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Tuesday
Aug292017

Gospel of Peace - Missions Update Pt. 2

Hello Church,

As I prepare to pack and return home to the States in the next few days, I want to give you and update on my health and ministry. I also want to thank you profusely for the heaven-clad prayer covering you provided over me in the midst of intense spiritual warfare. Please be assured, the saints thank you from me.

Clearly, apart from the natural consequences of adjusting to the altitude and climate, the enemy was intimidated by the lives that were being, and were to be impacted, in Nepal and North India.

For a span of several days, my body and mind was under severe distress. The unrelenting thrusts of pain going on in my head were like sharp stiletto stabs attacking every corner of my brain. With each strike, the stabs caused my face to contort and my body to recoil. I knew intuitively that there was more behind this sickness than physical sickness alone. I was clearly being attacked from another vantage point. This was war and was a spiritual assault towards me, as a pawn against the plans and purposes of God.

In conjunction with the issues gong on in my mind, I developed a harsh, throaty cough that was painful to release. I had constant sniffles, sneezing, runny nose, body chills, clammy skin, loss of appetite, diarrhea, exhaustion, dizziness, inability to stand for more than a few minutes at a time, or the strength to sit upright for extended periods. I was also running an excessively high temperature and fever, but the only thermometer in the house was broken, so we could not get an accurate reading.

As a result, all I wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep. But even sleep was difficult to come by. Combined with the war going on in my head, one night I returned to the bathroom on eleven different  occasions, within the space of a couple of hours, to urinate. My body seem to be trying to empty itself of every drop of fluid in it. Every time I went, it seemed as if I had not gone at all. I finally, conceded to go to the hospital.

The experience is one an American would not soon forget. Privacy of information is clearly not an option or value. As Manoji was at the patient information counter explaining my condition through the round hole in the plexiglass, patients arriving after him would simply crowd around. There was no such protocol as 'next in line', because there was no line. It resembled more like a football huddle with everyone pressed up against or near the round hole anxiously waiting to control 'the hole' as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

Everyone in the immediate area overheard the situation concerning everyone else. When Manoji could not answer a question posed by the receptionist, he would simply turn to me sitting five or six feet behind the huddle and lob a question, "What is your age?" "What is your Father's name?" "What is your phone number?" And every time he turned, the rest of the team turned with him to look at me and overhear the details of my personal information.

When I got in to see the doctor, which wasn't a long wait, and after checking my vitals (heart and temperature), he prescribed three pills to combat the head and cold issues I was experiencing.

When we got back to Manoji's home, I took two doses of the medications several times as prescribed. Unfortunately, I experienced zero change in my condition. Christina informed me that it is not unusual for the medicine prescribed in the hospitals to be old, out of date, and way past their expiration. Moreover, she said, "they prescribed you nothing more than Night Time Cold and Flu medication (only in a different form and look)." She should know, she worked in the hospital.

She then went into her medicine box and pulled out several capsules of both Night Time Cold and Flu and Day Time Cold and Flu from the drug stores in America, and after taking a couple of them, I felt relief from the sniffles for a few hours.

On a more important note, please pray for Christina who has developed a heart condition, solely derived from relocating from America, to live with her husband Manoji, here in the high altitude of North India. She is a real Christian trooper and I prayed for her restoration to complete health. Please do the same. The altitude here has a real affect on the health of those not accustomed to it.

Several notes about some of the ministry performed.

1. After speaking to the students at the college, the President asked if I would consider returning to teach area pastors, spiritual leaders, students, and alumni from Eph. 4 on five-fold leadership.

2.  During Sunday service and after speaking from the book of John, titled, "When Jesus Disappoints Us", I was informed the Lord had been speaking pretty directly to the hearts and minds of some. As a result, more ministry and prayer was directed specifically to the needs in the heart of some.

3. My private devotions and chats with Manoji and Christina have been priceless. We defined issues of which they are personally contending. Once again, the Lord was in our midsts bringing clarity and insight to important life decisions, involving topics such as visions and ideas beginning to develop in their hearts.

