Well, it’s 2019, Jesus has not returned yet, but as Christians, we patiently wait while doing HIS work!  As I look back on 2018 I see the triumphs and defeats, all the while God’s sovereign plan is at work.  We are told in scripture that His word will not return void.

One of the defeats was making our October trip back to India.  In October of 2017 my wife Jenn and I made a commitment to visit GCM two times a year.  Unfortunately, unprecedented monsoon rainfall and flooding in Kerala, India kept us from traveling back in October of last year as planned. Our next trip is planned for April. 

One triumph is how GCM has seen amazing growth in the Ministry. Odisha has had an explosion of church growth, even during a natural disaster in Kerala GCM was able to go into areas that had not been reached before. We pray that God will bring forth growth for His glory! Babu and the ministry of GCM are doing the work that Jesus commands in Matthew 28:18-20, the “Great Commission”.

As I think on these things and the work being done in Christ’s name by Babu and his ministry, I am reminded in Romans 10:14-16. Paul tells us that the only way they (the lost) will believe is when we go to them and speak the gospel.  Once they hear then they can respond. The Spirit moves through the Word of God. Verse 15 tells us to help send those who will preach. Let’s not forget the beauty of the feet of those who preach the gospel. This reminds me of the pictures of the visits GCM made during the flood, brave men and women being selfless in getting the provisions out to those who needed it most. They were not thinking of their own benefit, but speaking about the important Good News, the Gospel.  Verse 16, tells us the word will not be received by all just like in Jesus’s time (some of the over 5,000 people fed with a few loaves and a couple of fish were just seeking the bread that they ate their fill that day). Verse 17 shows how faith comes through hearing the word of God.

So, as I said we patiently wait, Lord Jesus come! In the meantime, we must continue to fight the good fight; continue to carry out the spread of the Gospel.  As GCM faithfully labors to proclaim the Gospel to all those in the nation of India and beyond, please continue to pray, and become a partner in this great commission!

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.