Water for Life

2015-06-09 Hyderabad water distribution

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Matthew 10:42 (NIV)

Over 4,000 people have died as temperatures neared 120° F (49° C) in southern India in recent weeks. For the second year, staff from the Hyderabad ServeNow Lighthouse Center coordinated water distribution to help those in need. Local water sources have dried up in the heat, and even once the monsoon rains arrive, water will be diverted to the wealthy, leaving those in slums and small villages without this life sustaining necessity.

2015-06-09 Hyderabad water distribution 2Often, as the water is offered, people tell us that they cannot afford food, much less water. They are surprised to learn that the water is a free gift from their local church through the love of Jesus Christ. Then they ask, “Who is this Jesus?”, and we have the opportunity to share the Good News with them.

One of the villagers, Ramesh, told us,

ServeNow, a Christian organization, helped all the villagers without any discrimination of religion. This was really impressive to us.”

Where the pastors were once shunned, they are now welcomed into homes for meals and asked to pray over families.

Please Pray:

  • For rain! Monsoon rains have arrived at the southernmost tip of India, but have still not reached Andhra Prahesh, the area hardest hit by the heatwave.
  • For Pastor Jayson, who planted a church in Srirangapuram. Within a few months of his water distribution last year, seventeen people came to faith and were baptized. Today more than 50 people assemble each Sunday. Please pray for the new believers to remain strong in their faith, and for the Word to spread even further.
  • Revelation 7:17 (NIV) over the people of India, “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”

Please leave your prayers for Pastor Jayson, the people attending his church, or the people of southern India as a comment in the box below. Your kind words will be relayed to Jayson and those he serves.

Living Hope

2015-06-02 Kolkata cell banner

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.
1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

The slums of India are often devoid of hope. People have little to look forward to, and they lack confidence that the future holds opportunity. Education in a trade quickly changes their outlook, and when coupled with the teachings of the Gospel, people suddenly understand that their immediate and eternal future holds promise.

The Kolkata Lighthouse Center runs a cell phone repair school, which has trained over 60 people to restore mobile phones to working order. A recent student, Soumitra Chaterjee, says,

2015-06-02 Soumitra Chaterjee closeup“Prior to coming to the training center, I worked repairing chimneys. I am the only wage earner in my family, and our financial condition is not good. My training here will help with finances, but this course has taught me more than a skill. Our classes start and end with prayer, and the instructor is excellent and friendly with us. Thank you for improving my family’s condition. I am now involved in other activities at the Lighthouse Center and will stand by the center always.”

Those who live in the slums of Kolkata are ostracized, discriminated against, and regarded with disdain. To be treated with respect and kindness is unusual, and to receive encouragement or compliments is so uncommon that students thrive in the environment and take the gift home to their families. They see God’s grace in action, are eager to embrace his teachings, and then proceed to share the Good News.

Please Pray:

  • That following his training program, Soumitra thrives in his cell phone repair business.
  • In thanksgiving for the Kolkata Lighthouse Center staff. Pray for their continued patience, perseverance, and grace with each new class of students.
  • For the Lighthouse Center to be highly regarded in the community. Let it be a light in the darkness, bringing hope and a future to the downtrodden

Please leave a prayer below for Soumitra and his classmates at the Kolkata Lighthouse mobile phone repair school. Your words of encouragement will be shared directly with them.

Your Word Is…

2015-05-28 Uganda Basic Series

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

The Kasanje Gospel Messengers Church in Kasanje, Uganda started a few years ago with just 3 adults and 4 children. The church has grown to over 50 people, thanks in part to ServeNow’s Basic Series. After studying The Basic Things You Need to Know About Prayer, a widow with 12 children, Nabukeera, told us,

2015-05-28 Uganda Basic Series 3“My church is new and most of the Christians are new converts who need the basics. The Basic Series books have come at the right time to strengthen, empower and encourage Christians. Now the Christians are getting strong on foundational Biblical knowledge.”


Please Pray:
  • For the spiritual growth of the members of Kasanje Gospel Messengers Church.
  • That God blesses the church because of their commitment to sharing his Word, being a light to the path of many in their village.
  • Since the church has grown so much, they have asked for prayers for the provision for church construction.

