India update #8 – Friday, February 3, 2012
We are back home in Norwood. The flights and waiting in airports were exhausting. After a somewhat restful day in Phoenix we drove home Thursday (2/2). While snow storms were predicted we were blessed with clear roads and only a few spots where we hit sleet for just a few minutes. We pulled into our driveway at 5 pm. The only snow we had to drive on the whole way home was the snow on our driveway. One more answer to prayer on this amazing trip.
It reminded us of our time in India. We had beautiful weather the entire time we were there. On our way to the airport it started getting cloudy. When we boarded the plane it was pouring rain. We were so thankful that we didn’t have rain while we were there. The villages where we ministered all had dirt roads to get to them. It would have been a muddy mess in the rain. Praise the Lord for the blessing of good weather.
At the celebration dinner in Chennai on Monday night before we left India each native host gave a report on the results of our meetings. It thrills me to report that the Lord’s harvest during the January 2012 revival was 2088 new souls won for Christ! These precious souls have left the many gods of Hinduism and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Heather and I were blessed to be able to witness 393 of these conversions first hand. The local pastors have been working the Lord’s harvest field all year. They call us in at harvest time to share in the Lord’s harvest with them. Praise the Lord for their tireless dedication to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of South East India.
This was one of those life changing trips that Heather and I will never forget. Seeing the Lord work in powerful ways with some of the poorest people in the world was truly remarkable. We have made new friends and coworkers in the Lord who we will continue to pray for as they do the work of day-to-day discipleship of these new converts.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this trip. We could not have done it without your faithfulness in being the conduit through whom the Lord provided. Your financial and prayer support is truly appreciated. Please continue to pray for our new brothers and sisters as they face the unique struggles of being Christians in a heavily Hindu community. Also please pray for the native pastors as they disciple the people God has entrusted to their care. They have to travel great distances to reach the many villages they are responsible for.
Also, please keep White Fields Overseas Evangelism in your prayers as they do similar work all over the world. Thank you to Tom Mullenix for inviting us to be a part of the work going on in India. He is already preparing for next year’s trip to India, and praying for God to send at least 10 to 15 pastors from America to minister in the revivals. We are also praying that in the next year, God will continue to turn the hearts of the Indians to Himself, and particularly those of men so they will lead their families in the Lord.
We are working on a summary video of the trip. We’ll let you know once it is up on the website.
Blessings in the name of the Lord,
Ken & Heather Lawrence
For those of you not on facebook here is the link to our photo albums from the trip.
Album #1: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3174820928845.2161889.1215232388&type=3&l=bc1473be37
Album #2: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3191428624027.2162263.1215232388&type=3&l=2925ab8da5
India update #7 – Sunday, January 29, 2012
This is our last update from India. We will do a final wrap up once we get home.
Thursday (1/26) we began our time with our host Aruldoss in the Chennai area. Aruldoss is the director of a group of pastors who minister to and plant churches in poor villages in and around Chennai and the Bay of Bengal. While all the poor areas are difficult to share the gospel to, the fishermen’s villages seem to be the most difficult. They work very hard fishing every day and night. While there is much these fishermen have in common with the Lord’s first disciples the team has had a difficult time reaching them.
Friday morning Heather spoke at a women’s meeting at a Fishermen’s village church in Thruvanmiyour. She did an excellent job and the women appreciated what she had to say. After her talk Ken shared a word of encouragement with them.
Friday evening we went to Cheman Cheery, one of the government slums. There is a small group of Christians there in this mostly Hindu community. The living conditions are pretty bad. It looks like the slums were built in a marshy area. There is a lot of mud and standing water. As a result there are a lot of mosquitos. The homes are very small, one room dwellings of approximately 8×10 feet in size. There is no running water. There are community faucets outside where tenants fill water pots to take to their home.
We visited the homes of several Christian families. The people were very friendly and happy to see us. They asked us to pose for pictures with them. The children especially liked Heather and she made several new friends. One little girl grabbed Heather’s hand and led us around the complex to the various homes we visited. Ken and Heather both spoke at an open-air meeting in the slums. The loud speaker system used there ensured many in the complex heard the message. Seeds were planted that we pray will germinate and bear fruit in the future as the pastors continue to work the area.
