Southern Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists

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Southern Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists

Tiding-2014.2

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Editorial: Ramani Kurian

RK

 

Doers Of The Word Build Securely

It is the desire of our Creator God to get all the human beings, whom He created for His pleasure, to the heavenly kingdom where there is no pain, suffering, or death. Initially God created our first parents with the intention of providing them eternal home. When they disobeyed His word, became victims of Satan and sin, they defeated God’s intention. But the loving God did not leave the fallen human race; He sent His only Son to redeem us from sin by sacrificing His life on the cross.  He still loves us and longs to see us get into heaven to live with Him eternally. From time to time He spoke to the human race through the prophets conveying the message of obedience to His word. He provided us the Holy Scriptures for our instruction. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”, 2 Timothy 3: 16. God’s word is truth for He is truth. Obedience to the word of God is supreme. Disobedience of God’s word led to the fall of our first parents and consequently the entire human race fell under the shadow of sin and suffering.

God calls each one of us to come out of this pathetic condition to be obedient children of God. People, in general, have come under the influence of Satan, the devil, who is trying his level best to destroy every one of us from establishing right relation with God who is longing to save us to the kingdom of heaven. God admonishes us, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment”, Exodus 23:2. In following God and doing His word, we may not have many friends, we may have to do it by ‘oneself’. We don’t need to be afraid of standing alone for the truth or for God. God and the hosts of heaven will be with us as long as we are the doers of His word, though the multitude is against us. To be singular because it is necessary to be so as the result of worshipping God and Him only, places Heaven's dignity upon man. We must not be afraid of being singular when duty requires us to be thus to exalt and honor God. We need to stand alone, if necessary, for the sake of avoiding sin and dishonor to God. And in this case we are not to mind even the multitude who are against us. "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." The experience of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is recorded in the Holy Scriptures for our admonition and spiritual nourishment. “It may appear to the world a very small matter for the Christian to be in harmony with the world by just the act of keeping Sunday for the Sabbath in the place of the seventh day, but God's Word says the seventh day is My holy day. The man of sin says, "I make a Sabbath for you and you must keep the first day of the week." God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.

Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus there presides, let it be in the desolate place of the earth, in the wilderness, in the city enclosed in prison walls. The glory of God has penetrated the prison walls, flooding with glorious beams of heavenly light the darkest dungeon. His saints may suffer, but their sufferings will, like the apostles of old, spread their faith and win souls to Christ and glorify His holy name. The bitterest opposition expressed by those who hate God's great moral standard of righteousness should not and will not shake the steadfast soul who trusts fully in God... They that will be doers of the word are building securely, and the tempest and storm of persecution will not shake their foundation, because their souls are rooted to the eternal Rock.” (Letter 108, October 28, 1886, to her older sister and her husband who had not accepted the Sabbath truth).
 We need to obey all the commandments of God, not only Sabbath, to be the doers of His word.

Pathfinder Induction Ceremony: Division Headquarters Church, Hosur

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Counselors                                                                 Sponsor delivers message                     Pathfinders among audience

The pathfinder club of Jeevan Jyothi English church, Hosur has been faithfully ministering to the needs of the Adventist Junior Youth in Hosur for several years. This year, 2014, the club had a very good beginning, with an enrolment of more than 65 members enrolled themselves into the club, 30 adventurers and 32 pathfinders. We also have candidates enrolled for the leadership training courses i.e.  Master Guide, Pathfinder Leadership Award & Pathfinder Instructor Award. All the members of the club were actively involved in the marching during the Republic day celebration on Division campus. This year the club members are divided into 7 units and each unit has a captain and a scribe to lead. The units also have unit counselors.

The unique and special event for the club this year was the ‘Induction Ceremony’ which was held on the 31st of January, 2014. The induction ceremony marked the process where the members are officially admitted into the club and were asked to make a public proclamation of their willingness to be members and be guided by the club rules. The AY classes of the various levels starting from pre-adventurer, adventurer and going up to the pathfinder, have members taking the courses. The induction ceremony is primarily a candle lighting ceremony and there were 7 colour candles placed at the centre table representing the six classes in the pathfinder club from Friend to Guide and one candle for Adventurers. The six colour candles were blue, red, green, silver, purple, and yellow and the candle representing the Adventurer club was a multi colour candle. In addition to this there were 7 candles on the left of the centre table representing the pathfinder pledge and 8 candles on the right of the centre table representing the pathfinder law. At the centre of the stage there was a spiral candle representing the spirit of pathfindering.

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The program began with a lively song service after which the club sponsor delivered a message on ‘Light Bearers’ quoting the story of Gideon in the Bible after which he declared open the induction service. The club director and the deputy directors explained the pathfinder badge and its meaning, the Adventurer pledge and law were recited and pathfinder pledge and law as well.  The pathfinder director lit the spirit of pathfindering candle which represents the spirit of adventure, fun, learning, camaraderie, awareness, and awakening, and above all a spirit of reverence, and a spirit of service to God and man. 

The pathfinders who represented the various classes recited the purpose of each class and received a candle from the counselor and took the flame from the spirit of pathfindering candle and lit the respective candles.  After which the counselor asked the members to respond if they were willing to join the classes, for which the candidates responded by saying ‘Yes I do’.

The same process was repeated for lighting the candles representing the Pathfinder Law and the Pledge.  In conclusion, the pathfinders and adventurers were given one candle each to light from the spirit of pathfindering candle and make their commitment. The induction ceremony ended with a special song sung by all the members ‘Running up the highway’ and a consecration prayer was offered.                                                                                                                                                   Eben Anbiah, pathfinder director, Jeevan Jyothi English church, Hosur

Women’s Ministries Seminar: Lowry English Church

The Women’s Ministries department of Lowry English church held a seminar under the title “We can make a difference” at Carmelram Centre, Bangalore from January 10th evening to January 11th evening. During the vespers, presentations on “The role of woman as wife” were made by Jennifer Prakasam and “Role of woman as mother” by Joyce Paulraj followed by a prayer session by Vasantha David.  Sabbath School Lesson study was a panel discussion headed by Helen Solomon.  The first session after the lesson study was taken by Alice Joseph who spoke on

 Lowry

the topic “Growing in Jesus”.  The second session was taken by Priscilla Christo who spoke on “Women’s Health Issues”.  The 3rd session was taken by Rani Rao who spoke on “The Fragrance of Life”.  In the afternoon, Daisy Rajkumar spoke on the topic “Women to women”.  The last session for the day was taken by Narendra Rao who spoke on “Healthy life style”.  He gave wonderful tips on good health and long life. These sessions taken by the Adventist medical doctors were enriching and beneficial to all who attended.  Finally a consecration service was conducted by Cyril Monthero, president, South Central India Union calling all the women to make a difference in the society and in the lives of their family members.  Dedicatory prayer was offered by Peter Halemane, ministerial director, South Central India Union.  The session was attended by 35 women of our church.                                                                                                                  Jennifer Prakasam

Republic Day Celebration at Division Headquarters, Hosur

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 Southern Asia Division office family celebrated the Republic day in the campus under the leadership of the social committee.   K S Narenderan (former state vice president of Bharatiya Janata Party of Tamil Nadu) was the chief guest. The program started with an opening prayer by Selvin Moorthy, under treasurer, SUD and then the pathfinders marched in colorful uniform with flags, after which the color party marched with the chief guest to hoist the flag. R John, president, SUD who introduced the chief guest, made introductory remarks stressing the humanitarian work of the church in India.  A pathfinder, Prince John, presented a poem on freedom and  Ritu Chand, another pathfinder,  spoke on Republic day.  The chief guest challenged the people about our national obligations for unity of the country, in spite of having diversity in religion and culture throughout India. Closing prayer was offered by T P Kurian. The program came to a close after a cultural show by children.                                                                            Ramani Kurian, SUD 

Dr Chacko M Paul Launches Book

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January 11, 2014 was a high day in the history of Spicer College family in general and in the family of Chacko M Paul in particular when it saw the launching of his book entitled “Syrian Christians: One Tradition, Many Faces” at his residence at 7:30 pm at the hands of the college president Justus Devadas in the presence of the college administrators and family friends, followed by felicitous messages from friends and VPAA which finally culminated in dinner. The academic department of the college is happy and proud that after a brief spate of earning PhDs, an era of publishing books has started. The book, based on his doctoral thesis and containing 6 chapters and published by V Joshi and Co., Pune, deals with the origin, growth, and contribution of the Syrian Christian community in Kerala. Chacko Paul, a nephew of M E Cherian, former president of Spicer College, is the head of History department and director of Counseling and Guidance Centre at Spicer College. Being  a Syrian Christian himself, he has put his heart and soul in bringing out the life story of this special tribe in Kerala, God’s own country, which has by its unique and noble tradition, been dominating the churches (including SDA), convents, hospitals and schools not only in their state but in the country and beyond.

The Syrian Christians, quite ironically, are neither from Syria nor truly Christian, having borrowed or rather retained many practices from their original background of Hinduism, especially Brahmanism. The typical traditional attire of men consists of white shirts and dhotis while the women, especially old-timers, dressed in white close-necked blouses and lungis (modern wrap-arounds) with the pleats of an off-white half saree draped across, and lumps of gold loosely hanging or rather precariously dangling from their delicate sagging ear-lobes, may soon be a dying species. And their traditional appam (rice and coconut milk cake), and ‘kanji vellam’ after all, may not owe their origin to this community.

 Having spent seven of my most impressionable years at the prestigious Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum owned and operated by the Syrian Catholic management, I too have closely observed this community from close quarters, have been intrigued as well as impressed by their customs, traditions, culture, rituals, attire, and cuisine and have come to appreciate their broadness of mind, largeness of heart and loftiness of spirit. It is their tolerance and appreciation of all religions that helped scores of even non-Malayalee Adventist students to pursue higher studies quite peacefully in their institutions, being officially given Sabbath-offs and exempted from the compulsory NCC training and served milk or ‘vella chhaya’ (diluted and sweetened milk when the number  of Adventist students increased) instead of coffee or tea in the hostel mess and even granted admission to much sought-after postgraduate science courses -  hold your breath -  on their management quota, like me! And the ubiquitous presence of their cadre mainly in the area of education, health care, politics and religion all over the world speaks volumes of their dignity, dedication and devotion to duty. Prominent names in this community include Cherian, Kurian, Tharian, Ninan, Mathai (Mathew), Markose, Lukose, Paulose, Thomas, Varghese, Gheevarghese, Chacko etc. and certainly almost every hospital world-wide has either an Annamma, Ponnamma, Sosamma, Aleyamma, Mariamma, Kunjamma, or Kunjukunjamma, (though quite ironically no Marthamma)--- these angels of mercy who bring sinking patients back to life, not merely through their nursing care but through their personal touch--- a medley of voluble, incessant but friendly chatter, altruistic nature, joie de vivre, and dignity of labour, willing to do even the most menial jobs most gracefully. My hats off to them! May their tribe increase!

