The earthquake in India was actually far worse than you have heard. We have just received reports indicating that the death toll will climb well past the 100,000 mark. One official told Dr. PAUL KIRUBABKARAN (One of the heads of LIVING ROCK MINISTRIES International of India, ) that as many as 150,000 people may have lost their lives on that fateful morning of January 26.But a bigger story is unfolding in the midst of this epic disaster - a spiritual story that has implications for India's one billion lost souls.
India is the center of a great spiritual battle, and even the nation's secular media is catching on to this fact. On television and radio and in the major newspapers across India, reporters have actually posed the question, "Is the Christian God angry about the persecution of His people? "They are daring to ask such questions because the city of Bhuj, the unofficial headquarters for anti-Christian persecution in the western India state of Gujarat, was the epicenter of the quake. Within the past year, attacks on Christian workers in and around Bhuj have been severe. Scores of church buildings have been vandalized and torched. In an organized effort on one day, over 200 pastors were beaten and threatened. Several have been martyred for the faith.
The earthquake all but obliterated Bhuj, a city of 150,000. No major buildings are left standing. At least one-fifth of the population was killed. The entire state of Gujarat was rocked viciously by the quake, opening up chasms as much as 20 feet wide. In places, the earth literally swallowed people alive. As of this writing, a majority of our pastors in Gujarat have reported to our ministry headquarters in Kota (about 300 miles to the east. (The reports are amazing. Not one Christian from our churches has died, and not one of our buildings has been destroyed! A Hindu reporter asks about the earthquake, "Would the Christian God do such a thing to take His revenge?" Such questions actually started over a year ago, when India suffered two other natural disasters - the most powerful cyclone ever, followed by the most deadly flood on record. Those disasters happened in the State of Orissa, where Christians had been openly persecuted on a wide scale. Orissa was also the state where Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were burned alive in their jeep by militant anti-Christians.
Something truly is beginning to happen in India. Gospel seed planted for generations is starting to bear fruit. A great spiritual harvest is coming, and we must be prepared to send laborers into that harvest. India has approximately 600,000 unreached cities and villages - places without a permanent Gospel witness or a local church. Dr. Paul kirubakaran and Rev.Paul Jesudoss have a plan to reach every one of those cities and villages through a unique strategy. They are raising up thousands of orphans - God's Orphan Army" - to take the truth of Jesus to all of India. Their goal is very simple; raise one hundred orphans in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and send them out as missionaries. The plan is working. Hundreds of orphans have already been raised and sent out, and thousands more are now being loved and cultivated for Christian service. As of today, Church of Jesus is caring for over 300 boys and girls in 3 orphanages. Hundreds more are waiting to be taken in. (One government official has already asked . Flora Joan receiving the untold number of orphans from Gujarat who were left motherless and fatherless by the devastating earthquake.) Next year 45young preachers will graduate from the Church of Jesus Bible Institute, Madurai,. A large percentage of them are orphans who have been raised to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. They are ready and willing to go wherever He leads. The entire class of 2001 - all young pastors - have committed their lives to full-time Christian service.
Every one of them, without exception. A large number are bound for Gujarat., and most have chosen to go there simple because it presents the greatest challenge. I will tell you as frankly as possible: We do not have the funds to support these preachers of the Gospel. When they graduate on march we will give each one a new church site or building but we have no money to help them begin their ministries or to sustain them in the hard days ahead. We desperately need loving Christians elsewhere who will stand behind each graduate with financial and prayerful support.
Yours for a great harvest, signed (for forsaken babies home, Dr.Flora Joan Jesudoss) plot#514,K.K.Nagar,Madurai-625020,India Rpaulflor@md3.vsnl.net.in (Received on Friday March 2, 2001)
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