Saturday Ken spoke at a gathering of area pastors at Palavakkam Burma. Forty -six pastors attended the meeting. Ken presented them with a Proclaimer and explained its use and how to set up listening groups in their churches and communities. We were only able to give the group one proclaimer and they have already requested more. One Proclaimer shared among 46 pastors is definitely not enough. We had the same request from the pastors and students in Ammambakkam as well. Please pray that the Lord will provide more Proclaimers in the Tamil language. They are an extremely useful tool for these pastors to use.
At the end of the meeting Ken asked the men for prayer requests. Many asked for God’s provision to build church buildings. One pastor shared the vision God has given him to win 1000 souls among the poorest of his people. He wants to build many churches and branch churches to reach the lost among the poor. One man asked for prayers for the pastors whose wives are not yet Christians. Apparently this is a problem here. Hindu men come to the Lord and enter into ministry but the wives resist. It makes it extremely difficult for a man to be effective in ministry without the support of his wife. Please pray for these faithful pastors as they struggle to win their family and neighbors for the Lord.
Saturday evening we went to Kannagi Nagar, another government slum village for an open-air meeting. This was a very noisy village and we had no PA system so it was difficult to make ourselves heard. The noise died down a little as Ken spoke to the crowd that had gathered. At the end of the message two young men accepted Christ as Savior and Lord.
After the meeting virtually everyone who had gathered came up and asked for prayers. There were many requests for health concerns, and a few prayers for salvation for family members. The requests that broke our hearts were the two women who asked for prayers because their husbands left them because of their faith in Jesus Christ. These women are paying a high cost to follow Jesus, but they had no regrets. Their faith remains strong. Please pray for these dear sisters as they struggle to raise their children without the support of a husband.
One request took us by complete surprise. A woman came to us holding an infant. She asked us to name him! I asked Aruldoss if she was serious and he said she was. It didn’t seem right that I would name her child. I asked what I should do and he said give him a name. So, I named the child Aaron and asked God to use him as a minister of the Lord to his people. Please pray for Aaron and his family as they serve the Lord in this very poor, hostile community.
Sunday morning we travelled about an hour down the coast to Pooncheery, a tribal village. Aruldoss explained that it is a mix of tribal people and gypsies. The church building was a cement and wooden structure with thatched roof. The singing was great and the people were extremely friendly. It was such a blessing to worship the Lord with them. Ken preached from 1 John 1. Three people accepted the Lord and will be baptized.
Sunday night we spent our last time of ministry at the Fishermen’s village church in Thruvanmiyour. This is where the women’s meeting was held on Friday. There was a good sized crowd that nearly filled the facility. It was a time of great singing and prayer. This was the last sermon Ken will preach in India (at least this trip). When we arrived Thursday and attended a birthday party we honestly thought we were wasting our time. We had just come from several days of village ministry where dozens of people were accepting Christ. Then here in Chennai we were at a birthday party when we should (or so we thought) be somewhere more fruitful. Well tonight the birthday girl (named Salani) accepted Christ at this evening’s worship service. Nothing we do in the service of the Lord is a waste of time. Some things may seem more fruitful because of faster results but any work done for the Lord and His glory is never wasted. How many times do we need to learn this lesson?
Our time in India is nearing its close. We travel back to the Blue Diamond hotel in Chennai tomorrow morning for debrief and our victory dinner. We then head to the airport at midnight to catch our 4 am flight to London. After a 5 ½ hour layover in London we fly on to Phoenix.
Please keep us in your prayers until we arrive safely home in Norwood late Thursday night. Thank you all for making this trip possible. Without your financial and prayer support we would not be here. Thank you for being a willing instrument of God’s provision.
Blessings in the name of Jesus!
Ken & Heather Lawrence
Photo Album #2
Here is the link to our Facebook photo album #2. There just isn’t enough time to shoot, edit and upload any more vlogs so text and picture updates will have to do from here on out. We are down to less than four days until we leave. Please keep the prayers going!
India update #6 – Thursday, January 26, 2012
Tuesday (1/24) and Wednesday (1/25) we continued our work in and around Ammambakkam. We are based at the compound of SEEDs Mission.
