While many of the churches of the New Testament struggled, and would not be the kind of congregations we would want to join, the church described in Acts 2 is one of the most attractive congregational pictures imaginable. It says, they devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the Apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Wouldn’t you love to be a member of this church or a church like it? It is a dynamic, growing gospel centered church, full of the power of the Holy Spirit, bursting with life and joy, united in purpose. Little wonder then, that the lost are attracted like moths in the light. Verse 47 continues, and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. This is the church we need to be, and long to become. It’s a church full of the joyful life of the Spirit, as He shapes us to become more like Christ in sacrificial service to others and urgent outreach to the lost.
In March the Consistory and Spiritual Council met together for a joint strategy morning, in order to review our life as a church and to prayerfully consider the significant drop in attendance over the last five years. It was agreed that to address this, a number of important changes were essential, and in order to cast a vision for the future, Consistory was split into two sub-groups. One led by Pastor Steve, and the other led by me. Their purpose was to look at the development of pastoral care within the congregation as well as how we might under the Lord prayerfully work for growth, in maturity and numbers.
We are all agreed that there is much work to be done to fulfill God’s purposes for Leidy’s Church. We are tremendously excited as we look to the future God has for us even though we recognize that will involve change. One area of change has become clear, along with the many great things the church does, there is a sense in which the various ministries are independent and disconnected from each other and any central vision of the church. To address this and to build a united partnership amongst us, we have agreed that going forwards there needs to be an integration of vision and purpose. To enable this, we have been working on a mission statement to provide a united vision for our many gospel centered programs. We have also developed an integrated mission strategy. This is another way to say we have a plan which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day which will help our ministries move from independence to interdependent. Prayerfully, we will see men and women working all across the church body working together for God’s glory and the advance of the gospel in southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond.
Consistory and Spiritual Council have also, over the last few weeks spent considerable time reviewing the gifts of our assistant pastors, eager to ensure that they should serve in the areas best suited to their God-given abilities in light of the current needs of the congregation. With this in mind, Pastor Steve and Pastor Michael’s job descriptions are in the process of being amended. On Sunday, June 12, we will present our reflections and plans at a Vision Sunday service. This will provide the opportunity to hear more about some of the changes and to look forward to the coming year. Lord willing it will be full of various and exciting opportunities as we seek to reach out to the lost, build up the people of God, and send out workers into the harvest field.
Graduating to the Next Step
Graduations are launching pads for the next steps of life. Excitement abounds, hope fills the air, yet there is a little bit of tension regarding just how those next steps will work out. Leidy’s Church has four young women who are graduating and looking forward to their next steps. Read below to find out who’s doing what and where they’re doing it.
- Shae Mahoney has finished up at Souderton High School and plans to head just a few miles down I-95 where she will attend the University of Delaware. She will be studying Wildlife Conservation, though we don’t know if she’ll specialize in Blue Hens. Tara and Matt are the proud adults cheering her on.
- Makenna Murphy also is taking her leave of the hallowed halls of Souderton Area High School. She is heading south also, but south on the Schuylkill Expressway to the University City area where she will be attending the University of the Sciences with the goal of becoming a Physician’s Assistant. Wendy and Ken are the adults cheering her on.
- Jayne Lafty is ramming her way out of Pennridge High School. She’ll be getting on I-95 to head south as well, but her destination is much farther south. She will be going to the University of Miami this fall. She has litigated her way to a major in Pre-Law. Jenny and Brian are the adults leading cheers for her.
- Cayla Connor has finished her senior year at the Connor Classical Homeschool Academy which has been meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota, Cayla is not headed south – nor any other direction. She plans to enjoy the summer in the beautiful setting of the Black Hills as she seeks for the Lord to direct her next steps. Cathy and Matt are the adults whooping it up for her.
Our hearty congratulations to each of these young women. Our prayers will be with them as we trust the Lord to direct their paths according to His wise counsel.
