MOIST EYES THIS MAY
(A report of programs in May-June 2007 in which Duke preached in)
This May, it pleased the Lord to give me opportunities to speak in four youth camps organised by four different groups. Each one of those camps were a blessing.
This little fellow teams up with a giant!
The first one was the Youth Camp of the Emmanuel House of Worship Church - a leading evangelical church in Hyderabad with branches around the city. The camp was conducted in a serene catholic premises in Warangal. I brought four messages in the camp, basing each of those messages in the book of Isaiah. One was a gospel message (did not Philip the evangelist use this book to share the Gospel with the chariot-riding Ethiopian government officer?), another one on Bible Meditation, another one on youth issues and a final one a challenge for ministry involvement. Each message was well-received. Several of the 80 youth who attended this camp committed their lives to the Lord and a definite involvement in his Work. Sharing the pulpit with a spiritual giant like Uncle PC Verghese of the EU was an awesome privilege. At the close of the camp, I asked him to pray for me so that I too will have the same fire he has, post-seventy years, should the Lord keep me alive till then. I am grateful to Brother Vijay Burton who invited me over for this camp.
Moist eyes, challenged hearts, crammed up altar
The next youth convention was at the Secunderabad New Life AG Church. I brought four messages again. The theme for the camp was, "Live God Loud!" so I titled my talks this way, "He remained silent so that you could live him loud" (a message based on the cross calling youth for recommitment of their lives to the Lord), "Silenced by God - but why?!" (a study of characters in the Bible who were killed by God), "I will not be Silent" (a ministry-involvement challenge from Isaiah 6) and "The Loudest Temptation of them all" (a challenge for sexual purity). I shared the pulpit with Pastor David, from Bangalore, who is also a visiting faculty at Southern Asia Bible College, Pastor Younus Samuel and Rev. Valson Varghese. Moist eyes, challenged hearts, crammed up altars - those are some words that come to my mind when I think of the response in these meetings. One young lady walked up to me, with tears welling up in her eyes, after my "Silenced by God" message and said that for the first time she realised that God took "little" sins like lying so seriously. I am thankful for Pastor Younus Samuel who invited me to speak in this youth convention that saw over 500 youth attend.
Sin, Cos, Sec, Tan, Cosec and COSEKs!
The third camp God took to me was at Tiruchy organised by a group of Karunya Institute of Techonology Students who called themselves COSEKs (Those Chosen for the Operation of Salvation and Expansion of God's Kingdom). It was held at a farm near Tiruchy, the most centrally located city in Tamil Nadu. 200 young people from all over Tamil Nadu attended. Over 150 were from Karunya and the rest from other other colleges. Some who worked also joined. I brought three talks in this camp titled, "Dare to be a Daniel", "Answers for commonly asked Youth questions" and "Finishing Fantastically". I shared the pulpit with the energetic musician evangelist Freddy Joseph from Chennai, Dr. Jebaraj Samuel, the seasoned Jesus Calls Evangelist and Brother Allwyn Thomas, Ruah Revival Church. The young people testified to the blessing of the messages shared. Literatures (books and CDs) featuring my writings and messages sold for over Rs.4000 in this camp alone! One reason for this enthusiastic response was that Evangelist Freddy Joseph, promoted these like no co-preacher had done. This was an immense encouragement for me to keep preaching and writing without thinking of an early retirement! I am grateful to Thambi Samson who extended the invitation for me to preach in these meetings. He talked about a turning point that came in his life when he was a student at Santhosa Vidhyalaya in a youth retreat I preached in (when I was a student of SABC). And when he told me that he was going to South Korea next month to represent Indian youth in a mega-Christian-youth festival, I was over the moon! It praise God that among the scores of youth who have come to the Lord in over 15 plus years of my preaching ministry there are "fruits that last". It was Gideon Samuel, my cousin brother at Karunya who first put me on to Samson. Thanks, Gidde!
I have attached one photograph from the Tiruchy meetings - a meeting that was held in an old fashioned revival tent! The father of one of the key organizers of this program - Prasad, a Karunya Student - came forward to give his farm to host these meetings. May the Lord bless Him for this noble gesture.
Harsha Bhogle given The Days...
