Southern Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists

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Southern Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists

Tidings.Nov-Dec.2013

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Editorial: T P Kurian

Are you ready for the latter rain?

In the last issue of Tidings I stressed on the topic, ‘We are the repairer of the breach’.  As we pass through each day, we are nearing to the coming of our Lord Jesus. Signs of the times are fulfilling right in front of our eyes. Gospel is being preached but not to the extent of to all nations. By depending on self, it is impossible to finish the task humanly. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in order to complete the work. We need to become like the disciples of Jesus in the first century.  When they received the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they were strengthened and able to do a mighty work for the cause of Jesus. They became bold, courageous to preach the gospel in and out of “Jerusalem, Judea and to the uttermost part of the world”.  They were able to turn the world upside down with the message of salvation. How were they able to accomplish it? We read from the Scriptures “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:46,47.  They were in one accord, they had unity of thought and faith which strengthened them. Similar way in the last days we, the people of God, should be in one accord, only then the Holy Spirit will come upon us and empower us to complete the work. We need to experience the outpouring of the latter rain that will come upon the people of God who wait for it in one accord. Are we ready?

The disciples of Jesus had their differences and conflicts but they laid aside all the differences and conflicting opinions and stood in one accord, thus the Spirit of God came upon them and they did marvelous work. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, Acts 3:19.  We need to confess our sins and repent that God will blot out our sins and we will be enabled to work together in one accord for the finishing of the gospel commission that is the last sign of Jesus’ return.

Ellen White wrote in Acts of the Apostles: It is true that in the time of the end, when God’s work in the earth is closing, the earnest efforts put forth by consecrated believers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit are to be accompanied by special tokens of divine favor. Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early or former rain, and glorious was the result. To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church. – {AA 54.2}

But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest “in the time of the latter rain.” In response, “the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down ... the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain,” Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23. – {AA 55.1}

But unless the members of God’s church today have a living connection with the Source of all spiritual growth, they will not be ready for the time of reaping. Unless they keep their lamps trimmed and burning, they will fail of receiving added grace in times of special need. – {AA 55.2}

Those only who are constantly receiving fresh supplies of grace, will have power proportionate to their daily need and their ability to use that power. Instead of looking forward to some future time when, through a special endowment of spiritual power, they will receive a miraculous fitting up for soul winning, they are yielding themselves daily to God, that He may make them vessels meet for His use. Daily they are improving the opportunities for service that lie within their reach. Daily they are witnessing for the Master wherever they may be, whether in some humble sphere of labor in the home, or in a public field of usefulness. – {AA 55.3}

There is not much time left for us. We are living at the threshold of His advent. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”,  2 Pet.3:9.  Let us wake up from our sleep and be ready to receive the latter rain and prepare to meet the Lord in the air at His coming.

Group1       Pausing with Chief Minister1

                                  Delgates Presidents' Council                                                                     Pausing with Chief Minister Mizoram

Presidents’ Council 2013 at Tourist Lodge, Chaltlang Aizwal Mizoram

The Presidents’ Council was held in Aizwal, the capital of Mizoram from August 14-17, 2013. The inaugural function was held in Aizwal Club and Lalthanhawala, Chief Minister of Mizoram and the first lady and Ronald Sapa Tlau were present for the occasion. In his address, the chief minister appreciated the work of Seventh-day Adventist Church pioneers for their contribution to the development of the Christian mission in Mizoram. He also invited all the delegates for a dinner with him on the last day of the meeting.

Group Tlang Church1          Rjohn1

Audience                                                                                                       R John welcoming the audience

 The first meeting started on Thursday morning. R John, Division president spoke on seven deadly sins and how to overcome these sins. It was a wonderful Bible study. He closed the message referring the sacrifice of David Livingston for the African nation to win them for Christ. Justus Devadas, president, Spicer Memorial College presented a paper on strategic planning during the first session. Robert Clive, treasurer, SUD presented  papers on “Transparency and Accountability” and “self reliance” in the afternoon session.  

 The devotionals were taken by Rathanasingh on Thursday evening, Biakchhawana on Friday morning.   Much time was spent for prayer sessions that were led by M. Wilson, president, ECIU. The entire program came to a close with a prayer session.

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                          At chief minister’s residence                                                                                               Bamboo Dance group CM's Residence

On Friday, delegates had the privilege of visiting different churches for the vesper meeting and so also on Sabbath. 18 churches in Aizwal and neighbourhood had the opportunity to listen to the delegates of the presidents’ council. On Sabbath after noon, a musical program was organized. Different church choirs presented their musical programs and at the end the music fest Mizo Adventist Music Association was inaugurated.  In the evening all the delegates were invited  by the chief minister of Mizoram for dinner with him so the evening was spent in his residence. There was a cultural program followed by a sumptuous meal. It was memorable occasion for many of us. On Sunday all of us departed to our respective places.                                                                                                     T P Kurian, communication director, SUD

    LAY LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN SHILLONG

Lay Training shillong

 The Lay Leadership Training was conducted in Shillong on August 22 & 23, 2013 which was organized by the Sabbath School & Personal Ministries Department of Khasi Jaintia Conference. 44 delegates attended the program. Hadiyat Masih, Sabbath School & Personal Ministries Director, SUD and V. Colney, Sabbath School & Personal Ministries Director, NEIU were the resource personnel. On the first day, morning devotion was taken by Prosperity Lamare, SS/PM Director of KJC directing and focusing the minds and thoughts on committing ourselves to the commission of Jesus Christ as disciples. On the second day, morning devotion was taken by K. B Kharbteng, President of KJC emphasizing the importance of laymen in ministries.

Hadiyat Masih  dealt with the following topics: Involvement of lay members in witnessing; Why lay members are not involved and active in personal ministries?; The process of Witnessing; Motivation of lay members by the example of Jesus Christ and Motivation of Witnessing to lay members by the Pastors.  V. Colney presented two lectures relevant to his personal ministries in Tripura State and motivates the lay members by the ups and downs of his ministries that nurturing him. Time was allotted for discussion and all were blessed by the program.                                                             Prosperity Lamare, Director, SS&PM,  KJC, Shillong

IMPACTING THE WORLD FOR CHRIST:  IMPACT SOUTH AFRICA, 2013              “JESUS IN THE CITY“

mpact.1a          Impact.2a

 

In an atmosphere of high excitement and expectation, Elder Gilbert Cangy, General Conference Youth Ministries director declared open the Seventh-day Adventist church’s fourth World Youth Congress, IMPACT SOUTH AFRICA 2013, in the Marble Arch hall of St. George Hotel, Pretoria, South Africa from July 8-13. With over thirty-two hundred Adventist youth from 97 countries gathered togethe, the place was set ablaze with enthusiasm. Every five years the World Conference on Youth and Community Services brings together young people from around the world in the name of Jesus for a celebration of Salvation and Service, and this Congress made it come to life.

The youth congress was preceded with one week of community services from July 1–5. To make an impact, young people were challenged to be involved in service and mission for one week in either Cape Town, Johannesburg or Pretoria. There were more than one thousand young people who participated, along with their leaders working with 60 community service projects all around South Africa. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the city, thus the theme was rightly entitled “Jesus in the City”.    

Impact.3a                         Impact.4a     

The opening ceremony dignitaries included mayor of Tshwane [Pretoria] Councillor Kgosientso David Ramokgopa, and  Irvin Khoza, President of the South African Football Federation. Khoza thrilled the delegates when he spoke of being faithful through life to his Adventist faith and upbringing: “Inherent in our practice are the virtues of discipline, sacrifice, and selflessness,” he said. And he drew explosive applause from the youth with his testimony that “For all my life I have never smoked nor drank any alcohol.”

Hundreds of workshops during the six day duration were presented by almost 50 different  esteemed contributors with backgrounds in civil service, church leadership, editorial expertise, theology, and stock market investment. Delegates were also blessed by powerful morning devotionals by Margaret Chikwabi, social scientist, James Black, Youth Ministries director  North American division, and Anthony Hall, Youth Ministries director, Caribbean Union Conference. Along with them, plenary speakers included engineer Darryl Gungadoo, celebrated neurosurgeon Ben Carson, as well as leaders from General Conference that reflected the diverse skills available to the world church for rightly training God’s army of youth.  God is not just saving smart people,” said David Asscherick , co-director of Light Bearers and co-founder of ARISE. His powerful electrifying presentations pressed home the truth that “God is love” must be definitive of every understanding we derive from our study of Scripture. His is a love that reconciles lost humanity to Himself, and mends all the brokenness of our relationships with each other. A new feature called as Impact Groups were introduced, designed to assist in making new friends and building community with youth from others parts of the world.  Each IG groups had a leader who facilitated the activities which were intended to create opportunities to get to know one another and extend friendship beyond Impact South Africa. It was interesting to see young people from all over the world making new friends, sharing and praying together.                                                     

Our Division from Southern Asia was represented by thirty four delegates with Ravindra Shankar, Youth Director. It was a privilege to share with the delegates from around the world the way God is leading the young people of this church here in India. Dressed in our national costumes, we surely seemed to be one of the most diverse Divisions in the world. The inspiration of the various Divisions’ reports would surely leave a strong impression in the hearts of our young people.         

Impact.0

 On Sabbath, July 13, Ted Wilson, Adventist World Church President spoke to the delegates. He affirmed that the church counted on young people for the future of the church. Later in the afternoon, thousands of young people went out to the streets of Pretoria to share copies of The Great Hope . Truly with an army of young people rightly trained how soon the message of the crucified, risen, and soon coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world.

IMPACT SOUTH AFRICA is in the spirit of the 21st century trend of youth ministry involving community service.  The young people of today have the spirit, the passion to participate in whatever activity the church provides for them.  We pray that they would return to impact their local churches, Conferences, and Unions and Divisions for Jesus. All we need to do is to pray for them, empower them, affirm their faith and trust them.
Daryl Joshua, SUD youth department

 

Wedding Bells                                                                                                       

 Paul with Swati: Paul s/o Bhupal & Shakuntala B Chandanshiv and Swati d/o Ashok M and late Rajeshree Waghmare were united in marriage on 29th September, 2013 at Seventh-day Adventist  High School church, Shivaji Park, Kolahapur, Maharashtra.

Jonney with Denda:  Jonney Inba Leela d/o late Jayaraj & Hepzibah Simon and R. Denda s/o late V Rajamani & A. Pushpam were united in holy matrimony on 30th September, 2013 at Seventh-day Adventist Church, E D Thomas Higher Secondary School, Kudikadu, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu .

Thomson with Jinu:  P. M. Thomson s/o Manu & Lisy Thomas and Jinu Susan d/o late Thomas Abraham and Alice were united in marriage on 2nd October 2013 at Countour  Backwater Resorts, Changanacherry, Kottayam, Kerala.

 

Priyesh with MonicaPriyesh  Michael s/o Hidayath and Premila Masih and Monica d/o Mr & Mrs. Talab Gill were united in holy matrimony on October 14, 2013 at Seventh-day Adventist church, 11 Hailey Road, New Delhi.

Kranti with Kumari:  Kranthi s/o Pr. & Mrs. Mandapalli Edward and Kumari d/o Mr & Mrs. Kovalli Bhaskara Rao were united in marriage on 17th October 2013 at Seventh-day Adventist church, G M Hospital, Nuzwid, AP

 

OBITUARY                                                                                        

PASTOR  PETER  KEINGAMBA KAMEI

pr.Keingamba

   Peter Keingamba Kamei, was born to Mathiuchung Kamei & Kailabuanlu on April 10, 1935 at Nungba Head Quarters, Tamenglong District, Manipur. He completed his Medic training in the year 1967 in Pune. Kamei became a born again Christian in the year 1974 and he was inducted in the gospel ministry as a volunteer worker in Seventh-day Adventist Church by Northeast India region, Shillong. Peter Keingamba preached Adventism undauntedly in many villages of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. Through his untiring work in the gospel ministry, many souls accepted three angels’ message. He is known as a gospel cum medical missionary. In 1980, Peter Keingamba was invited to the General Conference  meeting to present report of his missionary work. Peter is one of the pioneers of Adventist Church in Tamenglong and in Manipur. He retired from Mission active service on November 30. 1998. In the last chapter of his life, he resided in Imphal and he breathed his last on August 25, 2013. He leaves behind 7 daughters and 2 sons, 29 grand children and 8 great grand children.                                                                AdaheChara, Health & communication Director Manipur Conference

Pastor A.S. Khavangsing Mahakwo

Pr.Khavansing

 

Khavangsing Mahakwo was born on October  22. 1943 in Aphung village Ukrul, He had his schooling at Adventist Training School Meghalaya. After his matriculation, he joined Bible seminary course in A.T.S. He married in 1970. He served the Lord in various capacities as literature evangelist, teacher, pastor, and circle leader for 26 years. He retired from active service on 30th Oct.  2005. On May, 2013 he suddenly fell ill and was admitted in the hospital. On 29 June he breathed his last.  He leaves behind his beloved wife, six children and nine grand children.                                                                          AdaheChara, Manipur Conference

Wilson Victor Augustine

 Wilson Augustine

 

Wilson was born to Pastor Joseph Augustine and his wife Mary on July 25, 1989 in Surat, Gujarat. He had his primary education at MCD School, Surat and continued his secondary school studies at E.D.Thomas Higher Secondary School, Kudikadu, Tamilnadu. Wilson completed his junior college at James Memorial Junior College, Prakasapuram. Later Wilson earned his Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA) Degree from a private college in Surat. Wilson emerged to be a dynamic and visionary young scholar with all his wisdom and knowledge that he gained from the school, and an unshakeable faith and a strong conviction as his foundation that he derived from his godly parents. Young Wilson had strong desire to apply all the God given talents by working in the area of women empowerment, Face Book evangelism and youth evangelism. All his activities came to a halt when he met with a motor bike accident that took place on 25th August, 2013 near his home base on the Vellore-Chittoor highway at 10.00 A. M.  Wilson leaves behind his parents Pr. Joseph Augustine & Mary Augustine, sister Ellen and a host of relatives and friends. May the burning desire for mission service that was within his heart inspire every youth to serve the Lord.                                           Dr. R J Solomon. Mumbai

Pastor G. Abraham

 Abraham

G. Abraham was born to Mr. Thomas and Annamma Geevarghese on July 12, 1955 at Karickom, Kottarakara. He completed his high school education at Seventh-day Adventist school, Kottarakara after which he completed Elementary Teachers’ Training at Spicer Memorial College, Pune. While having his education in Adventist institutions, he was attracted to the Sabbath truth and became a member in the Adventist church through baptism. He married Chinnamma, a teacher, on November 6, 1980. He served the church as a teacher, headmaster and principal in various schools in Kerala. He was ordained to ministry in 2009. He was an efficient teacher, evangelist, administrator, preacher and translator. He also worked as the treasurer of South Kerala Section after which he took up the responsibility as the president of Allappuzha- Pathanamthitta section. On September 3, 2013 his health condition began to deteriorate and on 5th he breathed his last. He leaves behind, his beloved wife Chinnamma; daughters Jomol and Jean Ansu; sons-in-law Varghese Kuruvilla and Saji Thomas; son Jibin; grand children Nikhil & Nidhiv; 4 brothers and 3 sisters. We hope to meet him at the resurrection morning.                                                                                                                             Ramani Kurian, SUD

 

Janet Paulraj

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 Janet was born to P Abraham and Lovis Chinammal in Gundal, Kanyakumari on March  4, 1954. She completed her education in Lowry Memorial Junior College in 1975 and joined  for service at SDA School , Puliangudi. She was married to G. Paulraj on April 21, 1976. Janet served the Lord as a teacher in Puliangudi and ED Thomas  Higher Secondary Schools.  On September 5, 2013 she was admitted in SDA Hospital, Thanjavur to continue the treatment she was undergoing and on 15th September, she breathed her last. She leaves behind her husband Paulraj; sons Herald and Gerald;  daughters-in-law Mercy and Binu; grandchildren Rachel, Caleb, Eric and Neal; and brothers Pon Veeradhas and Paulasir Abraham.                                                                                                            John Justin, secretary, Thanjavur-Karackal Section        

 

Mrs Kantha Rathnamma Meesarapu Jacob

 nnma1

Kantha Rathnamma was born to Kollapu Samuel Sujanamma in Srirangapatnam,  Andhra Pradesh on December 23, 1923. She had her education at Korukonda. She was married to  Meesarapu Jacob on September 25, 1944. She remained a home maker for a few years taking care of her children. Later she joined work in Giffard Memorial Hospital, Nuzvid  and served the institution for 30 years with dedication and commitment.  After her retirement in 1982, she went to the USA and returned to India after 10 years. She was living in Nuzvid until she was called to rest on October 4, 2013, two months before her 90th birthday. She leaves behind her children, Juliamma James, Krupavaram, James Rathnam, M J Prakasam, Joyce Pitta, and Mercy Jillella and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, and 22 great grand children.

