The Shadow of the Almighty
Shepherded – 69 Years
It is amazing how different attitudes and habits develop from one’s upbringing and background. One who is raised in the tropics looks for a shady nook. Quite automatically while parking a car, he seeks the shadow of some tall building, for such shelter from the burning sun is simply essential. Those raised in temperate countries often seek a spot where the sun is shining brightly. The Bible speaks of the shadow of a mighty rock, in a rugged, hot desert situation. (Isaiah 32:2). It does not need any great stretch of imagination to know how such a shadow, where there is no shelter from dehydrating and debilitating heat, is a ‘life-saver’. Our Loving Saviour wants us to know the solace, strength and security of dwelling under the shadow of the Almighty.
Now another precious year, which God in His mercy has given us, has passed by so quickly! His mercies are so palpable and innumerable, for with great tenderness He has carried us forward.
Now we need to search our hearts whether there is in our hearts any real growth in praise, thanksgiving and gratefulness. We live today in a world of such phenomenal advances in technology and research that we cease to wonder at the works of God. Many are estranging themselves from the works of God by FIRST making sure that their own lives are well-cushioned and secure from every earthly angle. If God is indeed working in your life, from time to time you will find yourself almost stupefied with wonder and saying, “How marvellous is my wonderful Saviour!” Your grumbling will cease and praise will take hold of you.
We would like everyone who has anything at all to do with us, to ask himself this question, “Am I participating in God’s wonderful works and am I letting Jesus work through me?” Life is too short to spend in vanity and boredom.
Our wonderful Lord has been thrusting us forth into many strategic fields of immense opportunity. We can either bring incalculable blessings to nations or be clogged and drying streams, which fail to bring ‘living waters’ to dying souls. In the face of Christ’s abounding grace, our very poor level of faith, faithfulness and steadfastness, should greatly humble us.
This very brief narrative of the year’s happenings and advances may serve chiefly to point to this one thing—He is faithful who has called us. Yes, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, whose word is steadfast forever, will give us more than we can ask or think. Only let us walk more humbly than ever with the Living God, so that we may just stand in awe and wonder and worship.
New Centres and Advances
The new advances the Lord granted us to experience and see are so comprehensive and breathtaking, in the wide range of blessings which are beginning to flow from them.
The New Hall in
The New Hall in
The construction of the hall is still incomplete, inasmuch as the finishing touches, the plaster, paint and the entrance doors are still not in place. The floors are not yet fully done either, nor some of the usual fittings. In order to avoid the speaker appearing as a distant and diminutive figure, two screens are provided on either side of the platform where an amplified picture of the speaker is just vaguely visible. We say vaguely because the bright summer sunshine from the huge arches and openings of the hall make the powerful projector still insufficient to give a bright image, during daytime. There are still some few minor glitches like this to be attended to.
At the very entrance of the hall is the beautiful Scripture—and we want this scripture to serve as an instruction governing every conversation in and around the hall—“In His temple doth everyone speak of His glory.” (Ps. 29:9) We do not want the idle chatter, which destroys most of the spiritual benefit, which people derive at famous conventions.
We do not glory in masonry, stonework or concrete, but we do praise God that 6000 people can easily be accommodated, such that there is togetherness which has its own contribution to make to ‘oneness’. The Lord in His mercy must grant that every time we gather here we humble ourselves, so as to conform to the condition for blessing which God has laid down so clearly: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” (Acts 2:1) This ‘one accord’ comes by humbling. Though we come from diverse backgrounds and far-flung geographical regions of the world, having the one goal of glorifying Jesus, ‘one accord’ should be found in His presence.
Our New Television Broadcasts
In using popular television channels for our broadcasts, we are reaching a vast segment of society, which does not tune in or listen to a Christian broadcast. There is mounting evidence that more and more people are being drawn to the word of God and listen with hunger to the message, which is the heart and soul of our broadcasts.
Our Weekly Television Broadcast in Malayalam
The response to the broadcast in the Malayalam language is quite a revelation to us. There are so many people out there whom we had written off as being too worldly or too indifferent, but who on the contrary have an inner longing, which is crying out for reality in religion. Even the normally suspicious and those filled with incredulity, are quickly beginning to sense that this broadcast of ours is going out to them with sincerity and truth, written clearly upon every sentence and sequence. Transforming hearts and turning untruth upside down is the work of the Living God and no edict or legislation can ever paralyse the Almighty Hand of God.
When William Carey the great
indefatigable missionary laboured hard and produced the Bible or a part of it
in 32 Indian languages, he thought he now held the devil by the throat. Indeed
a great stride forward was made by his monumental work but the resistance to
God’s word continued to a great degree in
Now we come with our sling, smooth stones and our stick to face the sneering and scornful Goliaths of our time. Our victorious Saviour is able to direct our slingshots to the right place, such that men and women, in spite of themselves, will see Christ’s glory and fall prostrate before Him who died to save them. Untruth will inevitably come tumbling down.
