March 2021: Persecutions and Triumphs
March was a challenging month for Bethany as we were confronted with persecution, threats, fear and setbacks that Satan brought our way. But that did not stop us! In spite of these attacks, great inroads have been made in the Kingdom of God.
Danger and attacks are part of the Christian life in India. I personally have experienced this and this month, members of our church were attacked. We thank God for their speedy recovery as we continue to face an increasingly hostile Hindu nationalism that seeks to stamp out Christianity in India. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!
Even in the midst of this, it did not stop us from gathering together and encouraging each other and worshipping our Savior!
Church Planters Graduation
On March 12 we celebrated God’s faithfulness through the graduation of 40 new church planters from our training program. For the past 2.5 years, these students have shown themselves to be worthy of the task of church planting in unreached areas through their diligence and hard work in preparation. We earnestly seek your prayers and financial support to help launch these church planters into ministry.
Church Plant Construction
We had the opportunity this month to begin construction on a new church building in YSR Nagar (15 miles from our home mission). The second concrete roof has been added, and we’ll continue to build out this church building that will be pastored by one of our recent church planter graduates, Pastor Gopal, who is getting married next week. Thank you friends and partners for your prayers and giving that have made this possible! Once completed, one floor will serve as housing and the second floor for the church.
New Children’s Home
As we announced last month, new building facilities for Bethany Children is our ministry focus for 2021. We are excited to report that we are 30% of the way towards our goal to begin construction. Once we reach $20,000 USD, we will begin construction on the new facilities for our 30 children. This new facility will enable us to house up to 100 children.
Peter Paul Update
Peter Paul celebrated his 19th birthday this past month away from home as he studies at Asbury University. I am thankful to friends for helping him celebrate his first birthday away from home. Peter has obeyed the call of God on his life and dedicated himself to serve the poor and needy. He loves Jesus and has a great heart for people and I got to see this as he consecrated his first paycheck from the U.S. to the work of Bethany in India.
Oakland Continues to Excel
Congratulations to our 9th grade student who ranked 12th in the national mathematics Olympiad test. This great achievement was covered by the local news. Thank you for supporting education in India!
Village Leadership Development
Village outreach is a fundamental passion of Bethany. In March, we started leadership development training classes in the remote tribal village of Puthikavalasa (100 miles away) with 40 participants. This village is very remote and most cannot leave due to the lack of infrastructure and roads. We made the decision to return on a monthly basis and provide them with resources and training in Christian leadership and biblical principles. These 40 students have all signed up to attend each month!
On the Offensive
The devil wanted to take away the peace and joy of the Resurrection by sending a thief and it caused us loss and unrest. But we declared the victory of Jesus over death, sin, curses and the devil in six villages around Bethany by walking 12 kilometres with our Bethany church family. What a Saviour and what a victory we have received in Jesus!