September 17, 2004

Prov. 25:25  Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far


Update on CLCI Bible Correspondence Course
Pastor Jyothi Benjamin reports the following,  “This year 25 individuals are
taking the course.  As you know there has been a lot of opposition to the public
Gospel proclamation (in India).  We should not be discouraged about the
situation.  Studying the Bible is the most important thing in a person’s life
and we are thrilled and excited to inform you that many have believed in Jesus
by taking this course.  Through this Bible correspondence course,  many of
the non-Christians have been learning more about who they are, where they came
from, why they are here, and where they are going, and finally that Jesus is
their only Savior.  We send the lessons and questions and go through and answer
and correct their answers to these lessons, finally giving them a certificate
of completion.  We are happy to tell you that many Hindu and Muslim friends
are also taking this Bible correspondence course from us…The Holy Spirit has
been working in them through this ‘invisible way’…The cost is free.  Till
now totally 350 students have taken the course since 1993…” Furthermore,
three students who competed this course have now enrolled in the seminary
training at Nidubrolu, Guntur District, India.  Two are Hindu converts and one
is a man of Muslim background.  His Word does its work.   Praise God!

Last June five men were graduated from the three year course.  This year there
are six in the final year, five in the second year and 12 in the first year.
This is the largest enrollment in the six years of operation.

JOINT ENGLISH BELC/CLCI PASTORAL CONFERENCE was held for three days at Guntur,
India.  Fifty men attended. BELC men gave 9 essays and CLCI men gave 5 essays.
Six reports were given on the work of the Lord in these synods.  These
conferences are for our pastors to continue to study to help one another to
bolster in the faith.  We have wonderful fellowship in His Word and love.

All fourteen pamphlets we would like all of our sister church bodies to
translate have been completed by Pastor D. Paul in Tamil.  One has been
completed by Pastor Moses in Telegu.  In one month Pastor Nireekshana will
begin the translation of the other 13.  Pastor Jyothi has completed Mueller’s
“My Church and Others” in Telegu  and is now being printed for all Telegu-
speaking pastors.  I encourage all in our sister synods to continue to work on
translation.  Pastor Muzakuza in Congo has sent me a copy of their translation
of the Swahili catechism.  We will be praying that we can have the money to print
it for distribution.  Work continues in other fields under His gracious hand.

Nireekshana has three of these a year and would like to increase to five.  We
can learn from what our brethren are doing and also pray for their work.  Pastor
Nireekshana reports the following.

l. Machavaram meetings were held from Apt. 17-19 with speakers – VS Benjamin,
Jyothi Benjamin, Nireekshana and other local senior pastors.
–Time of Meetings (the same for the three sites)
Morning – 8-9 Prayers, Afternoon – 11-12 lunch, 12-3 Two Messages, 4-5:30
Procession and Special Prayers at houses along the way.  Evening 6-7 Prayers,
7-8 dinner, 8-11:30 1 or 2 Messages, Active Songs, Witnesses and Special Prayer
–Nearly 500 members attended every meeting and received the Word and blessings.
Tracts and pamphlets were distributed.  Bibles were sold at subsidized rates.
Sunday School children performed the songs and gave a play on birth of Jesus.
Some of the Hindu people came and purchased Bibles and song books.  At the
third meeting the Jesus Telegu movie was shown to a huge gathering.
–Highlights  –  An electrican arranged a 20 foot Jesus posture in colored lights
in front of the meetings for nominal charges.  This attracted many villagers.
Five Hindu women and their children received Jesus as Savior.  During the
Procession through Hindu populated areas, many came out and watched.  One
hundred participants were in the Procession.  The meetings also helped to
strengthen the faith of members.

2. Sita Nagaram meetings were conducted May 4-6 with speakers – VS Benjamin,
Jyothi, Nireekshana, Pastor Isaiah and some other senior pastors.
–At each site tarps, loudspeakers, chairs, tables, generator and other items
are rented for outside presentation.
–Nearly 700 attended these meetings and most of them were tribal people and
Hindus.  Materials were distributed and Bibles sold.
–Highlights – Nearly ten families of Tribals have received Christ.  A special
Procession was made in the tribal areas of the village.  Some said they would
come to church regularly.  An old woman witnessed that her son came to the
meetings and was impressed.  A Hindu woman employee received Jesus and decided
to help the pastor of the church every month with financial support.

3. Vatticherukuru meetings were held May 20-22 with many of the same speakers
and Pastor Israel.
–Nearly 1000 attended and most were Muslim and Hindus.
–Highlights – Almost all the village was covered by our 500 members in
Procession.  Prayers were offered for people with problems.  Some came to
understand the importance of our doctrine and became interested in the Lutheran
catechism.  Some of the Muslim and Hindu people attending began to help in the
meeting, giving vegetables, rice, milk, etc. for meals.

May God continue to bless His Word in these Gospel Meetings.

In Him,
Pastor Koenig