On Tuesday Tom Mullenix taught the morning seminar at the SEEDS bible college. He spoke about the Holy Spirit and once again did a wonderful job. Everyone listened intently as Tom spoke. There were several good Q&A exchanges as well.
In the evening Tom left Ammambakkam and relocated in Chennai. Heather and I remained in Ammambakkam. We visited two villages Tuesday night. The villages here remind me more of inner city slums. They have paved streets with homes with cement walls and cement floors. Homes line the streets on each side. The homes are very small and I didn’t see any signs of running water. We did see community wells with pump handles.
In contrast, the villages in Kalahasti reminded me more of poor country towns in the US in the late 1800s or early 1900s. They have dirt roads. Homes are scattered about and are a mix of wooden huts with thatched roofs and homes with cement walls with either thatched roofs or flat cement roofs. Inside are one or two rooms with dirt floors and no indoor plumbing.
At our Tuesday visits we were blessed to witness 105 people come to the Lord. At one village we were invited into a home after the meeting. This home belongs to a retired police officer. He was one of the first Christians in the village and he has opened his home for church meetings. We prayed for the Lord’s blessing for him and his family as they serve the Lord in this village.
Wednesday we got to meet the children of the SEEDS orphanage. They sang to us in Tamil and then in English. Then some shared their bible memory verses. They have ten boys and ten girls at this orphanage. That is their maximum capacity. After the children left for school we got a tour of the boys and girls “dorms.” I’m sure it is much better than living in the villages but it was a bit of a shock for us to find that they sleep on a mat on the cement floor. Seeing how people live here sure makes you appreciate what you have.
Ken had the privilege of teaching the morning sessions at the SEEDS bible college. He began by presenting John Samuel, the director of the college, with a Proclaimer. After showing the students how the device works Ken asked a few students to come up and give it a try. They all passed this “test” very well.
They were all very excited to have the Proclaimer and can’t wait to take it out to the villages to begin listening groups. They have requested we bring 20 more next year so each of the 10 pastors will have one and there will be one for every two students. Most of the students are pastors or pastors in training. They each go out to different villages. There are 48 villages served by the SEEDS pastors and students and 30 more in remote villages several hours away. Please prayer for the Lord’s provision for this much needed tool for proclaiming God’s word to the Tamil speaking people.
After presenting the proclaimer Ken taught one lesson on the Holy Spirit (following up on Tom’s lessons) and then after the tea break he taught them the Gold Panning bible study method. There was enough time to give the students hands-on experience with the method and this really helped in their understanding. They liked this bible study tool very much and promised to use it and teach it to others.
Wednesday night we visited one more village before leaving Ammambakkam. We took the Proclaimer with us and played the first chapter of the Gospel of John, which is part of Ken’s message. The villagers all gathered around John Samuel as he turned on the black box and the word of God came out loud and clear in their own language. You should have seen their eyes light up!
Heather presented the story of Jonah. During her lesson she was interrupted when a cow caused a ruckus. People were trying to herd it right through the area where our meeting was taking place. The cow didn’t want to go through us (and we didn’t want it to either). Things finally calmed down and she was able to finish her story. Ken then delivered his message. Twenty four people came to the Lord from that village.
After a quick dinner we said goodbye to John Samuel, Jessie and their family and were taken to meet our next host pastor named Aruldoss. We are now in the Chennai area very near the Bay of Bengal. Today was a rest day. Aruldoss, our host, took us to the beach of the Bay of Bengal. The waves were very rough. We watched a small fishing boat pull in their nets and come ashore with their catch.
This evening we attended a birthday service for a girl from the church in the fishing village. The girl turned 14 and the Christian community came out to help her celebrate. Ken was asked to bring a message about children and the parents’ responsibility to raise them for the Lord. Aruldoss taught us two songs in Tamil which we tried to sing at the party. I’m afraid we didn’t do very well. One of the songs is “I have decided to follow Jesus” but with Tamil words. After singing it in Tamil we sang it in English.
After the party several people asked for prayer. One was a Hindu woman who came because she had heard that Jesus could heal her of her sickness. Aruldoss was able to share Christ with her before we prayed for her. Seeds were planted in this woman’s life. Who knows where things may lead for her now.