 In this book Chacko Paul discusses briefly the available sources that might provide historical validity to the traditions that Apostle Thomas established Christianity in Kerala. He also provides short descriptions of the main beliefs, practices, habits, major milestones and the denominational branches of the most influential Christians of Kerala. It is a historical, Archaeological and Anthropological study about a community which has made significant contribution in the religious, social and political fabric of India. Read this book, if you wish to learn more about them.  It is priced just at Rs 120 (about $ 2 only) and one may contact Dr Chacko Paul at +91 9850907153  or <madathumchal @yahoo.com>   for a personal copy.                                                               S Rajendra Prasad, VPAA, Spicer Memorial College

Youth Convention in Ramnad Section

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                Sivagangai Ramnad Section in South East India Union held a two day section wide youth convention at Manamadurai from Oct 19-20,2013. Young people from all over the section participated and were united as one in the word of God. They dedicated themselves to the Lord through prayers and songs. “Living to the Lord” was the theme of the convention. An Adventist youth, Arun, presented a topic on ‘Second Innings’ in which he stressed that God gives second chance to all.  The guest speaker was Lazarus Ponumuthu, youth director, SEIU. A significant time was devoted to prayer session and Bible study by local church pastor, John Wesley. During the divine service Jeeva Ponnappa, section president, gave an inspiring message on ‘I am a youth, I can’t- from the book of Jeremiah” and the next day he presented a topic on “Role of youth in church leadership”. Morning devotion was led by Joshua, accountant, Manamadurai School. At the close of the convention the youth re-dedicated their lives for the service of the Lord Jesus. Manamadurai church and school assisted to have this successful program.                                                                                                     Jeeva Ponnappa, president, Sivagangai-Ramnad section

 

Evangelistic Meeting at PERAIYOOR in Ramnad Sivagangai Section

William George, a retired department director from Southern Asia Division conducted an evangelistic meeting at Peraiyoor, from Nov 7-17 2013, in Ramnad District where we have no Adventist presence. This place is located 10 kilometers away from Kamuthi; which has multiple ethnic groups, having tension between groups.  However, we spent much time in prayer for the campaign and it was begun successfully.

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Prior to the meeting Sivagangai -Ramnad Section organized a free medical camp with the help of Vasan Eye Care group. More than 150 people were benefited through the free eye camp. This campaign had  great impact on the community and on Adventist church as well.

 We felt the power of God in a mighty way and discovered the joy of reaching people with the Gospel in Peraiyoor. Because of the systematic ground work, we were able to conduct the meeting successfully. Health talks were presented by John Wesley, Manamadurai church pastor before the preaching. During the Sabbath days, Jeeva Ponnappa conducted Daniel’s seminar. At the close of the meetings 26 people were baptized. Jeeva, local section president with his team of gospel ministers, is doing the follow-up work resulted in 11 more baptism. When we focus on mission together, the Spirit of the Lord does more than we expect.  Some more people are getting ready to join the remnant group. More than 60 children participated every night in the separate meeting conducted by Ravi Chandran, church pastor, Parlachi. We want to express our deep appreciation to William George and his family members for their financial contribution towards the meeting. We want to appreciate the following dedicated servants of the Lord Manikaraj, John Wesley, Ccely Vethamuthu, Samuel Abraham, Yesudhas, Ravi, Ravi Chandran, Moses, Tamilarasi and Indira. The section treasurer P David was the one who co-ordinated the whole campaign.

Jeeva Ponnappa, Sivagangai-Ramnad Section President                                                                                           

 

New Church Building Dedicated in Sivagangai-Ramnad section

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 24th Nov 2013, Sunday morning was a joyous occasion for the members of Koothalur church and the  Sivagangai-Ramnad Section team members as they received a newly constructed church building. Koothalur which is about 5 Kms away from Karaikudi in Sivaganagi-Ramnad Section got the building project a year ago through a missionary group. It was begun with the prayer and was completed in November. Jayson Jayabarathan, director, Mount Zion Engineering College, Pudukottai led out in the construction work and completed perfectly. The church dedication service was conducted on 24th November 2013. Believers and the pastors from neighboring churches; Samuel Jebamani, Pudukottai Region and the members of Mt. Zion family gathered for the occasion which began with an unveiling of the stone by Arockiamary, the land donor and Florence Jayabarathan followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony led by Jayabarathan Chellaiah; the chairman, Mt.Zion Engineering College and opened the doors of the church for worship.

            The church service was led by K.Samuel and N.David, a retiree, native of the Koothalur church read the history of the church and Jeeva Ponnappa delivered the sermon on “the meaning of the church and the responsibility of the church believers”. Other leaders present were P.David, section treasurer; Samuel Jebamani, PDK director; Russul John, Monikaraj, John Wesley, Michael, I.Jesudhas, N.Ravi, A.Samuel, Samraj and Isacc, treasurer,Manamadurai school. Mrs. Jayabarathan narrated how the church building began to take shape and the members of the Chula Vista church, California jointly took up the challenge sacrificially to build the church. This building was dedicated by Jeeva, the local field president and he thanked Jayson who took personal interest to complete the work. This service was ended with a fellowship lunch. We would like to thank the dedicated members of the Chula Vista church, California for their willingness to provide financial support to build this church for our members here.

Jeeva Ponnappa , SRS president

Tenth Anniversary Celebrations at School for Speech and Hearing Impaired, Kollegal

 Seventh-Day Adventist School for Speech and Hearing Impaired held the first School-day program cum celebration of 10 years of the school in the present campus. The celebrations were held in the school campus on November 22, 2013. We were honored by the presence of

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distinguished guests from Southern Asian Division, Ambassadors of Asian Aid from Australia, leaders from South-Central India Union and from the local community. Jothi Anbiah, vice president, Southern Asia Division who is also the chairman of the Asian Aid work in India gave the key-note address and set the tone for the festivities titled “Celebrations: Love, Joy, hope.” The dignitaries, including former administrators, teachers, and principals, were honored with mementoes thanking them for their contribution in the development of our special school. The present and former students were also honored for their accomplishment in academics.  The formal program also included a report by Tammy Moses, Project Manager, Asian Aid of the school development projects undertaken by Asian Aid to enrich the learning experience of the children. Tammy also addressed the parents and audience about the importance of child protection and child welfare in the context of special children. Dedicatory prayer by Peter and  remarks by Samuel Thason were followed by colorful cultural programs performed by the children. We thank God for His love and mercy over our school and thank the sponsors, management, teachers, parents and well-wishers for the prayers, contributions and support for the growth of our school.                                                                                                                                            Jacob Bhaggien, Principal

EASTERN UTTAR PRADESH REGION: 1000 YOUTH EVANGELISM TRAINING PROGRAM  

YOUTH EVANGELISM EUPR                                                                                                                    

The Seventh - day Adventist church in Eastern UP Region, Varanasi invited more than 300 youth and young adults for a historic youth evangelism training program from November 7-10, 2013.It has been such an accomplishment to unite youth and family and share spiritual messages, spend time with each other, pray together and unify efforts to continue the great mission to spread the gospel.  The key thought based on John 12: 36 “While ye are in the light; believe in the Light that ye may be called the children of light” spiritually uplifted everyone.  M.M Bhatti, Kishore Gill, Surendra Lall and Promila Lall were the resource personnel. M.M Bhatti, youth director, Northern India Union encouraged the youth to share their talents to uplift spiritual environment of the church to fulfill its mission. Surendra Lall counseled on evangelism by the youth to the youth for Christ. Kishore Gill presented health topics: charcoal therapy, water therapy, massage, healthy lifestyle which were very beneficial. Promila Lall presented some inspirational power point on prayer, exercise and nurture.

On Sabbath16 November, 2013 46 persons including youth and young adults accepted the Seventh-Day Adventist doctrines and joined the church through baptism. One of the remarkable things happened first time in the evangelism meeting in Varanasi was that people from other denominations-- Pentecostal, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Asia Suyogi organization, Isai Mahasang etc. attended the meetings on special invitation and voluntarily assisted us in the arrangements and functions. They were impressed about SDA teaching and lifestyle. 80 young people purchased 25 copies each (2000 copies) @ Rs 20/- per copy of “The Great Hope”, to be distributed in their respective areas. This convention gave every individual present an opportunity to renew their commitment and calling. In consecration every one lighted the candle symbolically carrying the light received from the word of God to their respective places so that they may be called the children of light and the gospel commission can be carried forward in un-entered areas.                                                                                                                                  Surendra Lall, director, Eastern Uttar Pradesh Region

Centenary Celebration: South West India Union                                            

As the President of South West India Union of Seventh-day Adventists during this centenary year it is my privilege to bring this good tidings pertaining to our work in Kerala for this past 100 years. “It was in the year 1914 Suvishesha Muthu, a literature evangelist from Prakashapuram, Tamil Nadu, came to Trivandrum and sold some books to M. Abel, who was a Salvation Army captain. The books were entitled: ‘Who changed the Sabbath’, ‘Present Truth’, ‘Steps to Christ’ etc. After reading these books carefully he was convinced that the true day of worship is Saturday, which is the Sabbath created by God. Abel secretly contacted Suvishesha Muthu and other leaders in Nazareth, near Prakashapuram. He continued to study the Bible more and was fully convinced that the Seventh day is the Sabbath day. They invited Abel to Nazareth to be baptised. After baptism, he resigned his job as Salvation Army captain and started preaching the Sabbath truth and three angels’ messages in Trivandrum and neighbouring areas. In the year 1915, Abel, while engaged in his ministry, came to Vadacode, near Neyyattinkara and talked about the Sabbath to many people. Some of them studied the scriptures deeply, specially on the topic of Sabbath and were convinced. As a result, they organized the first Sabbath school in Vadacode. Ninty-nine years passed after Suvishesha Muthu sowed the seed of the remnant message in Kerala. Therefore, as members of the SDA Church in Kerala, we are privileged to celebrate this year as the centenary year.

 From 1914 onwards, the Adventism in Kerala grew up slowly withstanding many problems & difficulties. But by the grace of God, we could accomplish many things for His cause. At present our statistics is as follows: Churches            226, Congregations101, Boarding Schools 3, Day Schools 21. Compared to the growth of Christianity in the first century, this growth might be very insignificant, but my beloved, we can be proud of the legacy of our forefathers. The one who planted the first church in Kerala or the one who nurtured it are not with us today, but they live in our memories. Now we are privileged to celebrate the centenary year of our existence and service in Kerala. The contribution of the church in the field of education, evangelism and health is commendable.

Our centenary celebration will be held in Trivandrum on October 24 and 25, 2014. Ted C Wilson, president of the World Church, along with his wife Nancy, has consented to be present for the occasion. We are planning to make this event a grand and memorable one.  As part of the centenary celebrations, we would like to complete some projects all over South West India Union. We need your prayers and support.

