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MOMENTUM ENCOURAGING TO WORSHIP | WALK | WITNESS

April 2013 | Issue 3

Issue Focus: Servanthood


April 2013

| gmi vision

It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance and encouragement. It is the dream of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands of residents in and around Mumbai It is the dream of welcoming 10,000 members into the fellowship of our church family-loving, learning, laughing and living in harmony together. It is the dream of developing people to spiritual maturity through discipling and bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats and a Bible school for our members. It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover gifts and talents God gave them. It is the dream of sending our members on short- term mission projects and as missionaries & church workers into major cities of India, to different states within India, to our neighboring countries and ultimately to other nations of the world. It is the dream of planting daughter- churches in every local language. It is the dream of becoming “Salt and light� in the community, thereby influencing every sphere around us with the Kingdom values, namely sphere of families, education, judiciary, arts & entertainment, Media, politics, business, industry, economics, social services, etc.

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April 2013

| contents

5 cover story Principles of true servanthood by Stanley Mehta

Momentum is published in India by the Gateway Ministries family of churches, for circulation among members. Subscription free.

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Editorial Mohan Varqhese

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Jesus and servanthood Isaac Abel

Chief Editor Mohan Varghese

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Developing the heart of servanthood Niteen Dongre

Editorial Team Stanley Mehta David Selvan

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Hinderances to Servanthood and its consequences Mathew D’ Penha

Editorial Consultants Anand Mahadevan Shobha Sreekumaran

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Servanthood practiced at the workplace Steven Abraham in the community Sunitha Joseph

Design & Production Sarangan Ramaswamy

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Examples of leaders, who modeled servanthood Ron Maclean

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Mission Report on Pangi Valley Jacob Sreekumaran

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A Church plant by ROD, Chennai

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Happenings at GMI

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Crossword

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Agape Foundation

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Newsmakers

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Readers write

Published by Gateway Ministries International B 215, 2nd floor (Deck Level), Belapur Railway Station Complex Tower no. 10, CBD, Navi Mumbai400 614 Maharashtra, India Telephone: +91- 2222150654 / 22189036 Email: momentum.gmi@gmail.com

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the New International Version of the Bible. Articles featured in Momentum reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily those of Momentum or GMI family of churches - Editor

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April 2013

| editorial

In the Church worldwide, leadership is being redefined and increasingly the emphasis is on Jesus style and model.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina  has just

Stanley, different writers have made an attempt

been chosen by the 115 cardinal electors as the

to show us what it takes to be ‘a servant of all’ in

266th

Pope (Vicar) of the World’s 1.2 billion

the church, and outside, on a 24/7 basis.

Catholics. The new Pope is the first Jesuit and is

Perhaps, in the process of reading through the

known for his simplicity and humility which he

articles and stories, you will discover that a true

demonstrated to the watching world soon after

servant has nothing left to lose because his life is

his election. But the Pope will find it difficult to

not his own, has no desire to be in control, has

actually be ‘a servant of all’, because of the way

nothing to prove and is motivated only by his

the Papacy functions.

love for the Master. This type of servanthood is

In the Church worldwide, leadership is being redefined and increasingly the emphasis is on

guaranteed to bring real satisfaction and fulfillment.

Jesus style and model. For many of us the

As in our earlier issues,

image of Jesus kneeling before each of his

information about one of our NGO’s, what it

twelve disciples and washing their feet is a vivid

means to be on mission trip, interviews with

reminder of what a leader should be – “a servant

some GMI people who have excelled in the

of all”. Servanthood is much more than just the

media world, a crossword, readers views on the

occasional feet washing. It has to become a way

last issue, as well as, news and happenings in

of life, day-in and day-out, no strings attached

the GMI community of churches. Humour, as

In this issue we will be looking at this important Biblical value –‘Servanthood’. The articles and

we have included

always, is included, but you can help make it better with your contribution!

stories attempt to bring out how every facet of

We will be delighted if you could give us your

life in the kingdom has to be the outflow of an

feedback and tell us how this magazine can be

attitude of wanting to serve others. Starting with

made better and worth the read.

the article on ‘The Principles of Servanthood’ by

Mohan Varghese pastors the Grace Tabernacle Ministries and oversees their churches. He is married to Sareeta and have three sons Adarsh, Ashok and Alex, the eldest is married to Tiqvah-El and they have a daughter Mireya.

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April 2013

| cover story

“Not out of fear, not to earn the Masters acceptance or approval, but out of love and gratefulness for what the Master has done for us”

Principles of true servanthood by Stanley Mehta

Jesus introduced a revolutionary concept of Leadership, namely "servant-leadership'. This concept is contrary to the ways of this world. But these days, the people in corporate circles are discovering the power of 'servant leadership. The management institutes are now teaching this. However, what Jesus taught is way beyond the model that the world proposes. It is referred to in the Bible as "Bond Slave". The principles of servanthood are best understood by a concept called ‘Bond slave’. That word is alien to our culture but it is definitely a Biblical concept we need to understand and embrace. Hirelings: Among the different types of servants, is a category called ‘hirelings’, who could be hired for a day on daily wages. But they neither had any real interest in work, nor were they faithful in discharging their duty. Jesus referred to hirelings as unreliable people, who would run away in times of danger. They worked for money and for benefits. They put in less and wanted more. They were more concerned about their rights and privileges, rather than work and responsibility.

Bond Slave: At the other end of the spectrum are the ‘bond-slaves’. All others types of servants or slaves fell somewhere in between. In order to understand the word ‘bond-slave’, let’s refer to Exodus 21:2-6 & Deuteronomy 15:12-17. A person often became a slave, because he was either taken as a prisoner-of-war, or was caught in a crime and so was serving his sentence, or he had defaulted on clearing his debts and was made a slave along with his wife and children. Or he was extremely poor and had to sell himself as a slave. As per the Mosaic Law slaves could only be released from slavery... • After they had worked to repay the amount they were in debt, • When they had worked for the amount they had stolen, including interest, • When they had earned enough to be able to stand on their own, • On the 7th year, which was also known as the year of Jubilee, whether they finished their payment or not. But even when he could go free, the one who chose not to be released from slavery, but

continued to serve his Master, became a Bond-slave. The Bond-servant would declare that he was motivated by his love for his family and his master – he was doing this using his own free will, and not by coercion. So a true servant is motivated by Love. The Bond-servant would have to ratify this in front of the magistrates / judges, who were the legal authorities appointed by God. His intent had now to be established in presence of witnesses. So a bond-servant’s commitment was a public commitment. Not something that was done in private and remained hidden. Everyone would know that he belonged to his Master. Crucially, the bond-servant made the choice for life. Once a bondservant, always a bond-servant. He couldn’t change his mind after two months or even twenty years. This would be permanent, valid for life. So a true servant makes a lifelong commitment. As part of the process, the Bondservant would allow his ear to be pierced with an awl. (An awl is a cobbler’s tool with which he sews leather.) The piercing of the ear is 5


symbolic of a posture of ‘hearkening’ meaning ‘listening with a view to obey’. A true servant’s ear is always tuned to pick up his Master’s voice, and then to obey. The best example we have is that of Jesus, who only did what His father wanted him to do. Often he would spend the early morning time in prayer listening to the fresh command of his father. Some of us may be weak in hearing God. In Isaiah 50:4,5 it says ‘The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.’ ‘Opened my ears’ refers to the removal of wax that impairs hearing. What wax prevents us from hearing the voice of our master? TV wax, music wax, busyness wax, news wax, newspaper wax, sleep wax, Facebook and Twitter wax? Others of us might be good at hearing but not obeying. We fill our lives listening to podcasts by the greatest preachers, we know what God has called us to do, we know what the Bible says we should do and yet we are unwilling to obey. Jesus said his followers should be ‘doers of the Word’, not just

hearers of the word. A bondservant listens and obeys. When the bond-servant’s ear was pierced, it was customary to put a name tag on his ear, declaring that he had now become a ‘property of Mr. so-and-so’. He had given up his rights. A true servant is willing to give up his ‘rights’ and is now only concerned about his ‘responsibilities’. Again Jesus embodied this characteristic, when he gave his life on the cross and he was pierced on his head, hands and feet and even on his side. In Philippians it is said that “who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a bond-servant…”

And at the end, the words a true servant would love to hear from His Master and Lord would be “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with few things; I will put you in charge of many things, come and share your master’s happiness.” Ultimately, the challenge is to be faithful bond-servants. Not out of fear, not to earn the Masters acceptance or approval, but out of love and gratefulness for what the Master has done for us. In being faithful bond-servants, our reward is to share in our Master’s happiness, and truly there is no greater reward.

