Translating the Bible into the
world's last languages
(inchurchnews July 2010) Wycliffe
Bible Translators, the world’s largest scripture translation
organization, believes Bible translation into all of the
remaining 2,200 languages used by some 350 million people is
possible by 2025.
Paul Edwards, executive director of Wycliffe’s Last Language
Campaign, responsible for raising the $1 billion needed for the
effort, called the Last Languages Campaign, believes God will
provide people and money to finally finish the more than
The Last Languages Campaign launched in November 2008 with the
goal of providing literacy, life-saving health information, and
the Bible to all of the world’s small language groups in need of
language development by 2025. Since the launch, Wycliffe has
received a total commitment of $184 million. As recent as 1999,
Wycliffe estimated it would take eight generations, or some 140
to 150 years, before it would see the last translation started.
In 1999, the group was averaging 20 new translation starts a
year and there were about 3,000 languages left. But 10 years
later, Wycliffe had 109 new translation starts in 2009. The
average new translation starts for the past 10 years is 75,
The Last Languages Campaign director
credits technology and new approaches to translation for the
Cherian (June 1, 1938 - June 5, 2010)
(inchurchnews June, 2010) Pastor Dethose Cherian, Senior
Pastor of the Atlanta Christian Assembly went to be with the
Lord on Saturday, June 5th, 2010.
Pastor Dethose Cherian was born June 1,
1938, and accepted the Lord when he was 16. He was married in
his life to the ministry in 1974. He shepherded the Abundant
Life Faith Assembly in Bangalore, India, along with several
other ministries. In 1991 he became the senior pastor at Atlanta
Christian Assembly, the church he remained with until his death
on June 5, 2010. His door was always open to his friends and
congregation, and he was zealous for the Lord in all situations,
even until the end of his life. His humble, praying spirit will
be an inspiration to us all to finish the work the Lord started
in his life.
His funeral was witnessed by a large crowd
on Saturday June 12th, 2010.
His legacy remains
as an inspirational testimony to us all, and he challenged us
throughout his life to live in the love of God. He is survived
by his wife and two children.
of Prayer celebrates tenth anniversary
(Inchurchnews June 2010) An estimated 250
million Christians lifted their voices to God on the 10th
anniversary of the Global Day of Prayer which was observed on
Sunday. Global Day of Prayer takes place each year on Pentecost
Participating Christians reportedly prayed in
about 220 nations. Believers gathered in stadiums, churches and
in small groups in cities and villages around the world.
The global prayer event is inspired by 2 Chronicles 7:14
which reads, "If my people who are called by name will humble
themselves and pray then I will hear from heaven and I will heal
South African businessman Graham Power
organized the first prayer event in Cape Town in 2001, drawing
around 45,000 Christians to pray in Newlands Rugby Stadium. The
prayer event then expanded to other parts of Africa and soon
after around the world. Today, as many as 500 million Christians
from more than 200 countries participate in the GDOP.
Oldest Pastor Dies at 101 in Japan
March 2010) The Rev. Tsuneharu Oshima, an active pastor at the
age of 101, passed away on Saturday at 1:45pm, at a hospital in
Kobe, Japan according to the Mikage Shinai Christ Church, where
his funeral and memorial service were held. The church,
which is a local congregation of a Pentecostal denomination, the
Japan Assemblies of God, said that Oshima "finished his precious
work of evangelism and mission, fought out a fight of faith, ran
the distance that he ought to run to the end".
pastor’s eldest son, the Rev. Yoshinao Oshima, shared that his
father continued to work as a pastor even after he turned 100
years old. “He gave us hope for heaven, served as a path for
Lord Jesus Christ, and became a blessing and hope to many
people,” the younger Oshima said, according to Christian Today
Japan. Blessings to his family and may we all serve the Lord as
Dr A P Daniel, author of the Daniel Reference Bible Passes Away
Sunday February 14, 2010) Dr. A. P. Daniel, of Angamally,
Kerala, India, a Bible Scholar and the author of
Daniel Reference Bible went to be with the Lord on
Saturday February 13, 2010. He was 66.