M J Prakasam, President, Lowry Adventist College

                                                                                

 The 11-Year Old Symbol: A worship given at the GC for the 150th anniversary

by Benjamin Baker

“If you become a Christian, I will kill you!” the father snarled at his terrified, cowering daughter.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”                                                                                                         The words of Jesus Christ in Acts 1:8 neatly encapsulate the missiological paradigm of our church throughout its 150 years, and, really, 170 years.  Initially, our predecessors, Millerites turned Sabbatarian Adventists, held that the door of salvation had been shut, and only those Christians who believed in the second coming of Christ could be saved. These were to be strengthened and encouraged to persevere in the faith until their Lord came. This was Jerusalem and Judea.

But this notion only lasted a couple of years after the Great Disappointment, as non-Christians who had not believed in the advent accepted the message—which by the way was still developing. Slowly but surely the tiny coterie of Sabbatarian Adventists began to actively evangelize those who had not been Millerites, first in the Northeastern portion of the United States, then the Midwest, after the Civil War the South, and then into the West.  This is Samaria.

When the General Conference officially came into being on May 21, 1863, it organized for mission.  Believing that they were a people of prophecy, Seventh-day Adventists were symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14:6-12, who proclaimed the gospel to “every nation, kindred, tongue and people.”  This was first done among the myriad people groups of America, but began in earnest when individuals like Michel Belina Czechowski, Albert Vuillemier, and the Andrews family crossed the ocean to spread the message. This is the uttermost parts of the earth. The mission-mindedness of early Seventh-day Adventists commands respect.  Women, men, boys, girls, old, young, educated, uneducated, the healthy, the sick, dedicated their lives to going to foreign lands, which at the least was uncomfortable and at the most fatal, to tell people they had never met and to whom oftentimes they had little in common about the truth as it is in Jesus. They were confident that even though the people they encountered were different than them on many levels, that this message still had the power of appeal, that the truths of the Bible were universal and spoke to everyone in every time and every place.

One individual with this belief was a woman named Georgia Burrus.  Born the year after the conclusion of the American Civil War, Burrus became a Seventh-day Adventist against the will of her parents at age 16. You will see how this is an uncanny bit of foreshadowing in a minute. Burrus attended Healdsburg College, taught at the Bible Training School in Oakland, then, out of an unshakeable yearning for souls on the other side of the world, volunteered for service in India.  She sailed to the Asian subcontinent in January 1895, and when she set foot on the bustling dock in Calcutta, became Adventism’s first fulltime missionary in India.  Six years later she would be followed by Anna Knight, the first black woman of any denomination to serve as a missionary to India.

Burrus is the very picture of courage as she walks among the millions of Calcutta, for she is a single woman, 29 years old, one of only a few Adventists in the country, and to top it all off, self-supporting.  Her first task was to learn Bengali. As she grasped the basics of the language and immersed herself in the culture, Burrus developed a deep longing for the salvation of Hindu girls, who numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  This was a vast field, but she started small, deciding to open a school for Hindu girls.  This she did with Martha May Taylor in 1896.  The two women fed the poor, clothed the naked, taught the uneducated, and told the precious souls about a Christ they had never heard of before.  I want to cast Georgia Burrus as an Adventist Mother Theresa before Mother Theresa was even a glimmer in the eyes of her parents.

Georgia Burrus loved her students deeply.  Her students loved her in turn.  They began urging their teacher to visit their homes to meet their parents and relatives.  One day Georgia was led by God to visit the home of a Hindu family called Biswas.  In those days the houses in India were more like compounds, extended families living together, with the men and women in separate quarters.  In the zenana—or women’s quarter, Georgia met a beautiful bright-eyed girl of 11 named Nanibala. Burrus learned that the young girl was already a widow, her husband having died years earlier. An immediate bond developed between the two. The missionary continued to visit the Biswas zenana, teaching the women English from the Bible once a week. At first imperceptible, as the visits continued Burrus could see that the Word of God was taking root in Nanibala’s heart. When the other women had lost interest in her Bible teachings, it was only Georgia and Nanibala.

One day as Georgia walked pass the Biswas home en route to her little mission school, Nanibala spotted her and snuck out of the house unobserved. “O Mem Sahib,” she said when she was at Georgia’s side, “I want you to come at night and steal me away and let me live with you so that I can be a Christian. My father has forbidden me to study the Bible with you, and when I told him that I want to be a Christian he said that if I leave Hinduism he will kill me. Even now my family beats me and mistreats me for believing in what you taught me.”

The next day Georgia went to the Biswas home for her weekly lesson with Nanibala.  She found the door barred and there was no response to her knocking.  The shrewd Burrus came back later when the family wasn’t expecting her and found the door unlocked.  She slipped in, and found Nanibala, who was elated to see her.  The two studied the Bible like old times, only now the other women glared at them coldly. After praying with her, Georgia left the smiling 11-year old, unaware of the madness that would visit the home after her departure. When her father returned from work shortly after Georgia left, he was informed by the women that Nanibala had studied with Burrus. Nanibala was beaten badly by her father and other members of her family.  When she could stand the abuse no longer, the girl threw off all custom and ran out into the street.  Providentially, Georgia was returning from a day of teaching at the school at just that moment.  She gathered the persecuted but determined girl in her arms, took her to the home of Martha Taylor, then hurried back to the mission school to talk with the other missionaries about the course they should take. When she neared the building she saw an enraged mob of men, yelling to the school staff that they return Nanibala to her parents at once.  It was only through the intercession of Georgia’s language teacher, a high ranking Brahmin, that the men were pacified.  He explained that Nanibala had chosen to become a Christian, and since she was of age, she could legally leave home.

When he was finished Nanibala’s father stepped forward, and, changing tack, admitted that his family had abused the young child and they were extremely regretful of it. If she would just return home, they could apologize to her, and the next day he would deposit her safely to school and she would be free to become a Christian.  When Georgia went to Martha Taylor’s home and explained the plan to Nanibala, she agreed to return home.  But the next day Mr. Biswas did not return his daughter to the mission as he had promised.  Nor the next.  Georgia Burrus went to the Biswas’ home, only to find the doors barred as the last time. When she went to the other homes in the neighborhood on her normal routine, they were barred too.  She was shut out, an untouchable.

The Seventh-day Adventist missionaries in Calcutta held a prayer vigil for Nanibala that Friday evening, it being a week since her disappearance. Well, God answers prayer, even back in the 1800s.  The next night in the wee hours of the morning, Georgia heard a loud rapping on her door.  She opened it to see a small girl trembling with fear.  The missionary drew her inside, bolting the door behind her.

The whole story tumbled out.  After Nanibala had returned home a week ago, her father had grabbed her and locked her in a room in the house, swearing he’d murder her if she tried to escape, and murder anyone who attempted to free her.  Nanibala, at first sobbing to herself, soon dried her tears and got to praying.  She pleaded with God not just for escape, but for the opportunity to serve her newfound Savior.  It was on Sabbath—a day whose sanctity she had just recently learned of—that her prayers were answered. In those days, homes in India were built on all four sides of an open court, forming a complete enclosure.  All throughout the week workmen had been making repairs on the Biswas’ house.  At quitting time on Friday evening, they had left a ladder lying in the open court of the enclosure.  On Saturday when she arose from her prayers, Nanibala looked out from her window and spotted the ladder. She knew God had answered her prayer. At midnight when everyone was sleeping, Nanibala made her get away. With the assistance of a sympathetic aunt she escaped her room and hoisted the heavy ladder against the side of the house. Nimbly climbing it, she pulled herself onto the roof, scurried across it, then leapt down to the street below. By a couple of other miracles the courageous Nanibala ended up in front of Georgia Burrus that night long ago.  She had defied family, upbringing, culture, caste and religion for Jesus.

In the coming weeks numberless efforts were made by the Biswas family to wrench their little girl away from the Adventist mission.  Her mother and grandmother came and with tears begged her to return. A rich woman from another Christian denomination hired by the Biswas’ tried to entice Nanibala with deceit, cunning words, and promise of unimaginable comforts to come back. Her father stationed men at the mission gates to grab his daughter when she walked by.  But all to no avail.  The 11-year old widow was baptized in 1895, the first Hindu convert to Adventism.

In 1901 Nanibala came to the United States to study medicine, telling her amazing story to believers across the nation.  She quickly became a symbol of the power of the Adventist message to overcome all barriers.  Nanibala was a testament, a guarantee that as untried and inept as we sometimes were, that with God’s grace we could reach the world.                                                                                                                                

This morning, some 120 years later, we are still in the “uttermost parts of the earth” phase of our mission.  Allow me to resuscitate Nanibala as a little child who is a symbol of the power of the gospel to convert anyone, of any race, of any nationality, of any religious background, of any gender, under any circumstances, against any odds. Like Jesus said of the Queen of Sheba, who traveled so far to hear the truth on a rumor, Nanibala gave up everything for this truth.  In the intervening decades this has happened countless of thousands of more times, and as we near our church’s final anniversary, it will happen many, many more times.                                                                                                      

Isaiah promises: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and, a little child shall lead them.”

 Benjamin Baker.1 Benjamin Baker, PhD Assistant Archivist Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904

IMEWS REACHES TANAKPUR &  DHARCHULA

Dharchula is a town and a nagarpanchayat in Pithoragarh district in the northern state of Uttarakhand, India. An ancient trading town for the trans-Himalayan trade routes.The Kali is the western boundary of Nepal with India. Nepalese and Indian nationals cross unrestricted, however there is a customs checkpoint for goods.The name of the town may originate from the Hindi words for "mountain peak" (dhar) and "stove" (chula) because the valley in which it lies resembles a stove. Devastation done by heavy rain in Dharchula floods caused 4000 casualties. Extreme rains followed by floods and landslides in Uttarakhand should act as a wake up call for planners and decision makers all over the country. Waters came into Kali Ganga and Gori Ganga and within minutes several villages were washed away.  Heavy rains made the glacial lake over flow. Sending a lot of water down the rivers.  Several villages were washed away, roads and bridges collapsed making it very difficult for help to reach. While most of the relief and rescue operations in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand is concentrated around Kedarnath, little attention has been paid to Pithoragarh District, which was hit by floods twice in recent days. An estimated 1,000 people were stranded in the area as roads connecting to different areas have collapsed during floods and land slides.

Uttarakhan         Uttarakhand     Uttarakhand0

Tanakpur is a town and a municipal board in Champawat district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Tanakpur is a calm and small town located on side of Sarda river. It is located at the foothills and is the last plain area on the road to Kumaon at zone of Uttarakhand. It acts as a junction for the Kumaon district's mountainous part. Being on the Indo-Nepal border, Tanakpur is very important on the security perspective of India as a nation.

  IMEWS sent its team to both the places to help the needy.  R.P. Singh, Coordinator, IMEWS, the team leader,  C.P. Singh, Upper Ganges Section, Rich Paul Chand, Nancy Chand, Mohit and Neha completed the team representing the IMEWS.  They distributed 10 Kg Atta, 10 Kg Rice, 2Kg Sugar, 2 Kg Dal, 2 KG Oil and 1 Kg salt each to 150 families, which is the immediate need of the people.                                           R.P.Singh, Director, SS/PM NIU, New Delhi

Women’s Ministries: Week end Service at Division Headquarters Church, Hosur

Women’s Minisitries department of Jeevan Jyothi English church was given an opportunity to take up the worship services on 16th and 17th August, 2013, both vespers  and the Sabbath worship. All the women of the church were enthusiastic about participating in various items for the glory and honor of Almighty God.

During the vespers after a special song by women, a beautiful skit, “Weeping and Gnashing”—a judgment scene-- was presented by the women. The skit portrayed  Christians of yesterday and today in different levels of faithfulness.  Christians who truly reflect their name “Christian” in their everyday life and are faithfully waiting for Christ’s return, while there are those who superficially carry the name but have no Christlikeness in their everyday life.   They are so much involved with the worldly affairs, worldly

DSC04286a               DSC04298a                          

                                                            Judgment Scene                                                                   Sabbth school lesson study: Panel discussion

enjoyments and have no time for anyone but lavish money on self,  luxurious homes, beautiful cars. The spreading of the gospel has nothing to do with them, the poor and underprivileged are just passed by.  Others believe that by doing good for the church and humanity would buy them a place in heaven.  They give Bible studies, win many souls.  Many lives are saved because of their witnesses, yet, the Lord will say, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”  Some are drifted into sin, but once heart longs for a better way and is truly sorry and believe that the Lord Jesus has offered His blood for atonement.  Sooner or later, the Lord will segregate the Christians among the Christians and the remnants among the remnants.  “The time of the harvest will be past, the summer will be ended, and many will not be saved” was the theme of the skit.

All the Sabbath morning services were taken by the women of the church. Deborah Samraj, Santha Livingston, Sobha Singh and Ramani Kurian engaged the congregation into an enriching lesson study as way of panel discussion on “ Unity: bond of Revival”.  Most of the women joined in the choir and sang responses and special song that enhanced the sacredness of worship experience. Margaret Nathaniel shared a story with the children during the story hour.

    DSC04305a                         DSC04319a

Women at divine worship hour                                                                                                         Special song: Women’s choir

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                        Divine hour speaker: Jamuna

Jamuna Gompa Devadas, a school teacher, was the speaker for the divine hour. Her inspiring message on ‘Faith’ put the congregation on the ground to rethink of the faith each person was holding. She pondered upon the faith demonstrated by the Cannanite woman when she sought help from Jesus for healing her daughter from her illness.  Jamuna emphasized, “Faith is not something we can strengthen or improve with vitamins or supplements or tablets. Faith is the assurance of our belief. Faith enables us to see what God does. It helps us to see what others cannot see or do. If something goes wrong with our faith, no physician can fix the problem. Faith simply believes in things which we cannot see with our eyes. It is born in us and grows stronger and stronger when we study God’s word diligently seeking the Spirit of God to enlighten us.” Divine worship came to a close with benediction by Vandana Jeyaseelan.                                                             Ramani Kurian, Asst director,  Communication, SUD, Hosur

 

New Feathers in AMC Cap

 

 IMG 1927a

 

The Adventist Media Centre, Pune, was established with the intent to transform the world through spoken word.  It was broadcasting the programs in 8 Indian languages.  Edison Samraj, the director had a dream to add two more languages-- Odia and Gujarathi.  He contacted the local units, Puno Chandra was appointed for Odia and Simon Pandey  as assistant radio speaker for Gujrathi.  Raby Thomas was appointed as Treasurer and Steven Raju as Music Director. AMC will be blessed by their contributions in their respective areas.

 

Economic Mess- Is There a Way Out?

 

 DSC01529a

The top officials of Pune city came together on 14-9-13 to find answers for this important question which many people are still struggling with. It was an initiative taken by the Adventist Media Centre, Pune under the leadership of Edison Samraj to bring the top intellectuals of the Pune city for a dialogue and deliberations on the topic Economic Crisis: Is There a Way Out?

The program started around 6:00 pm, in Susie Sorabjee Auditorium, Pune. Edison Samraj welcomed the dignitaries-- Muzamdhar, Vice Chancellor, Symbiosis Group of Institutions, BhariMalhotra, President Weig Field Industries, Manhoar Pirbhai, Chairman Azam Trust,  Victor Sam, General Vice President of SUD. The program was well attended by the intellectuals of Pune. The St. Eileen’s School choir sang a lovely melodious group song to add flavor to the event.  Muzumdhar in his address, reminded the audience that the Indian mind works better in times of crisis. Robert William began his speech by pointing to the positives that Indian Economy has enjoyed in the 21st century, India being first in the telecommunication sector in the world market.  Indian Pharmaceutical market is growing day by day.  He reminded the audience that Indians needed not to be shaken by the recent developments, but to keep their hopes high and look to the Creator for solutions. The Punites were elevated by the approach and presentation of Robert Antony Williams. His approach was systematic and modern in thinking. Every one enjoyed the presentation.  The Adventist Media Centre has made an impact on the minds of the people in Pune. We are looking forward to conduct similar seminars in the coming days.                                                                                                          N. Ashok Kumar, Kannada Radio Speaker, AMC, Pune.

 

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH INAUGURATION

 

KHANPUR-LATIFPUR

 Picture 055a

 

It was a joyous moment and day for the believers in Khanpur-Latifpur village.  It was a dream come true experience for them. It all started when the National highway No. 1 – New Delhi to Jammu-Kashmir was expanding and some part of the church land was acquired by the National Highway Authority.  The old church was partially demolished.  The North India Section appealed to the people to come up with the funds to build the church at Khanpur-Latifpur location.

 

Ramesh Massey from UK responded and took the responsibility to build the church.  We are thankful to the donor and builder of the Khanpur-Latifpur church. 