Jesus’ disciples embraced this virtue when in the very first verse of their epistles in the New Testament they introduced themselves as “bond-servant” of the Lord. The bond-servant chose to become a bond-servant because he had tasted the master’s rulership for a period of time and he loved it, felt safe, secure and had total trust. He knew that His master had a good benevolent attitude and would take care of him better than he would be able to take care of himself. He didn’t yearn to be ‘free’ because in serving his master he had all the freedom he truly needed.

About the author: Stanley Mehta is the overseer of Gateway Ministries international. He loves training and conducting seminars on family, parenting and finance. He is married to Esme, and they have 2 daughters who are married and a son who is 21 years old and they also have one grandson.

Caring Service and Its Impact A room-service waiter at a Marriott hotel learned that the sister of a guest had just died. The waiter, named Charles, bought a sympathy card, had hotel staff members sign it, and gave it to the distraught guest with a piece of hot apple pie.  "Mr. Marriott," the guest later wrote to the president of Marriott Hotels, "I'll never meet you. And I don't need to meet you. Because I met Charles. I know what you stand for. ... I want to assure you that as long as I live, I will stay at your hotels. And I will tell my friends to stay at your hotels."

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April 2013

| column

Jesus and servanthood by Isaac Abel

In my childhood during the night I used to gaze in awe at the visible heavenly bodies in the sky. I marvelled at the vastness of the universe and had no difficulty believing that God created them all. But what really bewildered me was the thought that such a great God who created the heavens and the earth should take birth on planet earth, in such a lowly state, as in a manger and to go through a horrible death on a cross, all for the sake of man that is so tiny and insignificant. Just a word was all that was needed, I thought, to restore man’s relationship with God. Instead, Jesus made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant to restore our relationship with God. Jesus Made Himself Nothing: Servant hood is stepping out of our secure position or status to identify with those who are lowly to meet their real need. In one of the episodes of the TV show “Under Cover Boss,” the CEO of one of the biggest Ferry Companies in Britain was worried about his 1 billion pounds investment that had failed. To find out whether the reputation

of the Company had gone down due to sloppy service, the CEO went undercover in his own Company. The Swedish business leader had to take the identity of an unemployed Norwegian Hotel Manager trying to get back into employment. As a new recruit he had to do the ordinary jobs given to him like cleaning the floor, washing dishes, cutting vegetables, serving food etc. He worked in the restaurant, customer care and in every other department as an ordinary worker. Returning on completion of his under-cover mission, the CEO made policies that addressed those real problems. Result: The service showed remarkable change, employees performed better and profits rose. This happened because their boss chose to take the role of a servant with a view to rescue the Company and bring it to the top again. This is servanthood. The greatest example of all servanthood is Jesus, the Messiah, coming down to seek the lost. “Christ Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but

made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.”1 Leaving his heavenly glory Jesus made himself nothing. Apostle Paul says “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”2 Jesus never sought any honour from men. After the miraculous feeding of 5000, people intended to make Jesus King by force. But, he withdrew from there3. The same nature of servanthood continued with the apostles. In Lystra Paul healed a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth. By seeing this miracle the crowd brought bulls and wreaths to offer sacrifice to Barnabas and Paul shouting, “The gods have come down to us in human form”. Barnabas and Paul tore their clothes ran into the crowd shouting, “we too are only men ….bringing you good news.4.” The next scene shows Paul being stoned and dragged. The faithful 7


servant makes himself nothing. Humility: The nature of servanthood, first of all, is humility. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciple’s feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him5. When Peter resisted Jesus said, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me”. By washing disciples’ feet Jesus demonstrated the essence of servanthood is to do the most humble act. In so doing, there is no self-seeking, no attempt to control any one, no

demand, no rights and privileges, but only giving and serving in Love. Mother Theresa could pick up the stinking, destitute, dying on the street, clean him up and care for him, because what she did to him was done for Jesus. Obedience: Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.”1 We can start serving enthusiastically. But, when we are discouraged or face certain obstacles we tend to give up. Jesus taught, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”6. Yet, Jesus faced a point of giving up his mission at Gethsemane just before his arrest; he prayed “My Father, if it is

possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”7

Issac Abel is an Elder in BBC & GMI and is overseeing the Churches under Lighthouse Ministries in Navi Mumbai. He is married to Rebecca and have two sons Jacob and Jeremy.

Finished & Complete ( Colossians 2.10) There's a story about a man named Samsundar Bal Govind who won first place in an international linguistics competition with his response to following challenge: "No English dictionary can adequately explain the difference between 'complete' and 'finished.' How would you explain the difference?" This was Mr. Bal Govind's response: When a man marries the right woman, he is complete. When he marries the wrong woman, he is finished. As the story goes, his answer earned him a five minute standing ovation, he was rewarded a trip around the world, and he was invited to dine with the Queen of England. No doubt the judges themselves were married, and knew firsthand just how accurate is this definition. From a theological perspective, there's also a difference between the two words. When Jesus cried out on the cross, "It is finished!" he was saying, in effect, "The power of sin is done away with. It is paid in full. It is gone forever. It cannot hurt you anymore." And when Paul said, "Ye are complete in him," he was saying that the Jesus you received at salvation is all you need for your life in God. You have complete forgiveness in him. Your hope is complete. Your future is complete. Your purpose is complete. In him you have everything and lack nothing. With Jesus, you're complete and sin is finished. Without him, we're all finished.

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April 2013

| column

Developing the heart of servanthood by Niteen Dongre

Heart to SERVE 1 Kings 19:15-16 The LORD said to him, "Go…. anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 2 Kings 3:11” … Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah." In the year 1985, I came to Bombay Baptist Church for the first time. My command over English was poor and therefore, was afraid to talk to anyone. During this time there was only one person, who occasionally would talk to me. He seemed to be younger than me. One Sunday morning, after service, during pack up, he called out to me, and said “Go up to the manse, and put these keys on the keyboard”. I looked at him in shock, and asked “Me”? He responded, “Yes, you.” My ego was hurt, I wanted to retort. I was upset that this young person dared to order me to do a menial job. However, I did what he asked me to do and returned, feeling hurt, angry, offended and decided that I would henceforth, stay away from this person. I had a wrong attitude and did not display a servant attitude.

“Servant” word comes from Greek word ‘ doulos’ which means bond slave, sometimes it means ‘diakonos’ which means deacon or minister. Both the words are synonymous. They speak about a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master’s purchased property. He was bought to serve his master’s needs, to be at his beck and call every moment. The slave’s sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, living in a slave relationship with Jesus our Savior. [1 Cor. 6:19-20] In the Bible there is the story of a prophet named Elijah, and his deputy Elisha. Both of them are well known for the great miracles and the prophecies they gave. Here are a few lessons from their lives. God said to Elijah "Go …, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.” He obeyed God and went to meet Elisha. Elisha took action and became his attendant [Servant]. [1 Kings 19: 15-21] The heart responses of Elisha show the attitudes of a good servant. The story tells us that Elisha was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. [1Kings19:19].

The most important attitude of a servant is that he understands and knows the dignity of work. There is NO work that is either too small or too big for him. He was the owner of the field, but he was willing to work like oxen and plough his field. The attitude of a servant is to do any work given to him. In our church, those who desired to become leaders were asked to wipe the chairs, handle overhead projectors, and be available as volunteers to help whenever there were weddings in the church. They were the first to come and often the last to leave. All those people who started their journey with a servant heart, are today pastors, teachers, administrators and elders. Heart to serve NOW: Elisha burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people and immediately followed Elijah. [1Kings: 19:21] Many people want to serve, but only at their convenience. They have excuses, like, I am busy; this is my day off, or I am very tired. People who give excuses cannot carry a servant heart. The heart that is ready NOW can serve. True servants will be available for the Master at all times.

