But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
Greetings to you in the precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. We thank you all for your prayers and encouragement through which we are able to what we do. Thank you all so much for being a big part of this expanding Lord’s ministry in our part of India. May God receive the glory and honor.
Recent government statistics show the least growth of Christianity in the country as a whole, but where as in our state it is growing steadily. We are not so much excited or surprised about it, but we rather see what we can do help with the growth of the churches in our part of the nation.
ill area Preachers’ Fellowship meeting: this is the first time ever we visited this remote place in this part of our State. Reaching the Unreached: this was our slogan during the campaign week. Our graduates worked as a team to fulfill what our Lord said ‘you shall be witness unto me in the uttermost part of the earth.’ Certainly these places are in a very remote place, high among the mountains. There was no cell phone service, no regular electricity, and no pure drinking water available. This is one of the reasons these people often suffer with typhoid, also due to mosquitoes, they suffer from malaria and other viral fevers. We often hear such health problems from our students too. Only very few have TV facility. They are not uncivilized but they are far away from all kinds of modern facilities and living style. Of course they are good number of young people who had High school education, some even college, which really benefits the efforts our students. We have students coming from Lambasingi, Lothu Gadda and other nearby villages, where you can only go by walk, you are lucky if you have a motor cycle. They speak three Languages; Telugu is our state language, Odiya (language spoken in the neighboring state of Orissa) and their local Tribal Language.
Before we went to this place we stopped at Narsipatnam to meet with the preachers gathered there. We have taken that opportunity to help the preachers to understanding Word of God and presenting it rightly. There was gathering of 60 preachers for this meeting. We have explained about our School program inviting them to encourage their young men to go through Preacher training for the benefit of the Church as the present government is trying to shut down the missionary activities.
After finishing this meeting we reached our destination ‘Chithapalli’ which is about 2700 Ft above the sea level, 110 Kms from Visakhapatnam. We were invited by our Bro. Satyanarayana who is preaching in the near by village ‘Kalaparri’, we preached that night about the Church that the Bible Teaches, encouraging them to remain faithful. This congregation is building a Church building but their financial backwardness held it to complete.
Old Students, when they heard about us coming to their hill area, they invited over hundred young people to attend the Preachers Meeting. We had all the students who are graduates of the school were present along with the other young men. That was a great gathering of young people who are interested to learn the Word of God. Our faculty and other preachers who joined with us has done a great job teaching the word of God.
In all our conversations and preaching we emphasized the fact of learning the Truth and Teaching it efficiently to establish the True Lord’s Church in their area. We are thankful to God because through this program we were able to present the need of being trained to become efficient preachers to the young people in this area as a result we have 2 more students enrolled in this batch. After visiting these brethren who are living far away from this modern world, we have decided to make regular visits to the congregations who are being established by our graduates. As our Graduates go to new places and establish congregations great need of encouragement is increasing too.
This encouragement requires time, money and effort, kindly pray that we would be able to form up into teams to encourage the congregations in this area through our regular visit. Certainly these congregations need encouragement as they are in the infantry stage.
M. Rama Rao: Preachers Fellowship Meetings were giving a great opportunity to meet with the Preachers (some of them are our Graduates) to gather together. We had one full day preachers Fellowship meeting, several preachers have delivered some good lessons from the Epistle of Jude. After the Preachers meeting is over, 3 responded to the invitation and brother Rama Rao Baptized them.
Later, we went into the streets of this village proclaiming the True God and Savior and pleaded the people of this village to believe in Jesus for the remission of their sins. While distributing the gospel tracts in this village we had faced an unique situation, that is there were group of men who are playing brackets/gambling, we stopped by them and encouraged them to realize the value of life and advised them their life would be changed if they believe in Jesus, to our surprise they heard the Word and received the gospel tracts we distributed.
We are thankful to Brother Jerry Bates who has been very instrumental in gathering more books to our Library. Sister Doris Ford of Grand Prairie, TX donated some books of brother J. Monroe Tharp, who taught Greek at Bear Valley Bible School. Our students are really blessed to have all these books. We are so thankful to During the hermeneutics class they have learned in detail about using the Library for a better understanding the Scripture. As the number of books are increasing and so as the number of students we are thinking about extending the Library facility so that we would have more room for the students as well as to the books.
We were very excited to hear about the proposed visit of the Preacher ‘Brother Kevin Hahn’ from Lake Houston Church of Christ in the month of Jan’16. We have met this brother before there was any relationship established between the Lake Houston Church and our Bear Valley Extension School. This brother was very instrumental in establishing the connection between the School and the Church. We are very much looking forward for his visit, hoping to see that we would be blessed with his visit. This is not his first time to come to India, but this is his first time to visit with our school, very much looking forward for that.
Once again we thank the brethren at Lake Houston for their continued trust and confidence in the Lord’s work at Visakhapatnam, we do thank the Elders at Strickland Church of Christ for their concern to oversee the Lord’s work here. Kindly convey our greetings and gratitude to the brethren at your congregations. Greetings from all of us at Visakha Valley Bible College.
Samuel Raju, Director
John Dean M, Dean
Visakha Valley Bible College,
Andhra Pradesh, INDIA