4. Finally, I've learned a great deal about the nation, the schemes of the enemy, and his desire to keep people in darkness here. However, I've also learned our call to go into Nepal may be delayed, but not abandoned. I am personally not discouraged one iota concerning the turn of events. Lord willing, we will again be at the doorstep of Nepal poised to take the Gospel from Believers' Chapel into the country. We have determined we will not lose heart in well doing.

New friendships and contacts have been developed, my body and mind have been tested and strengthened for the rigors of Nepalian ministry, and the evil one raised his ugly head, but it only accomplished confirming that the Lord is always faithful to equip and empower to us to do the work he has specifically called us to do.

The battle rages fierce, but our God is a consuming empowering God. He has called us to take the nation of Nepal. When we have regrouped, we will storm the gates of hell again. 'Christos Reigns and is Victorious.'

Blessings,

Pastor Mel

Thursday
Aug172017

Gospel of Peace - Missions Update 

I cannot thank you enough for your prayers. I can assure you they have been effectual and fervent. Here is the most recent update:

It is 5:30 in the morning here. So far, I have preached seven different messages in two days. I will preach two more times today, at 9:30 and 11:30 am, with worship sandwiched between the two. 
 
When I arrived at the church yesterday it was nearly 9:00am; it was almost 11:00pm when I left!
After the final session last evening, Pastor Rajan set up a chair for me to pray for those who wanted prayer. Over 100 people came forward. Among those who came were the sick, paralyzed, emotional distressed, barren, lost, confused and those inflicted with evil spirits. 
 
It was incredible what the Lord began to do. I'm not sure I have ever personally witnessed, or  been involved in such a thing.
 
Some came before me one at a time, others as families – they immediately started shaking uncontrollably. With shrieks and untranslatable language, evil spirits began to come out of them. They slumped to the floor, delivered of whatever possessed them. They began to push and press forward, jockeying for position to be next in line, although there was no line - just a mass of people deep and wide.  Looking into the crowd and into their eyes, you could tell the hunger for a touch from the Lord was deep. 
 
God seemed to consistently give me words of knowledge time after time after time, for so many of them. As I was sharing what the Lord was saying through my female interpreter, they would immediately start weeping, shaking, tearing up and recognizing that the Lord was exposing their pain as well as addressing their future.  God desired to heal them, if they would only heed the corresponding words of wisdom God was also giving me for them. People that knew those being ministered to, were amazed at how accurate the Lord was “reading their mail”. They kept confirming their knowledge of their friends and families’ situations with, “Amen, Amen” and  nodding approval of what they were hearing. 
 
On several occasions I would lay my hands on some and with just a few words, or at times having said nothing, they would immediately get slain in the Spirit and slump to the floor as if they were dead. Fortunately, the area was so packed with people there were many to catch them. Some people knew what to expect, as those in front of them would step up and immediately begin to rock back and forth, unsteady on their feet. One little girl of about seven years-old stepped forward toward me and within seconds, collapsed with her eyes rolling in the back of her head - out, as if a light had been switched off.  They pulled her away and a man stepped forward. I laid my hands on him and he did the same thing. God is so good!
 
People were being delivered of almost everything imaginable. Prophetic words flowed like wine. People were being slain in the Spirit and speaking words I could not understand. Clearly, the presence of the Lord was there, healing them of many, many infirmities. A couple in their 30’s stepped up. Immediately, the Lord told me they have been trying to have a baby. When they came forward, they said nothing and neither did I, as I was listening to the Lord in my Spirit. When the Lord finished speaking to me, I simply asked them how long they have been married. “Ten years”, they said. I then plainly asked, “Is that how long you have been trying to have a baby?” Their eyes grew as big as saucers. They looked at each other and then stared at me, almost as if they were afraid to say anything. I asked again, “Is that how long you have been trying to have a baby?” Totally caught off guard, tears began to well up in both of their eyes. I said, “The Lord told me to tell you that soon she would conceive.” I prayed for them.  They walked away stumbling and totally confused, their mind totally blown away by what the Spirit did to them. I still don't know if that's what they wanted to ask for prayer for. If not, too baddddd - the Lord beat them to the punch. 
 