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Heart to serve without EXPECTATIONS :

should serve him. He does not want to be called a servant,

“.. anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet” [ 1 Kings 19:16 ]

[1] Growing by taking decision to become servant:

In years gone by, when you got through a job interview you were told that the first six months was a probation period. Your skills and progress was evaluated during this period. You had to prove yourself and only then was a salary fixed. But today, the last question at the interview is about the salary expectation. So the servant serves for the salary and as and when he gets a better offer in any other company, he will leave. God had asked Elijah to meet Elisha, who was going to be his successor. God told Elijah to “anoint Elisha” [v16 ] Elisha did not know anything about this, he had to leave everything, expect nothing and follow Elijah.

This is the most difficult stage of any person. One can become good servant ONLY by subduing ones ego, pride, desire for titles and status. Elisha gave up everything and followed Elijah.

Start doing the work for which we don’t really have any desire to do. [2] Growing by giving preference to others Elisha served Elijah from the time he was chosen, to the time he left the earth. A true servant needs commitment to serve. He did not expect others to serve him, but he served Elijah by giving him honor and preference.

When Jesus washed his disciples’ feet He became a role model for us. Even on the cross he told John to look after his mother. Today He is interceding for us and thereby, serving us. Elisha served Elijah till his ascension, and the result was that he received a double portion of anointing. His ministry was more powerful then the ministry of Elijah. The disciples of Jesus and the servants of the Lord have performed miracles which even Jesus did not perform. It is through servanthood that we will be given more authority and power to serve God and the people in this world.

Let us start imitating Jesus by serving one another as this is a vital key to growth in the Kingdom of God.

Let others be first. [3] Growing by responding NOW:

Heart to follow his MASTER: “…and became his attendant” [1 Kings 19:21] Elisha was not told about his future, his privileges, his probation period, his career opportunities, his promotions, or his increment. He was chosen by God to serve Elijah. God knew his heart and that is why he chose him to be the future prophet. Though God had chosen him, he had to have faith in God to serve his master.  Keys for growing as a True servant: None of us are born with the heart of servanthood. We have to develop it. The basic desire of any human being is that, someone

True servant does not give excuses; he has solution for his problems. His heart gives priority to the responsibilities given to him. God is not pleased with the one who gives excuses. The story in Luke 14 is about the people giving excuses for not being able to attend the King’s banquet; God does not like servants making excuses.

STOP giving excuses. [4] Growing by imitating Jesus. Matt 20:26-28 “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

About the author: Niteen Dongre is one of the Elders of GMI and BBC and oversees 3 Marathi Churches in Sangli District. He writes songs and also translates books into Marathi.

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April 2013

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Hinderances to servanthood and its consequences by Mathew D’ Penha

The true definition of servanthood is voluntarily and joyfully giving up your rights in the service of another or others. But there are numerous hindrances and consequences to servanthood.

The big one being pride. A proud servant can never serve wholeheartedly; it will always be service with a hook. Only a humble servant can serve without any ulterior motive. When a servant does something, it is always for the good of his master, never for his own good. In order to be a true servant, you have to truly put the interests of everyone else ahead of your own. A servant, who says that humility is easy for them, is proud. And if you think you are humble, there’s always the temptation to be proud of your humility! Being humble in servanthood means not worrying about who gets the credit for something you’ve done. The key to winning the victory over pride is to understand this and to willingly abandon the desire for self glory.

The second key point is unselfishness.

The World’s mindset is: “What can someone do for me?” The servant’s mindset is: “What can I do for others?” Servanthood is never self-seeking. Servanthood is not worrying about what others think of you. It’s not about having or focusing on an image. Servanthood is about having genuine love and interest in others. A true servant is not concerned about rank, privileges, titles, and benefits. On the contrary his driving passion is to be available to meet the needs of others. The desire for status or recognition or to manipulate others through favours is a big barrier to servanthood. This kind of selfseeking behaviour leads to jealousy, envy, disunity and causes divisions in churches and organisations. This kind of servant will always serve with the expectation of personal gain.

Third big hindrance is when a servant does not give up his own rights.

Servants need to voluntarily and joyfully give up their own legitimate rights to effectively serve others. Mother Teresa said: "I belong to Jesus. He must have the right to use me without consulting me." There is a difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant. When we choose to serve, we are still in charge. We decide whom we will serve and when we will serve. When we choose to be a servant, we surrender the right to decide when we will serve. We become available and vulnerable. Oswald Chambers said : "It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by God means being a door-mat under other people's feet." He also said: "Obstinacy and selfwill will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit... Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we vex and grieve His Spirit."

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Mark 9:35 ..."If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." The essence of a true servant is that you choose to be a servant. And choosing to be a Servant necessarily means to choose to die to the flesh. A person dead in the flesh cannot feel. So even if someone walks over him he won’t feel it. A servant who does not give up his rights causes unnecessary friction with his master

Unfaithfulness and untrustworthiness are also hindrances to servanthood. A true servant is faithful, trustworthy and dependable. They know that they have a job to do, and the master can always count on the job being done regardless of him being present or absent. The best example of an unfaithful servant is in the parable in Luke 12:32-48 Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had

known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken into. Jesus’ comments about the thief point out that His disciples must be ready because the Son of Man will come unexpectedly. The unfaithful and unwise servant makes two mistakes. First, he says, “I’ll do whatever I want while my master is away,” forgetting that the day of judgment must come. Human beings have a habit of having two different attitudes toward God. Sometimes, we remember that God is present, and at others, we may not think of Him at all. Second, he says, “I have plenty of time to put things right before the master comes.” Nothing may be more harmful than to assume we have more time. Jesus said “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. - John 9:4

Disloyalty in servanthood is a huge disadvantage. The master can only trust a servant who is loyal. He feels secure and assured that his trust placed in his servant will not be betrayed. A loyal servant is ready, if need be, to lay down his life for his master. The master is able to carry out his business with no fear what so ever.

About the Author: Mathew De Penha had been working as an architect for 29 years when, in 1998, he sensed that God was calling him to give it all up and devote himself to a fulltime ministry. Since then, Mathew and his wife Maria have been pastoring a Gateway Ministries International church in Bandra, Mumbai. They have two children, Bruce and Adele. 

The Recruit In 1878, when the Salvation Army was really beginning to make its mark, men and women from all over the world began to enlist. A man who had once dreamed of becoming a bishop in another denomination crossed the Atlantic from America to England to enlist in the Salvation Army instead. His name was Samuel Brengle. Brengle left a fine pastorate to join William Booth's Army. At first General Booth accepted his services reluctantly and grudgingly. Booth said to Brengle, "You've been your own boss too long." So in order to instill humility in Brengle, he made him work by cleaning the boots of other trainees. Discouraged, Brengle said to himself, "Have I followed my own fancy across the Atlantic in order to black boots?" Then, as in a vision, he saw Jesus bending over the feet of rough, uneducated fishermen. "Lord," he whispered, "you washed their feet; I will black their shoes." Samuel Brengle went on to establish the Salvation Army in America. At the time of his death, the Salvation Army was thriving in both the United States and in Canada. Just before his death Brengle sent out a short memo to all of his top leaders. This memo had one single word written on it: "Others."