Yet another Tamil Channel
Now another channel in Tamil, the Tamilan Channel, which is making great strides in popularity and thus reaching quite a segment of society, is carrying our broadcast, bringing a good bit of our Sunday Service to the people, for a whole hour, every other Sunday.
The Lord is causing His word to go forth in six major languages, which cover a significant part of this sub-continent’s population. Let us stand still and see Him working and triumphing in the lives and homes of millions.
To so many of you who work in secular fields and enjoy the respect and trust of those whom you know, here is an unprecedented opportunity to reach your friends. Invite them to tune in and listen. As the message is always in English and is interpreted into the local languages, a vast majority of the English-knowing public should be touched and their age-old prejudice against the Gospel should be demolished.
Setting up Our Television Studio
Years ago, when a well-wisher told Bro. Joe that she desired to see us proclaiming God’s word on the television, Bro. Joe did not pay much attention to her words. The television with its values and its low-level entertainment was something which he rightly detested and strongly denounced, as being very harmful to families, and destructive of all moral values. To this day, this is what the television largely stands for and produces moral squalor amongst the general public.
It must be admitted, however, and recognized, that television as an arm of the media, is shaping much of the thought patterns of people everywhere. This awareness of the powerful influence of the television came to us very slowly. There was yet another barrier to confront. Bro. Joe as a person and the Fellowship as a whole, hated all vanity and show. The showmanship and conformity to worldly standards even in Christian television turned off Bro. Joe and he simply had no time, he felt, for the television; much less any time to produce television programmes.
The infrastructure required for producing the programmes ourselves involved the purchase of such expensive equipment that it seemed to be altogether beyond us. We had already so many projects going at the same time. Piece by piece the Lord put together this baffling jigsaw puzzle and true to His own name, Jehovah Jireh, — ‘the Lord will provide’ — the Lord enabled us to procure the basic equipment. Our team too is slowly gaining in experience and expertise, though we have yet long ways to go. Gaining a world-class quality is a concern, such that the people who will not watch a Christian programme will have no cause to dismiss it as substandard stuff. The paramount concern of Bro. Joe is the ‘message’ — Is Jesus visible? Is God at work? Is there a ‘Thus saith the Lord’, which causes men to tremble, stop, think and commit themselves to Jesus, the Saviour of the world?
Character-building, soul-winning books, which inspire and cultivate purity in people, find little welcome still in several societies. It is incomprehensible that men resent the spread of purity, love and upright living. Hence even to place our books on the sidewalk or pavement becomes a battle sometimes.
James Bong, one of our brothers in
The slow thinking, which Christians have cultivated as a part of their religious orthodoxy, makes them absurdly unrealistic in their professed aims and the manner in which they execute. If the Gospel is indeed the ‘news above all news’ and is the only news designed to bring comfort and health to broken nerves and lives, peace to families, freedom from fear, and salvation from sins now and assured entry into the Kingdom which is eternal, then surely it deserves to be widely propagated and superbly displayed. But the fact of the matter is that though we produce literature in twenty-three languages, we scarcely had a place, nor prepared a showroom to display it. At long last, we have corrected this dismal failure of ours and turned a small entrance area in our Central Hall, which was originally meant for a showroom, when the hall was first constructed, into a nice little bookstall.
Seeing that most of our meeting places and church buildings are becoming places where large congregations gather to worship, we must make sure that people can go away with literature which inspires, ennobles and sets the highest spiritual goals before them.
The New Hall in Avinasi
Many years ago, Mr. Daniel (senior) and Mrs. Daniel laboured in this town. A few years ago, one of our young men trained in our Bible school, started labouring here and winning souls. Even the declaration of Christ in a small way enraged many. But James Smith endured this with patience and much prayer.
Today on a little plot of ground,
our prayer hall stands, close by the road leading to the Nilgiris (
Set in a strategic area, with
In our rented quarters, regular services are now being held and the word of God is going forth from these small premises.
Our bookstall at Gangtok, on the highway to the Chinese border, is also serviced currently from Siliguri. The Lord in His mercy must raise faithful workers for this area which has long been a stronghold of demon worship and many superstitious practices, to say the least.
Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
One of our young couples, who are teaching at the university close to this capital, have begun sowing the word of God in the hearts of students and others.
A short week-end retreat which was conducted by some of our team members from Guwahati, was blessed of the Lord.
Some of the students hail from the border
areas in the North of the state, where people seem to go in and out of
At Kohima and Dimapur, Nagaland
It was many years ago in 1987, during one of the early visits of Bro. Joe, revival meetings were held in one of the main churches of this town.
In September, the three days of meetings here were held in a big central hall. Our team members here made sure that the hall was well cleaned and made as dust free as possible. Many were present and heard God’s word. Whereas this state should be a showpiece to lead the whole country into Christian truth and rectitude, it is unfortunate that today society here is filled with extortion, greed and insurgent activity. The curse of corruption and bribery play a prominent part in public life.
