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

Latest News from Compassion for Orphans: The Hopeful Story of Nikitha

This report arrived in our office this week from Sheba Sunayana, our ministry partner in central India. We hope you will be encouraged by the story of Nikitha, a student in her care.

“Nikitha joined our home at the age of 8 along with her sister. When I first saw Nikitha, shown right, her eyes were full of tears and fear. Her father had brought the sisters to our children’s home. He told us that the girls’ mother had died a few months earlier. He said that Nikitha was very stubborn and rude. She hated everyone and would never listen to anyone. As a result, everyone hated her. I realized I had to pay special attention to her and started to spend extra time with her. After a while, Nikitha began to trust me. One day she broke into tears telling me that her mom had set herself on fire because her father had abused her for not giving birth to a boy. I cried with her and prayed for her. I told her that God loved her. She started to put her faith in Jesus and soon accepted Him as her Savior. Since then she has completely changed and has become a powerful witness for Christ. God has blessed her in her studies and she is now starting college. We are sponsoring her for her college tuition. She shares God’s love with her friends and is a star shining for Christ.

Seeing lives changed like this makes me so happy and encouraged to do more work for the Lord. Watching the children learn and grow in faith is a great blessing. Our challenging reality is that the more evangelical work that goes on in India, the more persecution and trouble we face. For example, our neighbors and the local people hate us because we are Christians. They say bad words when we go by their property on the way to the orphanage. We have been facing this for a long time and we are praying that someday the Lord will change their minds. Will you join us in that prayer?

On Mother’s Day I received special greetings and well wishes from the girls in our charge. One of the girls told me that since she didn’t have a mother any more, I would be her mother. Such words remind me of my responsibility, not only to educate them but to provide a loving environment for them. In some cases, I am not only mother but also father, sister and friend, too. Sometimes I feel scared with that responsibility so I ask the Lord to give me more strength to do his work, to be able to care for all the big and small needs these children have.

Compassion for Orphans could not be run without your prayers and financial support. Your support helps children like Nikitha have the hope of a fulfilling life and in Christ one that will last forever.

We greatly appreciate your continued support. To cover all our monthly financial needs takes about $4000 which is an ongoing challenge for us. Please remember us in your prayers that the Lord will continue to help us go forward.

On a personal note, my son David Livingstone has finished his 1ST Year in Bible College and ranked at the top of his class. My daughter, Florence, graduated from high school and excelled. Now we are looking for sponsors to help her meet her college tuition. My mother is doing very well. The Lord has done great wonders in her life. She is completely cured of cancer. Thank you all for praying for her. My brother’s family has also been taking part in ministering with the children. This has been a great help, as well. Special gifts for CFO can be sent to Hope Builders at PO Box 91359, Austin, TX 78709 or given online at www.hope-builders.org.

With deep love for you,
Sheba Sunayana

MANKIDIA PROGRESS REPORT

Dear Friends,
The Mankidia tribals of eastern India are being reached for Christ! Step by step D.B.
Hrudaya and his co-workers at Orissa Follow Up are seeing steady progress as they
serve this people group with both the Good News of Christ and holistic means of
earning income, becoming educated and improving their quality of life. Here’s the latest
news.

rice from MankidiasThe rice harvest is over. This year 5800 pounds of rice was harvested. Six acres of new
farmland has been rented for the next year to increase the production. This is very
exciting.

mankidia pre schoolOFU’s Women’s Impact Network conducted Bible studies among the Mankidia ladies. It is encouraging to see how gladly the women participated. The Pre-school center is going on well. The number of children is growing steadily.

mankidia well with HrudayaLast year 3 medical camps were held and 600 patients were treated and given medicine.
This year another 3 medical camps are planned for the Mankidias. The patients are
increasing and medicine is expensive so please pray with us for God’s provision.

One well is completed. Hopefully a second one will be completed by February, 2017. More
wells are required for remote villages. This is an urgent and special need for the Mankidias.