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April 2013

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Servanthood practiced (at the work place) by Steven Abraham

Is servanthood relevant for Christians in today’s competitive and demanding workplace? Or is it merely a noble concept, best suited for sermons or discussions in cell groups? Servanthood is a foundational Christian attribute. The marketplace would simply interpret it as service. Customer Service in business for instance, has been around for a long time. A Google search would generate more than a billion hits. Its significance comes from the need for a business to enhance its profits by caring for its customers. Servant leadership is another concept gaining popularity with business leaders looking for new ideas in management. The thinking being that a company exists primarily to serve the people that allow it to exist. What does ‘Servanthood in the Workplace’ mean for a Christian? The New Testament uses two words to describe a servant with reference to discipleship ’diakonos’, meaning ‘attendant’,

and doulos’, meaning ‘slave’ or ‘bond-servant’. We see both references coming together in Mat 20:27-28. Jesus became a ‘doulos’ servant (Phil 2:5-7); Peter, Paul and James all identify themselves as ‘doulos’ servants of Jesus Christ. For a Christian, Servant hood is first ‘Identity’ then ‘Activity’. It is about taking on the same attitude as Jesus (identity) and reflecting him to our colleagues (activity) in the workplace. For new workplace Christians, the initial years can be challenging. Your colleagues may be competitive and often strive to succeed at all costs. All desire to earn favor with the manager and some really want that first promotion, for some, even through one-upmanship. As a Christian, you can counter the spirit of unhealthy competition and divisiveness through servant hood. One of the ways I learnt to demonstrate servant hood in this environment was to act in the opposite spirit. This could be to genuinely commend a co-worker’s contribution in public, help them

succeed on an important project, be aware of their personal needs so you can find ways to bless and pray for them. For professionals, knowledge is power. What ‘you know’ lends competitive advantage in the corporate world. As a new Christian professional in the marketplace, God had to really mould me to willingly share my expertise with a fellow colleague and help them succeed. For managers, servant hood is about nurturing and developing people to grow as people and professionals. Ken Blanchard, renowned leadership guru and practising Christian in his book, ‘The Servant Leader’ teaches how to apply the Situational Leadership model to manage people in the workplace. It’s about knowing their needs, and being willing to adapt oneself to meet those needs. The servant leader offers direction, coaches, supports, and delegates to help his team member grow and succeed.

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Giving recognition and credit where due is also servant hood in action. As a Christian who desires to practice servanthood in the market place, one may have to be ready to sometimes face disappointment, discouragement and loneliness. At such times, as in the case of David in 1 Sam 30:6 and Daniel in Daniel 10:19, we need to find strength in the Lord and through His Body, the Church. Let me conclude with this

paraphrased quote from Mother Teresa – “People may be unreasonable, illogical and selfcentered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. People really need help but may attack you if you help them. Help people anyway.”

About the author: Steven Abraham is Head of Leadership Development at JPMorgan. He is part of GMI Andheri and is passionate about helping people develop and grow as leaders. Steven is married to Shinnie and they have two daughters, Sheena and Sara.

Quotes to ponder Christianity can be condensed into four words: Admit, Submit, Commit and Transmit. | Samuel Wilberforce The real test of a saint is not one's willingness to preach the gospel, but one's willingness to do something like washing the disciples' feet - that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God.  | Oswald Chambers

Church Signs 1)

Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!

2)

Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin-Robbins.

3)

Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!

4)

An ad for a Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and a headline that reads, "For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets.

5)

When the restaurant next to the Church put out a big sign that said, "Open Sundays," the church reciprocated with its own message: "We are open on Sundays, too."

6)

Have trouble sleeping? We have sermons -- come hear one!

7)

Come in and pray today. Beat the Christmas rush!

8)

Sign broken. Message inside this Sunday.

9)

Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world.

10) If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns.

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April 2013

| column

Servanthood practiced (in the community) by Sunitha Joseph

Servanthood in the urban era: Fast forward to 2030.What will the world look like? Two vivid pictures have been projected by the UN. By 2030, it is expected that 60% of the world population will live in urban areas. Estimated 180,000 people are added to the urban population each day. By 2050 half of the world’s population will live in urban slums without adequate shelter and basic services. More cities, more slums. Rapid urbanization brings with it an onslaught of multiple problems but innumerable opportunities for missions. In such a scenario, what should servanthood in the community look like? What should the church be characterized by? We serve our communities best when we point them to our Master Jesus. He took on the form of a servant and came to earth to meet all our needs. He served our deepest need for intimacy with God. His death birthed the Kingdom that ushers in justice and peace into all aspects of life. We too serve our communities best when we unashamedly share the

Gospel and also bring His Kingdom in. The world needs both - holy conversations and acts of kindness. How does one practically engage with this vision to serve the community? When Joe and I were young people in Chembur church, we were constantly envisioned to imagine what our neighborhood would look like if the Kingdom of God came. After lunch on Sundays we would talk about practical ways to serve the community and share the Gospel. Our pastor, Viji would ask every couple to pray and seek God about which place in the city to settle in. Our homes were set up as mission stations. We were equipped to be missionaries on a daily basis; reaching out to the people we lived and worked with. Today’s young people need to ask the same question “What will my neighborhood look like if the Kingdom of God comes?” We need to wrestle with this question in various contexts. Today’s community hangs out on the streets, in malls and cyber space. Ray Bakke says we are to “exegete our neighborhoods”. This simply means trying to understand the communities we live in – why things function the way they do and which systems perpetuate the poverty

and injustice that occurs. We discover resources that can be tapped and networks that can be forged. We discern how God is already at work and birth new models of mission. Another missiologist Stephen Burris says “Context specific ministry is the great need in the new urban world” The Master needs servants who enter darkness yet retain His light. We need to envision and equip the next generation to reach out to their communities in creative ways. To spot the young Daniels and Josephs God is touching is critical. Within the context of rapid urbanization and increasing poverty, these servants of God can make wise policies that will steer nations through crisis. The world needs both - believers in the boardrooms and in the bastis. God is already igniting change and working on our behalf. Servants keep their eyes on the Master. As a counselor with ACT (NGO in Mumbai) our team has begun to engage with the issue of human trafficking in a small way. We have begun our journey to translate vision into action in the following ways: 15


1. We network intentionally with other NGOs that God has led us to. We provide trauma counseling to the victims while the others conduct raids to rescue those who want to leave the trade. 2. We pray together, train together, wrestle with how to make the Gospel relevant to them. 3. Stress levels and other mental health issues are on the rise in the city. We get many calls asking for counseling. To meet the increasing demand, God is leading us to people in the Church who are willing to be envisioned and trained. We mentor as we work together. Developing training material to run courses is a part of this process.

During corporate worship recently, the Holy Spirit gave me a picture of the whole church - each individual full of the Spirit of Jesus moving among the people of the world setting off "God encounters". Suddenly the verse about us doing greater things than Jesus made sense. Each believer empowered by the Holy Spirit functioning locally would become the visible face of Jesus at a global level. Picture a dynamic, palpable, living, serving community within a community. A city on a hill – that’s His dream for every community. Let’s make it ours! Source: 1) www.unhabitat.org document “Urbanization Facts and Figures”

2) Articles from “The New Urban World Journal” Edition one, Nov 2012

About the author: Sunitha Joseph is a Post Graduate in Social Work and Counselling. She presently works for an NGO named ACT as the Sr. Counsellor and is very active in the community. She is married to Joemon and is the mother of three children.

Crossword Solution (Issue 02)

16


April 2013

| column

Examples of leaders who modeled servanthood by Ron Maclean

As a young man being discipled (many decades ago now), I have a vivid memory of a senior leader (no longer with Salt & Light) rushing out of a door to give instructions at a work day. There was a hanging basket of flowers near the door and in his haste he banged his head on the low hanging flower pot. I’m sure it hurt and I felt sorry for his poor head but it was his response to that unfortunate collision that remains etched in my mind. He let loose with an expletive and then said, ‘I told them to take that pot down! I remember thinking at the time what an un-Christ-like response that was. It was someone else’s fault and someone else’s responsibility when he simply could have unhooked the flower pots himself and tucked it in the corner. Some how that simple act was beneath him. Those were the days unfortunately, when being served was considered a leader’s right and being a servant was not his responsibility. I am grateful to say, over the last 36 years I have witnessed countless examples of true servanthood in leaders. And by servanthood I mean ‘thinking more about others than yourself and putting those thoughts into action. And that can be summed up in three words: available, menial and humble.

