“ And in His temple doth every one speak of His glory.” Ps. 29:9
It is observable that in many places of worship, as people walk in and take their seats, what should be the sanctuary turns into a mini-bazaar. Except for objects laid out for sale as in a bazaar—which of course are not there—the chatter and the talk are redolent of a bazaar, a social gathering or club meeting. This is highly objectionable and altogether out of place, when we gather to worship and seek the Face of the Living God. We are not there to meet friends or to give loose reins to our tongues.
My Dad’s devotion and spirit of worship from his student days was such that when even a verse from a song or hymn touched his heart deeply, he would kneel down rightaway and seek to back those experiences of the hymn writer with prayer that he too might climb such heights. Now this would cause some of the young women present to giggle or snigger contemptuously. No matter, he was oblivious to everything else—he was there to worship the Lord alone!
As I walked the length of the prayer hall at the Retreat—almost a 100 yards from the porch to the platform—I found people either sitting quietly or praying and some even audibly. Now I can only trust that in the hundreds of our worship places, this elementary reverence due to God is being carefully preserved. Where leaders and preachers are careless people themselves, such godly habits cultivated through the years for the sheer awe of His presence are lost.
“In His temple shall everyone speak of His glory!” It is for us to see what kind of heart we have brought to the place of worship. Is it to commune with Christ and show forth His works with praises that you have come to the place of worship? Now do not forget that the Psalmist David says, “Everyone doth speak of His glory.” It is a present continuous thing, encompassing everyone present. Alas, when will we get there! Alas, with the thousands coming in, both from our television and radio audiences and from those who get to our places of worship traversing long distances each Sunday, shall our old landmarks be plucked up and disappear? I hold you all responsible. We have been given a goodly heritage of faith and the fear of God. It is not one produced by a mesmeric make-believe or any motivational drilling from the platform but by the very presence of God which was felt by even strangers, some of whom had no knowledge of the language in which we were worshipping. Imposing structures and other paraphernalia of Christianity can never replace the awesome, holy presence of God.
After seventy years, even a revival movement like us can easily begin to lose its fire and momentum. Continuous brokenness and mouldability is only found at the Cross. In the midst of much serving and pressure of even good Christian work, this essential ingredient of ‘heart humility’ is lost.
Now an ageing leadership often shows marks of declension in discipline, zeal and watchfulness. This should never happen to some of my elderly brothers and sisters, nor to myself. But advancing age in many does not always speak of a Moses-like maturity. I have noticed that stresses and concessions brought about by accommodating unspiritual children and grandchildren, most often put preachers and leaders in spiritual rockers (rocking chairs). There they sway unsteadily, unable or more often unwilling to rebuke or correct. In fact, I can see this happening. Pray that we who were used by God hitherto will “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12), as Paul did. This is a day which produces missionaries-in-reverse who make worldly choices and try to cover-up with glowing spiritual phraseology. May God save us from such people! With endless possibilities and opportunities to glorify the Saviour before us, I want to see spiritual pioneers, path-finders and trail-blazers of a spiritual depth hitherto unknown, executing the will and purposes of God, in the face of an avalanche of worldliness and sin.
Thus while we speak briefly of the works of God, which are really too numerous to enumerate in this book, let us focus on the Living Saviour who told us categorically, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18) It is from Him that we receive purpose and power to work righteousness and pull down the proud fortresses of evil.
— Joshua Daniel
Under-utilized prayer potential is quite a serious failure. We are painfully aware that many who stand with us in local burdens and causes, are unable to see that big picture of a needy world which is drawing perilously close to its own doom and the just judgment of God. The economy of nations today is seriously affected by the absence of power and will to address moral issues and as a consequence they are running up huge deficits. The breakdown of family values by the relentless money-drive in most commercial establishments and places of work is so nervously draining that people have little time or strength for their families. The overmastering drive for money-power which we see in individuals, corporations and nations is self-destructive. People have little time for God in the industrial nations, where it is ‘go, go, go’ … to earn and amass or merely to meet one’s bills.
Now the Lord Jesus set the whole world before us when He taught, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Hence we labour and pray for the whole world. Presenting Jesus to the whole world is our job. The idea with which many in the East and the Southern hemisphere are stuck that they are poor Indians, Sri Lankans or Africans, etc., etc., and all that they can do is to take a begging bowl or work overseas to gather some money, is quite contrary to the Word of God.
The unsearchable riches of love and faith hid in Christ are sufficient for you to “attempt great things for God and expect great things from God,” as William Carey, the great missionary, said.
Brother Joe is greatly grieved that our labours worldwide are so poor in spiritual power and
thrust. Thus with much concern for the overwhelming needs of individuals and
families in the highly industrialised areas around
On the busy
Many who know the Fellowship are living or working
A Live Interview on the Revelation TV Channel,
The Summer Retreat in a quiet Retreat Centre quite
Seeing that he was spent after the Retreat and the
long ride back to
Now this interview over Revelation TV channel has
opened one of the biggest challenges which we have taken up, anywhere. From
August, there is to be a half an hour telecast going out into the whole of
This of course involves a great deal of additional
work and in course of time the setting up of a proper facility for recording in
Our New Telecasts to Strategic Areas
Even after our first telecast in Kannada language, a
telephone call came in response asking if the telecast would be continued week
by week. The Kannada language covers
Over fifty years ago, a godly person from England, who was earnestly labouring in Bangalore for the Lord, told Bro. Joe that just outside Bangalore, there was scarcely any testimony for the Lord, although scores of Christian organisations had large establishments in Bangalore for years. It must be borne in mind that the great missionary, Samuel Hebich, laboured both in Malabar and Kannada-speaking areas. Bro. Daniel Senior too laboured much in Mangalore, Udipi, Hubli, Dharwar and several other places, which are Kannada-speaking. This whole belt is now covered by this Sunday-morning broadcast.