From the Pastor of Youth & Children
Without wanting to sound boastful, I am the world’s greatest worst gardener. Simply put, I can’t be bothered. I kind of like mowing. I like making neat straight passes. I might even like doing it twice from two different directions to make my lawn look like a double cut fairway at a fancy golf course. I don’t even mind weed eating. After all, if you don’t weed eat, eventually you will lose golf balls. I like eating fruits and vegetables, and so I am desperately thankful for those who can grow them. However, planting flowers, whether petunias or pansies, is my idea of torture. Not only do the flowers just stand there and do nothing, they stink, they let off pollen which makes me sneeze, and some of those ungrateful growing statutes even have thorns. Who would ever want to garden!
In the interest of full disclosure, I should add to my rant on gardening that my lovely and wonderful wife asked me to help her plant some flowers in planters around the house. As I tried not to grumble while digging in the dirt, I noticed rocks and clay and even a grub worm. The more I labored under the rising sun, the more I thought of Matthew 13. That is where Jesus gives the parable of the sower and the soils. This is a familiar parable. The sower sows seed upon four different types of ground. The first seed lands beside the road and is eaten by birds. The second falls in a rocky place with little soil. It shoots up at first but withers in the heat of the sun. The third seed falls in with the weeds. While it too grows, it is choked out by the thorns and thistles of the world. The fourth and final seed falls upon the good soil, and it bears fruit. In fact, it bears much fruit. We all know that we are supposed to be the good soil which bears all kinds of fruit when the seed is sown, but I have to wonder about the second and third option. Didn’t those plants grow also?
As I stood there digging away, I realized that in thinking about whether the growth of the second and third seed was good enough, I was asking the wrong question. I was not focused on the best course of life. I was instead wondering how “bad” I could be and still get into heaven. This is not life the Lord has called us to. In addition to that realization, I also understood that the seed amongst the rocks and the seed amongst the thorns really were not able to survive.
To understand this, we need to understand two prominent themes in the gospel of Matthew. The first is perseverance. Consider Matthew 24:13 which says, BUT THE ONE WHO ENDURES TO THE END, HE WILL BE SAVED. There Jesus is speaking about the difficulties in life which His followers would have to overcome. The expectation of Christian living is a continued growth in godliness and perseverance enabled by the Spirit all the days of our lives. This means that the seed in the rocks fails as it withers in difficult circumstances. This may sound harsh to our ears, but it requires us to think about how the Lord uses difficult circumstances to shape and mold us for our good.
The second theme in Matthew that helps us understand the parable is fruit. Specifically, Christians are to bear fruit. This is to say that as the Word of God is sown into the heart, it will, if believed, produce action. It will present as a God honoring growth in Christlikeness. That means that Christians WILL grow to be more like Christ throughout their earthly pilgrimage. Here then is the reason why the seed amongst the thorns is not sufficient. It is fruitless. In fact, the plant produced by the seed amongst the weeds is indistinguishable from its surroundings. It is a so called “christian” who looks just like the world. The parable of the sower and the seeds reminds us that we are to have the Word of God buried deep down in our hearts. It also reminds us that we are to expect that the Word of God would have an effect within us to change us and to bring about good works. These good works are not the basis for a Christian’s salvation but are the evidence of the righteousness which comes from faith in the Lord Jesus.
While I still don’t like gardening, I need to thank my wife because my “chore” has proved to be an excellent reminder of God’s purposes through His Word in my life.
To the praise of His glory,
Confirmation: Class of 2022
An exceptional group of persons has been meeting and studying and talking and eating and memorizing and . . . well, a whole lot more. They’ve been doing this every week since September of 2020, only taking off during the summer months of 2021. Who are these persevering persons? The members of the 2022 Leidy’s Church Confirmation Class, that’s who.
A Service of Confirmation will take place during the June 5th service of worship which just happens to be Pentecost Sunday. The Lord’s Supper will be served and there will be a light Confirmation Luncheon following the service of worship. You’re invited to stay for the luncheon and extend your personal congratulations to the class members.