Bipul Bairagee

 

Lay Training program: South Maharashtra Section                  

 Maharashtra

A lay training program was conducted in South Maharashtra Section, Alate, Kolhapur, on September 27, 2013 by the SSPM Department.  The training program was attended by over 100 lay members and volunteers from all the churches of the section. The resource personnel for the program were Hidayat Masih, SSPM Dir., SUD and L.D.Battise SSPM Director,WIU. The speakers emphasized the role and importance of lay members in evangelism and reaching the un-reached.  The key text was Acts 1:8-.And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  It was a wonderful spiritual feast for the members as they listened intently to God's word. At the end of the session Hidayat Masih and Battise distributed picture rolls to each delegate with the intention that these rolls will enhance their understanding of the Bible   and use it as effective tool in public evangelism.

 Satish Bhosale, Treasurer

 

South West India Union: Third Constituency Session.

 

The third constituency session of South West India Union was held in Darsana Pastoral Centre, Vilanganoor, Peechi Dam, Thrissur from September 12-14, 2014. The devotion was led by Selvamony Yovan, president, SWIU on 12th afternoon followed by business session. And all the delegates and the dignitaries from the Division were welcomed. Following the business session, the retirees were honored with a plaque in appreciation of their valuable service for the church.  The secretary and the treasurer of SWIU presented their reports. There is a substantial growth in the tithe income. Then the section departments presented the reports. During the planning session, the nomination committee met and the section presidents were elected.

 new section presidents         P7200662a

In the afternoon as the planning committee had its deliberations, simultaneously the nomination committee also met and transacted their business.  The planning session was led by T P Kurian, SUD and had a livelily discussion regarding various plans for soul winning for the coming five years and also discussed about the strength, weakness, opportunities and  threats  (SWOT) analysis of the union. Many suggestions were brought out during the discussions.

 

Nomination Committee Report

 

                                                                              Alappuzha- Pathanamthitta Section        President                            Stevenson R

  •                                                                                                                                                               Secretary/ Treasurer                    M I Korah           

                                                                                                        Idukki Section                                                    President                            Raju Abraham

                                                                                                                                                                     Secretary/ Treasurer                       D Chalres

                                                                                                             Malabar Region                                                Director                                S Jacob

                                                                                                            North Kerala Section                                      President                            Benny Joseph

                                                                                                                                                                                    Secretary                             K P Baby

                                                                                                                                                                                     Treasurer                            V T Mathai

                                                                                                            South Kerala Section                                      President                            Philip S Jacob

                                                                                                                                                                                   Secretary                             Antoni Devadas               

                                                                                                                                                                                    Treasurer                           Ajith C George

                                                                                                          Union Departments                                        Ministerial Associate                 K P Cherian

                                                                                                                                                                             SS/PS Associate                          Jose Prakash

                                                                                                                                                                              Family Ministry                              Micha Aruldas

                                                                                                                                                                                             Associate                       Annakutty  V

                                                                                                                                                                                V O P Director                             Rajan Solomon

 

 Ordination candidates.        P7200680a   

  Ordination Candidates                                                                                                  Sabbath Message R John, SUD President

Eleven evangelists were ordained to the Lord’s ministry. They are as follows: Abraham K P, Anil Devadas, Ajith  T K, Binoy Chacko, Biju Abraham, Biju P J, Boben P M, Doney Mathew, Jose K T, Joymon M and Joshua Ebenezer.

   Sabbath celebration was part of the constituency meeting. Leroy Samuel, associate treasurer, SUD delivered the message during the vespers. His message on special calling was inspiring to the congregation as well as the newly ordained ministers. The ordination candidates were presented and dedicated during the vesper service. On 14th Sabbath, during the divine service, R. John, president, SUD encouraged the congregation to get ready for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The service climaxed with the laying of hand upon the ordination candidates and dedication of the newly elected presidents and the department directors.  Thus the meeting ended with a positive note that both pastors and members dedicated themselves to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.                                                                                                                                           T P Kurian, Editor, Southern Asia Tidings

 

Mrs Ballantyne Celebrates her 100th Birthday

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Joyce Ballantyne was born on 4th September 1913 into a good Christian home.  She completed her teacher’s training in Madras and has been a teacher all her life.  She was married and has five children. She was baptised into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1952, by Pr E.L.Sorenson in Vizag.  The church wanted her to start a school there, but God knew that she had no experience of running an Adventist school, so the plans failed.

 

 She got her first mission call to teach at Spencer Road School in Bangalore.  Here she learnt how to run a school on Adventist lines.  After a few years she returned to Vizag and with God’s help, opened a school in the church vestry with just seven pupils, and today it has grown into a high school.   Again after five years the rice millers of Palakol, approached Andhra section to open a school for them, so her services were lent to them for two years.  In 1966 she was given a call to open a school in Vijayawada.  It was opened in the church vestry on Bunder road.  Today this school too has grown in leaps and bounds.  She returned to the UK for two years, and then came back to India. She worked at Lowry Memorial School, taught in the school and also was in charge of the CCF, where she was able to help many poor students.

 In 1974 she was transferred to Nuzvid where she worked as house mother for the nurses in the hospital.  She has many happy memories of the girls for whom she cared, many of them are still in touch with her.  While being the dean of girls, she was asked to teach in the Nuzvid day school, as teaching was her first love, she gladly accepted.  Soon she opened a branch Sabbath school in a village on the out skirts of Nuzvid, a place called Kandrika.  Every week she went there, she would see that all the children in the village were eager to come to Sabbath school, but unfortunately they could not attend any school, as the Nuzvid school was too far away for them.

 She soon had a bright idea.  In November 1980, she hired a house in Nuzvid from Mrs. Sudarshanam.  She went to Kandrika and put all the bigger children into this small hostel, so that they would be able to get a Christian education in our Nuzvid school. This is how the boarding school started in Nuzvid, and today it has grown in leaps and bounds. In 1982 she built the first church in Kandrika as many of the children and their parents from this village were baptized members. God had blessed the work that she started, and today many many students are in good positions and are scattered around the world.  

 She is in good health and still receives letters, cards and phone calls from her students, they are thankful to her for helping them to come to know the Saviour. She is thankful to God for His boundless mercy and matchless love that have been sustaining her and helping her to be able to have a part in bringing many people to His feet.

 God has spared her to see her 100th birthday. She has just got a card from the Queen of England, but it will be a greater reward for her when she goes to heaven and Jesus Himself will put a crown on her head. Winnie Kurian < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text23935 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;

 

 Ottapalam Hospital on Upward Move

 

Ottapalam hospital has taken many progressive steps over the past several months. There are many ways God’s work is being seen here in the campus. On June 11, the ground floor of the new College of Nursing was inaugurated by R. John, president, SUD. The building was dedicated for the glory of God by Robert Clive. The ceremony was also attended by Selvamony, President, SWIU; Pierson David, secretary & Alamgir Khan, treasurer, Medical Trust; Pr. Benny Joseph, president, North Kerala Section and other leaders from South West Indian Union  and North Kerala section .The Project was funded by Southern Asia Division and a loan was procured for the same from South Indian Bank.

 

 Ottapalam

 July brought cheers to our campus when we installed a 160KV generator that is sufficient to meet all our needs for the present and the future.

 On August 19, John Cristo, Medical Director, SDA Medical Center, Bangalore inaugurated a new laparoscopic surgical set. This is a new milestone added to our surgical department and will enable our surgeons and staff to render better service to patients. The project was made possible with the generous help rendered by SDA Medical Centre Bangalore.

             A new fully automatic Biochemistry Analyzer was also installed in August by the generous help of Medical Trust, CMC Vellore Alumni and friends of Ottapalam hospital. God has been good to us and we have seen the evidence His leading in our institution. We hope and pray that He will continue to bless and guide us in the coming days.Please continue to uphold us in your prayers.

 Renjith, Medical Director, Ottapalam Hospital

 

 Doctorate Degree Awarded to Thamanam Nathanael

nathanael passport photo

 

 THAMANAM NATHANAEL, Academic Dean & Vice-Principal, Flaiz Adventist College,was awarded Ph.D degree, from Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, A.P. on April22, 2013for his research work on the topic “An Investigation of High School Teachers’ Pedagogical and Cognitive Competencies in Geometry and Trigonometry”.  Dr.M.Vanaja, Associate Professor, Department of Education and Training,Maulana Azad National University, Hyderabad, was his research director. He was commended for his excellent research work which is useful for the curriculum development in Mathematics.

 Nageshwara Rao, Education Director, SUD

  

Report from Manipur Conference

 

I have heard about Dr. Johnson Christian who resides in United States and his good work.  It was L.F. Lyngdoh, President of Northeast India Union of Seventh-day Adventist who introduced me to Johnson Christian in March 2012.  I was told that he was an educationist and conducted education seminars for teachers. Manipur Conference invited

 Johnson Christian

 him to conduct teachers’ training program in March 19-20, 2012 and about 60 (sixty) teachers participated in the training.  The teachers learnt much from the seminar. On January 2013 Johnson Christian visited again Manipur conference and had done so much work for our Conference.  He has donated little over 2 lakhs to provide tube well water for SDA Academy, Tarung Imphal and Maringmi Memorial school, Ukhrul.  He has also provided financial assistance for King’s Way English school, Imphal for the construction of proper drainage.  We wish God’s blessings as he continues to serve God in various ways.                                                                                                                                 Barnabas Zimik, President, Manipur Conference

 

NORTHERN INDIA UNION: ACCOUNTANTS’ WORKSHOP

 

 

Northern India Union conducted its seventh Accountants’ Workshop from September 30 to October 9, 2013 at the Union office in New Delhi.  There were 23 cashiers and accountants, from Sections, Regions and Schools within Northern India Union, who gathered for the training program.  Since most of the cashiers/accountants come from hnon accounting background, the Union officers  Ezras Lakra, President;  Robin Ram, Executive Secretary and Attar Singh, Treasurer; thought that it would be most appropriate to conduct a training program to prepare workers for this sacred responsibility.

 

The main objective of conducting the workshop was to introduce the basic accounting concept, right from the collection of data to preparing vouchers and receipts, to journalizing, posting to the ledger, preparing trial balance, statement of financial statements and balance sheet.  The main emphasis was on the accounting concept, Assets = Liabilities + Fund Balance and all account heads and terminologies that fall under it.

 

During this training program, seniors who have served the organization in various capacities as cashiers, accountants and treasurers impart knowledge to the cashiers and accountants who were present.   Those who attended the training felt that they got to learn a lot and were going back better equipped. The resource personnel were:  Attar Singh, Treasurer, NIU;  Derald Bhengra, Assistant Treasurer, NIU,  and Samuel Chand, Treasurer, Jalandhar School.                                                                                                                                 Attar Singh, Treasurer Northern India Union

   

Kollegal School: Pathfinder Club Inauguration

 

 kolegal

 

The Pathfinder Club of the school was inaugurated on August 7, 2013. Suresh Daniel, president, Bangalore Metro Conference was the chief guest who addressed the gathering and inspiried the pathfinders to be of help to the people in need. The club consists of more than 100 energetic and vibrant pathfinders. S Prabhakar, youth director, SKS, Mysore and Jacob Bhaggien, Principal, School for Speech & Hearing Impaired, Kollegal also were present during the occasion.

 

Prem Cyrus, Director, Pathfinder Club

 

 

 

                                                                                                                              

 

 

Beyond Imagination

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Imagination

 

If the earth were the size of a coin, the sun would be as big as a nine-foot beach ball.

was invented, we discovered that we were wrong. Each time we’ve invented a stronger telescope, we’ve learned that the universe is bigger than we thought. We’ve discov-ered a universe so big that not just our little planet, or our weak sun, but our entire Milky Way galaxy is just a spot, a blip, barely worth noticing.

 

How big is the universe?

 

How big is the universe? Bigger than we think. Bigger than we can even imagine! Let’s see if we can wrap our minds around some of the numbers.

 

How far have you traveled in the last year? Twenty thousand miles? Fifty thousand? Many people who fly for

 

business regularly travel one hundred thousand or more miles every year. We can easily see the moon when we look up into the sky—it’s only about two hundred fifty thousand miles

 

away. We can also see the sun—although we shouldn’t look directly at it. It looks as if it is about the same size as the moon, but really it’s just a lot farther away—ninety-three million miles. It’s so far away that it takes sunlight over eight minutes to reach the earth!

 

How big is the sun? About a million earths would fit inside it. If the earth were the size of a coin, the sun would be as big as a nine-foot beach ball. That is almost too big to imagine! The sun has to be the biggest thing in the uni-verse, doesn’t it?


 

10    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


 

The Whirlpool galaxy

solar system—the sun and all the planets—was the size of a coin, the sun would be visible only under a microscope, and the nearest star would be three hundred feet away. If you could travel at the speed of light—that’s 186,000 miles per second—it would still take one hundred thou-sand years just to travel across our galaxy!

 

If our whole galaxy was the size of a coin—remember, that’s two hundred billion stars—our solar system would be too small to be seen under a regular microscope. The other galaxies out there would still be from one foot to one thousand feet away.

 

So many galaxies! So many stars!

 

And how many other galaxies are there? In an attempt to see deeper in space than ever before, astronomers focused

 

the Hubble telescope on a seemingly empty patch of the night sky. Empty—no visible stars, galaxies, or any-thing. They focused on nothing for eleven days, then carefully examined the photo-graph. In this tiny little spot—about 3 percent

 

of the size of a full moon—they found more than ten thou-sand galaxies—not stars, but entire galaxies of stars—each with billions of stars.


 

12    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


that there are more than a billion planets.2

How many of those planets have animals or plants of some kind? We don’t know the answer to that question yet. And could there be intelligent life on some other planet? That’s the big question all astronomers are ask-ing.

 

The wonders of the universe are beyond imagination! And we haven’t even mentioned nebulas, quasars, black holes, or any of the many other fascinating objects in our universe. Can it really all have come into existence acci-dentally?

  neuron cells

 


 

14    BEYOND IMAGINATION

e Universe

 

Changed Forever


 

The Milky Way is really a large number of stars that are too faint and close together for the eye to see clearly.

 

The “imperfect” moon

knew about the universe. The heavens, he decided, must be as “imperfect” as the earth.

 

While Galileo was studying the moon, he was surprised to discover something else. He no-ticed that the sky around

 

the moon was filled with stars—stars no one had ever seen before. The “Milky Way” was well known, but it was thought to be a cloud of gas or dust particles. Of course, the Milky Way is really a large number of stars that are too faint and close together for the eye to see clearly. For the first time, Galileo could see that there were far more than

 

just the 1,022 stars that the an-cient Greeks had counted. This discovery helped scientists re-alize that the universe is enor-mously large.

 

A few weeks later, Galileo was surprised again. While looking at the planet Jupiter through his telescope, Galileo

 

discovered small “stars” that seemed to stay close to Jupiter. Surprisingly, these “stars” first appeared on one side of Jupiter, then disappeared, and then reappeared on the other side of Jupiter. Later, they disappeared again and reappeared on the first side. Galileo realized that


 

18    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


in the moon and on other planets, the universe is orga-nized into very specific structures—solar systems, galax-ies, and clusters of galaxies. And we have discovered certain evidence that the universe is not eternal, that it had a beginning.

 

Today, we are used to the idea that new discoveries may change our ideas—new technology, new medicines, new ways of thinking. But in Galileo’s time, this was not so easily accepted. When Galileo turned his telescope to-ward the moon on that December night in 1609, he could not have imagined how much his discoveries would change our way of thinking.

 

An unimaginably large universe

 

As we have seen, the universe is much larger than Galileo realized. Our earth is part of a system of eight planets and many smaller objects that revolve around the sun. Our sun is one of billions of stars in the universe, and is far distant from any other star. The closest star to us, Proxima Centauri, is about twenty-five trillion miles, or about 4.2 light-years away. In space, the distances are so large that we don’t use miles or kilometers to measure them. We use light-years, the distance light travels in a year going 186,000 miles per second. Remember, it takes eight minutes for light to reach us from the sun, ninety-three million miles away.

 

If we tried to travel to Proxima Centauri in a rocket going sixteen thousand miles per hour, we would never make it. It would take 175,000 years to travel that far!


 

20    BEYOND IMAGINATION


stars, but it also contains many things we cannot see. As we saw earlier, we do not know exactly how many stars there are in the universe. But if the two hundred billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy are on the average, and there are at least 175 billion galaxies, then there must be at least 350 billion trillion stars.

 

And the visible stars may form only about one-tenth of the mass of the universe. The rest is in the form of “dark

 

he Antennae Galaxies


 

22    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


 

Matter is not scattered around randomly in the universe, but is mostly clumped into stars, planets, and other objects.

move farther apart from each other. Scientists have dis-covered that something similar is happening to the stars. They are all moving apart from each other. Apparently,

 

the universe is expanding, like a balloon expands with air.

