|A Periodic Letter to my friends 11/ 17 May 2008|
Greetings with love in Christ Jesus!
It has taken me more than four months to find time to write the first letter of the year! At times I wonder whether I am overcommitting myself to programmes, though I’m already quite selective in accepting invitations. The SMS messages have of course been regularly sent to several hundreds before and immediately after each of my programmes. Kindly send your mobile number to Mr. Ruso, 098423 68424, if you are not already on this list. Thank you.
The 3-day Sound Doctrine Seminar (II), 27-29 Dec 2007, in Theni, Tamilnadu, with over 300 delegates from all over India was an unforgettable event. Several Pastors and Christian Workers also attended the Seminar with an open heart to learn what exactly the Bible says on several hot issues. The purpose of this Seminar was “to expose the false doctrines of the day and to establish God’s people in the Sound Doctrine of God’s Word.” An unusual grace was bestowed on me to teach in all the sessions with freshness and clarity. Thambi Ephraim’s Tamil translation was as usual superb. Sincere thanks to Pastor Dhakshinamoorthy and family for generously letting us use the facilities of their garden, Jesus Farm. The talks are now available on 9 DVDs, costing Rs. 750/- per pack. Forwarding charges Rs. 50/-. If you were a delegate, you can have one pack at a special price of Rs. 600/-. Even if you cannot follow the Tamil translation, don’t hesitate to buy this pack which would be an asset. Please send money in advance and get your pack. These talks are ideal for personal as well as group study. One of the main topics covered in this Seminar was “Spiritual Warfare” under which I dealt with the modern practices of Prayer Walks, Spiritual Mapping, Bringing Down Strongholds and Binding Satan. This Talk is also available as a separate pack of 2 DVDs at Rs. 150/-. Scales from your eyes would fall off as you watch this teaching. Seasoned Bible Teachers estimate that over 75% of what is telecast or printed as Christian stuff is distorted versions of Bible truth! Preachers take advantage of the Biblical illiteracy of average Christians. As Apostle Paul put it rightly, even in the first century, “many” walk and talk differently (Phil 3:17-19).
My first outstation programme for this year was the 3-day Bible Revival Meetings organised in the city of Jeypore in Orissa, 13-15 Jan. Due to the escalation of anti-Christian activities in the State, the situation was rather tense. The permission granted to hold public meetings was withdrawn at the last minute. The programme was conducted inside an adjacent hall. The messages were timely for the Christians who were going through difficult times. Missionary Manivannan from Karnataka handled the daytime sessions. The DVD of my message titled, Can these bones live?, delivered in Cuttack last year, English to Oriya, was released. Pray much for this State known for frequent eruption of anti-Christian forces.
At the invitation of the Missions Fellowship Australia, my wife and I addressed meetings in Sydney and Liverpool between the 24th and the 28th of January. The MFA is a group of mission-minded Christians which raises support in Australia for mission projects in South Asian Countries. The contact with these friends was established during our visit to this country in 2002. The MFA has adopted one of the mission fields of the Blessing Youth Mission since last year. The participants in the meetings in Sydney and Liverpool were from various Churches. Pray for the endeavours of this Fellowship to implant missionary vision in the hearts of Christians. The following 4 Talks in English, without any translation, are available on DVDs—
A couple of months ago, the Australian Government publicly apologised to the Aboriginals (natives of the soil) for the atrocities committed against them. The Prime Minister’s repetition of the word “sorry” was genuine. There is ageold bitterness in countries all over the world between one another. Even though permanent peace is promised only with the Return of the Prince of Peace, reconciliation is our obligation in the present dispensation. We are exhorted to pray for all men that there might be peace and quietness which make the atmosphere conducive for the spread of the Gospel (1 Tim 2:1-7).
I had the privilege of addressing the Power Camp organised by Dr. V.G. Selvaraj of VGP Group under the auspices of Suga Jeevan Ministries in Kannyakumari, Feb 20-22. Over 300 believers and Christian workers from Chennai had been brought to the Campsite by special buses. Besides ministering the Word of God to the delegates, I was blessed through the fellowship with Brother Selvaraj and his associates. It was challenging to see one of the leading real estate businessmen of South India like him to be on fire for God like this! Though a fulltime Christian worker myself for over 30 years now, I am of the conviction that those in so-called “secular” employment can leave a greater impact for the Kingdom of God in the society than the “clergy.” Hardly do we come across men like Joseph, Nehemiah and Daniel who impacted the nations where they had been employed. None of these men was a priest!