This class consisted of eleven young persons and three really old persons. Here are the young folk:
- Ben Divens
- Allison Hall
- Brad Peck
- Elijah Smith
- Anna Heebner
- Kathryn DiLenge
- Quinn Mahoney
- Jaydyn Rittenhouse
- Caleb DiLenge
- Clinton Radcliff
- Cameron Gilles
The old folk who joined them for this delightful time of learning were:
- Debbie Hughes
- Shaun Permar
- John DiLenge
For the first year the class studied all the Bible, doing weekly worksheets of 20 or 25 fill-in-the-blank sentences from the 15 to 20 chapters of the Bible assigned for each week. They also memorized significant passages of Scripture, including the entire text of Psalm 103.
During the second year they had 14 weeks of church history study, beginning with the apostolic era and continuing through to the present day. For this section they also had the 20 to 25 fill-in-the-blank sentences for each week’s assigned reading. But no memorization – whew!
Then they had 13 weeks of working through the Heidelberg Catechism. They were overjoyed there were no more worksheets to be done each week. Fortunately, to keep their minds and spirits tuned up, the character-forming discipline of memorization was brought back into play. They survived.
Finally, they ended up with four weeks of learning about the history, beliefs, and workings of Leidy’s Church. No worksheets and no memorization. All ended well!
Being confirmed marks the coming-of-age spiritually for these young folk. They are at the place where they are taking personal responsibility for their life of faith. We as a church acknowledge their desire to be fully adult members of the body of Christ with a special service where they can declare their intentions publicly, and we can pray for God’s blessing on them individually.
It is a time of great joy. Plan to be present on this special day in the life of our congregation and in the lives of these young believers.
SLMT ’22 Dates Announced
Amidst much speculation, dates for the SLMT ’22 are indelibly inscribed in stone now by the Mission Committee. Work will be done at Life Turning Point Philly, the ministry headed by Rita Whitaker that provides housing and biblical training for homeless single moms and their children.
This ministry is located at 5200 Wayne Avenue in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. The main facility can house up to 10 women and 20+ children. The focus of our SLMT labors will be a two-story Carriage House on the property. It has a very sound, solid structure, but has not been inhabited for over a decade. Vines have grown over the back and sides of the building, and the woodwork has faded paint and areas of decay. Those are the issues our SLMT team will address.
That means much of the work will be done on ladders or scaffolding. It will be “pioneer work” as it were, fighting to get rid of the jungle and bring order. Vines will have to be pulled, chopped, and otherwise removed in their entirety. Facing boards will need to be scaped and assessed for need of replacement. Our leaders for this project are Brian Radcliff and Sherman Focht, both skilled and experienced workmen who will give good direction.
What are those dates we’re looking at? These:
- July 25-29
- August 15-19
Sign-up sheets are posted on the narthex wall. Note that we will be meeting at the church at 7am to be transported to the job site, it is hoped, by 8 or so. Lunch, snacks, and hydration will be provided. We’ll start the trek back to the church each day at 4pm so we can arrive back by 5pm. All these times are flexible until we see how things work out traffic-wise.
For more information speak with Brian, Sherman, John Niederhaus, or someone on the Mission Committee.
God Created, God Designed, God Redeemed
God created all things from nothing. Even more He has made each one of us an individual made in His image. He has designed just the way He wants us. That means that we have value and worth. That means that we can know Him and worship Him. That means that our lives have meaning because He has given it to them. In just a few short weeks (June 20-24), Leidy’s Church VBS is going to explore the God who created, designed, and redeemed us.
If you have kids who are completing kindergarten through 5th grade, please go to leidyschurch.org/vbs to register. We also still need folks to set up and tear down, guides, and men and women to help with the rotations. If you are able to help, please contact the church office or sign up on the computer in the narthex.
Waiting on the world to change? It’ll take a lot longer without your help
Life Turning Point in Philadelphia is an intensive ministry program for unhoused mothers and their children who are working hard to change their circumstances. Life Turning Point provides housing, education, and support while these mothers go through a program based on Biblical teaching that will see them further their education, advance their career, save money, and get their own home. For many of these women, this is a complete change in thinking, in habits, in lifestyle, and so much more. The transition they’re making is a lot of work and requires a lot of support to encourage success. And there are ways YOU can help!