Please leave your prayers below for Nabukeera and the Kasanje Gospel Messengers Church.

Bear Lasting Fruit

Delhi Lighthouse tailoring graduate, Sheetal, has become a successful tailoring instructor.

Delhi Lighthouse tailoring graduate, Sheetal, has become a successful tailoring instructor.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
John 15:16 (NIV)

Sheetal and her husband lived in Sangam Vihar, one of the largest slums in India’s capital of Delhi, because she had been unemployed for an extended period. After graduating from the tailoring school at the Delhi Lighthouse Center, Sheetal secured a job as a tailor, and became an instructor at the tailoring school, and was able to move out of the slum. But her new jobs were a two mile walk from her home. We rejoice with Sheetal that she has recently been hired as a tailoring instructor for a school near her home.

Please Pray:

  • With great thanks, that God brought Sheetal out of her despair and that she will continue to bear lasting fruit in her new position as a tailoring instructor, becoming an effective mentor of her trade and her Christian faith.
  • For the graduates of the ServeNow tailoring programs to be successful in their new careers, allowing them to improve their living conditions, avoid human trafficking, and increase the quality of life for their families.
  • For the staff and volunteers of the Delhi Lighthouse Center, as they meet the needs of the least and the lost in the surrounding slums.

Please leave your prayers for Sheetal and the other tailoring students at the Delhi Lighthouse tailoring school as a comment below.

Wisdom from Childhood

Children in Ukraine overcome their poverty and shyness and show their joy at summer camp.

Children in Ukraine overcome their poverty and shyness and show their joy at summer camp.

“You have been taught the Holy  Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 3:15 (NLT)

With school finishing up, and the weather heating up, thousands of children are getting ready for summer camp. In Ukraine, 160 orphans and disadvantaged children are dreaming about going to camp for the very first time.

Sasha (7) and his sister Alina (12) are two of the children who will attend camp. They tragically lost both parents in the last year. Their father was killed during an attack in Lugansk, and though they were safely evacuated with their mother, she contracted an infectious disease and died in March of this year.

As could be expected, Sasha has taken the loss very hard. He suffered a nervous breakdown and is now in a rehabilitation center, thankfully the authorities did not separate the siblings, so Alina is with him. But if relatives don’t come to adopt them soon, they’ll be placed in an orphanage.

ServeNow Director Ukraine, Tanya Shpygunova says,

We will have these children in our summer camp and want to share Jesus with them during our Bible lessons. We want to hug these kids with God’s love. I want each child to hear about the powerful Jesus who will take care of their future life, like He did with mine.”

Many of the 8 to 15 year olds will learn about Jesus for the first time at camp. They will absorb the love of Christ through scriptures, crafts, games, the unusual provision of three meals each day, and most importantly, the attention and affection of camp counselors from around the world.

Please Pray:

  • That God prepares and protects the hearts of Sasha, Alina and the other children he has selected to attend one of the summer camps.
  • For all those who sense God has called them to volunteer at the camp, to follow through with the nudging and sign up to spend 10 days with children who are desperate to know God’s love.
  • Thank God that 60 children have been sponsored for camp. Please pray for the funding needed for the remaining 100 children. ($250 each, or $25,000 total)

Leave your prayers as a comment below for Sasha and Alina and for the children who will join them at camp. Your prayers of love and compassion will be shared with them during the camp.

Aid Provided in Nepal: The Lord says, “Here Am I”

Relief Materials 2

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
Isaiah 58:9 (NIV)


This is an update to the communication from last week. Due to the urgent nature of the earthquake, these posts have been longer than usual. If you would like to continue to receive a weekly email like this about ServeNow projects, please sign up for this blog’s RSS feed.


Will you post your prayers in the comment box below for Salina, the ServeNow team, and the victims of the earthquake? Your kind words, prayers, and scriptures will be relayed by the team to relief aid and medical clinic recipients.


Thank you for your prayers for Nepal. Through the devastation and destruction, the ServeNow team has also observed countless situations where the Lord provided and showed that he is faithful.

_82653944_nepal_earthquake_worst_afected_regions_624ServeNow Nepal Director, Arjun Dhakal, tells us the team is consistently told that this is the first relief aid they’ve seen since the earthquake on April 25th. Each day the team loads up with food, bottled water, and tents for distribution in remote villages of the districts most impacted by the quake, mainly Gorkha, Dhading, and Sindhupalchock.

