Monday, September 8, 2008

India Ramsacked (Missions)

The Christians in Orissa, India got ramsacked this past month while our President Dwight Robertson, Nate Hoot, and itinerants Norm adn Becky Wretlind were doing a PLAN A conference 300 miles to the east. Norm just got back and sent out this email:

Becky and I just returned from India after two weeks of anointed ministry to 350 church leaders from about 11 different states. They responded with zeal to the PLAN A message from Kingdom Building Ministries founder, Dwight Robertson! Becky and I shared our story and assisted Pastor Abraham in providing training for evangelistic Christmas parties.

WE KNEW YOU WERE PRAYING! Little did we know what was ahead....

Our conference in Hyderabad began the day persecution and killings began in Orissa state, about 300 miles to the east. Ten Orissa pastors were in our attendance, not knowing that over 12 of their ministry co-pastors would be martyred in the next several days along with tens of thousands of Christians fleeing to the jungle mountains to hide from the angry Hindu mobs.

This unabated aggression could very well be the worst violence and persecution against Christians in Indian history. Read the reports below and join us in fasting and prayer, if not Sunday, then during another meal next week with family and friends.

The violence and persecution continues, with latest reports citing the murder of over 20 Christians, 317 villages destroyed, 4,014 homes burned, more than 100 churches demolished, over 13,000 are gathered in relief camps and 50,000 left homeless and hiding in nearby forests with little, or no, food and water.

These events erupted after the murder of a Hindu swami by unknown assailants. Mobs attacked the Christian community in Orissa in retaliation for the murder. Only eight months ago, from Dec. 24, 2007-Jan. 2, 2008, attacks in this area killed at least four Christians and destroyed over 100 churches, 730 Christian homes, and dozens of Christian-owned businesses. Most of the victims were Dalits, formerly known as "the untouchables."

The current violence has spread across Orissa and has spilled into the neighboring state of Madhya Pradesh. This unabated aggression could very well be the worst violence and persecution against Christians in Indian history.

In response, Christian leaders are calling for a day of prayer and fasting across India on September 7, 2008.

Two DFN Dalit Education Centers (DECs) were directly affected. One was burned to the ground; the other requires full police protection. Everything in the burned DEC, from uniforms, textbooks, furniture, school records and fees, and staff's personal belongings were destroyed. Therefore, children who eagerly look forward to attending this school must now wait for a new facility.

How You Can Help:

* Bring these prayer concerns before your Church and prayer ministries
* Send a special gift for the Orissa relief and rehabilitation efforts*
* Participate in the day of prayer and fasting in unity with the Indian Church on Sept. 7
* Sponsor a Dalit Child
* Relief funds can also be directed to The Dalit Freedom Network, 5350 S. Roslyn St., Ste 450, Greenwood Village, CO 80111, and indicated for "Orissa Relief." We will distribute this
funding accordingly.