- During the months of June, July, and August, the mothers will be taking program classes every Tuesday and Wednesday evening. During these class times, childcare is needed for up to 20 children ranging in age from toddler to teenager. Childcare is a constant and ongoing need at Life Turning Point, and this is a need we can meet. The class times on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are only one hour, from 7:30pm-8:30pm. Being able to have reliable childcare throughout the summer would be a tremendous help to the ministry at Life Turning Point. Two adults would be necessary to supervise the childcare for each class time, and each volunteer would need to have current PA child, state, and federal clearances. If you’ve worked in childcare at Leidy’s Church, please check with the church office for the status of your clearances. If you’re interested in helping with this aspect of Life Turning Point’s ministry, please let Gina Shoemaker, Vangie Niederhaus (firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-622-7925), or let the church office know. If you’re under 18 and would like to help, let us know too! Please look at your Tuesday and Wednesday evenings over the summer to see when you can help.
- Life Turning Point is always looking for Christian women who would like to work one-on-one with the mothers in residence. Parenting mentorship is such a significant part of how these women and their children’s lives are changed. Parenting is a struggle enough, but many of these women have been doing it without a mother or mother-figure supporting and guiding them in their role as a mother. Please consider your opportunity to comfort, support, and encourage these mothers in this time of transition. Please contact the church office or Vangie Niederhaus (email@example.com or 267-622-7925 for more information.
Change IS happening; for women at Life Turning Point, it is happening now. Be a part of it; help these women and children find care and support as they move forward into new opportunities for their lives.
You can find out more about Life Turning Point of Philadelphia at their website ltpphilly.org. They are also on Facebook and Instagram, and you can see the “Life Turning Point Philadelphia Official Video” on YouTube.
Ladies of Leidy’s
We will be meeting on Tuesday, June 7th at 7 pm in room 123. Come join us, all ladies are welcome. As a reminder, we do not meet in July or August.
Summer Precept Prayer
During the summer months Precept will meet once a month for prayer. We meet in Rm. 117. The dates are:
- June 16, 9-11am
- July 21, 9-11am
- August 18, 9-11am
A Happy Widow
The Bible tells us that God cares for widows in Psalm 68:5. Jesus kept His eye on widows as well, specifically pointing out to the disciples how one widow gave all she had, including her last two mites. (Mark 12:43) Well, there is a widow in India who has a telling testimony about God’s care for her. Here’s her story.
My name is G. Ramadevi. I have three sons. My husband died. I am living my life as a widow and taking care of my children.
I am born Hindu. We are living in utter poverty and feel that living is useless. We are also suffering from sicknesses. Around this time of our life, pastors distributed books and pamphlets about Jesus Christ. First we did not care to see them. But my son took those books and brought them home and started reading them. I was drawn to the Word of God read by my son and started to read more of it. As I read the Word of God I felt happiness in my life. I realized that is only Jesus who can give real happiness in my life.
I invited Pastor Nataraju to my family to conduct family prayer. We believed in Jesus completely. My relatives did not accept and my neighbors scorned at us for becoming Christians. But we did not bend down to their scorns but are living happily in God’s presence in our lives. My difficulties slowly began to be solved. After taking baptism we are happy that we have come to know Christ and His saving grace and salvation. Thanks to the School of Evangelism in their dedicated efforts to bring Jesus to every household. May the Lord bless every effort made to reach the unreached millions in India.
That is a fruit of our Gospel Gleanings project. Pastor Nataraju whom the widow mentions is one of the 12 Church Planters whose ministry is underwritten by our Gospel Gleanings offerings from three years ago! He was introduced to us in the March Newsletter. This widow’s testimony is a happy testimony despite the circumstances of her life and the derision she received from those around her. As we continue to pray, let’s pray for those who deride this widow. May the Holy Spirit draw them to Jesus too! May they go from ridicule to happiness!
