist Church
Pastor Ratan reports of successes in the outreach ministry to Burma. Several more Bible study groups have started since the last time reported. In spite of the progress made, the devil never ceases to stir up problems and interrupts whatever positive changes made in Burma. The word of God penetrated deep among Nepali Hindu communities inside the Burma towns of Tamu and Namphalong. We visited over 20 homes as part of a soul winning effort of GBC. The response has been minimal as these towns are strongholds of the Hindus and Buddhist religions, and that the enemy has impaired the eyes and dulled their hearts to believe lies. Weekly and monthly Bible study groups throughout the regions are going very well and the people are very much alive and enjoying God’s word. Picture to the left is typical house to house Bible study and prayer meeting of Pastor Ratan cell group inside Burma,
Pastor Lun Singsit
Lun is traveling with HELP Ministries, sharing his vision of reaching India, by establishing one local church at a time. He is also raising support and trusting the Lord to meet his needs and plans to return to India mid-December. Even though Lun is in the States, the young fellowship that began in his living room continues to grow under the leadership of another Brother in the Lord. He is anxious to get back to India to see that the fellowship becomes a Bible preaching New Testament Church. There were a few individuals willing to take believer’s baptism, and we now trust the Lord that this will be the beginning and the birth of a thriving church. Picture to the right was taken a worship service that started at Lun’s living room on one year anniversary Sunday September 22, 2013. There were about twenty adults and several children attended the worship service.
Bible Baptist Church
Pastor Natum is one of the few pastors working with us to come from an Hindu background. God has uniquely gifted him to witness to fellow Hindus and the Lord blessed his efforts to reach the Meitei Hindus in the capital city of Imphal. He conducted one crusade, two Gospel camps, and four VBS’s during this period. In addition, weekly cottage meetings involving church members and neighbors continue. Personal soul winning efforts often end with disappointment, but he continues to pursue faithfully. His faithfulness at the end pays dividends and our hearts rejoice with them over several sinners turning to Christ for salvation. Among them are three men and two girls; the men are from a Hindu background, overcoming both family and society rejection and potential persecution. On a sad note, please pray for the families of two dear Brothers that have gone to be with the Lord. I close with a rejoicing heart that another three Brethren who previously accepted the Lord have taken the step of obedience by taking believer’s baptism.
Pastor Kamal Gurung
reports of a successful conclusion of the Christian Leadership Seminar in Naxalbari (October 7-8). Each day there were four sessions during six hours, the first two sessions teaching and encouraging the leaders based on a passage of Scripture from II Cor. 4:1-5. They used Christ Jesus as the whole content, purpose of Christian life, and service; this topic was presented and emphasized vividly. The rest of the sessions were taught from a condensed version of “Building on a Firm Foundation” published by the New Tribes Mission.
One more encouraging piece of news from Pastor Kamal is the positive response he received from individuals for the new fellowship started in Baun Dangi in Nepal. Right now the fellowship is in its infancy with ample opportunity to teach and preach the Bible from the creation story in Genesis to the promise of Jesus’ coming, and to take His own in the Revelation. The reason for the teaching of the creation story is very appropriate knowing these individuals are coming from totally non-Judeo Christian backgrounds. In order for them to truly grasp and understand the God of the Bible, they need to know him from creation, and have a good understanding on the fall of man and sin.
On the Home Front
School has started for our two, keeping Rhoda busy as they home school. After a rough year last year, we are seeing the faithfulness of the Lord in leading for this year. Staying diligent and faithful in their studies, both children are seeing areas of struggle last year slowly becoming areas of victory. The Lord led Rhoda to a Bible curriculum that centers on God’s heart for the world. As we learn our lessons each day, we are able to see God’s heart for a sinful world, and His desire to see all men come to repentance. We are also becoming very aware of the need for a Savior world wide as we look up populations of countries and then break that population down by religions (and sadly, the numbers for “Christian” often including the cults, the ultra liberal, and a lot more that we as believers would not consider “Christian”). The area that most rejoices Rhoda as they work together is the seeing of God’s hand at work—whether discussing the Bible passage of the day, the science lesson, history, geography, art, or just about anything else. Being able to discuss the things of the Lord throughout the day is one blessing of homeschooling we definitely enjoy and are thankful for. Kamlen continues to do well with taekwondo, having recently earned his brown belt, and enjoying the competition team again this year. Though small for his age group, he enjoys taking on a larger opponent and winning. Kimhoili has switched from violin to ballet and is doing well. She is in a small class at the local community center and has convinced Chong of the need of a ballet bar in her room. (We had a stair railing that was falling off when we bought the house that was sitting in the garage that now has a home in her bedroom.) It is exciting to see her practice the things learned each week in class (without reminding and prompting). Chong as always is too busy between work, the ministry in India, and keeping up with repairs on the house. Rhoda tries to keep up with school, the housework, the kids, and anything else Chong throws her way. We are grateful for the work of the Lord in our lives, for the protection He gives each and every day, and the hope of His return one day.
May we be found faithful until then.
On behalf of those laboring in India,
Chong and Rhoda Singsit