On the way home last night, Pastor Rajan asked me to return next year and do the entire conference.  Please pray for the Lord's will.
 
Several Pastors here have asked to be replanted under the banner of Believers’ Chapel. We shall see what the will of the Lord and the will of man is for the future. In a few hours, a father and son will drive me the seven hours back to Colombo. I have a leadership meeting with our church on Friday night. I have been asked by a Pastor I met at the conference, if I can preach at his church on Sunday, if he promises to get me back to our church on time (only a few miles away) to preach there as well. There are many, many other things I can share, but time will not allow me. Suffice it to say, the Lord is clearly in this. 
 
Please pray that I am able to continue to do what man wills, in accordance with what the Lord wills. 
 
For now, I pray blessings upon you. I can only do what I do here because of what you do there. The Lord is blessing his children in Sri Lanka because you, the church, have answered the call of His vision to be a church planting church with a five-fold focus. You are an incredible people. 

 

Love you in Christ, 

 

Pastor Mel

 

Tuesday
Jan102017

Sri Lanka Missions Trip - Update from Pastor Mel 

Please see the below ministry updates communicated by Pastor Mel regarding his current ministry in Colombo, Sri Lanka:

The Church lease has been signed for our new Believers' Chapel Colombo, Sri Lanka church plant!  There are more Church plant opportunities, but plans are not yet finalized. Pastor Mel has been doing a lot of teaching at the college. Toys donated to Believers' Chapel Cicero from a local Syracuse business, were given to children at the hospital, across the street from the Church. Children were thrilled!  Parents were helping the children pick out socks and toys.

At the church service, Pastor Mel provided the donated toys and chocolates to children who, again, were also thrilled and excited to receive the gifts. The church was so packed they ran out of chairs. Praise God! An unbeliever came in to the service and Anas led him to the Lord.  While preaching at the church, Pastor Mel anointed a couple of people.  When he looked up, there was a long line of people wanting to be anointed (almost the whole church)! 

Due to the jet lag, time change, and his internal clock being off, Pastor Mel was very worn out.  Anas re-adjusted his schedule to allow Pastor Mel a whole day to just rest.  Thankfully, he feels much better and is ready to tackle the ministry still ahead. 

There are SO many ministry opportunities.   Pastors are wanting him to preach at their church. Families are wanting him to come to their home for dinner.  The college wants him to come and teach every day. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in bringing this all to pass!  

Now that Anas has arrived back in Syracuse safely, please continue to lift Pastor Mel up in prayer, as he continues to minister to the people in our new church and community in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  Pray for God's continued protection, anointing, strength and safety.  Pray for God's Kingdom to expand, bringing more into the Lord's family.

In the mighty name of Jesus!  

Wednesday
Nov162016

HE JUST IS!

From: Pastor Mel
Date: Wednesday, November 16th, 8:40 am

 

Praise the Lord for his faithfulness as we conclude another epic day. Pastor Irwin had done his homework prior to our arrival in scouting out and finding the perfect place to establish our Sri Lanka Church and headquarters.

The place he suggested is situated in a very dense, high traffic area on a busy public bus route. It is able to comfortably seat about 75 people. It has multiple bathrooms, meeting spaces, a kitchen, a loft, and an exterior hospitality area. It is also strategically located near a hospital with no other Christian churches in the immediate area. It has plenty of available parking and only 1 1/2 miles from our current site. As soon as Anas and I walked in we instinctively knew this was the place. It was the only place we looked at. In fact, it was just advertised in the paper the day before.

If you are thinking okay; what's the catch? There must be a catch! Well, you are absolutely correct. And, the catch is an obvious one. It was the perfect place but way beyond our budget. And, the problem with looking at a place that you cannot afford is it will only cause other places to pale in comparison. In other words it will be the gem you compare every other gem to. It will be the house that you really wanted but just weren't rich enough to afford. It would be everything you want and more. But don't have the George Washington's to pay for. Therefore, I had to confess to Pastor Irwin, your 'rich' uncle isn't this rich.

