South Asia is experiencing a catastrophic surge in COVID-19 cases due to the mutated variants of the virus.

The Battleground
Nepal, Burma, India, and Bangladesh
The Battle 
Asia’s Worsening COVID-19 Crisis Alpha Ministries began our COVID Response work in April 2020, helping to ease the suffering of
families caught in the eye of the pandemic storm. The Lord blessed and we brought help, hope & healing to over 30,000 families in Nepal, Burma, India, and Bangladesh. 
 
Over the last month, we have seen a sudden rise and the ravaging impact of the second deadly wave of COVID-19.  This new wave has caused loss of lives, massive decimation of the economy, and an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.  There is so much needed to stop this devastating
emergency. The infection rates are the highest ever seen, nearly triple 2020’s peak. Hospitals and ICUs are operating at or over capacity. Hospitals across the country are reporting oxygen shortages, and they do not have enough equipment to treat the increasing cases of COVID-19.
With no more room for patients in hospitals, many have perished in ambulances, clinics, at home and even in the streets while waiting for help.  The poor and marginalized are hugely impacted with the consequences and we need to act now. We have launched a comprehensive
response to help the needy on the frontline.  

Battling Hunger
The current crisis has created fear and uncertainty among the poor and vulnerable populace.  Their earnings have been irregular over the last year and they have encountered an inability to provide for their families, causing widespread hunger.  With limited or no daily income, many Indians cannot afford food during the nation’s lockdown, even if it was available for purchase. To stop the calamitous consequences of malnutrition among both children and adults, we are providing Relief & Ration Kits to sustain families during this crucial hour of need.  Through supporting the nutritional needs of vulnerable communities, lives will be transformed. These Relief & Ration Kits are put together and dispersed in local communities by
our Frontline Messengers.
Battling Medical Emergency though our Hotline.  
South Asia is in the midst of a major health crisis and your support is critical. Financial support is required to support families needing emergency medical care.  A help line has been created for these medical professionals to contact us. Christian medical professionals are asked to
contact our office if they see people who are refused care because they cannot afford medical care and/or need other assistance.  Families in need of financial help for medical care also will be directed to our hotline.  Partnering churches are asked to contact us if they need help.  A WhatsApp advertisement was completed to encourage people to call the helpline and we will provide the following services to those in need:

  1. Prayer and counseling
  2. Medical transport (ambulance & ambulatory service)
  3. Medical directions & assistance
  4. Financial help to obtain medicines and other medical help
  5. Food (meals) for those who are sick with COVID and are in isolation
  6. Relief ration kits
  7. Financial support for widows of pastors
    Other help, hope and healing steps taken:
    -Our training center has been turned into a COVID emergency room.
    -Our ministry van is being converted into an ambulance.
    All this is being done by our workers even as they too suffer with illness and family members
    impacted by COVID.
    Battle for the Future
    We anticipate the needs going forward as the virus (hopefully and prayerfully) subsides.  We are organizing a Post-COVID Relief Plan.  There are long-term effects of COVID that we are seeing now with these variants.  There are lot of complications post-disease like extreme fatigue, lethal fungal infections, palpitations, brain fog, and blindness, to name a few.  As the needs continue, we will dedicate Alpha Ministries to be the help, hope and healing.Battling for Truth God gifted both of my parents, Pastor Cherian and Grace, with the ability to see people through the Lord’s eyes. During their time on earth, my parents devoted their entire lives to the needs of the poor and the hurting in India, so that the lost could know a loving Savior in Jesus Christ.  The two were indeed one of a kind. Thank you for your outpouring of kindness and support as my family and I grieve the loss of my beautiful mother, Grace Mathews. John Lennox once said of his own parents, that their ‘…faith was authentically lived out at
    home.’  My siblings and I can testify that this too was true in our home.  My mother was always willing to meet the most urgent needs around her regardless of the source of people’s pain. Her vision was not just to meet physical needs but through various forms of helping, to point every
    person to a hope found only in knowing and understanding Jesus Christ. During this troubled time of the COVID surge that is sweeping Asia, the immediate needs are so great and entire families have been affected by COVID death, hospitalization, and loss of income related to increasing poverty from the worsening health and economic crises.  The truth of Christ is needed to battle the hopelessness that these people are feeling.  Your prayers are deeply needed.  Please help us continue my mom Grace’s vision of reaching others by considering a memorial gift that would go directly to those suffering and impoverished.  Thank you in advance for your prayers and financial support.  God’s blessings upon you and
    deep appreciation for considering partnering with us.