Is there anything that makes good music better? Southern BBQ!! Is there anything that makes southern BBQ even more delicious? Excellent music!!! On June 9th Leidy’s Church is hosting Indelible Grace. Kevin Twit, the man behind Indelible Grace, is a campus pastor at Belmont University. Before that, he was a professional musician. With Indelible Grace, he has been able to merge two passions. There is excellent music which communicates deep and wonderful truth. Warm up your tastebuds, and get ready to worship the Lord. Join us Thursday, June 9, 2022. The meal is at 6:00 p.m. and the concert is at 7:00. Both are free, but there will be a chance to give a donation. Invite your friends and let us know you are coming at leidyschurch.org/igrace.
God hates sin, so how can any sin be respectable? Well, the title of this remarkably helpful book is intended to be facetious. There is no such thing as a respectable sin. However, we live in a time and place where many actions and attitudes which are celebrated in the wider culture (and maybe even the church) are actually sinful. They become, if you will, a wolf in sheep’s clothing hiding in plain sight. In his book Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges writes about the ways in which sin can sneak into our lives unless we are watchful and determined to root it out. Respectable Sins therefore is the perfect summer reading as you head to the beach, rest around the pool, and decompress at the end of a long day. It also happens to be Leidy’s Church summer reading book. It is available for $12.00 in the office. Towards the end of the summer (after we have all had a chance to read or reread it), we will have a discussion group to help us walk through the ideas. More details to follow.
Within the Fellowship
Our sincere Christian sympathy to family and friends of Velva Stevenson at her death. May God be with them at this difficult time.
Congratulations to Kayla Green, Brad Peck and Clinton Radcliff at their believer’s baptism. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
The month of June features some special visitors to Leidy’s Church. Each will be speaking in the Issues & Answers class during Sunday School, and then making a brief presentation during the service of worship. These special visitors are missionaries we support.
Clay and Becky Walter and family will be among us on Father’s Day, the 19th of June. Clay and Becky are missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship. During their 15+ years service with MAF, they have served in restricted-access zones, in exotic places like Papua New Guinea and at the MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho. On a number of their furloughs they have stayed in the Leidy’s Church Mission House, most recently when they had to return from overseas in order to get medical treatment for their son Brian who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. Clay serves as the Maintenance Control Manager, supporting MAF’s many programs around the world. He helps to make sure all the planes in MAF’s fleet are being correctly maintained, and gives support to mechanics on the field when maintenance issues arise. Becky is serving as a Ministry Partnership Coach, helping to prepare and guide pre-fielders during their initial support-raising journey, and supporting about 40 of MAF’s missionaries around the world in continuing to maintain their support level. We are excited to see and hear from the Walter family again – and they’ll catch us up on Brian’s progress too.
Stuart Swartzentruber plans to be with us on the last Sunday of June, the 26th. Stuart serves as the Executive Director of Living Hope Native Ministries. He grew up on a farm in Delaware, but God got hold of him and he’s spent the majority of his life ministering among the First Nations people in Canada. Leidy’s Church, of course, has a long history with Living Hope Native Ministries and her predecessor organizations. What we now call our SLMT – or, Short Length Mission Teams – has its origins as the Stormer Lake Mission Trip. Yep, we did a bit of rebranding. Due to the Covid restrictions in place in Canada this will mark the third consecutive year we’ve not been able to take a team to Pikangikum or other Reserves. There’s been lots of things happening in the north country and in the ministry of Living Hope. Stuart will bring us a timely update and some encouraging words about what the Holy Spirit is doing among the First Nations people.
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus gives a final commission to His followers. He tells them to go and make disciples. What exactly is a disciple? If we are honest, we may not have a definition at the ready. If we are really honest, we might think that it is too close to the word discipline for our comfort. However, if we are to take Jesus at His word, then making disciples is something that should be near and dear to our hearts. Starting on Tuesday, June 14, Leidy’s Church is running a four-week course entitled Discipleship Explored. There we will examine what discipleship is and how we can grow in our Christian walk. Please join us in the Youth Room at 7:45 p.m. as we discuss conversationally the God who made all things, who has revealed Himself in Bible, and who has redeemed His people.
