The Malankara World Journal Issue 74 (May 3, 2012) is available online at:
One of the themes of Malankara World is, 'God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.' During my recent trip to Kerala, I had an
opportunity to experience this first hand on different occasions. We
will cover a few of these in the future editions of the MW
Journal-people making a difference in this world. This week, I would
like to introduce the tremendous work done by a few women in a small
church in Kottayam diocese that bagged them title of the best Morth
Mariam Vanitha Samajam unit in the Kottayam diocese beating many larger churches in the diocese in the process. Not only they beat other churches, they have done it convincingly. They have raised twice the money for social ministry than the second place church!! Isn't that remarkable? St. Mary's Jacobite Church, East Pampady was honored as having the best Vanitha Samajam Unit in Kottayam Diocese at the annual Vanitha Samajam meeting held at St. Adai's Church in Nalunnakkal, Vakathanam on April 13. We extend our congratulations to all the women in the unit for this tremendous accomplishment.
It is interesting to examine what these women did to covet this honor.
In addition to the piggy bank placed in all members' home for collection of small change [a modern version of the 'pidi ari collection' (handful of rice for the church)], they started looking into more beneficial projects. One such project that was identified was to hand-stitch the head-covering for bishops. They talked to several bishops to learn the requirements for the head-covering. Then they went and talked to several established commercial enterprises that make the official vestments for our church. They have practiced making the head covering till they perfected it. The women then went and talked to the store at Patriarchal center in Puthencruz to find a sales outlet for their products. Then they went into production. Their products were an instant hit with our bishops. Right now they have a big backlog of orders. The best part of this project is that not only the Vanitha Samajam makes a small profit that is then used for other projects, they employ poor women in the church for the manufacture. The women are paid wages. For many women this is a god-send. It is an example of a project that has multiple impact.
One of the active members in the Vanitha Samajam is a woman named Beena. Beena is a very hard working woman struggling to raise a family. The members recognized the need for a house for Beena. With the help of the church, at large, they embarked on a fund raising program to build a house for Beena. They also sought donations of building materials from contractors and other businesses. Last year, they built a beautiful home for Beena. You can see the photo of the home on our cover.
Vanitha Samajam also inspired others in the church to get into action.
The youth group this year is working on building a library at church.
They are also collecting donations to buy school supplies, books and
uniform for poor students. Suddenly the church has been transformed into
a place where the members look for opportunities to be of service. The
commandment of Jesus 'Love one another' and 'Serve Unconditionally'
found practical application in the church. You can feel the enthusiasm
in the air when you go to the church. You can see the light of Jesus
reflected in their faces.
If we can have all our churches perform to this level, can you imagine
what will be the end result? Again we bow our heads to these
enterprising women in St. Mary's Jacobite Church in East Pampady for
demonstrating that God makes ordinary people do extraordinary work.
We also want to convey our condolences to Rev. Fr. Jose Daniel Paitel
(Philadelphia, PA) and Chev. Daniel Biju Daniel (Middle East) and their families for the passing away of their mother. Both achen and Chev. Biju had been early supporters of Malankara World and long term friends. It is hard to console someone when they are grieving for their loved one.
We pray for the departed and hope that she will deserve her place in
eternity with Jesus.
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Table of Contents Issue No: 74
1. Editor's Note
2. Bible Readings for This Sunday (May 6)
Third Sunday after New Sunday
3. Sermons for This Sunday (May 6)
4. Inspiration for Today
A Mighty Fortress is our God.
5. Dog Paddling or Water-Walking? How to Weather Life's Storms
You may be facing a storm today. You begin to feel a breeze or a ripple.
Your company is downsizing, your mortgage is upside-down. A gust becomes
a gale. Your husband walks out the door, leaving you with three kids and
a broken heart. Your biopsy report comes back and it's bad -- really
bad. You start to submerge. Where's Jesus? It's foggy and you're
6. Unanswered Prayers Force Unlearning Lessons
The lesson I learned was that when we pray, we pray for an entire
constellation of events. Even if we are not granted that the person we
pray for lives on, a lot of what we pray for is granted. ... I learned a
new lesson. I learned that when there is something that you value above
all else, you can tolerate no compromises. Some goals are so important
that the achievement of lesser goals means nothing. ...
7. When God Hides You
God's children rarely seek to be hidden. However, it is in the hidden
moments that men and women of faith are drawn closer to God and prepared for greater ministry. Joseph grew during his time of exile and imprisonment. Moses spent years in the desert before his greatest
ministry. Esther spent a considerable amount of time being prepared to
be presented to the king. Paul spent three silent years in northern
Arabia before he launched his ministry. ...
8. Where is God in Hard Times?
Throughout the history of our faith, the question has often been asked, "Where is God when tragedy strikes?" And as often as that question has been asked, there’s been no shortage of answers put forth by Christians and non-Christians alike. But even deeper than that question is the concern by some that God is aloof when hard times hit. ...
9. The Dip Swimmer: Overcoming the Lows in Your Life
With James's (Book of James in New Testament) help, we decided to begin with practicality. We put away childish things. We took our eyes off ourselves, and we recognized that God had been active in answering
prayers we'd prayed over a year ago that God would get our attention,
develop in us humility and patience, and a genuine idea of what
following Jesus was about. ...
10. Missing from the Meeting!
My experience in the ministry has taught me that those who profess to be Christians and yet deliberately absent themselves from fellowship with their brothers and sisters, are the ones who are usually most in need of this fellowship. ...
11. Health: Tinted Lenses Offer Real Migraine Relief
For the first time, researchers have shown why precision-tinted lenses
reduce headaches for migraine sufferers, a finding that could help
improve treatment options for patients battling the debilitating
12. Recipe: Grilled Open-Faced Mediterranean Sandwiches
13. Family Special: Coming to Terms With the Past
A friend told the story of a couple who had come to him for counseling.
The couple had been married 40 or so years, and they were both plagued
with guilt. They hadn't become Christians until their later years, and, prior to that, they had both lived sexually immoral lives. Although they had been faithful to each other during their marriage, their past dips into immorality were now making them feel guilty. ...
14. Humor: Bob Hope In Heaven
15. About Malankara World
Read all the articles and features in this week's Malankara World
Journal online at:
Thank you for your support and help.
In HIS Service
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World Journal
ID No: 956