Dear readers I am so grateful to those of you who have prayed for our dear friend Pastor Thomas in India. The latest word today is that he is still in their ICU unit recovering from a stroke but is feeling better. For those who are willing to continue to pray please continue to lift up our brother, his family and the many pastors and Christian workers who rely on Emmanuel Ministries. In the end we are all one family in Christ. If we will support one another in these battles then the joy of God’s victory is ours to share.
In 1967 while I was busy turning on and tuning out; Athiparampil Thomas, was answering God’s call to Bhutan. Having just finished Bible school at 19 years of age he left Kerala state in South India for the long journey North. Following the plan that God had put in his heart he traveled to the Indian city of Jaigon which sat directly on the border with Bhutan. Stepping off the bus in Jaigon Pastor Thomas began looking for stay. He had limited funds, no Western missions organization behind him and no friends or family there so his first night he spent sleeping on the sidewalk and praying for God to lead him.
Now 52 years have passed since Pastor Thomas began his ministry to Bhutan and Northern India. By God’s help Emmanuel church was planted with outreaches not only into Bhutan but also into many of the rural villages in the tea growing border region of West Bengal State. Emmanuel ministries also has reached as far West as refugee camps in Nepal and west to Sikkim state in India. Other outreaches of Emmanuel ministries included Emmanuel school, a rug making facility to offer jobs for the women and classes and a lunch meal during the day for local neighborhood children. for His dear wife and oldest daughter have already gone on to the Lord and my friend lies in a weakened state. We are praying that God will spare him once more and that God’s peace will surround Him and his family. What a privilege to have known my dear friend who has been an example and joy. He has shown me what it really means to surrender all and to live a life of faith. Will you join with me in praying today for our dear friend and for God’s best and perfect will and grace?
For we walk by faith, not by sight: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:7-8
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God Philippians 4:6
Am I anxious about tomorrow’s decision or resting in whatever comes? A
m I worried about fixing things in the house (Like the furnace that failed before Christmas), or am I trusting that God knows everything we need? Am I happy with my small ministry in the church or am I constantly pushing for a more prominent position? These are where mental battle lines are drawn each week for many of us. Interestingly, Paul wrote these words from a Roman prison cell where he also observed that whether he lived or died he was content in Christ.
One famous ballet dancer shared in a New York Times magazine interview, that he never felt more empty than when he had finished a perfect performance and heard the sound of applause filling the air.. Recently, one man was arrested with 21 million dollars in cash under his mattress, and another sits in jail to conceal the knowledge of a treasure ship filled with gold. They have each traded their health, their freedom and their years for one moment of riches. In contrast, I will always remember a village at the center of a tea plantation in north India. I sat on the ground with small children who happily ate their rice, dahl and chicken with curry. There were no tears, complaining or pushing and shoving to be seen that afternoon. Gentle shy smiles peeked up at me as my own tears flowed down my face.
Where is that kind of peace and contentment here in America or in my own life today? We seem to complain deeply over the loss of small things and fight bitterly for control of passing power,position or possessions. But when we pray and release everything to God, the greatest treasure sits waiting to be discovered! What could be of more value than His peace?
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.! Philippians 4:7