You might remember the ministry the Lord enabled me to fulfill in the Camp of the Inter-Collegiate Prayer Fellowship (ICPF) in Kottayam during Sept-Oct last year. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) unit of ICPF had requested me during that time to address its Camp in Sharjah this year from the 29th to 31st of March. With a passion to minister to youngsters I accepted the invitation and ministered to a gathering of about 300 teenagers. The delegates had come from each of the 7 Emirates. I greatly appreciate the consistent efforts of the leaders of ICPF worldwide. Unless we do much more than what we are doing now to bless young people with the Gospel, we will certainly lose them to sin and Satan.
The Bible Revival Meetings in Udupi, Karnataka, 4-6 April, were an opportunity for the Christians of various denominations in and around Udupi to experience “times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord!” We recollected a similar programme we had in Mangalore last year. A few friends from Mangalore had also come to Udupi. For videorecording we used the new camera I purchased recently. Praise God for this blessing!
In the latter part of the month of April, I visited USA for two weekend meetings organised by the Oasis Ministries International, one in Atlanta and the other in Lakeland of Florida. With a heart of thankfulness I recalled the wonderful ministry the Lord enabled me to fulfill in Atlanta in 2002 at the Pentecostal Conference of North American Keralites (PCNAK) with over 6000 delegates. It was a joy fellowshipping again with some of the leaders of this Conference. The weekend meetings in Florida was unusual in that six Churches in the city had cancelled their Sunday morning Worship Services to come together to listen to the Word of God. It was pointed out that they had never witnessed such a thing in over 25 years! How I long for such things happen more frequently and everywhere! That’s the secret of Pentecost!
Other than the time I spend for the meetings, whenever I visit USA, I utilize my time in visiting as many Christian Bookstores as possible to keep myself abreast with what’s latest and best in Study Bibles and Study Aids. I spend for these books almost all the offerings I receive from the organisers of the meetings I address. Introducing reliable Bible Study materials to Christians, and keeping a minimum stock with me to make it available for them, is one of my regular activities. This falls under the main objective of StanleyOnBible, which is “An Endeavour to Equip God’s people.” The OM Book Centre in Secunderabad also supplies me with several Study books.
A few friends have come forward to associate with me in this effort of distributing Bible Study materials to Christians. They are Anita & Ezekiel of Chennai (044-25569566, 94444-47744), S.C. Vedasironmani of Chennai (044-23744488, 94443-92434), Ida & Alex Robinson of Neyyoor (94431-12246), Latha & Gnanasekar of Palayamkottai (98427-91892, 99766-28856), and Reeta Kanti of Hubli (94483-29231). The residences of these volunteers serve as Distribution Centres. This is a silent ministry without any show-off or competition. I recently came across a quote from Thomas A. Kempis (1380-1471) the author of the classic, Imitation of Christ: “If he shall not lose his reward who gives a cup of cold water to his thirsty neighbour, what will not be the reward of those who by putting books into the hands of those neighbours, open to them the fountains of eternal life?” The first mini van, named Bible Wheels, is used by the Ezekiels. The second vehicle will soon be on the road for the work in Karnataka. The Gunasekars are using their own fourwheeler. Enclosed please find a copy of the handbill used by the Ezekiels in their literature ministry. If the Spirit of God prompts you to involve in this fruitful work, please let me know. Over the years I have helped so many of you to get good study materials. I urge you to do the same to your contacts, though in a small way.
My Bible Teaching Sermons in VCDs/DVDs are doing a great job in ministering to various sections of the Body of Christ. As on date there are over 100 titles. Brother Vedasironmani of Chennai (044-23744488, 94443-92434) and a team of volunteers from various places had a weeklong Church-to-Church and House-to-House distribution programme of VCDs in Mumbai in the month of February. Enclosed is a handbill used over there. I encourage you to have such a drive in your city or region. Kindly contact Brother Vedasironmani who will help you to organise one. How many graduates or even postgraduates knock at our door to sell, after all, toilet-cleaning liquids! What an honour to carry Bible messages house-to-house! My daddy, a retired Army Officer, was selling Bibles house-to-house till the day prior to his death!