Before leaving the state, Bro. Joe was also
able to address a well-attended meeting in Dimapur which is the second largest
There is a large university here in Silchar and a few of our converted students are studying here. A small work is slowly commencing in this town.
Being on the border between Nagaland and Manipur, Senapati has become a kind of hub for much insurgent activity. As the Word of God goes out and touches the heart of young people who are in the underground, we will see more and more insurgents turning to the Lord. There is much work to be done here.
A small prayer hall has been built and the work of the Lord is set to advance here. John Daniel in his recent visit, prayed and addressed the people here.
centre and its influence is one significant ray of light in this town of
In spite of the initial shock at the carnage, our preacher here has been reaching out to souls. Dr. Job too in spite of his weak physical condition went and laboured here.
work across the border in
Dr. Job who was stricken by a heart attack in March was marvellously preserved, although no expert medical treatment could be obtained there. The brothers and sisters in Imphal prayed and laboured faithfully in prayer, till they saw him turn the corner.
While Dr. Job was in the poorly equipped
intensive care unit of the
Nowhere in Scripture is it recorded that Abraham returned to his own country or city, for he never did! Our missionary labours should put greater stress on the needy of other nations than our own particular ‘home’ regions. Bro. Joe grieves over the insular minds of most people who say, “Let our local needs be first met.” He often says, that had he thought of his own needs first, he would never have been able to establish any missionary centre. The carnal mind refuses to break out of this insularity. “If there is anything left over,” says Mr. Carnal Body, “then we will apply it to the pressing needs elsewhere.”
At any of our centres, when the missionary spirit does not overcome this entrenched selfish-thinking, then there will be no spiritual progress. Whenever people say, “There is no money to pay our own bills,” one can be sure that there is a serious shortfall in their missionary burden and giving. In short, it must be said, “Save your neighbour and you will be saved; lift your brother and you will be lifted.”
Our commitment in love and labours to our ‘Global Parish’ must only increase continually.
Labours in the
It is unfortunate that Bro. Joe is only
able to give the fag end of his energy, strength and time to the
Those who attend our small retreats and
others who say that they value the Fellowship and the message which God has
given us to declare, are scattered in such distant places in the vast expanse
The changes which take place in almost
every realm of activity in the
The concept of ‘drawing apart’ and spending
a season exclusively waiting on God is something which has gone out of people’s
thinking. If it is a day’s seminar, at which the charge is some two or three
hundred dollars, then that would be the choice which appeals to most people. If
Peter or Paul and even the Lord Jesus were preaching today in
The economic viability of Christian efforts appears to be the guiding principle of even all Gospel ventures. This is like thrusting Judas and his bag to the fore and asking him to spearhead all Christian outreach.
Bro. Joe of course, considers the above reasoning as a bunch of rubbish. We are not soaring high as eagles. Christians only seem to be dredging shallow waters. Why is that? Surely we are not obeying God’s plain requirement—“They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31) Let us bear well in mind that wherever we are placed, our strength and our inexhaustible supply is from the Lord.
At the Sebring Camp Grounds
Our annual retreats at Sebring Camp Grounds are like a breath of fresh air from Heaven. There are a number of newcomers who either drop in for a day or two. Some are short-term computer hands, who regard themselves as temporary residents in the land. The mindset that the computer boom and other gainful employment engender in the minds of many of these foreign nationals, is the very opposite of the missionary mind. The mind of Christ which says, “I will save that which is lost” is not there, nor the thinking which cries, “I will gladly spend and be spent for you. The ‘gold-rush’ mind and the ‘missionary’ mind simply don’t meet. Hence we do not want to fill our retreats with people like this. We want men and women whose hearts are aching with the ‘blessed hunger for righteousness’ which Jesus indicates as the condition which moves God’s heart to ‘fill them’.
To the many children in the camp, it is an exciting time when they are often invited to sing from the platform and they do sing very well indeed.
Due to the close proximity of Cleveland Heart Clinic to Sebring, Bro. Joe normally has a full day of appointments with various doctors and tests, the following day after the retreat. This normally is his annual check-up.
This year, another cardiologist, who examined him, only spoke of the weakened condition of his heart muscle, but did not discover that a more serious condition was shortly to surface.
The Three Days of Meetings in
Right after this heart check-up, with its unfortunate misreading of his real condition, Bro. Joe at short notice, embarked upon three days of meetings. The dear Lord graciously stood in the midst and some people began to instantly obey God’s word.