Dr. Daniel is known among the believers
as the author and publisher of at least 8 Study Bibles.
All of the study bibles he published are the first time
publications in Indian languages. Dr. Daniel’s publications
include Daniel Reference Bible, Malayalam English Bible, Pocket
Study Bible, Chronological Bible, Red Letter Bible, Giant Print
Study Bible, Telugu/English Bible and Tamil Reference Bible.
Dr Daniel is survived by his Wife Alice Daniel, Children: Bini &
Paul, Feni Daniel, Deni Nevil and Paul Daniel.
Funeral is scheduled
to be on 17th Wednesday 10 AM at Angamaly West Brethren Cemetery
Muslim-Christian clash kills many people
(Inchurchnews Friday January 22, 10) More
than 40 people were killed in a Muslim-Christian clash this past
weekend in a central Nigerian city with a history of volatile
relations between the two faith communities. In Jos city,
Plateau state, about 200 Muslim youths attacked Christians near
St Michael’s Catholic Church, according to local sources of
Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The human rights organization
reported that Muslim youths congregated to renovate a house next
to St. Michael’s Catholic Church, owned by a man who allegedly
killed three Christians in the November 2008 sectarian violence
in Jos city.
At a press conference Sunday, Plateau
state’s Police Commissioner Greg Anyanting said the violence was
sparked by unprovoked attack on worshippers of St Michael’s
Church, according to The Punch, Nigeria’s most widely read
newspaper. Thirty-five armed people have been arrested and some
were in military uniform, the commissioner said. “This incident
is the latest in a series of attacks on the Christian community
of Jos that began in 2001,” said CSW chief executive Mervyn
Thomas. “Unfortunately, since perpetrators of religious violence
are rarely brought to justice, many in northern and central
states no longer trust the authorities to guarantee their
Evangelist Oral Roberts
Dies at Age 91
24, 1918 – December 15, 2009
Tuesday December 15) Evangelist Rev. Oral Roberts
died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia, according to a
spokesman. He was 91.
A statement confirming Roberts' death
said his son, Richard, and daughter, Roberta were by his side.
Richard Roberts called his father "the greatest man of God I've
ever known." "A modern-day apostle of the healing ministry, an
author, educator, evangelist, prophet, and innovator," he said
in a statement Tuesday. "He was the only man of his generation
to build a worldwide ministry, an accredited university, and a
medical school." Roberts, a charismatic minister, founded Oral
Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. in 1963. He said he opened
the school after God called on him to "raise up your students to
hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice is
heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the
uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and
in this I am well pleased."
Granville Oral Roberts
was one of the most famous and influential Christian leaders of
the twentieth century.
Born January 24, 1918, in
Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, the fifth and youngest child of Rev.
Ellis Melvin and Claudius Priscilla Roberts, Oral Roberts grew
up to become world renowned as a healing evangelist, author,
educator, and television personality.
His ministry began
with his own miracle healing of tuberculosis at the age of 17.
As his older brother drove him to a revival meeting to be prayed
for, God spoke to him and said, “Son, I am going to heal you,
and you are to take My healing power to your generation. You are
to build Me a university based on My authority and on the Holy
Spirit.” Roberts was miraculously healed that night of both
tuberculosis and lifelong stuttering. His call from God and
supernatural healing marked the beginning of a miracle ministry.
In 1947 Roberts established the Oral Roberts
Evangelistic Association in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In obedience to
God’s call on his life, he conducted miracle healing crusades
across America and around the world in a great “tent cathedral.”
Each night, thousands who were sick and dying came for healing
prayer and to hear his dynamic message that God is a good God.
