Greetings to you in the precious name of Lord Jesus Christ our savior. By the grace of God we are all doing fine. Hope all is well with you. We are thankful to our God who is enabling us to continue doing his ministry in our part of India. We have 15 students who are regular to the school. We are happy to say that they will be completing this course study by April 2013. All of our students are uplifted in their faith so much through the teaching of various subjects by our faculty. Our students are so blessed to be in this school, of course they remark our school very highly too.
Short Course: Brother Chuck Ramseur visited with us for a week. During his visit he taught the ‘Epistle to the Hebrews’ to the undergraduate students. As usual, this trip has been very productive than previous one. His first trip had been quite bit of learning since everything was new and it was his first visit to teach at an extension school of BVBID.
We were excited about Chuck coming to Visakha for the second time which really helped us to work together for the betterment of the school. He is very mindful of the school in Visakha, we appreciate him for that. Our students had a good time of learning Hebrews from the audience perspective. Chuck has a done a marvelous job of teaching the Epistle to the Hebrews in this perspective so that the students would get the exact message from the epistle. He spent lot of time in explaining the text rather than applying it to the present audience. It was a different learning experience for me as well. Chuck has done a review before the start of every class that helped the students to stay on the same page along with the instructor. Regular memory work and the quizzes have helped the students to learn more from the epistle. It is very important to any student to rightly understand the text before he applies it to himself or teach it to somebody so that they would apply it to themselves. Understanding the epistle to the Hebrews is just like any other book in the Bible. Chuck’s way to teaching it by emphasizing the key words and their connection & relation between them throughout the epistle was marvelous. Especially he mentioned the text coded from Psalms to show how much more blessed we are through Jesus Christ who is superior above all in this universe. He affirmed to the students about the greatest salvation we have in Jesus Christ and the great hope receiving the heavenly Jerusalem. He did a great job compared to his first visit & teaching. Students have learned so much. They did a good job in writing their final exams; most of them have good grades. We pray that his regular visits would be a blessing to the school and to all of us.
Zeal for towards his loved ones: David Raju, He is one of our diligent students in the current batch. He lives in a village which is 40 kms from Visakhapatnam. He was a Hindu believer. He heard about Jesus and obeyed him by being baptized into Christ. After he became a Christian he wanted his parents to learn about God and obey the Lord. Since they are very old he really wanted them to obey the truth before it is too late. While his curiosity of saving his parents was growing wild, he could not resist himself from teaching them about the plan of salvation and about their need to repent of their sins and becoming children of God. His regular teachings finally motivated them to repent of their sins and come forward to be washed themselves in the blood of Jesus Christ. This wonderful event has taken place at VVBC during the first week of this month. Brother Eric Ramseur witnessed this overwhelming event. After they confessed that Jesus Christ is the son of God, they were baptized by John Dean for the remission of their sins. David Raju has the happiest moment in his life. Tears ran out of David Raju’s eyes during the baptism of his parents really denoting the joy he had from the fulfillment of his long waited desire.
We have scheduled a weekend gospel campaign during the end of the first of May. We are very much looking forward to spending some study time with those who are learning about God. We hope the word of God will be received in gladness and souls will be added to the Church. Certainly there is a great future for the Lord’s church in this village. This only possible through some enthusiastic preachers like David Raju, who is very zealous for the Lord. We have few other men who are very eager to proclaim the word and are strong to live according to it.
Needs: Dear brethren please be mindful of the needs for the preachers in this area, especially to those who are going to school and soon will be full time preachers. A bicycle & lantern with some Bibles at the time of graduation is a wonderful gift that we can offer to them to help with their mission to preach the word.
Summer: Here the weather is getting heated up. Right now the temperatures in some areas are over 95 F. We do not have rains from last 6 months. Due to that, ground water levels are going down and down, with the relative affect on the prices of electricity and vegetables which has been a burden to the common man. Of course the hike of the prices is an uprising problem in the world over, but for a common man like a preacher who doesn’t make so much from very poor congregations it is really struggle. Kindly pray for the preachers in that area who are honestly serving the Lord besides the difficulties.
Future Preachers’ Training Camp: While I was at Bear Valley during my visit in 2010, I was blessed to be at the Church who hosted the FPTC. I was really impressed with that program and wanted to try that in India too. When Dr. Dennis Jones, president of HCU, visited Skinner’s Garden on the 9th of February, he inaugurated the program. We have scheduled this week long FPTC program starting from the 4th of June till the 10th. Since this is our first effort, we would like to invite the preachers’ sons who are over the age of 13. This program would certainly help them to become leaders in the future. Kindly pray for the success of this camp.
Thank you note: Dear brethren we are thankful to the brethren at Strickland Church of Christ, especially to the elders for their trust and charity with which we are able to run the school successfully. We continue to remember them in our daily prayers and thank our heavenly God for their great role in seeking and saving the lost in India. Yes, India is a growing wild in religious perspective with the TV media well spread. Everywhere the entire denominational groups in India, especially in the state of Andhra Pradesh, have been spreading the man made doctrines. These situations need well trained young man who teach the only doctrine which was once for all delivered. We pray that our combined efforts produce more effective preachers to spread good news & the right doctrine to the lost millions in India.
Number of people baptized in this month through our ministry: 6
Denominational preachers restored: 1
Gospel meetings conducted – 6
Weekend Campaign – 1
Gospel tracts distributed - 1200
Doors Knocked - 135
Held the Bible Studies - 21
We thank you all so much for your concern for the Lord's work in India. Our calender year has been so busy, kindly pray for our travelling to various places. We thank you all so much for being a part of this great Lord's work in India.
Samuel Raju & John Dean Muppidi
Visakha Valley Bible College
Church of Christ
Andhra Pradesh, INDIA