The Thanksgiving Retreat and Easter Retreat
The Thanksgiving Retreat in
November and the Easter Retreat, which are held over the weekends, were pretty
well-attended too, though we had them in a remote place in
We Must Increase Our Prayer for
Today however every misdemeanour of some
politician or some public figure, who turns out to be a humbug, is blamed upon
Christianity. Many of these men, who had given rise to pubic scandals, had
never repented of their sins or turned to Christ. But the broad brush with
Prison methods vary from country to
country. It often transpires that people who are detained by the police, in
several Eastern countries, never come out alive. Innumerable Christians and
unnumbered citizens of countries ruled by ruthless regimes have been
slaughtered, both in the
Wherever the Gospel has not found
acceptance, that place will certainly turn out to be a ‘habitation of cruelty’.
Wherever money rules in the minds of people, morality will soon have no
quarter. When men make
Numerous expatriates from various nations
have converged on
At such a time as this, we are seeking to
Our Summer Retreat
Our summer retreat was held in a remote
As for the prevailing prayer which must arise whenever we meet in this fashion, there is little evidence of it engulfing the sadly benighted British nation. Shall we arise from the midst of our compelling trivialities, which appear to hold us captive and climb into these realistic regions of burdened prayer!
The Winter Retreat in
One can be totally engrossed with one’s own
little organisation, but this is but narrow thinking. When we move any Gospel
The bedraggled, pushed-into-the-closet Christian must be
pulled out into the open in
Our hall which is not big by our standard,
is adequate to hold quite some people. It was nice to see this hall well-filled
by men of many nations. The Word of God went out with authority and grace. The
loudspeaker placed outside the
Bro. Joe’s Critical Turn of Health
It was here in
Bro. Joe would not refrain from preaching
however, and managed to do so till the end of the Retreat. Much to his chagrin,
he had to consent to go back to
The expert interventionist, as the latest heart doctors are called, told Bro. Joe that he too loved the Lord Jesus. He handled the operation with great care. Seeing that the drill which he had threaded through the artery could not penetrate the built-up plaque or blockage, he stopped the drilling when he feared that he might drill through the artery itself. Thus the intricate operation was performed with great care by a skilled team, under the direction of Dr. Raymond.
Bro. Joe was asked not to exert himself in any serious manner for several days. The Lord granted that his recovery should be normal and without any grave emergency.
What a mighty crescendo of loving prayer went up to the Living Saviour, from innumerable places and from simple hearts! The Lord in His mercy hearkened to the prayers of many who even fasted and prayed for Bro. Joe’s recovery.
Our Retreats continue to draw people, but
to our great sorrow and grief, that resolute grip on God and the cry which rose
from Jacob at Peniel, “I will not let you go, except you bless me” is hardly to
be found in most of the people. A new breaking and a fresh wave of revival is
urgently needed. Still many value our retreats for the message which is given.
The failure seems to be in obeying the Word and putting it into action. For
anyone therefore to say, “
Bro. Joe always feels that this is a day of great opportunity. There are many people out there struggling to find solutions, families that are snowed under with problems and others who are totally frustrated trying to find answers. The Gospel can never lose its relevance. All we need to do is to check if we are right with God, then we will have strength and power to reach souls.
At the Youth Camp
Bro. Joe has always made it a point to somehow be present at the youth camp. This year too with difficulty, he made himself available.
While many of our young people are now fathers of little children and no longer attend this camp, several of the younger ones have taken their place. One always sees some very sad new faces. The problems of parents and unhappy family situations, are thrust upon these young people, making their lives extremely hard. But by the time we come to the last meeting, a certain brightness and hope normally lights up their faces.
The present state of
Our children’s camp here had a lot more children than usual and a large team of our young people helped at this camp and the teenage camp.
Meeting in Naunberg and
Our grievous neglect of the former East German area is very painful to Bro. Joe. If only he had the time and strength, he would give it to evangelistic campaigns, where communism has destroyed faith in the hearts of many.
Two meetings were arranged at Naunberg and
Mrs. Nagel had spared no pains to invite her friends. The Lord granted us a time when the Lord did speak to us.
The next evening, being a Monday evening, a
smaller but very attentive group heard God’s word at
Meetings in Lisnaskea, near Enniskillen
Word had spread
the Sunday morning service, Bro. Joe had to rush to the airport, as he had to
address a special evening meeting, at our Brixton preaching hall in
Our small ministry in Paris and France has advanced yet another step by the printing and distribution of our new book in French, which is a translation of “Victory over Demons and Fear.”
Even a Brazilian, who hardly knew French, was drawn to the meeting as he felt the Lord’s presence there. All ethnic expatriates in Western lands show an extreme partiality for their own culture. This is a serious problem. If salt does not dissolve and mix, it is perfectly useless. If supposed Christians cling to their own narrow ethnic clan, then they are perfectly useless for God. Having reverted in this last few years from French interpretation to the Tamil language, we see the need to make our meetings easily understandable to the local French population. We need to go back to French interpretation.
We are still praying for the right place wherein we can have our worship centre. A small team here labours faithfully despite many apparent setbacks.