Roberts is survived by his son , Richard, daughter,
Roberta-- both of Tulsa-,12 grandchildren and and a host of
Iranian court Charges Women with
(inchurch news Thursday October 29) An
Iranian judge has charged two women with the crimes of apostasy
and propagating Christianity. Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh
Amirizadeh could be sentenced to life in prison if they are
convicted of the charges. The women have been imprisoned for
more than six months and are said to be in poor health. In a
court appearance last August the pair refused to recant their
Christian faith before the court. International Christian
Concern (ICC), a human rights group, says the women have endured
solitary confinement and been deprived of medical treatment
while in prison. An ICC spokesperson has requested that
Christians all over the world "continue to pray for the release
of the two converts and also for the improvement of their
Archaeologists uncovered, where the
place where Jesus Prayed?
GALILEE, Israel (inchurch
news) Thursday September 17, 2009. Israeli archaeologists
in northern Israel say they have uncovered a 2,000-year-old
synagogue where Jesus may have prayed. The remains of the 2000
year old synagogue
were discovered on the site of a planned hotel north of Tiberias
Migdal or Magdala is the town where
Mary Magdalene once lived.
Some experts say it is certain that these
are the places where Jesus lived, taught and healed the sick.
"We presume that this beautiful, decorated
synagogue, well-decorated synagogue was maybe the synagogue that
Jesus and his community and Mary Magdalena sat together and
learned and studied and prayed together in this building," said
Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Dina Avshalom-Gorni.
The building would have
been huge - nearly 1,300 square feet in the main hall. It was
decorated with frescos and had a mosaic floor.
Most of the stones were left
standing or lying in tact. Avshalom-Gorni is heading the
excavation. She says they have also found an unusual stone
inside the synagogue.
"In the middle of the
synagogue, in the middle of the benches around the walls we
found the base of a stone, which was decorated also with a
menorah," she said.
The seven-branched candelabra was
part of the temple in Jerusalem. Avshalom-Gorni says it is
remarkable that the synagogue is so well-preserved, because it
was found just a few inches beneath the surface of the ground.
"After 2,000 years nobody damaged this
building," she said. "It's unbelievable. And it's so beautiful
also in archeologist because the hotel could be built a little
bit to the south, a little bit to the north and we could miss it
by a few meters. We could miss this unbelievable evidence."
Despite plans to
build on the site, Stepansky said he is certain it will be
preserved for Jews and Christians alike.
Christian Sufferings in Pakistan
LAHORE, (inchurch news) Thursday July 30, 2009The Pakistani Christians say they are tired of
attacks against them, the burning of their homes and possessions
and the beating of family members simply because they are
members of a Christian minority in a Muslim dominated country.Many Christians over the past two decades have been falsely
accused and imprisoned on charges of blasphemy.What Pakistan's Blasphemy Law Prohibits:
Blasphemy against Islam
Blasphemy against the Muslim holy
Blasphemy against the prophet Mohammad.
The maximum penalty for those convicted of violating
blasphemy against the prophet Mohammed is death. No Christian
has actually been executed for blaspheming Mohammad, but many
have spend years in prison, waiting for their cases to
reach a higher court. That's when they are usually thrown out
for lack of evidence. Pastors from many Churches say their members will observe a
day of prayer throughout Pakistan July 26. They want Christians
from around the world to join them in asking God to help
Christian victims of persecution in Pakistan. Pakistan's small Christian minority has
periodically been targeted, In May 2007, Christians in the
north-west of the country sought government protection following
threats of bomb attacks if they did not become Muslims.
Mother Teresa’s statue unveiled in Bangalore
June 30, 2009
The statue of
Mother Teresa of Calcutta has been unveiled in the city as
thousands of people gathered to witness the event.
Seven feet, 1.5 ton monolithic statue now stands at the Mother
Teresa Road Junction near the Sacred Heart Church, Richmond
Road. A noted sculptor named Putten Acharya from Hegdevana Kote
took six months to complete the statue.
It was inaugurated by Archbishop of Bangalore, Bernard Moras.
Archbishop Moras, speaking to a crowd at Sacred Hearts Church in
Bangalore, hailed Mother Teresa as an icon of "service,
sacrifice, simplicity and obedience." He hoped people find
inspiration in the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's everlasting love
for God and the poor.
