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All articles in category Southern Asia

February 2015
India

Church growth in India

The tenth ABC (Annual Bible Convention) — previously called the ATTI (Annual Theological Training Initiative) — was held at Banga in Punjab, India, from 27-29 November 2014. Relationships One of the struggles for many believers in the Punjab concerns understanding teaching about the Trinity. Hence the theme of this year’s conference was ‘Relationships: in the image of God’ (Genesis 1:27). Between 150 and 200 people gathered each day. They came from various parts of the Punjab, some travelling considerable distances. Dr Gareth Crossley took three sessions each day, dealing with the relationships between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and their application to human relationships...

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India’s oppressed Dalits find hope
July 2012
India

India’s oppressed Dalits find hope

India’s oppressed Dalits find hope ‘Shining and incredible’ are the adjectives India’s authorities use to describe their nation’s newfound economic confidence. Whilst the country’s Gross Domestic Product is growing fast, the welfare of a nation’s citizens cannot be summarised by economic statistics. India’s 250 million Dalits still live in poverty and suffer from every conceivable form of discrimination.     Labelled ‘untouchable’ at birth, these people cannot eat with or even drink the same water as those whom the majority Hindu religion identifies as belonging to higher castes, such as Brahmin and Vaishyas.     Furthermore, for three millennia Dalits have been relegated to the lowest jobs...

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On the Silk Road
March 2012
Pakistan

On the Silk Road

On the Silk Road The southern branch of this ancient trading highway carried silks from China, in exchange for precious stones and spices from India. Today the route is as busy as ever, as gaily painted heavy trucks transport goods to the Chinese border and hundreds of little Suzuki taxis weave in and out of the never ceasing stream of traffic.     About three hours north of Rawalpindi on the Silk Road lies the military town of Abbottabad, of recent notoriety as the hiding place and death scene of Osama bin Laden.    Christian hospital Another few miles further on is to be found the smaller,...

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Sri Lanka
April 2010
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka   We thank God for the recent teaching and training programmes in Trincomalee taken by Dr Gareth Crossley, from Derbyshire in England. Dr Crossley’s subjects included Christology, commitment and the sovereignty of God.             It was a blessed programme, with many brothers re-kindled, motivated and encouraged to get more involved in preaching the gospel and making disciples. We were challenged too with regard to personal holiness and righteousness.             Dr Crossley also taught in a local Bible college, with 35-40 people from Sri Lanka’s north, east, and hill country participating. The Lord sustained me in translating 35 sessions, while suffering toothache and backache....

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Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka’s painful aftermath
July 2009
Sri Lanka

Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka’s painful aftermath

Sri Lanka’s painful aftermath   On 19 May the President of Sri Lanka declared the 25-year-old civil war between the Sinhalese government forces and LTTE (Tamil Tigers) officially ended. The Tamil Tigers were defeated after a conflict in which more than 80,000 lives were lost and 1.2 million people displaced.   Now a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in north-east Sri Lanka. Many who had fled to government camps are in urgent need of aid, and Jeyakanth has been trying to help. He is the senior pastor of over twenty Tamil and two Sinhalese Reformed churches that he planted or linked together as the Lanka...

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Missionary Spotlight – Persevering in India
August 2008
India

Missionary Spotlight – Persevering in India

Persevering in India   Bangalore is the capital city of the state of Karnataka in southern India. It is the IT (information technology) ‘capital’ of India and has experienced immense growth over the last five years.   My family and I were sent there in May 2005 by Maranatha Bible Presbyterian Church, Singapore, supported by other like-minded churches, to establish a Reformed church.      Initially we rented a house with a small hall and used this for Sunday worship. In July 2006 the Lord provided land for the construction of a mission centre – with a worship hall, guest house, parsonage, day-care facilities and kindergarten....

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Sri Lanka’s perils
September 2007
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s perils

Sri Lanka’s perils by K. Muraleetharan The Lord reigns in Sri Lanka – in spite of the chaos and poverty! Not a single day goes by without violence and abductions, and the churches face all this and other issues. In this article we review some of the problems confronting believers in Sri Lanka and ask for your prayers. The civil war Civil war rages in the northeast of the island and the precarious situation often forces believers to recast their plans. Worship services and Bible camps have to be cancelled or postponed. Those worst affected are the Tamils recently evicted from their homes in Colombo. Sometimes...

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Missionary Spotlight – Slavery today
March 2007
India

Missionary Spotlight – Slavery today

The Missionary Spotlight articles this month focus on slavery today. It is exactly 200 years since England abolished the ‘triangular slave trade’ between England, West Africa and the West Indies – yet slavery (in various forms) remains a heart-rending scourge that still blights many areas of the world. Our articles cannot be exhaustive but will give readers an insight into this problem and its concern to Christians today. India’s exploited children Despite the stringent provisions of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, it is estimated that there are over five million child sex workers in India – and this figure is rising annually by 8-10%. According...

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Missionary Spotlight- Creation ministry in India
October 2006
India

Missionary Spotlight- Creation ministry in India

Earlier this year I visited India and was deeply impressed with that vast nation of a billion people. It is a country of immense contrasts – poverty and yet industriousness; good communications and yet chaos in the cities; the tranquillity of the Ganges and yet the incessant noise of traffic. We asked one of our drivers how often he replaces his motor horn. He said, ‘Oh, about every three months or so’. I can well believe it!India is fast pulling away from a third-world position. But along with technological advance and Western thinking has come humanism and evolutionary thinking, sowing seeds of unbelief. Orphanages Our...

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Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka – a pastor reflects on blessings and failures
October 2005
Sri Lanka

Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka – a pastor reflects on blessings and failures

26 December 2004 was another Lord’s Day morning and we were gathering for worship. I heard my daughter cry out ‘the sea is coming’. At first I didn’t believe her; until I heard the cries of others and witnessed the sea rushing up to the compound gate. Two or three times it came and went. The tsunami had struck, killing believers at worship and many others besides, tearing through churches and houses. One pastor in the north told me his wife and son were swept away before his eyes. As a Calvinist I totally trust in a sovereign and loving God who doesn’t allow even...

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Missionary Spotlight – Bhutan – ‘the road less travelled’
October 2005
Bhutan

Missionary Spotlight – Bhutan – ‘the road less travelled’

Gathering news in Thimpu – Bhutan’s capital city – is an education in itself. This is widely seen as a ‘closed country’ but, unusually, there is little poverty to speak of and no pent-up national anger. Nor is there any crime worth reporting. The economy barely gets a mention, and the King (the leader of this tiny Himalayan recess) is the greatest folk hero of them all! Indeed, he tried to step down not too long ago and push his 810,000 people toward democracy. They would have none of it and he’s back where he was — now into his 34th year as King of...

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Missionary Spotlight-Bangladesh
June 2005
Bangladesh

Missionary Spotlight-Bangladesh

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh has a population of 142 million – 98% Bengali, 83% Muslim and 16% Hindu. During the fifteenth and sexteenth centuries, Bengal was the wealthiest part of the Indian subcontinent. It was also the place where missionary William Carey laboured for many years, the first Bangla grammar book being authored by him. Independence   After World War 2 the British granted India independence and divided it up by religion – the result was India in the centre (Hindu), flanked by East and West Pakistan – both Muslim. But having West and East Pakistan as one country was a bad mistake, for...

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