St. Paul's Mission Chapel Consecration in Bihar: An unforgettable experience"
- Bihar: The temporray consecration of the newly built church, St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church, under St. Paul's Mission of India, the official mission organization of the Jacobite Church, was held on Sunday July 24. I have had the privilege of consecrating the church in Telmar village of Bihar. The entire experience of the consecration and the fellowship with the new community of believers was an unforgettable and a rich spiritual experience. Hundreds of villagers participated in the consecration liturgy. The intensity of their faith
amidst intense threats and difficult conditions such as abject poverty and social marginalization was just incredible! One of our new members of the church, for instance, used to vehemently oppose all our mission work among the villagers. He (for obvious reasons, I am not mentioning his name here) was imprisoned for years for having killed another villager, following a village fued. His wife came under the influence of the gospel message of love and compassion and through her, he has also joined our church. When I met him in our new church in Telmar, he reminded me of Saul who used to persecute Christians and later was converted on the Damscus road and became one of the most influential ambassadors of Christ ever! Who knows what God has in store for this
man in Telmar. I'm sure God will use this man and his family to do mighty deeds for the Kingdom of God. I thank God for the work of St. Paul's Mission in various parts of our country where the light and freedom of the gospel has not reached as yet. For me and the team of about 20 people who went from Kerala to participate in the consecration of the new church, it was spiritually a reassuring and rewarding experience. In fact, as you can see in some of the pictures attached herewith, our team from Kerala with four priests, worked day
and night, whitewashing and cleaning the church building before the
consecration. Such is their dedication and commitment.The amazing work that is being done in Bihar under the leadership of our missionaries, Mr. Viju Paulose and his wife Beena Viju and Mr. Joby M.S is commendable. I request all of you to uphold them and the entire work of St. Paul's Mission in your prayers. Let me also thank all those who have helped the mission through their generous contributions that made this new church a reality. We now have more than 100 families that are worshipping in our church in Telmar. About 17 of them have taken baptism and I served Holy Communion to them. I was moved, seeing their
faith, when I gave Holy Communion to these believers. In fact, i had tears of joy in my eyes and I said the words that Jesus spoke once: "Not even in Israel, have I seen such faith"
St. Pauls's Mission now has some 50 mission fields, spread across some 15 states in India. Our missionaries are doing God's work under very trying conditions. The living conditions of the people among whom Our missionaries work are pathetic. Poverty, illiteracy, lack of decent
clothing, housing, sanitation facilities etc, caste discrimination... the list of challenges is endless. The change that has been brought to these lives through the gospel is beyond words. I humbly encourage all our faithful to make an effort to visit our mission fields and experience the wonders of the gospel at work, personally. I'm sure such visits would change your lives as well. Please do continue to pray for St. Paul's Mission it's missionaries. Let us thank God for the abundant grace and mercy that our mission work is receiving from God Almighty.
We are also facing an acute shortage of full time priests for our mission work. Those who have come to the Church are thirsting for Holy
Qurbana every Sunday. Sadly, though, we are not able to provide it to our new faithful communities due to non-availability of priests. This is therefore also an appeal to our young brothers who feel called by God to full time mission work as priests to think of St. Paul' Mission as an opportunity to serve the poor and the needy in our country and through them, to serve God.
in Christ's service
- It is certainly refreshing to read articles like this from our church. Amidst ongoing politics within our communities, these messages remind us of the essence of Christianity.
From my experience, one common question that I hear from the youth is "what is our church doing to spread the Gospel"? They ask this because all they see is a gospel of division and lukewarm Christianity. St. Paul's mission helps to find an answer and example of missionary work within our Syriac Orthodox Church.
As with any missionary wing of a Church, I hope and pray that our Syriac Orthodox tradition is upheld and spread to those who long to hear the true Gospel and richness of Orthodoxy.