Selvamoni  Yovan, president, SWIU

 Adventist Lay Person at the Service of Mentally Challenged Destitute

On Friday, November 29, 2013, as my husband and I walked into the campus of Integrated New Life Society for Education and Development (INSED), Sungareddy, Andhra Predesh, we were welcomed by a host of mentally challenged inmates of the institution. Some of them were

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Manohar with family

 engaged in garden work, some were just sitting and enjoying the sunlight, waved their hands at us with broad smiles and some were indifferent. We were really impressed by the way those unfortunate ones were taken care of by one Adventist lay member, M Manohar, advocate, founder and president, INSED and his family. There are 72 inmates including 4 children born to mentally challenged young mothers, women who were picked up and brought to INSED as they wandered along the streets. Some of the inmates are highly educated and occupied positions in the society.

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            TP Kurian & Ramani Kurian with inmates                                   Manohar  with workers  of INSED

INSED is a voluntary organization established in the year 2000 under societies Registration Act 1350, with its Registration No.1667/2000. Its Head quarters is located at Sangareddy, Medak Dist. Andhra Pradesh. The main motive of this organization is to Render Service To The Mentally challenged Destitute Of The Society.

It all started when Manohar, watched a young mother pick up plastics from the garbage to protect her child from the falling rain. In his own words, “Once when I was in Abids Road, Hyderabad, I saw an incident which caught my attention and which moved my spirit with in my heart and made me take a strong decision to serve the mentally ill.  It happened on 22-8-1999 at about 2.30 in the afternoon. That day it was raining heavily and I took shelter under the footpath roof in Abids along with some other people.  I saw a mentally ill woman, half naked and fully wet, collecting plastics from the dust bin and carrying them near to a concrete beam. There I saw a baby about 10 to 15 days old. The baby was completely drenched in rain water, shivering and crying loudly. The mother wrapped the baby with plastics from toe to neck. “Being in a state of mentally unsound, if she can express her love towards her child, what about we being mentally sound?”  This scene moved my heart, and then I decided to dedicate my life to serve the mentally ill destitute”.

Manohar approached  government officials, political leaders and other well wishers for support and assistance. God graciously opened the hearts of many of them and the District Collectors  came forward to support Manoharan’s efforts wholeheartedly. They provided land and constructed a new home and office for INSED near the government hospital, Sangareddy. The inmates are provided with free medical treatment and food by the hospital administration. Already more than 214 people had come to normalcy and joined their families who received them with gladness. In spite of opposition from different corners, Manohar is doing his best to serve these unfortunate ones. His desire is to open one rehabilitation center for mentally challenged destitute in each city of India. He believes that God will perform miracles if we trust Him and dedicate our lives to serve our fellow beings which is the desire of our heavenly Father too.                                                                                                                                                   Ramani Kurian,  assistant communication director,  SUD

Spicer’s Invitation to the Centennial Book of Honour

As part of the centennial celebrations, Spicer College plans to bring out a “Book of Honours” which is meant for its alumni, faculty, staff and students as well as its friends and well-wishers who wish to honour and immortalize the memory of any one near and dear to them, like their parents, spouse, guardian, teacher, or other relative(s), etc, by dedicating a page or half in this prestigious publication. This book will have about 300 colour pages (A4 size and 130 gsm thickness) and case binding finish.

The prescribed rates are: NRIs & Foreigners : Paper Size:     Full page: US $350; Half page: US $225; Quarter page: US $ 125

Indians: Paper Size: Full page: Rs 20,000;     Half page: Rs 12,500; Quarter page: Rs 7,500

Those who wish to avail of this privilege at first-come-first-served basis are requested to send the photo(s) and write-up of the person(s) whom they wish to honour along with the prescribed fee as a crossed Cheque or Demand Draft drawn in favour of “SPICER MEMORIAL COLLEGE”by registered mail to Dr Noble Prasad Pilli, chairman; Book of Honours Committee; Spicer Memorial College; Aundh Road; Ganeshkhind Post; Pune 411007, INDIA, by April 30, 2014. Noble Pilli can also be contacted by phone Nos: +91-20-25807005 (office) and +91-9890908187 (Mobile) and email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Spicer’s Invitation for the Centennial Theme Song:

Spicer College also invites from its alumni, faculty, staff and students as well as its friends and well-wishers the centennial theme song (lyrics / music / both) on the theme “Celebrating 100 Years of Holistic Education”. A handsome cash prize will be given to the one whose composition is selected with consolation prizes for the next 5 best ones. All those who have the skills of composing lyrics and music are invited to send their compositions to Mary Davy, chairman; Centenary Music Committee; Spicer Memorial College; Aundh Road; Ganeshkhind Post; Pune 411007, INDIA, by April 30, 2014. Mary Davy can also be contacted by phone Nos: +91-20-25699759 (office) and +91-8888014961 (Mobile) and email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Spicer Family Worships in the Old Auditorium Again

It was a nostalgic moment for the Spicer family, especially for the old timers, when because of the painting work going on in the house of worship, the last weekend services were held back in the old Auditorium after a gap of 7 years and 8 months (with many language groups meeting elsewhere to ease the congestion). Many people sat just where they used to sit in the former days and were reminiscing the bygone era. The preachers, Vanlaltluanga Khuma on Friday and Noble Pilli on Saturday, recalled some interesting events, before they delivered their sermons, and even remarked that perhaps every seventh year they should have at least one week-end service in this old place just to remember their origins before moving into the grand spacious edifice. T I Abraham, who was on the stage to offer the pastoral prayer later walked down to sit with his family under the balcony to re-live the old memories, perhaps. Sitting more or less where I used to sit those days, I too recollected exactly where M E Cherian used to sit, N O Mathews used to stand and George and Gordon Jenson lead the choirs during their time, not forgetting various other events like graduations, weddings, etc. including an amusing anecdote  when someone plugged the church props labeled “Mothers with Baby” and “Visitors” on the bench where  Emile John and  Benny Prasad Chikatla were once sitting with their visiting septuagenarian mothers during the divine service and  Franklin Samraj sitting just behind them showing this to everyone sitting in his row.

Surely, it is nice to come back to old place sometimes, if only to reflect on the way God has led us through the years. On further reflection, could this perhaps be the plausible reason why God wanted the children of Israel to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles even after reaching Canaan in the days of yore and expects His people to return to their home on the earth made new after spending a millennium with Him in His heavenly home?                                                                                                                              Rajendra Prasad, VPAA, Spicer College

10TH GNM GRADUATION & 3RD BSc LAMP LIGHTING CEREMONY OF SDA SCHOOL & COLLEGE OF NURSING, OTTAPALAM, KERALA.

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The 10th Graduation programme for the SDA School of Nursing & 3rd Lamp Lighting ceremony for the SDA College of Nursing, Ottapalam was held from Jan 10th – 12th, 2014.  Alamgir Khan, treasurer, Medical Trust was the guest speaker for the consecration ceremony. He charged the graduates to serve with benevolence.

G S Robert Clive, treasurer, Southern Asia Division delivered the baccalaureate address emphasizing serving with excellence. His message was an inspiration to all to excel in various fields of service. K Mohandas, vice chancellor, Kerala University of Health Sciences, Thrissur was the chief guest. Susamma Varghese, president of KNMC & principal, Government School of Nursing, Trivandrum delivered presidential address.   Jasmine Ruby, deputy nursing superintendent, CMC Hospital, Vellore was the guest of honor.  Renjith John Jacob, medical director, SDA Hospital, Ottapalam gave the charge to the graduating class and formally accepted the freshers. We thank the Lord Almighty for His abundant blessings and leading thus far.

 South Rayalaseema Celebrated Children's Day at Mentally Retarded Home for Children

November 14th was a blessed and delightful day for all the children at the retarded home for children at Rayalaseema. The Children Ministries director Florence Raj, along with the section president, secretary, treasurer, and with other sub-ordinates visited the home. The team took time to clean their dwelling place and distributed fruits and sweets to all the children, sang songs and had short meditation from the scriptures. It was really a delightful day.

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      Florence also initiated in conducting shepherdess council at Cudapah main school. Around 120 shepherdesses have gathered. M. Wilson, the president of ECIU and Sofia Wilson had admonished them and instructed them how they needed to support the ministry of their spouses. The shepherdesses were also trained how to make use of their leisure time. It was really an educative session. Thank God for the opportunity extended by our section leaders.

Mrs. Prakash.   

Inauguration of a new church in Sikkim

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A new church was inaugurated on November 17, 2013 in Darjeeling main town. Officials from North Bengal section and director of Hill circle and AFM officials attended this beautiful function. The ground work for the church plantation was initiated by brother Sunil Marjee, Naresh Tudu  P.K. Tamsang and Jonathan Tamsang. Earlier L F Lyngdo and S B Bairagi conducted revival meetings in Darjeeling and strengthened the work.

 Tarpin,  first  Adventist church, Sikkim conducted the annual outreach program on December 10, 2103. Hundreds of members from Eastern Sikkim town and villages attended the meeting.  The local government officials and journalists attended and appreciated the ministry of Seventh-day Adventists in Sikkim, a Buddhist state. A small rural medical clinic, initiated by Gospel Outreach with the help of Beverly Thomson, is doing wonderful service to the community.                                                                                 P K Tamsang

 

Announcement

 Helping Hand Welfare Society seeks the following Personnel

Assistant Director--‐Programs

Development Project Manager

Project Coordinator Karnataka (1), Bengal (1)

For details Contact: Mr. David Keeler < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Mrs. Tammy Moses < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Award of PhD Degree to Nalina Robert Donald

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Nalina Robert Donald was awarded PhD degree by Bangalore University on January 24, 2014. Her research topic was “ A study on the contributions of the Christian hymns and spiritual songs to the development of Kannada language and literature”. She is a professor of Kannada, working as the vice principal of APS College of Arts and Commerce, Bangalore University. She is a member of Central English Church, Bangalore.                                                                                                                                                     Robert Donald,  SUD

Adventist Appointed Deputy Director of Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore

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The following announcement was made in the current weekly Christian Medical College & Hospital newsletter: "Mrs. Jasmin Anand, Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing and Head of Medical Surgical Nursing-Specialty II, is appointed Deputy Director (Nursing and Campus Development) with effect from January 13, 2014 for a four year term”.  An Adventist, Jasmin Ruby Anand has just completed a term as the Deputy Nursing Superintendent. She is a Professor at the College of Nursing, CMC and also serves as the Head of the Departments of Cardiology and Cardio-thoracic Nursing. She is a member of the Adventist Medical Trust Board that runs our hospitals. She has served in the Adventist School of Nursing, Surat as tutor and as Principal at the School of Nursing, SDA Hospital, Nuzivd, AP. She was trained in Loma Linda University in Cardiac Transplant. She is passionate about Adventist Lifestyle. She is invited to give health messages on Adventist Lifestyle in effort meetings, churches and pastors’ meetings. She also runs a Cardiac Lifestyle Unit in CMC&H. Jasmin Ruby is the daughter of  Pr. G. Isaiah –former Publishing department director of Southern Asia Division and married to Dr. Anand Manuel. They are blessed with two children- Corrine ( BDS)  and Cheryl ( Class 12 ). It is a very joyous moment for us, conservative Adventists in Vellore. We wish her God's blessings as she continues to serve in CMC.