Donate Now
With your help, Alpha Ministries is distributing food and hygiene supplies to people in desperate need because of COVID-19.

Click here to Donate now

Obituary

Grace Mathews was born in Ranni, Kerala, on December 23, 1939. Pastor Cherian and Grace Mathews served the people of Gujarat, India, and other parts of the world for nearly 60 years.  She birthed seven children, but was a spiritual mother to countless others. Her life’s purpose was to share and demonstrate Jesus’ love boldly.  She was a visionary who always attempted and achieved great things for the Kingdom of God.  Her faith, conviction, care, and cheerful hospitality were some of her greatest traits that impacted thousands across generations and continents.  Grace was a powerhouse who helped and inspired people to do great things.
 
In 1965, God called Pastor Mathews and Grace to minister in Gujarat, India.  While expecting her second child and her firstborn son in tow, she boarded the train from Kerala to join her husband who was already on the mission field.  God miraculously provided tickets and food for the four day trip to northern India. On that day, and until her last breath, her faith and prayer were her leading assets. Pastor Mathews and Grace suffered extreme hardships, persecution, hunger and even the death of a child.  Nevertheless, Grace’s firm foundation in Christ held the family together through her relentless faith, prayers, and hard work, while serving the Lord cheerfully.  Her greatest desire was for her children and grandchildren to become men and women of faith, who would serve God faithfully and become world changers.
 
She served God with unwavering faith along with Pastor Mathews and their six children.  The loss of her daughter due to a lack of funds for medical care was among her most difficult challenges, but she used it to help and encourage the childless and those who suffered like she had.  She valued life and was outspoken for the rights of unborn children.  She spent her birthdays gifting sarees and feeding the widows and orphans.  She shared hope and encouragement with foreigners who felt out of place, and visitors from various places always stopped at her home because they were sure they would never leave hungry.  She was an amazing evangelist who never lost an opportunity to witness to anyone that crossed her path.  Her
heartbeat was to make Jesus known to the least of these through word and deed.
 
Grace is survived by five sons and one daughter and their spouses: Benny and Lina Mathews, Finny and Bindu Mathews, Denny and Bella Mathews, Davis and Anila Mathews, Jimmy and Susan Mathews, and Lovely and Denny Koshy.  She was blessed with 21 grandchildren: Faith-Hannah and her husband LJ, Ben-Israel and his wife Elizabeth, Joy-Ruth, Debbie and her husband Trevor, Charles, Abel, Jude, Abigail, Hannah, Jonah, Bethany, Anna, Asha, Nathan, Micah, Selah, Jonathan, David, Ruth, Jerusalem, and Timothy. She was also blessed with a great grandchild, Haven.  She is also survived by her siblings: Moni Varghese, Thankachan George, Cherian George, and Thomas George as well as many nieces and nephews. 
 
She was known as “Ammachi” to her grandchildren.  And she was known endearingly as Mummy by all. Her legacy continues through her children, grandchildren, and the countless others whom she touched with her caring heart and hands by serving, praying, witnessing, discipling and speaking life to the hopeless.

South Asia Needs The Gospel Of Christ… Doorway To Bring Help, Hope & Healing

About a month ago I returned from a month’s long trip to South Asia. Three of our pastors were held in prison for over a month. Praise the Lord, they were granted bail, but the case remains open. Pray that this case will be closed, and our people released from charges.