Tomorrow we will be speaking at a women’s meeting in the morning and then doing some house to house evangelism in the slums of Chennai. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. We need them more now so please don’t stop praying for us as we minister, for the local pastors for their follow up and continued work with these people, and for the new converts as they start their new life in Christ. Also please pray for the non-believers we will be witnessing to.
Blessing in the name of Jesus!
Ken & Heather Lawrence
India update #5 – Tuesday, January 24, 2012
It has been a few days since our last update. It has been a busy time. On Sunday (1/22) we attended worship service in Kalahasti. We said goodbye to the people there and headed out to visit one of the orphanages that White Fields supports.
The children of the orphanage greeted us with singing. They then introduced themselves one by one. Next several of them recited their bible memory verses for us. After a brief visit we were served lunch. After lunch Heather was asked to help distribute bibles to the children.
From there we returned to the hotel where we then split into two teams. Tom and his group of local pastors visited one village while Heather and I and our group visited another village. We had a long drive of about an hour and a half to get to this village. As we got closer the scenery began reminding us of home. We were out in the country on a very rocky dirt road. The mountains were red like the mountains along the road to Gateway back home. While there weren’t any pine trees the hills were full of green trees and bushes. We passed a lake that reminded us of Ridgway reservoir. Then we passed an area with cactus mixed among the trees. It was a little taste of home halfway around the world. Seventeen people accepted Christ as Savior and Lord at that village.
Tom’s group came back and shared a wonderful testimony. After Tom’s message many people accepted Christ. They had to walk some distance to get to the water for baptism. One man had a crippled leg and was on crutches. He walked on crutches about a quarter mile or so to the water. As they got close to the water the ground became very soft and his crutches sunk in. He couldn’t get to the water. He had to drop his crutches and lean on Tom to get to the water. They got as far as Tom could go and the man literally crawled into the water to be baptized. This man wanted Jesus so much he crawled to Him! Praise the Lord that He has not forgotten the smallest villages in the remotest parts of the world.
We returned to the hotel and packed up. Our time in Andhra Pradesh is over. Heather and I were blessed to witness 220 people come to the Lord in the area of Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh. Tom’s group witnessed 248. Nathan Jones who was here the first two weeks of January witnessed 233 conversions. So among three of the five teams so far 701 people have come to accept Jesus as Lord! Praise God. That does not count what the other two pastors are experiencing. And we still have a week to go!
From Kalahasti we traveled to the state of Tamil Nadu to the village of Ammambakkam. We are staying at the compound of SEEDs Mission. SEEDS stands for Social Evangelistic Education Development Services. On the grounds of SEEDS is a bible college, an orphanage and a meeting hall/church building.
Monday morning we attended a gathering of local pastors and their families for a seminar, taught by Tom Mullenix. There were 60 people in attendance. The message was very well received and much appreciated. We wrapped up the meeting around 1:30 pm. We then had lunch and rested in the afternoon until our evening meetings out in the villages.
During our break time before heading out for the villages I was able to get some pictures and videos uploaded on our website and facebook. If you have not seen them yet please visit www.FamilyGravity.com/india to see them. Included in those pictures are pictures of Heather wearing the new Indian dress that was given to her and pictures of what we call the “Norwood Village”, the last village we visited that reminded us so much of the Norwood area. Because the pictures are available on our website I am not attaching any to this update. Scroll down below this update for the videos and photo link.
The state of Tamil Nadu is more hostile to Christians. It is illegal to baptize here so it must be done secretly. I am not sure if this is the reason or not, but here we make our village visits at night. Heather went with Tom so she could take pictures and video with him and I went with our hosts. We each visited two villages.
At the second village I spoke at we had an awesome experience. Keep in mind that these are the first night visits we have done. At the second village we were standing under a street light. I was nearing the end of the message and had the translator read John 1:1-5 when suddenly the lights went out. We were in total darkness. Someone handed my translator a cell phone which lit up enough for him to finish reading as others pulled out flash lights. The translator finished with verses 4 & 5: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
This was an awesome illustration of the battle we are fighting here. These villages are engulfed in darkness. We are bringing them the light of God and the enemy is not happy about it. He wants to shut out the light but he will not succeed. Praise the Lord 22 people came to the Light at that village. The light is shining and the darkness cannot do anything to blot it out!