    -- Dr. David Mathew, Asst. Professor, CMCH Vellore

Wedding Bells

Rajesh with Sonia: Rajesh s/o Kbita & Robin Kumar Sahu and Sonia d/o Beena & Baby John T W  were united in marriage on Sunday 19th January, 2014 at Seventh-day Adventist church, Kaloor, Kochi, Kerala.

Chandrasekhar with Leena: Chandrasekhar s/o  Kamala & Jaywant Peter and Leena d/o Saroja & Mariswamy were united in holy matrimony on Sunday 19th January at  Lowry Memorial English church  Krishnarajapuram,  Bangalore.

Robin Rajkumar with Anu Joyce:  Robin Rajkumar s/o Sheela & Sampath and Anu Joyce d/o  Pushparani and Pushparaj Samuel were united in holy matrimony on Sunday, 16th February 2014 at Seventh-day Adventist  Central Tamil church, Spencer Road, Bangalore.

58th Garo Annual Meeting, Bajengdoba, Meghalaya

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The 58th Garo annual meeting was held at Bajengdoba, Meghalaya from January 29th – 1st February 2014.  The theme of the meeting was “Pressing Upward.” The main speakers were G S Robert Clive, Division treasurer and his wife, B R Sangma, Division associate secretary and his wife, P Passi, treasurer, North East India Union, and P Kullu, Union Education director. They encouraged each delegate to be faithful in their beliefs. More than five thousand delegates from different churches and companies from Assam and Meghalaya attended the meeting. All the delegates stayed in their own tents and prepared their own food. It was like old Israelites participating the day of atonement ceremony. Tents were prepared in all directions of the main pandal that is situated at the center site of the area. During the annual meeting, thirty precious souls prepared by the churches and companies of Garo Hills were baptized. Different programs for children and youth were arranged during the meeting. Section departmental director assigned different speakers for children and youth. Everyday there was nature talk, Bible story and games for children.

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The speakers of the annual meeting encouraged delegates to press upward spiritually and be faithful till the final journey on this earth.  Divine hour speaker was Robert Clive who gave an encouraging message to the large congregation.  Around 100 delegates from Khasi Jaintia conference came to witness the annual sobha. Delegates were spiritually uplifted and ready to press upward till the end of their journey to be recipient of the waiting crown for the redeemed saints of the Lord.                                                                    B.G. Momin, Communication director, Garo Section

 

Obituary

 

Yesuputhri Sharp

 

 Mrs. Sharp

Yesuputhri was born to protestant parents on July 4, 1941. After her highschool she was converted to Adventist faith and  married to Granvel Sharp on August 18, 1950.  She assisted her husband in his ministry enthusiastically. She was interested in visiting sick and poor to assist them, conducting branch sabbath school and spreading the adventist message all around she lived. After the retirement of her husband, they settled in Chamrajnagar and continued the ministry of serving the Lord. She died on July 17, 2013 due to massive heart attack. Mourning her death are her husband--Pr. G Sharp; daughters-- Jackline, Roseline, Shila, Leah and their spouses, 7 grand children and a host of relatives and friends. We remnisced her love for church and family and looking forward to meet her on the resurrection morning. Leah Edwin

Roosevelt Cherukuri                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Roosvelt                                                       

Roosvelt was born to Victor Sam and Sulochana on July 5, 1974. He had his schooling in Flaiz Memorial and Spicer high schools. He married Glory in 2002. Initially he worked as a literature evangelist and after completing MA BEd he took up teaching profession. In 2011 he joined Fjarli Academy of Seventh- day Adventists, Rajanpalli, Darsi. While working there, he had to go through some physical challenges and unexpectedly breathed his last on 16th January 2014. He leaves behind his parents, his wife and two daughters Rhesa    Pr Victor Sam, SUD

 

Pr. and Mrs. Sadashiv Bhaurao Shinde

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  It is a rare occurrence that both husband and wife pass away within a week. Sadashiv Shinde passed away on 31 January, 2014 and his wife, Suman on February 7, 2014. Sadashiv was born on March 06, 1924 to Padabai and Bhaurao Shinde in Chokak Kolhapur district.  He had his schooling at Lasalgaon high school and higher education in Spicer Memorial College.  His commitment to the truth led him back to Kolhapur to work among his people.  He married  Suman Mahapure and they were blessed with three children--- son Shashikant, daughters Sheela and Sunanada. His interest to serve the Lord took him all over Maharashtra and he was ever willing to the task set before him.  The Lord used his talents to serve the church in various capacities as pastor, mentor, teacher, departmental director, evangelist and chaplain.  He was honest, diligent in his work that led to the establishment of many companies and churches and won many souls to the kingdom of God. After an active life in the church, he retired to a semi-active life for 30 long years and was living at Asha Park Housing Society, Market Yard, Pune. His motto and advice to anyone was, “NEVER GIVE UP, KEEP LOOKING UP,  JESUS IS COMING SOON”.  He rests with the assurance that when the trump will sound he will be among those who are waiting eagerly for that great day

 Suman Shinde                                                                                                                  

Suman  was born on June 24, 1929 to Housabai and Chandrasen Mahapure in Pargaon Kodoli Kolhapur district. She did her schooling in Lasalgaon high school. On completion, she moved to Spicer Memorial College for further education. She was married to Sadashiv Shinde.  After marriage,  both of them started their career at Kumboj district Kolhapur. She was committed to the Lord’s ministry. She always supported her husband in evangelism. Her dedication and commitment towards the church was her first priority. She was honest, diligent in her work and supported her husband 40 years in his ministry.  Suman was always a loving and caring person,  jovial and cheerful. She and her husband were always found together, whether it was church service or functions or at home and even in death-- a week apart. We look forward to meet her on that ‘Great Day’ of resurrection.They leave behind their children— Shashikant;  Sheela and Sunanda--- daughter-in-law Nirmala; sons-in-law Johnny Sudhakar and Vinay Ohal; grandchildren Swapna, Swaroop, Veeraj,  Sarang and a host of relatives, friends and well-wishers.

 

Richard Gladson Wilson

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 Richard  was born to Wilson Vethamuthu and Annapoornam in Spicer College, Pune on March 31,1964. Richard had his education from elementary to college in Spicer Memorial College. He considered himself as an ardent disciple of Christ and servant of God. He consistently demonstrated a genuine love for Christ and His mission by actively participating in pathfinders and master guide programs as well as leading out in community outreach activities through Rotaract club of Pune North. He worked in Pune Adventist Hospital as accountant and then as business manager at Scheer Memorial Hospital, Assam Training School, Giffard Memorial Hospital and  Southern Asia Division head quarters in provident fund department before taking up his responsibility in Roorkee Adventist College. He married Purna Laxmi Shrestha on June 6,1993. They are blessed with two sons.  Richard excelled as a good father, husband and a loyal & faithful mission worker. For the last few months Richard was confronted with health issues and was admitted in the hospital.  On 24th February, 2014 he breathed his last.  He leaves behind his father Mr. Wilson; wife Purna; sons Cris and Kevin; brothers, Swanson, Paulson, Samuel; sister Ruth and a host of relatives. 

 

 

Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN)  Conference  2014, Maryland, USA

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Pushing the boundaries is no longer enough. Seventh-day Adventist tech and media professionals at this year’s Global Adventist Internet Network conference were challenged to leave the boundaries in the rearview mirror or risk becoming irrelevant. Speaking at morning worship February 13, Pardon Mwansa, a general vice president for the Adventist world church, told hundreds of Web professionals that the “boundary mindset” and the “expansion mindset” are limiting the scope of Adventist mission and ministry. A boundary mindset is throttled by traditions; an expansion mindset is content reimagining those traditions. What’s needed instead, he said, is a “creation mindset.” “It’s easier to go where others have already been. But who is it who has improved this world? People who have broken the boundaries,” Mwansa said, citing early explorers, civil rights leaders and tech innovators. “We will not get anywhere with a boundary mindset,” he told 400 GAiN participants meeting at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, United States.

Author and marketing consultant Martha Gabriel amplified that idea in her February 14 keynote, describing what she called “simplicity plateaus,” where an organization stagnates at a level of technology they have mastered. “We can’t stay here. Know the next level you need to conquer,” she said. And, perhaps more importantly, she added, know your audience. In today’s “attention economy,” messages compete for relevance, Gabriel said. Organizations that thrive in the attention economy know that the currency of ideas and information is no longer enough to succeed. “Ideas alone are worthless. What we need now are people who make things happen,” Gabriel said. For Adventist pastor Sam Neves and a development team from the church’s British Union Conference, that meant not waiting for the church to get behind a comic book style trivia game called “Heroes.” The first Seventh-day Adventist game for iPhone and iPad, “Heroes” was downloaded 3,000 times in the first 48 hours of its release, tripling the benchmark analysts say a mobile app should meet in its first week to be considered successful.

On the final day of GAiN, the Adventist world church Youth Ministries department signed a deal to help support the Android release of “Heroes.” The game reintroduces players to heroic biblical characters—such as Abraham, David and Esther—while testing their Bible knowledge with quiz questions. Players can compare scores with their friends on Facebook. At GAiN, a demo of the game pitted players from the church’s Trans-European Division with other divisions. “We realized that to bring a sense of identity to a new generation, we needed to remind them of who their heroes are,” Neves said. “And what better way, than to use a medium they are very familiar with?”

Indeed, said Daryl Gungadoo, distribution and network engineer for Adventist World Radio Europe, “gamification” is the new frontier and successful companies will find ways to engage their audience with games.He cited an example from Sweden, where a marketing campaign from Volkswagen turned the oft-loathed speed cameras into a lottery, where people who drive the speed limit are automatically entered into a pool to win the fines paid by motorists who speed. 

Another presenter challenged the popular adage that “content is king” in social media. Sonja Kovacevic, content manager of LIFEconnect in the church’s Trans-European Division, proposed that instead, “the audience is king.” “[Our audience] prefers to trust someone they know. And they come to know us when we offer useful content. They come to like us when they enjoy our content. And they come to trust us when our content is credible, consistent and free,” Kovacevic said. Brazilian businessman and philanthropist Milton Soldani Afonso received this year's NetAward from Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson. Afonso was key in establishing and funding the Adventist Church's use of media outreach in South America. “Even more than his money, his vision for the church in communication and technology has been his greatest contribution,” said Williams Costa Jr., Communication director for the Adventist world church. This year’s GAiN conference also featured a presentation by Antonio Monteiro, who was released last month from a prison in Togo after nearly two years of detainment. Monteiro and four others were imprisoned on charges of conspiracy to commit murder in a case that captured the attention of the Adventist world church.

Courtesy: ANN Bulletin, February 18, 2014

 

 

 

Tidings.Jan-Feb.2014

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New Year Message from the President

 

Another year has gone by. A new year is beaming with bright hope and anticipation of all good things. We do not know what this new year holds for us; what kind of blessings are in store for us. David says in Psalms 34:10, “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” If we hearken to his counsel, it is definite that we will not lack any good thing this year.

