A group from Oregon is traveling in India for three weeks. They are in the Andhra Pradesh region where we have about a dozen churches. Their itinerary includes attending church services and two dedications. In addition, they plan to help with Vacation Bible School (VBS), which is held annually among our congregations in this region.
On Sunday, October 9, they attended the morning service at the Andhra Pradesh headquarters church in Kaikavolu and sent this report afterward.
Greetings from Kaikavolu, India!
The winds of revival began before we stepped foot on Indian soil. As we reflected after the morning service, we realized the Lord was working long before we arrived. In anticipation of our visit, the Kaikavolu congregation held three days of fasting prayer services. Each day, many souls were saved, sanctified, and filled with God’s precious Holy Spirit. Raju Rayudu, the India District Superintendent, said the India churches suffered during the COVID restrictions. Many members fell away from the Lord when they were not able to meet with one another, call on their pastors for prayer, and have regular meetings. However, since the fasting prayer services, backsliders have been returning to the Lord and are hungry for more of Jesus! Brother Raju said, “It makes me very happy as a pastor to see the backsliders return.”
In preparing to attend the morning service, we were filled with anticipation. It would be a combined meeting including the saints from Kaikavolu, Pedapudi, and Durganagar. As we entered the sanctuary, the unity of the Holy Spirit washed over everyone in the room. Tears of joy and happiness flowed, and clapping resounded off the walls in response to our visit. The feelings were mutual; we were moved to be among people we had not seen since 2019.
The service opened with prayer led by Brother Raju, and this was followed by a beautiful time of congregational singing led by his wife, Suvarna. Our time spent singing praises to God was special and filled each heart. Someone was overheard saying, “The beautiful thing about the Holy Spirit is that we do not need to speak the same language to lift our hearts in praise to the Lord.”
The song service closed with prayer given by Sister Sudha and then we were honored as overseas visitors with lovely shawls and beautiful flower chains. In addition, many of the saints pressed flowers into our hands as gifts of thanksgiving.
The meeting continued with testimonies, and we heard many offerings of thanksgiving to the Lord from representatives of all three churches. From Durganagar, Brother Solomon gave the Lord thanks for a bike to ride and a place for his family to live. From Pedapudi, Brother Ram said he prayed for the group from Oregon to return and is glad they did. Sister Ruth said her husband was bitten by a snake and the Lord preserved his life. From Kaikavolu, Sister Nirmala praised the Lord for allowing her to be in church. She had been sick unto death, but the Lord healed her. Sister Krupavathi testified that God blessed her with 18,000 rupees and she was able to pay her tithes. She also asked for prayer to encourage her husband who is fasting forty days for the Lord.
The visitors were given the opportunity to share their testimonies, and each told how the Lord made a change in their hearts and lives at salvation. They also shared about times when the Lord healed, lifted burdens, and revealed Himself over the years. One thanked the saints for their prayers last year when she was scheduled for surgery. She said the Lord touched her minutes before the surgery, healing her. Another recounted how he and his wife had longed for years to have children. Then, one year after the saints in India banded together to pray, the Lord blessed them with a baby boy, and later with another. God is still on the throne!
Before the sermon, the group from Oregon sang “Amazing Grace” for the last special. Then message was given from Luke, chapter 19. The minister said Zacchaeus had a problem, and it was not that he was short or a hated tax collector, but that he was a sinner destined for Hell. However, when Jesus called to Him and he responded, that moment in time changed everything; he went from death to life. The minister said the Lord wants to change lives and is looking for people to answer His call and spread the Gospel. There was a good response to the invitation to pray, and all went to their knees, lifting hearts and voices to the Lord as they called on His name. The time of prayer was sweet and full of hungry hearts!
After a time of prayer, we celebrated the birthday of our driver’s one-year-old daughter. We ate cake and then prayed for the family asking the Lord to guide the parents and call after the child’s heart.
A closing prayer was offered by Brother Raju’s mother, Santhamma. Then everyone was invited to share in a feast. As we did so, much catching up took place and there were many happy faces. Later, we all agreed that it was a good day in the house of the Lord.
The group from Oregon is scheduled to continue in India through October 24. They are looking forward to attending a church dedication in Kapavaram on Tuesday, October 11.From the Superintendent's DESK