Summer 2019 Update: Compassion for Orphans

Dear Friends and prayer partners,

Greetings in the wonderful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I often remember the times I’ve spent with many of you in Pennsylvania and New York. What a beautiful country you have. 

Our summers in India are hot and this year has been more severe than last. It is 122 degrees right now. The ground is parched. Here each house needs to have their own deep well for water. It might be for household purposes or for agriculture because we cannot rely on the rain. Five years ago people were able to drill a deep well at 100 to 200 feet into the ground, but now even if we drill from 500 to 700 feet, we are not getting enough water. This year our ground water completely dried out so we are hiring a water tanker to bring water for us every day for our daily needs. These include cooking, drinking, washing, and watering the cattle. We were not able to grow a rice crop this year due to lack of water. so, we must buy rice, straw for the cattle, water, vegetables and such.

On a happy note, after high school I asked my son David if he wanted to study a regular college course or if he was interested in serving the Lord. I asked him to take some time and pray and let me know his decision. He came to me after a few days of prayer and said he wanted to serve the Lord. I shared David’s interest with some of our sponsors who out of their big hearts donated money for David’s studies at a wonderful Bible School. They helped him for all of his three years. On March 15, 2019, David graduated with a Bachelor of Theology degree. He scored good marks in all the subjects. What a joy to see him in his graduation clothes with his certificate.

My ministry journey started when my children were 4 and 5 years. When I was abused by my husband, I didn’t know what to do or where to go.  I was helpless and considered taking my life but the Lord in his mercy stopped me and gave me strength to stand for Him. He moved my heart to take care of the abandoned children I saw all around me who were left helpless. I started taking these children into my home and raised them with my children. My son was grateful that at least he had me as his mother whereas many children did not have parents. This touched his life.  Today as I look back at the years, I have to say the Lord has never left me alone and has guided each step. He connected me to you all as a spiritual family, gave me brothers, sisters, Moms and Dads in Christ. My heart is filled with praise and joy for Him.

Today David supports me in the ministry. We conduct Sunday school classes in slums, and carry out GOSPEL meetings, VBS and worship services in the Tribal areas. We also counsel the teenage children in our mission home and encourage them. I thank you all for your earnest prayers and financial support for our family and ministry.

As the summer is ending, all the schools in India have started their academic year. The price for books is rising sky high and children need eight books per subject. Thus far, we have provided all the books needed and new bags as well. 

It has now been 5 years since the Modi government has come into power. In that time many Christians have been persecuted and many churches have been burned down. In the month of April, we had elections all over India.  We prayed for the Lord’s will to be done.  Prime Minister Modi was elected for a second five-year term.  Please pray that the Lord will strengthen us and use us according to His will. And please pray for our fellow believers in India and for the Hindu Government that they will not stop us from doing missionary work.

We love this verse from Proverbs 19:17, “He who has pity on the poor, lends to the Lord. And the Lord will pay back what he has given.” In view of that, thank you for your monthly support for our ministry. It helps children not only to get physical food but also brings them to the knowledge of Christ.

Here are some of our current needs: 

  • • Support to drill a deeper well.
  • • School uniforms, stationery, shoes, books, pencils, 
  • • A special welcome back chicken dinner for the children.

To help with these needs, you can send a special gift to Hope Builders International and put Compassion for Orphans on the memo line. The address is Hope Builders International, P O box 91359, Austin, TX 78709. To give online. you can go to their website at www.hope-builders.org and make a contribution there. 

With love for you, and in HIS ministry,

-Sheba Sunayana

CHILD SPONSORSHIP GIVES HOPE AND PRACTICAL HELP

Native Missionary Movement: Update from the Chidren’s Home & School in Navapur

Dear NMM Friends,

Many communities in Northern India have toiled hard for generations simply to survive. Some men and women haven’t had the privilege of pursuing an education themselves, and they are helpless to give one to their children.

But God loves these children deeply, and He is working in part through NMM children’s homes to give them a chance for a better future.

NMM child sponsorship gives more than 1,000 needy children a daily meal and regular medical checkups for their physical health and development. The program also helps the children with their education so they can one day get a good job and afford enough food, decent clothing, medical supplies, and other necessities of life for themselves and their families. Beyond this, these homes provide the children with opportunities to pursue and even excel in their God- given skills and interests.

You can make an incredible difference in the lives of children and their       Sponsor a child families through NMM children’s homes.  When you sponsor a child, you for $25 a month. bring hope and encouragement to a family and help break the cycle of poverty. Your support gives a child and his family a far brighter future.

Through our children’s homes, God is enabling these children to become all they possibly can be so they can be a blessing in the future to many others throughout Northern India. Millions of children in India live life never knowing the hope that awaits them in Christ. However, through NMM children’s homes, they get to learn for the first time what it’s like to have new life and be embraced by their Heavenly Father.