I knew, committing to the buyers terms would be financially irresponsible. We loved it. We knew it was the place we were looking for. Though, it was the first and only place we looked at. But in the end, we couldn't afford it. Therefore, I inquired of Anas, "was the buyer's asking price warranted?" He confirmed it was. But just to be sure, he called his brother, an expert on just such real estate matters for further confirmation. His brother confirmed, "in that particular area and the quality of the place, the asking price was worth every bit of what the seller was asking and probably more."

None the less, I was prepared to make an offer. My "Hail Mary" pass was 25% less than the sellers original asking price. I knew it was aggressive but it was an offer we could afford. However, I made one concession, of sorts. I conceded to give two years security deposit instead of the buyers requirement of one year. I did so for two reasons. One, it would provide us additional leverage in negotiating a better rate, and two, the security and peace of mind of not having the seller pull the rug out from under us, potentially interrupting the momentum of the church at the end of the 12 month lease. Of course there is that potential 24 months later. But we have 24 instead of 12 months to ask the Father to extend the lease of grace. We also have time to engage the prayer team to pray for a continuing softening of the seller's heart.

We sent Pastor Irwin to the seller with our counter offer. I instructed him however, to tell the seller to think about it overnight as we did not want to get into a series of face to face counter offers. We made the offer we were prepared to make even before coming to Sri Lanka and if the place was not for us we simply needed to move on. After receiving our offer, the seller a bit agitated, proceeded to explain why he could not accept our offer. In a nut shell, it was just too low.

We informed the seller we understood and that Anas and I were leaving to return home to the states early Tuesday morning and if he reconsidered, to inform Pastor Irwin before then. When we got into the car to leave, I instructed Pastor Irwin not to call him for his response, but to simply wait for him to call us.

Well the buyer called! After thinking about it he accepted our counter offer. I think the Father called him. I don't think the seller picked up the phone, because he doesn't know Him. But the Father got to him anyway. We now have this beautiful church on a busy bus line, near a hospital. It seats approx 75 people with a kitchen and a lovely hospitality area...

There is so, so much more we could tell you about this. For example, we will have not one, but two, BC Sri Lanka Church plants meeting in this place, etc., etc.

God is Good and Always Faithful. We are so blessed to have a praying church, a team that relies on each other, and a Father that knows our needs, and our limitations, and always fills in the gaps. He is faithful beyond faith, and good beyond comprehension. He gives us exceedingly and abundantly more than we could expect or imagine. He doesn't just give us the minimum. Nor does he just give us the maximum. Somehow, He finds a way to give us more than even that. He blows way past our expectations and replaces them with un-dreamable dreams, unfathomable opportunities and un-uttered prayers. My mind cannot grasp the depths of his love and the wideness of His mercy. He just Is...

Blessings

Pastor Irwin, Mel, and our beloved Anas

Saturday
Nov122016

BC Sri Lanka Mission Update

Hello Church,

We have had many promising interviews with potential church planters and future leaders. One of our first meetings was with Pastor Thaya whose church Anas and I visited earlier in July 2016. Pastor Thaya was accompanied by two pastors who minister on the tea plantations in Hatton, Sri Lanka. Using public transportation, they traveled over a day's journey to meet with us in Colombo. It is here in Colombo that we are also meeting with Pastor Irwin McShane. I preached at Pastor McShane's church during our last visit and will preach there again on Sunday.   

Lord willing, it is in Colombo that we will establish our first BC Sri Lanka church plant. It is also in Colombo that we will establish our ministry headquarters from which we will branch out to the rest of Sri Lanka.

One of the two young pastors that traveled with Pastor Thaya has a membership of approximately 40 believers, the other has almost 60 members. In the midst of interviewing them it became increasingly apparent that financial and leadership support is badly needed. 

Outside of preaching the Gospel their primary focus is in the area of Care which basically involves two areas of ministry. One, providing small amounts of monies and school supplies for the village's children and two; facilitating the occasional distribution of food from national ministries such as Compassion International. 