When I waiting to board the Indigo flight to Chennai enroute to Trichy from Hyderabad on 25 May, a surprise awaited me at the airport lobby. I saw Harsha Bhogle, the acclaimed cricket commentator who works for ESPN Sports Channel and Vijay Adhiraj, noted Tamil Serial Actor, waiting to catch flights like me. I walked up to them, exchanged pleasantries and handed over The Days of Your Youth mag to them - a mag that had the Gospel creatively wrapped in some of its pages. And guess what - they took it! And I saw them flipping the pages over and mulling over its contents! On the way back, I distributed the freshly reprinted Gospel Tract, Bubbly Outside, Yet Empty Inside? in my train journey from Tiruchy to Chenai, Chennai to Warangal, Warangal to Secunderabad to select co-passengers. Direct evangelism makes me ecstatic! Thanks to the folks who sent in offerings so this tract originally titled, Aishwariya Felt It: The Vacuum in the Heart, could be reprinted.
Messages that moved youth
The final camp I ministered in was a Youth For Christ Camp at Andhra Pradesh Bible College, Miyapur, Hyderabad. Over 109 youth had registered and took part. I preached three messages that were centredaround the Second Coming of the Lord - the theme for the camp. One was titled, "The Day of the Lord", the other was "Revelation photographs speak" and the final one was "A Coming that inspires our going after the lost". After my Revelation Photographs message, one young man walked up to me to say that he was cut at heart. Several youth recommitted their lives to the Lord and pledged to become donkeys that would carry Jesus into the colleges, call centres and communities without the Gospel thro' life and lip. "Your messages make me want to do something for Jesus in this one life I have" - that was one encouraging testimony I received in this camp, from a young person. The YFC Director for Hyderabad, Ebe, graciously invited me over to preach in these meetings.
Each of the organisers in these four meetings gave us an offering. We praise God for their generosity. Like Paul we can say, "We are amply supplied!" We will use that money to continue to produce literature that will make the Google Generation go gaga over God's Word!
When Jesus Enters Your Home...
Meanwhile I joined my larger family from my mother's side for the annual family reunion at Chennai. It was a joyous occasion. I shared the message, "When Jesus Enters Your Home" in that meet.The seed idea for this message was came to me when I translated for Evangelist Mohan C. Lazarus' messages into English for telecast in God TV, some time back.
Preaching isn't the only way...
Your earnest prayers made such a huge difference in these. Thanks. My wife, Evan, who is now pregnant, bravely stayed alone when I had to take off from home, with only my 3-year old son, Dale Nathan, for company for most part during those non-stop programs. I thank God for giving me such a life partner who is not only gorgeous, but gutsy! I glorify God for giving me a wife who is not beautiful but bold! Earlier, Dale stayed with my parents in Vellore for a good 20 days and enjoyed every minute of their love, affection and attention. As I have already noted, there was good response for the messages on CDs of yours truly put up for sale in these meetings. We sold over 80 CDs alone in these camps and almost same number of books. One reason was that the CDs were packaged attractively and creatively - thanks to the newly-designed CD covers done by Ruby Evangel, a young lady working in an MNC in Hyderabad. There are so many different ways to build the kingdom of God, apart from plain preaching and Ruby is a great example of that! I have attached one of the CD covers that she designed so brilliantly in this email. Earlier, Solomon Paul, a young man who works in Sap Labs in Bangalore, created a googlegroups id for our ministry contacts. Some of you are reading this e-mail because he went an extra mile to do this task! Vomiting sensationOn the writing front, the Light of Life magazine, perhaps the most widely read Indian English Christian magazine, published two of my articles for youth in the months of May and June. After I left Blessing Youth Mission, I was praying that God would open the door for me to regularly write in a Christian magazine of repute, so that I could continue writing the way I did for Blessing magazine. I am glad God has heard my prayers! The Cricinfo magazine of the famed Wisden group in the United Kindom, published one of my letters in their May issue. You know what - I feel light only after I write. Till then, it is as if I have a vomiting sensation! I need to also take up the work of preparing the next issue of The Days Of Your Youth magazine immediately. While the task of wrapping Bible truths around contemporary events is exciting, it is also exacting. So I need special grace to do it!
Preaching in Jubilee Hills
God willing, I preach in the Hillsongs-Joyce Meyer Ministries Church at Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad on the 10th June. Pray for me please!
Till all of the Google Generation Hears of Jesus,
The Days of Your Youth/
Grabbing the Gadget Generation from Gehenna Mission (G-4 Mission)
LIG - B- 316, DR. A. S. RAO NAGAR
HYDERABAD 500 062