Over the years though many have been at our retreats and meetings, it has been an uphill task to build any deep work here. It must be noted that several who were touched have gone on to serve in other areas and countries.
Rodney and Andrea have been busy working with children, government officials and in the field of literature. Hence a pretty tight schedule was drawn up for Bro. Joe to address several groups of people. This included also a school meeting and a live radio broadcast.
‘The sower who goeth forth bearing precious seeds and weepeth’ (Psalm126:6), comes to mind. Even for fulfilling this anointed state of weeping for souls, one needs time. Our present schedules are such, it seems to be one headlong rush from airport to meeting, to meeting and further meeting … and back to the airport. Bro. Joe requests prayer that he should not lose out in bringing in the sheaves. He wishes so much to go back to the quiet waiting on God and the setting aside of all of King Saul’s armour. He says, “Why should our final product be sub-standard and fall short of the Apostolic mark?”
The Two Meetings at Deniliquin, in New South-Wales, were well attended. In Dr. Sydney’s place, the big living room which is literally set apart for the Wednesday meeting, was full and several sat on the floor. It was quite evident that the word of the Lord was sinking in.
The last of these meetings was a university
meeting at the
The next two evenings were given to two
very significant meetings in
In the midst of this rush, to get to the meeting on time is in itself a tall order. Yet it is amazing how many do turn up. We must needs pray that these precious people should be directed by the Lord to spend their considerable talents for the highest purpose.
Dr. Rajadorai, with his demanding work as a senior medical specialist, needs our prayer. His wife, Beena, too seeks out women who have fallen through the cracks to help them.
Joe is by no means an explorer or adventurer, his annual foray into South
America and the Caribbean produces quite a deal of adventure and hardship. Due
to the bad routing, which the travel agent had obtained for Bro. Joe and Lily
Daniel, they found themselves after a long flight in a remote
There are always those who, having heard us over the radio and television, come in to hear the word of God, but it is unfortunate that we have no team members who are gifted with good leading voices. Bro. Joe had to lead the singing on the first night, but as this was proving to be too much for him, he pressed Dr. Danny into service. Danny is a courageous man but courage alone cannot be a substitute for a voice that can hold a tune and lead the congregation. But praise God for those who attempt all things in faith.
addressed the nursing
Bro. Sekhar at
Flying out of
For the next
three days the word of the Lord rang out in the
Robert and Danny arrived to drive Bro. Joe and Lily Daniel to the airport 60 or
70 km away, but there was no way by which they could pick up the ‘travellers’.
It was impossible to open the gate nor climb over it. No amount of banging
doors, shouting for the watchman and scouting around the place to find someone
who could help produced any results. In the meantime, it seemed pretty clear
that their chances of catching the flight to
Suddenly, they discovered that Dr. Danny had managed to find a lower section of the compound wall close to the neighbouring compound and clambered on to it and with the assistance of a badly rusted iron plank, managed to get into the hotel grounds. This badly rusted and swaying iron plank, which one had to walk over to get to the top of the back wall, was hardly suited to bear any considerable weight. Further, there was a pit below. However the Lord helped Bro. Joe to walk on this narrow plank and then Lily Daniel followed. Dr. Danny stood on the wall to give them a helping hand as they neared the wall-end of their acrobatic feat. A small jump from the wall to the ground below and by crossing into the neighbouring grounds, they managed to get to the street. With great difficulty Sister Lily and Bro. Joe had handed over their baggage earlier by thrusting their cases over the high gate.
traffic to the capital city of
Bro. Klaus received Bro. Joe and Sister Lily Daniel and together with his son, Michel, they proceeded and reached Gaucara, 200 and some kilometres away, in good time to address the afternoon’s meeting.
To the people here, though many of whom are non-practicing Catholics, it would seem as though we are proclaiming heretical teachings. As there is so much black magic and witchcraft and many of the dwellers around were aware that people were being freed from demons in our meeting place, there was a certain restraint in their opposition. Practically everyone who knew Bro. Klaus respected him. This of course translates into respect for the Gospel.
The baptismal service was a time of special rejoicing. Always at these special meetings there are some new souls who come in and are jolted or awakened by God’s word.
Spreading Labours in
As the work spreads to new areas and places, some of the older places which have had Fellowship centres for many years now, are tending to get satisfied and shallow. It is amazing that the kind of church life that many want is just a nice Sunday service and the orderly administration of other church functions.
In revival, we see churches as power houses with power lines stretching farther and farther into the dark regions beyond. A satisfied church is a stagnant church.
Meetings in the Central Hall, Headquarters
It has been a long time since the
It was with very keen expectation and burden of heart that Bro. Joe was waiting to address the many newcomers who are coming in increasing numbers to our Central Hall. The four nights in early January were meant to be the first important campaign of 2004.
It came as a very keen disappointment to
Bro. Joe that he could not travel back to
The work of the Lord, which had begun in a very small way in this difficult city, has now become a growing work which is touching students and people from widely scattered areas of this state.
