Orissa, the poorest state in India, is dominated by Hindus
December 16, 2008
“We had a wonderful time of experience in Ramagiri camp with the believers from five village. We started our journey from Bhawanipatna to Ramagiri, which is 250 kms from Bhawanipatna and 60-70 kms from the district headquarters.
We didn’t know that we would arrive at 10 pm on Tuesday night. We had traveled around 12 hours to get there by our own vehicle. I cannot describe the roads of Orissa State. The roads are so rough and stony that no vehicles will drive over 40 km/hour speed. I can say if any healthy person travels on that road surely for a few hours he will suffer.
As soon as we arrived at the relief camp we heard very sad news that five people had died due to the insufficiency of provisions from the government. In Ramagiri relief camp there are believers from five destroyed villages. These villages are KKSINGH, DEHULISAHI, BOLDA, PODAGUMA and KAMALADIHI.
Thousand of people are struggling in the relief camp with children and the elderly.
Temporary “shelter” for 201 believing families totaling 1,000 people
Persecuted believers standing together under the tent
After they came to know that we are pastors they started to share how they escaped from the Hindu fundamentalists and how they ran away at night to save their lives. After hearing all those things we felt very sad and truly our hearts were hurting greatly for them.
There were 201 families in that relief camp. Almighty God opened a door for us to speak to the thousand of believers there. The police did not allow us to minister to the believers. But praise God that we got an opportunity to conduct a prayer program with them. I shared the word of God with them under the tent. It was a wonderful experience for me to share the word of God with them.
After the message of comfort, I asked the believers how many were suffering physically and how many were willing to receive the touch of God in their lives. I was amazed to see hundreds of believers respond to the call. We prayed over the believers [through healing-at-a-distance as Jesus did in Luke 7] and we experienced the mighty power of Jesus Christ.
Above & below: “The healing ministry is going on after the message. So many believers stood to receive the healing touch in their body. I was amazed to see the believers so eagerly awaiting to get the healing touch from above. I praise God.”
There were so many believers who stood for testimonies [of physical healing] but as we were advised not to take any more time, one believer stood on behalf of all of them and testified how the Lord had blessed and touched him [in his physical body]. See the photo below.
S.N. Mali (above) testifies of his miraculous healing: “Thank you, Pastor, for coming and praying for us. As we have been suffering mentally, socially, financially and spiritually but I thank Him the Almighty God has sent you and your team for us to help with finances and prayer for people like me. It is a sad thing that four people passed away a few days ago, those who were in our midst. Afterwards I was tortured mentally, even physically. Even in the relief camp there are so many brothers and sisters were suffering from various sickness. I believe today they were touched from above just as I was healed from a fever. It is true that I was in bed and not able to do any work. Hallelujah.”
Of course we had to obey some rules and regulations that the government authorities had established.
There were 201 families in the relief camp. We gave each family Rs 400 (400 Indian rupees). I had also requested Pastor John Thomas [of Houston] to extend some help from his side to those people who are in the Ramagiri relief camp. I thank God for making it possible to help them in such a needy time. We distributed the cash to all the families except for thirty widows.
For me this is the first time to speak to thirty widows who are in desperate need to get a meal twice a day. We met with the thirty widows separately and encouraged them to keep their faith in Jesus very strong and to not lose it till the end of life. I was very touched to see some young widows—how they survive day by day with their young children. So many problems and the terrible life they pass through in their whole life. Please pray that God may open the door for them so that they may feel a little comfort in their lives.
We gave one sharee with Rs 200 to each widow. I hope this will give a little help for their Christmas.
Above & below: believing widows receiving financial help and gifts
One of the saddest things I saw is that there are one hundred and five children and not able to go to school. They are in a relief camp with their parents. I asked one of our brothers to distribute some chocolate to them. I discussed with their parents regarding their schooling, because if they don’t go to school it is very clear that their future is dark. The parents very clearly said that they were not sure where they will live or stay so where can we will send them for schooling?
The children of the persecuted believers
I do not know if any of the mission organizations are willing to take a step for them maybe because of transportation problems or other hindrance. But we know clearly that Jesus loves the innocent children as we see in the Bible. If any mission or organization will not take a step for those children I think most of them may be used for child labor just as we see in many parts of Orissa where such children are found.
I request that you please pray for these children so that their futures may be bright.
I asked them about returning to their own villages but I got the answer in this way. “The Orissa government are asking us to move back to our villages and they will provide Rs 50,000 to each family. But the believers are having two major problem. One is they cannot rebuild their homes with this amount since their homes were totally destroyed. Another main problem is that the believers will not feel safe living there again.” I did not have any answer for them but how long can they remain in the relief camp?
There is nothing more we can do for them apart from prayer. We are praying for each and every person in Orissa who is in such a condition. May God bless them abundantly and comfort them with much grace.
Once again we thank you very much for your help and prayer for us and also for the believers here.”
In His Service,
December 30, 2008
“Pastor, here is an urgent request for the persecuted believers which I am compelled to share with you.
As I informed you earlier, on December 31st the government of Orissa is going to close many of the relief camps. From Ramagiri camp the persecuted believers called me and pleaded with me, informing me that the government is going to close the camp. Therefore where can we go and stay with our families?
The persecuted believers are saying that they want to purchase one acre of land (for believers from five destroyed villages) near the district headquarters which costs four and half lakhs (between US$9,300 and US$9,400). They are saying that if we can purchase the land then our lives will be safe and we can develop our Christian life.
So they need financial help and the day when they must leave the camp is almost here. They have already asked a few missions for some help. We are praying that God will open the door for the people who are in desperate need.
Please pray for us for our ministries too. We are praying for you.
Thank you very much for your kind cooperation for the persecuted believers.”
In His vineyard,
The beauty of God’s creation contrasts starkly with the suffering of His people in the nearby relief camp