Pray that many pastors and leaders will be impacted and roused out of their usual ecclesiastical slumbers.
Our other new telecast on North-East TV is beamed on
the strategic border areas skirting
Continually there is feedback from various areas that more and more people are listening to our weekly telecasts all over the country. Does this not put us on the spot? Is our prayer and love for souls really coping with this great demand and hunger?
Bro. Joe continually feels that our prayer and anguish for souls and his own preaching should go up several notches or we will stand condemned before the Lord, who gives us these great opportunities. Are you praying for this latest of our telecasts which reaches yet another big segment of the Hindi-knowing population?
It is hard for you to realise
how much consecrated work takes place behind the scenes to produce these eight
weekly telecasts. As for the expense involved our broadcasts are never aimed at
people’s wallets. If souls are brought into the
New Prayer Hall in Karamadai, Coimbatore District
While going up and down to the Nilgiris (
One of our early evangelists who was a man of great compassion, Bro. Pitchai, was resident here for some years and went out selling Bibles diligently. Even earlier than that a small work had begun in a rented premises amidst the shop-fronts by our district team.
But procuring a site whereon to pitch our tabernacle was quite another matter. It took a lot of burden and prayer and Bro. Joe personally oversaw the procurement of a piece of land which the Lord had shown him in prayer, although he had no real idea what manner of land lay there. It was found to be there exactly as the Lord showed him.
Now in the last few months the good Lord has enabled us, despite many other demands and burdens, to build a commodious hall with more than double the floorspace hitherto available. Now may the Lord give us true disciples to fill every square foot of this hall. Unless disciples rise up, this work will simply go nowhere. So strong are the powers of darkness in this area. But Christ is Victor.
A New Centre and Prayer Shed
Bro. Francis Daniel, who is now with the Lord, struggled hard to find a suitable piece of land in this city, but was thwarted again and again. But all the time prayer was focussed by some of the faithful brothers and sisters here on the burden for the land which Jehovah-Jireh had allocated to us.
Now out of the blue seemingly, turned up an amazing Hindu landowner, who transacted the sale of his land so smoothly that we could pay him in instalments. In fact, his patience and graciousness were most extraordinary. The sale of his land and the commencement of God’s work here in a quiet spot hard by the outer ring-road of Bangalore, brought him into the bad books of many in that locality, who proudly claimed that there was never any church permitted to be built in that neighbourhood and that one should not be allowed in that vicinity.
Here in this small piece of land, we put up a neat but simple temporary structure, with just zinc sheets for a roof. A team of our brothers worked hard to put everything in place before the three nights of the revival meetings. The Lord brought so many people to hear His Living Word such that it did not appear that this land would be able to accommodate the work too long.
On the third night of the meetings, men enflamed by
religious hatred threatened to invade the meeting with their usual weapons of
destruction. But the Lord halted them in their tracks and the meetings went on
Any spiritual advance in a pioneering field is bitterly and strenuously contested by the devil.
Apart from diligent gynaec
care, and night and day care of endless maternity cases at the John Bishop
Memorial Hospital at Anantnag, which we staff and
run, we have not done much hitherto for the young people of Kashmir. There is a
great deal of unemployment amongst the general pubic and especially among the
The new school for nurses which has commenced working, is bound to be a great help to the community. The first batch of nursing students are well into their training already.
It gives us great joy that these bright young Kashmiri girls are being imparted this vital training. We however require dedicated and qualified staff to augment our present faculty, as we do see a few drop-outs from time to time.
At a time when there is a great shortage of nurses, we do trust these nursing trainees from our school of nursing will make a significant contribution.
Some people trapped under the debris called and pleaded and wailed for days but there was none to help. No equipment was available for days and weeks to lift and remove the heavy masonry and steel beams. The voices grew fainter and then ceased, while government agencies debated on what must be done. Many more died due to government callousness and incompetence and the red-tape imposed on relief organisation.
It took a calamity like this with its colossal loss
of lives, to awaken us to some little cognition that there was a region named
Here was the most industrialized state in
The burning of churches and the killing of innocent
poor Christians, which had been going on for quite some time, was not news that
would interest anyone and hence was hardly reported in the press! Such was the
public awareness and sympathy for the Gospel in
Seeing that something must needs
be done, Bro. Whitson Paul was given the responsibility to build a spiritual
nucleus and to give Bible classes to some of our working men who had moved to
Bro. Whitson has been making repeated visits—and the visits are getting longer and longer—and addressing groups including many Gujaratis in key centres. Bro. Whitson reports, “The main cities are full of technocrats and hardworking men and women. It has been observed that due to competition and the drive for high production…, human values and relationships are affected. Easily tempers and deadly hostilities flare up…”
“A little team of workers are seeking to face the
Some local women also are rising up to take an active part in God’s work. Let us focus our prayer more realisticcally upon this strategic state which always seems to be embroiled in some new atrocity, controversy or confusion.