Both of these young educated Pastors have a zeal to see the Gospel transform their communities. There is however a need to have a clearer and greater vision and purpose for their ministries as the people they are called to minister to have a diversity of needs and social issues. 

These pastors also need a more defined process for their own personal development. This process needs to include a deeper understanding and acceptance of fivefold ministry. While they are godly, hardworking minsters of the Lord, they are under resourced in the areas of vision (Proverbs 29:18) and structure (Hos 4:6). 

While meeting with these three pastors I was quickened in my spirit by the words spoken by Jesus. "The poor you will always have with you ... (Mat 26:11)." These Pastors are dealing with chronic poverty, spiritual oppression, demonic activity, and a cycle that continues to perpetuate and breed these conditions. 

To the best of their vision, ability, and resources these godly men are trying to meet their Christian responsibility to feed the poor and care for their widows. What is lacking however is a fuller understanding of their Great Commission responsibility to make disciples as well as their fivefold leadership responsibility to engage both their own and the spiritual gifts of their members. When they learn these principles and engage them, they will be better positioned to empower their communities to rise above their circumstances. 

That is not to say they are not seeing people come to the Lord, indeed they are. What they need is a greater manifestation of The Lord's purpose for themselves and their members as gifted individuals. When that begins to happen they can expect to experience a greater dominion of spiritual warfare to break the generational cycle of poverty that has taken residence in their midst. 

If we should decide to bring them under the BC covering; to go along with Care, the second and third elements of our Blueprint (Development and Planting) will also need to be incorporated.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Pastor Phanuel from India who has been accompanying Anas and I. He has been a great teammate and communicator. I enjoy listening to him share his personal testimony as to how the BC Blueprint and the Fivefold structure has helped him to build and grow BC Chennai. Moreover, I continue to be amazed at the administrative abilities displayed by my beloved brother Anas. He continues to put me in contact with just the right leaders to fulfill our vision. The schedule and itinerary he has created is both highly efficient and amazingly anointed. Yet it leaves just enough space for an unplanned meeting with a highly influential AOG leader who learned we were in town to squeeze himself in to meet with us for a few minutes. 

Please continue to pray as we endeavor to pursue the Lord's plan and purpose for both BC Sri Lanka and BC Cicero. 

Blessings,

Pastors Phanuel, Anas and Mel 

Sunday
Jul242016

Winding Down

Hello Prayer Team, Church, and Friends,

As we wind down the third and final week of ministry in Chennai I am amazed at the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. There are so many individual instances of His grace and mercy that it is nearly impossible to remember or share them all.

Heather, Karen, and I have at times been overwhelmed with the numerous requests to visit homes, to dine, speak, minister, and especially pray. Nearly as amazing, is the diversity of individuals who we had the opportunity to pray and share the love of Christ with. We prayed for barbers, doctors, tele-evangelists, school  teachers, counselors and principles, accountants, bankers and bank officials, Sri Lankan refugees, publishers and editors, speech and occupational therapists, special educators, college, high school, private and elementary school students, lab technicians, transportation workers and supervisors, knowledge processing outsourcers (KPO), trishaw drivers, civil draftsmen's, store keepers, homeless evangelists, hospital administrators, hotel workers, public relations officers, retired and active government workers, tire manufacturers, housemaids, policemen, parents, special needs children, chef's and pastors.

We have prophesied and shared Christ in barber shops, retail stores, on the street, in schools, at a wedding, four different homes, three different schools and three different churches, to children, young, old and senior citizens. We ministered through power blackouts, rain storms, and heat waves. Moreover, though we had zero opportunities or time for sightseeing, we did enjoy dinner as guests in four different homes and six different restaurants. Plus I visited Starbucks on three different occasions (as a self-proclaimed tea inspector). I'm glad to say, they passed the inspection.

