Happy Independence Day to all Indians!
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:38-39
[Pictured – Flag raising ceremony on the roof of the Pune Center building – August 15, 2018]
72 years ago India became a nation free from British rule. It was a time of hope and optimism, one that heralded a new dawn. Christian ideals of non-violent protest were an inspiration to Mahatmas Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement.
Gandhi himself said the following: “Nonviolence is the greatest and most active force in the world. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of humanity. When we tap into the spirit of nonviolence, it becomes contagious and can topple empires”.
Today, we Indian Christians need to capture a new optimism about our country, and about our faith. More importantly, we need to integrate our faith with our love for our country. Our hopes for our country, and our hopes for a better world, are based on the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. Because of Jesus, we share in the Indian vision of a brighter future. Because of Jesus, we still have hope.
Girls Home residents join their neighbors to celebrate Indian Independence Day
India has changed much during the decades of independence. It is now the sixth largest economy of the world – secular, progressive and prosperous. We as a nation have much to be proud of this Independence Day as we remember our ancestors who gave their lives to achieve freedom.
However, as Christians, we are reminded daily that we must not put our hope in a nation or a political party, but in Jesus Christ Himself. In recent weeks we have heard from pastors in the field who are facing economic trials and increased persecution. The youth group at one of our churches was beaten up while doing an outreach in their village. Opposition to our activities is growing steadily. We must trust God, and pray for our enemies.
The India Ministry has progressively grown over the last 15 years. Our little school of ministry has grown into the Koinonia College of Theology. The Girls Home of Pune, the Koinonia Medical Clinic, and our affiliated churches are growing and strong, and this year has seen the start of the International School of Pune.
It matters what you believe, what you hope, what you do, what you invest in, and where you go. You matter. All of you who pray, who support with your donations, and who go to India – you matter.
If you are a carpenter, plumber, electrician, mason, someone good with desktop publishing, tailoring, small business enterprise, God can use your gifts. In July Dana Colbert and Matt Thompson went to India to equip the KCOT students with skilled trades. Instruction in skilled trades is not what you usually find in the curriculum of a seminary, but we at KCOT have seen God do amazing work in equipping and enhancing the student experience.
Matt Thompson teaching at the Koinonia School of Practical Trades
It matters. Volunteers like Dana and Matt are making an eternal difference by sharing their gifts and equipping the future leaders of India. Given the difficult situation in India currently, the leaders we train today not only need to be trained in the Bible, but also need a practical trade so that they can provide for their families as they bring the Gospel to a lost and heathen nation.
Please pray about how the Lord would have you get involved, and feel free to contact us with any questions. Read the letter from Matt Thompson in this issue to find out how going to India and blessing others can bring great blessings in return.
Please continue to pray for the Koinonia Medical Mission Team as they prepare to go to India in January. We host a Fundraiser Dinner in September which raises the annual support needed for the Clinic. Please keep this event in your prayers.
We are so blessed to have you on board as prayer warriors. We covet your prayers and would love to hear from you so that we can pray for you as well. Thank you for all that you to help us take the Gospel to India.
In His Service