Celebrating the life of Elder
Elder Isaiah Olorunfemi Ayita, age 75, went home to be with the
Lord on Saturday 17, 2009. He is the father of Pastor Olorunfemi
Emmanuel, an Associate Pastor of the International Church in
Elder Isaiah was born March 1934 in Ilueju
Ekiti, a western town in Nigeria, W. Africa to the late Pa and
Madam Motolani Avita. He was trained as a Carpenter, the
profession he held all of his life. His Christian journey
began in 1958 in the Anglican church and in 1970 he joined
Christ Apostolic Church where he was baptized by immersion.
There he served as Sunday School teacher and evangelical team
member and later as a church warden for the remainder of his
life. He is survived by his wife, nine children and many grand
uncovers largest church in Syria
November 17), Archaeologists have discovered the largest
ancient Christian church in Syria.
The remains of the Christian Church, thought
to date back some 1,500 years, were found in Palmyra in central
Syria. A small amphitheatre and two rooms for Christian worship
were also found on the site of the church.
Palmyra, 135 miles north-east of Damascus,
was an important Roman-era desert stop for caravans travelling
to Mesopotamia and Persia.
Much of the city was destroyed by the Romans
in the third century, in revenge for rebelling against their
rule under Syrian Queen Zenobia.
The director of Palmyra museum, Walid Assad,
said the latest find by Syrian and Polish archaeologists was the
fourth church to be discovered in the city - and the largest in
Mr. Assad said archaeologists found two
rooms on one side of the building and an amphitheatre in the
courtyard that may have been used for baptisms, prayers and
other religious ceremonies.
"Christianity came to Palmyra in the year
312, at a time when Christians had begun to build churches," Mr
Assad told AFP. "And this one is huge - the biggest ever found
in Syria. It dates back to the fourth or fifth centuries after
William Carey a humble missionary to
news) William Carey
Shoemaker by trade born in England, (1761-1834) a pastor before
going to the mission field, he spent forty-one years serving the
Lord in India, including translating the Bible and Carey never
returned to England.
The first time Carey
openly suggested the idea of foreign missionary work he was
repulsed by a senior minister who said, "Young man, sit down.
When God pleases to convert the heathen He will do it without
your aid or mine." Others, however, encouraged him to continue
his studies on the subject. The next year Carey was one of the
preachers at the meeting, from Isaiah 54:2,3 he drew two
striking thoughts — "Expect great things from God; attempt great
things for God."
It was in 1793 that Carey went to
At first his wife was
reluctant to go, so Carey set off to go nevertheless, but after
two returns from the ship docks to persuade her again, Dorothy
and his children accompanied him. There were years of
discouragement because there was no convert for seven years,
debt, disease, deterioration of his wife's mind, death, but by
the grace of God and His faithfulness Carey continued in his
ministry. When he died at 73 (1834), he had seen the Scriptures
translated and printed into forty languages, he had been a
college professor, and had founded a college at Serampore. He
had seen India open its doors to missionaries, he had seen the
edict passed prohibiting sati
(burning widows on the funeral pyres of their dead husbands),
and he had seen converts for Christ.
"Attempt great things
for God, expect great things from God," was Carey's motto, and
all through his life he carried it out. Among the "great things"
attempted and accomplished was the translation of the
Scriptures, or portions of them, into the numerous vernaculars.
Some of these translations Carey only supervised, while many of
them he made himself. When he was correcting the last sheet of
the eighth edition of the Bengali New Testament, he said, "'My
work is done. I have nothing more to do but to wait the will of
God." During his life the entire Scriptures were published in
Bengali, Sanskrit, Hindi, Orissa, Marathi and portions in thirty
During the early years of Carey's life as a
missionary he witnessed the burning of a widow on her husband's
funeral pyre. He protested against the ceremony and warned those
taking part in it that he would surely bear witness against it
at God's judgment bar. And when, after many years, the
proclamation abolishing this horrible practice of "suttee" was
issued, he at once put aside his preparations for the Sunday
services and set about the translating and printing of it. The
proclamation was ready for distribution Sunday evening.