The huge school hall of the Don Bosco school was once again given to us for the two evenings. Many people came in and filled the place. Although it was the rainy season, people came in spite of the inclement weather. The Lord granted His word to go forth in such a way as to touch many hearts.
Quite a number of people were present in
the one morning meeting as well. This morning session was held in the small
hall which had been built on the second floor of the rented flat of
Meetings in Dimapur, Nagaland
Some are calling Dimapur the fastest
growing place in
Our meetings, which were held in the biggest hall of the city, began to draw more and more people. To most of them, we are almost strangers. Yet the word of God drew them.
On the first night of the meetings, John Daniel preached and there were many team members on hand to help. While the singing and television team worked hard to give of their best, the witnesses of the team members were very much to the point, having been raised in this area. The particular sins of their life, from which they were delivered, were kind of endemic in this place.
The two local cable television services relayed most of the message to the whole city and caused quite a stirring in some hearts.
God helping us, there is ahead of us a great harvest in this city.
It was with a great burden and concern
that Bro. Joe went to
People had come in from all the neighbouring areas and hence we expect them to carry the word to many needy people at our many sub-centres dotting the area.
The Campaign in Cochin/Ernakulam, Kerala
As the academic year extends practically
into May, we use the month of June for some intense prayer. We normally do not
undertake any campaigns as such during this month. There was, however, a
certain urgency in calling for these three nights of meetings at the Town Hall
Bro. Joe felt that he had a debt to pay to
Kerala. While our brothers, Dr. Jesudas and Dr. Franklin from
Kerala in the Southwest coast of
In the parliamentary elections of 2004, eighteen of the twenty men elected from Kerala were elected on the communist ticket. That a state which is said to have a Christian population of over 30% can give rise to a strong continuing presence of communist unions and thought is truly bewildering. The only credible explanation of this enigma can be that Christianity here is so dead that people have little recourse than to turn to atheistic and materialistic communism and ‘other counterfeits of the devil.’ Of course, like the surviving remnants of communism worldwide, they have made certain alterations and changes in their functioning and agenda, so as to have a more acceptable and ‘human face’.
There are many who seem to be getting touched and inspired by our Malayalam telecast of Saturdays. Hence a hunger is being created for the Word of God.
During these three nights, there were more men present than women, which in itself is a most unusual happening in Kerala. The Word of God began to quicken people and we could see people humbling themselves. The two follow-up meetings, which were held in the YMCA, were addressed by Dr. Jesudas and people expressed their desire for more of God’s word.
The Two Nights At Mettupalayam
The seed which was sown through the years at the foothills of these Blue Mountains (Nilgiris), has grown into a small network of centres, where souls meet with the Lord and people are fed with God’s word. Yet the big highly industrialized district of Coimbatore is being very inadequately served by us.
The wide quadrangle of our Matriculation school lends itself excellently for a beautiful open-air meeting. Many came and heard God’s word. Some parents of our school children too were present. There is besides a big team of teachers who work in our school here. The Lord must use them as they teach and guide the 750 pupils in our school.
The Bigger Conventions of the Year
There was a whole line-up of conventions
which normally take place in January/February. This year when Bro. Joe was
taken ill and could scarcely walk in the airports, during the time of the
winter retreats in
The people have always been taught in the Fellowship that the prime thing in our gathering together is the word of God. Hence people came and the meetings went on as usual.
After the initial shock of knowing that Bro. Joe would not be addressing any of the meetings, the multitudes settled down and God used several of our brothers most graciously.
Bro. John Daniel, who had obtained special leave of absence for a week, from the president of his company, addressed three nights of the meetings in Hyderabad. Dr. Jesudas, who also helped in these meetings, followed John in Vizag, the important port city, and took up the bulk of the load in the well-attended meetings here. John Daniel, who commenced the Vizag campaign, left to the brothers the responsibility of concluding the campaign.
Bro. Christian Paul, Dr. Samraj, Bro. Moses
Charles, Bro. Priyanath and several others were used of God in these campaigns
and at the meetings in Eluru,
A Few More Campaigns
While Bro. Joe was recuperating from the heart procedure which he underwent, he was burdened for several other places which needed the life-giving word from on high.
First Sister Lily Daniel wanted to make
sure that Bro. Joe in his weakened condition was capable of enduring the long
flights, as in the past. Thus she accompanied him on the long flight from
Hence the Lord made it possible for him to schedule a few meetings in regions of Andhra Pradesh, where the summer sun usually beats down furiously.
Bro. Daniel (senior) had witnessed a mighty revival breaking out in this region around sixty years ago and continuing some decades. Bro. Joe had to labour hard several years ago to revive the work, which was weakened by an unfaithful leader, after his dad’s death.