My 82-year-old mother had a fall and fractured her back. She was on bedrest for over a month. Praise the Lord, she is now able to get up and walk. Thank you for praying and uplifting her during this difficult time.

While preparing to leave for the USA on March 10th, I received news that one of our pioneer pastors, V. M. Samuel, was rushed to emergency surgery. He was 67 years old. He had a stroke and died at the hospital. The next day we received more sad news. One of the fellow pioneer pastors who came with Pastor V.M. to serve in that region, Pastor John Quadros, died in his sleep on March 11th. Both pastors were the same age and were dear friends. I extended my stay to visit the grieving families and attend funeral services. Finally, I was set to leave for the airport, however I became very ill. I had some sort of food poisoning and I had to cancel my return flight twice. By the grace of God I have recovered and am now home.

Yes, it has been an eventful beginning to 2021. The nation of Burma (Myanmar) is under martial law situation. The security forces have killed hundreds of people since the recent military coup began. The death toll in Burma has been steadily rising as authorities grow more forceful with their suppression of opposition.

The unrest emerging in India, however, is of a different breed. Several states in India approved ‘Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Bill 2021’. According to this law, individuals seeking to change their religion for any reason must ask government permission. The law also criminalizes religious conversions through marriage. Persons could face a prison sentence of three to ten years and a fine of $400. Everyone is under constant surveillance and fears rise among religious minorities, especially Christians, as violence spikes following this controversial new law.

South Asia needs the Gospel of Christ, as I saw the gripping reality firsthand and the Lord impressed the need for action. In developing countries, poverty is perpetuated by lack of education and skills. Poorer children cannot attend school due to fees, sickness from unclean water, or the necessity of having to work to help the family with income.
MATCHING CHALLENGE
Through our project, Vocational Instruction Transforms-A-Life (V.I.T.A.L.), Alpha Ministries is breaking cycle of deprived education
through vocational training for skills such as sewing and embroidery. The empowerment of self-sufficiency can break many bonds that the enemy uses to discourage and suppress. A small tailoring business can support an entire family, creating self-sufficiency that will lead to more needs has proven to be an effective means of evangelism.

For April, we have another unique opportunity to give and have our gifts matched. I am pleased to tell you that a friend of the ministry has offered a $50,000 matching challenge, which means every gift we receive by April 31 will effectively be DOUBLED to do twice as much. The Lord has inspired them to help young women and girls out of despairing situation. Prize, any gift you give to V.I.T.A.L. this month will be doubled up to $50,000.

To a struggling woman or girl in Burma or Bangladesh, the sewing machine you provide can be the doorway to a better life. You will help a single mother, orphaned teen, or widow feel the dignity of providing for herself and her family. By providing a family with a sewing machine, you offer them an opportunity to earn a decent living for the first time.

In Myanmar, Nepal & Bangladesh and regions beyond our efforts have been successful. Thanks be to God for His mercy in transforming lives. With your gifts and the generous $50,000, we can reach many more. And thanks to the Matching Challenge, can we count on your help to make the most of this fantastic opportunity? Rejoice with us over these testimonies of work already begun.

TESTIMONIES: The Civil War in Myanmar impacted the Binoo family farm. Because of the unrest, they could not plant. With no planting, there is no harvest. Kim is seventeen, has three brothers and a sister. She heard the Gospel message from a local pastor and now believes in Jesus. She has zeal for the Lord and would like to go to Bible School so she can help suffering people. Now that she has sewing skills through V.I.T.A.L., she wants to help others and minister to suffering people.

The Vinyai family was in a village where two armed groups were fighting, and the road was shut down so that no food or supplies could enter the village. Eighteen-year-old Pathan is one of the seven siblings in the Vinyai family. She came to the training camp and is now a believer in Jesus. She would like to run her own sewing shop.