On the morning of June 9, 1834, his earthly
life ended. The next morning a long procession of sincere
mourners wended their way to the cemetery. A heavy rain seemed
to intensify the sadness of the occasion. But as the procession
stopped at the grave, the rain ceased and the sun shone out in
all its glory, bringing thoughts of that glad day when the dead
in Christ shall rise, and sorrow and death shall be forever
banished. The last resting-place of this humble missionary to
India was marked only by a simple epitaph of his own composing:
Wm. Carey, Born, August 17, 1761, Died, June
9, 1834 "A wretched, poor, and helpless worm, On Thy kind arms I
persecution is reported in India
October. 2008, reports from India speaks about persecution
India is the seventh
largest country by geographical area, the second most populous
country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Home to
Indus Valley Civilization
and a region of historic
and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with
its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history.
Four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and
Sikhism originated there, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism,
Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium and
shaped the region's diverse culture.
Persecution of the Christians is
not new to India.
The disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ Apostle Thomas came to
India in the early AD 50s
and he was stabbed and killed with a spear
in Madras (now Chennai) India. And his burial place in Chennai
is known today as Saint Thomas Mount. According to Kerala
Christian traditions and to their Church, during to his
missionary trip to Kerala thousands of Brahmins and others
accepted Christ and became Christians. And the converted
known as Saint Thomas Christians. And the result, the local
Hindus sense a threat to their beliefs and persecutions arose
and thousands of Kerala's Saint Thomas Christians were
killed. That was the first known Christian persecution in India,
the killing of the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala.
Graham Staines an Australian missionary was
burnt alive along with their two sons Timothy aged 9, and Philip
aged 7 in on January 22, 1999 by the Hindus in Orissa India.
state of Orissa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil nadu
Madhya Pradesh, that includes killing of innocent Christians,
Pastors, and Nuns, attacking and disturbing worship services and
peaceful prayer meetings, burning of churches and
Christian schools. Minor incidents such as destroying Churches
are also reported in Kerala. In Orissa thousands of Christians
are fled to forests to save their lives. Father Alexander
Charalamkunnel 72 year Priest from Kerala tells his ordeal in
Orissa. In the area of Cattack and Bhuvaneswar he was serving
the Lord the Last 41 years. A mob came and burned our church,
house and attacked the people. We fled to the nearby forest and
spend there a week and came to Kerala recently. We lost
everything, but my faith still remains, we love them we will
return soon as things back to normal in Orissa says father
This reminds the word of the Savior of the World,
Jesus Christ in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have
tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
finds Jerusalem's Ancient Walls
— (web search September 5th) Yehiel Zelinger of the Israel
Antiquities Authority said Wednesday that he located two wall
segments just south of the Old City.
The project begun
in the 1890s by archaeologist Frederick Bliss and his assistant,
Archibald Dickie. The two tunneled along the length of the
ancient wall and marked its route. They also found part of a
wall built by the Hasmonean dynasty 2,100 years ago, and another
section built by Byzantine rulers five centuries later.
HOW THE APOSTLES DIED?
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia , killed by a sword wound.
in Alexandria , Egypt , after being dragged by horses through
the streets until he was dead.
was hanged in Greece as a result of his
tremendous preaching to the lost.
martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during
a wave of persecution in Rome . However, he was miraculously
delivered from death. John was then banished to the island of
Patmos . He wrote the Book of Revelation at Patmos . The apostle
John was later freed and returned
to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey . He died as an
old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
was crucified upside down on an x-shaped
cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his
tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that
Jesus Christ had died.
James Just The leader of
the church in Jerusalem , was thrown over a hundred feet down
from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to
deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived
the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club.
James the Great
son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him
to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church,
James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem . The Roman officer
who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at
his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place
of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith
to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a
also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia . He witnessed
for our Lord in present day Turkey . Bartholomew was martyred
for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a
was crucified on an x-shaped cross in
Patras , Greece . After being whipped severely by seven soldiers
they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony.