I have had the privilege of being discipled and pastored by Barney Coombs (spiritual father and founder of the Salt & Light family of churches) for over 37 years now. We have worked together, traveled together, prayed, laughed and cried together and even slept in the same tiny bed in Czechoslovakia together. Through those years I have never ceased to be amazed at Barney’s capacity to be available for others. Whether engaging a stranger sitting next to him on an airplane or earnestly listening to someone pour out their hearts in a counseling session or answering a late night phone call of someone in need, kindly engaging a shopkeeper or playing with children, Barney always has time and emotional energy for people. He is always available to be used by the Lord and always thinking more about others than himself. Barney’s unceasing availability to the Lord and to others even when personally inconvenienced has left a legacy of love, encouragement and hope. That’s servanthood! If Barney’s servant leadership is manifest in meeting emotional, spiritual and relational needs, his wife Janette’s servant-hood has been manifest in meeting practical needs. No job is too menial for Janette. Small tasks often reveal a big heart and Janette’s heart for

giving herself away to serve the needs of others is huge. Whether preparing exceptional meals, hosting countless guests, buying thoughtful gifts, cleaning counters, floors, toilets or sinks, Janette is always ready to roll up her sleeves and work. She sounds like Francis of Assissi (a church leader in the 13th century). Apparently, when traveling anywhere on ‘apostolic’ visits, Francis always carried a broom with him to sweep out the church building he was visiting. You are in good company, Janette! That’s servanthood! Someone has defined true humility as ‘not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less’. Christ-like servanthood will manifest true humility and two examples of humble servants come to mind. One is John Micklefield. John has been on our pastoral team at Gateway Church for 24 years as a Bible teacher. John’s humility in servant-hood has been manifest in numerous ways. He is always eager and ready to pull his weight on the team. He volunteers quickly not reluctantly, he offers willingly, not hesitantly and he is cheerfully inconvenienced for the glory of God and the benefit of others. Whether it’s a preaching assignment, putting out chairs, visiting the sick or acting the part of rabbi in Bethlehem LIVE!, John is 17


eager to serve. But probably one of the more costly acts of service he does is volunteering, without being prompted, to drive people to the airport to catch early morning flights. On numerous occasions John has had to wake up at 3:30 or 4 am to drive us to the airport for the ‘red-eye express’. Never a complaint, no subtle expression of self-pity, John cheerfully arrives in the dark not thinking less of himself, but thinking of himself less.

teenagers and give her faith away praying for and discipling our four young women. In the midst of being a dutiful mother who served and enjoyed her children, she gave herself away to serve the church in hospitality, music, counseling, speaking, leading, the prophetic ministry, evangelism, discipleship, the creative arts and teaching in our school. And in the last few years, Mary has expressed that humble servant-hood by taking in strangers. We have ‘adopted’ a number of Chinese university students by inviting them into our hearts and home each week and over the holidays. Every Sunday lunch we have a crowd around our table and Mary has had to stretch the grocery budget and her heart, not thinking less of herself but thinking of herself less. That’s servant-hood!

The second example of humility in servant-hood and the closest example of servant leadership is my life for the last 33 years is my wife Mary. For over three decades Mary has lived a life of worship, summed up in one word: giving. God has richly blessed us with four beautiful daughters, each three years apart. Over the years, I have watched Mary give her sleep away to our four crying babies in the middle of the night, give her independence away playing and enjoying and caring for our toddlers and young children, give her evenings away tutoring and encouraging our

May Jesus inspire and enable us all to become models of His servanthood.

About the author: Ron MacLean has been the lead pastor of Gateway Christian Community in Winnipeg since 1980. He is a prayer warrior and has a passion both to teach people to pray and to see churches mobilized in this calling. He has been instrumental in the city of Winnipeg initiating prayer & unity amongst pastors and between churches. He also leads the Salt & Light North Ministries North American Apostolic team. Ron has travelled abroad to India, Africa, UK, and most recently, Mongolia, where God uses him to encourage the saints and to strengthen leadership. Ron is married to Mary, a gifted worship leader and song writer. They have four daughters.

Acheivements by GMI Members: GMI members are making the headlines with awards and recognition at many levels. Praise God that we are finding favour on the 7 Mountains. •

Mobis Phillipose - being appointed on the SEBI regulation board.

Ganesh Pawar, the pastor of Vashi Hindi church, works for Mazagaon Docks. He received a Certificate of commendation for outstanding service in tackling unusual issues in his department

Dolly Gavin of Thane - Global achiever award presented in Dubai on March 15

Marathon - Vikram from BBC, Akhilesh from CBD and Ranjan from Chembur

10 kms Run - Jeremy Fernand and father Max Fernand

Amalnathan of Naigaon - 5 year performance award

Mary Martin of Dubai - outstanding performance Award

Rajesh Kumar of CBD, Rajesh Mathew of Colaba-Hindi and D. Ravi of Chembur all were quoted or praised in Hindustan Times for their work in education.

Stanes School stood first overall in the Nilgiris District.

18


April 2013

| mission report

Missions - an experience par excellence by Jacob Sreekumaran

What would you think of camping in the mountains for two months in below freezing temperatures? Your guess is probably as good as mine! Seemed like an opportunity I could not pass up. That was my first response to the proposition to go for a short mission trip. The problem was when should I leave? As the days passed, I realized that I would miss Christmas at home, memorable occasions with friends and so much more. I was now, reconsidering my decision to go. What came to mind then was the story of the rich young ruler that Jesus spoke about. He genuinely wanted to go to heaven until the time when Jesus told him what it would cost him. Immediately, he began to analyze, what we call, the “return on investment”. He took into account the investment – “sell all your possessions and come, follow me”. My guess is, his calculation of the return was a little off target because he walked away from a deal of a life time! So I decided to spend a few days in prayer, after which, I was certain I had to go. Was I going to miss home? Yes. Was I going to miss a lot of fun and special occasions? Yes. However, I was convinced that God was inviting me to partner with Him in something exciting. This was

better than an internship with the best of investment banks! This was an internship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! How could I decline? The journey was adventurous, complete with everything from losing my luggage, to being frisked by a jawan, to facing subzero temperatures for the first time. For a young man who loved to travel, this was unusual. But, I do not think I ever got bored of the beauty and splendor of God’s creation! Every morning I would go out to the balcony and look out at the mountains and just stand in awe, absolute awe! One of the things about India which I’m proud of, is our undiluted, sacrificial and selfless hospitality for others. Everywhere I went, people were hospitable. My role was to teach Math to a group of 16-year-olds. Going back to a subject I loved in school was fun. The students showed great determination to make some progress in this subject that quite a few despised! There were days when even as it snowed outside, with a few feet of snow accumulated and temperatures touching -15, we would hear a

knock on the door, and find a group of kids at our door step! People took the word ‘fellowshipping’ very seriously here. We would often have people visit us and stay for hours together. It was part and parcel of the culture. In the beginning, I wasn’t very excited about this; in fact some of my bad days were when all I wanted was to see some familiar faces! The song ‘You are my hiding place’ became a reality in many ways for me! One of my struggles was sharing my vision with my students. I came to them with a plan, but it was a plan that would not work unless God stepped in. Besides, here I was, a city bred young man, with little experience of living in this harsh terrain. For starters, I was being taught the basics of living in the mountainous terrain by these young school kids. There were good days and bad ones too. It was during the bad days that I missed the various options I had in the city to cheer me up; whilst now, I had nothing but God, and the big mountains that surrounded me.

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I often remembered my dad’s favorite passage from the Bible – Psalm 121 I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from. Once I got there, the heaviness in my heart moved away. With temperatures hitting -20, flowing water was essential. If water stopped flowing in the pipes for even 5 minutes, it would freeze. Oxygen levels were low and you often feel felt drained and exhausted. In conditions such as these, I was watched two amazing couples, who have made Killar, Pangi valley their home. They continued to press on as though they had found a treasure in this land. There were days when after a long day of meeting people and working on the language, they come home to frozen water pipes that need to be heated just so they can have running water to clean a kitchen sink filled with tea cups that need to be washed in water as cold as -10. What keeps them going? I believe the answer to that question can be found in the famed chapter of faith. Moses kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. -Hebrews 11:27b Our worlds can fall apart, our lives brought to nought, that’s what we

often see around us. However, if we can shift our focus on to what we cannot see, to ‘the one who is invisible’, I guarantee you that nothing will be too hard for us! The two months that I spent at Killar will be a period of time that I will cherish for years to come. The passion that people in missions have for the lost is incredible; it made me consider how preoccupied I am, in the comfort zone of a metropolitan city! There is something about going away from the routine. Taking our minds off everything that we consider important, and just spending time with the Father. This activity has added more value to my life than anything else during this mission trip. ` There have been times when I had nowhere else to go but to God, and I was always refreshed! I began learning not to be swayed by situations but to keep focusing on Rock of Ages! God was teaching me to lean on Him, ALWAYS! Whether the sun was shining or a storm was raging. When peace like a river attendeth my way When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well; it is well with my soul. Many times, we want respond to the whisper voice of God, and to do something for Him, something that blesses another. We are, however, stopped short by our fears of missing out on other opportunities that life has to offer. Eventually, we end up like the rich young ruler and walk away from the deal of a life time. The modern day riches is not always money, it is our friends, the love for our city, our comfort, ‘being connected’ and so much more. The challenge is in taking that step of faith and following Him! I am still a novice at that; but, after an internship with the King of Kings, I can say that there are no regrets whatsoever.