 

If the universe is expand-ing, it must have been smaller in the past. The farther we look into the past, the smaller the universe would be. If we look back far enough, the uni-

 

verse would have shrunken down too small to see, then to an invisible point. This would be the beginning of the uni-verse. From that invisible point, the entire universe has grown to its present size. Based on this reasoning, scien-tists began to believe that the universe had a beginning.

 

Modern scientists were divided at first over whether to accept the idea. One astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle, was so opposed to this idea that he mockingly referred to it as the “big bang.” The name caught on, and we still refer to the theory as the big bang theory. Further studies and discov-eries seemed to support the big bang theory, and most scientists now accept it.

 

The big bang theory raises some very big questions. What would cause the universe to appear from a tiny point, or from nothing? Could this happen accidently? Or is there something or someone behind the creation of the universe?


 

24    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

 

 

Butterfly Nebula.

 

and clusters. It could as easily be made up of just clouds of dust. Scientifically, the second law of thermodynamics tells us that order breaks down over time. That means the universe was more orderly in the past than it is now. Tracing this idea back to the beginning of the universe means that the universe must have been created with ex-tremely precise original conditions.


 

26    BEYOND IMAGINATION


that the universe has many finely tuned properties—ex-actly the ones required in order for life to exist. For ex-ample, life requires molecules to construct bodies, carry

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Dust clouds in the Eagle Nebula


 

28    BEYOND IMAGINATION


i
e Earth


Giant clam

 

 

 

 

 

cells live within the cells of the clam’s mantle, where they produce food by photosynthesis. A single clam may have millions or even billions of algal cells in its tissues. The algae obtain nutrients from the clam, and the clam gets part of its nutrients from food produced by the algae. This is a kind of cooperative relationship in which each partner benefits the other. Together, the giant clam and its algae can live for up to one hundred years.

 

Cooperative relationships are common among living organisms. Some, like the giant clam and the tiny alga, are very specific. In the big picture, all living organisms inter-act in ways that are mutually beneficial. Plants capture energy from sunlight and use it to convert water and car-bon dioxide into food. Oxygen is released in the process.


 

32    BEYOND IMAGINATION


begins just seven days after a full moon that occurs be-tween October 8 and November 23. It may be repeated for two  or  sometimes three days. The peak of swarming is a pe-riod of about thirty minutes at high tide, just  after  midnight.

  

Somehow, the worms can sense when the time is right, and they

 

Shearwater                                                 all produce their eggs at about the same

time. So many eggs are produced that the Samoans are able to collect them for food.

 

Worms living in other regions may spawn in a differ-ent month, but spawning is always rather precisely timed and coordinated. Somehow, these worms are able to coor-dinate their spawning. Because they all respond to the same signal in their environment, their species survives.

 

A crow-sized bird known as the Shearwater is another creature that might be spotted along the Great Barrier Reef at certain times of the year. Shearwaters spend their entire life at sea, except for when they are breeding. When breed-ing, they nest in burrows which they dig for themselves.

 

Shearwaters are marvelous navigators. They wander freely over the oceans without losing their way. They leave their nesting burrows before dawn and return to them after dark, which means they must be able to find the


 

34    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

Sea turtle

 

Another species, the Sooty Shearwater, migrates from the Antarctic waters to California, Alaska, and Japan, and returns, a trip of thirty-nine thousand miles. Shearwaters are truly one of the wonders among living creatures.

 

Many other creatures have the ability to travel for hun-dreds or even thousands of miles and return to the exact starting place. Pacific salmon are famous for their ability to return to the place where they grew up. Sea turtles may travel thousands of miles between the Caribbean and is-lands in the Atlantic Ocean. Millions of songbirds migrate annually between North and South America or between Europe and Africa. Their migratory instinct and the ability


 

36    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


suitable temperature for the necessary chemical reactions. As far as we know, no other place in the universe has the right combination of these features to support living or-ganisms (although some possibilities have recently been discovered—which should be very interesting!).

 

As we all know, sunlight provides the energy for living organisms. A few bacteria get their energy from chemical reactions deep in the sea, but these are the exception. Sun-light is such a common, ordinary feature of our daily lives that it’s easy to forget how special it is.

 

Light is a form of energy known as electromagnetic radiation. The strength of this kind of energy varies greatly.


 

 

 

38    BEYOND IMAGINATION


speed the earth rotates on its axis, and by the way the continents and oceans are distributed across the surface of the earth.

 

The survival of life on our planet depends on the right interaction between the earth, its atmosphere, the output of the sun, and the distance between the earth and the sun. If one of these factors were to change dramatically, life on our world could easily become extinct.

Life also requires a source of raw materials and a way

 

for them to react chemically. The earth provides these in

 

the right combinations. Water is one of the most important

 

 

raw materials for life, and our

 

The survival of life on our

earth has a lot of water. Some

 

of the other planets and moons

 

planet depends on the right

 

in our solar system appear to

 

interaction between the

have some water, but not sta-

 

earth, its atmosphere, the

ble bodies of liquid water like

 

our earth has. Water is so cru-

 

output of the sun, and the

 

cial  for  life  that  scientists

 

distance between the earth

looking for life on other plan-

 

and the sun.

ets look first for water. If there

 

is no water, there’s not much

 

 

 

 

reason to look for life.

 

 

Water is important for life. It provides a medium in which chemical reactions can occur. It dissolves many substances and transports them in the environment, and also throughout the bodies of living organisms. Without water, many chemical reactions necessary for life could not happen.


 

40    BEYOND IMAGINATION


when the surface freezes. If ice sank, the lake would even-tually freeze up from bottom to top and kill most of the creatures in the lake. Water absorbs oxygen, needed by fish and other aquatic organisms. Water molecules tend to cling together, which is an important factor enabling wa-ter to move upward to the tops of tall trees. Liquid water flows easily, which permits it to move freely along the surface or through the soil, where it can be taken up by plants, or provide moisture for worms and other soil or-

 

 

 

42    BEYOND IMAGINATION

f Humans


were instant celebrities, having risked everything and suc-ceeded in doing something that had never been done before.

As one would expect of such highly trained, profes-sional men, the astronauts were quick to give credit for their success to the combined efforts of thousands of sci-entists and technicians. Their successful flight to the moon could not have been done by one or a few individuals. It required years of work by many thousands of highly trained professionals.

 

The uniqueness of humans

 

The success of the Apollo 11 mission was a spectacu-lar accomplishment by humans. “Think Big” multi-year projects such as the Apollo missions are not uncommon in human societies, but they are unique to humans. No other

 

species does such  things. No other creatures carry out proj-ects involving years of coordinated work by many individuals.

 

 

Why not? Why couldn’t they? Many other creatures have far greater popula-tions, and some of

 

them have amazing abilities that humans do not. Humans cannot fly like the birds, or swim like fish, or climb like monkeys. But humans can travel through the air or through


 

46    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


able to recognize ourselves as individuals and to make de-cisions regarding how we will behave. This combination makes us responsible for our decisions. It gives us a sense of morality.

 

This moral sense motivates many people to behave re-sponsibly and reliably, allowing us to cooperate on a scale far beyond anything simple animals can do. Thousands of human technicians were able to trust each other and coop-erate for the good of the Apollo project, even when it in-convenienced them personally. Animals cannot accom-plish such goals, in part because they lack the combination of self-consciousness and free will needed for a sense of

 

morality and responsibility. Religion is another thing that is unique to humans. No other species could pos-sibly have religious habits because they lack what is needed for morality—free will and self-consciousness. As strange as it may sound, you could argue that Chris-tianity contributed to the success of the Apollo mis-sion.  How?  Christianity

 

provided the philosophical foundations—the thinking— necessary for the development of science. Science could not develop in a culture that thought nature was con-trolled by distant gods who were constantly fighting with


 

48    BEYOND IMAGINATION


things other species do. Many evolutionists would argue that humans don’t really have free will and the morality that comes with it, even though it seems like we do.

 

There are a number of problems with this view. One of the most troubling problems is that evolutionary pro-cesses—which should exist only to ensure sur-vival—do not explain why humans have abili-ties far beyond those needed just to survive.

 

Why should humans appreciate art, music, and beauty? What evolutionary advantage is gained by the ability to paint a picture, or to compose a poem, or to enjoy the flowers? There are many similar objections that could be made. To many, they show that evolutionary theory is not a good explanation for the extraordinary abilities of humans.

 

What if humans were created by a Being with powers beyond our understanding? Could that explain why we have these kinds of abilities? Let’s take some time to ex-plore the Christian story of creation and see.


 

50    BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

The human ability to have relationships with others may be a reflection of one part of the image of God.

describes God as a being of relationships, Someone who wants to be in a relationship with humans. Like God, we are beings of relationships. We live in families, in com-munities, in nations, and everything we do is focused on how we are relating to others.

 

The human ability to have relationships with others may be a reflection of one part of the image of God.

 

As we discovered earlier, human creativity goes far be-yond anything needed just to survive. This creativity al-lows humans to solve many complex problems, such as sending a man to the moon. Many other spectacular ex-amples could be given of human creativity in problem-solving, but there is more to the story. We can find solu-

 

tions to difficult problems, but with our creativity, we also explore things not needed for survival—things like beauty.

 

If God created our world, then He must also be a lover of beauty. Humans have cre-ated colorful paintings, dra-

 

matic sculptures, magnificent buildings and bridges, and many kinds of music. But these only faintly imitate the beauty in sunsets and flowers, in natural landscapes, and in the sounds of birds and other creatures. Can it be that humans love beauty because they were created in the im-age of a God who loves beauty?

 

If humans were created by God, then that may explain why we have abilities to think creatively, to plan ahead,


 

52    BEYOND IMAGINATION

  

 

Then, as they fill the earth with larger populations, humans are asked to manage the resources of the planet. If God’s image is reflected in them, they will treat the crea-tures of earth with kindness and safeguard the environment that all creatures share.

 

No one could claim that humans have managed the re-sources of the earth properly—not the way we have pol-luted the skies and water by the overuse of coal and oil. Not the way we’ve hunted some animals to extinction and allowed others to be wiped out by destroying their habi-tats. Too often, we’ve chosen profits and greed instead of responsible planning for the future.

 

But we could have—and we could still. We have the abilities to manage the earth, and those abilities—to rea-son from cause to effect, to creatively plan ahead and


 

54    BEYOND IMAGINATION

nce


even imagine what it means to “create,” it doesn’t seem like the sort of work that would cause someone to break a sweat or need a break.

 

Rest

 

So why would God rest? And why was it important to include this announcement of “rest” in the story? Could it be that this seventh day of rest is not in the story for God, but for humans? Maybe by imitating God’s pattern of six days of creative work and a seventh day devoted to re-lationships, we are express-ing an important aspect of God’s image. Is it possible that when we follow this di-vine example, we escape the trap of focusing only on sur-viving—or as we see it today,

 

 

 

 

 

 

on making a living?

 

Think about it. What a wonderful gift that would be! Did God know, for example, that:

 

  • Our problem-solving skills could lead us to work too many hours when the solution didn’t come easily?


 

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The Creation story says that God rested on the seventh day.

What difference does it make?

 

The Creation story says that God rested on the seventh day. But could it possibly matter which day we rest? What difference does a day make? Surely what matters is setting the time aside for relationship and worship.

 

Let’s answer that by looking at a story from the Bi-ble book of 2 Kings. Naaman was a commander in the army of ancient Syria (also called Aram) when he con-tracted one of the most dreaded diseases of the day— leprosy. Not only was leprosy a death sentence; it was a slow and horrible death. (Leprosy is still present in some parts of the world today, but there is effective treatment.)

 

The disease causes sores on the skin and damage to nerves. In those days, with no treatment available, it led

 

to deformed hands and feet, as well as horrible skin growths. And if the disease wasn’t bad enough, anyone with leprosy was considered “unclean” or contagious. They had to sepa-rate themselves from their

 

family and friends and either live alone or with other lep-ers. It was not just a physical death sentence—it was a social death sentence and seen as a punishment of the gods.

 

Naaman, a powerful and important leader in the army, was desperate to find some cure before others became aware of his disease and shunned him.


 

60    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


 

Jordan River

King Joram knew that leprosy was incurable. He could only see a plot. This Syrian king just wants to blame me when Naaman dies. Then he’ll attack us with his army! He stood up and ripped his robe. “Am I God to decide who lives or dies?” he shouted.

 

Naaman was ready to give up and go home, but the prophet Elisha heard what the king had done. He sent a message saying, “Why are you so upset? Send the man to

 

me and the Syrians will learn that there is a real prophet in Israel.”

 

When Naaman and his entourage ar-rived at Elisha’s house, he expected the prophet to per-form a healing ritual or make a sacrifice to the gods. But Elisha’s servant Gehazi appeared at the door alone. He passed on Elisha’s instruction: “Go and wash yourself in the Jor-dan River seven times. Then you will be healed.”

 

 

“What?!” Naaman was already mad that the prophet hadn’t even bothered to step outside and meet him. In-stead, Elisha orders him to wash in a dirty river! “If washing would do any good, why wouldn’t I wash in the rivers of Syria?” Then he stomped off and headed for home.


 

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River stones

of the covenant to wade out and stand in the middle of the river.

 

When they did, the flow of the water stopped! As the priests stood in place, the north end of the river piled up

 

behind them as the south end flowed away and dried out. After all the people had crossed, God di-rected them to stack twelve river stones at the spot where they had crossed. It was an endless reminder that their God—their

 

Creator God—had touched the waters of the Jordan River and opened the way for them. Those stones are still there today.

 

The water of the Jordan River did have a special bless-ing that the rivers of Syria didn’t have. God had touched that water in a special way many years before. It wasn’t the water or the rocks that healed Naaman, but the bless-ing of the Creator whom Elisha worshiped.

 

A special day

 

Now back to our question: If God gave us a gift—one day in seven to rest—because of the other special gifts we have, does it matter which day we rest, which day we wor-ship on?


 

64    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

 

were given responsibilities that would cause stress, and problem-solving skills that would bring pressure. But in the same act of creation that brought them into being, they were given a counter-balance, a gift that could off-set the problems those gifts might bring.

 

Conclusion

 

There’s no doubt that humans are different than other species on earth. If we are more than just advanced apes, more than just smart monkeys, then maybe we are part of a plan to fill the earth with life and care for it. If we were


 

66    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

Storm waves

Records show that the shaking was felt from Finland to Africa, and tsunamis of various sizes struck North Africa, France, England, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, and the is-lands of the Caribbean.

 

The earthquake destroyed much of the city of Lisbon, including the royal palace with its library of some seventy thousand volumes, the king’s cathedral, and a priceless art collection. The churches, full of worshipers, collapsed, killing many hundreds of people. Thousands of homes and other buildings were destroyed or damaged, and crowds of survivors ran out of doors to safety, gathering around the docks where there were no buildings to col-lapse upon them. From the docks, they could watch the water of the bay recede out to sea, exposing lost ship-

 

wrecks and assorted items of lost cargo. Not realizing the danger they were in, many ran out to search for treasure in the sunken ships.

 

Unknown to the crowd, the quakes would be followed by a series of three

 

tsunamis. The water first pushed westward, emptying the bay. A few minutes later, a tsunami wave twenty to thirty feet high, crashed up the Tagus River into the city, destroy-ing what remained of the buildings that were located close


 

70    BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

The Lisbon earthquake led to a major change in European thinking culture.

thousand people were killed and 75 to 85 percent of the city was destroyed. Portugal lost much of its political and economic power, and that was never recovered. But more importantly to us, the event also marked a turning point in

 

the way people thought. Before the earthquake,

 

people in Europe had a very idealistic way of looking at religion and the world. Some European philosophers thought

 

that the world was just as God had created it—the best of all possible worlds. Other leading thinkers had their doubts. The earthquake seemed to settle the question: this was clearly not the best possible world.

 

From a religious point of view, there didn’t seem to be any reason for the terrible Lisbon catastrophe of 1755. Some church leaders insisted that the earthquake was some kind of divine punishment on the city. But others pointed out that the red-light district—the seedy section where prostitutes, drugs, and strong drink was available at every corner—was only lightly damaged, while most of the major churches and cathedrals were destroyed. That didn’t fit well with the idea that God had sent pun-ishment.

 

People began to search for other ways to understand their world. The Lisbon earthquake led to a major change in European thinking culture. Catastrophes came to be seen to be the results of natural forces rather than divine judgments. God seemed to be distant and uninvolved, and


 

72    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


Curse God and die

 

The Bible book of Job tells a story of a very rich and religious man named Job. He has a wife, seven sons, and three daughters. His fields are full of oxen, donkeys, cam-els, and sheep. He is a faithful follower of God, and he is blessed with wealth and happiness.

 

But then the story shifts to an unusual point of view— the courts of God Himself. There a meeting is taking place. All the “sons of God” have been called together and with them is “the adversary”—or as we usually translate it—Satan. And Satan has been walking among God’s chil-dren on earth.

