Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Second-Hand News

This news from India comes second hand.
Andrew's grandparents, Art and Joann Gay, keep in close contact with their friends at IREF -- VTeam's current host ministry. Through their phone calls with Dee and Emmanuel Reba, we receive this news about Evan, Christian, and Andrew, and their work with India Rural Evangelical Fellowship..
(Images -- Left: IREF School Boys Below : IREF Evangelist. Below Left: Small example of crowd).
IREF One-on-One. According to their website, the central and most vital ministry of IREF is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They make a mission of spreading the gospel to those who have never heard the "Good News". Over 200 sponsored Evangelists and Bible Ladies travel by by bicycle or foot to the remote villages around Repelle tell people the life-changing story or Jesus. Telegu Bibles are distributed and villagers are invited to further investigate by attending open air evangelistic and ultimately plant churches. But, twice a year, they speak the Gospel on an enourmous scale...
IREF and the MULTITUDES. This organization hosts two huge annual Evangelistic, or Revival-type, public events; one, for youth; and one, for adults.
V-Team arrived just in time to catch the last days of the 2009 Youth Event. Over 5,ooo teens were in attendance. Immediately after they arrived in Repalle, Christian and Andrew led worship, and Evan gave his testimony for the mass of young Indians. They also briefly crossed paths and spent a little time with an American support team for the Youth Event, from Trinity Seminary, in Deerfield, IL.

Since then, a new team has arrived at the compound, from Michigan. Approximately 15 people make up this team of Medical and Pastoral personnel. They will be serving the people of AndraPradesh, and aiding with the upcoming Adult Revival Event. This event has formerly been held on public land in the rural town, and has had 25 to 30 thousand people in attendance. However, this year, there has been Hindu opposition to public Christian meetings. So, the big event will meet on private grounds and expects a "smaller crowd" of around, 15 to 20,000 people.

The Event. People walk miles and miles from surrounding areas to get to this annual event, and they arrive en masse. The Team has been doing whatever is necessary to get things ready. For the past few days, Christian, Andrew, and Evan have been working to set up the massive facility area for the Revival crowds. Apparently most of their work hours have been spent moving bricks, building platforms, and setting up chairs.
And, this just in ... from an email to IREF Board Members:
"All members of the USA team arrived safely. Last night was the first Crusade meeting in Repalle ... no problems with neighbors ... crowds were large. Lots of work to setup for the meetings which are being held behind the school.
Meeting tonight will feature a testimony by the daughter of a high cast Hindu family ... pray for God to touch lives. Emmanuel, Dee, and the staff are very tired ... so many details to attend to ... pray for strength and endurance. "

Hopefully, first-hand news from V-Team will follow ... stay tuned.

"If you don't stand for anything, you'll fall for everything. We take a stand on God's word."
~IREF motto

(Repalle countryside)

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