January 22, 2019
India VBS Reaches Over 800 Children
From the Superintendent's DESK
Our churches in India continued holding Vacation Bible School (VBS) at the various locations this past week. On Thursday, January 10, forty-seven children gathered in the home of one of the saints in Gaigolupadu. This is a newer area of outreach supervised by Daniel Rayudu, the Pedapudi pastor. The VBS session began with the children singing songs they have been learning in Sunday school. At the close of the session, one onlooker noted that many little hearts prayed in earnest.
The next day, the Yanam congregation, pastored by Roco Ratnam, had something to report. They had held a regular church service, which included a message declaring that what matters most is what is in the heart, and at the close four women prayed through to salvation. One of them had come to church with her aunt while visiting from out of town.
On Saturday, VBS was held in Kathipudi with two special visitors. Surya and Manisha Gajbhiv traveled from the Maharashtra Province, where he is the District Superintendent, to join in the activities. Seventy children participated in VBS, and then a church service was held. The Gajbhivs shared their testimonies during the service, and then the pastor, Yesu Ratnam, preached, calling on all to submit to Christ and be born again.
The Sunday morning service in Kaikavolu was led by Rayudu Raju, the pastor and Andhra Pradesh District Superintendent, and attended by the American visitors, Bob and Deana Moen, Jim and Cheri White, and Jane Burton, who would be returning home soon. The visitors shared their testimonies and also provided a vocal music special with piano accompaniment before Brother Surya delivered the message. Afterward, the congregation celebrated the birthdays of Brother Daniel and his wife, Santhama, with cake for all.
Immediately following the service, the VBS staff traveled to Pedapudi for the final session of 2019 with eighty-five children in attendance. As part of the activities, the children were taught this year’s memory verse of John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” At the close of this final session, one of the VBS team members commented, “It has been such a joy sharing the Good News with hundreds of precious little souls, pointing them to Jesus, the only way.”
This year, approximately 884 children attended VBS, and an additional 136 gift bags were left for Sunday school children who were unable to attend. Please pray for all of these children, that they will come by the Holy Spirit to a full understanding of the truth. We are trusting God for the increase in the days ahead!
Sadly, after the American visitors to India returned home, we learned of the tragic passing of fifty-seven-year-old Salmon Raju, pastor of the Gurajanapalli church. He was returning from church on his bicycle when hit from behind by a speeding auto rickshaw driver who left the scene. Brother Salmon died, leaving a widow, Sister Deena. Please pray for Sister Deena, as well as the Gurajanapalli congregation, and the saints in the Andhra Pradesh Province.