 

“Did you meet My servant, Job?” God asks. “He is a good man, a faithful follower.”

 

Satan snorted. “Of course he’s faithful—You’ve given him everything he could possibly want and protected him from any evil. Take away all he treasures, and he will

curse You!”

 

“OK,” God says. “Let’s see if you are right. Do anything you want to Job— just don’t touch him.”

 

And so it hap-pened: disasters of all kinds struck quickly. Job’s oxen, donkeys, and cam-


 

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Why do bad things happen in a world that God created?

But Job will not agree. “I have done nothing wrong,” he insists. But he does wish that he had never been born

 

and begs God to explain why these terrible things have happened.

 

When God finally speaks to Job, it is out of a mighty whirlwind. “Where were you, Job, when I cre-ated the earth? Are you stronger

than a storm or the mighty creatures of the earth?”

 

God doesn’t answer Job’s questions. He seems to say, “You don’t know enough to understand these issues. You can’t understand—you have to trust Me.”

 

And that is what Job does. He is sorry that he ever doubted God and promises to trust Him.

 

The story ends with God blessing Job again and giving him more than he ever had before. He has a new family of children, and lives long enough to see four generations of grandchildren.

 

Behind the scenes

 

Why do bad things happen in a world that God created? We can learn several things from the story of Job.

 

  1. 1.The bad things that happen to us are not caused by God.

 

  1. 2.There is something going on behind the scenes of the world we live in, something we can’t see.

 

  1. 3.Some things that happen don’t have an explana-tion that humans can understand.


 

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Eve was faced with a choice— trust God and obey Him, or take a chance with the snake. Eve chose to eat the fruit, and Adam joined her in disobeying

 

God. That’s when everything changed—because behind the scenes, something else was happening.

 

Fallen from heaven

 

In the book of Ezekiel, the Bible tells about an angel who went bad. “You were the anointed cherub. . . . You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:14, 15). This angel is called Lucifer in some places, but in the Bible book of Luke, Jesus says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

 

This fallen angel is the adversary from the story of Job, the one who accuses humans of not being faithful. This fallen angel is the one who speaks to Eve through the snake in the Garden.

 

Behind the scenes of human history, a whole different drama is being played out. Lucifer, an angel of heaven, rebelled against God. He wanted to be in charge instead of God. The typical human response to rebellion is to destroy the rebel. So why didn’t God do that?


 

78    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

 

If we suppose that God also created the angels with freedom to choose, that He also wanted to have real rela-tionships with them, then we can see that Lucifer was free to rebel against God. And what would be the result if God just destroyed Lucifer for rebelling?

 

Everyone else would obey God out of fear—fear of what He would do to them if they stepped out of line. Freedom would be lost.

 

So God expelled Lucifer from heaven—to our earth. Now he is known as the adversary, Satan. And in the Gar-den, Satan was the one tempting Eve to doubt God. He was tempting Eve to join in his rebellion against God.

 

When the humans chose to join the rebellion against God, everything changed. God had warned them that eating the fruit would cause death, and it did. From that


 

80    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

 

When Adam and Eve chose to join Satan’s rebellion, they were on a path that would lead to pain, sadness, and death.

it. “No!” you shout. You race to the alley as quickly as you can, but the child is nowhere to be seen. You race down

 

the dark passageway, shouting the child’s name as you go. You search behind every dumpster, overturn every box, rattle every locked door.

 

You race around one more corner and slide to a stop. The child stands against a chain link

 

fence. Between you is a gang of street thugs. One slaps a bat across his palm. Another flicks a knife open and closed. The one with a whirling chain steps toward the child.

What do you do? You could:

 

  • Turn and walk away. After all, you warned the child not to go into the alley.

 

  • Call for help, then wait to see what happens.

 

  • Shout at the thugs to leave the child alone and hope that works.

 

  • Run to rescue the child. Even if it costs your life.

 

What would you do?

 

Let me tell you the story of Jesus.

 

A rescue mission

 

Most of us have heard the story of Baby Jesus. At Christmastime, we hear songs about a baby born in a man-ger, about angels singing and wise men visiting. But the


 

84    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


Just as you had options in the story above, God and Jesus had options when humans rebelled. Just as They could have done with Lucifer, They could have wiped out humans and started over. But that choice would show that there was no real freedom.

 

They could have stood back and let humans suffer and fight and kill until they were extinct. They could have pointed to humans as an example for the rest of the uni-verse: “See what happens when you choose to rebel?” But that choice would have shown how little their relationship to humans meant—it would have shown no real love.

 

 

86    BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

Jesus traveled through the countryside, teaching whoever would listen.

business. But when the time was right, He left home and

 

began to teach people about God. The things He said about God were very different than what other teachers and church leaders were saying.

 

  • The teachers of the day said that following God means following a very strict lifestyle. Jesus said that following God means taking care of the poor and those in need.

 

  • The teachers said that God wants to destroy our en-emies. Jesus said that we should love our enemies.

 

  • They said that God takes care of the good people but hates the bad people. Jesus taught that God loves each of us and that we should love each other.

 

As Jesus traveled through the countryside, teaching whoever would listen, the crowds that followed Him grew larger and larger. There are many stories of Him healing sick people, curing blindness—He even healed people who had leprosy like Naaman!

 

The Bible book of Mark tells the story of a man from the town of Capernaum who was paralyzed. He had been to doctors and priests, but they said he was incurable and cursed by God. Then he heard about Jesus. With one last shred of hope, he asked his friends to carry him to where Jesus was teaching.

 

On that day, Jesus was teaching inside a house. His


 

88    BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

Jesus was the way out of the trap humans had fallen into by joining Satan’s rebellion.

broke through and lowered his stretcher down until he was lying at Jesus’ feet.

 

When Jesus saw the man’s pleading eyes, He knew ex-actly what to say. “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

 

These words were music to the paralyzed man’s ears. His depression and pain were gone. More than just healed, he was forgiven!

 

The religious leaders who were there were sure that the paralyzed man was cursed by God and Jesus was doing a terrible thing. “Who does this Jesus think he is? God? This is a sin worthy of death!” they said to themselves.

 

But Jesus was reading their faces and hearts. “Why are you thinking like that among yourselves?” He asked. “Which is easier, to say to this paralyzed man, ‘You are forgiven,’ or

 

to say, ‘Stand, pick up your stretcher and walk’? But so you will know that I have the authority to forgive sins, I will tell you.” He said to the para-lyzed man, “Stand, pick up your stretcher and go home.”

 

This was the same Voice heard at Creation. Now it re-created the body of a forgiven man. He jumped up from the floor as frisky as a growing boy. With new, strong muscles, he picked up the stretcher like it weighed no more than a feather and walked out through the crowd.

 

The people stepped back to give him room and whis-pered to each other, “We have seen strange and wonderful things today” (see Mark 2).


 

90    BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

Jesus died on the cross to pay for the rebellious sins of humans.

Jesus was God—He could have stopped them at any time. But He didn’t. The Bible story of the crucifixion of Jesus

 

says that the skies turned dark in the middle of the afternoon. It was as if God the Father couldn’t bear to watch. But He didn’t stop the Romans either.

This was the payment for

 

the plan to save humans. At Creation, when God told Adam and Eve that they would die if they ate the fruit, He meant that they would die forever—they would be cut off from the Creator of life. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, God the Father and Jesus set the plan in motion: humans couldn’t live forever while they rebelled, so they aged and died. But if Jesus came and died for all humans, then those who chose to follow His way could once again live for-ever with God.

 

Part four—the resurrection. Jesus died on the cross to pay for the rebellious sins of humans. But He was never in rebellion against God. He hadn’t committed any sins. So on the third day after He was buried, He rose up from the grave! And He said to His followers, “I am the resurrec-tion and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).

 

All those who believed in God, who followed His path, all the way back to Adam and Eve—all could be resurrected and live again with Jesus in heaven. He promised, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).


 

92    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


to give up hope. Under much public pressure, the govern-ment took over the search and rescue operation and eight boreholes were quickly drilled toward the space it was thought the miners might be. Seventeen days after the ac-cident, a drill-bit that had broken through to an empty chamber was pulled up carrying a note: “Estamos bien en el refugio, los 33” (“We are well in the shelter, the 33 of us”).

 

Overwhelmed with joy, the people of Chile demanded that a way be found to rescue the trapped workers.

Food, water, and medical supplies were sent down to the men in “palomas,” supply tubes, especially designed to fit down the narrow drill holes. Video and phone lines were also set up, so the men below could communicate with the rescuers and with their families.

 

Then the real rescue work began. The Chilean govern-ment organized the efforts of their own people as well as experts from more than a dozen mining corporations around the world. Three large international drilling rig teams went to work boring a hole large enough to fit a human. Finally, after sixty-nine dark days deep under-ground, all thirty-three men were rescued. It is estimated that more than one billion people watched the rescue live on television or over the Internet.

 

Part five—the rescue

 

In the Bible’s Creation story, we saw how quickly the beauty and peace of the earth turned bad. When humans joined the rebellion against God, they were all trapped in


 

96    BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

Everywhere we turn are people claiming to speak in God’s name, twisting the words of the Bible to agree with their hateful and angry messages.

  • Believers will be hated, arrested, and killed.

 

  • False prophets will tell lies, and evil, hate, and sin would be everywhere.

 

  • Good news about God’s kingdom will be shared with the whole world. And then the end will come.

 

Have we seen any of these things happen? The world has seen many spiritual leaders such as Sun Myung Moon

 

of the Unification Church who have claimed to be the one who would save their follow-ers. Others, such as David Koresh of the Branch Davidi-ans, have led their followers to their deaths.

 

War has been a part of hu-man history from the begin-ning, but only in recent times

 

have we had wars that include most of the nations on earth, such as World War II. Today, wars may be limited to smaller areas, but we have developed weapons that can kill millions and destroy vast areas of the planet.

 

Often made worse by war that keeps help from the people who need it most, famine continues to plague our world. Too many places face starvation when there could be enough food to feed every hungry child.

 

The great earthquake in Lisbon in 1755 was only the beginning. They seem to come more often and do more damage than ever before. The 2004 earthquake and tsu-


 

98    BEYOND IMAGINATION

 


 

How can we be judged worthy by the Creator?

Have humans become more evil and cruel than ever be-fore, or do we just hear more about the horrors that have

 

been happening?

 

The last sign of the end that Jesus gives is a happy one! The good news about His message and His plan to

 

save humans will be shared with the whole world! Never before has it been possible to reach so much of the world with good news. Now that the Internet is available on ev-ery phone, people can read or hear about Jesus no matter where they live or what language they speak.

 

So, is this the time of the end? Can we expect to see Jesus return soon? Yes, we can. But not quite yet.

 

Three angels shouting

 

The Bible book of Revelation is filled with prophecies about the future. Many talk specifically about the end of time and the return of Jesus. Chapter 14 tells of three an-gels flying down from heaven with messages from God (see Revelation 14:6–11).

 

The first angel is there to share the good news about Jesus to everyone on earth (as Jesus said). He shouts, “Re-spect God and worship Him. The time has come to judge who has been faithful and who has not.” And then, as if there might be some confusion about who he was talking about, he says, “Worship the Creator God, the One who made the heavens and the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” It sounds as if the question of creation and where


 

100  BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

 

 

 

about freedom, we can be sure that the true religion of Jesus will never be about force or hate. It will be people who believe that following Jesus and living as He com-manded is the happiest way to live, the best way to live. It will be people who remember the Creator God of Genesis. Could it be that one of the marks of those who are follow-ing God faithfully will be remembering the Creation week’s celebration of the seventh day?

 

Everyone will see Him

 

The time of the end is both the most exciting and the most frightening time to imagine. The day will come when almost all religions go bad—when more and more lies are told in God’s name—and true followers will have to fear


 

102  BEYOND IMAGINATION

2.0


like Microsoft and Intel had to temporarily shut down their servers.

 

In 2000, the ILOVEYOU virus hit computers. It also

 

spread by e-mail, deleting files and opening the infected

 

 

computers up to an unending

 

When Jesus came to earth

flow of junk e-mail. It infected

 

more than fifty million comput-

 

to show what His Father

 

ers in just nine days. Several

 

was really like, when He

 

military sites had to shut down

 

died to pay the price for the

their networks completely until

 

human rebellion, the sin

the virus was cleaned up.1

 

Though it’s not always

 

virus was defeated.

 

true with humans who are in-

 

 

fected, computers can be com-pletely restored to health. When the virus is gone, every-thing is just like it was before the infection.

 

Cleaned and reset

 

In some ways, that’s what happened to the earth. In its original state, creation was beautiful and perfect, with no sickness, no pain, no death. Then it was infected with the sin virus—the rebellion against God. Quickly, the results of that infection spread until plants were rotting, insects were biting, and people were dying.

 

But the God of Creation is a God of relationships. He created humans with special gifts, gifts that made them like Him. He didn’t create unthinking robots—He created free, curious, and clever people to be His companions and friends. When the sin virus spread, His—no, Their (God


 

108  BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

 

The New Jerusalem


 

That is when creation is reset and restored to what it had been in the beginning. In the Bible book of Revela-tion, the prophet John describes what God showed him:

 

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:1, 2).

 

A new earth! Earth re-created, and this time God will live right there with His people. And none of the evil from


 

110  BEYOND IMAGINATION


They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

 

No longer will they build houses and others live in them,

 

or plant and others eat. . . .

 

They will not labor in vain,

 

nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD,

they and their descendants with them (Isaiah 65:21–23, NIV).

 

Heaven to them was a home to call their own, the abil-

 

ity to work in their own fields and harvest the fruit of their

 

 

labor. A place where their chil-

 

“Then the lame shall

dren would be safe. Isaiah goes on

 

to describe a place where even the

 

leap like a deer.”

 

wild animals would not be feared.

 

 

 

 

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox,

And dust shall be the serpent’s food.

 

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain . . . (Isaiah 65:25).

 

A safe place. A place to call home. No worries about thieves or murderers or any dangers. Knowing that your family would always have enough food. How does that sound? But what about being healthy and strong? Isaiah wrote about that as well:


 

112  BEYOND IMAGINATION

time with God


 

 

“For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says

the LORD,

 

“So shall your descendants and your name remain. . . .

 

And from one Sabbath to another,

 

All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD (Isaiah 66:22, 23).

 

We will still have a special time set aside to spend on our relationship with God. This reminder of the first cre-ation will be with us forever, it seems.


 

114  BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

What would it be like to travel the universe, seeing things we’ve only imagined?

things we’ve only imagined—and things that are still be-yond our imagination?

 

Maybe you’ve only wished that you had time to learn about astronomy and the stars? Or maybe you’ve always wondered about geology and rocks? Maybe you’ve stared at clouds, wanting only to understand how they form into

 

such interesting shapes? Heaven would be a place where you had time to study and learn and explore any subject or object about which you were curious.

 

Your interest might first be more personal. How much time would you spend with your loved ones—the ones you lost to death too soon? Now you can be together again. Or those who lived too far away or whom you rarely saw? Now you have all the time in the world!

 

And take it a step further—what about those relatives that you never met? Your great-grandparents or their great-grandparents? How many questions would you have about their lives and the times in which they lived? You could spend time with every ancestor who was there, all the way back to Adam and Eve!

 

Maybe you want to learn more about special moments in human history. What would you ask Galileo or one of the first people to have stared up at the stars with the first telescopes? How would they describe how they felt as they began to realize how large the universe must be? What about the first person to see a whale, or a komodo dragon?


 

116  BEYOND IMAGINATION


w many questions will you have for Jesus?

 

What happened with Lucifer? How did he become so angry, so rebellious? Jesus might need to answer those ques-tions through His tears. Perhaps these sad questions can be answered during the thousand years in heaven so that there won’t be any tears

 

on the new earth. Would you ask

 

Jesus to tell you more about creat-ing the earth? May-be He could explain how He balanced it just right—not too close to the sun, but not too far away. How He gave earth

 

just enough atmosphere to protect life but not so much that it would be too hot. How He used the same DNA pattern over and over for life; how He could make just a little variation in the strands to add up to very different animals.

 

You’d certainly have questions about His favorite creatures—humans. Did He plan all the variations of skin, hair, and eye color? Did He know how different we could be from each other.

 

You could ask Jesus about our special gifts! How can we be both logical and creative? How important was it to Jesus that we have free will? Or maybe ask Him, How do we best reflect “Your image”?


 

118  BEYOND IMAGINATION

king

 


Perhaps the idea that a Creator God gave us these gifts is new to you. It does change the way you see the world. Now you can see that humans should be caring for the environment. Now you can see that we should  be  caring

 

for each other. Having God in

 

our picture of the world explains why bad things happen. We’re trapped in a rebellion, a war against God. We have pain and sad-ness and death. But

 

it also explains that this is not the life we were supposed to have. This is not what God created us to be.