On Wednesday May 4, 2022, the Consistory of Immanuel Leidy’s Church met. Steve Myers and Brian Shoemaker were absent. The following are a summary of its minutes. John DiLenge led a devotional thought from Acts thinking through how faith is manifested in times of testing. Minutes were reviewed and accepted. Staff and committee reports were submitted.
HUB Lease Report: We have acquired a new tenant (Abundant Life Missions) who have already started to hold Sunday services. The HUB’s new monthly income will be $5,000.
Classical Christian School: The board of Coventry Christian School met with a steering group from Leidy’s Church on April 28th. They toured the building and discussed the logistics of establishing a second campus for Coventry in partnership with Leidy’s Church. They highlighted the most urgent need in that process is the hiring of a competent headmaster. The board of Coventry Christian School were impressed with the facilities and our desire to have a classical Christian school. They were to discuss moving forward with us at their next meeting which has not happened yet. We are waiting to hear the results of that discussion.
Integrated Strategic Annual Mission Plan: Pastor Tony has presented a vision for a church which welcomes newcomers through an open front door and keeps them for years with a closed back door. He presented a calendar which emphasized the proposed components of a whole church effort to reach into the community, build up men and women at Leidy’s church, and participate in sending forth laborers into the harvest. These labors will include a plan to reach folks and then more quickly and surely help them integrate into the life of the church. Pastor Tony then described some of the more detailed tasks and roles involved in implementing the plan.
Communications: In addition to a new logo, consistory spent time discussing the possibility of an updated website. With a wide range of variables, this is an ongoing discussion with more details to follow. Similarly, there were discussions about new road signs at the entrances to the parking lot.
Usher Captains: Brian Shoemaker, Jeff Schatz
Ushers: Clyde Derstine, Dave Kirkpatrick, Sherman Focht, Bob Shafer, Justin Coale, Steve Bandura, Dave Walbrandt, Dana Gehman, Roger Jones, Jack Edling, Delton Plank, Jerry Kulp, Doug Elliott, Terry Leidy, Phil Shafer
New City Catechism
Question 20: Who is the Redeemer?
The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal son of God, in whom God became man and bore the penalty for sin himself.
1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Commentary – John Chrysostom
The Only Begotten, Who is before all ages, Who cannot be touched or be perceived, Who is simple, without body, has now put on my body, that is visible and liable to corruption. For what reason? That coming amongst us he may teach us, and teaching, lead us by the hand to the things that men cannot see. For since men believe that the eyes are more trustworthy than the ears, they doubt of that which they do not see, and so He has deigned to show Himself in bodily presence, that He may remove all doubt. . . . The Ancient of days has become an infant. He Who sits upon the sublime and heavenly Throne, now lies in a manger. And He Who cannot be touched, Who is simple, without complexity, and incorporeal, now lies subject to the hands of men. He Who has broken the bonds of sinners, is now bound by an infant’s bands. But He has decreed that ignominy shall become honor, infamy be clothed with glory, and total humiliation the measure of His Goodness.
For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives Me His Spirit, that He may save me.
The Redeemer is Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. The eternal Son of God became man and lived a real human life like ours. For a little more than thirty years in the first century AD, he lived like you and me; the only difference is that he always trusted God. He trusted Him entirely. So if you think of ways just yesterday and the day before that you should have trusted God and didn’t, in those very times Jesus obeyed God. He trusted that what God knew was better, that he should follow his Father’s will.
When I look back on my own life, I know that I haven’t lived like that. But the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, has. He is called the Redeemer because he “re-deems” his people. He resets our value.