We should seek the Lord according to the instructions of the word of God. Most often people seek the Lord half heartedly. Some have fully indulged in the pleasures of the world. The word of God says in Psalm 119:2, we have to seek the Lord with our whole heart. Some have 100% trust in men, but when all fails, then they turn to God. But David had a unique way of seeking God, in Psalms 63:1 he says, “Oh God, early will I seek thee.” Let us make it a practice to seek the Lord early throughout this year. Then He will shower us with His abundant grace. Let our relationship with the Lord be strengthened during this year. Then all our efforts will be fruitful. God will prosper us and we will enjoy all His blessings. The Lord will be our Good Shepherd, we shall not want, He will meet all our needs.

 “God is upon all for good that seek Him” (Ezra 8:22). When Israelites were walking through the wilderness, God’s protective hand was over them. The same Hand will be with us too, during this year and protect us from all harm and evil. He will hide us under the shadow of His wings.

 Let us enter upon the New Year with our hearts cleansed from the defilement of selfishness and pride. Let us put away every sinful indulgence and seek to become faithful, diligent learners in the school of Christ (OHC 7.3). Seek to begin this year with right purposes and pure motives as beings who are accountable to God. Let us seek the Lord and find Him through diligent study of God’s word and earnest prayer. The ministry of angels, the gifts of His spirit, and the labors of His servants all are for you. Let patience, long suffering, kindness and love become a part of your very being.

2014 is a year of ‘Mission to the Cities.’ It is strategic, crucial and wise to reach the cities in the Division with the glorious gospel of Three Angels’ message. In India the number and size of the cities have become a great challenge. The future and hope of a nation lies in its cities. Cities were lighthouses of the gospel to the surrounding regions. Through the city church at Ephesus, the whole Asia Minor was evangelized. To complete the great commission task in the Division it is essential to reach 83 cities during this quinquennium.

 So, dearly beloved in Christ, let us be desirous of seeking Him in all our plans and endeavors. God will definitely bless us, with miracles and wonders this year. May God’s abundant Grace, Peace and Blessing be with you in 2014. I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.     Pastor R John, President, Southern Asia Division

 

Just Don't Arise, but Shine too: The Third Nepal Youth for Christ (NYC) Meeting

 

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October 23-27, 2013 brought over 250 young  people from far and near to Chitwan, Nepal, for the third annual Nepali Youth for Christ meeting.  These Seventh-day Adventist young men and women, along with some Hindus and other non-SDAs, gathered in Rampur Agricultural Campus,  Nepal.  Presenters from the Southern Asia Division, America and Australia came to arouse the spiritual life of these hungry believers.
     NYC president, Philip Dangal, and vice-president, Madeline Cardona, had a team of young people who did their best to make the program a rewarding experience.   This meeting was the first mass Adventist gathering since Nepal became a section under the leadership of Umesh Kumar Pokharel, the president.

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 Every morning the participants gathered in the main meeting hall where different groups from the various churches led the song service. Hair-rising and soul-piercing testimonies were presented each day by several believers. Among the testimonies were: how a mother left a child on the motorbike behind the father who thought the mother was also sitting there; a daughter whose mother had a cancerous hand that was healed after coming to the church; and, a young girl who had a male personality changed into female personality after a deadly accident.
Various seminars were led by the guest speakers and Philip Dangal. The SUD youth director, Ravindra Shankar, led a seminar on Freedom, "Man's Best Choice."  SUD Publishing department director,  Vara Prasad Deepati, spoke about the 10 Commandments; Philip Dangal presented on "Unashamed Youth to Stand" which taught the youth to think of themselves as leaders not only of the future but also of the present time.  Other seminars were: Joel Slade from Australia speaking on Relationship and Purity;  Dean Cordian from USA speaking on Evangelism and Samuel Nanaverapu of Amazing Facts (India) talking about Jesus as the Perfect Incarnation.

Samuel on HInduism             Sarita
      The crowning part of the NYC was the series of sermons by Peter Gregory. His metallic voice, graphic movement and gestures, and PowerPoint presentations captured the heart and mind of the listeners. His messages were most needed for each person who claims to follow Jesus in this world today.  The call for spiritual awakening,  Biblical meditation, encounters with God, and learning to embrace God were some of the main points that drove listeners spiritually home. Peter's messages often held the listeners spellbound. Overall, Peter Gregory acted as a stepping stone to lead the NYC attendees to know Jesus better.  The participants listened to each message from this man of God, and the result was a great rewarding experience..
    A witnessing program was held that all the participants, under various leaders, visited different parts of the town, singing, giving pamphlets, praying and sharing about Jesus. They all enjoyed sharing their faith with others. The last message was given on Sunday, October 27, by  Vara Prasad who focused on what it means to "Rise and Shine”. Nineteen members of Spicer College Mission team led by Emmanuel Paul and Uma Shrestha  gave an impressive performance on how youth could be torn between self, addiction and Jesus.  

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 This year's NYC meeting came to an end with four baptisms, one paralyzed college student, Niswartha who came alone to NYC from a Hindu family, gave his heart to Jesus  and wished to live for Jesus rest of his life. Four days of NYC experience gave all participants a glimpse of what it will be like to be in heaven with those who love Jesus. Just before the participants left for home, hundreds of Bibles, Sabbath school lessons , a Sanctuary book, “Final Events" DVDs and several other  publications were distributed to the attendees.   We want to thank the organizers of this NYC program and all the donors who made it possible for us to attend and learn many things from this meeting. Honor and glory to God!                  Bhaju Ram Shrestha ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

  

Spicer Solicits Funds from the Alumni,

Friends and Well-Wishers for the Centennial Projects

 

As you are aware Spicer is preparing for the Centennial Celebrations during January 28-Feb 1, 2015.  The College was established as South India Training School at Coimbatore in 1915 with just 13 students and has gradually developed into a larger institution now offering even post-graduate and doctoral programs and is poised to receive the University charter from the state government soon as it inches toward its centennial year. This is certainly the time to rejoice and celebrate God’s marvelous leading over the decades and to express our unstinted gratitude for His continuous and magnanimous blessings. 

 The College has decided to build a Centennial commemorative edifice, - a College of Management and Computer Science building with state-of-the-art facilities. The construction work has already started and is expected to be completed with all the facilities before January, 2015.  This will be inaugurated during Centennial Celebrations and dedicated by Dr Ted N. C. Wilson, President of the General Conference.

 

 This project is estimated to cost about Rs. 10.2 crores (1.8 Million USD at the current exchange rate).  The structure would cost us about 60% of the estimate and the interiors will cost the other 40%.  We have raised most of the funds for the structure and are looking forward for donations for interior and furniture layouts.

 

 The video of the project, details of floor-wise layouts and the section-wise estimates are uploaded on the college websites and can be viewed by clicking the following links: www.spicer-100yrs.in

and www.spicercollege.com . We request you to be part of this noble endeavor and adopt whatever scheme is convenient to you.  We do realize this is a monumental task but if all of us can join together we can complete this project successfully.  Kindly consider our request and help us to fulfill our dreams for our Alma Mater and the future generations.  You may join together with the Spicerians and other friends in your area or your Church and adopt whatever plan is possible and be blessed in return.  “Cast your bread upon water and ye shall find it after many days”-Eccl. 11:1.  We will recognize all such donations with appropriate plaques bearing the donor’s name, preserved for posterity at strategic locations of the college.

May the Good Lord continue to bless you as you ponder over your share of participation in this sacred venture of building monuments for His cause thus bringing glory and honor to His matchless name. We look forward to hearing from you encouraging and inspiring reports of how God led you to and though Spicer and how you would like to respond to His amazing grace bestowed on you, and finally to meeting you in Spicer campus during the centenary celebrations, hopefully a foretaste of what it will be in the world to come.

    S Rajendra Prasad, VPAA, Spicer Memorial College

 

Fifty Years Later, Class of 1963 at Lowry!

 

            The first weekend of November, 2013 was filled with interesting activities on Lowry Memorial College campus.  Its Class of l963 had returned to its Alma mater after 50 years to praise God and honor the institution that laid the Christian educational foundation for their lives. Thirteen of the twenty-seven class members came for this Golden Jubilee Celebration, of those seven came from different parts of the U.S and six came from India.  The school administration took great pride in welcoming its alumni and making them feel very special with flowers, shawls and kind introduction to the current students and staff.  Prakasam Jacob, the president of the college and his staff helped to make all the necessary arrangements for this reunion.  He said, “This is the only alumni group that ever came back to Lowry to say, “Thank you”!  Many wondered how this class kept itself together to make such a memorable come back!

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Fifty years ago at the end of the school year in 1963 our class had a formal graduation.  There were twenty-seven students in the class and the class sponsor was  Russel Isaac, who had returned with his Masters in Education from Andrews University.  The Principal was S. G. David, the Head Master  J. N. Samuel had also just come back from the US after receiving his Masters in Education.  Kutzner, the missionary from Canada was appointed as the principal for the new school year.  The administrators decided to have a formal graduation like they had it in the Adventist Boarding Academies in the US, for our class. We selected the class motto “In God We Trust” and the aim, “To Walk with God Eternally”.  Miss Stoneburner who was at the union office even composed a song for our class.  The graduation activities brought our class members together in special ways, making wonderful memories of finishing our high school. 

            Our class was made up of students from Spencer Road English Middle School, a bulk from E. D. Thomas Memorial High School, one from Narsapur and others from schools around Bangalore and Krishnarajapuram.  Most of us were children of Adventist workers while others were Adventist lay members’ children from South India Union.  In the three years of high school, we had many wonderful teachers who were mostly Adventists.  Teachers of the vernacular language were local educators from Hindu background.  Our principals from 1960 through 1963 were Jessen, Ralph Jones and S. G. David.   Stanley David, Durai Jeevanesan, Pylee Abraham, Bhaggian, Florence Jesurathinam, Mrs. Jegathesan, Devaraj, Miss Titus, Russel Isaac,  K. P. Philip were most of the teachers we had.  They taught us to love learning and to aspire for higher achievements with our faith in Jesus as our foundation.  It was here they trained us to participate in religious activities and instilled the great Adventist educational culture in us.  Manual labor was a very important part of our education at Lowry.  Our preceptors was Mrs. L. C. Samuel and the preceptor was Devadass.  They woke us up around 5:30 and we had morning worship at 6:00.  At 6:30 we lined up for work assignments outside the hostels.  Each morning we were sent to one of the following areas for work—Lowry juice factory, farm, estate, kitchen, hostel cleaning, dairy, bakery and so on.  We worked till 8:00 with empty stomachs and cleaned up in crowded bathrooms and had breakfast of different kinds of porridge or ‘uppuma’ and rushed to our classrooms. This daily schedule certainly trained us for hard work.  Educational activities and the religious activities that took place each week instilled in us great Christian values of honesty, empathy and love.