His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross,
Andrew saluted it in these words: "I have long desired and
expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the
body of Christ hanging on it." He continued to preach to his
tormentors for two days until he expired.
was stabbed and killed with a spear in
Madras (now Chennai) India during one of his missionary trips to
the Indian sub-continent by a fanatic Hindu.
Jude Was killed with
arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was
stoned and then beheaded.
One of the group of seventy disciples,
wrote the Epistle of Barnabas. He preached throughout Italy and
Cyprus . Barnabas was stoned to death at Salonika.
tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in
A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment which allowed him
to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed
throughout the Roman Empire.
Ancient wall of Nehemiah found
JERUSALEM — (Web search) A wall mentioned in
the Bible’s Book of Nehemiah and long sought by archaeologists
apparently has been found, an Israeli archaeologist says.
A team of archaeologists discovered the wall
in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David during an attempt to fix a
tower that was in danger of collapse, said Eilat Mazar, head of
the Institute of Archaeology at the Shalem Center, a
Jerusalem-based research and educational institute, and leader
of the dig.
Artifacts including pottery shards and
arrowheads found under the tower suggested that both the tower
and the nearby wall are from the 5th century B.C., the time of
Nehemiah, Mazar said in a statement.
The findings suggest that the structure was
actually part of the same city wall the Bible says Nehemiah
rebuilt, Mazar said. The Book of Nehemiah gives a detailed
description of construction of the walls, destroyed earlier by
the Babylonians. “We were amazed,” she told the Associated
Press, noting that the discovery was made at a time when many
scholars argued that the wall did not exist. “This was a great
surprise. It was something we didn’t plan.”The first phase of
the dig, completed in 2005, uncovered what Mazar believes to be
the remains of King David’s palace, built by King Hiram of Tyre,
and also mentioned in the Bible.
Ephraim Stern, professor emeritus of
archaeology at Hebrew University and chairman of the state of
Israel archaeological council, offered support for Mazar’s
claim. “The material she showed me is from the Persian period,”
the period of Nehemiah, he said. “I can sign on the date of the
material she found.” (Websearch)
Oldest Christian church found
(Web search June 20th ) Led by Dr. Abdul Qader
al-Hassan, director of the Rihab Center for Archaeological
Studies, the team had found a mosaic in church that described
these Christians as “the 70 beloved by God and Divine”. "We have
evidence to believe this church sheltered the early Christians –
the 70 disciples of Jesus Christ," al-Hassan told The Jordan
A team of archaeologists in Jordan claim to
have discovered the oldest Christian church, which they believe
was used by Christ's followers who fled Jerusalem after
crucifixion. The cave discovered beneath the St. George's
Church, one of the world's oldest known churches, in the
northern Jordanian city of Rihab, had pieces of pottery that
date back to the third and seventh centuries, but more
important, according to Mr. Hassan, was the unearthing of a
circular area, believed to be the area where altar stands.
The Bishop Deputy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese,
Archimandrite Nektarious, described the discovery as an
"important milestone for Christians all around the world".
Jordan Times quoted him saying: "The only other cave in the
world similar in shape and purpose is in Thessalonika, Greece."
In the cave there is also a tunnel that leads to a
cistern that supplied water to the dwellers. Dr Al-Hassan says
that excavation of the tunnel and the cistern may yield yet more
evidence about the lives of these early Christians. "From the
tunnel to the cistern is very important. We want to clean it and
make an excavation inside it. We found a very old inscription
beside it and coins also, and crosses made from iron."
Pandita Ramabai a true Christian
Pandita Ramabai,Born to a very rich
orthodox Hindu family on 23rd April 1858, in Karnataka, India
became a household name, whose transformation through Christ and
life-changing testimony, for decades have been motivating and
encouraging people. To the astonishment of Hindu pundits, at the
age of twelve, she had committed to memorise eighteen thousand
sacred verses from the Hindu Puranas, and gained exceptional
knowledge in Sanskrit (sacred language of Hinduism), which
eventually gave her the title "Pandita" which means 'mistress of
Inspired by God, whom she found in Jesus Christ
after trying all the religions at her disposal, she founded the
Mukti Mission on March 11th 1889. With motherly love she cared
for a family that grew to 2000 girls, thousand unfortunate
ill-treated child widows and destitute orphans.
