Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
It is the time of year when we do a mental review of the past twelve months, and ponder the promise of a new year, a new beginning. Hope in the future is unclear for many central Ugandan school aged children, where thousands are disadvantaged and orphaned. It was the recognition of this need that birthed Imani Milele schools in Uganda, a partner of ServeNow.
A new beginning is what Grace, Mable, Kudula, and Olivia received when generous donors sponsored their education in 2014.
- “Thank you so much. You restored our joy when our faith was tried. God heard our cry and answered our prayers through ServeNow. The four of us are working so hard to always bring our best results on every exam.”
Josephine, the Children’s Program Director says,
- “I am so proud and so happy that I can work with children that have lost hope—who are vulnerable. I see them prosper, rising from one level of education to another. Some become doctors, electricians, pharmacists, lab techs, even journalists. It is so awesome to work with an organization that impacts children’s lives.”
- That 2015 brings challenge and success to Grace, Mable, Kudula, and Olivia and the other students in the eight Imani Milele schools.
- For the funding to become available to build brick classrooms, replacing the crumbling termite infested mud and bamboo structures currently in use.
- For the strength and perseverance of Josephine and the other staff members tasked to meet the needs of the 7,500 Imani Milele students.
Leave your prayers for Josephine and the students at the Imani Milele schools as a comment below. Your encouraging prayers will be relayed to them.
Bibles burned in a fire that engulfed a church are contrasted with the joy of churches that benefit from ServeNow resources in India.
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be
ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
1 Peter 4:16 (NIV)
There is a severe threat to churches in India this Christmas! Hindu extremists have vowed to disturb EVERY Christmas service across the country and instead hold “Homecoming” ceremonies. Homecoming is the term used to describe people reconverting to Hinduism.
Hindu radicals are actively pursuing a goal to eliminate Christians and Muslims in the country by 2021. Though this violates India’s constitution, which guarantees religious freedom to all of its citizens, the Indian government has thus far turned a deaf ear to the problem.
Earlier this month, radicals burned a church to the ground. This week, members of a congregation were forced to attend an idol worship ceremony held in their church. Afterward, they were told that if they did not return to Hinduism, they would face dire consequences. Then the extremists declared that they had turned the church into a Hindu temple.
Another means the radicals use forces people to reregister with their state. At the end of registration, the citizens are given about $8,000 and told that by virtue of their registration, they have reconverted to Hinduism.
Recent events in India are putting the country in the forefront of Christian persecution. And we are fighting the fight with God’s word. On Christmas Day, a ServeNow pastor will preach the Christmas message via telecast and radio broadcast.
- That the world recognizes the severity of the extremist’s actions and therefore forces India’s government to take action.
- For the successful broadcast of the Christmas message, and for it to reach tens of thousands of listeners.
- For unprecedented church growth in India to combat the impending darkness.
- That the extremists are stopped.
Read more detail about the conversion of churches to temples here.
Comment below to leave your prayers for believers in India. Your prayers are highly appreciated by the ServeNow India staff and will be relayed to them.
Believers walk from distant villages to meet for teaching and fellowship in rural northeastern India.
So encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT)
Last week, pastors and members of their congregations gathered near Ghaghara Ghat, a village deep within the jungle of northeastern India. Some traveled by foot from distant villages to attend the assembly and teaching of believers, led by ServeNow pastors. Pastor Sharma tells us,
- “It is encouraging to see how their love for Christ compels them to travel through the deep wilderness, just to be able to attend. The desire and love for fellowship in Christ is greater than the fear of animals in the wilderness.”
- For believers in remote areas of India to have other believers nearby to encourage each other in their faith.
- In thanksgiving for the safety of those who will attend the next gathering.
- That the pastors of the remote villages can grow their congregations by using resources like God’s Word for God’s People (click here for more information)
Comment below to leave your prayers for Pastor Sharma and the believers in the Ghaghara Ghat region. Your kind words and encouragement will be relayed to them.
“I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,”
says the Lord. “For you are called an outcast—
‘Jerusalem for whom no one cares.’” (Jeremiah 30:17)
Twenty-one percent of HIV patients in India live in the state of Andhra Pradesh. If the patients were evenly distributed across India’s 29 states, that number should be closer to 3.5%.
ServeNow responded to the need by opening a shelter in the state’s capital, Hyderabad, that cares specifically for HIV+ children, otherwise considered the lowest of the low. Our national director, Supratim Dey, is asking for our prayers this Christmas season;
- “We have identified nearly 100 HIV+ and affected children living in various desperate situations. These children have lost at least one parent to the disease, and they live in constant fear and social stigma. We want to celebrate Christmas with these children! We want to provide them with love and a ray of hope that they are not alone.”
- Jerimiah 30:17 over the HIV affected children in Hyderabad.
- That the children accept the message of Jesus as Lord and Savior
- That the children no longer feel like outcasts, but feel worthy and know that they are loved and prayed for
- That ServeNow is able to provide clothing, a blanket, and a Picture Bible to each and every HIV affected child in the region.
$19 provides food, clothing, a blanket, small gifts, and a Bible for a child. Would you like to help provide these gifts to HIV affected children this Christmas? Give your online donation here.
Leave your prayers for an HIV affected child as a comment. Your kind words and encouragement will be relayed to each child along with their gifts.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Last week the Katmandu Lighthouse Center Director overheard the women in the tailoring program share their optimism about the training they are receiving.
“They were sharing that this training not only teaches new skills, but is also a tool for preventing them from being lured by the fake promises of traffickers. It is a gift for them to find an alternative way to earn a living in their own community once they have graduated.”
In addition, the Secretary of the Village Development Committee of Nepal praised the Center,
“I want to thank ServeNow for providing life skill training for these participants. They didn’t have any way to be trained before, and this preparation will allow them to be independent.”
- That every woman successfully completes the program, graduating with a tailoring certificate recognized by the state.
- For the women accept Jesus as their Lord, believing that Jesus Christ is their hope and future.
- That the communities the women return to welcome them, utilize their services, and are open to the gospel.