Like Pathan, Sindu and Mantan are both eighteen and come from large families. They were also driven from their villages because of the war. Both are believers and want to become clothing designers.

Many of the current V.I.T.A.L. graduates from the training have similar testimonies. Lives insecure from war, lack of education and poverty are now stable and peaceful. These souls now know the love of Christ, and many are dedicating themselves in service to others.

Please pray for V.I.T.A.L ministry, the families impacted and give a practical gift in the Name of Jesus to people who need it most. I am humbled and grateful. All additional gifts this month will go towards the challenge. Thank you!

For Such A Time As This…

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

COVID: New variants of the COVID virus are rapidly spreading across South Asia. Several of our workers are ill with what has been nicknamed, COVID 20. Pray for Pastor K, as his wife, mother-in-law and father are terribly ill, as are many from his church.
We have reports of at least 30 Christian leaders who have died. Pray for a dear one that has tested negative for COVID, as others have, yet his lungs are infected and needs treatment.
The governments are mandating lockdowns again. Pastors are going back to online services because everything is closed, even some of our ministry offices.  A news reports shares that the 450 million migrant workers, especially those that labor inter-state, are fearful they will need to beg once again as a total shutdown threatens. 
A report from the field states: “We have reports of death all around and people are living in fear.” Hospitals are overwhelmed and people are dying in ambulances, waiting for treatments they never receive. In one state, their two hospitals reported more than 300 deaths in one week.Although this is the reality, still millions are gathering for Kumbh Mela at the Ganges River. National Public Radio called it ‘The World’s Largest Gathering of Humans’. They think the Ganges will ‘wash away COVID’. Pray that God awakens hearts to His Truth.  
COURT CASE:  A new hearing date has been set for Pastor Nathan, Chatter and Nag.  Through prayer and efforts of Alpha Ministries’ legal team, the Pastors were finally granted bail and on February 24th all three Pastors were released. There are still many challenges—the Government’s new Freedom of Religion laws have emboldened the authorities to make an example of this case. Please pray that God will redeem this situation for His glory. The false charges fill 49 pages. We plan to hire a new lawyer. Ask God that He grant us favor and that He appoint the right one. The hearing date is May 7th.
Mother Grace: My mother is now walking after the debilitating fall last month, but she is still in need of prayer. Ask God to heal her bones and protect her from COVID, since her health is weak.
MYANMAR:  A military coup d’état in Myanmar removed democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi from office in early February. Nationwide protests have been met by escalating crackdowns. As you can imagine, this has impacted Alpha Ministries’ work there. Unknown numbers of people died. Our team says, “We Burmese citizens feel unsafe because the police are shooting in the day and kidnapping at night…please remember us in your prayers.” Besides the fear of violence, there is a great need for food and supplies that cause the Burmese to be panicked and hopeless. Our team continues to work to share what they have and praying for souls. Please agree in prayer with them.
RAMADAN: The month-long observance of Ramadan begins April 13th. This time of fasting and reflection for Muslims around the world is a perfect opportunity for them to meet the true and living God. There are 1.8 billion Muslims around the world. Pray that the power of the enemy no longer reigns in their lives and they come to the saving knowledge of Christ as God reveals truth to them.


Thank you so much for your prayers as they are a continual encouragement to those serving on the frontline to bring help, hope and healing to the nations.

SOARING ABOVE UNCERTAINTY

The verses from the old hymn, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand,” come to mind when reflecting on events of this year and praying about what is yet to come. The uncertainty of these times can be utterly overwhelming—but when we feel overwhelmed we must keep in mind the truth of the next verse: “All other ground is shifting sand.”

There is nothing on this earth we can trust more than God. No person, no job, no economy, no government. In the midst of such uncertainty, we must keep our eyes on Him, and continually renew our faith in His promises . . .

But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Scripture calls us to live completely reliant on our Lord. That’s not a Sunday-only lifestyle, but rather, an every hour of every day lifestyle that looks entirely different from the ways of this world.