Blessings to you for keeping us energized enough to fulfill the ministry of strengthening and development. Though we are spent, we feel a sense of great accomplishment. Last year on the final day prior to departing, we completed our assessment of the ministry with Pastor Phanuel and Presanna. We all acknowledged the lack of fully engaged leaders willing or currently able, to help carry the Chennai burden of ministry. This year our assessment concluded there are now several leaders, three LIFE groups, and hospitality servants and church workers engaged in carrying the vision. Last year, the Lord moved in miracles, signs, and wonders. As a result the church attracted new but undeveloped converts. This year, our primary assignment was to respond to their sincere desire to be filled with spiritual strength, discipleship, prayer, and encouragement for the work of ministry. We pray we responded to their needs as unto the Lord.

Thank you Team Cicero for your sacrificial prayer, love, and support. We clearly could not have accomplished all that occurred without you.

Love and Blessings,

Pastor Mel, Anas, Karen and Heather

Saturday
Jul162016

Sri Lankan Missions

Hello Team and Friends of Believers' Chapel

I'm currently at the Sri Lankan Airport waiting to return to Chennai India for the final week of the missions trip. Once again thank you from Anas and I for the powerful and effective intercession you offered to the Lord on our behalf. Because of you and the goodness of the Lord, our success has been far beyond what we could have hoped for or imagined. Yet I sense, as incredible as it has been, it is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The Lord has much more for us to do if we will but follow and obey. 

In every major city visited the Lord provided incredible access and favor. 

In Jaffna after we left, a connection was made with a friend of Anas' family for continued discipleship and follow up. The family has now been connected to a strong Christian. The believer has not only agreed to take them to church but also offered to do a weekly Bible Study in the new converts home. To say the least, that is an incredible turn of events.  

When we stopped for a short visit in Hatton to visit Pastor Yoganathan he insisted we return to do a pastor's conference in his church. Amazingly, he is now up to 92 church plants and his own local church is over 1,000 members. 

Prior to Pastor Yoganathan's visit we visited an AOG church high in the mountains. The road to get there was horrific. We had to travel by a three wheeler as the road cannot be traversed by car. Worse however was the condition of the church. The roof was falling in and the walls were seriously decaying. In fact, the condition of the church is so bad the members are meeting in one of their homes. Every Sunday the home is used for the service with all the furniture removed in order to have enough. To repair the church would cost about $20-25,000.The entire village has about 100 desperately poor tea pickers. In fact, I'm told it is possibly the poorest area in Sri Lanka. Immediately in front of the church by a distance of about 30 feet is a Hindu church. 

Immediately after ministering in Kandy to the students in Lanka Bible College the dean with great determination got us to commit to returning to teach again. His desire is we return next year. The Singhalese students were so receptive to the teaching on spiritual gifts that it prompted the Tamil speaking students to ask us to immediately teach it again. However, now in their language. Unfortunately, time constraints prevented us from doing so. Please pray the Lord will help us fulfill a future opportunity. 

We have already begun to look into and discuss potential sites and strategies to follow up with a Christian worship concert. Please pray the Lord would give us wisdom and direction. The potential to attract young and unchurched believers and unbelievers would be enormous. 

It is fascinating to me that the Lord has opened so quickly and with such enthusiasm new frontiers for our church. Powered by faith and your prayers, we have a bright future both at home and abroad. If we would simply seize the opportunity we can fulfill the Lord's desire to 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel...' 

Finally, In each area we ministered the Lord left an indelible mark on our new friends as well as on us. A mark of mutual love. Clearly, Anas and I could see spending an entire 2-3 weeks in Sri Lanka alone, sending in multiple teams of missionaries. Add to that, our current missions to Chennai, India and we could become the type of New Testament Church the Lord desires for Believers' Chapel. 

Thank you for holding the rope of prayer. You ensured both our safety and success. May the Lord richly bless and keep you.

Blessings,

Pastor Mel 

Wednesday
Jul132016

Expedition Update

Hello BC Team and Friends of the Ministry,

There has been a whirl wind of travel, ministry activity and praise reports over the last few days. Thus, there has been little time to sit and report. However, I know how important it is to send back reports of how your prayers are changing and impacting the spiritual landscape. 