As they returned from their main distribution sites on Sunday, the team came across a village where a local school teacher told them that 95% of the homes had been damaged. Then he asked the team if they could help a young girl.

“Eight year old Salina was in the courtyard of her house when the earthquake happened. The house fell on top of her, and a stone fell directly on her head. The family dug her out from under the rubble and rushed her to the local ‘health post’, where they gave her medication. But after days of living outside in the rain, Salina lost consciousness and her condition grew worse. Salina’s mother wanted to find a way to get her to a hospital just as we arrived. We distributed what supplies were left for the day and then loaded Salina in the truck and took her to a hospital in Kathmandu for treatment. Please pray for the recovery of her injury.

Medical CampAs of Sunday, ServeNow distributed approximately 2,500 kilos (over 5,500 pounds) of rice, hundreds of kilos of noodles and other food items, 100 tents, and thousands of bottles of water to remote villages. In addition, the team from India arrived over the weekend and provided medical clinics in villages in addition to the food and temporary shelters. The ServeNow medical team is unique in that it is comprised of members who speak Nepali.

Please Pray:

  • That Salina doesn’t join the death toll statistic which has risen to over 7,300.
  • For the medical team to be able to see and help hundreds of people every day and for the injured to be treated efficiently and effectively so that they may go on to lead purpose filled lives. (The number of injured has been estimated over 14,000)
  • Continue to pray for the ServeNow staff, as we organize and mobilize efforts to provide clean water, food, tents, and medical supplies to those in need.
  • For more funding. Our friends have been quite generous, and still the need is great. Please share this email, or click here and share the fundraising site with everyone you know.

Please post your prayers for Salina, the ServeNow team, and the victims of the earthquake in the comment box below. Your kind words and prayers will be relayed by the team to relief aid recipients.

Would you like to help? Every dollar counts! Click here to make a donation online (type “Nepal Earthquake” in the comment box). If you prefer to send a check, mail it to:

ServeNow
5550 Tech Center Drive, Suite 302
Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Where Can I Find Refuge in the Middle of Disaster?

 

The structural damage to buildings is extensive throughout Nepal.

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
Psalm 57:1 (NIV)

With the death toll from the earthquake exceeding 4,000 and continuing to climb, and the estimates of injured surpassing 7,000, the situation in Nepal seems bleak to many who have lost family members, their home, their business, and some their entire village. In addition to the original 7.9 magnitude earthquake, there have been well over 100 after-shocks, one registered with a magnitude of 6.7—an earthquake in its own right.

People have been told by the government to stay out of buildings because they are structurally unsound. And to compound their plight, it has rained heavily since the initial quake, meaning that people must live and sleep outside in the rain and cold.

Tens of thousands camp out in parks, golf courses, and the streets in order to avoid falling debris during after-shocks.

Tens of thousands camp out in parks, golf courses, and the streets in order to avoid falling debris during after-shocks.

ServeNow National Director of Nepal, Arjun Dhakal tells us,

“The scene is very scary; people are frightened and have lost hope. Many buildings have collapsed, the situation is devastating.”

Immediately upon hearing of the quake, ServeNow staff around the world began relief efforts. Within a few hours, the ServeNow headquarters of India mobilized a medical team, and purchased bottled water, food, and medical supplies to truck into Nepal through Siliguri, a town on the border. Those supplies are expected to arrive later this week, and the medical team this weekend.

Though it will be a few days until the outside resources are available, Arjun and his team of volunteers acquired tents, food, and water on Monday and took them to outlying villages and more remote areas of the country.

ServeNow volunteers prepare large tents to provide shelter to earthquake victims in the village of Sindhupalchwok.

“Monday we visited Sindhupalchwok, where the largest number of people lost their lives, and those who survived lost their relatives, their homes, and their belongings. No other organizations had yet arrived in the village. ServeNow provided tents for shelter, food and water to people who exclaimed that these things were more valuable than millions of rupees.” ~Arjun

Happy faces greeted ServeNow volunteers who distributed food.

