“Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.”
On the 13th of September 2013, the Delhi High Court pronounced its judgment on the four adults accused of the brutal gang rape that occurred on the streets of New Delhi on December 16th 2012. Additional Session Judge Yogesh Khanna, while delivering his verdict said ‘death to all’, in many ways, reiterating the golden mosaic rule of ‘eye for an eye’. India and its varied classes of citizens have applauded the somewhat speedy verdict. Social- political analysts who have been incessantly demanding stringent laws consider the verdict to be the dawn of a new beginning.
But every level-headed Indian knows that this does not make India a safer place for women. Among the various precautions that are highlighted to the female tourist, is a “never venture alone and certainly not in the dark” stick -on, albeit in a hushed tone such that the image of the nation is not tarred.
These incidents are unfortunate and condemnable. However, it raises the larger issue of gender biases that are prevalent in the nation. Unlike the biblical worldview that God in the inception of the kosmos created Man as equal beings, (Gen. 1:27) most major religions do not believe that Man was created equally. For example, Hinduism believes that birth of a man is controlled by his Karma, which inevitably decides for him his caste, colour and creed. And which also relates to the issue of child birth. (Read: http://www.worldmag.com/2013/09/the_female_holocaust#.UjFdMzuf3Wg.facebook) The Bible in stating the consequence of the rebellion of man against God expresses the condemnation that results in the eternal desire for the man to ‘rule’ over the woman (Gen.3:16). And among many other decisions that the male makes towards his own interests, Indian males have decided to kill the girl child, if they have one, either before or after birth thus creating a disproportionate male population in society.
But the above general acceptance of societal behavior becomes increasingly disturbing when the Indian Church, chooses to stay lukewarm to these issues. Much of the Indian pulpit ministry while it conveniently preaches that God loves all, does not emphasize Christian parents treating their daughters as the Bible expects them to. Will the church go the extra-mile in protecting, empowering, and encouraging the ‘weaker vessel’? Let us be found obedient to the Word.
College reopened on the 17th of June with its 9 new and 3 second year students. All of them come from the neighbouring states of Bihar, Bengal, and Jharkhand. Most of them do not come from Christian families. Please pray that as they deliberate on God’s Word, it will continue to delight and enrich them.
Praise God for providing opportunities for the college to apply for accreditation of its courses under the Asia Theological Association and the Senate of Indian Institute of Missiology. We truly hope that these efforts will not only enhance the academic standards of the college but also raise the bar in preparing leaders for the indigenous churches of North India.
In our continuous efforts to provide our students with available resources, the college is upgrading its stock of Hindi books. We will soon require a separate hall/room to stock our books and provide a suitable place for study for our students. It is our plan to convert our present terrace/rooftop into a hall. We estimate a total of 20 lacs ($ 34,000).
In response to the various upcoming challenges and opportunities, the college and its associated ministries are going through various exercises of setting goals and working out goals to be accomplished by the year 2020.May the Lord be glorified in these efforts.
Our children in all our centres are safe and growing. Most of them are responding positively to the nutritious diet that is being provided by the centre. Our new children who have been admitted to the centre at Baniakunder are beginning to learn the Bible. Most of them are attentive to the Bible stories that are told and sing Christian choruses enthusiastically. Pray with us as we begin to reach out to the parents as well.
In Jamshedpur, we praise God that three of our children have passed their metric (high school) exams with good grades. One of them has scored a first division. Even with the limited resources, our children are learning to excel. They are now in college. We hope to send them for vocational training.
It is very heartening to see our former children settling down in life. Some have excelled in studies and have become pastors, youth workers, government school teachers, lawyers, nurses, mechanical engineers, businessmen and even social workers! Some have come forward to support a child from the same centre they have passed. We are humbled.
In Don, as reported earlier, in the month of June, flash floods swept a number of houses of our children. Villagers and their livestock were scattered. Many lost their crops, their only source of sustenance. It was with your overwhelming support that we were able to distribute medicine, food items and other necessities to the villagers.
Approximately, more than 200 needy villagers were reached through this relief. Our children, who had lost their belongings are safe now and are back in the centre attending to their studies. Thank you for your prayers and aid.
The Lord continues to enable us to reach out to our children from various backgrounds through VBS . In the month of May we reached out to nearly 250 children. In the month of October we will be having VBS in Jamshedpur, Baniakunder, Tikatpur, Andharkoili, and Ranchi.
These are areas where we have our churches. We are hoping to reach out to 800 children in three languages. Please pray for our team of volunteers who are looking into the details. We estimate a total expense of Rs.60000 ($ 1000).
Upcoming VBS from October 9-14, 2013 at Grace Bible College Jamshedpur, Mango.
- Financial Needs: The College has been facing serious financial constraints. All our workers are underpaid. We would like them to have enough so that they are able take care of their needs.
- Child Support: Presently we have 75 un-sponsored children in our centres. If you are led to sponsor a child regularly, please let us know. We shall provide you with the details.
- Health of Our Workers: Please remember John Besra, our staff, suffering from high Diabetes. He is under medication. Former Staff worker, R.N.Mishra has been suffering from heart complications. He is under medical supervision.
- Education of Staff Children: Many of our staff need to send their children to hostels. Pray for openings in hostels and schools and a Christian environment.
- Up-Coming Events: For VBS that is being organized in all our church plants.
The Lord has been gracious in taking care of our every need. Dad, is back from his maiden trip to the States. He has enjoyed his stay with Ishwaran, Hannah and their children. During the trip he was able to preach the Word in a few churches as well. We thank God for this opportunity. Presently, he is traveling to various parts of India, meeting family and friends.
Sonali, Janet and I are doing well. Our schedules are quite tight for now. Please pray that the Lord will grant us His mercy as we learn to trust Him completely.
May God be your portion.
Principal of Grace Bible College Jamshedpur
+ 91 657 2361655, + 91 9934137510
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