‘Beautiful Books’ in Arunachal Pradesh
Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, never
had a Christian bookstall. As this capital city of this state, which has an
over 600 miles (1000 km) border with
A team of our brothers and a couple of our carpenters went up to this place, worked hard, made display racks and almirahs and another “Beautiful Books” facility came into being. Sending supplies of books to this remote place is not so easy.
When people began to come in to buy Bibles and books, they wondered that such a fine bookstall should have come up in such a neglected place. Let us pray that many Bibles and books, which will bless and build lives will go out from this small bookstore.
‘Beautiful Books’ in Ooty, Nilgiris (
It was in the latter part of April that Bro. Joe sent an urgent message to the headquarters that it was time to open our bookstall in Ooty, for which provision had been made in the construction of our prayer hall, which stands a hundred metres away from the famous Ooty Botanical Gardens.
Although our stocks of books were low and there was
not much time before the Annual Retreat was due to begin, our brothers went up
to Ooty and with just the bare minimum of furniture,
set up our bookstall in this famous hill-station. Many thousands of tourists
and holiday-makers halt their tour buses in front of our bookstall or pass by
in the road leading to the gardens. This road is called the
We are praying that these tourists from the far-flung places of the world will carry away with them some piece of literature that will introduce them to the Saviour of the world.
We are definitely very saddened by the thought that this great opportunity to reach literally some hundreds of thousands of souls has been lost, down these twelve years, since the new prayer hall has been dedicated.
A small outreach has begun in Hassan,
which is a major town on the highway from
Bro. Joe says, “The realities of missionary work have not really dawned on some of the seniors in the Fellowship, who have largely laboured where my late father and I had ploughed the land with many tears, not minding the hardships.”
The new status in the public eye, which the Fellowship bestows on its young workers today as men who belong to an organisation of some standing, is very harmful for their spiritual growth. Big university degrees, fine jobs and dollars are the great craze today. But let us seek to be partakers of ‘Christ’s sufferings’ and aim at His glory only and recognize how small we are.
It is just a few years since Moody and his wife, Dr.
Lalitha, were sent to
In the midst of his heavy schedule, Bro. Joe could
only find two days in February for meetings in
Whole vast tracts of land in this state seem to be chiefly populated by various tribes, except for the ruling classes who have always kept a lofty distance from even trying to address the desperate and pressing needs of the poor. Many of the inhabitants also seem to be in jungle areas and travel at night time beyond the city limits, is said to be quite dangerous. That means that many poor people from the outlying regions can hardly make it to meetings at city centres.
Our two meetings in a big hall of a theological college drew a moderate crowd who took in the message with evident hunger. A few people from outstation areas also attended. The local press also gave coverage to the message with an extraordinary degree of interest. Even the section of the press, which normally ignores Christian events, expressed the desire to report our future meetings at great length. “This message is entirely new,” was the reaction amongst those who heard the thundering Word against unrighteousness in public life and corruption in government servants.
Bro. Joe says that when he meets with such extensive needs, his heart is moved to the depths. Now we need to meet these great challenges.
The Retreats in
For the Summer Retreat, we normally select a Retreat
Centre out in the country, at some distance from
The Winter Retreat which is
generally held in
Most international workers in the city of
Bro. Joe however finds it very difficult to leave them to reap the consequences of their ‘Laodicean condition’. He still takes the time to give them a word of warning.
In the mean time, while many spend their time
licking their self-inflicted wounds,
The Retreats in
The German Retreat always draws a goodly number of people, some of whom are there for the first time. It was so even this last summer. Some of these newcomers were very keen and paid close attention to the Word of God which was preached. Even before the Retreat closed, it was evident that they could hardly wait for the next Retreat.
Even in the early days of the Retreat, many of these newcomers began to repent and turn away from all their idols. Idols of the heart are harder to throw out than the physical idols and images which people worship. There was therefore the definite touch of God upon lives.
The early missionary heroes and heroines
who went out from the
Now after all these years since Bro. Joe called for the commencement of these retreats, should we not be marching forward breaking the chains of sin to the right and left of us? The devil’s great weapon against such a spiritual advance is to rob us of a steady growth in prayer and an individual walk with God.
Certain outreach measures are still going forward such as our Christmas-message Greeting Cards with a full Christmas message being distributed at many Christmas markets and city centres. Our bi-monthly magazine also is being a blessing to many. Bro. Hans Hoos too is constantly preaching at various places to the people who assemble there at various house-meetings.
Late in December, with a nagging cough which he
could hardly shake off, Bro. Joe could not go over to
Rarely has Bro. Joe missed any meeting but his
annual visit to
The two meetings in
One of our brothers, who was
formerly resident at Kolar Gold Fields,
Soon after finishing the worship on Sunday, Bro. Joe
and Sister Lily caught a plane to
Obtaining a visa for
In Singapore, although the Australian visa office said that they require at least four working days—and Bro. Joe did not have those four days in Singapore—the Lord moved the heart of the officer to come out of his inner office to say ‘hello’ to Bro. Joe and to give him the visa.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding their visa
problem, many people gathered at the first of the two meetings at
Moving on to
Dr. Sydney has been working hard to get our
broadcasts into more rural and urban parts of
Anything done in
Seeing that there is nothing great or grand about us, nor do we advertise ourselves as the latest, there are but very few who take the time and make the effort to come to our Retreats. It is only those who are drawn by the message and desire the hammer-strokes of the Word who attend our Summer Retreat. There is a measure of earnestness and sense of purpose in those who do come.
