A Periodic Letter to my friends 15/ 8 Dec 2009

Beloved,

Grace and peace to you through Christ Jesus our Lord! As I write this last letter for the year, I remember what I shared with you in the first letter of the year, dated 7 April. Against the backdrop of the crashdown of global economy, communal violence, terrorism and unprecedented corruption, I had reminded you of the concluding words of Christ in His Sermon on the Mount (Mt 7:24-27). These unpleasant happenings of our times are the “rains” and “floods” and “winds” Jesus spoke about. He has called us to build our lives and ministries on the “solid rock” by which He meant “His sayings” contained in this Sermon. I have nothing more to add at the end of this year, as we prepare to enter another year, than to urge you to read and reread the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5,6 & 7). The five lessons I brought out from this Sermon were:

1. Stay broken (Mt 5:3-10; 11:29).
2. Grow in holiness (Mt 5:13-20, 27-32).
3. Abound in love (Mt 5:21-26, 38-48; 6:14,15; 7:1-5).
4. Be Biblical in spiritual disciplines (Mt 6:1-4, 5-9, 16-18; 7:15-23).
5. Trust God for future (Mt 6:19-21, 24-34).

I shared these thoughts with several congregations I ministered to this year, inland and overseas. This full one hour sermon in English, titled Happy New Year, is available with me on an audio CD, yours free for the asking.

Enclosed herewith is a copy of my booklet, How to be Saved (Click here to download). I wrote this in 1985 and it’s reprinted now in the present format. There are simply too many testimonies from those who got saved after reading this booklet. It’s available in Tamil also. You can order as many copies as you need, at Rs. 5/- per copy, to give away to your nominal Christian friends. You may enclose this booklet with your Christmas cards. Even a simple Christmas card costs 10 to 20 rupees! See that your nominal Christian friends do not celebrate another meaningless Christmas! Buy this booklet is quantities of 50 or 100 and distribute it during Carols if you still have the bad habit of visiting only Christian homes with carol singing! (If you are not able to reach me at my mobile for your requirements, please contact Mr. John Joseph, one of my assistants, at 094434 38170).

There’s so much of talk about missionary work and reaching the unreached. As the new Churches in mission fields are phenomenally growing with new converts, our old Churches back home are pathetically increasing in the number of “nominal” Christians. I call missions as “nets” and existing churches as “baskets.” What will happen to the huge catch of fish if enough of baskets are not readied to contain them? Think of baskets with large holes! The tears of nominal Christians in our shallow evangelistic crusades are mostly over their physiological and material needs rather than their spiritual condition. Every other ministry or meeting adds the word “blessing” to its name, because it attracts crowds. But what is the blessing of blessings? It is forgiveness of sins! Look at Apostle Peter’s words to the Jews of his day who can be compared to the nominal Christians of our day: Acts 3:26, “God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away everyone of you from your iniquities!” This is “the” reason why the Son of God was named as Jesus. “You shall call His Name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Mt 1:21).

Friends, as much as you pray for and support pioneer ministries in regions beyond, work with the unsaved souls in your vicinity. As much as people are perishing “without” the Gospel, folks are perishing “with” the Gospel also because the modern sermons are deficient. “If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” (1 Cor 14:8). The world is sleeping in darkness; the Church is sleeping in the light! (Eph 5:14). Will you decide that you would lead at least one nominal Christian each month in the new year into definite Salvation experience?

I was greatly challenged when I participated in the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Students For Jesus (SFJ) unit of Hubli. As their Chief Guest I addressed three evening meetings, 6-8 November. I have watched this youth group grow from its inception in the early 80s. Most of the members of this unit are Telugu speaking. This team is one of the very few youth groups which have maintained the same glow and dynamism for so many years.

The Missions Day celebrated by the Faith Baptist Church of Bangalore on 11 November was another soul-stirring event. The Senior Pastor is Mr. D. Manivannan. They conduct this programme every year the same day in memory of Missionary William Carey who landed in India on 11 November 1793. Scores of Churches and Organisations sincerely cooperated with this endeavour. I spoke both in the forenoon session and the evening rally. Over 1500 participants were there with contagious enthusiasm. This Church has a membership of just about 200, mostly of the labour class, not the elite. But amazingly, as on date, they are supporting nearly 70 missionaries through over 30 Missions and Evangelistic Agencies! The so-called mega Churches must salute this humble congregation! The tithe-crazy Pastors must learn from this Church! The slogan of this Church is just the same saying of William Carey: “Expect great things from God and Attempt great things for God!” Shame on preachers and people who call more cars and wealth as “great things!”

The Christians world over are aware of the atrocities committed against the new Christians of Khandamal District in the State of Orissa on the Christmas eve of Dec 2008. In order to equip the youth of this area for ongoing missionary evangelism, the Bharatiya Sewak Sangati under the leadership of its Founder Rev. Vijay Mohod had organized a 5-day Conference called Vision India 2009 in Cuttack, Orissa, 15-19 November. Over 500 youth from Khandamal District and 800 from the other parts of Orissa had gathered for this timely event. The organizers had to turn down over 300 applications because they could not accommodate more than 1300 delegates. I addressed two sessions. Nearly 600 youth received the anointing of the Holy Spirit in my first session, and almost the entire gathering responded positively when I gave the Missionary Call. It was a moving sight that sank us in tears. Pray for this State especially for the displaced Christians from the villages of Khandamal District.

Immediately after preaching in Cuttack I was taken quite ill with Chikungunya. In that condition, I could not proceed to Kharagpur for the inter-church weekend meetings scheduled for 20-22 November. The organizers in Kharagpur were kind enough to postpone these meetings to 2010. Because of the fervent prayers of thousands around the world, who regularly get my brief news by SMS, this kind of fever which normally lingers on for weeks left me in four days! The Lord once again in His mercy manifested His strength in my weak body! Thank you for your loving enquiries.

Several of you are aware of the 3-day gathering of about 30 youngsters, with fasting, in October 1970, in Karaikudi, under my leadership. It was in this gathering I delivered a prophetic message from Ezekiel 34:26, with the promise, “There shall be Showers of Blessing!” which gave birth to the Blessing Youth Mission in January 1971. In fact, the period 1965 to 1975 was a time of Revival, in Tamilnadu, which gave birth to several ministries. The standard and quality of these ministries born in the wake of this Revival is quite high. All the godly leaders of South India would endorse this statement. October 2010 marks the completion of 40 years of this era. I am burdened to convene a 3-day gathering again in Karaikudi in October 2010. The purpose of this gathering can be best stated in the words of Prophet Jeremiah:

“Thus says the Lord:
Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the OLD PATHS,
where the good way is, and walk in it;
then you will find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16).


Accordingly, we would call this gathering as Old Paths Retreat. God willing, we will begin with breakfast on Friday the 1st October and close with tea on Sunday the 3rd. October 2 is a Public Holiday. It has not become clear yet whether we should invite 100 or 1000 friends to this Retreat. I serve this advance information in order that you would start interceding before the Lord for this historic gathering. It will be an occasion for God-hungry believers to search the Scriptures to find out how far we have gone away from God’s ways in our lives and ministries. Again in the words of Jeremiah, “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts (lives) and hands (ministries) to God in Heaven” (Lam 3:40,41). Please tell me what you feel about this.

God willing, my wife and I with our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter would vacation in Singapore from 20 Dec to 3 Jan. No meetings, no preaching! This is perhaps the first time in all these years that we are planning a vacation as a family. Keep us in your prayers so we would be refreshed and renewed for another year of ministry. Wishing you all the best of the Season,

R. Stanley