Monday, August 31, 2009


Today I thought about a conversation I had with a Hindu man as I was leaving India. His comment was basically that sharing with others what Jesus shared with us was not something everyone needed, and in fact was more of a problem.

He said that the two things in this world that cause problems and mess with peace are religion and politics. I had to agree.

At the time of the conversation I realized more about how I believe peace can be overrated. I came to the conclusion that I believe that there are some things that are more important than peace, like standing up to share what you know is true (This is only a simply way of stating the thoughts I had at the time…so I understand that some who read this will misinterpret what I mean by these words). Some examples of what I mean carried out are Martin Luther King and Jesus of course : )

Today I considered his words in a new light. I asked myself, “Who strikes who? Who starts to fight?” If you just look at news articles and testimonies it's easy to see that in India and Bangladesh it’s the Hindu people who are violent, not the Christians. The people who I know who have shared the message about Jesus and the kingdom of God have show kindness, faithfulness, peace, love, etc. That is what they live by because God instructs them and the Holy Spirit gives the the strength to do so, even in seemingly impossible circumstances.

It’s Hindu people within those communities (not sure who it is among the Hindu people) who strike out with fists out of fear of having the community broken up by a new belief system that is unfamiliar to them, which makes sense from their perspective. One reason I think there is fear is because they misunderstand the new way of life that the people have chosen to receive and adopt (which is not a changing of their culture, but a fulfillment of true life in their culture). Because those people who meet Jesus and decide to follow him do not begin to live to hurt a community, but to build that community up in ways it could never have.

The one thing many Hindu people in India fear is their misunderstanding about Jesus, what he taught, and how the lives of those who put their trust in him are transformed. They are afraid that what they do not understand will spread and hurt the community because those who meet Jesus cannot help but share about him with others. He is a real part of their lives and they have learned that he told and tells the truth, that he is the Way to life, the Way to communion with God, and power and authority by the Holy Spirit to redeem all things that have been corrupted. It is a fear of the unknown.

Coincidentally, when the Christians are persecuted more, people come to know God (from the side of the persecutors) because they see how the Christians respond, how they love their enemies and pray for them. The Christians do not strike back with fists, but with confidence in the truth and in their relationship with God and sharing the same love that God shared with them. It’s pretty amazing.

So in conclusion, the religious fighting that happens in this man’s country is not the primary cause of Christians’ actions or pursuits. It is something that happens because of fear from the Hindu people in the community. The Christians aren’t fighting for their way of life, they’re living for it. The only thing Christians have to fight is the spiritual forces that try to distract them and keep them from pursuing God and His kingdom.


(Actually this is a letter from a pastor, but there are also articles of this massacre)

On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 3:49 PM, Joel LeMaire <> wrote:

this is an e-mail sent from a man in India

From Orissa India
AUGUST 27, 2008
Dear beloved sponsors and friends of GNI,

We have never seen anything like this.

We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work.

But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage....
And it seems to be totally under the radar of the Western Media.... Let me explain....

A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of Orissa and "reconverting" people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa last weekend.

Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up..."Kill the Christians!"
And the horror began....

In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds of churches being blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been slaughtered. For no other reason than they bear the name of Christ.

Night and day I have been in touch with our Good News India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa... they are right in the middle of all this chaos.

In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home. They were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and "finish the job." Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past 3 days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer. More police have come to offer protection.

In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace.

In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore.

All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance to kill.

Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in a house and burned them to death. Many believers have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road.... even women and children.

At another orphanage run by another organization, when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: "We stay with our kids.... we live together or die together, but we will never abandon what God has called us to do."

More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen. This will continue for another 10 days.... supposedly the 14 day mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down.

The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God can calm this storm. None of us know the meaning of persecution. But now our kids and staff know what that means. So many of our kids coming from Hindu backgrounds are confused and totally bewildered at what is happening around them. So many of their guardians have fled into the jungles and are unable to come and get them during these trying times.

Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our goal: the transformation of a community by transforming its children. Orissa will be saved... that is our heart's cry. If we can take these thousands of throw away children and help them to become disciples of Jesus, they will be transform an entire region. It is a long term goal, but it is strategic thinking in terms of the Great Commission.

What can you do? First, please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second, pass this e-mail on to as many friends as you can. We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order to live for His Kingdom.

The next 10 days are crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on and help us to get as many people to partner with us on this cutting edge effort to fulfill His mandate: Go and make disciples of all nations....

Dr. Faiz Rahman
Good News India

If you’d like a more recent article of these things, I can send it to you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Holy Spirit at English Camp

A few weeks ago I was asked to help with a 2 week English camp for Korean students (I began helping after one week had passed and when a new group of students had joined the first group who had been there the previous week).

The first day I was there I was asked to lead worship. I had five minutes to practice with the band, which was put together in two minutes with two of the new students who were already uncomfortable in the unfamiliar environment as it was. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to move and just led the time keeping my focus more on God than on the music.

One student surprised me later in the week when I received a note saying "I'm so glad to meet you. First I met you in Monday worship, I feel Holy Spirit come worship." And another girl wrote to me saying "I thank God when you lead to worship song, I could feel warmth in holy sprit." These were students who probably couldn't even read or understand all of the songs that I had picked to play. The day before that, I found another note from one of the people on the short-term missions team that had been formed before I arrived saying, "You have been such a wonderful asset to our team. God took a negative and made it a positive."

I've been humbled to know that even with my weaknesses God is moving and He wants to do things through me (through anyone) that has nothing to do with my ability to do, but by His purpose and my faith expressing itself in love to Him and to others.