Sebring Camp is a very old simple set-up, where there is an old wooden tabernacle with open sides and around it very simple cottages, which afford spartan accommodation. Bro. Homer Kandel who as the Pastor of Farmers’ Town Church saw a revival which continued for quite some time, during and after the 23-day campaign of Bro. Joe in his church, could not be present as he had suffered a further heart attack, a little before the Retreat. He normally gives us a couple of short messages at the Retreat. We did miss him, especially as he brings a heart-warming account of the revival, which shut down the beer-joints within a radius of around eight to ten miles, from the church.
John Daniel also shared the Word of the Lord. As he has his hands constantly on the pulse of the working world and the ways of corporations, his message speaks to many young people who are faced with numerous pressures in their work places.
This year we made a move to let the people of this
As long as expatriates and immigrants treat
Let those of you who see yourselves as eternal agents, with a God-given mission on earth, pray that our small efforts and the scattering of the Word will produce abiding fruit and effects far beyond our expectations.
On the way to the camp, Sister Lily manages to load
the car with foodstuff for the camp. The kitchen functions with such efficiency
that everything goes forward on time. The Lord wonderfully provided all our
needs at the camp, although the registration fee of ten dollars will but cover
the cost of one ordinary meal in the
There are not many churches who will schedule
meetings at such short notice but an earnest pastor and his wife, who had
earlier asked Bro. Joe when he would come back for more meetings, threw open
their church for four days of meetings. Now this was just before Bro. Joe had
to leave for the All-Asia Students’ camp in
Those who did attend these meetings were largely regular and were those who wished to obey the Word.
Our small effort of three nights were hardly sufficient. Some few people who had heard of us did attend and Bro. Lawrence who is resident in this city, is given the job of following up the Word sown in hearts.
One significant meeting was the special breakfast meeting when quite a number of people working in the automobile industry were present. Our international magazine, Christ is Victor, appears on the website, which is closely linked to the General Motors and is looked into by many workers in General Motor plants. So Bro. Joe was not a total stranger to some of these people. But there were many sad and pressing needs in the families of these men, alcoholism being one of them.
The Lord of the harvest must bless the Seed being
sown, as many in
Our small week-end retreats held at the Wesleyan
Woods Retreat Centre, two hours north of
Just a small crew works hard and gets everything in shape in minimum time and we are launched into the week-end retreat, both at the Thanksgiving and Easter Retreats. The season of fasting prayer which occupies several hours on Saturday, is the most significant part of this Retreat, when many seek to do business with God.
There was a stream of prayer at the last Easter Retreat as several people humbled themselves and poured forth their heart-cries before the Lord.
The Youth Camp at
Normally we used to occupy some small Retreat Centre for this camp but this year Bro. Joe decided that we should have it at our own centre in Schlierbach. This of course involves a great deal of work for our small team but they were equal to this responsibility. We had an earnest group of young people living at our centre and drinking the Living Word with great earnestness.
The woods above our centre offered an excellent place for the young people to go alone for prayer. When they did so, the Lord began to speak to them.
The All-Asia Students’ Camp
Although the duration of this camp is only four days, yet people come from such distant places that one-way travel alone costs them three to four days. Some of them manage to come, although they are quite close to semester exams or between their various exam sittings.
The monsoon rains which commence in October in
Bro. John Branch, who loves this young people’s
gathering, shared the Word. The young people too respond well to the message
which God has given him. Dr. Holly Tapley, with her
mother, Barbara Tapley, were
also present. The latter is a great friend from
Dr. Holly, who has a great love for the Nepali people, wishes to continue to serve them, though many hindrances threaten to bar her. To inject Indian students with this kind of pioneering spirit, while big plums such as high paying jobs in the computer field and other industries beckon them, is not easy. But the Lord should raise many young people with true missionary spirit and ardour, whether they be doctors or nurses or engineers or students of arts subjects. Many needy areas are waiting for the ‘Messengers of the Cross’ to bring them the saving Gospel of God’s love.
John Daniel too managed to make himself available and ministered to the young people. Although Bro. Joe and Sister Lily could not be present on the first day, upon arrival after their 10,000 mile journey, they quickly got into the flow of the Spirit of God at the Students’ camp, without taking any rest.
Our Bible teachers and discussion group leaders did their valuable work, helping the students with the specially prepared questionnaires, amongst whom were Bro. Whitson and Dr. Samraj.
The tremendous potential of this camp and the spiritual fall-out from it cannot be gauged.
We had called for a pause in the incessant children’s camps, a couple of years ago. This was necessary because our children who regularly attend our services at our numerous centres and churches have such an amazing knowledge of the Word of God, that they are capable of quizzing even some theologically trained men! We do run the risk of making the Word of God somewhat commonplace and over-familiar, unless these little ones see the Word clearly depicted and seen in the lives of the teachers.