            Most of our class members from the Adventist background have immigrated to the United States but we kept in touch with each other.  In 1993 Enoch Thomas took the lead for a 30 year get together in Washington D.C.  We travelled from different parts of the U.S. and had a joyful 30th year reunion.  At that time Pr. and Mrs. S.G. David, Pr and Mrs. Ralph Jones and Dr. and Mrs. Kutzner joined us.  We had the opportunity to honor them.  As 2013 was ticking on, many of our class members expressed their interest in having our 50th year reunion in India on Lowry campus.  Few of the members took the lead in planning the activities for the weekend and the Lowry administration was a great source of help in organizing the program.  Jane Injetty took the lead in putting the final details in place after hundreds of phone calls and emails.  Enoch Thomas gave the moral support and blessings as the plans progressed.  Florence Jeyabarathan took charge of all the work that needed to be done in India and was a great source of help in planning the hotel stay and taking charge of our transportation in Bangalore. 

            The weekend began with us first honoring our teachers.  Pr. and Mrs. Devaraj were the only teachers who were able to be present with us.  Mrs. Jegathesan joined us through SKYPE.  We thanked our teachers and honored them.  We read the handwritten message that Mrs. Jegathesan sent to the class.  Then we took the vespers at Lowry College church.  The speaker was Reverend Deena Dayalan, a minister from the CSI church.  He was one of our day scholar class mates and Enoch Thomas found him through internet search and made the connection.  He is a nationally known Indian Christian leader who is a peace and social justice activist.  He has been instrumental in enacting many UN policies related to social justice issues in Asia.  Our class members also took charge of the Sabbath School program and the Church service and shared our gifts.  Devadass Moses was the speaker for the divine service.   He spoke on the topic “Being Rich Toward God.”  The Sabbath celebration culminated with a special lunch that our class provided for all the students, staff and members of the English and other vernacular churches on the campus. 

            Our class came back to Lowry Campus after fifty years to demonstrate that the Adventist education truly makes its students fruitful for God’s kingdom.  We also wanted to say, “Thank you” to the institution that shaped our young lives fifty years ago.  Another purpose was to inspire the current students to value the education they are receiving at Lowry today.   We praise God for taking us from a small beginning at Lowry to greater heights in the professional careers we pursued.  We can truly say that the Adventist Christian education we gained at Lowry stands the test of time.  It was well said,  “He who co-operates with the divine purpose in imparting to the youth a knowledge of God, and molding the character into harmony with His, does a high and noble work. As he awakens a desire to reach God's ideal, he presents an education that is as high as heaven and as broad as the universe; an education that cannot be completed in this life, but that will be continued in the life to come”(White, E. Education, p. 19).                                                                  Margaret Solomon, Professor, La Sierra University, Riverside, California

Madhya Bharat Section,  Jaipur,

New Recruit L E Training Program

October 2- 6, 2013

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 “I have decided to follow Jesus, No turning back, no turning back” with this theme 7 young men gathered in MBS headquarters early morning on October 2, 2013 to be trained and equipped so that they could carry the Printed Pages Ministry in the vast field of the MB section. Kishore Gill, NIU Publishing Ministry director took the initiative and Barkat Masih, MBS Publishing Ministry director worked together with the support and cooperation of the section leaders. Ravi Gill, president, addressed the waiting youth in his opening note: “We are coworkers with Christ”. “Publishing Ministry work is the most powerful and enduring way of taking the present truth before the perishing world,”  he emphasized. He promised to give full support to the newly recruited LEs in their  assigned ministry. With the encouragement, motivation and knowledge imparted, the youth transformed into a powerful and promising force for publishing work.

The resource personnel handled the following topics: Philosophy of Publishing Ministry, Mission of Publishing Ministry, and Publishing Ministry in God’s Plan. In the evening worship Umesh Nag laid emphasis on how the Adventist message was taken by two literature evangelists who dared to come to India in 1893. “Present Truth” was originally printed and distributed by Seventh day Adventists to teach the world. The second day opened with a devotion by Franklin Francis, secretary, who emphasized  the accessibility of  LEs to diverse sections of society. Kishore Gill presented: The Importance of Publishing Ministry and Personal Selling & Relationship and Barkat Masih  LE’s Morale Ethics& Working Policies. In the evening worship Davis Gardner emphasized on the importance of the publishing work. The third day began with devotion by Shekhar Chand, treasurer emphasizing the role of LE in reaching the unreached with the life saving gospel through printed pages. “In God’s vineyard there is work for every one of us and we all will be rewarded equally at the end of the day,” he said. During the vespers Barkat Masih spoke on the last call of the Lord to all from Mathew 20:1-16. He emphasized “children, youth, adult and aged are invited to work in His vineyard.” On Sabbath, Kishore Gill, the divine speaker challenged the congregation to support the printed page ministry. On Sabbath evening  seven candidates were consecrated to do God’s work Vijay Baria, Dinesh Baria, Ganeshwar Baria, Amandeep Singh, Kulvender Singh, Rakesh Garasiya and Kachrulal Garasiya.

Savita Chand, Communication Director, MBS

Adventist Media Centre Reaches Seven Cities

With Revival & Reformation Message

Revival and Reformation is the need of the hour for the Adventist church in India.  Reaching to the city audience is the most difficult task in the present days.  The World Church is focusing on cities around the globe in the year 2013.  Adventist Media Centre, Pune, planned to reach seven cities of India with the Revival and Reformation message. 

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Robert Antony Williams, a renowned speaker and evangelist from United Kingdom was the main speaker for the meetings. The campaign began with Pune city; Salisbury Park English Church was the first place where we began the meetings on 13-9-13. On Sabbath, Spicer College church was blessed by the message from Robert Williams.  In the evening a seminar was arranged for the top dignitaries of Pune.  The Topic was Economic Mess- Is there a way Out? The top officials of Pune were blessed by the presentations of Robert Antony Williams.

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The next place was Ottaplam in Kerala, known as God’s own country. On 16-9-13 the staff from hospital, school and other church members gathered together for the meetings. The preacher encouraged the people to commit their lives for the mission of Christ. Then we moved to Chennai, a metropolitan city in south, a different kind of meeting was arranged in Thambaram church.  On 17-9-13 South East India Union arranged for a union wide pastors’ conference for the entire field of Chennai.  Robert Antony Williams encouraged the pastors to address the challenges that they face with God.   Edison Samraj took two sessions on practical issues.  On 19-9-13 Robert Williams addressed the pastors of Bangalore Metro conference with some practical difficulties that pastors are facing in the city.  The same evening a special Revival and Reformation meeting was arranged in the Spencer School Auditorium.  All the people who attended the program  were blessed. On 20-9-13 the South Central India Union arranged a special devotion for the office staff.  Robert Williams preached on the topic of Immanuel, God with Us. During the vespers all the English churches in Bangalore had a combined service in the auditorium.  Sabbath service was arranged in Cunningham Road English church.  A youth forum was organized in the afternoon where many youth participated. On 22-9-13 the meetings were conducted in Hyderabad. A non Adventist congregations invited the preacher to preach in their churches.  Deeven Kumar, senior pastor, Rock Memorial church arranged three important services, each service was attended by 1500-2000 believers. Jacob Chinnappa, CEO of famous Religious Channel Rakshna Television arranged for an interview with Robert Williams & Edison Samraj. People were blessed by the messages of Robert Williams. Then at shilling, a Daniel and Revelation Seminar was conducted. Two days intensive Bible study was a blessing to the community of believers.  On 26-9-13 a studio was completely sponsored by the laity of the church was inaugurated. The campaign of carrying the Revival and Reformation messages to the seven cities came to climax in Delhi. Robert Williams delivered a special messages and people in Delhi were blessed by them. We want to thank the officers of the Seven Unions of Southern Asia Division, for the support and cooperation given to us during this long and tiring tour from Pune to Delhi. We hope and trust that the church will focus more on Revival and Reformation messages in the future. We want the readers to pray for the work and plans of Adventist Media Centre, Pune.    Ashok Kumar, AMC, Pune

 

Loma Linda & GC Education Department Officials Meet Indian Embassy Official

   
 Dr. Richard Hart, President, Loma Linda University; Dr. Patricia S. Jones, School of Nursing, LLU; Dr. Lisa Beardsley, Director, Education Dept of GC; Dr. Hudson Kibuuka, Associate Director, Education Dept. of GC; Dr. John Stanley, Lead Consultant, Quintesse Consultants, Bangalore, India; and myself had a conference with Mr. Tarun Mohinder, Counselor, Science & Technology, Embassy of India in Washington, DC about the possibility of LLU School of Nursing's degrees being accepted by the Indian Nursing Board and also about LLU's programs acceptance by India's University Grants Commission and the Government of India.  Soon after the arrival of India's new Counselor, Education at the Embassy of India in early December, Loma Linda University will invite them to visit them  and make recommendations to the authorities in India. Dr. John Stanley, a very experienced expert and well versed in these type of negotiations, helped very much. My contacts with the Indian Ambassador and other senior Embassy
officials for over 40 years helped make this meeting possible. Our meeting exceeded more than an hour and we had a very profitable, productive and helpful suggestions from Mr. Tarun Mohinder at the Embassy of India. I remember how, with the help of our beloved late Elder Neal C. Wilson in 1996, I was able to get Loma Linda University and the Health Department of Kerala State Government to sign a MoU in upgrading and training Emergency Room doctors and nurses of Trivandrum & Kottayam Medical Colleges of Kerala at Loma Linda University. Hon. A K Antony, Defense Minister of India now, was then the Chief Minister of Kerala State and a MoU was signed on February 17, 1996 in his office by Mr. G. K. Pillai, IAS (Retried Home Secretary) and Dr. Joan Coggin, Vice President, LLU.  It was a great program; and exchange of personnel for training and upgrade were initiated. (taken from SUD e-News, Nov 3, 2013)
                                                                     Sunny Wycliffe < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

 Khurda School recovers from the ruins caused by Phailin, the cyclonic storm

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Khurda school witnessed yet another severe cyclonic storm after 1999 super cyclone. The campus dwellers had a harrowing time with strong winds and rain lashing at Khurda on October 12 Saturday night. When the cyclone was gaining strength, the anxiety was mounting as there was several huge trees in front of the quarters and back as well. The campus plunged into darkness for several days as the high tension electric towers and the posts were ravaged in the calamity. There was an acute scarcity of water for several days. Later it was met with the help of energy  powered by a hired generator. More than 166 trees were uprooted among which 122 were teaks. The walking path was damaged and the boundary wall collapsed in several places as a result of falling of huge trees upon it. The most heart rending sight was the that the roof of the auditorium has been completely destroyed when a huge gulmohar tree fell on it. For some time students and the staff  were left with no place to worship God on the Sabbath. We gathered in different groups in dining hall and conference room for worship. All the staff and teachers worked sincerely to restore mormalcy on the school premises. Now we are steadily recovering from all the ruins caused by the cyclone. We are thankful to the Almighty that He has kept everyone safe in His arms without any causality. Santhamma George, communication secretary

 

Sikkim Evangelistic Meeting

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On October 9-13 an evangelistic meeting was conducted at Adventist Tarpin Church campus in Eastern Sikkim. During the five day meeting, members from various communities-- Buddhists, Hindus, other Christian denominations and a host of Sikkim Adventist members attended. The theme was “Behold I am coming soon”. There were lively songs by Sikkim Adventist youth choir, prayer bands, personal witnessing, health power point presentation, gospel messages and counseling guidance. The Lord has been so good throughout the meeting to share the end time messages. Sikkim is a Buddhist state and there is great scope for evangelism to save the perishing souls. We want to thank brother Udip and Ambika Thapa for coordinating this meeting with Thapa Adventist church members. Special thanks to our entire Adventist church officials for support and prayer.                                                                P K Tamsang, Director Sikkim- Darjeeling Hill Circle

 

 

 

Year End Budget Meeting Highlights

Nomination Committee:

                Trust Services Director:                                 Gompa Devadas

                Nepal  Secretary Treasuer:         

The Norm has been raised for 2014-2015 to Rs. 8000.00

Sponsorship Announcement 2014

Candidates who wish to apply for sponsorship at CMC Vellore and Ludhiana for MBBS, BDA,BPT (Physiotherapy), BOT (Occupational Therapy) or Diploma  Paramedical Courses  should write for a Sponsorship Applications Form to:  M Antto Jayseelan, Sponsorship Secretary Southern of Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists, Box 2, HCF, Hosur, 635 110, Tamil Nadu before March 10, 2014.