About the author: Jacob Sreekumaran is a student, who lives in Mumbai and is part of the Bombay Baptist Church in Colaba.

Everybody wants to be somebody Everybody wants to be somebody. Since the dawn of history, human beings have been trying to move up the scale of importance. The clincher used by the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve was "when you eat of , your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:5). Henri Nouwen says that ever since then, we have been tempted to replace love with power. "The long painful history of the church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led." This is a theme running through the Bible, through human history and through our own psyche. | Kenneth L. Carder

20


April 2013

River of Destiny Ministries in Chennai planted a new church in South Chennai very close to the IT corridor near Palikarani / Velachery.

| church plant

counseling - Corporate professionals - Broken relationships.

A team of six led by Herald and Juliet from ROD Egmore, did a recce in 2011 to identify the needs so that a church could be started in this locality.

In Jan 2012, the house church was inaugurated at Herald & Juliet’s home with six others from ROD. We are called River of Destiny Community Church (RODCC) Time has flown and much has happened. it’s been a good first year with great testimonies and life changing experiences. Our Theme for 2012 was “Grow in His values & Gather His flock”. Our Focus Areas - Young couples - Hostel students - Career

The theme for this year is “Work out to Work in” based on Philippians 2:12 -“Workout your Salvation…” Much like how a professional athlete or sports person works out every day to keep fit, so also we believers must allow Jesus to work in our lives through the power of Holy Spirit. One of the GMI core values “Building Relationship” is deeply rooted in our church life and this year we are focusing on identifying and developing leaders through “Discipleship”, so that we grow and expand. Every event in the last year met the personal and spiritual needs of the people here. We had One day Couples Seminar in Aug, Church

family camp in Oct , Christmas Carol Night in Dec. We have planned a Workout your Marriage series during Mar & Apr 2013 with Jacob & Rani, Family Ministries, and Scripture Union. One of the highlights of 2012 was 2 boys making a commitment to accept the Lord and then took Baptism during the Family Camp 2012. Cells at RODCC We have two cells. Arbeitsplatz is a Workplace Cell, meeting every Thursday afternoon 1330 to 1430 hrs at the home base and Beacon – Cell at Jabez & Sharon’s Home, every Wednesday evening 1930 to 2030 hrs It is our desire to let our lifestyle impact and influence the people we meet at work and in the community. We are praying that the Open Home, Life Foundations Course, Personal Worship Times, Road Trips, Cell Groups and Informal Gatherings to Celebrate Anniversaries and Birthdays will all help to extend God’s Kingdom in this place.

21


April 2013

| happenings

Akilesh after the marathon Dolly Gavin of Thane - Global achiever award presented in Dubai on 15th March

Sugat & Akanksha

David & Chrisma

Anson & Gwen

Mr Ganesh Pawar, the Pastor of Vashi Hindi Church (also works for Mazagaon Docks), received a Certificate of commendation for outstanding service in tackling unusual issues in his department.

22


April 2013

| crossword For solution to previous Crossword Puzzle, please turn to Page 16

Across

Down

2. This is the Christian's sword 5. The strength of sin is this 6. Jesus suffered outside of this 10. Eye has not seen, nor has this heard 12. Those who deny that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh 13. This produces patience 14. This chapter in Hebrews is the "Hall of Faith" 15. The head of the church 16. Epaphroditus was this 20. The only book after the epistles (Abbr.) 21. Three generations of believers in this man's family 24. God is ___________ 26. Had a church in her house 28. He warns us about the tongue 30. I am nothing without this 32. Bow the __________ 33. The crown of glory does not do this 35. God is this_____, so should his people be 36. Paul visited Timothy on his way to here 38. How many are righteous without Christ? 39. Faithful are called "brothers __ Christ" 40. The Last Supper wine made a covenant that was ______ 42. This wine is drunk from the ________ of blessing 45. Faith is more valuable than this 46. Paul's recommended greeting 47. The beloved physician 48. The apostle Paul's Israelite tribe (Abbr.) 49. The believer's hope is to share this with God 50. Titus was Paul's son in this 51. God is pleased with sacrifices that are ________

1. Epistle written to the dispersed Jews 3. The frequency with which Paul warned believers of their enemies 4. Swallowed up in victory 5. This man's deliverance from Sodom a type 6. 3 John written to ___________ 7. In charge of the church at Crete 8. This epistle cites Enoch 9. Each chapter of these epistles speaks of Christ's return to earth 11. The resurrection is described as Christ calling the sleeping dead to do this 13. Paul's secretary to the Romans 17. Paul can hear Isaiah do this 18. Onesiumus owner 19. The author of the shortest book in the Bible 22. Served in places of idol worship 23. Faith without works 25. Paul sent this man to Colosse 27. Paul's imprisonment witnessed to people here 28. One of Philippi's first converts made here 29. Work should be done to the Lord and not these 31. How many gospels are there according to Galatians 1 v 6-9? 34. A woman worshipping without her head covered may as well be this 36. Spiritual babies yearn for this 37. Patron goddess of Ephesus 38. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 41. Hebrews says don't become like this OT character 43. One of 3 great sins of the world (1 John 2 v 16) 44. Paul refers to this golden idol as a warning to believers 45. Eternal life is a _________ 46. __________ of kings 48. Paul didn't mind Christ preached even from these sort of intentions

23


April 2013

| feature

Agape Foundation, Dharmapuri by Anthony Alexander

In the summer of 2007, after prayerful preparation , my wife Chandni and I left Mumbai to obey God’s call to Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu. Upon moving to Dharmapuri, we began building friendships with local organizations and understanding areas of critical need.

This led to the establishing of a Church, Dharmapuri Community Church, and a non-governmental organization, Agape Foundation. Agape Foundation was registered in 2008, as a social Trust working in the area of community development through education, health, advocacy, communication and social mobilisation. Agape’s mission is to support and strengthen the lives of the vulnerable and downtrodden people in Dharmapuri district in

terms of sustainable health, education and economic upliftment. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the desire to bring His Kingdom in this district is the guiding light and power source of Agape Foundation and its strength is the people of Dharmapuri Community Church.

As we began to understand the critical areas of need in Dharmapuri, we started a clinic, Karunai Health Center. It was an opportunity to build relationships and meet physical needs. Karunai Health Center is today a three bedded hospital started with the vision of providing quality health care facilities and the healing power of Jesus to the poor and downtrodden people in the society. Through Karunai Health Center, we

have the opportunity to care for numerous patients daily through the OPD (out-patient department) as well as inpatient facilities. This past year,

Karunai was formally registered and declared as a TB Counseling Care Center by the District Collector of Dharmapuri– the First in India run by an NGO. We also provide medical care, health training and social awareness through regular medical camps and outreaches in and around Dharmapuri to benefit those in the villages without access to local health care. This year, we are starting an evening OPD into Thadangam village for those who are unable to travel out from the village.

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In 2008, we also established a playschool / preschool to meet the growing need for quality and undiscriminating education in this district.

Alpha International school has the vision of transforming the lives of the children in Dharmapuri district by imparting quality education with the love and knowledge of Christ. We accommodate children without discriminating between caste, creed, or economic background. Currently, around 80 students are studying in Alpha from Playschool to 5th standard and we have 8 teachers and 4 non-teaching staff. This year, we have also started a tuition center in Thadangam village, where we provide tutoring assistance for around 50 children every evening.

Agape is also involved in treating and preventing Tuberculosis (TB) in Dharmapuri district as one of the Mother NGOs of CHAI (Catholic health Association of India) for project Axshaya (Global fund Round 9 TB project) and is closely associated with RNTCP (Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme). We organize community meetings, mass awareness programs and various kinds of trainings to impart TB awareness to the community, and also provide DOTS adherence treatment for TB patients regularly, many of whom have been cured from TB. Agape Foundation is also involved with DFID (the Department for International Development) UK, who work to end human trafficking, specifically of women and girls, in South Asia. It involves local organizations throughout South Asia to work at the grassroots level to protect, prevent and end human trafficking in each of their localities. We have shared in this vision from the start, and have successfully prevented several child marriages

(one of the most common forms of trafficking in Dharmapuri). We are presently involved with the high risk communities of Dharmapuri district to identify/report and curb trafficking.

