Andhra Pradesh 2005 - 2009

I began working for the Lord in Andhra Pradhesh from the year 2005.

On my first trip there, I met up with Bro. Samson, Bro. Anil, Bro. Prashanth, and Bro. Barnabas, men who, it appeared, were full of zeal for the work of the Lord. I ministered in Pastor Barnabas's church in Warangal.

I was in touch with these brothers for the next couple of years. 

In my subsequent trips to Warangal, Bro. Valerian Serrao, from Faith Assembly Bombay, (who later became my father in law) accompanied me. Bro. Vally had a heart leaning towards ministry among the less fortunate. He contributed a lot towards fulfilling the spiritual needs of the people of AP. It was Bro. Vally who arranged for the distribution of nearly 100 Telegu Bibles in the areas we were ministering in. He also gave willingly towards the ministry expenses of my trips there. A few of the people from Mumbai also arranged for clothes to be distributed among the poor in AP. 

Bro. Vally and Bro. Solomon Jacob of Israel (who was residing at the time in Amravathi, Maharashtra) also helped a Pastor in need in Warangal in the purchase of land for his church.

However over the course of time, I learned that a few brothers had fallen for money, and so I remained wary in my correspondence with them.

I have made around 18 trips to Warangal in all. I used to visit the churches there 3 to 4 times each year. I have preached among Hindus, denominational Christians, tribals, and in Naxalite areas. 

There was one time I remember in the year 2006 when the brothers arranged for a street preaching near the woods, where the people were mostly all Hindus. No one turned up at first, and the brothers were quite disappointed that their efforts had been in vain. I told them not to worry, and that we should start praising. So, there we were in the streets with a congo and some home instruments worshiping the Lord, and I praying silently, when first two listeners, then another two turned up, until the streets of that tiny forest area were filled with souls ready to hear the Word of the Lord.

I remembered these words of scripture then: "No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him;..." (John 6:44)

I preached only for around 15 to 20 minutes as it was around 10:00 pm by the time we had a substantial crowd. My text was John 3:17 - 21. 17 

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The power of God was manifested mightily through those words that day. At the end of the message, when I asked how many were ready to accept the Lord Jesus Christ, 35 out of the 60 assembled raised their hands.

Oh what a joy it was to do the Father's will!

In the year 2008, I made a trip to Andhra Pradesh with my wife, Sis. Benita.

I had been invited by Bro. Samson to minister in Warangal and the surrounding areas, and was then to proceed to Guntur with another Bro. Sadanandam and minister to the people there.

We left Coimbatore for AP in October. Bro. Samson and Bro. Prasangi were at the station to receive us.

Day 1 and 2: Our first meeting was at Pastor Moses's church in a village called Parvathgiri, around 40 kms from Warangal town.

Pastor Moses has been ministering in the village among enormous opposition from the surrounding Hindu populace. His son Ashok assists him in his work. 

Around 80 people had gathered to hear the Word. 

Pastor Samson interpreted the message in Telegu

At Parvathgiri: Bro. Samson interprets the Word in Telegu

We had two meetings in Parvathgiri.
With Pastor Moses' family
With the neighborhood children
On the way back from Parvathgiri, we took some time off to enjoy the countryside.

With tribal folk: They found the cameras amusing

From Left: Bro. Vimal, Bro. Samson, myself, Pastor Nehemiah
Examining a cotton plantation

Day 3: Our third meeting was in an isolated part of AP, a village named Odithella, at the church of Pastor Nehemiah

This brother ministers to a congregation of about 80 people, all simple labourers, but fervently serving the Lord. 

Pastor Nehemiah had to walk great distances for house visits, and to share the Word among the people there, seeing that he did not have a vehicle at the time, and the village he was residing in was inaccessible by public transport. 

We had a morning and evening service in Pastor Nehemiah's church.

With Pastor Nehemiah's family
Outside Pastor Nehemiah's church

Day 4: The next day we set off for Warangal town for an evening meeting at Bro. Prasangi's house. Bro. Prasangi, at the time, served as a postman in his area, and shared the Word to all he comes across. Today, he has committed to full time ministry.

Around 45 people attended the meeting at Bro. Prasangi's.

With Bro. Prasangi's family

Day 5: That Sunday morning, we had our last service in Bro. Samson's house. There were just a close few of us, as the meeting was arranged in the hall of his new home which was under construction at the time. Bro. Samson was engaged to be married the following year, so it was an occasion of thanksgiving for this double blessing.

With Bro. Samson's family
With Bro. Yesupadam's family
Fellow labourers
Day 6: The brothers arranged for us to visit the Warangal Fort and look back across history to the time of the Kakatiya dynasty. My wife and I both enjoy a historical romp through the ruins of past civilizations and we were thrilled at the prospect of exploring the roots of the Andhra people.

Old Warangal City Gates
Ruins of Old Warangal

Warangal Fort Judgement Hall
Old Warangal City Gate's Stone Pillars

Day 7: We left the next day for Guntoor with Bro. Sadanandam, by train, via Vijaywada. Bro. Sadanandam was pastoring a church in Guntoor, where we met Bro. Sathish who had laboured much for the establishment of the church there. Bro. Sathish serves as an evangelist in the minsitry and hails from a conservative well-to-do Naidu family. He was working as a software engineer in a reputed concern when the Lord called him to the ministry.

India is a land of diversity, but it is also a land filled with problems such as caste discrimination and income inequalities, where the rich live in comfort and accumulate more wealth, and the poor rarely manage to claim their chance at a better and more developed life. Sadhu Sundar Singh referred to the caste system in South India as the elephantiasis which would cripple the movement of the gospel. The caste system was made up by the higher class to separate brethren and keep them from helping each other develop, thus increasing the problem of inequality, and assisting the rich in amassing more wealth.

However, it was a joy to see the elite Naidus who are primarily considered high caste, mingle with the Harijan brethren or low caste. In some societies it is even forbidden to touch the plate that a low caste person has eaten in, but it was touching to see these brethren eat, pray, and worship together, as one body in Christ Jesus. I called to mind the scripture : "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. " Colossians 3:11

The brethren put me up in Bro. Venu's house in Guntoor, just off the Bangalore-Hosur highway. Bro. Venu believes in feeding visiting ministers to overflowing, and we had to literally run away from him when we saw steaming plates carrying this or that delicacy coming our way.

With Bro. Venu's family
I preached in Bro. Sadanandam's church for the morning service where there were about 120 people in attendance. The Lord gave many a Word of Knowledge to members in the crowd.

I was then invited by another pastor, Bro. John Branham to preach for the evening service in his church where his congregation of around 100 members came together to hear the Word. Many young men came forward wishing to dedicate their lives to the Lord in Christian service. A couple came forward to have their child dedicated. Bro. John Branham prints a spiritual newsletter for circulation among Christian Telegu readers every month.

Bro. Sadanandam interprets the Word in Telegu
At Bro. John Branham's church
With Bro. John Branham's family

The people of Guntoor are extremely hospitable and accommodating. Christians have a good amount of respect there. I was surprised when an auto driver gave us a free ride when a brother mentioned to him that I was a visiting minister!

River Krishna
I was scheduled to leave for Chennai the next day. Bro. Sadanandam saw me to the station. As we passed the banks of the Krishna river, I prayed for the people of Andhra Pradesh. May the move of Christianity that has so deeply worked miracles among the caste conscious elite, the Naxals, and even the protected tribes, continue to spread like a flame, and may the message of the hour find its way into every heart there.

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