Dear prayer partners & ministry supporters,
Thank you so much for your prayers and support for me while I was in India from January 5th – 30th. I accompanied missionary Faith Splane from Gospel of Christ Outreach, India, on a whirlwind tour of the southern part of the country which included Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andrapadesh, Vizag, Godavari, and the border area of Orissa. Gospel of Christ Pastors Christer and Victor, who were responsible for arranging our schedule, accompanied us during our travels and provided translation services. During our 25 days of ministry, we held 45 meetings! We visited churches, orphanages, seniors’ homes, and spoke at three regional conferences, where we fed over 1,200 people. It was a full schedule with lots of traveling, some of which included hiking up narrow mountain pathways to remote areas. I surely know that it was your prayers that kept us safe and energized us physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Since first being invited to this incredible country back in 2005 by missionary Evelyn Splane, founder of Gospel of Christ Outreach, I have always had a love for the people of India. Upon first arrival after our 21 hour flight, I was overwhelmed by the great sea of people, the heightened noise level, the exotic smells, and the proliferation of idols and temples representing thousands of gods. My heart is always to spread the good news of the one true God; and during this trip there was the added goal to encourage the churches and build up and strengthen fellow believers, some of whom have suffered severe persecution for their faith in Christ. As I tried to encourage and bring a message of hope, I was encouraged in return – by some of the precious people who walked over 15 km to come and hear the Word of God, by those who invited me into their homes and graciously shared what little they had, and by others who were so eager to know about God and His ways. India is truly hungry for God!
At each meeting, we shared our testimonies and taught simple messages about the Good Shepherd, the Light of the World, and being Ambassadors for Christ. Praise God, Pastor Christer estimates that over 5,000 heard the gospel. There were testimonies of changed lives, people wanting to be baptized, as well as physical healings and deliverances. One pastor from the town of Rajahmundry was suffering from failure of his two kidneys. After prayer, he was completely healed and able to attend a pastors meeting later that week in another town. It gave me joy to report all this back to sister Evelyn, now retired and residing Vancouver, who began ministering to the tribal Indians back in 1955. It was such a tremendous encouragement to her to see how the work she had started and the seeds she had planted had all multiplied!
I met many pastors and Christian workers – too many to tell about in one short letter – many sharing the gospel at great personal cost and in volatile areas. I was most touched by the work of Pastor Silas of the Adivasi Gospel Society, who works with tribal Indians in the remote mountain areas. Praise God, He gave me the strength to be able to accompany Pastor Silas and climb some of the mountain paths to visit these people. They possess little in the way of material possessions and live very simply. Those in the most need are often the orphans and widows. Pastor Silas has taken six orphans into his home, along with his own two children, and members of his church are boarding nine others during the week so that they can be cared for. Education at a Christian school costs approx. $100 US per year and includes room and board. While the needs of India are so vast, it is our desire that Light to the Nations could at least become involved in the lives of these 15 children, sponsoring them to attend school and receive food and clothing. If you feel in your heart that you would like to help out, please let me know.
Back in the Dominican Republic, I received encouraging emails from Indian pastors we had met and who I hope to stay in contact with. There is now much to do, both at the Centre and in working with our Haitian contacts to coordinate the purchase and delivery of supplies to Haitians who have been evacuated from Port au Prince and are streaming into other Haitian towns and villages. Please continue to pray for me for God’s wisdom and direction.
Thank you for sharing in the ministry. God bless you all,
Richard Brochu & Dominican Team