It was at the height of the electioneering fever that our meetings took place here. In fact groups of men were going from house to house canvassing votes. Even at such a time, an overflowing crowd gathered to hear the Word of God. What a thrill it was to see the earnest upturned faces of these simple people, as they drank in God’s word.
In spite of being told that the road was nearly impassable, Bro. Joe determined to preach in this small village which is normally surrounded by the backwaters of the sea which in this district is called ‘Kolleru’. Even in this remote place a huge crowd had gathered and God’s word went forth with power.
Even our large and extensive ground here is proving to be too small. The Lord in His mercy was pleased to grant His servant the needed word for this place.
At Tenali the crowd was too large for our place. Both the street in front and an adjoining piece of ground were filled by the overflowing crowds. The earnestness and the hunger of the people always move the heart of Bro. Joe.
Youth and Children’s camps
All-Asia Students’ Camp
Some of the students that came to this camp had to travel between three to four days each way. It was most marvellous to see young people in their thousands from such far-flung regions, so many universities, engineering institutes and other disciplines sitting and drinking in God’s word.
They sat on the unfinished hard floor of
the big hall in
The unfinished galleries on the first floor could not be used and were carefully cordoned off. Though we were about 2500 people in all who were resident in the camp, with several other hundreds who attended from outside, we did not quite fill even the ground floor of the hall.
The movement of the Holy Spirit in our midst was evident, and many young people lifted up their voices and called on the Lord with broken hearts. As always some young people felt the Lord’s call in their hearts. Training the increasing number of students who want to join our Bible college is becoming a very challenging task.
As always, at all our retreats, the Lord is the host and supplies free board for all who are at the retreat. On our part, we feel very grateful indeed that so many of these young people, who are by no means rich or well-to-do, manage to find the money to pay for their fares to come to the camp. If they should live holy and upright lives and turn many to righteousness, we would be thrilled; in fact, we would feel more than adequately rewarded by such an outcome.
Youth Camp in Imphal, Manipur
The good Lord granted another youth camp in Imphal this year also. He sent Bro. John Daniel for the first time and used him powerfully at this camp.
Even from the first day, we could see the presence of the Holy Spirit of God leading the young people to pray with tears and strong crying, confessing their sins. In the counselling sessions, many opened their hearts with deep conviction.
Reports are coming from different places of continued work of the Spirit of God and many are still repenting. The Lord was good in keeping the 500 in the camp, the kitchen taking good care of them. The Lord shut up the monsoon rains from hindering the camp.
The children’s camps which operate with a
different section for the young people of pre-college level, also were held at
Christmas Carol Services
It is often felt that December is a month which should be given over to celebrations and festivities. Any talk of revival meetings is considered to be an intrusion into the festive spirit of the season. But in the Fellowship we have always seized the tremendous opportunity that the Christmas season affords to declare the why and the wherefore of Christmas.
Why Christmas at all? Christ came to save you, me and all men from our lost estate. Today with a civilization which has lost its way, to lift up Jesus and His great salvation is our plain duty. What meaning can eating and drinking have if the essence and purpose of His coming is forgotten! Thus at all our centres, the singing of carols is accompanied by the preaching of God’s word, when Jesus the Saviour of the world is lifted before all who are present. The many friends and guests who are invited by the people, are thus given the opportunity to hear God’s word and get exposed to the light of the Gospel.
This year although Bro. Joe had just
finished an exhausting series of meetings in
Besides the well-attended carol service in
The Annual Retreat
It was quite evident to Bro. Joe during his
enforced period of rest and recuperation that the big Annual Retreat at
The construction of the much larger units for the accommodation of the people was incomplete. The prices of both steel and cement had hit an unprecedented high and no relief from these soaring prices was in sight nor could it be expected. Then there was the critical water shortage all round us. The city’s main thoroughfares were clogged with water-tankers bringing in water from distant places. It was feared that this unreliable water supply from unprotected water sources could give rise to water-borne diseases and epidemics. In any case, we could not afford to buy tanker-supplied water. The Lord had to give us His own supply of water. The much larger number of people expected needed an abundant water supply. Then also the stepped-up tempo in the construction, prior to the Retreat, meant much heavier weekly bills.
Now all these factors required much prayer
and faith. Hence from nearly the middle of April,
This year the Lord chose to send
unseasonable rains. In the week previous to the Retreat, the Lord sent a
depression in the Bay and there were heavy showers around
We did not want anyone to gaze with open mouth at the hall; we wanted them rather to wonder at our Beautiful Saviour, the One who is greater than any earthly temple. We desired everyone to speak of Jesus’ love and His glorious works.
The lawns on either side of the hall soon became places of prayer. Other prayer groups gathered under the shade of the numerous fruit trees. When prayer ascends from clean hearts, we know that the blessing descends from the Father of all mercies.
Many who had a nagging question in their hearts wondering whether Bro. Joe would be able to measure up to the heavy demand of preaching for ten days, soon had their questions laid to rest, when they saw that God’s anointing was adequate even for his great need. Then there was the team of preachers such as Bro. Whitson and Bro. John Branch who helped with the Bible classes.