Hosur Jeevan Jyothi English Church, Youth Camp at Thrissur

The Jeevan Jyothi English Church at Hosur had the Youth Camp at Thrissur, Kerala from October 18-21, 2013.  The theme of the camp was “Connecting with Jesus”.  There were about 52 campers who stayed at “Darsana Pastoral Centre” which is beautifully surrounded by mountains, Peechi Dam and greeneries.   We the campers started at 7:15 from Hosur by Intercity express   and reached Thrissur at 4:30 p.m.  The camp started with devotion by Micha Aruldas, youth director, South West India Union.  The program schedule was so busy kept us very active throughout the camp.  Every officer was responsible for the devotions and sessions. During the camp we have organized six sessions such as “facing failure, Courtship and marriage, to grow in Self esteem, How to make a difference? and many more.  The resource personnel were Maywald Jesudass, Ratna Maywald, Daryl Joshua, Micha Aruldas and Susan Frederick.  The young people were challenged from the various devotions and sessions.   The young people of our church believe that the Lord has called them to make a difference where God would lead them. 

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We were able to minister at the Ottapalam Church and the Thiruvilwamala Church on the Sabbath. The young people have conducted various activities in both of the churches during the Sabbath school, divine service and Adventist youth meeting. The Sunday October 20, 2013 was a busy day for all of us visiting various places of interest in and around Thrissur.

The concluding session was taken Le Roy Samuel on the theme: We Need You Lord. He focused on the essence of an intimate relationship by connecting with Jesus Christ. All of us gathered in a circle and concluded the session with a dedicatory prayer by Micah Aruldas. We left the camp site at 9:00 am on October 21, 2013 and reached Hosur on that same evening by Inter City Express. We thank the Lord for keeping all of us safe and sound. Also we thank Maywald Jesudas, pastor and Jeevan Jyothi English Church Board, Hosur for supporting the young people for the camp and encouraging them in the activities of the church.                                                    Leroy Samuel Associate treasurer, SUD.

 

REVIVAL MEETING OF EASTERN JHARKHAND SECTION

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The Eastern Jharkhand Section Revival Meeting was held from October 23 – 26, 2013 at SDA School Bisunpur, Taljhari Sahibganj.  More than 1100 people came for this meeting, in spite of the effect of Phailine Cycle.  There was nonstop rain, but they did not complain and carried their luggage on their shoulders and reach the place safely because there is hardly any vehicle to ride on this road. The place is remote and very few vehicles only run on this road.

 

The Theme of this meeting was John 8:32You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.”The Section President, Pr Alfred Kisku took the inauguration service. Dr Edison Samraj, Director Adventist Media Center was the guest speaker for this meeting. Also Pr CS Marandi (Retired) and Pr RP Singh, SS/Personal Ministry, Director were present. Dr Edison Samraj gave heart touching message. Each time he spoke there were tears in the eyes of each listener. Special prayer was offered on Friday evening. A devil possessed boy came up to the rostrum and after much prayer and struggle the boy was set free.  Pr Sujal Kisku, Dept Director was the translator for this meeting. On the same day three couples were married during this meeting. Pr CS Marandi gave tips on Small Group Ministry. Each lay people to partner with God to win souls for his kingdom. Pr RP Singh gave out picture rolls to 60 lay people who have won souls for the church.

Sabbath has been raining, but we kept on praying, the rain can be seen all around but in our campus there was not much rain. We had 85 Baptism on Sabbath Morning and Bibles were distributed to the Baptismal Candidates.  Dr E Samraj took the Devine Service and gave Inspiring message presented to the congregation. There was water everywhere under the Pandal but all the members heard the message attentively and were richly blessed. All returned joyfully praising God who has done miracle in our lives.

                                                       Martha Kisku, Director WM/Children & Shepherdess

Children’s  Ministries  Advisory  ECIU

South  East  Andhra  Section,  Hope  Centre,  Ongole

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“Building for Eternity  “ Was the motto of Children’s   Ministry Advisory of East  Central  India  Union  of   SDA,  Hyderabad.  For the success of any program, three  things  are  important,  Budget,  Presentations  and  food  accommodation  relished with  the  hospitality  of  the  local  leaders . 

All  the  above  fineries  were  extended for  the  success  of  the  Advisory  held  at  Hope  Centre ,  South  East  Andhra  Section, Ongole   from August  30 - 1st  of  September 2013.   The  resource    personnel  were   Dr.  Ch.  Victor  Sam,  CHM    Dir.  SUD  and  Dr.  M  Wilson,  President,  ECIU.    The  Topics  dealt  were,  “  Importance  of   Training  Children  in  Church”,   “ E G  White’s  Counsels  on  Min.  to  Children,”   “Programmes  for  the  Local  Church “,  “ 8  Characteristics  of  a  Healthy  Children’s  Ministries,”  and  “  Programmes  that  reach   New  Children”.  

The  Directors  and  their  delegates  from  nine  units( Guntur Region,Hyderabad Section, North Rayalaseema, North East Andhra,North Orissa Region, North West Andhra, Odisha, South Andhra,South East Andhra,and South Rayalaseema Section) of  East  Central  India  Union  were  highly  enriched  by  all  presentations.  We  had   lively song  services  to  warm  up.   After  the  Sabbath, the  Hope  Centre  leadership  had  taken  all  to  the seashore.    The  accommodation,  healthy  and  delicious  meals  served  and  the  hospitality  shown  by  the  South  East  Andhra  Section  had  enriched  the  program. 

We  would  like  to  express  our  heartfelt  gratitude  to  resource  people  for  their  wonderful  presentations.  And  also  we  would  like  to  profoundly  thank   Pr. Ch.  John  Victor,  the  President,  South  East  Andhra  Section  and  his  subordinates  for  their  homely  hospitality.   And  of  course  all  the   Unit  Administrators  for  gracious  enough  to  send   their  Directors  with  delegates  with  the  contribution  towards  expense.   Above  all  thank  God  for  His  leading  through out  the  success  of  the  Program.

We express our displeasure to the units who failed to co-operate in attending the ADVISORY in spite of all information sent. Kindly try to extend your co-operation next time.

                             Sofia Wilson,  DirectorShepherdess and  Children   Ministries - ECIU

 

SOUTH CENTRAL INDIA UNION

PASTORS AND WOMEN’S CONFERENCE

AUGUST 21-24, 2013

 

Paul prayed for believers at Colossia.  He asked God to give them complete knowledge of God’s will and grant them spiritual wisdom and understanding.  So that the way they live will always honour and please the Lord, and their lives will produce every kind of good fruit.  (Col 1:9,10).  This was the prayer of South Central India Union (SCIU) for their pastors and their spouses.  And the prayer was answered in holding Union Wide Pastors and Women’s Conference from August 21-24, 2013 at Claret Nivas, Carmelram, Bangalore-560035.

This is a beautiful retreat centre.  Seventy pastors and forty shepherdesses participated in the activities of the conferences.  The day began early for the pastors and their spouses.  The methods of personal devotion, physical exercise, etc were presented to help and enrich them in their personal and family life.

The formal presentations centred on “Empowered by the Holy Spirit”, the theme of the Conference.  Personal spiritual growth, - Revival and the Community, church growth – Revival and Reformation were stressed upon.  Effective witnessing is the result of one’s genuine spiritual stand, was dealt effectively.  Pastoral leadership of the church, its ups and downs were discussed well for the good assimilation of the participants.  The individuals who made valuable presentation included Pr. Jothi Anbiah, Pr. L C Colney, Pr. Robert Clive, Pr. Paulraj Isiah, Pr. Cyril Monthero, Pr. Lawrence and Pr. Christian from Romania, Pr. D Padmaraj, Pr. Peter C Halemane and others.

Shepherdess were blessed with presentations on small group Bible studies, prayer, Sabbath observance, effective witnessing in and out of church etc.  The resource personnel included Mrs. Rosenita Christo, Mrs. Hepzibah Kore, Mrs. Eshwaramma and others.

The Conference concluded with the impressive Sabbath service and ordination of seven pastoral couple for the service of God.  The ordained pastors are Pr. Johnson Y, Pr. Babu H, Pr. Manuel YS, Pr. Dhanraj .S, Pr. Hanock Raj, Pr. P Shadrack, Pr. S Rajkumar.

