Sept. 12, 2006

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

www.lutheranmissions.org is the website where we have a lot of information you, our brothers, can use off the internet like essays and teachings. Also, if you look at it you will notice that we have material in French from the ELCC and Tamil and Telegu material from the BELC and CLCI. We can also put on any other materials that are translated into the languages you speak. When we put your materials on the website, they can be downloaded and printed by interested parties. As this is developed we can also look to the time to assist you to create your own website through the webmaster of the CLC, Glenn Oster. Just recently we got an inquiry from an Indian Kerala man who works in Dubai. Pray that he is truly interested in the truth of God’s Word and pray for more contacts.

Coming Up

In the next issue of BASIC we will begin a study of the three Creeds: Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian. There will be exercizes to do also. We study to show ourselves approved, workmen who do not need to be ashamed.

We will also soon be starting an explanation of the “Church Year” to help remember what that teaching tool is all about.

Noting a 300 year anniversary…
“India’s Coral Strand”

Sixth in a Series.

Our Present Work in India

Church of the Lutheran Confession of India

It was thirty-eight years ago that V.S. Benjamin started this church. Over the years there have been more than 12,000 baptisms indicating the abundant work for His abundant grace. Our beginning with this sister church was much later. The CLC Board of Missions received a letter from John Rohrbach, a member of Zion, Ipswich, S.Dak. dated December 10, 1981. In it he wrote, “This past summer I went to Sri Lanka and India…While there (in India) I became sick and was hospitalized for ten days. During my stay at the hospital a schoolmaster and his wife came to me with three pastors. They were looking for a Lutheran body to belong to.” When John communicated this to his brethren in the CLC, there was joy aplenty, which then led to action.

Jointly, we carry on orphan work through Project Kinship and its committee under the Mission Board. Land has been purchased and a Christian school is envisaged. Over the years in this work as in general to assist the CLCI we have: bought a house enlarging it and adding small parcels of land to the original, built two seminary classrooms and a worship chapel, most recently built a hostel to house orphan boys and seminary students, purchased seven acres of rice paddy for food production.

The CLCI is aggressive in its outreach, going to various tribal areas where the people are very backward and require much patience to work with. In the new Indian state of Chattisgarh there is a nucleus of 700 souls being served by the CLCI, and these congregations are basically self-supporting. Throughout Andhra Pradesh state the CLCI considers where it can carry on more evangelism efforts.

Twenty-five years ago some may have wondered if we in the CLC really could undertake work in India with this church body. ‘Could we do it?’ is not the question. Rather, ‘does God want us to do it?’ Yes. Even ten years ago we could not have envisioned the size of our efforts. God knew. A Kinship report of ten years ago had it right and has it right, “The fields are white unto harvest and the hour is late. Doors are opening to the gospel…and we are the workers. Any question or difficulty concerning the work is first of all a call to come to our knees before our heavenly Father in prayer…Please pray with us…that we all would clearly know His will…and then in faith to step ahead and do.”

Bharath Evangelical Lutheran Church

Twenty-five years ago Pastor Mohan Bas began this church body. Many changes have occurred, though the Word is the same and our loving God is the same. In Jan. 2002 we saw that a fellowship rupture with Pastor Bas was unavoidable. Despite the separation from him, we still had the vast majority of his pastors and members who chose to remain with us. And since then the opportunities have abounded. Here we have found a wide door for effective work (1 Cor. 16:9).

The goal of the BELC is to go where the Gospel is not preached or where there is not much of a witness. Above all, Hindu converts are sought. You may wonder where the workers can be found to do this task. The men of the BELC want to start a training school and have at least fifteen young men who are eager to study to be pastors. In this 300th anniversary year of the arrival of Ziegenbalg and Pluetschau, what a joy to see men of India willing to work with their own people, and this is at times at a hazard for there are adversaries. Together we are busy at: Bible distribution (1425 in 2004), catechism printing and distribution, translation work in Tamil and Telegu, pastoral training, self-help assistance to pastors and simply put ‘expansion’.

Beyond Expectations

In 2002, the year of the fellowship rupture, we anticipated more pastors and members joining because of so many pastors who were going through classes. From 2236 souls served by 36 pastors, it rose to 4034 souls served by 97 pastors. At the close of 2004 there were 5865 souls served by 135 pastors. At the close of 2006 there will be 193 pastors serving 8591 souls at least. To God alone belongs the glory, that He adds daily to His church.

The  CLC is truly blessed to be able to participate in this harvest. We can label all this “God’s Work with Gideon’s Band”, for we are so few but
He is so great. In humility we must admit that we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before. They blazed the trail. We still learn from them and they are examples for us.

(This finishes the series)

–Missionary David Koenig

Thumbnail Sketches – I John
While John does not have his name in the letter, there is no mistaking who wrote it, the apostle of love. The wording is unmistakable. The three letters of John were written around 90. Though John is an old man by then, but the power of the Spirit the Word still speaks vibrantly to our heart. Love is the theme of the epistle as love should be the theme of life itself. The love of God for us is clearly stated, “…the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1:7 But this love of God is not just for us but for all, “and He is the expiation for our sins, and not only for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 2:2  In contrast to this John warns of, “…all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life…” 2:16 The epistle states that God is love (4:8) and that this perfect love of God casts out fear. 4:18 What a wonderful life we have under Him!

I Introduction – 1:1-4
II Assurance and Walking in the Light – 1:5-2:29
III Assurance and Abiding in Love – 3:1-4:21
IV Faith and Certainty – 5:1-12
V Conclusion – 5:13-21

Pastor David Koenig