The Daniel boys, John, Joseph and James, too added to the message which was brought to the people.
from the distant fields and the strides that were being taken by faith, often
under extremely hazardous conditions, were all a source of blessing to us. It
thrilled our hearts to see a few from
At the mid-point of the Retreat when those who were assigned to the first batch had to leave, to make room for the people who had their allocation in the second batch, the changeover took place smoothly without disruption. Although 1200 people came in right in the middle of the Retreat, they smoothly merged into the spirit. The Lord in the midst ordered everything.
By the time the Retreat closed, around 6500 people who had registered had been present. This number does not include the several thousands who came in as day guests. Amazingly, there was still much unoccupied space in the hall.
We need to learn one basic lesson: picking up every fragment from Jesus’ Hand, we must shout our hallelujahs. But at the same time, we should be attempting ‘greater things’ for our great Lord and Master.
Someone commented with a sense of wonder: “We did not have to order a single water-tanker, while people were really suffering in the city for lack of water!”
On the Literature Front
capitals of the North-Eastern states of Nagaland, Manipur and
Our literature team works long and hard preparing for these book-fairs. It is wonderful to see the public coming in and purchasing good Christian books. The need of the hour is books that touch the heart and quicken the spirit. Patiently and lovingly we should break down the age-old walls of prejudice, which have made the majority of the people in the North averse to anything Christian.
The book-fairs in Andhra Pradesh usually produce enormous interest. Even the poor seem anxious to buy our books. Bhimavaram, Gudiwada, Amalapuram, Addanki and Eluru were the provincial towns where these book-fairs were held. The brothers and sisters from our centres in these places unreservedly give their time and labour and help us to set up everything. Carrying heavy cases of books and transporting them from point to point or rail station to the venue of the fair can be back-breaking work.
New Books and Reprints
‘Spiritual Warfare’ by Norman Duncan is the latest of our new publications in English.
book on his mother, “A Hundred Years and Still Serving” is now available in
Telugu too. The Lord must raise up many praying mothers through the wide
distribution of this book.
Bro. Joe often
says that our present coverage in literature distribution in
The Internet Ministry
Perhaps this is the fastest growing ministry in our many-pronged work. Spanning the continents with close to lightning speed with the message of God’s love, is now possible.
The present level of monthly hits on our website is between thirty and forty thousand. With a little more diligence and stepped-up prayer, the scope of this work and its depth can be greatly increased. To how many have you introduced our website?
People are beginning to order our books and pay for them over the internet in some countries.
The TV and Radio Ministries
Currently most of the urban areas of
The radio stations from which we buy the small weekly slot of fifteen minutes know that we are very prompt in our payments. Our current monthly payments amount to a considerable sum but the Lord continues to stand with us.
By airing our television broadcast in
Bengali from the beginning of July, we are increasing our audience by a
potential 220 million. Some Bengali-speaking people could be outside the range
of this popular channel, Alpha Bangla, although it is known to be a very
powerful channel. We must pray that the Living Saviour will touch and open
Constantly as we increase our coverage, it involves harder and more painstaking work. It goes without saying of course, that it is nothing short of a miracle that without asking anyone for a penny, and with no regular contributors to the television ministry, the work goes steadily forward.
While many seem to think that opening schools is some sort of business enterprise, we did so purely to build the lives of the little ones and young people in the fear of God and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The constant demand for an increase in class rooms and even the purchase of playing fields is a heavy burden, which we do not find it easy to bear.
A little sacrifice on the part of our teachers and staff, who make do with very small salaries and a continuing effort to keep the fees in our school at a moderate level, are significant facets in the functioning of our schools.
Our school in Bansi, Uttar Pradesh, not far
Amazingly, even our Mettupalayam school which sent up their first batch of students to this School Leaving Exam, secured 100% pass results too.
Ponneri school, which has always maintained a record of cent percent passes, was unfortunate to miss this distinction which is so routine with them. Out of 55 students sent up to the exam, one student managed to fail. Whether he wrote the exam or had some disrupting sickness like gastro-enteritis, we have not yet determined.
Now to all our hard-working teachers, staff members, headmistresses and other functionaries, we extend our congratulations for the excellent work they have been doing to glorify the King of kings.
This has been a great year when we saw afresh the faithfulness of our Lord and the inexhaustibility of the riches of His grace.
The Lord Jesus warned His disciples when he saw how their hearts were hardened, after the feeding of the five thousand by the blessing of God upon the five loaves and two fishes, which were offered by the little lad in the crowd.
We too should administer a severe warning to our sluggish souls which too easily forget the Lord’s mercies. The quality, intensity and adoration in our thanksgiving and worship should rise to a much higher level than it is at present. Our lives then will flow as rivers of living water.