B.A.S.I.C Newsletter #136

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

January 10, 2009

In January

  • Pastor and Mrs. Koenig will be going back to India. We thank the Lord that the President and Secretary of the UMELC will be able to come to Nidubrolu and study with us. God grant Pastors Thang and Kham a safe trip from Myanmar. We also pray that the rat infestation among the rice crop in Chin state, where the UMELC is centered, will diminish and that the Lord will provide food for the people.
  • Pastors Ohlmann and Ude will be working in Nepal with the HCLCN conducting classes and perhaps even going to a refugee camp on the border with China where one pastor is working. God grant a safe and beneficial trip to both the CLC pastors and the Nepalese pastors, Pastor Raju, his father, brother and the other men who formed the HCLCN.

The following are some highlights from the Annual Report of the CLCI in India given by Pastor Nireekshana.
Pastor V.S. Benjamin has been working in some primitive tribal areas since starting his church in 1968. “Praise God for the churches planted in tribal areas and among unreached people groups. There are five districts in the CLCI where tribals are worked with…We rejoice that by Christ’s grace alone…our pastors are able to teach Luther’s catechism to their respective CLCI congregational members…This year we have conducted three ‘action’ packed summer public Gospel night meetings at Sarpavaram, Gygolpadu and Venkatapuram, three villages at East Godavari District. As you know India lives in villages. So mainly we concentrated in villages. The total participants were nearly 1800. Every public meeting started with sincere salutations and supplications to our God…Every night meeting started with joyful singing led by our CLCI choir team. People gathered spontaneously and …participated in these meetings without much publicity. The introductory talk of Rev. V.S. Benjamin ignited the young minds on the purpose of existence on earth…messages from some of our CLCI pastors refreshed many new comers, and promised the way to salvation and eternal life. On the last day God’s final word penetrated the hearts of many new comers for life changing and dynamic Christian life. The Word through the guidance of the Holy Spirit channeled individuals to take the right decision in life. We have performed 46 baptisms during those three days of public meetings… We also use weekends for evangelism, house to house tract distribution…New methods of evangelism were introduced where normal methods failed. One such was Silent Street Witnessing aiming to reach the so-called ‘unreachable.’ Young men would stand in busy street corners, road junctions, market places and bus stations holding Gospel placards like –You Need Jesus, Only Way Jesus, Join Jesus-Joy in Jesus,so on. Reaching sinners out-where-they-are! The witnesses would hand out the tract, Good News of Deliverance, to the enquirers. The tract was written by Rev. V.S. Benjamin in the 1980’s. The work that was done was necessary and done to the glory of God…The Gospel compels us forward, outward, to the edge.”

While It Is Day (part 7)

Continuing in a series of excerpts from Kretzmann’s book to encourage us in this most blessed task of reaching out to win souls for Christ. This 7th one is on page 48-50

The soul-winner will be ready to enter upon his work of love with all enthusiasm, not with harebrained precipitation,but with a clear-eyed optimism, with a definite reliance upon the fact that it is God’s work which we are carrying on.

For that reason, however, diligence is also needed, a cheerful, steady application to the duties imposed upon us by the obligation of love.  We simply cannot afford to dawdle, to stand around idle, with the  plea that no man has hired us.  Matt. 20:7.  Our Lord has hired us, and we know that we must apply ourselves most assiduously to the task in hand; for “the night cometh when no man can work.”  For that reason we must also observe the talent of time and be punctual in all our work. Our God is a God of order, and our Savior was punctual in both His incarnation, Gal. 4:4, and in His death on the cross.  It simply means being conscientious in the duties which the Lord has given us to perform, so that both He and our fellow-men can rely upon us at all times.  There are few experiences more discouraging than to be obliged to wait at meeting for laggards who think that they have the privilege of coming late at their convenience.

A very important virtue of the soul-winner is patience, the ability to apply oneself to a task with unflagging interest and with unremitting toil, in spite of the obstacles and difficulties which tend to make the work tedious.  It is not merely that the soul-winner combines patience with faith, love and meekness in himself, but that he applies this virtue to all the conditions of his endeavor, especially in meeting ignorance and hostility.  We are workers together with God, not in the sense that He and we are a team pulling side by side, but in this, that He works through us, that He makes known the message of salvation through our efforts.  God gives His Holy Spirit when and where He will.

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So, then, neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.” 1 Cor.3:6-7.

This self-denial, then, is in evidence whenever the true soul-winner approaches any one who may be gained for the truth.  All thought of self is set aside, and the heart concentrates its efforts upon the one great task in hand, that of convincing the hearer of the truth of the Gospel-message.

Lord, help me live from day to day

In such a self-forgetful way

That even when I kneel to pray

My prayer shall be for —-others.

Help me in all the work I do

To be sincere and ever true

And know that all I’d do for you

Must needs be done for —-others.

Let “self” be crucified and slain

And buried deep, and all in vain

May efforts be to rise again

Unless to live for —-others.

Symbols 11,  attachment

Pastor Koenig