Further, unless there is a right balance in the truths and doctrines which they are taught such as sin, repentance, forgiveness, the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus, the Cross, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and His promised return, and the final judgment, there is the possibility of their young minds getting somewhat hardened. Now whereas there were marvellous conversions and great changes in many lives in the past, a pattern of adolescent backsliding was becoming evident. Was there too much fear of judgment or punishment taught, or was it the prevailing note of the love of the Cross that was pressed on their hearts, was very unclear. It is hard to forsake the love of the Cross.
After the cessation of these camps for the last two years, slowly camps for the young began to be held at various centres.
The Children’s camps in
While places like Royapuram, Eluru,
The lower reaches of this state, which is called
Now finding a location for the
single meeting which was planned in
Seeing that Lily and I were to fly next morning to
Now through all these hazards, Bro. Joe and Sister
Lily passed and reached the hospital after a long drive from the heavily
While walking through the premises of
The word got around that Bro. Joe was coming to hold Christian meetings and fanatical leaders amongst either the insurgents or the religious heads had issued a warning that no one dare go to these meetings. Notwithstanding the threat of dire consequences, the new prayer hall here with its greatly enlarged seating overflowed entirely. Hence several people had to be accommodated outside the hall. It is a marvellous thing which God is doing in spite of the many machinations of those that hate the Lord.
It is a peculiar luxury and privilege to preach to such an audience so full of Moslems and those whom the Lord has transformed from amongst them, together with some Christians.
The bitter winter of 2004-2005 brought such heavy snowfall that there was a pile of six feet of snow. To think that in that kind of weather, without any snow-blowers or any modern equipment, to keep the unenclosed walkways of the hospital free of ice and snow and to conduct deliveries and numerous caesarean sections and to keep the hospital running without central heating, is quite mind-boggling. Yet our brothers and sisters did so when there was a total break-down of electric supply and when there were no snow-ploughs in the town to keep even the roads open.
Some of them trudged several miles in the deep snow
and dragged the gas cylinders over the snow to keep the kitchen fires burning.
As to how they clambered on to the roofs and removed massive amounts of snow
with shovels before the roofs caved in, one can hardly explain. Not only a hospital, the work of God must also go on despite wind and
weather. Nearly every year some churches even in
Our revival meetings in November, however, went on without being interrupted by weather conditions.
The YWCA hall was filled with many bright young
faces. So many were present that the hall overflowed.
With the traffic jams and snarls in
Now the lack of our own hall in
Two days of meetings are neither here nor there for
The work amongst students in some colleges and hostels, as well as visits to the big Tihar Prison, continue.
Meetings in Kottayam, Kerala
Kottayam is a pre-eminent centre where many Christian institutions have positioned themselves. All the way to Kottayam, heavy rain and lashing wind cleared much of the traffic for us, giving us an open road. Moreover, it was a day when a general strike was called against the price hike in petroleum products. People were afraid to be out on the road, lest their vehicles should be attacked.
Despite the rain, there was a pretty fair turn-out. Our expectation was that our Television viewers would find their way to this none-too-prominent hall. But every other hall in town had been booked up and we were left with a little-known hall.
Now one could sense that many thinking people were looking for a religion that delivers and for Christians who are not just mere windbags. We need to see a continuing ministry in this place.
Dr. Chinthu, who has been very ill for some time now, has been asking for meetings and the dedication of the small temporary hall which has been constructed at one end of our compound. A large number of people gathered for the meetings and the Word of God went out with power.
In time God will grant us to see a burgeoning work in this area. Dr. and Mrs. Shrisundar have laboured faithfully down the years and now we have a firm conviction that some of the younger people such as Bro. David Raju and Sam, who are the son-in-law and son of Dr. Srisundar respectively, will rise up and do great things for God.
One almost feels as he criss-crosses this vast subcontinent that he is in the
midst of a different nation, every time he alights in a distant state. The
language is different and so are the culture, habits and even the gods which
people worship. Often the racial features are also different. Our people in
Bro. Joe has been reminded again and again that the
culture of meetings and listening to the Word of God is hardly known in
Moreover some of these people had come long distances. One of them even said that he was saved from committing suicide by suddenly flicking the remote and chancing on the channel that brought our message. He had been heart-broken and without hope due to the unfaithfulness and infidelity of those whom he had trusted. But on seeing our telecast he desisted from ending his life. We need to pray for this dear friend whose grief is great.
The erstwhile Portuguese enclave of
We targeted educational centres in order to win students. When our children grow up in the midst of people who only seek education as a ladder to climb, it can be visibly seen that promotion and worldly prosperity is becoming a major goal to them. When the simplicity which is in Christ goes out of the heart, love and light flicker, dim and then go out. The world appears to be alluring and attractive to our young people, when this happens.
At the Feet of Jesus we learn meekness. With it comes originality and creativity. Small, stereotyped slaves are all that the ‘world of opportunity’ as it is called, can produce.
The Andhra or Telugu-speaking part of the huge composite state of what was then called Madras Presidency, was the first area where the revival broke out under the preaching of Mr. Daniel (Senior).
When the missions and mission-stations saw revival
sweeping many thousands into the
In mid-January this year, over a 100,000 people gathered at our centre in this small village, which for years was known as the home of the worst criminals, gangsters and highway robbers.