Several days ago I ministered from the book of Joshua to over 40 Pastors in Jaffna. That evening Anas and I met with a significant worship leader and aspiring pastor from an AOG church. He asked if he could assist us in bringing a worship conference to Jaffna. He also offered to start a worship ministry for us. Sort of like a weekly worship Life Group. 

While in Jaffna, Anas, Pastor Paul Ragan (traveling with us in order to help with translation and driving directions) ministered in prayer and prophecy to some of Anas' unsaved family. 

During the course of ministering to Anas' unsaved cousin I gave a Word of Knowledge and prophecy to her speaking of how she was trying to stand with one foot each on two separate oceans. How she was trying to keep one foot in Hinduism and the other in Christianity. How God would not allow Himself to be one of her two Husbands. How she must choose this day whom she would serve. I could tell by everyone's reaction that something significant was occurring but did not immediately know what. 

After ministering I was told the words I used in English concerning her attempts to stand on two separate oceans were exactly the same words and terminology Pastor Paul had spoken to her in her Tamil language immediately before. Both of us were addressing the exact same spiritual issue and how God was having none of it. The Lord by having me speak second and without any knowledge of any Tamil words spoken to her gave her undeniable proof that God knew her spiritual condition and was powerfully calling her out. Anas who knows both Tamil and English was so blown away that he had to convince her that he had spoken none of this to me. The home filled with the powerful, sweet presence of God. 

Next, Pastor Paul spoke to her son and I spoke afterward. We both again, addressed the same issues. Him in Tamil and of course me in English. Her young teenage son was trying to please his ancestors and family. He was feeling the pressure to honor and conform to his Hindu roots. However, God was calling him to come apart and serve Him. Be a David, even a worship leader in order to lead his family in the ways of the Lord. 

Yesterday, while in Vavuniya I ministered on prayer to over 30 women prayer leaders from the book of James. Again, I the shared the vision. A pastor with his own church and five other churches under his leadership asked how he could become part our ministry and a women pastor with a church inquired as well. 

Last night, while back in Colombo, I met for a second time with Pastor McShane whose church I ministered to on the previous Sunday. He gave a glowing report from his church concerning our time of ministry. His desire is we come back and do workshops, bringing ministry and discipleship teams in order to help him build his church. His spirit has so connected with ours that it is beyond promising. When I spoke at his church there was standing room only, every nearly chair occupied. Members standing in the doorway. 

In each ministry time, our purpose for coming to Sri Lanka and the five fold vision was cast. Anas has been such a significant servant during this expedition collecting the numerous names, taking pictures, securing contact information and translating for me. He has accumulated a valuable file of those wanting to hear more, partner with us, and requesting we return to help them build their ministry based on the five fold model. Blind eyes to this model have been opened and the light has drawn them to Christ even closer for knowledge and importation.

Finally, I am in the process of packing to once again leave Colombo and visit Kandy over two hours away. The ministry in Kandy involves speaking to the students at the Lanka Bible college. We are being asked to conduct a seminar. Whew, I'm not sure how much we have left in the tank. Please continue to pray. Afterward we will visit an old friend to the Chapel, Pastor Yoganathan. 

Then I will return to Colombo and hop a plane to return to Chennai, with my dear friend and   loved partner Anas, returning home. Please continue to pray for him and ask the Lord to richly bless him. He has been such a servant to me that I cannot truly express how much he has helped me during this expedition. I could not have done even a small fraction of the ministry provided without him. 

Blessings,

Pastor Mel

Sunday
Jul102016

Thank you

Hello to all the Saints in BC Cicero and Campus Churches:

Please personally thank the team and all the saints for me for their covering and support of the Chennai/Sri Lankan expedition. We feel confident and secure that we can pursue God's agenda under the covering you have asked God to erect over us. Though we have in many forms been attacked we know no weapon formed against us will ultimately prosper. The battle has been fierce at times but the Lord has still provided many victories. 

We were supposed to connect with 6-8 significant leaders in the country. However, just this morning we have been asked and are currently on our way to a Pastor's conference where I've been asked to share the BC vision with about 60 Pastors. After casting the vision those interested will be given an opportunity to speak to me. This testimony comes on the heals of being asked to minster the vision at a church service in Colombo, Sri Lanka yesterday. 