Here are some opportunities to help grow this work:

Two water buffaloes are needed by the community. The believers are contributing 50%
of the cost and OFU wants to help with the rest. Cost: $230.
Educational materials and uniforms are needed at a cost of $7 per child or $280 for the
whole group of 40 being served.
Three Medical Camps will cost $800 each or a total of $2400.
Five wells are needed at a cost of $1540 each.
Support for seven workers serving among the Mankidias comes to $5200.

Gifts for the Mankidia project can be given online at www.hope-builders.org or sent to
Hope Builders International, PO Box 91359, Austin, TX 78709.

Better than an Olympic Gold Medal: Water!

Dear Friends,

For many years now we have followed the progress of Sheba Sunayana in India. Starting with just a few orphans in her home, today Sheba has a four-acre property where she cares for and educates over 100 children. Here is a report we received this week where Sheba shares some great news with us.

Lance & Christie Thollander

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Dear Partners,

water-coming-at-shebasGreetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus. We are rejoicing to tell you some good news. As we have shared in the past we have had great difficulty in drilling a well on our property. Lately with the drought here, it was a struggle for us to even get a glass of water to quench our thirst. Everywhere the grass was dry. Plus, our cows needed water and couldn’t get enough. We were afraid we might lose them. We hardly had water for our daily needs. We hired a person to bring us water every day but he was never on time. Our neighbors also said they could only get a bucket of water in 6 hours from the ground. The only way to get water was to try and drill a deeper well.

In all circumstances we can say with assurance that God is Good. He has taught us to pray and depend on Him in every situation. Thanks once again to the generosity of a Hope Builders donor we received the funds to try and drill a deeper well. We were scared, wondering if we would be able to find water. For us it was test of faith. All the local people, most of whom are not believers in Jesus, came out to see if we would get water this time. After drilling 500ft to 800ft into the ground water started to come. We were thrilled! We felt like we were winning the Olympic gold medal. In some places people even have had to drill 1200ft for water. Our neighbors said they drilled 3 wells and they did not get water at all. They also said because you are Christians your God has helped you. Some times when we face problems and difficulties in our life we often get discouraged and disheartened. But when we are in God’s plan he uses every difficult situation for His glory and proves how faithful He is.

Worker Faces Cobra, Calls on Jesus

sheba-son-at-bbcOn August 14 we celebrated the five-year anniversary of getting our land and starting to develop the Compassion for Orphans facility. We remembered many precious movements that we have experienced. We thanked God for so many things like keeping us safe from snakes and scorpions.

For example, one of our workers named Muttiah went into the farm land early one morning to turn on the water pump. Under the pump was a young cobra raising his head and staring at him. There were just a couple of feet between them. Muttiah could not move or shout as the snake would bite him. He started to pray to all his Hindu gods. Every time he prayed he opened his eyes to see if the snake was gone but it was there every time. He finally realized he was going to die and thought that he should pray to Jesus. When he opened his eyes he could see the snake going away from him. He came running to us calling out that Jesus is God. Then and there he accepted Jesus as his Savior.

I would like to share some family news with you. I have whole heartedly given my family to the Lord for his purposes. This has been hard in some cases but when you give something precious and valuable to God you get the joy which is unspeakable. This happened to me when David my son decided to do God’s service and take the good news of Jesus to this Hindu country rather than go for a secular job. By faith we have entered David at an excellent Bible College here in Hyderabad. It is a 4-year Bachelor of Theology course. He will need your prayers. It is not easy to be a pastor in India. Many are being beaten and persecuted for Christ. So please remember him. If you have a desire to sponsor him for his school fees you can send a donation to Hope Builders on his behalf.

kids-at-shebasLastly, since the first day Compassion for Orphans started my mom has been a wonderful support to us both in prayer and finances. Overall, for 15 years she has been in the ministry with me. In May she was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. Please pray for her. We are waiting for the government support to give her the medical treatments that she needs but that is not enough to cover everything. If anyone wants to help with her medicine cost, we would appreciate that. Though she is ill, she is still coming and spending a couple of hours with the children in the orphanage. They do not know that Aunty, as they call her, has cancer. They only know she is sick and they are praying for Aunty to get well soon

Please continue to support our ministry. To fully operate the ministry as we would like to do, costs $4000 a month to take care of the children and pay salaries and bills. I once again thank you all for your precious prayers and donations. We love you and pray for you.