I remember my father and mother modeling this lifestyle my entire life when other ways would have been much easier. Things like hardships, hunger, and beatings do not sound like a plan for success but rather for failure. Remember that there is nothing we can go through that Jesus is not familiar. We are told He was, “acquainted with grief” (Is 53:3). As an adult, Jesus knew hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger. He was homeless and a man of sorrows yet always rejoicing. He was poor yet made many rich. As Jesus told the young man on the road to Jerusalem, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Luke 9:58).

Let us keep things in perspective:

But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2 Corinthians 6:4-10

So I encourage you to press in and seek our King! He will give you what you need to stand strong, to rise above the mayhem, to soar above the uncertainty. Continually meditate on the promises of God rather than on the headlines and social media wars. I have included some scripture verses below to help you keep your focus on the only thing that truly matters. Keep soaring!

1. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. Psalm 46:1-2

2. But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

3. So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

4. The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

5. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

6. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

7. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’ Psalm 91:1-2

8. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

9. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

10. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Poor Foreigners?

“When you reap the harvest of your land,
do not reap to the very edges of your field
or gather the gleanings of your harvest.
Do not go over your vineyard a second time
or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave
them for the poor and the foreigner. I am
the Lord your God.”
(Leviticus 19:9-10 NIV)

As Christians, we can sometimes become detached from the suffering and struggles around us. Going through our daily routines, we don’t always see and hear about the difficulty others may be going through. This is especially true in times like these when each day seems to bring a new challenge.

I am so thankful for our dedicated frontline messengers who serve throughout South Asia. They keep us updated on the needs and struggles they encounter so that we can pray and respond. In all of the regions we serve, thousands have lost what meager livelihood they could earn because of nationwide shutdowns. Street vendors and day laborers are some of the hardest hit. These are men and women with families who rely on that income to survive.

In one region, our team was made aware of a slum where the conditions were particularly desperate. It is inhabited by a group of stranded street vendors who have no work, no way to get back to their families and no food. That same slum had also become home to a large group of transgenders. Being outcast by society and without income due to the travel restrictions that have all but ended tourism in the area, they are lost and barely surviving. They need more than food. They need the Light of God’s Love to set them free. The Psalmist tells us to, “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked,” (Psalm 82:3-4NIV). Our team has begun to provide food and other staples to those living in this slum and they are ministering to them as well. Please pray for breakthrough!

My friend, revival is breaking out in the most unusual places. We are hearing reports from all over the world that God showing up in the midst of all this chaos – breaking chains and setting the captives free.

We must not rest in days like this, but rather, continue to pray…to be light in the darkness…and to speak life where there is death.

By remembering the poor in our giving, we also open doors that may otherwise never have opened to share the love of God with them. Thank you for standing with Alpha Ministries in this great work! God bless you!



“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim
good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the
brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
(Isaiah 61:1)

Making a Way

You are making a way for people who thought there was no way!

The mission of Alpha Ministries has always been to share the gospel, reach the unreached and unengaged, make disciples and plant churches where no church exists. Quite often, this mission takes the form of serving the most basic needs of men, women and children when poverty, persecution or disaster strikes.

CoVid19 has caused a wave of food insecurity around the world. Recent estimates predict that more than 265 million will be facing hunger by the end of the year.

Thanks to the compassionate giving of friends like you, Alpha Ministries is able to distribute essentials like rice, lentils and oil, as well as basic hygiene supplies to families in great need. Ajay, Meena, and Mukesh are a few of those who are extremely grateful for Alpha partners who are making a way for them to receive emergency relief just in time.

Ajay is a mobile food cart vendor who lives with his five-member family in Danteshwar. Since the lockdown started he has had no work or income. He has loans on his business that he can’t repay and he hasn’t been able to purchase food for his family. “I can’t thank you enough,” Ajay said with a tremendous look of relief. “I was becoming worried we would not survive before you helped us.”