When you redeem something at a store, you turn it in and you get some money for it. When I was a kid, we had redemption stamps. We would save up our stamps and then turn them in to get something else. Well, Jesus is what sets our value He resets our value. He gives his own life on the cross for all who repent of their sins and trust in him. He is our Redeemer. He has valued us, though we have thrown our own lives away by not trusting in our heavenly Father, by not obeying him, and by not fearing him. He actually came and gave his own life in our place. He lived a life of trust, and he died a death that he didn’t have to die, but he did it because of his love for us. He gave himself entirely for us so he could, as the Bible says, be our Redeemer, the One who rescues us.
The image of redemption in the Old Testament is one of God rescuing his people from Egypt, pulling them out of bondage, out of literal slavery. In the New Testament Jesus the Redeemer rescues us from our natural state of being in bondage to sin, of serving ourselves in destructive ways. But God in his great love sent his only begotten Son, who lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and then rose from the dead in order to bring us to him, to redeem us. That’s what we mean when we say Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.
Prayer: Precious Redeemer, before the world began, you loved us. You gave up your glory to bear our shame. You glorified your Father by obeying him all the way to the cross. You deserve our praise, thanks, and worship. We have no hope but in you. Amen.
The Last Three Guys You’ll Want to Meet
In each of the previous three months’ Newsletters we have introduced three Church Planters working among the Erukula people in India. There are a total of 12 Church Planters engaged in that work. This month we meet the last three of those Church Planters.
Below, you will find their names, age, and marital status as well as the time of their baptism and how long they’ve been in active Christian service. Then we simply print the testimony of each man as he wrote it regarding his walk with the Lord.
- Mr. D. Jayaraz is 37 years old, married, but he and his wife have no children. He was baptized in September of 2016 and has been in active Christian ministry since then. Here’s part of his testimony: I am D. Jayaraz and I completed my degree and I am married. Before I got married I have done a major mistake by having a false relationship with women. And I have been imprisoned. After my punishment was completed, I reached home and I saw my grandmother sharing bibles to the people. I asked about this thing. Then she addressed me about the God’s love toward us. Later, I started believing in God. I completely accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and I took baptism by the Pentecost Fellowship of Pastor Yesurathnam from Mydukur. I am an active member in the Church activities.
- Mr. C. Sreekanth is 25 years old, married, and he and his wife have no children yet. He was baptized on Christmas Day in 2018. Here’s part of his testimony: I am C. Srikanth and I have two siblings. We are from Hindu religion. By some local influence my mother started going to a church named Seventh Day Church. Later my mother was very frequent to that church and the pastor named Vijay Kumar addressed me about the great things of God. I took baptism through Pastor Vijay Kumar of New Hope Church. I never received any formal training in the Bible, but I attended short courses here and there. I feel happy and honored to be part of the IBL School of Evangelism program. I am ready and willing to preach the Word of God to the unreached people.
- Mr. B. Naveen Kumar is single and 23 years of age. He was baptized in 2017. Here’s part of his testimony: My name is B. Naveen Kumar. I completed B Tech graduation. I have one brother. We are born into a Hindu family. One day my father had a vision of God and started thinking about the vision. Later he believed in God and started doing God’s service. He still is doing God’s service and preaching the gospel. Later he started telling me about God’s vision and that God plays a vital role in our lives. After that I too started believing in God and began to attend prayers in churches and public meetings. By attending these meetings I strongly believed and took baptism in March of 2017. From then I dedicated my life to Christ and preaching and I started visiting the villages preaching. The IBL School of Evangelism is a great program I hope to be a part of and further equip myself for preaching of God’s Word to the unreached people in the villages.
The latest report we have on the work of these three men among the Erukula states that in the previous three months they have contact 1,391 individual, of whom 805 were adults and 586 were
children. One person took the step of being baptized and six others are preparing to be baptized. Four cell groups have been formed, which are nascent churches!
In another article in this Newsletter you can read the testimony of a widow woman whom God reached through the labors of one of these 12 Church Planters. Let’s remember to pray for these Church planters every day. They are going where we cannot go, and they are reaching people who previously never heard of Jesus and were unreached with the Gospel. Praise God, that is changing.