In His ministry and for the Children,
Sheba Sunayana

Nepal Update – April, 2016

Dear Friends,
At this time last year Nepal experienced a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by hundreds of aftershocks and a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on May 12. Mission Network News reported that roughly 9,000 people were killed and more than 22,000 were injured. That was just the first of several difficulties that put the country into a tailspin. More than 800,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Historical sites and entire villages collapsed. Over 2 million people were affected, most of whom were instantly made homeless, orphans, or widows. Many organizations rushed to help the Nepalis, but the sad reality is that due to inaccessible roads, a blockade of the country by India, and demolished roads into China due to landslides, very little support actually made it to the people who needed it the most.
That’s where our ministry partners at Nepal Gospel Outreach Center came into the picture. Because of their contacts throughout Nepal and their access to remote areas through their ministry network, they were able to bring relief to many who were in distress. Here is the report we received from them in March in response to the aid that Hope Builders was able to send directly to them bypassing governmental bureaucracy and red tape. Thank you for your response to the desperate needs of the Nepali people.
On behalf of our friends and loved ones in Nepal,
Lance & Christie Thollander

Dear Ministry Partners,
During this year we went through much hardship and trouble. These included a devastating earthquake followed by the blockade along the Indian border and inaccessible roads to China due to landslides that brought the nation to a standstill. After almost seven months the blockade has been lifted and there are signs of improvement but overwhelming needs still remain. We want to thank you for your love and prayers and standing with us during those troublesome days. Despite hardships, we were able to serve earthquake survivors, orphans, widows and the poor in our community while preaching the gospel to all within our reach. While we are highlighting here the humanitarian work we have done, please know that hundreds have come to Christ through the preaching of the gospel that always accompanies our efforts. From those churches are being established and disciples raised up for Jesus Christ. Here are some of the activities we are involved with.

Education

nepal students outdoorsWe have continued scholarship support for 18 school children. An additional 18 children received one time support at the beginning of the academic year. There are many more needy children because of the earthquake. Many of the mothers (single women) sobbed when they shared their stories of how we have helped. They shared the impact on their lives and the relief they experienced through the scholarship and support package their child received from our ministry support team, God’s Love for Orphans and Widows (GLOW). This picture shows children studying outside because their school building was destroyed.

Tailoring Training

nepal ladiesThe fifth batch of 23 trainees graduated after completing six months advanced tailoring training on March 20th. Since the start of this program, 79 participants, many of them widows, have completed the tailoring training. Many graduates are ready to start their own tailoring shops but need funds to purchase a sewing machine. The picture above shows the tailoring graduates.

Sustainable Agriculture

GLOW has received a plot of land free of charge, to use for training farmers. We have started with banana and vegetable farming and hope to expand the project and move to other locations in the future.

Portable Water Filter Distribution

nepal water filterGLOW, in partnership with a local Christian organization, distributed around 360 plastic water pails with attached filters, which are simple to use and to keep clean. This will supply families living in remote villages with safe water, prevent gastrointestinal illness and reduce childhood mortality. Here is a water filter set being explained.

Testimonies From Those Served

We have many stories from those who have been helped. Here’s a testimony from one of the widows. “We lost everything in the earthquake including our home! It was winter and we only had what was on our backs. We were living in temporary shelter when I gave birth and the weather was getting unbearably cold. We had no other alternative than to cry. You brought us food, clothes for us, clothes for our children and babies, and quilts. I have felt huge relief now that our needs are met. I do not have the words to thank you.” — Reshma Tamang

nepal babyHere’s another testimony from a village that we visited. Pastor Palsang and some of our team walked into the village. The pastor’s neighbors’ wife was in labor and called the pastor to pray for her. He quickly rushed there and as he was praying, she delivered a daughter in front of them. They walked back to the church and told us what happened. We returned to the house with infant supplies. There the mother and the new child were sleeping in a dark corner of a hut they had built after the earthquake flattened their three level house. We learned that their two daughters died when the house fell and buried them during the earthquake. This newborn is their sixth child. This is a family of believers who attend the church in the village. They asked us to pray for them and thanked God for this new gift to their family, bringing them joy and healing of heart. It was good to be there to witness and celebrate life with them in the midst of all the pain and hardship they had been through.