Without any advance notice the Pastor in the midst of his message announced he would like the Pastor from America to share a word and "give the vision" of his church. In attendance was about 45-50 people meeting in a rented home. The vision and message was cast and received with great enthusiasm. When we return from the interior of Sri Lanka Anas and I will meet privately with the Pastor. Though I have no agenda or expectations for this meeting except what the Lord would desire, I know He always has as a way of providing knowledge of His will.

Surely the Lord is faithful and just to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or ever imagine. If you continue to lift us up in prayer we will continue to do the work of the Lord on your behalf. The team sends its blessings and many expressions of love.

 

Pastor Mel

Thursday
Jul072016

Answered Prayers

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We here in Chennai cannot thank you enough for your prayers. I am happy to report that brother Anas has completely recovered from sickness and distress and so has all of his luggage. God is good and hears the fervent prayers of His righteous saints. He tracked Anas' luggage and delivered it safely to us even though the airline seemed to do everything it could to keep it lost forever. Now I know what it means when the Bible says, it was once lost but now it's found.

On Tuesday we held a baptism service in an upscale section of Anna Nagar, in a simple but beautiful Anglican Church. I'll try to send pictures soon. Unfortunately, the Anglican church has dwindled down to only a half dozen members. It now rents out its space and appears to be used more by others such as BC, Chennai, than its own Anglican faith community.

We had an inspiring service as three of our young men went into the waters of baptism. Timothy (14), Harshath  (18) and Sam (22). Each of these three young fellows has a strong testimony as to how God has saved and is using them. For example, Timothy, Pastor Phanuel's son just last week while being instructed in Baptism Class was immediately overcome and baptized in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Harshath, a former Hindu is a brother in law of the family. His conversion came as a direct result of observing the faithful testimony of his older sister, Sinju. Sinju, is a vocalist and faithful believer on the Believers' Chapel worship team.

Sam, the oldest at 22 was abandoned by his father, but now finds unconditional love and acceptance in the church. In fact, he cannot seem to get enough of the fellowship and instruction he receives. His new adopted community of faith has caused him to be like a sponge that never completely fills up. He soaks up the affirmation he receives first, from the love of his Eternal Father and second, from His family of saints. Sam is a beautiful example of the Christian healing that takes place in a truly converted life. He is not only a true witness, but a humble servant and joy to be around.

Finally, I spent the afternoon at the Kids School ministering to the students with the rest of the team. The students took half of the pictures they drew off the walls and gave them to me as gifts to take home with me. When the team saw what was happening I suspect they became jealous. So the team took down the other half and gave it to them. When they ran out they began drawing new pictures to give us. I must confess we disrupted the whole curriculum that day. I'm not sure if it's wise for Presanna to ever invite us back.

Keethena of course was there. Her smile and presence is like a warm sunny day on the beach with a piña colatta.  Non alcoholic of course. She has an inner peace and serenity that is infectious. In so many different ways I cannot believe how far this little girl has come. Her smile, love and sense of peace, overshadows the images that linger in my mind of her withering in fear and pain in a dentist chair. If she is not a living testimony and miracle of the love of the Father, then I don't know what is. While I remember the scene and image vividly, I cannot imagine when I look in her beautiful eyes and she smiles at me that she has any remembrance or lingering effects of that horrible day. You just want to pick her up and kiss her brown candy apple cheeks. Praise the Lord  He is faithful to confirm His presence and will with signs and wonders and healing.

Please pray that our Father may decide in his good and glorious will to deliver that Anglican Church into our hands for the building of His Church in the Anna Nagar area.

Please pray that mine and Anas' departure and arrival tomorrow, and expedition during the week will not only go safely but have the results that demonstrate the good and perfect will of the Father for the future vision He has given BC Cicero.

Please pray that Karen and Heather will be safe while Anas and I are gone. 

The team sends their blessings and love.

Blessings

Pastor Mel 

7912 Thompson Road | Cicero, NY 13039
p: 315.699.4140 f: 315.699.1370

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