And as if to add just one more little subtle reminder for us that He is in control and aware of what we are doing, when we got back to the compound where we are staying the power was still off. We went inside and sat down leaving the door open. As we rejoiced in the evening’s victory a single firefly flew in adding his light to the otherwise dark room. God is so awesome! He is the provider of light in this dark world.
Tom and Heather went to two villages, both crowds mostly children who were very interested in the story of Jonah, or “Yonah” as they say it, and all wanted to shake hands with Heather before she left, and said, “Bye sister!” It is hard to leave each village because of them. Local pastors stayed overnight in the village to baptize in the morning. A girl had come to the SEEDS orphanage when she was two, grew up, became a Christian, and married a man from this village so because of that connection, the pastors were given hospitality to stay there and disciple the people. They also are interested in building a church there. God is blessing the fruits of their labors in the orphanage in ways unseen at the time.
For Tuesday and Wednesday the schedule should be similar with seminars in the morning and village visits in the evening. I will be teaching the seminar at the college on Wednesday. Thursday we will end our time here and move on to our third and final area.
That’s it for now. We’ll do another update as we can.
Thank you for your continued prayers for the people of India, for the pastors and evangelists who work here on a daily basis, and for the new converts.
Blessing in the name of Jesus!
Ken & Heather Lawrence
Vlog Episode 3
Here is Episode 3 of our India evangelism trip vlog. Hopefully now that we are in a place that has better internet service we can get an up to date video posted soon.
For those of you not on facebook here is the link to our photo album from the trip.
We have not had sufficient internet speed to post our vlogs. We are finally at a location where we can. Here is vlog #2 shot on January 18th.
India update #4 – Saturday, January 21, 2012
We are still in Kalahasti in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. We will be here until Sunday afternoon. We visited two villages on Friday (1/20). They were Raghava Palem and North Vatuwiu. It took about an hour and a half to get to Raghava Palem. It is way out in the country over some pretty bad roads (most of the roads here are pretty bad but these were the worst ones we’ve been on so far). It is beautiful country and even though it was hot and humid we enjoyed the ride. We saw several herds of water buffalo, goats, and sheep (they look more like goats than our sheep). The area we went to had many rice fields which were a rich green color. The fields combined with the green trees made everything look lush and green.
I continued to preach on the subject of the Power of Jesus from Mark 4 & 5. Heather taught her first lesson at North Vathwiu. She taught from Jonah and did a wonderful job.
There were 28 baptisms at the first village and 17 at the second for a total of 45 baptisms. I don’t have numbers from the other American pastors but reports are they are experiencing a similar result.
The second village had a lot of older people accept Christ which is very unusual. When someone has been a Hindu for 60 or 70 years it is not easy to change their mind.
We were once again asked to pray for the sick. One little boy was about 3 or 4 years old and has been crippled since birth. It really broke our hearts seeing him just lying on his mat not being able to get up or walk.
The day ended with a gathering at the local church. Brother Tom Mullenix taught the pastors, evangelists and co-workers about the importance of sexual purity for themselves and the importance of teaching sexual purity to the men and boys of their congregations.
During the lesson Heather was befriended by a group of local girls who were enthralled by her camera. They had her take picture after picture of them and enjoyed seeing themselves on the camera.
We tried to email this report in the morning of January 21st but the power went out so the “internet café” had to close. That’s two mornings in a row that has happened so our access to the internet has been extremely limited. It is now Sunday morning January 22nd and based on our schedule I do not think I will be sending this update today either. So I will keep adding updates of our activities until I finally get internet access again, which I hope will be Monday morning as we are moving on to a new location tonight.
On Saturday, January 21st we had a very busy and long day. We began by visiting one of two “self-help” programs that White Fields has started here. The “self-help” programs are economic programs that help the local Christians support themselves financially. For the first two programs here White Fields bought sheep with which to begin a flock. Over time it is hoped that as the flock grows the families will be able to sell some of the sheep as a source of income.
The sheep are a breed I have never seen. They look more like goats to us. They have no wool and are used for meat. The first project has been going almost a year and has had their first offspring.
