Experiencing the Christmas story in the slums of Mumbai

According to the Hindustan Times (2010), 60 per cent of Mumbai, India lives in slum shanties, “even brick and cement houses are built in an unplanned manner with limited access to civic amenities”.

Slum children in Mumbai, are facing many challenges such as illiteracy and unemployment. Many adult slum dwellers are addicted to alcoholic habits and immoral acts. Some are suffering health issues such as AIDS and other long term illnesses. Thus, their children do not have good education, good clothing, good housing, safe water and good health.

There are few good people in these conditions but they are in finding it difficult to protect their children from bad influences. In such a situation, AEF India comes alongside these families to introduce programs and activities that foster the long term benefits of education, employment, social discipline and spiritual upliftment. Central to all our activities is prayer.

Vacation Bible Schools

We conduct regular Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) and Children’s Bible clubs.

We thank God for nearly 1,500 children who participated in the VBS and were blessed. Our hearts are filled with joy for the children who have committed their lives to Christ through the VBS. Because of this program, new children began to come for the Sunday school and their parents also come for the prayers meetings.

Testimony from Shilpa, Mumbai “I am a teen age girl born in a traditional family and live in small huts at Shivneri which is a slum. I have my father, mother and siblings. We stay in a slum which has no toilets, safe water, electricity and hygiene facilities. I never heard the name of the Lord Jesus Christ earlier.  Recently, I came to know about the Lord Jesus through my Sunday school teacher. I was going to the Sunday school cum-Day-Care centre. The lessons I learned has touched me and changed my life. I shared my experience with my parents. My testimony has impacted my parents greatly.  Major impacts took place in our lives; my father stopped his alcoholic habit; he got a good job; we received healings; they believe the Lord Jesus Christ; my parents started to come for the regular prayer meetings; we do not have fights at home but have God’s peace and blessings. I praise the Lord Jesus who has heard the prayer and blessed us with His heavenly blessings.”

Christmas in the slums

In 2016, we arranged Christmas parties to reach the children during the Christmas season. The Christmas programs were held in all the various fields in several Mumbai slums and the villages of Tamil Nadu and Odisha.  We welcomed all the children at the door steps, by sticking star stickers on their cheeks as a gate pass to enter inside.  We asked the children to come in party wear. We started the program by singing a happy birthday song to Jesus, following we sung two new songs “Hello Friends” and “Mere liye ek dost hai” (there is a friend for me). The Bible verse from Luke 2:10 was explained with a skit on “The Hope of Three Trees.” Later we distributed prizes to the children who participated in the programs and performed well in all the activities.

Making Christ Real in Nepal

AEF Nepal members seek to actively show love to the community of people in Nepal.

Grace Academy with 580 students continues to shine as a beacon of light—ministering to the people in word and deed. God is blessing the dedicated efforts of the staff as 100%  of our students who sat for the nationwide School Leavers Certificate (SCL) examination passed some with flying colours!

Grace Rescue home gives shelter to orphans and our house parents encourage and nurture the children.

Medical camps run by volunteer doctors, nurses and other medical staff continue to bring hope and the love of Christ to displaced communities affected by the recent floods, landslides and other natural catastrophes.

Soon after the earthquake disaster, an AEF Nepal team visited a nearby village that was badly affected by the calamity. A man whose house was completely decimated asked our workers “I want to know why you came …my own family members living nearby did not come and help… but you came all the way from Kathmandu…why did you come?” Our workers replied: “the love of our Lord Jesus brought us here.”

 

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” 1 John 3:18.

Demonstrating God’s love in action: update on Cambodia Mission Hospital

Buddhist monks CambodiaCambodia has a population of 15.9 million people (approximately 90 % Buddhists, 2 % Muslims and 1.5 % Christians).Map of Cambodia

 

God has raised Dr Felipe Castro (a medical doctor-cum-missionary) and his team of helpers to care for the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Kampong Thom – a small village 2.5 hours South of Siem Reap.