 

Knowing that God has a plan to rescue us from this rebellion of sin changes the way we think as well. It doesn’t stop bad things from happening, but it does help us live with the pain. When we lose a loved one to death, we can hold on to the promise that we will see them again one day in God’s heaven.

 

This new way of thinking does answer the big ques-tions that evolution does not.

 

  • Why are we here? Because God created a unique kind of being—humans.


 

122  BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

will remain in My love. I’m telling you this so you can have the joy I have, the greatest possible joy.”

 

And then He repeats something He had said earlier in the evening. In fact, this is something so important to Him that He said it three times that evening:

 

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

 

You probably hear a lot of Christians talk about what other people are doing wrong. You might hear them talk about how society is wicked and sinful and how everyone needs to change. They might be right—maybe things do need to change. But if they’re not talking about caring for the people around them—especially those who need help, then they’re not really following Jesus.

 

Back in our discussion about creation, we talked about how God gave humans special gifts—gifts like free will,


 

124  BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

Jesus wants to teach us, to open our hearts and minds so that in the end, He can call us “friends.”

galaxies in our universe is interested in what happens on this little chunk of rock circling an unimpressive star? If there really are a billion planets in the Milky Way galaxy, what makes this one special?

 

It would be more than amazing if a Being who could think that big would think of humans at all. It would be astounding that a Creator God with that much power

 

would make a plan to save hu-mans if they rebelled. Now to make it more unimaginable: Not only did God have a plan to save humans—God Him-self (Jesus) became a lowly human to do it.

 

But Jesus didn’t come to earth just to straighten out a mess or to teach those misbehaving humans right from wrong again. He didn’t come just to find more followers or to make His church of believers bigger than ever.

 

The God of a universe so vast we can barely begin to comprehend it came to find friends and show them the way back to happiness.

 

Jesus didn’t want creatures who obeyed as instructed. He wanted followers who understood why He came and why living His way was the only truly joyful way to live. Followers who understood those things wouldn’t be fol-lowers; they would be friends.

 

That’s still what He wants today. He wants to teach us, to open our hearts and minds so that in the end, He can call us “friends.”


 

126  BEYOND IMAGINATION

 

 

 

Sud-News

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Sud News - T P Kurian

Presidents Council 2013 August 14-17

Tourist Lodge, Chaltlang Aizwal Mizoram

This year the presidents’ council was  held in Aizwal, the capital of the Mizoram from August 14-17, 2013. The inaugural function was held in Aizwal Club and Lalthanhawala, Chief Minister of Mizoram and the first lady of the state and Ronald Sapa Tlau  were present for the occasion. In his address, the chief minister appreciated the work of Seventh-day Adventist Church pioneers for their contribution to the development of the Christian mission in Mizoram.  He also invited all the delegates for a dinner with him on the last day of the meeting.

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                         The first meeting started on Thursday morning. R John, Division President spoke on seven deadly sins and how to overcome these sins. It was a wonderful Bible study. He closed the message referring the sacrifice of David Livingston’s life for the African nation to win them for Christ.

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Justus Devadas, president, Spicer Memorial College presented a paper on strategic planning during the first session. Robert Clive, treasurer, SUD presented a papers on “transparency and accountability” and “self reliance” in the afternoon session.   

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 The devotionals were taken by Rathanasing on Thursayday evening, Biakchhawana on Friday morning.   Much time was spent for prayer sessions that were led by M. Wilson, president, ECIU. The entire program came to a close with a prayer session.

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On Friday, delegates had the privilege of visiting different churches for the vesper meeting and so also on Sabbath. 18 churches in Aizwal and neighbourhood had the opportunity to listen to the presidents’ council delegates.

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On Sabbath after noon, a musical program was organized. Different church choirs presented their musical programs and at the end the Music Fest Mizo Adventist Music Association was inaugurated. 

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SWIU-news.2013/9

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South West India Union: Third Constituency Session

September 12-14, 2013

T P Kurian.

The third constituency session of South West India Union was held in Darsana Pastoral Centre, Vilanganoor, Peechi Dam, Thrissur from September 12-14, 2014. The devotion was led by Selvamony Yovan, president, SWIU on 12th afternoon followed by business session. And all the delegates and the dignitaries from the Division were welcomed. Following the business session, the retirees were honored with  a plaque in appreciation of their valuable service for the church.  The secretary and the treasurer of SWIU presented their reports. There is a substantial growth in the tithe income. Then the section departments presented the reports. During the planning session, the nomination committee met and the section presidents were elected first.

In the afternoon as the planning committee had its deliberations, simultaneously the nomination committee also met and transacted their business.  The planning session was led by T P Kurian, SUD and had a livelily discussion regarding various plans for soul winning for the coming five years and also discussed about the strength, weakness, opportunities and  threats  (SWOT) analysis of the union. Many suggestions were brought out during the discussions.

Nomination Committee Report

Alappuzha- Pathanamthitta Section        President                            Stevenson R

                                                                                                                                                        Secretary/ Treasurer             M I Korah           

                                                          Idukki Section                                            President                            Raju Abraham

                                                                                                                                                   Secretary/ Treasurer                   D Chalres

                                                          Malabar Region                                         Director                                S Jacob

                                                          North Kerala Section                                      President                            Benny Joseph

                                                                                                                                                              Secretary                             K P Baby

                                                                                                                                                                Treasurer                            V T Mathai

                                                            South Kerala Section                                      President                            Philip S Jacob

                                                                                                                                                                   Secretary                             Antoni Devadas               

                                                                                                                                                                   Treasurer                           Ajith C George

                                                           Union Departments                                    Ministerial Associate               K P Cherian

                                      SS/PS Associate                             Jose Prakash

                                            Family Ministry                 Micha Aruldas

                                                                                                                                                                     Associate             Annakutty Varghese

                                            V O P Director                    Rajan Solomon

The existing department directors will continue until they retire and associate will take over as full-fledged directors after them.

Eleven evangelists were ordained to the Lord’s ministry. They are as follows: Abraham K P, Anil Devadas, Ajith  T K, Binoy Chacko, Biju Abraham, Biju P J, Boben P M, Doney Mathew, Jose K T, Joymon M and Joshua Ebenezer.

 Sabbath celebration was part of the constituency meeting. Leroy Samuel, associate treasurer, SUD delivered the message during the vespers. His message on special calling was inspiring to the congregation as well as the newly ordained ministers. The ordination candidates were presented and dedicated during the vesper service. On 14th Sabbath, during the divine service, R. John, president, SUD encouraged the congregation to get ready for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The service climaxed with the laying of hand upon the ordination candidates and dedication of the newly elected  presidents and the department directors.  Thus the meeting ended with a positive note that both pastors and members dedicated themselves to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.

                                               South Western India Constituency: pictorial news

September 12, 2013 program

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   PA Varghese, Secretary’s report                       D Chandran, Treasurer’s report                       Honoring special guests

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                       Honoring  retirees                                                     Audience                                                                          Audience

September 13, 2013 program

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    Song Service                                          Devotion- T P Kurian                             Idukki section report, R Stevenson

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        Ministerial report, John Philip                     SS/PM report, K J Varghese                      WM report, Sushama Joseph

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  Newly elected section presidents & director          ,Audience                                                                Ordination Candidates

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   Vesper Service                                                      Leroy Samuel speaks, Rajamony translates

September 14,

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 Song Service                                                     Micha Aruldas welcomes           Feature Talk, Rosamma Mathew         Mission Appeal-Lilly Benny Joseph  

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  Music Freddy & John                                                          Special Song                                                             Audience      

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  Children’s Sabbath School                                  Song book release- Dr. Kuriachan                     R John releases CD and song book

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          Trichur church children’s choir                            Ordination candidates with spouses

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      Divine hour speaker--  R John, Division President

 

Tidings.Sept-Oct,2013.5

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Editorial: T P Kurian

Are we not the ‘repairer of the breach’?

Isaiah 58:12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in. The work specified in this verse is the special work God requires His people to do. It is a work of God’s own appointment. With the work of advocating the commandments of God and repairing the breach that has been made in the law of God, we are to mingle compassion for suffering humanity. We are to show supreme love to God; we are to exalt His memorial, which has been trodden down by unholy feet; and with this, we are to manifest mercy, benevolence, and the tenderest pity for the fallen race. “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” As a people we must take hold of this work. Love revealed for suffering humanity gives significance and power to the truth. – {ML 224.2} Ancient pathways are trodden by the so called people of God in the past. Now true followers of Jesus are in the verge of restoring the breach. As we study the growth of Adventist Church from the beginning, we see it was a part of the movement with a motto of revival and reformation. In the ages past the people who studied the Bible has become part of the repairers of the breach. In our time, the manner of rebuilding breach is to teach others about Sabbath keeping. The Sabbath keepers are the repairers of the breach of the present age. Where are the people who have had light from heaven to see that a breach has been made in the law of God? – {4BC 1152.3} In Revelation, John says, “The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” Revelation 11:19. John saw in vision the Lord’s people looking for His coming and searching for truth. As the temple of God was opened unto His people, the light of the law of God, which was in the ark, shone forth. Those who receive this light are brought to view in the proclamation of the third angel’s message. – {4BC 1152.4} This angel is seen flying in the midst of heaven, “saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.... Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” – {4BC 1152.5} This is the people that are repairing the breach in the law of God. They see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment has been supplanted by a spurious sabbath, a day that has no sanction in the word of God. Amid great opposition, they become loyal to their God, and take their position under the standard of the third angel (Manuscript 48, 1900). – {4BC 1152.6} As the end approaches, the testimonies of God’s servants will become more decided and more powerful, flashing the light of truth upon the systems of error and oppression that have so long held the supremacy. The Lord has sent us messages for this time to establish Christianity upon an eternal basis, and all who believe present truth must stand, not in their own wisdom, but in God; and raise up the foundation of many generations. These will be registered in the books of heaven as repairers of the breach, the restorers of paths to dwell in. We are to maintain the truth because it is truth, in the face of the bitterest opposition. God is at work upon human minds; it is not man alone that is working. The great illuminating power is from Christ; the brightness of His example is to be kept before the people in every discourse (Letter 1f, 1890). – {4BC 1152.7} After knowing the fourth commandment has been replaced by the Sunday worship, each one has the responsibility of keeping it truthfully and honestly and not to be a nominal keeper. We, as Seventh-day Adventists, should be standing for the principles found in Jeremiah 6:16: Thus saith Jehovah, Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way; and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls: but they said, We will not walk [therein]. Often we find nominal Christians follow the latter part of the verse after knowing the truth from the Bible. Time has come to experience revival and reformation in our life, being practical in Christian living. May the Lord bless us to gain rich experience practically to be the “repairer of the breach” and make everyone ready for His soon return.

International Institute of Christian Ministries (IICM): Community Services & Urban Ministry Certification Program

 

 Pune,Spicer Memorial College April 9 - 15, 2013

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Sabbath School Personal Ministries of Southern Asia Division conducted the International Institute of Christian Ministries (IICM) Community Services and Urban Ministry Certification Program (IICM CS&UMCP) in Pune at Spicer Memorial College from April 9 to 15, 2013. This Community Services & Urban Ministry Certification Program is the first such training program conducted in Southern Asia Division. Justus Devadas, president of Spicer Memorial College, gave a warm welcome to the GC and SUD Personnel with a bouquet of roses. After welcoming all the delegates, he cordially invited them and resource personnel for dinner at his residence on Sunday night, April 14. The selected 60 delegates from all over India--lay persons, workers, union SSPM directors, and SMC volunteers--attended the IICM CS & UMCP, which prepared them for more effective wholistic ministry in their communities. The morning devotions were presented by the assigned delegates. Their inspiring devotional messages were spiritual manna to all. The 100% attendance was recorded every day. The delegates were equipped with notes and PowerPoint slides of the modules that were presented, writing pads, pens, and badges. They were seated by unions in their assigned seats. The hall was well equipped with mini projector, white screen and a mike. The hanging banner showed the official logos and welcome notes to guests and delegates. The following resource personnel: May-Ellen Colon, SSPM Assistant Director, General Conference; Gaspar Colon, Chairman of the Religion Department, Washington Adventist University, USA; Franklin Samraj, Director Human Resource Management, SUD; Immanuel Durairaj, Professor; Y Jeyam, Vice President, Financial Administration, SMC; Rafael Garcia, Director ADRA India and Hidayat Masih, SUD SSPM, had performed mightily to educate and to share their personal experiences with their assigned topics. Most of the modules were covered by May-Ellen Colon and Gaspar Colon. Both of them attempted to learn the delegates’ names to address them easily all through their teaching periods which developed confidence and intimacy in the hearts of the delegates. Below are the IICM Community Services & Urban Ministry Certification Program (IICM CS&UMCP) modules presented by resource personnel: *IICM CORE MODULES: CR 01 Spiritual Gifts; CR 02 Principles of Personal Christian Witness; CR 03 Principles of Christian Leadership & Church Growth; CR 04 How to Teach Basic Adventist Doctrines and *IICM COMMUNITY SERVICES & URBAN MINISTRY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM CURRICULUM: CS 01 Theological, Historical and Ethical Concepts of Holistic Ministry; CS 02 Community Assessment and Social Capital; CS 03 Program Development & Strategic Planning; CS 04 Performance Measurement for Effective Ministry; CS 05 Technical Aspects of Community Services Ministry; CS 05a Volunteer Engagement/Human Resources ; CS 05b Finances & Accountability; CS 05c Fundraising Fundamentals; CS 05d Grant Proposal Writing; CS 05e Risk Management & Legal Issues; CS 05f Centers of Influence (Life Hope Centers); CS 05g Health Evangelism Resources; CS 06 Organizational Leadership and Team Development; CS 07 Ministering Across Cultures ; CS 08 Urban Mission; CS 09 Essentials of Church Disaster Preparedness and Response (an Elective). The delegates were divided into seven groups and sent out to do a walking survey in nearby (Aundh, Pimpry, Karkee, Lakshmi Street) neighborhoods. The public confronts their life fragily and fraily, lacking a connection with God. To reach different kinds of people in the community—educated, uneducated, children, teens, adults, middle-aged, old aged, poor or rich—was a challenge to the groups. The survey groups took notes of observed needs and ministry ideas as they walked through their assigned communities. They fulfilled their requirements by presenting their valuable experiences in the morning of the next day. It was quite fascinating to note their application of what they had learnt throughout their training program! The SMC Cafeteria served the tastiest manna to nourish the delegates. They enjoyed a very special delicious dinner at the President’s residence on April 14th Sunday night. This training program ended with awarding of certificates and photo sessions.

 

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The GC Personnel were gifted with a token of love in appreciation of their untiring performance by the Southern Asia Division SSPM Department. It is our sincere prayer that this Community Services & Urban Ministry curriculum will be helpful in equipping and enabling God’s church members to live out the ministry of Jesus in their communities, as they prepare the way for His second coming. “Social action is a living witness to our soon-returning Lord. When we take a stand for justice, compassion, and healing, we demonstrate the values of the coming Kingdom.” (Keys to Adventist Community Services, p. 6). The delegates departed to their home towns with a heavy stack of knowledge and wisdom, also with the studied material files, stored pen drive, bag, and tee shirt. They also enthusiastically pledged to launch this training program in their unit in the near future so that their local church members will be enabled to better serve their communities in Jesus’ name. *For more information on IICM, go to www.sabbathschoolpersonalministries.org, and click on Personal Ministries and then on International Institute of Christian Ministries. All the IICM modules, including this Community Services & Urban Ministry Curriculum, are found at this location. Hidayat Masih, SSPM Director, SUD Jeevan Shailee Clinic Inaugurated On June 23, 2013, Jeevan Shailee (Life style) clinic was inaugurated in Bangalore by R. John, president, Southern Asia Division. Gordon Christo, executive secretary, SUD; John Christo, medical director, SDA Medical Centre; Cyril Monthero, president, SCIU; David Keeler, director, Helping Hands Welfare Society; Beulah Fernandez, director, Sunshine Children’s Home; Jothi Anbiah, vice president, SUD; and Pierson David, secretary, Medical Trust were also present on the occasion.

