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

November 16, 2009

Pastor Jyothi and Nireekshana of the CLCI have been working with many of their members to assist church members who are suffering from the recent floods in Andhra Pradesh State on India. Let us pray for them and God’s help and comfort to them. Part of a recent report follows.
“Dear brothers, this is the latest information regarding our CLCI flood victims. More than 12 congregations and 36 preaching stations bore the brunt of the worst floods in hundred years caused by the recent week-long torrential rain in the state of Andhra Pradesh, which rendered lakhs of people homeless and hundreds dead, and wrought unimaginable devastation. We have started conducting relief operations for the flood victims in the affected CLCI congregations. We regret to inform you that there are four more deaths in the CLCI flood affected congregations, in total 7 deaths were happened. They are six men (including one pastor) and one lady. We are unable to comfort those families who have lost their dear ones, especially who have lost men. Indeed it is very difficult to fill the gap in the families caused by their death. Also we regret to inform you that many people have been suffering from contaminated diseases. Due to the effect of the disaster, almost all the water has polluted, thus became a cause to spread various dangerous diseases like Diarrhea, Dysentery, Typhoid, Cholera, etc. These diseases attacked many of our people. For these we have been providing medicines, Bleaching power, Phenyl. Seven medical camps are being conducted under the supervision of Dr Tagore, our CLCI family doctor with the help of his associates. Also we have conducted a special medical camp for cattle. We regret to inform you that many families lost their cattle, mainly water buffaloes which are the main source of their livelihood…”


A report on CLCI annual VBS  from Pastor Jyothi Benjamin to the JOINT ENGLISH INDIA CONFERENCE-held at Nellore, India, DATED 1st to 2nd October – 2009

God is good! We are thankful to report that we had a fantastic week of VBS. God blessed the VBS-08 with more than two thousand children and many children accepted Christ.

Statistics: We held the VBS at Nidubrolu CLCI mission house.  We had been praying for 2000 kids for this VBS-08 and our Lord has answered our prayer.  Even though there were bumps in the road, God gave strength and great success.  The annual VBS-08 was held from December 7th to 13th, 2008.  In total seven days, 2016 children attended the VBS-08.  This is approximately 856 more than last year and we had to prepare more materials and have them Xeroxed overnights.  These many children, an almost equal number of boys and girls had fun all week at “Make A Joyful Noise” to the Lord.

Programs. What a fine time we had!  It was a busy week but well worth the effort.  Our theme was “Fear of the Lord” and our VBS motto for this year was “Fear of the Lord is the fountain of life. Proverbs 14.27.

Lessons. In this VBS-08 children were taught the sweep of salvation history Creation, Covenant, Captivity, Christ, the Church and His Coming.

1. Day One—-God Calls-Follow Adam and Eve as they answer God’s Call.
2. Day Two––God Shows-Learn about the Children of Israel as they see God leading in
the fiery pillar.
3 .Day Three--God Writes-Moses shares the Ten Commandments written with God’s own
4. Day Four—God Cares-See how much God cares as He provides forgiveness through
5. Day Five-–God Comforts-Recognize God’s love in His Word through Holy Spirit.
6. Day Six—-God Directs-Follow Jesus footsteps.
7. Day Seven-God comes again – Be prepared.

Teachers and Volunteers: This VBS-08 is a big praise on my list, because this VBS-08 have enough volunteers, teachers, members and youth to work with the programs when compared to last year.  The CLCI is blessed to have talented people who can make the Bible stories come to life.  I am happy to report that many of the participated kids were very responsive.  There were several very surprised parents who commented on the good things that their kids were doing at home.  There were quite a few new Hindu and Muslim kids came together along with regular kids and enjoyed the week of activities.  They really enjoyed the stories of Jesus.  They loved getting to know new friends of same age. During this VBS-08, Children learned that Jesus loves every child on this earth and also learned that children are essentially the same in any Caste or community.

From Uma, a Hindu girl of age 16, Came to VBS newly with five of her college friends: She said it like this.   I was invited by one of my Christian friends.  It was a real blessing for me and my friends to spend our time with the CLCI VBS.  I am very thankful for the opportunity; it was a life-changing experience for all of us.  We were overwhelmed–not by the caste difference, but by the incredible hospitality shown to us during our time in VBS.  Most of all, we were encouraged by the ways that the teachers told about Jesus.

Some Muslim boys were also present in the VBS.  Pray that they also appreciate who Jesus is and believe.

Games and Music: No VBS is complete without some great games and Seminary students created some fun games to play. Also we thanked our CLCI choir team.  They really took it all in stride and really put together some great music choices.  The music is one of everyone’s favorite part of VBS and elders also love to listen and watch the kids sing praises to our Lord.

Conclusion: Please pray that the Lord will use this CLCI VBS ministry to bring many into His kingdom and to call some into full-time Christian service.

Respectfully submitted,
Pastor Jyothi Benjamin

A passage explained = Is. 7:14

“…Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” In some translations instead of ‘virgin’ it is ‘young woman.’ The word for this word in Hebrew is almah which can mean both a young woman and a virgin. The idea is simple in that a young woman is considered a virgin. But which is the correct way to translate the word almah?

Scripture interprets Scripture. Matthew quotes Isaiah and uses the word in Greek ‘parthenos’ which can only mean virgin. Mt. 1:23 The Old Testament interprets the New and the New Testament interprets the Old. Since Matthew uses a word that can only mean virgin, the correct translation of the Hebrew word is virgin.

Pastor Koenig