Mighty waves of God’s power visited men and women of various backgrounds during this year’s meetings and many were broken and fell at the Saviour’s Feet.
Bro. Devasahayam who used to be so active making the needed arrangements for these meetings lay critically ill. Bro. Joe therefore sent members of the headquarters team to go and get everything ready. The Lord was with them and helped them to prepare that place for the larger-than-ever crowd which gathered. The Lord used several brothers at these meetings and glorified His Holy Name.
Directly from Stuartpuram, Bro. Joe proceeded to
As the crowd was too large to contain in our campus, many had to be accommodated in a neighbouring school compound.
Here at this place, which is known to be a hub for the activities of some extreme communists, the authorities are kept guessing all the time as to where the next bomb attack would take place. Our meetings went on unhindered. With the power of the gun these cadres believe that they can put a government in place, which will give the poor a clean administration and a fair deal, but alas, if they could only be presented the sight of offices cleansed of all bribery by the power of the Gospel, how wonderful it would be. It is not enough therefore that we see a few officials here and there who get converted.
Many from outlying areas were also present and we are looking to the Lord for the movement to spread far beyond the range and scope of our meetings.
In Vizag and
It is almost impossible to convey in writing the
earnestness and the hunger of the people who came and filled the large open
arena in Vizag and our whole campus in
Inasmuch as it is almost impossible to meet all the people who desire our prayer and counsel, Bro. Joe appointed a time when some of the most needy amongst them could see him and get prayed over.
This is yet another place where Mr. Daniel Senior had laboured much. Our meetings now are held in the large open grounds of our campus. The crowd was so large that it was well nigh impossible to seat them all. Some of them stood through the message and heard God’s Word. We are seeing a continual accession of souls in this turbulent place.
The need all around is so great that what we need to produce now are souls-winners, not just souls which are looking for an easy passage to heaven.
These populous towns, which are slowly emerging out of their rural past into cities and still lack basic infrastructure, had a few days of revival meetings allotted to them.
To build deeply spiritual men out of zealous converts, who easily fit into the forms of worship in the visible church, is not at all easy. Jesus said, “Learn of me.” When one learns meekness and brokenness from the Saviour, he will be a builder and a winner. Those who do not have sanctified tongues are scatterers rather than builders.
When the congregations in these places get larger and larger, we have a deep burden that there will be true spirituality amongst them and a broken spirit, without which they are a mere museum piece. It is with this kind of concern that Bro. Joe ministered among them.
Bro John Branch also preached one night in
When God gave Bro. Daniel Senior the order to call the converted men and women whom God was using in the revival which was fast spreading, in order to teach them the Word of God and to safeguard them from the dangers that accompany the great works of God and the manifestation of miracles, this group developed into the nucleus at the forefront of an advancing spiritual army.
Bro. Daniel Senior therefore warned in no uncertain terms that those who neglected the annual retreats were in danger of falling out of step with the main body of praying people. He warned that there would be the danger of their losing depth and spirituality, although he did not know when he uttered these warnings how vast the work would get. Those who plan for a whole year to somehow find the time and make themselves available for these days of the Retreat know how every year we proceed into new depths at the Retreat and our prayer seasons gain fresh burden and vision.
For marriages within the family and other special events, people make advance plans. So why not for the things of God? Are we not asked to seek first God’s Kingdom? Spiritual people find it easy to receive a warning such as this. Others find it highly embarrassing. Bro. Joe realises full well that some people tend to fall ill just before the Retreat and he says to them, “I have much cause to give excuses myself, but God helping me, I will never do so.”
Yes, this year Bro. Joe had to work very hard for almost two weeks before the Retreat commenced, making sure that many things were put in place and also praying much for the whole conduct of the Retreat.
Imagine the Lord Jesus standing amongst the four
thousand and feeding them in the widerness, blessing
the seven loaves and multiplying them. Then picture the Saviour moving in
When an army is advancing, there will always be those who become stragglers or those who are left behind through lameness or weakness. We believe that the Lord gave us all a fresh booster dose of His Word and Spirit to move forward, making every one whole. We shall just keep humble and leap and walk in the Highway of the Lord.
The Lord used our small group of speakers which included Rev. John Branch, Dr. Peckham, Mrs. Mary Peckham, Bro. Whitson and John Daniel. As for Bro. Joe, he always feels that his preaching falls woefully short of doing any justice to our most wonderful Lord. It must be noted that we want our preachers to be first learners. When that spirit is lacking, then the preacher will not get blessed himself. Let us all be clothed with that sort of humility that cries, “Oh, to plumb the depths of God’s love! Can I ever measure up to this quest?”
Mother Daniel managed to come to the Retreat on the 18th evening for the brief Dedication Service of the Hall which was incorporated into the evening meeting. She prayed a short prayer as she opened the hall, drawing the curtain which covered the tablet which bore the following words:
“This Tabernacle is built for the glory of the King of kings and the Lord of lords, whom “the Heaven and Heaven of Heavens cannot contain;” (I Kings 8:27), with this earnest expectation that He, by His Holy Spirit, will move and work amongst us; exalting His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus. Opened this day, the 18th of May, in the middle of the Annual Retreat, while nearing completion; by Joshua Daniel and his mother, Mrs. N.D. Daniel, the latter being in the 103rd year of her earthly pilgrimage.”