After visiting the sheep project we made a long drive out to two remote villages. It took about an hour and a half to get there. The first was Nakkala Colony. The second was Parugolu. Heather taught about Jonah at both villages and the people listened intently. After Heather’s lesson (by the way, here they call her “Hee-thar”) Ken taught. In Nakkala Colony 18 people accepted Christ and were baptized. In Parugolu 44 came to the Lord. Parugolu was the first village we have been to where there were more men being baptized than women. Thirty men and 14 women were baptized there. There were a total of 62 new converts responding at Saturdays meetings, praise the Lord!
Between meetings we took a lunch break in a larger village. The locals went to eat and Heather and I stayed in the car to eat our lunch. (We have been advised by our team leader not to eat the local food in the villages. We don’t want to risk getting sick and missing opportunities to do what we came here for). While we waited in the car a few teen boys were hanging out at a building in front of where we were parked. They soon noticed Heather and took great interest. One boy left and soon came back with a few more boys. After a few minutes there were 10 – 15 or so gathered around. Finally one of them approached the vehicle and spoke to us in fairly good English and asked if we were from Australia. I told him we were from America and he was very surprised. He asked, “Really? You are from America, really?” Our “body guard” then chased them away.
After a few minutes I noticed they had a cricket bat and ball so I got out of the car and asked if I could look at the ball. They invited me to play cricket with them, an offer I just couldn’t refuse. I called Heather out of the car to come take pictures and I thought I was going to lose my chance to play cricket as all the boys gathered around her and wanted her to take their picture. After a few pictures they finally came back to the field and bowled a few balls at me. They took it easy on the old man so I was able to hit every one. It was a fun experience. When I called Chris that night I told her I had an interesting day. I stepped in water buffalo poop while chasing sheep that looked like goats, I played cricked and saw 62 people accept the Lord. It’s not every day you can make a statement like that!
Saturday night we had a meeting at the church where I was asked to teach the local pastors. I shared the Gold Panning bible study method I developed. I wasn’t sure it would translate very well or be usable in this culture but they seemed to understand it and find it useful. Tom had a short message after my lesson. At the end of the meeting they presented Tom and I with shirts and they gave Heather a beautiful Indian dress. They asked her to wear it to church Sunday.
We got back to the hotel around 8:30 pm. Heather and I had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and then tried to get into the “internet café” but they were full and were closing soon.
Today (Sunday, January 22nd) we are leaving for church at 9 am. Tom is preaching this morning. Then we are going to visit an orphanage and one more village before we leave for another part of Andhra Pradesh. Looks like another long day and a lot of time in the car. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, especially as we travel on these roads. We were in a minor car accident Saturday. A three wheeled taxi rear ended us. The taxi we were in is a new Chevy Traverse so the driver we very upset. Thankfully no one was hurt and there was only minor damage to the tail light of the car. There have been several times I thought we were going to have a head on collision but these drivers somehow know how to squeeze through without hitting each other.
We’ll get this sent out as soon as we get internet access. Thank you for your continued prayers.
Blessings in the name of the Lord
Ken & Heather
India Update #3 – January 19, 2012
Hello from Kalahasti in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Heather and I have been in India for two days now. We arrived in Chennai India on Wednesday, January 18th at 1 am. We were greeted by a host of the local church leaders who blessed us with flower garlands and silk scarfs. We got to the hotel at 3 am.
After a few hours of sleep, we had breakfast and then attended a kickoff meeting with the US evangelism team and local church leaders. Wednesday evening we were privileged to attend a wedding. We were treated as honored guests and seated on the platform with the presiding pastors. I was asked to offer the opening prayer. Tom Mullenix, our team leader and director of White Fields Overseas Evangelism, was asked to deliver the message to the bride and groom.
After the wedding at 10 pm we packed up and headed out for Kalahasti. We arrived at our hotel at 1:30 am. Thursday began our time of evangelism. The local pastors and evangelists have been working with the people in villages all around the area for a year preparing them for our visit. They are the true workers in the Lord’s harvest field here.
We began our day at 10 am with a prayer meeting at one of the churches. We were again honored with a warm welcome complete with a welcome banner and flower garlands. The children are especially interested in seeing us.
