What an amazing and eventful year 2018 has been for Grace Christian Ministry! God has shown his provision, goodness, and faithfulness throughout this year. Praise the Lord!

The Pastors of GCM, Kerala, India

As 2018 draws to a close, we wanted to express our heartfelt appreciation for all of you. Your prayers, encouragement, and support have been such a blessing to us all. Dr. Babu Samuel recorded a video for you HERE.

As many of you are aware, Kerala, India – headquarters for GCM – experienced unprecedented flooding this past summer. Babu, his pastors and other leaders within the ministry felt called to assist those in the area. Through extra love offerings given by you as well as a disaster relief grant awarded by IDES, they were able to do just that. They traveled to seven different villages and provided bags of food which contained rice, tea, and spices. They also provided chairs, bed mats, clothing, educational items and bibles. Five of these villages do not currently have a church. By the grace of God, GCM workers were able to not only hand out bibles, but also give a short message on the love of Christ, and pray for several of the villagers. The goal is to return to these villages and eventually plant churches. This has already happened in the village of Pravinkoodu. Below are some pictures of the flooding that took place as well as pictures from the relief work performed by GCM.

Flooding in Kerala, India – August 2018
Flooding in Kerala, India – August 2018
GCM Pastors and Leaders handing out household and foot items in a Kerala village that was affected by flooding – September 2018
A grateful village woman receiving her flood aid package from GCM.
Households were given rice, tea, spices, chairs, bed mats, clothing, and bibles.

Babu also made the journey along with Pastor Jose Prakash and Pastor KK Samuel to visit GCM ministries in the state of Bihar and Odisha. God is moving in mighty ways in these states and the ministry is growing and reaching the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Worship with pastors in Odisha, India
The GCM pastors of Odisha, India. Pastor Isnan Bagh (far left) overseas the ministry in Odisha.
Bible Training Center students in Bihar, India.
Bible Training Center students of Bihar, India. On the far right is Dr. Babu Samuel, Pastor K.K. Samuel and Pastor Jose Prakash. The tall gentleman on the left is Pastor Girish who leads the GCM Bihar ministry. His wife Sunimol is to the left.

The ministry also received a generous donation through the Harvest of Talents hosted by First Christian Church in Council Bluffs. With these funds, they were able to purchase two small plots of land which will eventually be the site for two church buildings. This land is being given to two of GCM’s existing churches which have been with the ministry for many years.  One of these churches was flooded in the August flood. The other has been meeting in a rented building in the middle of a rubber tree farm.                        

In the coming year, there is much work to be done. Your prayers and support will be vital for GCM and the work they are doing.

January 30 will kick off the 18th Annual Grace Christian Ministry General Convention. Every year all of the pastors from Kerala, Bihar, and Odisha come together to be encouraged, taught and to fellowship together. This is a major event for the ministry, but it is a great way for the shepherds of these flocks to be rejuvenated and refreshed. Due to the number of people involved and the effort it takes to put on the event, there is also an additional expense over and above the regular operating of the ministry. If you would like to make an additional offering in January to help cover the costs, it would be deeply appreciated.

Freddie and Jenn Jones will be traveling to India in April 2019. Your prayers for that trip and their preparation will be appreciated. They will be visiting churches, attending a small gathering of pastors, and a women’s meeting while they are there. Their second trip will be in October 2019. If you are interested in going with them in October, please contact either Freddie (freddiegcm@gmail.com) or Jenn (jenngcm@gmail.com)

We are planning many updates and additions to the GCM website. Stay tuned for regular blog posts, pictures and updates on the work of GCM. Also, remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Again, thank you for your prayers and support for GCM. It is an amazing thing to see how the body of Christ has worked over these past many years to support the spread of the gospel in India. The harvest is plentiful. Please pray for the many lost souls of that nation which will be touched by the gospel work being done in the Lord’s name by Babu and his team.

Pictured from left to right:
Sam, Mercy, Grace, Printu, Babu, Gladys

It has been a busy whirlwind of activity the last few months, both here and in India. As most of you are aware, Freddie, Jenn and Robin traveled to India in April to visit Babu and the ministry. While we were there, we had the privilege of attending three weddings, one of which was for Babu’s oldest daughter Grace. It was unlike any wedding ceremony we are familiar with here in the states, but it was beautiful all the same and we were humbled to be a part of it. Pictured above is Grace and her husband, Printu – along with Babu, Mercy, their son Sam and daughter Gladys.

Also while we were there in April, we had the opportunity to visit one of the newest churches in the Grace Christian Ministry family. Kuttaphuzha church is on the second floor of a rented building. As we approached the building for Sunday morning service, we could hear the beautiful voices of the congregation lifted in worship. It is a small congregation, numbering about 20-25 people. It is always such a blessing to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in worship.

Kuttaphuzha Church

Babu will be traveling up to the state of Bihar in the next few weeks to visit the ministry of Pastor Girish. Bihar is home to a bible training center where students are discipled in their faith and some continue on with their education by traveling to the main GCM Bible College in Kerala, where they can work towards their Bachelor’s degree in Theology. Bihar has a population of about 114 million people – and less than .5% are Christian. It is known as the “Cemetery for Missionaries”. Please keep Pastor Girish and those working with him and the students in your prayers.

Pastor Girish with the Bihar Bible Training Center students

From Bihar, Babu will then travel a little further south to the state of Odisha. Pastor Prakash oversees the growing ministry there, and several churches and pastors have joined with GCM to further the gospel in that area. As you recall, we were working to raise $1,000 to purchase at least 10 bicycles for some of the pastors in this area. That goal was reached and Babu will be purchasing those bikes when he travels there. Due to the rural areas and villages these pastors minister and evangelize in, bicycles are the best and most economical forms of travel. Odisha’s population is about 44 million people, and about 2.4% are professing Christians. Again, the harvest is plentiful in this area (as it is in all of India). Please pray for more laborers to spread the good news of the gospel.

Church congregation in Odisha

As most of you are aware, GCM had to sell the original college campus last year due to debt issues. While the selling of the property did alleviate the majority of the debt, there is still some lingering that we are working with Babu on ways to help retire it. Watch for updates on how you can help. They have since moved the college to a rented home in the same area. It is much smaller than the previous campus and the ministry is asking for prayers for guidance on how they should move forward with finding a new campus. Currently, there are about 7 students enrolled and taking classes at the Bible College.

We have been working to organize GCM as a non-profit organization here in the U.S. By doing so, there will be opportunity for individuals to give directly to Grace Christian Ministry along with the continued church support. Stay tuned for updates as we continue that process. We are also working to update the website (www.gracechristianministry.org) in order to provide up to date and relevant information on how the Lord is working through GCM and in India as a whole.

Lastly, but not least, Babu, his family and his ministry are forever grateful for the love, prayer and support you have all provided over the past many years. He praises the Lord for each and every one of you and prays for you and your churches.