Bro. Joe closed the brief service, which was witnessed by the whole congregation, who saw it on the big screen on the platform, after praying and reading the second tablet, which was on the western side of the building, which read: “The Lord is in this place, how dreadful is this place! This is the House of God and this is the Gate of Heaven.” (Gen. 28:16-17) May the Lord cause His own Word to be fulfilled in this place!
As for the team of our brothers and sisters who laboured from the Reception/Registration to the kitchen and serving teams, it needs great stamina to be able to handle such an undertaking. The bottom line of all this was, the Lord was glorified.
It is unlikely that any bright young medical student will ever again go to Bro. Joe with such a request. Now this was the request from this Hindu young man: “I want to marry a particular Christian girl in my class, will you help me?” Bro. Joe seized this opportunity to tell this young man that what he needed was a new heart from the Lord Jesus and in order to seek Him, he needed to put away this attachment to this girl who had evidently become an idol in his heart. A blunt message like this would have turned off most people, but not this young man. He repented and turned to the Lord with all his heart and totally discarded this carnal attachment.
After his graduation he did God’s will in his
marriage and married a wonderful, quiet, converted girl, Hannah. After
painstaking and rigorous study, he became a neuro-surgeon
and moved to the city of
It was in his heart to save as many lives as possible. A Trauma Centre was what he wanted and felt that the place badly needed, so that those who were dying of head injuries from accidents and other causes would somehow be helped and their lives saved.
Feeling that a land was needed for putting up a Trauma Centre, Jeremiah acquired a piece of land at the advice of some local friends. Hannah evidently advised her husband not to lean upon untested local men.
However, it turned out that someone else had earlier purchased the same land. When Dr. Jeremiah asked for his money to be returned, the involved parties who were unused to straight dealings, hired killers to kill Jeremiah. As it turned out, some politicians were the instigators of this crime.
Thus on the fateful morning, after their two children had gone to school, the killers came in the guise of being patients and killed Jeremiah and his mother on the spot. Hannah who intervened was also stabbed several times and later succumbed due to the loss of blood, as there was no one to attend on her.
Now this is the first missionary fatality, which we have suffered. An important lesson which must be immediately learned by us is that our brothers and sisters whom we commit to exceedingly dangerous places, should be adequately protected by faithful and consistent prayer. While their deaths came as a grievous shock to us, yet we are to blame, as we have been so tardy in taking the Word of God to ‘the dark places of the earth, which are the habitations of cruelty.’ (Ps. 74:20) The world at large has little knowledge of the command of God, “Thous shalt not kill.”
To some people in
As we see in the early church, persecutions, prisons, privations and dangers only cause the church to grow, so let it be with us. While we grieve over our dreadful loss of two precious young people and our hearts seek comfort, let us first strengthen the two children, Sweetlyn and Stephen, who are left behind by these missionary parents.
Let us press on to fill the gaps created in our frontlines, as the missionary force of earlier times has always done.
To those of us who have witnessed the scattering of the Word of God, resulting in the conversion of many in new and distant regions, as an outcome of the mammoth meetings in Stuartpuram, the Home-call of our beloved evangelist, Bro. Devasahayam, stationed at Stuartpuram, will come as a great shock and sorrow.
When the last revival meetings were held at Stuartpuram in the middle of January, Bro. Devasahayam lay in bed, weakened by sickness. After a gallant fight and much patient endurance, as most of the functions of his body began to shut down, Bro. Devasahayam went Home to his real abode in Heaven.
Bro. Whitson was able to get to Stuartpuram and there conduct the funeral service in a fitting manner. Thousands gathered to grieve and to praise God as our brother was a much-used servant of God, who had laboured untiringly for almost fifty years.
In the field of Information, daily advances appear
to be taking place, ever reaching out to new areas, with instant information as
the goal. In our present operations, we seem to be lagging far behind in even
applying the present known technology. We are seriously flawed in our vision,
planning, administration and execution. Unfortunately, it is the most ignorant
who will speak first in Christian circles. Wise men think before they talk. But
the indolent are full of excuses. Spiritual men should be way ahead like Joseph
It is only in the matter of the book exhibitions,
which our literature team had in
The high rupee prices of books is proving to be a real hurdle. But then, publishing costs have risen so much that except for mass-produced editions, the smaller editions will be prohibitively costly.
With wide distribution as our goal, we aim to make our prices to be within the reach of the ordinary man.
New Books and Reprints
“The Love that Wilt not Let Me Go” by George Dempster has been out of print for a long time. In
In Telugu and Tamil numerous reprints, including “Another Daniel” “A Hundred Years and Still Serving” (Mother Daniel’s Book), “Mary Slessor” and “Victory over Demons and Fear” were produced.
One thing seems very clear to Bro. Joe. However good
our equipment might be, if there is a decline in the spirit of service which is
always ready to run the second mile, Christian work, at least in old missionary
For us to say that we are publishing in 23 languages and not have enough books for millions who need them, seems like a vain boast.
We would like to see more of you keeping abreast of the various developments by looking into “Christ is Victor” our monthly magazine. Moreover, that way you can pray for the forthcoming campaigns month by month. Only one of our magazines, “Christhu Vijayamu” has passed the 10,000 mark and now has a circulation of 13,500. If you would pass your copy of the magazine to others, you will be a source of much blessing to them.