Meena has been a widow for 14 years. She was working in a nearby school as a maid when CoVid19 lockdowns began. She lives with her daughter who requires regular medical care and treatments. Being without work all this time has put an incredible strain on them both. What little money she had saved has been depleted trying to continue her daughter’s treatments. They were having to choose between medical care or going hungry. Through tears, Meena expressed her deep appreciation for the food she received. “Now we can eat, and I can focus on continuing my daughter’s care.”

Mukesh lives with his aged mom and younger brother in Sama. He worked as a clerk in a local library but was laid off when the lockdown started. Faced with uncertainty about the future and with no income for the last few months, the family began to ration what little they had. They agreed to just one meal a day so that their supplies might last longer. Mukesh was very concerned about his elderly mother surviving this ordeal. “This is a lifesaver. I have been so worried about my mother and keeping her alive. Thank you so much Alpha partners!”

Through your support, you are making a way and saving lives in India and South Asia. Thank you for being a blessing to others who are suffering in the midst of this pandemic. To give today, visit www.alphaministries.com.

And do not forget to do good

and to share with others,

for with such sacrifices

God is pleased.

Hebrews 13:16niv

Breaking the Chains of Opposition

OVERCOMING STRONG OPPOSITION IN THE LORD

Our frontline messengers across South Asia are always looking for ways to share the good news with those who have not heard. In that pursuit however, they encounter fierce opposition at times. But as Solomon wrote, there is “nothing new under the sun.” Consider the opposition Nehemiah encountered – including the daily taunting by the enemy – as he worked to rebuild the wall.

Pastor Ramesh has experienced similar struggles. Desiring to minister among the unreached Gond people groups, he moved to the heavily wooded region where they live. The people are deeply devoted to their own beliefs and idols, and are extremely superstitious. They are also bound by generations of occultic practices and rampant alcoholism.

Though it was difficult from the very beginning, Ramesh persisted, and in time a few became believers. Unfortunately, that made the opposition increase. The new believers’ families and the community aggressively resist them to force them to denounce Jesus and turn back.

As a result, Ramesh had difficulty gathering more than a few people at a time for prayer and Bible teaching and had to move to different homes for safety. Once, when pastor Ramesh was going to one such house church in a distant village with his two sons, more than 30 very intoxicated men surrounded pastor Ramesh and his boys. The men began to say vile and wicked things to them and the chaos drew more people. Thankfully, Pastor Ramesh and his children were able to slip from the midst of them to safety.

As word of Pastor Ramesh’s work in the community began to spread, more villagers turned on him. Some began spreading slander saying, “Do not join the Christians,” and “Christians don’t wear ornaments and don’t shave their head to respect the dead,” and “Christians will make you cow eaters,” and worse. The threats and rumors have caused more than 35 people to leave the fledgling fellowship who have not returned. Even though they saw the miracles that God did in their midst, they were not able to stand firm through persecution.

Ramesh was not deterred and eventually acquired a small piece of land on which he built a mud structure for himself and his family. Very soon, worship began to take place with a few people gathered at a time. Some who have become followers of Jesus gathered there for prayer, and some of the most faithful intercede day and night for their kin to be saved.

Since the atmosphere in the village is filled with violence and suspicion, Ramesh felt strongly that a safe structure was needed so the people could gather for worship. He reached out to us with this need and in a short time, God had used faithful partners like you to meet the need!

The growing number of new believers there feel tremendously blessed to be able to meet in a safe building now, no longer needing to go from village to village and meet in different homes. It has a become a testimony among people about the miracle of what God provided.

Though the atmosphere had become filled with hate against Christians, Ramesh shared, “The witchcraft workers and other occultists who despise us and threaten us to not continue in our faith are now quiet having seen the amazing provision of God. Thank you for helping create a place where many can meet, pray, train and worship without fear.”