Thank you for your financial support and prayers that allow many to experience incredible love!

Joy Punnoose NMM President

Our Annual Day Celebration was such a joyful occasion. All the children could display their talents on stage.

The past academic year was a wonderful experience for everyone at Navapur’s Home of Hope & School. We thank God for all the staff, teachers, and volunteers who worked hard and loved the kids. Without this team, we would not be able to achieve our goal of giving Jesus to the little ones before they leave Home of Hope.

Teaching Team at Home of Hope
Our hearts are filled with gratitude to God for His marvelous works here this past year!
Graduating Class of 2019

Guda is a village in Alirajpur District of Madhya Pradesh. It has a population of around 4,000 people with a very poor literacy rate of 5%. Pr Edubhai Chouhan, who ministers in this village, was blind from birth. His parents took him to many places hoping to cure his blindness, but all was in vain. Deperate about these failed attempts, Edubhai decided to commit suicide; but that failed too.

Hearing of Edubhai’s plight, a pastor visited him, shared the Gospel, and prayed for him. Miraculously, Edubhai was healed and saw the light of this world for the first time! Submitting to Christ, he began spreading Good News in his village. Suddenly, Edubhai found himself in the midst of trouble and rejection. His kith and kin became his enemies, forcing him and his family to leave their home. They took shelter under a tree for eight months before moving into a small hut Edubhai made himself.

Pr Edubhai (man on the left of this photo)

The villagers forbade them drinking water for becoming followers of Christ. So they had to travel to ten different locations to collect water for their daily use. But NMM’s drilling of a tube well by Edubhai’s hut was God’s boon to this family. It not only serves Edubhai and his family—but the villagers too! Edubhai has been truly reflecting Christ in the midst of rejection by society.

THE STORY OF YOUTH

A glimpse on the Youth Work & Ministry in Jordan

Manara Youth Ministry – Gilead Camp

RUNNING SUMMER CAMPS FOR KIDS AND TEENS HAS ALWAYS BEEN OUR PASSION SINCE 1985.

We have received 105 campers  ages 8 to 10  at the 3,4,and 5 grade camp  and 99 campers ages 11 & 12  at the 6, and 7 grade camp, with around 50 counselors and staff members serving and helping at each camp.

For over 30 years, thousands of campers have experienced Gilead Summer Camps programs; helping raise generations of kids and teenagers. We are happy to share our passion with our campers and to welcome them back to our summer camps year after year, from generation to generation.

Gilead Camp is an annual summer youth camps providing a healthy, enjoyable, enriching and life changing experience for kids and teens aged 8 – 18 years; there is something for all ages at Gilead Camp, which through worthwhile games, indoor and outdoor activities, music, leisure, bible study and educational activities makes a constructive contribution to the personal development of our Campers. They develop a sense of responsibility and an awareness of their potential and an opportunity to discover what it means to be a Christian in the 21st Century.

Many campers come back several years in a row, and it doesn’t end there! After turning 18 a good number of campers become counselors. The majority of our counselors have had camper experience themselves and carry on sharing it with new generations.

It is with great pleasure that we repeatedly see the transformation and friendships formed during the campers’ stay at camp extend to later in life.

Lifetime transformation, lifetime memories and lifetime friends as a result of Gilead Camps!

Camp Gilead receives 700 campers annually, 500 of them are new campers, which are separated according to age and grade into 5 different camps. Each year our camp includes a theme and a message we want the youth to learn. Camps are currently geared towards nominal Christians and thankfully over the years many have come to know Christ!

Camp Gilead had and continues to have a tremendous impact on the church of Jordan. Many of our current church leaders came to know Christ in this camp. They are now leading churches, preaching and leading their own church camps.

Pray with us for Manara Youth Ministry

Pray for those youths who do not yet know Him that they would be convicted of their need of a Savior during the 5 camps starting of June 4th until June 30th, so that they may come to faith through the word of God and the witness of their friends and these youth fellowships and ministries.

Pray for our Lord to protect them from the wiles of the enemy who would seek to undermine their trust in Him but rather equip each one to look to Jesus rather than to the things of the world. May they grow in grace and become an effective witness to friends and family, not only in what they say but in the godly way that they behave.

Pray for our Lord to draw each one closer to Himself and they may grow spiritually.

Thank you for your compassion and for your friendship. You are a constant encouragement to all of us at Manara International. May the God of peace be with you and those you love.

Lift up Manara Youth Ministry, that the Lord will lead and guide those that are in leadership positions seeking to share the Love of the Father and His truth about the identity of each camper from the different age groups. Pray that God will give them more of His passion and compassion for the younger generations.