 

Solid Rock HospitalWith the help of our prayer partners from near and far, a modest hospital was constructed in Kampong Thom – Solid Rock Mission Hospital. According to Dr Castro, “…medical work is not only a tool for mission but it is a concrete way to demonstrate God’s love for people” (Matthew 11:5). We praise God that phase one of the hospital is completed and we are now open for primary care of patients. We can accommodate 20 patients. We have an emergency room, pharmacy, pathology, laboratory and operating theatres for both minor and major surgery. We are still looking to the Lord for X-Ray and ECG equipment.

A Chapel in the front of the hospital is used for prayer and counselling of patients as well as family members.

“Thank you very much for your partnership and untiring support for the mission work in Cambodia, and for the Hospital Ministry in particular. With these funds just received we can now purchase 3 Air-conditioning units for the Operating Rooms and recovery room to get these rooms ready for the Surgical camp in August” Dr Felipe Castro.

Please pray that the Lord will supply the operating costs of US$ 4000 per month to cover modest salaries for our medical staff –doctors, nurses, lab technicians and purchase of medicine.Solid Rock Patient Care

We praise the Lord that local Khmer doctors are also being trained to carry on the work and show Christ’s love in action to the Khmer people in Cambodia

Training the next generation of leaders in Kalimantan, Indonesia

By Pastor Matt Hall, ACOM lecturer

IMG_20160216_123947361_HDRThe Asia College of Ministry (ACOM) centre in Kalimantan, Indonesia, is the newest addition to the growing ACOM schools run by AEF International. Some 20 pastors and ministry workers attended the recent training in February 2016.

 

 

For those who attended, it was a challenge to study the book of Exodus. For most of them, part of the challenge was to travel on very poor roads by motor bike for up to 6-8 hours to attend the ACOM training sesIMG_20160218_134938658_HDRsions.

IMG_20160218_134956263_HDREqually for some, they had to dig into their limited funds to make the journey to reach remote Sanjan, therefore making it almost impossible for them to contribute towards their training costs. The ACOM students are ministering in village contexts supported by congregations who are predominately subsistence farmers. Very few of those attending the training sessions are able to be sustained on their present stipend.

The response to the ACOM training in Kalimantan is very positive and there is huge potential to grow this ministry amongst more pastors and indigenous missionaries and ministers. AEF International would not want to see the lack of financial support as a barrier to any Pastor or Minister continuing with their studies. We have set up a fund to support Pastors and those training for other fields of ministry such as missionary work. For instance, for just over $30 AUD an individual pastor would be supported for one of the quarterly training sessions. It would cover their food, accommodation and other practical costs which would release them to concentrate on their travel costs to attend the training. Recently one church has responded by agreeing to sponsor three pastors for each of the quarterly training intensives which on current costs is an annual amount of $AUD 360.

IMG_20160217_080722093_HDRWith further prayer and financial support AEF International greatly desires to help equip more pastors, ministry workers and indigenous Christian missionaries to continue to reach the Dayak people of Kalimantan with the gospel.

Development of a Training and Community Centre in Sanggau Kalimantan, Indonesia

Pray for ACOM Indonesia and AEF Kalimantan as by faith they are launching a development centre in remote Sanggau to house our ACOM training centre and a community development centre to assist the needy Dayak (tribal) villagers. A site has been found in remote Sinjan, near Sanggau in West Kalimantan, and as shown in the photo below works have commenced in faith. Pray that the Lord will provide all the needs for the cost of $55,000 for the land and buildings, and for Rev Gunar Sahari who is overseeing the project.

community-training-centre-1    community-training-centre-2

Summer Youth Camp in Yangon, Myanmar

Some 250 young people (ranging from ages 7-25) attended the annual summer camp. The younger ones had their own parallel programs while the older ones gathered for Bible Study and worship.

We praise the Lord that 12 people dedicated their lives for service and consecration.

summer-youth-camp-2   summer-youth-camp-1

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