January 2005

Written by Mairin McCuistion on . Posted in Prayer Letters

EMERGENCY PRAYER LETTER

Dear Prayer Partners:

Warm greetings in the precious Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

I am writing this letter from India to give you an update about what is happening here as a result of the tsunami. The Arabian Sea is about 18 miles west from where our Bible College and Children’s Home are located.  An area of about 130 miles of coastal area, towards the south where the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea meet, is where the ferocious tidal waves destroyed many homes and swallowed up many lives.  Over 10,000 people died along the southern coast.

During the Christmas season, IEM gave vacation time to the children in the Children’s Home, and most of those with parents went home for about 6 days.  Some of the children have parents who live in this coastal area.  The students were supposed to return on December 30.  Several have not yet reported back to the school.  Please pray for their safety.

On Sunday morning, January 2, one of the girls, Aswathy, came with her father, Mohan, and told us about their encounter with the tsunami.  Mohan is a Hindu.  Aswathy shared her family’s experience, and it was an emotional moment for the father, as he turned away in tears.  Just a few hours before the tsunami hit, Aswathy wanted to go to the house of her mother’s family, which is about 30 miles interior.  A couple hours later the Arabian Sea showed its anger, and waves rolled over into the coastal area and wiped out many of the homes.

While Aswathy and her father were gone, their house collapsed and the mother was trapped underneath. It happened at 12:00 and they finally discovered her at 4:00 in the afternoon with severe injuries to her head and body.  She is still in a local hospital but is in stable condition.  Aswathy’s younger sister, who is 7 years old, was found on the roof of another house.  Presently Mohan is staying at a relief camp, and Aswathy has returned to the Children’s Home.

Yesterday Mohan took us to his village to see where many homes were washed away. Thirty-two people died in their village, and in the area nearby 170 died.  At the site of Mohan’s house, there was only a washed-out indentation where the house had once stood.  The edge of their house had been about 50 feet from the water. Though there were large rocks piled up at the seaside, the fierce tsunami rolled over the top and struck its woeful blows.  A few men who survived in the tragedy gathered as we visited the site.  They told us their horrible stories.  Their wives and children are still in the hospital.  The emotional wounds are deep.  One man had received three packages of food for the day, but they were all laying there unopened and uneaten.  It is just too much for him to bear.  He has no desire to eat.

Mohan’s desire is to build a new home.  What IEM would like to do is to help him build a small dwelling place for his family, as well as for other families in his community.

Another day we visited a refugee camp with Arlen Miller and Dr. Rick Phipps and his daughter Julie.  The sight was heartbreaking.  One cannot leave the area without shedding some tears. The injured had broken limbs and other kinds of physical challenges.  We saw hundreds of people sitting on mats on a concrete floor, where they spend the nights without much cover to prevent the cold, hard concrete from chilling their feeble bodies.

Some of the flood victims lost their children.  Women lost their husbands.  And many men lost their wives and children.  One lady shared with tears how the powerful waves rolled over while she was clutching her young child in her arms, but the child was “snatched” from her and was gone.  Most were asking the question, “Why were we spared, while our family members were taken?”  Some of them said they would have rather died with their children or spouses than to live and suffer what they are now experiencing.

The India Evangelical Mission is preparing to go to many of these crowded shelters and help the survivors with sleeping mats, blankets, sheets, clothing, and food.  Some have been wearing the same clothing for a week.  Most will be released after their injuries are healed, but they have no place to go.  As funds become available, we would like to help build some dwelling places for these destitute people.

We who love the Lord have been given the opportunity to pray for these suffering people and also to help alleviate their suffering by sharing with them our material blessings.  While doing this, we will be able to share with them God’s love and His redeeming grace through Jesus Christ.

My wife Mariamma, son Dayan, daughter Sheela, Jan Sieker, Dr. Bob Carpenter, Dr. Richard Imholte, and Ron Leonard arrived safely here today.  Please pray for God’s protection and provision, that many souls shall be saved, and that God will be glorified.

Please pray how the Lord would have you be involved in the relief effort.  If you wish to contribute, you may earmark your gift “Tsunami.”  Please send it to IEM, PO Box 1633, Lakewood, CA, 90716-0633.

May God bless and protect you and watch over you while we enter into the New Year 2005. May His grace abound towards you.  We are grateful to you for your prayers and financial support.