MANARA YOUTH MINISTRY

We give thanks and praise for the past two camps

“THE LORD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR US, AND WE ARE FILLED WITH JOY.” ~ PSALMS 126:3 NIV

What a joy it is to witness the mighty work of our Father and Lord in the campers’ lives at the first two of this summer’s camps. Our hearts are full of joy and gratitude.

We have received 105 campers  ages 8 to 10  at the 3,4,and 5 grade camp  and 99 campers ages 11 & 12  at the 6, and 7 grade camp, with around 50 counselors and staff members serving and helping at each camp.

We will not stop praising and worshiping our Lord, the only true God, especially in moments when seeing these precious children singing from their hearts with joy and expressing their faith by testimonies such as: “Now, I know Jesus in a different way” or “I am closer to Jesus.” Also, when the parents of the first campers (3,4,5) tell us that their kids have not stopped singing the songs they learned at Gilead in their homes and then gave them no option on Friday except to come again to Gilead on visiting day and spend time altogether again in worship, fellowship and hearing the word of God, all we can say is, “The work is WORTH IT ALL. THANK YOU, JESUS.”

Pray that many will come to know the Lord and those that know Him will be strengthened in their faith to testify about His love and be witnesses. Keep the counselors and the campers in your prayers over the upcoming weeks (Wednesday evening – Sunday noon).

“I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME” ~ PHIL 4:13 KJV

Musa’s Great Adventure

Opening the door of God’s Kingdom to the Mankidias of India

When Pastor D. B. Hrudaya of Orissa, India, first heard of the Mankidia people group, they were among the most nomadic and illiterate peoples of northern India. They were known as “monkey hunters” and forest dwellers. There were no believers in Christ among them. They worshiped evil forest spirits. Their culture was rampant with oppression and hopelessness. They could boast of no high school graduates, medical knowledge or social graces.

Two such examples were Arun Mankidia and his wife Salomi. They lived in a primitive hut made of branches in the remote Dengam jungle. They suffered with severe depression due to the influence of the evil spirits that they worshipped. They had to walk 25 miles through the jungle to sell the hand made rope that they wove from the forest vines at the nearest market. They were without God and without hope in the world.

Into this picture, stepped a man named Musu Marandi. He is one of Pastor Hrudaya’s field staff. Hrudaya and his team had been praying for an opening among the Mankidia people for over 10 years but with no breakthrough. They had reached the point where some of Hrudaya’s workers had learned the Mankidia language. With some outside support, the ministry was able to send Musu into the jungle areas where they lived. Finally, on one of the weekly market days, Arun met Musu in the market. After a lengthy conversation where Musu shared the good news of Christ with him, Arun decided he wanted to know more about the wonderful person of Jesus.

Arun went home and shared what he had learned with Salomi. She had just miscarried a baby for the third time. The hopelessness of her married life was at its greatest height. But on that wonderful day she received new hope. The news of forgiveness and a new life in Christ was a revelation to her. God had begun His good work in her and Arun’s hearts.
Arun and Salomi visited Musu at his home. He fully explained the plan of salvation to them in their language. On that day, Musu led them to Jesus Christ. Their lives were forever changed. They immediately began sharing the news of Jesus with other Mankidias. A new work was born!

Not long thereafter, both Arun and Salomi came to Pastor Hrudaya’s training center in Balasore, Orissa, for Biblical training and church planting training. In 2014, they graduated and went back to work among their own communities. Starting in their own village and reaching out from there, they now have spread the Gospel into 13 villages. So far, about 2000 Mankidias have come to Christ. Today, they have developed a small outreach team focusing on reaching the remaining Mankidias for Christ.

Though funding has been very limited for this wonderful project, much has been done to raise the living conditions of the Mankidias. Efficient farming techniques have been introduced, land for growing crops has been provided to them, medical clinics have been held and literacy centers have been established. The first Christian Mankidia marriages have been celebrated. The Mankidia project, initiated in 2014 in order to introduce the Mankidias to the God who made them, loves them and died for them, has developed them in every way. The included pictures bear testimony to that reality.
But this is still just the beginning. With the provision of strategic funding, the project can touch many more lives.

Here is what is needed to bring the Mankidia work into fuller effectiveness:

1. The provision of regular support for 5 workers at $100 per month
2. Funding for four Medical Camps at $800 per camp
3. The establishment of literacy centers among the not yet reached villages of the Mankidias. These cost about $300 to set up and $150 a month to maintain.
4. One motorbike at $1000 for a regional worker to travel among the villages.
5. Establishment of a Mankidia Goat project. This effective project works as follows: A family is given 3 goats at a cost of $50. The family cares for the goats for two years in which time their small herd normally grows to 10. After that, the additional goats can be sold in the market. Past project experience shows this will provide an annual income of over $600 to the family. Pastor Hrudaya wants to start this project with 60 Mankidia families so is seeking $3000 to get it launched.