For you to pray, Bro. Joe is in the midst of writing the Third Volume of his autobiography which contains so many quick-moving events, which will greatly impact not only the Fellowship but many others, besides. He only wants to speak of the works of God.
It is good to remind ourselves of our original purpose and cause, which led us to open small Kindergarten and Primary schools some years ago. There were several of our teachers and some converted girls, who were not fully qualified, who needed employment.
One basic reason therefore for starting our school was to provide useful employment for our young women. They could not be paid much as the strength of our schools was small and we hated to charge high fees. Hence our teachers were just paid a living wage. Secondly, there was the longing in Bro. Joe’s heart to bring the Word of God to the little ones, so that in their interaction with their families, these little ones would introduce Jesus and His love to their parents.
No school which is really run for the good of the children can be made viable easily, as constantly the capital expenditure on the purchase of land, construction of buildings, purchase of equipment and the continual adding of more accommodation, is a very expensive undertaking. As to when a school becomes viable, it is hard to say.
How some people manage to make a school a commercial proposition by which they make money, it is difficult to understand, unless those institutions are run by greedy men who collect enormous amounts as fees.
The constant demand therefore for funds to be channelled into our schools, Bro. Joe finds to be increasingly unacceptable. This Fellowship is not an educational society as such. We have a mission to reach every creature with the Good News of God’s love and the salvation in Christ Jesus. There are many demands upon us from various quarters: “Oh, send the Light, Oh, bring the Light,” they cry. There are needs to be met in so many countries. We must therefore give no room to parochialism, regionalism or narrow-minded nationalism to take over and thus make the people in the Fellowship a small-minded people, who are no better than ‘frogs in a well’. Such people will never find encouragement from us. They must change their thinking or else they must go elsewhere.
The Lord Jesus asked us to “lift up our eyes and look on the fields.” He did not say, “Look to your own comfort and lie on your cushy couch.” Any spiritual person touched by God will always look up. He will look at the ripened fields and eternal souls.
Hitherto, while each school was permitted to grow according to the local needs, hereafter we are going to be more careful about the selection of the staff and the spiritual tightening of the whole testimony in every aspect of the school’s functioning.
As for our results at the School Leaving Matriculation Exam, three of our four schools obtained hundred percent results. Four of our schools are elementary schools.
Airing eight weekly telecasts, which cover the
greater part of the sub-continent of
These telecasts are really meant to be a blessing to the many people who know little or nothing of the great and loving Saviour who died to bring them salvation. Inasmuch as our numerous broadcasts over the radio and television around the world need to be easily indentifiable, they will be uniformly called, “THE LORD’S CHALLENGE” everywhere, hereafter.
From the beginning of August, “The Lord’s Challenge”
will be televised on the Revelation TV Channel, from
The small nation of
Our entire approach to this wide field of service seems very immature and amateurish. May God quicken us that we might take better care of souls whether they write to us or not.
There is one of our short-wave broadcasts beamed on
For radio work, we need much faith. While even a
quarter-hour broadcast costs a great deal to air, we must do it with the prayer
that it will really touch some needy souls. If people are blessed, that is
reward enough. Since we make no appeal for funds, our listeners in
Our worldwide web carries quite a bird’s eye-view of the various branches and fields of the work, where we are actively engaged.
On our Website, a Chinese can read the whole Chinese
Bible. Someone who had never read anything about Sundar
Singh can read the life of Sundar Singh written by
Bro. Joe. For those hungering for God’s Word, there is the weekly message and
with the right kind of software one can listen to the message. Then there is a
wide range of topics from which one can select the message which one wants to
read, be it on faith or on love or on the family. Then one can select any book
amongst our publications and order it on the Internet and it will be sent to
him. In the
Our Website, which began with 15 to 20 hits, has over 40,000 who look into it each month. Let us pray that millions worldwide will be going to our website, in order to meet the Saviour Jesus.
A friend, who saw the extensive range of the work which is being done in so many geographical areas of the world, asked, “But, who is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer)?” Bro. Joe’s answer is, “It is the Lord who is doing the work. Being a spiritual Lilliputian, I feel I am limiting our omnipotent Saviour, badly, through my small spiritual stature.”
“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” (Psalm 68:11)
The Saviour told us, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)
One fears that not all this verse applies to us because we have not done all our duty. Bro. Joe finds many preachers and workers in God’s kingdom to be very lazy people. As for us, it is a great pity that our service at best is very imperfect and incomplete.
The Cross of Jesus and the Blood which purchased us is certainly meant to produce something far more excellent and superior than what we represent both individually and as a body. May the gracious Lord have mercy upon us.
Now let it be remembered that hundreds of our smaller meetings and campaigns and developments in our physical and spiritual growth are not reported here. Also several hundred of our lesser-known and ‘hidden’ evangelists and workers have such marvellous works of God to narrate, that many of those incidents make us gasp in wonder.
Thus only a few salient features are penned above for your perusal, edification and quickening.
We do trust you will have the vision to pass on this short narrative to some neighbours or friends.
May the Lord help all of us to do far better in faith, love and obedience than we have done hitherto, that Jesus will be glorified in our short lives on earth.