About the author: Alexander Anthony and Chandini left Mumbai to pioneer the Work of Agape Foundation at Dharmapuri, in 2007 with their two year old daughter Shekinah. During the short span of five years, Agape Foundation has developed significant and vital services for the people of Dharmapuri. These services are focused to empower the health and education levels of the weaker sections in the society. They have also planted a church there and the Kingdom of God is advancing.

Quotes Blessed is the servant who esteems himself no more highly when he is praised and exalted by people than when he is considered worthless, foolish, and to be despised; since what a man is before God, that he is and nothing more. | Francis of Assisi. Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love | Martin Luther King, Jr. It is not my aching back that prevents me from helping my neighbour any more than my choleric temperament. It's my don't-wanna-do-it attitude that does it. | Emily Carder Freely we serve, because freely we love. | John Milton

25


April 2013

| testimony

My journey in improving my “serve” by Naren Thapa

Naren is married to Sulekha and they have a daughter Charishma, aged 10. Naren pastors the Naigaon (E) Church, and also serves as Co-ordinator and House Parent of Mahima Home. Naren also serves as the board member of Sahaara Charitable Society which runs Mahima Home. Sulekha works for Oasis India, as Head of Health Care."

I originally hail from Darjeeling and as a young lad, barely 19 years of age, came to Mumbai in 1990 for a job with the Naval Dockyard. Soon thereafter, having come to know Christ as Saviour in my home town, I joined Bombay Baptist Church at Colaba. Though a born-again Christian, and already 19 years old, I was asked by Niteen, the Sunday School Superintendant to join the Sr..Class of the Sunday School. (It was a humbling experience initially!). I regularly started coming to church and Sunday School and soon enrolled in the foundation course. I spent the entire Sunday doing and learning new things. In 1991, I got water baptized. I then joined the team that was responsible every Saturday to clean the church hall including the doors, windows and chairs. Every time there was a wedding we used to wash the entire hall. I also became a part of the tea serving team. A year later, I became a Sunday School teacher and with time was made the Sunday School Superintendent. At that time, I was also actively involved in the door-todoor and street evangelism team. In 1994-95, when Esme and other women from church started the street kid’s ministry on Sunday afternoons, they invited me to join them. I was reluctant at first as I was the only man in the team. But later, when I felt God leading me to do this, I volunteered. There were 20 - 25

children at the Churchgate station, and we would give them haircuts, pay for their bath at the public washrooms, give them food, and teach them to read and write. Eventually, I started to head this work. We grew to 100 children with 10 volunteers. We also started midweek Sunday School in five different places. One of them was in Geetanagar. After starting the Geeta Nagar Sunday School,, my leaders asked me if I would be willing to relocate to Geetanagar, so that we could start a church there. I had to leave my comfortable naval dockyard accommodation to move there – a house without a wash room and I had to learn to use the wide open spaces like others in the colony. But this helped me to find acceptance with people there. Along with my friend, David Lobo from Geetanagar, we started the Geeta Nagar church in our one room house. There were 25 adults then, some of whom pastor churches in Mumbai today. Soon thereafter I joined ATC taking a break from the Dockyard job and during this time Stanley and Esme prodded me to consider starting a home for destitute children. And while I was wondering whether I should be involved in church planting or serving destitute children, God spoke to me through His Word, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and

whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” *Mark 9:37”. With this verse God also reminded me that serving in the church is not the only way to serve God. In 1998, Sulekha and I got married. I left my job with the Dockyard soon thereafter and we started the home in July 1999, with two boys Joshua and Caleb. Today Mahima Boys Home has grown to 15 boys with three full time staff. We were initially part of the Borivali church during 1999- 2001 with Max and later, we started the Naigaon church with 8 adults and 6 children. Now we have grown to 70 people. God has blessed me with many opportunities to teach and share His Word in various places in India as well as other nations. In all these years, in all I did, my only intention was to serve people and serve God but God has made it grow and put me in a position of leadership *Mark 9:35”. When just 25years old I was invited by the Board of Trustees of Sahaara in 1996, to join them as a Trustee and I am continue to be there. When we serve God, He always blesses us. This is true and my journey bears testimony to it. He alone deserves the glory for the events and accomplishments.

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April 2013

| newsmakers

Abhinav Kumar Interviewed by Rajesh Kumar

This is a true story of the discovery of ABHINAV KUMAR, the actor.. He hails from Delhi and currently worships at GMI Vashi Hindi church. His journey from the ash heap to glory is the result of his love and faith in Jesus. Here is an account of an interview with him. He debut role in the film ‘SADHU SUNDAR SINGH’ has been much appreciated. Can you give us a glimpse of your childhood day? A.K: We were a family of 5. When I was barely 14, both my parents passed away suddenly leaving me and my two siblings destitute and helpless. Being a teenager, I had no clue how to survive that very dark phase and be support for my siblings. What brought you to the dream city-MUMBAI? A.K: (Smiles) Frankly speaking, I did not want to come to this city. But, it so happened that after my parents expired, we had no other option, but to shift to Mumbai, where my aunt lived. We were young and immature and didn’t know what to do.

Please continue. A.K: Then one fine day I realized that it would do my family no good if I just sat around doing nothing, so, I started to search for a job in Mumbai. What kind of job? Did you have any ‘dream’ job as such? A.K: None really. I am just a 10th class fail. I did not pursue academics after that. Now you can imagine the kind of job I was looking for. Nothing more than a watchman’s post, was what I was looking for. Then I worked for quite some time as a salesman carrying 20 kg load every day. It didn’t matter to me whether it rained heavily or it was pitch dark or scorching heat. It was the most difficult and challenging time I ever had. Tell us how this film opportunity happened to you? A.K: It is indeed God’s doing. Jesus Christ’s love and blessings made me the lead actor in my debut film –SADHU SUNDAR SINGH. One day I met the Director of the film Mr.Sethe Kumar, as he was in the process of winding up shooting for one of his films. He just looked me

over, from head to toe. I was puzzled and I wondered what was so amusing about me. He said that he could see something in me that suited well for the role of Sadhu Sundar Singh. He invited me to his place to discuss a few things. He told me, “Can you grow your beard?” I said sure and… Sorry to interrupt, but what was your reaction to his question? A.K: I was actually surprised and amused by his statement. When he called me for a photo shoot for the role, I knew my big moment had arrived.. He took me into confidence and spoke a few magic words- “I can visualize what you can do and Jesus will help you to do this role well.” That was it and the rest is, like they say, history. Tell us about your shooting experience and how media changed your life. A.K: I must tell you that media is a very influential and powerful tool if used well. Shooting was great. We shot in Nepal and Ladakh. My family could not believe it was me, because I had no clue of what acting is all about.

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I got a very good response for my role and since then there was no turning back. I had found the meaning for my life. What do you wish to say to the youngsters reading your interview? A.K: Just one thing.. that Jesus has paved a path for all of us. Just

believe in him, Dream big and be faithful. I had no godfather in the media world, yet I am now successful. Any challenge can turn into a blessing if we hold to our convictions. I thank Jesus, my family and the media for giving me a new life. Cherish the dream, live it…once it’s gone. It’s gone forever!

So have you set your sights on Bollywood now? A.K: No. I have many projects lined up. I am playing a lead role in the sequel of Sadhu Sundar Singh. So there already are many opportunities, before Bollywood can beckon! Thank you!

Reuben Dongre A report by Rajesh Kumar

Reuben is a 23-year-old from Miraj. He took up photography as a hobby and began by posting his pictures and videos on Facebook. His friend saw his photographs and invited him to make short films with them. Since then there has been no turning back. His group won a state level award for their film “Kash” and a national level award for another film called “Damini” based on the Delhi rape victim. Here he is sharing his journey as a short film maker with

My close friend was working as a

We participated in a film making

Music Composer for a Company

competition organized by a

which produced short films. While

college, but we lost! The team

composing music, he felt that he

was heartbroken. We did not give

could also produce short films

up; we made our next film with

with the help of his friends. Hence

more enthusiasm, and also

he contacted us to produce a

overcame problems we faced

short film on social issues to bring

earlier. It was based on the

awareness to people.

