Monday, August 23, 2010

A Retrospection of the past Twenty one Years

There were no favorable factors visible to the human eyes, when I came out for full-time missionary work according to the vision I received from God. But, as it were my spiritual eyes which had beheld the vision, the path of growth loomed large before me. Now as I am writing this, Indian Christian Mission (ICM) has travelled 20 years in time on that path. On this occasion, we are grateful to God who has led us in triumphal procession this far. We also thank the children of God who have been wholeheartedly encouraging us in our mission to spread the love of God; we again solicit your continued support to ICM.

There were only a very few people who had said encouraging words to me when I started working with great desire to expand the Gospel work in the arid land of North India, and also my native state, Kerala. A large number of people tried to dishearten me by their harsh criticism. However, as I had been receiving comfort and guidance from God, I did not lose heart. Instead, I encouraged my fellow workers to labor with total commitment for the extension of the Kingdom of God. Today, I reckon the churches and associated activities pioneered by ICM in Delhi, Bihar and Kerala, as the progression of the diligent, hard work done in those initial days.

From what I said here, nobody should perceive that the mission work is progressing in a very smooth manner. The fact is that Christian activities will face tough resistance in this world until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have written this in the context of the theory that it would be easier for the enemy to take advantage of the weaknesses of an organization in its fledgling stage; though, it is a historical fact that the church grows faster in the wake of stiff opposition. The survival or rather thriving, of the church amidst adversity is unique. Tribulations and hostilities are in effect the fodder for the growth of Christianity.

The Word ‘triumphal’ does not imply a totally trouble free situation. We can understand this if we observe the life of Apostle Paul. Paul carried out missionary work in the midst of numerous hardships and obstacles but, even in such a situation the Apostle could maintain a positive frame of mind. See, how grateful he is towards God- “But thanks to be God, who always lead us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him” (II Corinthians 2: 14). Elsewhere he had said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered’. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37). The phrase ‘more than conquerors’ allures to a great victory in a fierce fight. Even though the challenges may be big, God who is with us is far greater than them!

Even today Indian Christian Mission faces a lot of difficulties. But, as the mission has grown overcoming the past hazards, it will also get past the obstructions which may come in future as well. We are inspired by the words of Paul referring to the situations he and his co-workers were in. “We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:8&9). When we hold onto God’s promise’s and work uncompromisingly, the adversities we face will become blessings in disguise and bring glory to the name of God.

I once again thank God for having experienced God’s mighty protection in the past twenty years of mission work. When it seems that there is no resources left for missionary activities, the promise ‘Jehovah Jireh, has a truly wonderful and practical implication in our day to day lives.