India Report 2009 Kochi and Pavarah from Tony Coffey

India India 2009

 

Photos. You can access the photo we took on our trip. They are in three categories: The Land. The Children. The Rice  Paddies.  I do hope you enjoy them.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibleanswers/

 

          Christmas in India. Our three children were not going to be in Ireland for Christmas, so Leslie and I decided to begin our annual visit to India a week early and spend Christmas there. Our Christmas present was a day and night touring the back waters of Allepy on a houseboat. Yes, Santa was good to us.

          The church in Kochi, Kerala. The life of the church in Kochi is a blessing to witness. Our twenty-one years of working with the church has paid dividends. There are now about 120 in the church, with a generous number of young men and women; several are taking university education. The sense of unity and love within the church is obvious. Several of the men meet each morning for prayer which lasts over an hour. The women are actively involved in many areas of ministry. From this congregation two other churches have begun; both have about 30 members each.

          I conducted a one-day seminar and was greatly impressed with the discussions we had over the material from the epistle of James. Difficult sections about faith and works, along with calling for the elders and anointing with oil were met with comments that reflected maturity. The church has matured through the faithful teaching of Brother Saju George and the faithful service of his godly wife who is a servant to everyone. The church is at a stage where it no longer needs me as it once did.

          The Morning Star Children's Home in Kochi continues meeting the needs of 16 girls, five of whom were baptised in 2008. The two house mothers spoke of the lovely spirit existing among the girls: they play together and enjoy each other's company. The highlight of our time was taking the girls to Veega Land, a theme park with rides and water sports. We left sufficient funds for the children to go one more time later this year - a special treat.

          The house where they live is inadequate. The girls are growing and there is a shortage of space. Most of my time in Kochi was spent planning for the future of the home. We do have land on which to build but that will have to wait a few years. In the meantime we will continue in the present home but will be looking for something more suitable. We want to remain in the same location as it is in the countryside, and all the girls attend the local school. 

          A short stay in Chennai. From Kochi we went to Chennai and visited with Paul Regenathan.  Seventy-two students graduated from the two year Bible programme. I addressed the assembled group of about 600.

          Two days in Vijayawada. From Chennai we made what should have been a four hour train journey to Vijayawada. The trip turned into a seven hour journey, and the air conditioning was temperamental, working some times but mostly freezing us. But we arrived safely, and that night we conducted a gospel meeting. The following day we conducted an all-day programme - Leslie taught the ladies and  I taught a gathering of preachers from the area.

          Pavarah (Andra Pradesh) We made the five hour drive to Pavarah where we have been involved with Vijay and Sonia Kumar for the past several years. We are blessed to be working with a couple who have servant hearts. They are dedicated to every area of the work. The village church has about 70 members and dozens of children.  Vijay's father has taken responsibility for the teaching in the village and Vijay is now working with the church in a nearby town where his father has been preaching for several years. There are a number of well-educated people in the church there. Vijay's father thought Vijay could challenge them and mature them. The  Saturday meetings continue to go well. About 50 to 70 area preachers, church leaders and their wives attend twice a month for an all day seminar. We have financed this work for the past three years. This is a project that is slow and non spectacular but one that will bear genuine fruit in the future.  Vijay now feels that those who attend need to begin making a contribution towards the running costs. I conducted several short meetings in the area and one all day seminar which was attended by 180 preachers.

          The rice paddies in Pavarah.   We have acquired a sixth acre of land. At present 130 people per day are being fed, this will increase later in 2009. Your generosity supplied sufficient funding for the two rice crops this year. The rice feeds destitute widows in the village of Pavarah and another village and some twenty-five orphans who are cared for by Sonia's parents, who are a remarkable couple.

          Overall impression.  I'm really pleased with the progress of both works we are involved in; the commitment from Saju and Vijay is great. They are hard working spiritual men of God. They continue to make many personal sacrifices in their service to God. Being a spiritual mentor to both these men is one of the better ways I can be of service to them.

          I do thank God for what I see being accomplished in his name. Souls are being saved, the churches are maturing, the needs of many are being met and God is constantly being glorified. What I have said is expressed best by a letter I received since arriving home. It says it all.

          I want to thank each of you for your very generous support over the years. Your money is carefully distributed to various projects and is bearing fruit in many ways.

 

          God be with you all.

          Tony Coffey.

 

 

Letter. This is the letter as I received it from Herbert Marshall. I send it just as I received it.

 

          I hope you reached home very safely.

          Praise the Lord giving another opportunity to meet both of you in 2008.

          While we were waiting or you at the Presidency Hotel we were remembering the ways how God made us to acquinte with you all and the ways you all helped us and the ministry. We were talking about. My wife, my children and I never for get those memorable January days . Our daughters always say about that.Our daughters are now away from Kochi .Whenever they come to Kochi and pass through South or North they remember those days. Every time when we go to Vathuruthy we rember those days and the way you all helped us in our ministy and personal needs. By the grace of God with out your help my daughters could not be

 achieved the present position.

          Unconditionally you loved and helped us.Agape means unconditional love. When  I illustrate the agape love,I always explain the love of the people of  Church of Christ in Ireland towards the Lutheran family in India. When Lutheran authority failed to support the Lutheran ministry in  Kochi  and the  Lutheran pastor's family  in  Kochi, the loving Lord those the loving people of  Church of Christ in Ireland.

With these lots of rememeberance  and mutual prayers,

 

Yours in Him,

Herbert Marshall

 


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