God bless you,

G.V. Mathai

December 2004

Written by Mairin McCuistion on . Posted in Prayer Letters

Beloved Ones in Christ,

Isaiah 61:1 says, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives…”

God sent His only Son into the world to save sinners.  The world is torn apart with sorrow, grief, sickness, abandonment, loneliness, and rejection.  As a result there is confusion, chaos, violence and hopelessness.  Many people are brokenhearted.  But God, who is rich in mercy, has made provision by sacrificing His Son, Jesus Christ, that we might be redeemed and have a purposeful life.  The message of the Gospel is the only comfort and consolation for a sin-sick world.

Let us rejoice and thank God for the gift of salvation!  May the joy of Christmas fill your hearts.  God intended that all people should rejoice in the birth of the Lord Jesus.  We who believe in Him have the responsibility to share the Good News.

God has been faithful over the years to help us reach the people of India with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  When we consider that one out of every five people on the face of the earth are Indian, we realize that the need is great.  Will you make a New Year’s resolution to faithfully pray for the people of India.

God willing, I will be in India from January through March.  We will be holding our annual Crusade & Workers’ Conference.  Many people are praying in India for these upcoming meetings.  Dr. Bob Carpenter, Dr. Richard Imholte, Dr. Richard, Kathy & Julie Phipps, Jan Sieker, Ron Leonard (our mission rep), and Doug Whitney will be joining Mariamma, Dayan, Sheela and me on this trip.  Please pray for our safety and health and that the Lord will cause our ministry to bear much fruit.  Join your hearts with the believers in India in praying that many will be saved through the Crusade and that the Lord will open new ministry opportunities.

We have special financial needs for:  the Crusade, the completion of the new library/dormitory, and for the Bible College students’ mission trip in late January.  Please prayerfully consider making a generous year-end gift for the ministry.

May the Lord uphold you with the right hand of His righteousness, and may His face shine upon you.   WE WISH YOU ALL A BLESSED CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY, PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

Yours in His Service,

G.V. Mathai

November 2004

Written by Mairin McCuistion on . Posted in Prayer Letters

Dear Beloved Ones in Christ:

In the Scripture we read in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”  During the last few months, the people in America have been wondering what the future would hold regarding the presidential election. There was much anxiety, frustration, and uncertainty.  The night of the election, Psalm 46:10 ministered to my heart, and it is an encouragement to all Christians.  Though the nations rage with war, though the kingdoms be moved, we as children of God have the comforting words from our Heavenly Father:  “Be still and know that I am God…I will be exalted among the nations.”

During this Thanksgiving season, we thank God for the USA as a nation.  We thank Him for all our families, and we thank Him for our churches.  How wonderful it is that the U.S. has set aside one day to be thankful unto the Lord for His goodness and mercy!  As you enjoy Thanksgiving with your family & friends, please remember the ministry of IEM.

The children in our two Children’s Homes are very thankful for the compassion of Americans who sponsor them.  Who knows where they would be if it were not for IEM.  I think of one little girl, Malu, only six years old, who is not wanted by her parents or even her grandmother.  Now she is being cared for by IEM.  She is from a Muslim background and is learning about the love of Jesus.  Please pray for Malu and all the children.

The students in our Bible College have been continuing their outreach ministry to several villages, distributing tracts & conducting open-air preaching.  They are excited and encouraged in the work of the Lord.  About 40 of them will be graduating in January.

Some of our evangelists are serving the Lord in difficult areas.  Yet they are encouraged with the growth of the new believers.  In several states, the persecution of Christians has decreased to some extent in recent months, and we thank the Lord for hearing our prayers and for open doors to evangelism.

We would like to encourage our prayer supporters to share the ministry of IEM with your church, Sunday School class, youth group, or missions group.  Perhaps they would like to start a “Mission Possible” program, raising $25 a month for a child, $50 for a Bible College student, or $100 for an evangelist.  They may contact us for more information.  We thank God for all our prayer partners.  Please encourage others to have the joy of serving the Lord with their prayers and resources.

Please pray for:

  • The upcoming Evangelistic Crusade & Christian Workers’ Conference in January;
  • The safety & protection of all our Evangelists,  in Myanmar (formerly Burma);
  • The students’ summer mission trip to northeastern India, January-April, 2005;
  • Smooth operation of the Children’s Home & Bible College.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving,

G.V. Mathai