Will you help us provide new support for this fruitful work among the Mankidia people? There are many Arun’s and Salomi’s out there who will become wonderful ambassadors of the love of Christ to their fellow Mankidias.

With deep thanks,
Lance Thollander for HBI, Pastor Hrudaya and the Mankidia people

Haiti Trip Report – Time for God’s Kingdom to Burst Forth

Dear Friends,

A team from Hope Builders International traveled to Haiti in February to visit the ministry of Cebien Alexis. As many Americans know, Haiti has seen years and years of economic and political distress, due to poor, corrupt, and ever changing governmental leadership. More than half of the population is trapped in the darkness of voodoo. Though rich in beauty and resources, poverty is rampant. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. 60% of Haitians live below the poverty line. Leaders of integrity are needed to transform the country. That is why we partner with Pastor Cebien.

Cebien has planted 200 churches in Haiti and among Haitians in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island to the east. Through his tireless work in his medical clinic, Cebien supports pastors and teachers and ministry work in a multitude of ways. In addition, he is the leader of a Haitian pastors’ network of over 1000 ministers.

During this visit Lance and Jim Witkower taught at a mini-conference for pastors in Cebien’s church network, called EBAC. We prepared Bible ministry booklets in Creole to give to the pastors. Two more booklets are ready to be translated into Creole and given out when funds are available. In an encouraging note, the pastors offered their personal funds to cover a similar conference in the future. On this trip, our friend Mark Bodycombe, also brought two friends to explore possibilities for building projects. We have all been moved by Cebien’s faithfulness to the vision and calling the Lord gave him many years ago.

As on our first visit, we witnessed firsthand Cebien’s radically self-sacrificial lifestyle. As pastors gathered for the conference, coming at all hours of the night, Cebien would greet them and leave his bed to sleep beside them on the floor of the clinic. One night of the conference, after the pastors were served dinner, he stayed up all night talking to them and hearing their concerns – then the next day, translated for Lance during the conference.    

We stayed on the grounds of the EBAC orphanage receiving wonderful care from Cebien’s family, like his niece Yolene, shown right, with our friend Ann Witkower and Christie. Cebien’s son Campbell, who grew up in the States, is there now to help his dad and learn about the ministry. Cebien’s daughter and son-in-law, Alexis and Mike Swittel, also joined us for a couple of days. They are helping with projects both at the University and at the orphanage. It was a joy to meet them all.        

Cebien’s passion is for evangelism and church planting. On top of that, he knows education is a major need if Haitians are to improve their lives. Cebien’s Faith Christian University has programs in administration, nursing, alternative medicine, and theology. Campbell and Cebien’s nephew Julien, havealso planted a model farm on the University grounds. They plan to teach church pastors and membershow to raise their own corn and vegetables. Every summer, youth from the churches come to the University for a month-long camp where they learn vocational skills. Currently they sleep on the concrete floors of the dormitory rooms. 200 mattresses are needed to keep them off the hard floor. They cost $60 each.

On a fun note, we had a unique opportunity to attend a Haitian thanksgiving feast. A month prior, one of Cebien’s church members was paralyzed by a stroke and could not speak. The Lord healed her, so she and her husband gave testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness. The feast included lots of music, Scripture, and testimonies. Cebien gave a message comparing this feast to the actions of Mary after Lazarus was healed. It was a joyful event!

We were able to bring funds to provide goats for rural families, lay the foundation for a rural church building and home for a pastor, and to meet other ministry needs. Pastor Villet, who lives in Gommier, hasbeen living outdoors in his garden for the past two years since Hurricane Matthew destroyed 80% of the buildings in 2016. HBI was able to send funds to Cebien for metal roofs to repair homes there. The metal sheets were stored on Pastor Villet’s property, whose home and church building were also destroyed. Pastor Villet used none of the roofing himself. Now, thanks to HBI donors, Cebien will begin construction of a new church building with a home at the back for this servant of God. Our hope is to raise the funds needed to finish this church/home.

Cebien also supports income-producing projects. A prime example is the goat project. For $200 a family receives 3 goats which provide them with milk and over time, enables them to sell the baby goats. Many families have already received goats through HBI support with more waiting.

It is so encouraging to see how funds given through our HBI donors help advance the Lord’s work in Haiti.Though this nation is broken in many ways, the Gospel is bringing wholeness and healing to many. This beautiful island was made to sing forth the glories of God. Please join us in supporting this place of true potential for the Kingdom of God. To give online, visit www.hope-builders.org where you can designate gifts for items like booklet translation, mattresses, or the goat project on our contribution page. Gifts can also be sent to PO Box 91359, Austin, TX 78739 and designated for Pastor Cebien Alexis.

 

With love in Christ,

Lance & Christie Thollander