Please be sure that the gospel message is shared in all our programs and trainings. For example, in the tailoring training, devotions are held every morning before they start their day. The training participants have learned much of the gospel and about Christ since joining the training. They ask many questions and ask for prayers for themselves and for their family members.
Truly, the Gospel is the real hope that can truly change people’s lives… our efforts otherwise will be in vain. Thank you for your wonderful support that enables to carry the Good News of God’s love and new life in Jesus Christ to these people living in the remote villages of Nepal. God is doing a great work here!
With love in Christ,
Resham and Sita Poudel and the NGOC team

Compassion for Orphans Newsletter – March 2016

Dear Friends of Compassion for Orphans,
Here is some recent news that we received from Sheba Sunayana, Founder and Director of Compassion for Orphans in Hyderabad, India. I had the joy of taking a small team of church leaders to visit Sheba and the children last November. During that trip we visited several different ministries in various parts of that great land. I can tell you that being with Sheba was one of the highlights for those on the trip. They loved being with the children, hearing Sheba’s story of God’s faithfulness, and seeing the wonderful effect that is being made on these young lives. We at Hope Builders want to thank you for your support of this work, confident that God is advancing His Kingdom of love in their midst.

Lance Thollander

thumbnailDear Friends and Prayer Partners,

Greetings from Compassion for Orphans. Here we are fine by God’s grace and by your prayers. The climate is getting warmer and warmer as we prepare for our hot summer season. To prepare for that we are investigating where we can drill on our property to install a deep well. We have tried once but without success. So please pray that we can make the well a reality.

thumbnail-1I am grateful to say that my mother is helping me very much with the children at the orphanage. She is a retired teacher and has a great love for these young ones. We also have a pastor who comes out and leads daily devotions for the children as well as the staff. Then we have a wonderful worship service with the children.

Christmas was a great celebration of joy as we honored the birth of Jesus. Dressing up for the nativity skit was a new thing for some of the children in our mission home as it was their first Christmas. We had 24 new children added to our children’s home last year. They had never heard about Jesus before coming to us. Some of them are pictured above with the special visitors brought by Lance Thollander, President of Hope Builders International, that we received in November. These children have now had the opportunity to experience the love of God and have given their hearts to Christ. They have learned gospel songs which enable them to let others know about Christ . Your special Christmas donations helped us to purchase a set of new clothes, socks and shoes for each of the children. Please accept our very special thanks for your kindness for remembering us on Christmas and helping our children to celebrate Christmas with new clothes. On the previous page is a picture of some our girls in their pretty Christmas dresses.

During this time those children who can gather with their extended families and loved ones do that. Sadly, on the other side there are lonely souls searching for someone to love them. Here is one example. On the day before Christmas I found a boy crying sitting on the road side. I went to him and asked him why he was crying. The boy said that he wanted to spend Christmas with his family but his father and grandmother refused to let him stay with them.

His mother had been left at a home for the mentally retarded and the boy had been put into a hostel. His father had married another woman and they did not want this boy with them. Since the hostel had closed for the holidays, this boy had no place to go and was literally put out on the street. He said he needed a family on Christmas but no one needed or wanted him. He was so depressed he wanted to die. His words broke my heart. I took him to our orphanage so he could enjoy the days with us. He was overjoyed and thanked us over and over for showing him love and giving him a place to stay.

There are many needy abandoned and orphaned children in our area who are in need of food and shelter. We want to reach as many as we can with the love of God. We would love to have enough resources to feed each of them 3 meals a day but are not able to do that. So right now we and our children share one meal with the hungry children and introduce them, as we are able, to a better life with Jesus at the center. Of course the more helping hands we have, the greater the impact we can have. In that regard we want to thank you again for your loving and faithful support. You are making a great difference in the lives of young ones here in India.

With love in Jesus,

Sheba Sunayana