Several hundred miles away lies Ambaji, named after the mother goddess, “Amba,” and revered as her place of residence. It is one of the chief pilgrimage sites in the entire state of Gujarat. Every full moon, thousands line up in the small town to climb the hill where the deity resides. Millions of dollars in currency, gold and silver is offered to this deity each year. It is also the town where the Lord sent our Pastor Vinod to share the gospel.

At first the people he ministered to were opposed to him. Their livelihood depended on the “Amba maata” – the mother goddess. But the people began to see the power of God at work as many who were sick and bound by Satan were set free.

Pastor Vinod purchased some land just a couple of miles from the famous temple to build a home and a place of worship. Vinod has faced oppression from tantrics and occultists who are eager to cast a spell on him, but he has no fear because he knows he is authorized by the Name that’s above all names. Though he receives frequent death threats from the zealots of Amba, Vinod is steadfast because of the faithful who testify of how the Lord healed and blessed them. He is convinced that in spite of opposition he will set up a worship place for Jesus in the same land where the demonic forces have prevailed for so long.

We praise and thank God for the work that has progressed there, breaking ground on the first church building in the region, thanks to faithful partners like you. It is amazing that even in a place where a deity supposedly dwells, where witchcraft and demonic powers abound, and where opposition to the gospel is intense—many people are coming to faith in Christ. Pastor Vinod shared, “Now we are looking at the completion of the place of worship despite all the threats and opposition and for that we are grateful. Please pray that the word of God will spread rapidly and more and more territory will be claimed for the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

My friend, if you feel hindered and chained by heavy opposition to something God has called you to do, take heart! He has overcome! He is the chain breaker and the way maker. Stay steadfast in your faith and pray for breakthrough. Thank you for standing with us and with our frontline messengers all over South Asia. God bless you!

GRACE KIDS: Sharing the hope of a better future

Every child deserves the chance to reach his or her God-given potential. Your prayers and generosity help impoverished children do so!

Rajan comes from a very poor family in a village in South Asia. Like most of the impoverished families we minister to in the region, they barely have enough to provide a roof over their heads and food. There’s nothing left for school supplies and education beyond the basics. Thanks to caring people like you, Rajan received a sponsorship through Alpha’s Grace Kids Believer’s Care program when he was in sixth-grade. That was three years ago, and today, with the Lord’s help, Rajan has blossomed to a great young man. He says, “At Grace Kids, I have learned about Christ, and how to develop regular prayer and Bible reading habits. I am so very grateful for the sponsorship that has allowed him to receive a good education so one day, I can help my family.” The yearly provision for his educational, economical and physical needs has given him the opportunity he needed to break the chains of his past and poverty, and to have hope for a better future.

Sakina began attending Grace Kids when she was just 5-years old. She comes from another small village in South Asia, of another faith. She didn’t know anything about Christ, or things like basic hygiene. Her Grace Kids sponsorship has helped her tremendously. The teachings she receives in Believers Care homes, CBC and VBS helped her to know Christ personally and she received Him as her personal Savior and Lord. She has also learned many other things, including about hygiene and how to take care of herself. She has also received financial assistance for her school and tuition. The quality education she received prepared her to complete her first year of college this year! She is doing very well in her studies and is so very thankful to the Lord and to Alpha Ministries for nourishing her spiritually and academically.

Suman is 15-years old and lives with her uncle in a rural area of North India. She had never heard anything about Christ until she was enrolled in Grace Kids Club when she was in seventh grade. She began to grow curious as she heard stories, and the various CBC & VBS programs helped realize how badly she needed Jesus in her life. Earlier this year, she made the decision to be water baptized. She credits the Lord with helping her every day in her academic studies and in her ability to study His Word and spend time in prayer. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the assistance I received from Alpha Ministries,” Suman shares.

Did You Know?
Nearly 40,000 children are abducted every year in India, of which 11,000 remain untraced according to a report by the national Human Rights commission of India. Only 10% of human trafficking in India is International, while almost 90% is interstate. NGO’s estimate that 12,000 to 50,000 women and children are trafficked annually for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

We are grateful for the ongoing prayers and support for this work that makes such victories possible for kids all across South Asia, India and Africa!