I’m extremely delighted to inform you that the long-awaited Oriya language edition of my daily devotional, Better Everyday, rolled off the press last month. The friends in Orissa had it released from several centres in the State. The Oriya Christians thank God for this addition to their literature. I desire to gift a copy each to about 300 deserving pastors in this needy State. Pray much for the Telugu, Malayalam and Marathi editions of this book, the release of which keeps delaying for some reason or the other. I’m pained to realise that every day of delay deprives thousands of these language Christians of solid daily food for their souls. We have also taken up the translation work in Gujarathi and Bengali.
The Jesus TV of Tuticorin videoshot my daily readings of Better Everyday in Tamil right at my residence in Vellore a couple of years ago, and has been telecasting it since then. The survey of viewers has been quite encouraging. The Salvation TV of Vellore District is telecasting the same, both in the morning and late evening, from March 1. Testimonies from viewers abound for the glory of God. Being a Tamilian I myself could do it in Tamil. I desire to get this done in other vernaculars also with respective language speakers, not from English with translation but directly in the vernaculars. This is a huge task but a worthy investment of time and money. Just like there are so many Christian cable TV networks in Tamilnadu, a time would come when there would be such networks in the other States also, especially in North India. What we prepare now would be handy then! Will you pray much for this? So many websites have included my videotalks for their visitors. The Holy God TV from France is telecasting my messages. Let sound doctrine spread everywhere. It’s true that false doctrines flood the Church. But as for us, we must keep on teaching the sound doctrine (Tit 2:1). Because, it is always light that dispels darkness and not the other way about! (Jn 1:5).
In God’s sovereign plan, the pulpit ministry of His Word during the last 37 years has taken me to almost all the States in India. However, the best and maximum of my sermons have been preached in Tamilnadu, in English with Tamil translation. It bothers me that I have not personally done enough for the non-Tamil States, though my wife and I have lived in several non-Tamil States for about ten years. Having undergone a heart bypass surgery in 1996, I am not able now to travel as before on itinerent ministry. Even two outstation programmes a month seem to be too much. While prayerfully pondering over this matter, I was led to set up a simple video studio in Vellore itself where I can get my talks videoshot with various vernacular translations, especially in non-Tamil languages. The translators are more than willing to come to Vellore to help me. A family right in our street wholeheartedly has given away their first floor for this purpose. The video camera, computer, microphone, airconditioner, and all the related items have been purchased and the studio set up in a compact manner at a cost of Rs. 2,50,000/-, received as voluntary contributions from friends. Mr. D. Kirubagaran of Chennai and his son Immanuel with their technical competency got this work done for me. There’s also a guest room for the vernacular translators to stay! The first recording was three Talks, English to Kannada, done on the 14th to 16th instant. The results are good. The hand of the Lord is apparent on this humble beginning. There are several plans for this studio. Pray with me because, “It is neither of him who desires, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy!” (Rom 9:16). Adjacent to the studio upstairs is a Book Room where I have displayed the Study Bibles and the other study materials that I recommend from time to time. You are most welcome to visit this Room whenever your are around here, and have a look at these precious materials. You can always pick up, on payment, whatever you want. There’s nothing like seeing these materials holding them in your hands. I always use to think that for the years of labour the Bible Scholars have put in to bring out these study materials, the amount we pay as cost is just negligible!
The Blessing Youth Mission has declared this year as the Year of Youth! The Mission has requested me to lead a Youth Workers Seminar. The purpose of this Seminar is to help those who are involved in youth ministries in Churches or Missions to minister more effectively. A. Lionel and Victor P.S. Kumar would be the chief resource persons with me. Interestingly, all the three of us are from the Karaikudi Engineering College Prayer Fellowship which served as the seedbed for the Blessing Youth Mission. The dates are 15-17 August, Friday 9 am to Sunday 12 noon. The Venue is the Jesus Farm at Theni. Don’t miss this if you are a youth worker. Persuade the other youth workers known to you to attend. Participation is just by intimation. Medium is English to Tamil. Contact the Seminar Coordinator, Mr. Samuel Ratnasamy, Karaikudi, 94434 67329, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This letter is on my website also. You can forward it to your friends, if you so desire. More prayer, more power; less prayer, less power; no prayer no power!