'Security of women'. This film was

He asked me if I could shoot and edit. I agreed. The budget for our first film was very small. We had

conceived after hearing the news on the rape which took place in Delhi.

limited resources, minimum

The message in this film was that

technical know-how and immature

women are strong and they can

acting skills. However the

fight back. The name of the film

message was clear. People liked

was “Damini”. It received more

it. The impact was good, After

than 2500 hits on You Tube. We

watching our film

won every competition we

“Kaash” (translated as: If Only)

participated in after the first failure.

which is about spending time with children, a lady resigned from her job so she could devote more time to her children.

It gives us immense joy that we can contribute to the society by bringing awareness on social issues through making short films

us. Below URL is given to see his

The journey was tough as we

based on issues people are faced

work posted in Youtube. – Rajesh

were inexperienced and we had

with in their day to day lives.

Kumar

problems i.e. poor script, bad light and many other technical issues.

http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zYdHvydyHPM

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April 2013

| newsmakers

Niteen Dongre Interview by Rajesh Kumar

Nitin Dongre is a friend and was my first pastor. at Bombay Baptist Church. Niteen has a natural gifting in composing songs and writing poetry. He has written many poems and songs in Hindi, Marathi and English during the last 20 years. Some of his songs are being sung in GMI Churches these days. He was greatly encouraged to sharpen his skills in song and poetry writing when the “Seven Mountain Mandate” was introduced a few years ago. He took his writing seriously and has very recently printed his first book “shabd” (Words), a collection of his poems and songs in Hindi, Marathi and English. Here are excerpts of an interview with this budding poet and song writer.. Nitin Bhai, I have gone through your book “Shabd” (Words) and it is inspiring. You have touched many shades of thought. Thanks Rajesh. It is the fruit of many years of work, compiling poems and composing songs that have come as an inspiration.

Could you please share with our readers your journey as a writer? I first started writing poems in the year 1976. My sister Kunda Lucas had a friend Hema, who wrote poems. Once after I had composed a poem I showed it to my sister, who in turn showed it to Hema. She liked my poem. Both of them encouraged me to write poems and from then on my journey started. After coming to the Lord I felt that writing poem was ‘unspiritual’ and a waste of time, so I stopped writing for many years. In fact, I destroyed more than 25 poems which I had written before coming to the Lord. These poems were about loneliness, friendships etc. I had found the greatest friend in Jesus, so I stopped writing poetry. In the year 1997, Vandana and I came to Miraj. I had forgotten how to write poems or songs. However, when I went to Hyderabad to teach in John Babu’s Bible College, one morning I wrote a song “ Zhumenge Nachenge” (Let’s dance and rejoice), which is now sung in many GMI churches. I prayed “God resurrect my ability to write poems

and songs”. God answered my prayer. When did you decide to print your book of poems? The desire to print a collection of my Poems was there for many years, but I was hesitant. I was not sure how people would respond to it, and whether anyone would appreciate. The Seven Mountains Mandate gave me confidence to print. Hence this book was printed in Dec.’12 Who has inspired you to write? Strangely enough, it was my loneliness, before I came to Christ; many unanswered questions; my love for the Lord, many failures and frustrations which inspired me to write poems. There were many friends who encouraged me to write. I thank God for them. In one of my poems I have written “ Khushi ki mandi me kavita kharidi nahi ja sakti, dard ke registan me muft me mil jati hai”(translated as, You cannot buy poetry in the market selling joy; it is freely available in the desert of pain). You will realize that often the best poems are written when you are

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sad, disappointed or your heart is in pain. Your book reflects various moods. Is there any particular situation or person that has inspired you? Varying moods inspire. Often I feel that we need to have eyes which see, ears which hear and heart in which there is sympathy and empathy. How important is poetry to Christians in their Journey? Most Christian will mention either Psalms or Proverbs as their first reading preference because they are very easy to understand and identify with the situation of an individual. Poetry reveals the true heart of a worshipper. I believe we grow as worshipers as we write poems and songs. Poems and new songs composed by believers thrill the heart of the Father who is seeking for true worshippers. May their tribe increase! What are your immediate plans as far as writing is concerned?

I have written more than 230 poems and songs, soon I propose to print a second volume. Any significant thing you would like to highlight in your journey as a writer? The journey of life had been tough. If I had not acquired the habit of writing poems or songs then I may have taken my life when loneliness and pain overwhelmed me. Every human being likes to express feelings but if they do not find right avenues to express them, then all the feelings, emotions, frustrations, fears get accumulated and that can be fatal. Psychiatric patients, who are unable to share their thoughts with the right person, tend to lose their mental balance. What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Keep writing, Poets are called ‘fools’. Poets see what most other people fail to see. In the good old days, poets would pay for others to listen to their poems. Many people think that it is foolishness to play

with thoughts and the words. God created the whole universe by His ‘WORDS’. Words are powerful. The Bible says “The tongue has the power of life and death…”Prov. 18:21. Many poets gave up because they lacked encouragement .START, don’t stop. Encourage your children to write, if he or she has written two lines; rejoice as he if she is a William Wordsworth in the making. Enjoy writing!!!

About the Author: Rajesh Kumar served as full time staff and pastor with GMI till 2011. He is now pursing God’s call to serve in the sphere of Education and towards this new challenge has just complete MA in Psychology with distinction and is on the verge of completing his Bachelor in Education course”

Humor As a ship approached the coast of New England, a heavy fog set in. The ship's radar detected what appeared to be another vessel in its path, so the captain sent the following message: "Change your course 10 degrees port." Shortly they received a reply: "Change YOUR course 10 degree starboard." The captain became annoyed and said: "I am a Lt. Commander of the U.S. Navy. Change your course." This was the response: "I am a seaman 3rd class. Change your course." By now the captain was furious. His message read: "This is a battleship! Change your course." Moments later a message came across the wire that said: "This is a Lighthouse! Change Your Course!"

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April 2013

| readers write

Really loved the articles. Sent some out to the church.  They really touched the heart of the spiritual DNA my wife and I have carried all these years. Doug Kreighbaum, USA Wow! the magazine is such a great improvement over the previous issue. | V S Pramila, Vizag

Thank U for sending me 'Momentum'. It really gave me momentum. I’m receiving GMI magazine for the first time and it’s worth reading...please include me in your mailing list... | Princy Berson, Lonavala

Very good design and content as always is excellent. But your designer is good. Stick with him | Priscilla Roxburgh, UK

Thank you for sending this to me.. The quotations and jokes are simply too good. The layout is professional and reads well. | Johann Solomon, Bangalore

What a lovely publication | Mike Fisher, Chennai

This edition is really superb. It showcases the joy of being together in Christ as seen in the pictures of authors and others. Humour also is fantastic, which kind of reaffirms my personal belief that the church needs to be the most joyous place in our lives.. | Christopher Maridas, Vizag

Another good issue, Several steps ahead of the first. I liked Edison's piece especially, it was honest and straight out of his life. Keep it up, editorial team. | Ingrid Albuquerque, Bangalore

A brilliant single theme e-mag. Loved reading most of the articles. More than a "just read mag" suggested books on the same topic for in depth personal study is much appreciated.. Looking forward for the next one. | Benny Thomas, Mumbai

Great Work my brother Stanley, Great magazine. I loved the articles, the layout and just everything | John Masinde, Kenya

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April 2013

| titles worth a read

Some good titles on ”Servanthood” •

A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life – William Law, CCEL

Improving Your Serve – The art of unselfish living - Charles Swindoll,

Biblical servanthood: the lifestyle and landscape of Christian service – Nathaniel Loren Palmer

Full Service: Moving from self-serve Christianity to Total Servanthood – Siang Yang Tan

Servanthood as worship - Nathaniel Loren Palmer

He humbled himself and Biblical Servanthood (study guide) – Ken Fleming & Marilyn Burson

The power of serving others – Gary Morsch & Dean Nelson

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CONTENT

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April 2013

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