The mission is
still active providing housing, education, vocational training
and medical services for the widows, orphans and the
A pioneer educationalist in India, Ramabai,
was of the elite group who first introduced methods of
kindergarten training as well as illustrated books and pictures
for village primary schools. She also opened primary and
secondary schools exclusively for girls and village children in
her Mukti Home.
More to enumerate, the saint-like
Ramabai who was also a poet and a leading advocate for the
rights and welfare of women in the country, became the first to
introduce Braille for blind girls, subsequently opening a Blind
school in Mukti. Her father, Anant Shastri Dongre, a learned
Brahmin, fearing wrath of local Hindus for his audacity to teach
his wife and children the sacred Hindu scriptures and Sanskrit,
which was only meant for the high caste, forced him to start his
own independent life in the forests.
"He could not see
why women and people of low caste, could not learn to read and
write the Sanskrit language and learn sacred literatures other
than the Vedas," explains Ramabai, in her testimony.
"Ever since I remember anything, my father and mother were
always traveling from one sacred place to another, staying in
each place for several months, bathing in the sacred river or
tank, visiting temples, worshipping household gods and the
images of gods in the temples, and reading Puranas in holy
places." Having already tasted the wonderful life and truth of
God through the scriptures, Ramabai for sure knew, the
importance of translating the Bible into her mother tongue. She
was ready to devote 12 years of her life to translate the Bible
into Marathi. And former "Mukti members" would take the message
of Christ to every part of Maharashtra.
4,700 Buddhist monks accepted Christ as
March 27, 08)
Burma's population of 57 million people, 51 million are
Buddhists – and one percent of this population are monks. There
is a monastery in most villages. Children are often educated in
so even if they do not actually become monks themselves, they
have been thoroughly indoctrinated with Buddhist beliefs and
practices. The monks have always had a very strong influence in
Burmese politics and government. One of the ministries
from Burma reports in their website 4,700 Buddhist monks were
led to Christ through their ministry. It appears that the Holy
Spirit had urged these monks and nuns to call their evangelists
to come and share the gospel of hope and love. After several
intense discussions, close to 80% of the monks present in each
of the monasteries raised their hands to accept Christ, and then
kneeled down to pray and receive Christ as their Lord and
Savior. Baptisms are being done discreetly – no more than three
at a time for the sake of the safety of the converts as well as
Bible to all
Wycliffe Associates, a nonprofit organization is accelerating
its efforts in translating Bible
all Indian languages throughout India. Recently, the ministry
announced plans to build a new translation training center in
the foothills of the Himalayas and join hands with ministries to
translate and publish Bibles in vernacular languages. In
response to the need for more Bible translations, Bruce Smith,
CEO and president of Wycliffe Associates, says the ministry is
partnering with other Christian groups to accelerate translation
efforts. "We're partnering with a group called Word for all.
They primarily train
mother-tongue speakers, people in these language groups who
don't have scripture," he explains. "... And our particular role
in partnering with them is to provide technical and
administrative support to help that group be effective in their
work." At least 180 languages in India do not have a translation
of the Bible, notes the Wycliffe Bible Translators, founded in
1942 by William Cameron Townsend. "Many of the groups that are
lower caste are really disadvantaged ... not only politically
and economically, but also in terms of their access to
So these are some of the
groups that still need scripture translation and still need
training and education in ways that can assist them in that
translation process," shared Smith. According to the current
estimation, it would at least take 90 years to put the Bible
into all Indian languages. However, the new translation center
claims to complete it by 19 years.
Sister Alphonsa to be first Indian woman saint
(Web search , Thiruvananthapuram
India March 4)
Kerala-born Sister Alphonsa will be
declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church on October 12,
Church sources said in Thiruvananthapuram.