After the prayer meeting we visited our first village, the village of Ilagamuru. This area is very poor. It is primarily a farming community. The main crop is sugar cane which Heather and I got to taste. They also make clay bricks out in the fields. We drove past many sugar cane fields and brick fields during our travels.
The people of the village were very excited to see us. They greeted us by sprinkling us with flower petals. They listened intently to my message. Speaking through an interpreter was an interesting experience but we soon got into a rhythm and the message flowed out well. Twenty three people accepted Christ from that village and will be baptized soon. Water is not very accessible so they must travel a few kilometers to be baptized.
We stopped for lunch and then drove on to the next two villages, the villages of Chinna Kanaley and Pedda Kanaley. These villages are neighbors of one another so we didn’t have to travel far between them. We received similar greetings from these villages. At Chinna Kanaley most of the people were still out working in the fields but a small group did gather to hear us. Nine people accepted Christ there.
At Padda Kanaley we had our largest group. As the lead pastor began singing the people started coming in from the fields. It reminded me of John 4 when Jesus met the Samaritan woman. After her encounter with Jesus the woman ran into town and told the towns people about Jesus. As they all came to meet him Jesus said to his disciples in verse 35, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” By the time I began to speak 86 people had gathered to listen to the message. When I gave the invitation 56 people came forward to accept Christ as their Savior and Lord. Before we left many of them asked Heather and I to pray for them, which we did.
In one day 88 people came to the Lord. Praise God! They are leaving their Hindu gods and turning to the one true God. In the first village one woman cried for joy as she willingly removed the medallion she wore that represented her Hindu god and gave it to the pastor. Now that she has found the true God she no longer needs it.
What a day! What a blessed experience for us to be here to witness the moving of the Holy Spirit in India. There are three other American pastors here as part of the team experiencing similar results. Praise the Lord!
Please continue to pray for our team and the local pastors as we continue the revival meetings in the states of Andre Pradesh and Tamil Nadu through the end of the month. Also please pray for these new converts. Pray for their continued growth and protection. They are now open to persecution for the name of Christ. Please pray that they will hold on to their faith in Jesus and will help lead others to know Him.
India Update – January 18, 2012
Ken and Heather arrived in Chennai India at just before 1 a.m. Chennai time on Jan. 18th. They arrived at the hotel at just after 3 a.m. They will have meetings today and then attend a wedding this evening.
Chennai is 12 1/2 hours ahead of Colorado (Mountain time). Ken’s cell phone texts are not getting through for some reason but thankfully the hotel internet was good enough for a quick skype video call home. Thank you for your continued prayers.
India Trip Vlog – Episode #1
Our director, Pastor Ken Lawrence, and his daughter Heather have been presented with a terrific opportunity to preach the Gospel in India and we would like you to be a part of it. The director of White Fields Overseas Evangelism, Tom Mullenix, has invited Ken to accompany him and other pastors from across the country, on an evangelism trip to Southern India January 16-31, 2012.
India is the world’s second most populous country with over a billion citizens. 800 million of them are Hindus. India also contains the third largest Muslim population in the world. Currently, only 2.3% of India’s population classify themselves as Christian, but that is rapidly changing.
In the past few years White Fields has seen a remarkable window of opportunity open in India. At a revival held by White Fields evangelists in January 2011, 3732 people were baptized into the New Covenant with Jesus Christ. They are letting go of the many gods of Hinduism and turning to the One true God.
Pastor Ken has been invited by White Fields to preach at revivals and teach new believers how to live their new found faith in Jesus Christ. (To see the invitation click here). Heather will be documenting the trip in pictures and video. They need to raise $6,000 ($3,000 each) to make the trip. If you would like to help them please make your tax deductible donation on-line here.
If you would prefer to mail your donation you can mail your check made payable to Families For Christ Ministries to:
Families For Christ Ministries
PO Box 100
Norwood, CO 81423
In the note section of your check please put “India Evangelism”.
Thank you for your support as we take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of India.
Praise the Lord! We have received $6,551 for our trip. Our original target was $6000. Then our medication and passport visas came in higher than planned so we actually needed $6,500 to meet the need. Three days before our trip the rest of the funds came in! We are on our way! Keep checking this website for updates during the trip.