Please Pray:

  • Isaiah 58:9 over Nepal,
    Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
  • For the ServeNow staff, as we organize and mobilize efforts to provide clean water, food, tents, and medical supplies to those in need.
  • In thanksgiving that God kept safe Arjun and his family, and all of the recent tailoring school graduates.
  • For the funding to cover the costs of getting supplies into areas of need.

Leave your prayers as a comment below for Arjun, the tailoring students, and ServeNow volunteers.


Would you like to help? Every dollar counts!

Click here to make a donation online
(type “Nepal Earthquake” in the comment box).
If you prefer to send a check, mail it to:
ServeNow
5550 Tech Center Drive, Suite 302
Colorado Springs, CO 80919


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For more information on the Nepal Earthquake, ServeNow aid efforts, and a short video message from our President, visit our website here.

 

The Time is Now!

2015-04-21 India kids camp

“The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord”. Amos 8:11 (NLT)

Summer is coming quickly and parents around the country are planning summer activities and camps for their children. This year, children from a destitute and spiritually dry area of northern India are looking forward to camp as well. Our National Director for India says, “The kids are so excited to come to the camp, as this is something they have never experienced before.”

The children come primarily from non-Christian families, and were identified by local pastors who will follow-up with them through Sunday school and literacy programs.

Please Pray:

  • For the children who attend the summer camp to return to their villages filled with the love and forgiveness of the Holy Spirit.
  • That the children become the keys that open the door to the Gospel message in their communities.
  • For God to fill the hearts of the camp leaders and volunteers as they prepare to minister to the children.

Leave your prayers below for the children who will attend summer camp in India. Your prayers will be read over them as a blessing during their time away.

The One Foundation

2015-04-14 baptism close

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NLT)

In the last month, The Basic Series has begun to spread in Nepal. The booklet series was designed to help strengthen new believers, and quickly became a tool for pastors, church leaders, and new believers to share their faith with others.

Our Director in Nepal says, “Leaders share from the booklets in Home Churches and new people are touched by the scriptures. Leaders feel more comfortable to share the Gospel with this series and people are very interested to go through the discipleship process with the literature provided by ServeNow.”

James, a Basic Series leader tells us, “The Basic series is the best tool for evangelism and follow-up for new comers to the faith. People are being added to the Kingdom of God and taking Baptism. These books are so useful for their strong foundation and spiritual maturity.”

Please Pray:

  • For more people to seek the love, forgiveness, and truth found through Jesus Christ
  • The Director of Nepal asks, “Please keep praying for the sewing students and people who have received the Basic Series literature.”
  • For those recently baptized to be encouraged in their new faith, and to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Please leave your prayers below for the new believers in Nepal and their pastor will relay your messages to them.

Prayer of Faith

2015-04-07 Durga

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. James 5:15 (ESV)

On the outskirts of Hyderabad, India, thousands of people live in abject poverty. Living conditions are abysmal—the unhygienic environment and people’s imbalanced diets result in a variety of health issues. Medical camps are held in the various slums to assist residents and promote inter-faith trust. Last week, a local leader told the press,

There is no good government hospital nearby, and no direct bus service for people to visit a hospital. Under such circumstances, these medical camps are very helpful to the people.”

Durga is a women who sought medical assistance and prayer when a medical camp was held in her slum of Balapur. At first she was nervous to discuss her ailment, especially with strangers, but the concern of the ServeNow staff gave her courage.

“I had been suffering for several weeks and was scared to tell about my sickness at home because treatment would cost money and my family doesn’t have much. When I heard about this medical camp I was thinking that its God sent. I have received medicines for my illness – FREE OF COST! Please conduct a camp like this again.
And thank you for praying for me, I feel so much peace”

Please Pray:

  • In thanksgiving for the hundreds of people served by each of the medical teams. Pray for them to be lifted out of the suffering they endure in their slums.
  • For Durga and her family. That she knows true healing comes from the Lord, and that her encounter helped more than her physical ailments.
  • The Hyderabad Lighthouse Center’s medical camp team as they are on the front line to help and heal the sick and downtrodden.

Please leave your prayers for Durga, and the others seen at ServeNow medical camps, as a comment below. When the medical team next sees people from this camp, they will share of your love and concern for them.