I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.’

March 15, 2012
Annual Report of BELC India Districts -Uthukottai, Chennai, Tiruvallure, Tiruttani, Vaniyampadi, Sri Kalahasti, Koppedu, Chittoor
These are excerpts. – Number of Pastors Serving – 261, Number of Baptisms – 161 Pastor D. Paul gave us at our recent joint conference in Chennai a report on the work. Among other things he told: Spiritual Counseling – Spiritual counseling is concerned with helping otherwise healthy functioning individuals identify, strategize, and solve problems in the daily living environments of family, work, community and spirituality. It is concerned with problems and challenges of everyday living. We are not a problem solver. Our Lord only solves all our problems. Our BELC is educating the youths about marriage and responsibilities associated with running a family. Our Savior made peace between God and men. He is the peace of God and the Prince of Peace. Through Him and His Gospel words, we are trying to make peace and solve the problems. Film Ministry – We have been doing the film ministry since 2000 and the Jesus film ministry program is a very great tool for outreach ministry. The local pastor or supervisor of the film ministry delivers a very good introduction address about the film and the purpose of the film showing. This year the film was shown: Chennai Dist. – 8 areas, Koppedu Dist. – 9 areas, Tiruttani Dist. – 5 areas, Chittoor and Sri Kalahasti Districts – 11 areas, Uthukottai Dist. – 9 areas. Gospel Meetings – We have been conducting the open air Gospel meetings in several places of our districts. The Scripture of John’s Gospel and New Testaments were distributed. In one area over 2500 people participated, while in two others over 300 people each. Health Camps – The BELC conducted two medical health camps during the year. Tuition Centres – These are conducted in five places. Children after school are helped with lessons, and Bible stories are also taught. 
Pastor Ude reports from visits in January ’12:
ELCC The ELCC is currently working in 5 districts with a total of 31 called workers. The amount of money we are currently sending allows Muzukuza to visit two districts a year. It is my hope that when I go I will also be able to visit one district with him. This would mean he would get to visit three districts a year. It would be ideal if he could visit all four. Pastor Muzukuza also asked about a couple of other projects including the building of a school in Nyunzu east of Katanga. We also talked about sending Hubert, Muzakuza’s son, to one of our Bible Schools in Africa. Hopefully the school in East Africa will be up and running by the end of this year, in which case it is our hope that Hubert could attend starting next year. If however the east Africa school isn’t back up by the end of the year, perhaps we could send Hubert to Nigeria.
CCLC Pastor Yumba reported orally on the work. He has a few congregations in the Lubumbashi area and a few outside as well. He wants me to come visit these congregations when I am there next year, hopefully I will be able to do this. He is currently working across the border with some men from Zambia as well. In Zambia across the border we met with representatives from about eight congregations. There were definitely some surprises here in Zambia. The one congregation we went to visit had an exorcism for us. Yumba and the other men from the CCLC were just as surprised and doubtful of the show as Todd and I were. But the men were more than willing to listen and learn in the conference. Clearly there is a lot of teaching that needs to be done here. Thank the Lord for Yumba and men like him who are there and can provide solid biblical training throughout the year.
  ZAMBIA Pastor Ibrahim is working with about 6 men in and around Lusaka, Zambia. Pastor Ibrahim is obviously very dedicated and very capable. He showed us around some of his evangelism opportunities, devotions at an Aids hospital and villages. You can read more about this on my blog https://paroikos.lutheranmissions.org or Todd Ohlmann’s. We only spent a couple days with these men. We went through the statement of faith and purpose. More thorough training will continue to be given to these men by Ibrahim. We wait to see how that training progresses. If the men in Lusaka prove to be dedicated servants, it will certainly be worth the effort to help Ibrahim permanently relocate to Lusaka, not only for the sake of Lusaka but also Zimbabwe and Congo. Ibrahim seems an excellent man to have on hand to help oversee the work in this area of Africa. Currently his family is back in Tanzania.
  ZIMBABWE The situation in Zimbabwe is about the same as that in Zambia. Here we have a group of about 15 men who seem to be dedicated, willing and ready to learn and grow in true Christian doctrine. We met with the men and went through the Statement of Faith and Purpose. They brought up some serious points about the work and gifts of the Holy Spirit. But their objections and questions seemed to be more motivated by a desire to learn and by questions they face rather than because they thought we were wrong.
News From the Nigerian CLC Pastor Ude reports that in 2010 there was one graduate from the Bible Institute, and in 2011 there were two. All three have been assigned churches. This year there is the possibility of three new students, one of whom is from Ghana. When he completes his studies, it is his intent to return to Ghana. At the recent West African Conference Pastor Ude baptized this Ghanian. We pray for the young man’s intent to be fulfilled.
Encounters of a Spiritual Kind
The Manifestly Impenitent – Lk.11:45-52
It is a mark of this wicked world that not all who we encounter will be like Sergius, seeking to hear the Word. John the baptizer reproved Herod for his sin, and we know what happened to John. Yet it must be done. Our goal is that expressed by Peter to Simon Magus in reproving him, “Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”
Acts 8:22
We notice first of all in Luke eleven that this man has not the same attitude as the one in Mark twelve. The impenitent may argue over and at least resent your words. The lawyer would defend the integrity of his fellows. Defend hypocrisy? The Lord of course could read the man’s heart and knew his was no innocent and merely misguided question. While we do not have that ability, we must judge by what the person says and does. There are those manifestly impenitent to whom we, like our Lord here, only speak the law. An early Lutheran circuit rider in the USA by the name of Wyneken once came upon a wicked blasphemer who just would not listen. So Wyneken mounted his horse and left the man with the words, “Then go to hell.” The story goes on that the man was so upset that a pastor would say this to him, that he rode after him with a good result of repentance.
That is our goal also. Our Lord’s words here pin the lawyer to the wall. “You load men with burdens hard to bear and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” We have no way of knowing how long such an encounter for us will last and so want to peg the sin clearly for the person to think about. Here it is hypocrisy. The Lord points out how they operate with such an unfair double standard.
“Abel…Zechariah…the prophets” Our Lord speaks from His perfect acquaintance with the Word. Ours is not so perfect and has to be worked on, so that we too might speak words readily applicable.
At the end of the narrative the Lord lays upon him the guilt of hindering others. No man is an island. Each influences others. And especially would the respected lawyer be an influence. “You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering. ”Perhaps this would have some weight with one who prided himself on his influence among the people. We could also take this tack depending on the encounter.
But basically it is only law that we speak to those who exhibit impenitence. Such are not prepared for the Gospel. Our witness of the Gospel to such could result in casting pearls before swine who could tear and rend in mockery of the Word.
Pastor Koenig