The Jeevan Shailee clinic is situated amidst the natural surroundings of the Sunshine school campus, Kalkere, Bangalore. A department of lifestyle medicine was started by SDA Medical Centre in Bangalore two years ago. This was done in response to the alarming rise in lifestyle related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, coronary heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Jeevan Shailee clinic will cater to the primary health care needs of the community and also address the problem of lifestyle diseases by promoting a healthy lifestyle in harmony with the Adventist philosophy of health. Jeevan Shailee clinic provides the following services: medical consultations, nutritional counselling, wellness coaching, health screening, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy, and massage therapy. In addition, community outreach activities are being conducted: health expos, Breathe Free Smoking Cessation Programs; seminars on how to reverse diabetes and improve heart health; weight loss and stress management programs. The team at the clinic presently consists of Dr. Narendra Rao, Dr. Daisy Rani Rao, R. Lamana (massage and hydrotherapist), Mr. Ray Fernandez (nurse). For further details of Jeevan Shailee Clinic see www.jeevanshailee.org Dr. Narendra Rao

A new Congregation in Bommanahalli

 Adventist Media Centre that spreads the gospel through Radio Ministry also sends the Radio speakers for public evangelism. N. Ashok Kumar, Speaker/ Producer for Kannada Program in AMC conducted a series of evangelistic meetings in Bangalore. With the help of the leaders from Bangalore Metro Conference, meetings were held at Bommanahalli, among Kannada speaking people. During the ground work Balraj, Surendra, and Ravichandra contacted a Pentecostal church pastor who came forward to help them with arranging the meeting place. He was convinced of the truth as he studied from Peter Halemane, Ministerial secretary, SCIU who invited him for a Bible study. The meetings were conducted from on 2nd June to 8th June 2013. Everyday about 30-40 people attended the meetings. On 14th June, the Pentecostal pastor took his stand for the Sabbath truth and came forward for baptism. On 22nd June seven precious souls from the same group were baptized as they took stand for the Sabbath truth. Pr. Jyothi Anbaiah, who was the speaker during the divine service, inspired the newly converted people with a thought provoking sermon. The newly established group is worshipping in the same pastor’s house for time being. We want to appreciate the support of Bangalore Metro Conference and South Central India Union. We want the readers to pray for the newly established congregation. N. ASHOK KUMAR. KANNADA SPEAKER/PRODUCER, AMC Hope India—

Passion for life

Dear Friends, We bring you greetings from Hope India! Since our inception two years ago, we have been on a God-led journey and have been able to produce many programs. In order to compete with other commercial television channels in terms of viewership, we must increase awareness of our channel through various mediums. We would like to encourage you to share the given below links with your families, friends and relatives, either through the internet or orally. By sharing these links, you have increased our potential viewership through these mediums. We would also encourage your feedback, comments and questions and encourage you to pass on the same to your families and friends. We understand that we are unable to reach the entire Adventist Church unless we receive your help in passing on this information to those around you and even at your Churches and institutions. You can share these links on your personnel as well as official Face book pages. http://www.hopetvindia.org/ https://www.facebook.com/HopeTvIndia http://www.youtube.com/user/HopeTVIndia Thanking you. Yours Sincerely, Team Hope India.

Bangalore Metro Conference: 2nd Constituency

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Bangalore Metro Conference held its second constituency from February 7-9, 2013 at Spencer Road School, Bangalore. The theme chosen was “We Still Believe”. Meetings began with a message from Cyril Monthero, president, SCIU who inspired the delegates to hold on to the faith till the coming of Jesus, our Lord. The keynote address was given by V R Sukumaran, president, BMC. The session was declared open by Cyril Monthero. Approval of reports of sub-committee was given by Suresh Daniel, executive secretary, BMC. 8th morning session started with a devotional message from Gordon Christo, executive secretary, SUD. Vesper message was given by Jothi Anbiah, vice president, SUD. R. John, president, SUD took the congregation into divine hour, reminding all of us the roots of SDA church. The highlight of the constituency program was the ordination of the following to the ministry: Suresh Daniel, T. Lazarus, Jacob Samuel, Franklin Samuel, David Nesakumar, Mahadevan, Sabu Wilson, Andrew Doddamani & Anbudurai Albert. The second constituency business session ended with a message of consecration by L C. Colney, vice president, SUD. Nominating committee report Suresh Daniel President T. Lazarus Executive Secretary Chandrasekar Treasurer James Kennedy Director, Ministerial, Global & Stewardship Devanesan Samuel Director, SS/PM, Health & Temperance, Children’s Ministries Jeffrey Paul Director, Youth/ Home, family & Communication N, Stanislaus Evangelist T. Lazarus, executive secretary, BMC

INAUGARATION AND CONSTITUENCY MEETING OF MANIPUR CONFERENCE

Manipur

The Adventist Message entered in Manipur through Literature. The First converts were Ninghei Luikham and his eldest son Benjamin Luikham in 1952. After thirty years Manipur Section was formed in March 1982. Now, after 30 years Manipur Conference was formed and Inaugurated on December 7, 2012 by R John, president, Southern Asia Division. Robert Clive, treasurer and Jothi Anbiah, vice president, SUD also attended the session. The theme was “TO God Be the Glory”. The gathering of the delegates during the meeting was richly blessed through the sermons of the officers from Division and Union. As a matter of fact, the glory of God was manifested during the function. The leaders of the newly inaugurated conference were nominated unanimously. We are grateful to the believers and acknowledge their deep concern and support for the churches in the conference. Over 190 delegates attended the first Manipur conference constituency meeting. Conference Officers: President - Barnabas Zimik Secretary - Graceson Kamei Treasurer - Michael Sangma Departmental Directors: B. Zimik - Public Relation and Religious Liberty Graceson Kamei - Ministerial Department Michael Sangma - Trust, Risk Management J. G. Shimray - Family Ministries Khanmi Luikham - Publishing, Stewardship Joanne Wann Zimik - Education. Women Ministries, Shepherdess W. Hulang - Youth, Children Ministries Adahe Chara - Communication & Health Ministries J. L Golmei - Sabbath School, Personal Ministries The Seventh-day Adventist Church Chingmeirong, Imphal was dedicated on 8th December, 2012 by Jothi Anabiah, vice president, SUD. On 9th King’s Way English School New Building Block with 5 Class rooms was inaugurated by Robert Clive, treasurer, SUD. Adahe Chara Communication Department & Health Ministries.

1000 Missionary Movement in India

Bae Jinsung and his wife, Haeok, a young friendly couple from Korea with their two kids, Saint and David, are seen moving around the Division campus enthusiastically. They are engaged in the great task of training missionaries for Jesus Christ. Bae Jinsung meets with the young people and encourages them to be a part of this great missionary movement. Sometimes his face looks so burdened that young people are not so much willing to join the 1000 missionary movement as he expects. Nevertheless, he doesn’t lose hope. He, with his team mates from our country, is doing a marvelous work to help the youth of our country to be good missionaries for Christ. Haeok, his wife, is a great support to his mission. She made friends with every person on the division campus. She invited all the children in Jeevan Jyothy English church and offered them classes on recorder. It is so amazing to see our youngsters learned the lessons so easily and they present their talents in recorder music to enrich the sacred atmosphere of our church during worship.

 

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1000 missionary movement program, one of the largest and most successful missionary training centers in the world, originated in Asia Pacific Division under the leadership of Jairong Lee,(then dean of AIIAS Theological Seminary) now President, North Asia Pacific Division, in 1991. Gradually this movement was branched out to different parts of the world and it came to India in 2007. Ju min ho, the director of head quarters through the missionaries Shahin Pilli and Choy Kusik, was able to branch out to our country. With the support of Justus Devadas, president, Spicer College, Pune, the 1st batch training started at Spicer College. Ever since this program is on the move and several missionaries had been trained and sent out to their respective places to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, devoting at least one full year of their lives for Christ. Now Bae Jinsung and his family along with Amrutha Rao and Jithendra Kumar are doing a wonderful work here in India. Bae visits mission fields all over India and encourages youngsters to join in, to be a missionary for the Lord. Presently they have established a new center in Sampathnagar, which is located near the division office, Hosur. Two batches completed the training program. On August 10, 2013 the second batch of 12 had the graduation program at division headquarters church, Hosur. This is a great opportunity for our youth to get involved and become a missionary for the Lord so that the gospel commission may be fulfilled and our Lord will return soon to take His people home. 1000 Missionary Movement India has a goal and vision to produce 100 missionaries every year to fulfill the commission of our Lord Jesus. Aid Program They provide scholarship to poor students with the help of ADRA Korea and other sponsors. They also have planted the first E-library at Hasrgundigi in North Karnataka Section. Their main objective is to provide better educational environment in rural areas so that the people living there will have a better way of life. If interested, contact: Bae Jinsung, C/O Southern Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists, Post Box 2, HCF, Hosur 635110, Tamil Nadu. India. Tel. (91) 94-8923-4159 / (91)76-6751-5344 / (91)95-5130-5580/ 098-9419-2892 e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Ramani Kurian, Asst. communication director,SUD.

 Treasurers’ Council at Mysore

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It was a memorable experience for the treasurers from the Division, Unions and vice president for finance of the college institutions as they attended the treasurers’ council’ in Mysore at Pai Vista Hotel on July 9 & 10, 2013, along with their spouses. The meeting commenced with an inaugural speech by Robert Clive, treasurer, SUD on the ‘Role of a Spouse- The Abigail Factor’. He compared the treasurer’s spouse to Abigail who was aggressive, beautiful, initiator, generous, action oriented, intelligent and let-go (understanding). He thanked them for playing the role of Abigail and being supportive to the work that their husbands were entrusted with. He also emphasized that being God’s master piece, we needed to ask, seek and knock so that we would be able to fulfill the purpose that God had given us. After the inaugural speech all the treasurers were then welcomed & felicitated with beautiful shawls by South Central India Union officers and thanked the treasury group for choosing their territory to hold the treasurers’ council. The South Karnataka officers also welcomed the treasury group with flowers. The two days were packed with several valuable thought provoking & need based sessions covering various important topics which were covered by Robert Clive, Selvin Moorthy, Enoch Manickom, Leroy Samuel and V. P Singh. Paul Douglas, GCAS Director, General Conference and his associate Sandra Grice were also present and they took sessions on ‘GCAS cost sharing concept’. There were also updates from all the Unions on their strategic plans as of March 2013. The spouses had separate interactive & valuable sessions on health and had other activities that kept them busy and happy. The ladies were also handed out surprise gifts that made them glad, which in turn, made the men happier. On behalf of the women, Neetu Attar Singh thanked the division treasurer for inviting them to be a part of the council and also shared that they all had a good time together. Towards the end of the last day, a trip was organized to visit Mysore Palace and the Brindavan Gardens which ended cheerfully. The accommodation was great and comfortable and so was the food. On the whole the whole event was well organized and it went on very smoothly and profitably for all those who attended. Our sincere thanks to Robert Clive and his team for organizing such an event. When & where will be the next one hahahhh  Riches Christian,

SUD Local Church Children Care Co-ordinators’ Seminar: North East India Union

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Jemima Sangma, NEIU Children Ministries Director, conducted a seminar for the local church children care co-ordinators on 26 & 27th February, 2013 at Garo Section Premises. More than 60 delegates from all over Garo Hills attended the seminar. She dealt with the topics ‘how to take care of the children’, ‘ how to teach Bible stories effectively’. She encouraged the children care co-ordinators to introduce art and craft classes in the children’s Sabbath school to have more participation of the children. The delegates were inspired and energized by attending the seminar which was informative. She used power point presentations. Garo Section children ministries director distributed memory cards with 53 new songs recorded and a mini player to each delegate to teach new songs to the children for a whole year. Today’s young generation is the future of our church. We should develop them in the right manner to be efficient workers in the cause of God to spread the gospel of salvation to the world around. At the close, some games were taught and also some group singing was organized. Everyone who attended was blessed and returned home to do their best to care for the children’s Sabbath schools.

Women’s Convention at Dadenggre

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Women from all the churches and companies in Garo Section held a women’s convention at Dadenggre from March 27-31, 2013. More than 200 delegates attended the meeting. The theme was “Arise and Shine”. Betty Linghdoh, union women’s ministries director was the resource personnel. The messages inspired the women and all of them were blessed. During the convention they had a Jamboo sale arranged by the women. Everyone participated in the sale program and they were able to raise some funds for the Dorcas Society of the church. They also had cooking classes where they learnt to prepare good vegetarian meals. They also learnt how to make candles from the ordinary wax. The section women’s ministries director encouraged the women who had best sales by giving them prizes. It was a joyful occasion for the women of Garo section for all of them felt blessed richly by this convention.

Stewardship Seminar in Tura

A section wide stewardship seminar was held in Tura section premises from April 5-7, 2013. 75 delegates from churches and companies from all over Garo Hills, Khasi Hills and Assam border attended the seminar. K. Archite, union stewardship director was the chief guest. He admonished the delegates to live in close connection with the Lord. He told that stewardship meant not only giving tithes and offerings, but life style of each Christian that would draw him/her closer to the Lord. He also urged the delegates to be faithful to the Lord and to dedicate time, talent, and wealth to the Lord for spreading three angels’ message around. The delegates were motivated to go to their respective places and encourage the believers to be honest stewards of the Lord. Barthon Momin, communication director

Adventist Chaplaincy Workshop

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Adventist chaplaincy ministry department conducted workshops in two places from July 21 to 28, 2013. The first workshop was held at Vellore Adventist Church. Vijay Kumar, president , Vellore Adventist College sponsored the entire program and also presented a good computer bag to all the delegates. The main resource person was Pastor Gary Councel, for USA chaplain. He was a colonel in the US army and worked as a chaplain. He is a man of rich experience in Chaplaincy ministry c The second meeting was conducted at Falakata from July 24 to 28, 2013. Falakatta was hot and humid. Meetings were conducted from 8 am to 6 pm. In spite of the hot weather, Gary Councel engaged the delegates with his powerful messages through out. Delegates were provided with a pen drive with all his lecture material. All the delegates were greatly blessed from his inspiring lectures. What a difference Southern Asia can make, if all the schools and hospitals in India have a well qualified chaplain who will give counsels and guidance to students and workers there! The chaplain in the hospital may follow up the patients and give instruction for their spiritual well being. May God grant us wisdom and willing mind to venture as a church to train more chaplains who will be in the army, and in the cities to look after the students in secular colleges and universities and also in all schools, colleges and hospitals. Lalchansanga Colney, Director, Chaplaincy Ministry,SUD

 Vacation Bible School Jalahally Church

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During summer Jallahally church members decided to conduct a Vacation Bible School for the children in the locality. They gathered the VBS materials from Bangalore Metro Conference and started the VBS program on 2nd May, 2013. On the first day about 100 children turned up for the program. Day after day their number increased because the children who attended the first day, gave big publicity all over the place. 2 teachers from the school and 4 church members took initiative and cared for the children during the VBS. Sponsors came forward to provide snacks to the children. BMC officers also supported by their visit. They were happy when they saw such a large group was participating enthusiastically in every activity of the program. They displayed all what they have learnt from the VBS in the church on Sabbath. They were happy and we too were happy. All praise, glory and honor to God and God alone. Devanesan, director, personal ministries, BMC

 School News Week of Prayer: Kollegal School

   Kollegal School conducted a week of prayer from July 2-5 2013. Ronald Margee, ‘Springs of Joy’ Bible Seminary director was the guest speaker. He presented inspiring messages on “Building for Eternity”. He reminded that God wanted each one of His children to have noble character and to walk according to His way. The theme song was, “I will be true precious Jesus….” It was wonderful to see our students and teachers volunteer in presenting melodious songs in praise of God each day. We thank God for marvelously blessing the school, staff and students through this week of prayer. Prem Cyrus, school chaplain

Tuticorin School: Success & Celebration

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By God’s immense grace and abundant blessing, 42 year old Tuticorin school is doing well, in spite of the poor infrastructure and bad conditions. In 2011-12 academic year our school scored 100% result with 100% first classes. In 2012-13, J. Venmukhil has scored 490/500, 4th place in Tuticorin district which is the greatest achievement ever made in the history of our school. She was well appreciated by our school for attaining 4th place in the district and state first in Tamil language. She was awarded APC Veerabaku Memorial Award and Salt Merchant Association of Tuticorin Award by the district collector. A special award was given to her for scoring 99/100 in Tamil Language (state first) as well as scoring school first. We, the school staff would like to congratulate her for her hard work and bringing our institution to the lime light. Samson Ramamoorthy, principal.

J J R Nagar Telugu Revival Meetings

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By the grace of  God Almighty, we organized a revival meeting in JJR Telugu church from May 24-26, 2013. The meetings were from 6.30—8.30 pm. Around 125 people

attended the meetings regularly and were blessed. G Elisha Rao, Subhavartha TV speaker inspired the congregation with timely messages from the word of God. After listening to the inspiring messages, the believers were spiritually revived and rededicated their lives to Jesus. We thank all those who have assisted us to conduct such a beautiful revival meeting. We also thank Nathaniel for his contribution and Bangalore Metro Conference for their support. All glory and honor be unto our God!