 

Bleeding and Left to Die

Have you ever wondered if God is even aware of your plight? Have you felt alone and unable to change your circumstances?

 

With the recent pandemic that has impacted nearly every soul on earth in one way or another, many have felt alone, broken, anxious and some have even contemplated suicide. My friend, I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the present moment seems, you can call on the God who cares about you. That’s why I want to share Reshma’s story with you today, because I believe it will encourage you greatly.

 

Many of our Alpha frontline ministers serve among unreached people groups. Pastor Valvi is being used by God to establish churches in new areas where people have not heard the Good News before.

 

Though Valvi was born to a Hindu family, his grandfather had become a Christian. When Valvi was in the tenth grade at a boarding school for boys, he had to be sent home because he was very ill. During his time at home he began to read a Bible his grandfather had given him. When he read the words of James 5:14, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord,” Valvi felt hope for the first time since becoming sick.  He asked his grandfather to invite the elders. They came and prayed for him and within two days he was completely well. He accepted Jesus as his Savior and began to follow Him.

 

After graduating, Valvi enrolled in Alpha Bible College training because he felt burdened for those who had not yet heard the gospel. He chose to serve in Nasvadi, an unreached area of Gujarat, India. Valvi shared the following testimony with us:

 

While serving in an unreached village, we came to a house where a woman named Reshma lay sick. We were told that, for many years, Reshma had suffered from a menstrual disorder that would cause her to bleed continuously, sometimes for days and weeks on end. The family members were poor and had tried everything they could to find treatment for her, but nothing helped. It came to the point where they had to choose between money for treatment that wasn’t working or food for the family—so Reshma was left to suffer.

 

When we saw Reshma, she was laying on a mat on the mud floor soaked in blood, so weak she was unable to move. She had been bleeding for fifteen days at that point. An unbearable stench covered the room. The family was waiting for her to die. We were broken-hearted to see her in that condition.

 

My wife, Martha, and I felt for Reshma, and began praying for her with a great burden in our hearts. We needed money to take her to the hospital, but where was I to get so much money? The only thing I could think of was to sell my old motorbike quickly and get the money to provide for her treatment and surgery. Having convinced the family of the same, I proceeded to do so. With great difficulty we managed to carry her to the hospital where she was treated. After several days she had regained her strength and we were able to bring her back home fully recovered!

 

Reshma’s family was overjoyed. Everyone wondered why we, who were total strangers, did so much to help this woman. Wherever we went in the village, news of what had been done for Reshma became an opportunity to glorify God. We were only doing what our master commanded us, to “Go and do thou likewise.” That is what Jesus commanded the Scribe to do at the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

 

Praise God that this act of kindness worked in the hearts of the poor villagers. First Reshma’s husband, then their four daughters and three sons all gave their lives to Christ. Other relatives started showing keen interest in knowing the Lord and began coming to the prayer meetings. We praise God for the miracle of salvation!

 

The village chief and other leaders visited Reshma at home to express their displeasure. They told her it was not right to let Christians enter any house in their village. Feeling the pressure of the village leaders, we continue to conduct prayer meetings at her home, but we avoid large gatherings and for now, have put on hold our wish to build a church at this village. Persecution and opposition follows proclamation but we trust God and continue. 

 

We praise God for servant’s hearts like that of Valvi and his family. God is using them to bring light into darkness, to share the Good News where many have never heard it before. If you are struggling today, or you know someone who is, stir up your faith. Know that God is near, and is faithful to answer when you call upon His Holy Name!

 

Thank you for making it possible for Alpha Ministries to continue training leaders like Valvi to go out and gather the Harvest. Our frontline ministers continue the works of Jesus just as He promised.

 

 

 

[Names have been changed for privacy and protection]