Muttathupadathu born August 19, 1910 – died July 28, 1946 was
born as Anna Muttathupadathu in Kudamaloor, a rural village near
Kottayam (Kerala, India), to Joseph and Mary Muttathupadathu.
Anna's mother died when she was very young, so her maternal aunt
raised her. Anna was educated by her great-uncle Father Joseph
In 1916 she
started school in Arpookara. She received First Communion on
November 27, 1917. In 1918 she transferred to the school in
Muttuchira. In 1923 Anna was badly burned on her feet when she
fell into a pit of burning chaff. This accident left her
permanently disabled. She arrived at the Poor Clares convent at
Bharananganam on 1927. She received the postulant's veil on
August 2, 1928 and took the name Alphonsa. In May 1929 she
entered the Malayalam High School at Vazhappally. Her
foster-mother died in 1930.
May 19, 1930 she received her religious habit at Bharananganam.
Three days later she resumed her studies at Changanacherry,
while working as a temporary teacher at the school at Vakakkad.
On August 11, 1931 she joined the novitiate. She took her
permanent vows on August 12, 1936. Two days later she returned
to Bharananganam from Changanacherry. Sister Alphonsa is the
first person to be conferred sainthood from the Kerala Church
which traces its origins to the visit of St Thomas around 2000
years ago to preach the gospel in India.
The decision to
officially declare her a saint was taken by a meeting of
cardinals held in Vatican today, Fr Paul Thalekkat, spokesperson
of the Syro Malabar Church said. The declaration regarding the
canonisation would be held in Rome and there would be
celebrations and prayers in Kerala also, he said.
death, local people attributed some miracles to her. Sister
Alphonsa was beatified and made Blessed by Pope John Paul II in
1986. In June 2007, Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree approving
the miracles that took place through the intercession of
Alphonsa paving the way for canonisation. Sister Alphonsa will
be the second Christian saint from India after Gonsalo Garcia
and the first woman. Garcia, who was canonized in 1862, was
partly Indian. He was from Vasai, near Mumbai, and is believed
to have been crucified in Nagasaki in 1597. In joining the ranks
of other Catholic saints, Sister Alphonsa's canonization comes
ahead of Mother Teresa's, who too has been beatified and
declared "blessed" by the Vatican. Sister Alphonsa's tomb at
Palai in Kottayam is a famous Christian pilgrimage and draws
thousands of faithful. She died on July 28, 1946, aged 35. She
is buried at Bharananganam, Kerala South India.
The Federation of Swiss
Protestant Churches (FSPC) has officially launched a website
preparation of the Calvin-Jubilee-Year 2009, celebrating 500
years since the birth of reformer John Calvin.
was born in 1509. In the year 2009, the Protestant churches
worldwide will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Genevan
Reformer with numerous events. In April of this year, the World
Alliance of Reformed Churches initiated a meeting to start joint
planning procedures including the set-up of an internet portal.
Last Friday, the FSPC launched the official webpage to the
Calvin-Jubilee, www.calvin09.org The portal features information
in four languages on John Calvin, including an interactive
element around the 500-Year-Jubilee and an event calendar that
compiles the events that will take place worldwide. It is also
possible to download free of charge different material to
prepare for the jubilee as well as documentations as to the
To celebrate the launching of the
internet portal, calvin09 announces two competitions. The first
involves finding an official anthem for the Calvin-Jubilee.
Interested musicians are invited to send in their compositions.
The second is a competition to find the best and most suitable
sermon for the occasion. The most exciting sermon - which must
be rich in content and share a surprising perspective of the
relevance of Calvin in our time - will win. The website has been
put under the patronage of the committee of patrons of calvin09,
including 18 representatives from the world of science and
church – chaired by the president of the World Alliance of
Reformed Churches, Clifton Kirkpatrick. "We want Calvin to come
alive for the people of our time through this website," he said.
"Therefore, we are eager to receive information that can be
shared through this website concerning the various events being
planned all around the world to mark Calvin's 500th birthday.
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