V B Ravi, church pastor, JJ R Nagar Telugu Church

 

Pastoral Enrichment Seminar: Bangalore Metro Conference

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On 27th May, 2013 the pastoral force of Bangalore Metro Conference gathered at the campus of Indian Social Institute at Bangalore for pastoral enrichment seminar. The deliberations began with an inspiring devotion by M Wilson,SUD based on the book of Joshua. It was followed by thought provoking and pertinent presentations by resource personnel on the following topics:

Church Ordinances and its Implications: M. Wilson

Importance of Personal Devotion in the Life of Pastors: Cyril Monthero, president, SCIU

A Review of our Fundamental Beliefs: Peter Halemane, ministerial secretary, SCIU

Friendship Evangelism: Maywald Jesudas, pastor, English church, Hosur

The  strategic plans of the evangelistic work in BMC was released in the form of a booklet by president Suresh Daniel. The highlight of the seminar was the launching of BMC website (www.bmcsda.org) which was inaugurated by Samuel Thason, treasurer, SCIU. The seminar was concluded by a fitting consecration message by Maywald Jesudas based on the theme “How to Receive the Latter Rain”. It was heart touching to witness the entire group holding their hands and praying together for the unction of the Holy Spirit. It was indeed a day of revival and reformation for all the pastors in BMC.

James Kennedy, ministerial secretary, BMC

 

Ten Day Prayer Camp Meeting: Mizo Conference

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God loves His Church, He does not want us to be invariable, He therefore calls us to move forward and be revived. We received this call through GC and those who respond to it receive blessings abundantly. For the revival and reformation program, the Mizo Conference has organized “Ten day prayer camp” in Aizawl at Helen Lowry School from August 2- 12, 2013. Church members from all over Mizoram has come together to join the prayer camp. From twenty local Churches, 240 members attended the meetings regularly. On August 6, Tuesday night around 400 members had attended the meeting. Five pastors, PL Biakchhawna,  Lalmuansanga Chawngthu, Pu Lalthlamuana,  Saizika and  Rodingliana led the congregation through the revival experience during the camp meeting by inspiring messages. These speakers delivered messages four times a day. Other than preaching, the campers also spent time reading Bible and E G White writings. Counseling and personal prayer were other highlights. Campers were served only one or two potatoes and a few pulses for a whole day. They did not feel hungry since they felt they were fed by the Spirit. Some of the young people vowed to take only water during  the ten day prayer camp. We were delighted to see the enthusiasm of our young people and their thirst for God. Throughout the night they spent time with God in prayer and pleaded with God for outpouring of the Spirit and forgiveness of their sins, after which they felt justified and were rejoicing and singing praises to the Lord Almighty. They also prayed for the sick ones amidst them. Amazingly several of the sick people were healed. One woman who could not raise her (broken) hand prayed for healing and after sometime she could raise her hand to praise God for He healed her amazingly.  A great revival had taken place in the lives of most of the people who attended it. We could feel the presence of God throughout the camp meeting. Eddy, who was a devil worshipper, attended the meeting and was converted by the messages he heard and acknowledged Jesus as His personal Savior and dedicated to serve Him rest of his life. He testified that  he had burned Bibles in order to please Satan. In the camp meeting he declared that God had delivered him and admitted Adventist church as the true remnant church.

On the last day around 750 people, visitors, workers, laymen were present and experienced the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. All of us were rejoicing and singing praises to the Lord. Finally everyone of us joined hands together and praised God. The meeting ended with the benediction by L C Colony.  

Youth Week Prayer: Division Head Quarters Church, Hosur

Youth.1    Youth.5    Youth.7

The youth department of Jeevan Jyothi church has organized a week of prayer for the youth of the church from 4 to 10th August, 2013. The speaker, Anbudurai Albert, pastor, Central English church, Bangalore, based His inspiring sermons on the topic “We need the Lord”. Day after day he challenged the enthusiastic youth of our church with various aspects in connection with the topic. “If we go to Him feeling thirsty, Jesus will quench our thirst by providing the living water as how He provided to the Samaritan woman; if you are hungry, He is willing to provide the bread of life. He is the Bread of Life that came from heaven; If you are lost and lonely He will search you and find you out and be with you as a companion in your spiritual journey heavenward; If you feel disconnected, you can go to Him and He will keep you connected and you will be able to bear fruits”.

Jesus says, “I am the wine and ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5.                    

 10th August, Sabbath, was the culmination of the week of prayer when the young pastor challenged the congregation with the message, “All things are possible” if we put Jesus at the centre of our life. He can relieve us from our lives of sinfulness and make us worthy of eternal life to enjoy that heavenly bliss”.  He illustrated how the dry bones in the valley were brought back to life by the Life Giver (Ezekiel 37: 1-14) and encouraged the congregation to go to Jesus who is waiting to receive each one of us to make us worthy citizens of  the world to come. The youth of the church assisted the speaker to present each day’s message with appropriate illustrations projected on the stage. It was a week of wonderful spiritual experience for all who attended it.

Ramani Kurian, SUD      

Independence Day Celebration: Division Headquarters, Hosur

Independance.1     Inde

As usual, the independence day was celebrated on the division campus, Hosur under the leadership of Ravi Shankar, chairman, social committee, SUD. The program started with a prayer by Maywald Jesudas, the church pastor. The color party marched forward with the chief guest, R. Muniraj, retired Thasildar, Hosur to hoist the flag. After which, Ravi Shankar welcomed the chief guest and the audience. After the introductory remarks by

Selvin Moorthy, Under Treasurer, SUD, Sherlyn Daniel, one of the pathfinders, delivered a wonderful patriotic speech and Adley Christian, another pathfinder, recited a patriotic poem. It was interesting that during his speech, the chief guest, a non Adventist, presented a lot of information about Seventh-day Church and its service to the society through schools, colleges and hospitals all over the world and congratulated the church. It was nice to watch the pathfinders of Hosur campus arrayed in their full uniform led by the flag party marching forward in front of the office building. In conclusion, V P Singh, Associate Treasurer, SUD offered the closing prayer. A cultural program followed by games also was organized by the social committee. At the end, a fellowship lunch was served.

Ramani Kurian

 

Wedding Bells

Dony with Sumi: Dony Franklin s/o G Victor John & Alphonsa Mary and Sumi d/o (Late) Thomson K & Annamma were united in holy matrimony on 28th July, 2013 at Jeevan Jyothi English church, Hosur.

Obituary

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Kuttiyil Mathukutty Mathew K M Mathew was born in Konni, Pathanamthitta, Kerala on March 5, 1943 to Kuttiyil George Mathew and Saramma. After his education in Kerala, he joined Spicer College as a staff in the college press in 1960 and worked there until 1970. Then he went to Persian Gulf and worked there. Returning from Gulf, he joined Lowry Memorial College Press. After retirement, he was staying with his wife Achamma Mathew in Bangalore. He developed some medical problems and admitted in Chinmaya Mission Hospital on 11th July and he breathed his last on 14th July, 2013. He leaves behind his wife, children and grand children. We hope to meet him on the day of resurrection.

Sheila Williams

Sheila Antonio Sheila was born to Mr. &Mrs. Antonio on June 16, 1933. She worked as a staff nurse in Lady Wellington Nursing Home, Chennai. She came to Bangalore in eighties to look after her ailing mother and after her mother’s death she joined her sister, Esther Gallyot in Dubai. She was a right hand to Esther in her ministry to the Lord. She is one of the founder members of Dubai Adventist Church. Sabbaths were a delight for her as the early church in Dubai met and worshipped in her sister Esther’s home. Her ardent love for the Lord and her zeal in spreading the good news were exemplary. Sheila was very much interested in ministering to the children. She gave Bible study to the children and led them to accept Jesus as their personal Savior wherever she stayed. When she returned to India, she became a committed member of Central English church , Bangalore and served the Lord in various capacities. Her heart and soul was outreach. Her concern was for the poor and needy and she sacrificed much for them. She ably looked after Mrs. Quinn, who passed away at 103, until her last. Many other sick persons were blessed by her care. She succumbed to the terminal illness from which she had been suffering for some time, on July 18, 2013 at Bangalore. (Life sketch)

Youth Retreat at Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh

April 25 to 28, 2013 I am thrilled to share the report of the successful “Youth Retreat” held at Jeeva Sudha Pastoral Centre, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh during April 25 to 28, 2013. The Theme of the retreat was “DISCOVERING JESUS: THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE”. The goal of the youth retreat is to make optimum use of the potentials of Adventist youth for the glory of God. The focus of youth training is on discipling and mentoring the youth to be vibrant witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Specific Objectives of Youth Retreat 1.To lift up Jesus and to draw youth to Him 2.To train youth in assisting the local church in its growth 3.To train youth for witnessing in the community. 4.To orient the youth in seeking Adventist education 5.To motivate the youth in perusing career in ministry, pointing out “Spicer” as an option. Fig 1: Priston translating the message for Shreeletha Solomon It was a unique program targeted at rural youth. The youth in urban areas often find several opportunities to attend camps and retreats but not the rural youth. With the best efforts of North Rayalseema Section officers a total of 113 youth- 51 boys and 62 girls participated in the 4-day retreat.

Kurnool.1    Kurnool.3

Fig 2: Priston & Jesinth at praise & worship Kurnool is one of the four districts that comprises Rayalseema Region of Andhra Pradesh. Kurnool is the last district entered by Adventist Church. A decade ago there were just three churches in Kurnool district but today Kurnool has 258 churches spread over several villages. Most of these new churches are taken care by Pastors who have as many as 5 to 10 churches to cater. A visit to some of these churches last year brought to my notice that there are several educated and talented youth in the churches but they are not trained to shoulder the church responsibilities. As a youth researcher I was fully aware that if we provide some direction and training mighty things can be achieved through the involvement of youth in our churches. Hence this retreat was planned with the support of officers at North Rayalseema Section, Kurnool and East Central India Union (ECIU) at Hyderabad.

Kurnool.2      Kurnool.4

Fig 3: Sam Livingston, from Asian Aid addressing the youth on building their career. Gladstain Jacob, Asst. pastor, Spicer College Church was the main speaker. Narendra Rao and Rani Rao, doctors from Bangalore provided health messages. Kimberly Azelton from Weimar Institute, California shared health remedies. Sam Livingston from Asian Aid encouraged the youth to make Christ the Way, the Truth and the Life. Priston Joshi from Hyderabad made a lasting impact on youth through praise and worship service. Leaders of the North Rayalseema Section led the morning devotion. T Charles representing East Central India Union challenged the youth to live up to Christ’s message. Fig 4: All the resource persons were honoured by North Rayalseema Section leaders As part of the Sabbath program, communion service and feet washing ceremony were organized with a desire to familiarize the service to youth. A social program was arranged on the campus lawn on Sabbath evening bringing out the talents of youth. A special session of “Commitment and Consecration” was conducted by T Charles at the end of the program where the youth were dedicated to the service of the Lord. The entire 4 days program was recorded by “Blessed Hope” Television crew. Fig 5: Youth in full attendance all through the programs In spite of hot summer the youth remained attentive all through the 4 days program. They were self-motivated and eager to learn more about Christ. They showed great interest and actively participated in praise and worship, group discussions and in giving testimonies. It is to the credit of the rural youth that they could make maximum use of the retreat for their own spiritual growth. The youth have requested the organizers to make frequent visits to their churches and to conduct similar programs so that more youth could be benefitted in the villages. If it is God’s will we will certainly want to do more for the rural Adventist youth. Let us not forget that the “youth are not only the future of the church; they are also very much a part of it today! “The youth, if rightly trained, could sway a mighty influence” (Messages to Young People, p.204). I foresee the Rural Adventist Youth (RAY) as a RAY of Hope for Adventist church in future. Fig 6: Dr. Narendra Rao’s health message is translated by John Sundar Rao. I wish to thank Wesley James, Loma Linda University, CA., Surendra Bastiam Pilli Muscat, Oman., J Peter, Principal, Sanpada School, G Vijayaraj from Bangalore, Sam Arulanandam, Melbourne, Australia, Victor Sam and Pr Vara Prasad ECIU, Hyderabad for their whole hearted support in successfully organizing this retreat. Fig 7: Group photo of youth participants with leaders I would also like to thank the resource persons for all their hard work. Thanks are also due to the leadership of the North Rayalseema section and the Pastors and Global Volunteers for their kind cooperation. Above all I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for being all through the program and for richly blessing our youth. Dr. R J Solomon, ICSSR Senior Research Fellow, Mumbai.

A Day I’ll Never Forget

Jaya Singh as told to Benjamin Baker

 Jaya Singh                                                                                Benjamin Baker.1                                                                       

            The morning was cool when I stepped out of my house, the gray clouds in the sky looking like giant pillows. I worea beautifully-tailored crepe silk dress with an umbrella cut, one my mom had made especially for me.

            I was excited as I walked to school, for today was to be very special.  This morning all the students from Vijayawada Adventist Elementary would cross the street to the large stadium and hear the prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, speak. I couldn’t wait to see him in person. Since the time I was young enough to understand,my parents had related to me great things about Pandit Nehru.  Along with Mahatma Gandhi he had fought for the freedom of our country, India. Because he was known to love children, weaffectionately called him “Cha Cha Nehru” (Uncle Nehru).

            In those days all sorts of big events were held on the Gymkhana Club Grounds—sports matches, circuses, exhibitions—but the elementary students rarely got a chance to attend them. So that morning the teachers lined us up and we walked across the street and into the stadium. I and my classmates sat right in the first row, at Nehru’s request. I was awed by the size of the place.

            I’ll never forget when I first saw Cha Cha Nehru. He came through an entranceway into the right side of the stadium, surrounded by security men who had serious expressions on their faces. But Nehru himself had a wide grin and was waving to the crowd.

            His security made to go right onto the high platform, but instead of following them Nehrupaused in front of us children.In seconds the prime minister was standing in front of me. He bent down to my level and touched my head ina gesture of blessing.Bowing my head, Ifoldedboth palms of my hands together inthe gesture of “Namaste” (“Namaste” is a traditional greeting in India).Nehru returned the greeting, and then asked, “What’s your name?”

            “Jaya,” I said shyly.

            “Do you know what your name means?” Nehru asked.

            “Yes. It means victory,” I replied proudly.

            Nehru smiled. “Good.What school do you attend?”

            “I study at the Seventh-day Adventist elementary right across the street.” I gestured in its direction.

            Nehru smiled again. “Oh, that is good. I heard that Seventh-day Adventists schools have a very good education system.”

            With that the great man patted me on the head again and began speaking with the little boy next to me. He talked to one more child,and then ascended the platform.

            Years later I had the opportunityto see Cha Cha Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, and his grandson, Sanjay Gandhi. All in all, I was blessed to see in person three generations of prime ministers. But none was as special as my original meetingwith Nehru.

            Now that I am older andlook back to that encounter more than 50 years ago, I thank God for the witness of our church and its institutions. It speaks inour favor that we are known and have a good reputation worldwide. May we continue to serve humanity and reflectJesus.

 Jaya Singh and Benjamin Baker work in the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.

Inauguration of Dr. Vincent Injety as South African College President

 

On July 31, 2013 the inauguration ceremony of Dr. Vincent Injety, the new president of Helderberg  College, took place in Anderson Hall at 10.00 am. It was truly a gala occasion with many guests and also  dignitaries from the South African Union Conference, the Chancellor, Dr. Letseli and local representatives and many guests. Promptly it started at 10.am, with the marching  in of the staff and followed by the participants in the service. The whole service was well orchestrated, the special music was appropriate from two student groups and it all contributed to an enjoyable occasion. The special speaker for the occasion was Dr. M C. Nhlapo, from the Kwa-Zulu OFS conference and he spoke very well about the contributions that Private Colleges and Universities make to the Education of youth in South Africa and Helderberg College is ranked among the top 7 for quality education!

 Injetty.3     Injetty.1.a

 

The charge to Dr. Injetty was given by the Education Director of the SAU – Dr. Gerald Du Preez, himself a   former president of  the College. After signing his acceptance of the charge as the new president he was asked to remove his academic regalia and he was given the new college regalia and then the Chancellor handed him the Mace of Authority. Dr. Injetty then responded and spelled out his vision for the college and the support he needed to carry out the vision.

 Dr. Injetty is a graduate of Spicer Memorial College in India and has served in India, Solusi University as Dean of the Faculty of Business and his last two years as Pro-Vice Chancelor. He joined the Helderberg College Business faculty in 2008 as head of the Business department, in 2011 he became the Vice-President for Academic Administration of the College. He has presented professional papers on Strategic Management and non-profit management in various countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Turkey and the United States. He is currently advisor to MBA students of Regent Business School, South Africa and also for the Adventist University of Africa in Kenya.

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 He is supported by his wife, Lynda Priscilla, who lectures in the faculty of Business and they have two children, Sahana and Steven. His message to the patrons, alumni and supporters of Helderberg College is to join him in building the wall – quoting from Nehmiah 4:6 “ So we built the wall and the entire wall was joined together.” Working together he believes we can help build Helderberg College to reach a higher level.

 forwarded by Dr. John Matthews  Courtesy to SUD E-News, August 22,2013

 

 

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