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The SCIU Ministerial Association expresses its gratitude to the Division, Union and its sub units for their co-operation in God’s service.  Heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Alwyn Devaraj and others for the financial support. All praises to God for enabling them to work for Him.                      Pr. Peter C Halemane, Secretary Ministerial Association, SCIU

 

Mrs. A. M. Job

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            Mrs. A. M. Job (Ramabai Rukmani Mudaliar) passed away on November 10, 2013, at 92. Her husband, Pastor A. M. Job, predeceased her in February 2012. Ramabai, her sister (Mrs. M. Amirtham) and two brothers were born in Rangoon. The family was brought to the truth by Elder J. Philips. After the passing away of her parents, Ramabai and her siblings were brought to India by Pastor Prasada Rao, and were placed in the Prakasapuram boarding school. In December 1935, Ramabai married A. M. Job and lived to celebrate 76 years of married life. Pastor and Mrs. Job spent all their married life in the cause of Adventist education in many places in Southern Asia Division, including Salisbury Park where he founded the first school, Kudikadu, and Spicer. Wherever the family moved, she chose to focus on raising a family on Christian values. She was blessed with the ability to converse in regional languages, sing in a choir, cook nutritious well-balanced meals, and was meticulous in sewing, knitting, and embroidery. She loved music and reflected this through playing the harmonium and singing soprano in the Salisbury Park church choir. After Pastor Job's retirement, the two lived in Vellore where they enriched the church and CMC student life. Mrs. Job was blessed with good health throughout her long life, until the void left by her husband's passing away and the frailty of age led her to rest in the hope of the resurrection that she accepted in Rangoon. Mourning her loss are her children and their spouses Alexander and Leela, Sarojini and M. M. Raj, Prabha and Vick, Jayakaran and Leela, 6 grandchildren (Gina, Lenox, Allen, Priya, Anu, and Shanthi) and 5 great-grandchildren (Raylen, Malia, Asha, Seth, and Yohan). John M. Fowler

Mrs. Ellen White Sunderam

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Ellen was born to Arulanandam and Pushpammal in 1949 at Tuticorin. She had her schooling in ED Thomas Higher secondary school till 1970. She was married to Mariappan in July 13, 1977. They were blessed with a son and two daughters. She was suffering from Neuro problem and breathed her last on Sept 13, 2013. She leaves behind her husband, son, two daughters and their spouses, a grand child and a host of relatives. John Justin, Secretary, TK Section

Mrs. Vimala John

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Born in Murkuperi, on 28th Dec, 1939 to Gnanamani and Robert Duraiswamy. Educated in James memorial school. She was married to V. John in 1961, and started mission service at Rorkee. She joined Spicer Memorial College and completed her education after which she joined as a teacher in Falakata. from 1971-1979. She also worked in Jalandhar, Nedukandam, Kotagiri, Bangalore, KGF and Prakasapurum (James school). Following her  retirement, she continued her service as a teacher at a reach school for 2 more years. She also served as teacher and headmistress at a Muslim school for 4 years. She was always active, a loving mother, patient and kind teacher and a faithful worker in God’s vineyard. She leaves behind her husband, Pr. John; 2 daughters, Julie and Maxine; their spouses; and 4 grandchildren. Maxine John

Nitin Singh (Ronnie)

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Nitin Singh (Ronnie) was born to an Adventist couple, Elder J.P. Singh & Professor Catherine on Dec. 23, 1982 in Agra, a city of Tajmahal. He was brought up in Adventist environment and got his schooling education from St. Peter’s College, Agra and Secondary and BBA from Roorkee Adventist College, Roorkee (Uttranachal). Then he went to Bangalore for his MBA but due to ill health he could not complete his Master’s Degree. On 13 September, 2013 midnight around 12:10 a.m., he fell asleep in Jesus due to high viral fever arrested for last 5 – 6 days. He was 31. His sweet smile drew people to him. He left behind his father J.P. Singh and mother Prof. Catherine and younger sister Rini. With great hope in our hearts, we look forward to the second coming of our dear Lord Jesus when we meet and be united with him and all our other loved ones who are asleep in Jesus, our Saviour.

Pastor John Samuel Undrasapu

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Pastor U John Samuel born to Mrs. And Mr. Undrasapu Samuel and Rachelamma on November 14, 1930 in a village called Maredubaka 3 K M away from Madapeta, East Godavari District. After completing His School education he obtained Minsterial training from Lowry and joined pastoral ministry in 1959 worked in Santanmagulur, Atkur, Gudem Madhavaram, Palakol  and Madapeta. And retired  from active service  in 1996. 

He was suddenly bed-ridden for the last 3 months due to his old age and wife took care of him dearly. He was 83 years of age. The entire church anointed him on November 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm and he breathed his last at exactly 4 pm on November 9, 2013, on Saturday, his favorite day. He leaves behind his beloved wife, 2 sons, 2 daughters, 2 daughters in law, 2 sons in law and 8 grand children.                                                                    Ms. U Katherina Rajan, grand daughter.

Dr. Mrs. Barbara Yvonne Bazliel

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Dr. Mrs. Barbara Yvonne Bazliel passed away on December 9, 2013. Yvonne Bazliel is a Jamaican Doctor, who has spent almost her entire professional life serving in mission hospitals in the Indian sub continent and Myanmar.  She and her husband, a Hospital Administrator, reside in Shimla and are deeply attached to the people and awe-inspiring mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India, where she has spent the past 37 years.

As a surgeon and physician she had the capacity of endearing patients to herself. In the State of Himachal Pradesh she came to be known as the “Lady Doctor” who was sometimes referred to as a ‘god’ amongst those who believed in many gods.  Even today as she traverses terrain in a wheel chair, tear filled people hold her hand and look into the face of the soft, warm hearted Doctor they once knew to have unbounded energy and unlimited expertise.

In 1985 while practicing as a surgeon, she came down with a medical problem which was wrongly diagnosed at the PGI Chandigarh.  She was also put on the wrong medications.  After 5 months she was taken to Bangkok where it was discovered that there was a large brain tumor present.  Following surgery she had three complications which left her with a right sided paralysis.

Following a second brain surgery in Loma Linda, California she underwent extensive physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology.  On her return to India she handled an administrative job which dealt with Health and Temperance work.  She retired from active work in 1990.

 

Schools News

Week of Prayer at Ibrahimpatnam.

Week of Prayer was held from October 21- 26, 2013 at Secondary School Church, Ibrahimpatnam.  Pr. Terry Messenger, Executive Secretary, South Engand Conference of SDA London was the speaker along with his wife Mrs. Lynette  Messenger. The theme of the Week of prayer was “Living in the Smart Lane”  ively song  service and inspiring messages thrilled the

children and staff. On October 26, 2013 was  special Sabbath for the Ibrahimpatnam school and was blessed  with profitable week of prayer sessions.

Usilmapatti Church Dedication

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By the grace of God, Usilampatti School got  a golden opportunity to construct a beautiful church inside the school campus. It was a glorious day   on 7th of August 2013 Pr. Chelladurai, president  of south East India Union of SDAm declared open the Church building and Pr. Ambrose  dedicated the Church. It was a blessed day for all the Usilampatti Church members and  School workers.    Joseph Moses, Principal and pastor of SDA Church Usilampatti.

Childrens  fest in Chittur School

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21st November 2013  was a colourful day for all the children of Chittur SDA School because the day was childrens  festival. Mrs. Ch. Krupa Victor. Director children ministries, SouthEst Andhra Section Ongol was the chief guest for the program and the program started with children exhibit their talents. Children recited memory text repeated the texts of the Bible for which they given prizes. Afternoon they had fancy dress  parade with colourfull dress  for which also prizes were given out.

Adventist Lay Pastor / Youth Evangelist Ministers Global Church

 Michael Pedrin, a youth lay pastor from our division, travels around the world   to conduct seminars and evangelistic meetings across the world as he gets invitation from the churches in different countries. Michael is a good Bible scholar and a lay evangelist who loves to share his knowledge with God’s people around the world. He and his family of 5 brothers and 2 sisters, along with their late mother joined the Adventist church in the early 1990s, coming from Catholic background.

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Since January 2004 the Lord called Michael to take up His work as a lay pastor in Mangalore which is a coastal city in South West India in Karnataka state.  The staunch Catholic soil is now penetrated and there is a congregation of around 40 members worshipping God every Sabbath. Along with his brother David, Michael takes care of the Mangalore church.

Michael in Manchester and London

Since two years the Lord started to marvelously open doors worldwide for Michael to share God’s precious message. He is invited to address specific topics and also conduct revival meetings. His travel as an international evangelist began in May 2011 when the British Union Conference (BUC) invited Michael to be part of the ‘Core of Adventism’ where preachers, mostly from America, are invited to do series of meetings in the British Union territory in different churches for a week, and also have special meetings for pastors and elders of the area.

 The year 2012 was a busy year for Michael Pedrin, as he was invited to 5 countries to do series of meetings. In April he was called to California to do presentations on the Lunar Sabbath issue. He has done an in-depth research on this topic, and has written a book on it which was reviewed by the then Director of the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) of the General
Conference, Dr Angel M. Rodriguez.

In May 2012 the BUC invited him again to be a speaker for the “Core of Adventism” program where he did a series at Hounslow SDA church, and also had meetings in different churches in London area. In June the Malaysian Union invited him to be one of the main speakers for the AYC. Michael was back in the UK in July to do a 2-week revival series at Hope Community Church in London.

The Calgary Central Church in Alberta, Canada, was facing a serious issue on the Lunar Sabbath doctrine, where they had to finally dis-fellowship 9 members. And the church leaders there read Michael’s book on his website and decided to call him to help them out. In September/October last year he did a series on the Lunar Sabbath for that church. And by God’s grace this series had an impact that stopped further people from getting trapped into it. The busy year ended up in Africa where he was called to minister to the
saints of God there in a camp meeting at Kampala, a district in Uganda where he was the main speaker touching on the topic of “Revive for Mission”.

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2013 has been a busy one as well. The Garden Road SDA church in Calgary, Alberta, who heard him speak earlier, asked him to come back to do a 2-week series on “The Saving Power of the Cross” in April. They were richly blessed by it and wanted him back to do a prophecy series next May. The BUC called him back this year as well in May to do a series in North England Conference in Sheffield area where he ministered in 3 locations, and rounded it up with a ‘Day of Fellowship’ in Leeds where 17 churches gathered together for the final Sabbath.

He was back in the UK again in September/October for 2 series which were arranged by  Ebenezer Daniel, an Indian pastor settled in the UK. In Manchester North he took a week-long series on “Knowing the Time”, and in Manchester South his series was entitled “The New Covenant”.  The Southern Asian church members in the Manchester area were blessed as well by these presentations. Michael travelled to the Middle East in November 2013. He has 10-12 days of meetings in Doha, Qatar. He also spoke in our church in Sharjah, and had a meeting in Dubai. The Lord has already opened doors for him during the whole year through to travel to the UK, Canada, Ireland, and Italy as for now.

Apart from the international travels Michael has travelled a few places in India for meetings. He did a week of revival meetings in Bidar, Karnataka in 2011, conducted  week of prayer for 2 schools there. Also he did a week long meetings in White Memorial College in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, in October 2011. Early this year in February the Garo Section in Mehgalaya invited Michael to do a series on the Lunar Sabbath as they had some members go into it. And in May/June 2013 Michael did a series of Evangelistic meetings on the book of Daniel in Vellore.
He is very grateful to the Division, Union and Section leaders for the full support and encouragement they are giving him to carry on the good work of preaching the gospel everywhere. He asks all to pray for him as he serves God and His beloved Seventh Day Adventist Church in his capacity as a lay pastor and evangelist.
                                               Ramani Kurian, Asst. Communication director, SUD
 

 

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.

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                                  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.

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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

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 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“

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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”.    

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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.         

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 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

 

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 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

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   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

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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

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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

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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

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                                                            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.

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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

 

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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?

 

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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

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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_text49872 ); 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

 

 

 

                                                                                                                              

 

 

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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?


 

58    BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

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.


 

62    BEYOND IMAGINATION


 

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


 

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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?


 

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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


 

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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


 

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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.

 

 

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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


 

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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).


 

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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).


 

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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


 

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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-


 

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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


 

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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


 

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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


 

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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


 

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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:


 

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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.


 

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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?


 

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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”?


 

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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.


 

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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,


 

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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.”


 

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