Our Church Family in India
In May of 1965 I saw a short item in the paper about an Indian Priest working in the states who had set up an agency called Save A Family Plan to help people in India have a better life. The cost was $5.00 a month.
Shortly after I adopted her first family, Jean Haywood, who was president of the Ladies Guild asked if I would speak to the ladies about the plan. Shortly after, the Guild decided to adopt also. About that time the S.A.F.P. decided to offer what they called a Burse, a sum of $200.00, which would cover monthly payments for 20 years. If I remember correctly, it now costs approximately $200 a year to adopt a family or $2000.00 for a Burse.
Over the years, as experience has been gained, new ideas and practices have been put in place. When a family is accepted for assistance, they are given six years to become self sufficient. Each village is encouraged to work together to learn how all levels of governments work, health, sanitation and women’s rights.
Some of the options open upon acceptance are: small business loans, goat, cow, chicken and rabbit rearing, agriculture, rice growing. In one sea side community, a group of women banded together and made a roaring success of making and repairing fishing nets.
At the end of their 6 years, Peter and Lini have graduated the program and are growing rice, have a cow, goats, chicken, and yes, even a dog!
Which brings us to our new family, Stephen and Reena.
I was moved and distressed to see 8 year Libina in her mothers’ arms. I phoned S.A.F.P. And learned that the family were in a car accident in Feb. And that Libina was severely injured. The Doctors at the hospital wanted to operate, but the parents couldn’t see their way to pay for Libina’s surgery. There are enquiries being made to try to get an idea as to how to proceed.
All in all, I’d say we at Epiphany have received good value for our $200.00 investment, helping approximately 7 families over 49 years.
When they write and say “Thank you for your love and kindness, may God Bless you, I am humbled. It is the giver who receives the blessings.
September 15, 2013
Luke 15:1-10 Seeking the Lost.
We Have All Been Lost.
Maybe you have a getting lost story?
Maybe from this last summer?
-If so, why not note it, \
share it during coffee hour.
We’ve all been lost at one time or another.
Inside as we journey in life,
we can feel lost…
We cry out to God at such times.
That’s part of the human condition.
God is always there.
Have you ever wondered
Why sometimes it seems
God isn’t as close to us
as we wish?
The question is, “who moved?”
Who got lost in living?
Caught up in activities…demands.
Then we forget to worship,
to come once a week to church.
Four hours to be with God,
to find our center,
to see where we are going on our life journey…
Someone asked the question,
on a website
Why do you go to church?
They were surprised by all the answers.
What would you answer to the question?
Why go to church?
It is not an easy question to answer.
On the website:
Here is a sample of a few of the many answers:
I go to church for soul food. Every week my soul is replenished by our
moving spiritually uplifting service. During the luncheon that follows,
my body is replenished by delicious foods that grace our table and my
spirit is again refilled with the love and affection I feel surrounding
An Altar Guild Member says:
When I come to prepare the altar I never feel it is a chore but more an
opportunity to have a one on one with God. It is so quiet in the church
that it brings me such peace. I honestly can say that this is a place I
truly feel at peace. It brings to mind the song by the Beatles “when I
find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me…speaking words
of wisdom.” This is what the Church of the Epiphany does for me.
Charollette Hyatt says I go to church because:
1st, God wants us to get together to feel close to Him.
2nd, to learn more about life and God.
3rd, to give and receive comfort
from my brothers and sisters in Christ.
4th, to serve God through serving my fellow beings
in an organized ministry.
Oh, and to lift my spirits, my soul!
Someone else said:
Why go to church regularly?
To be loved, encouraged.
We all have troubles.
We all face dilemmas and disappointments.
We all wrestle with discouragement and heartache.
What God said of Adam applies to us all:
“It is not good for a person to be alone.”
Why bear your burdens alone?
Coming to church means interacting with your fellow Christians (ordinary
people, just like yourselves)
It means receiving an encouraging word,
a hug and a smile.
It means having someone listen.
it is often through His body that Christ
speaks the comfort and crucial direction that we need.
How often a timely word of Gospel
spoken by one Christian to another
dispels the gloom!
How often do we say after worship
“I feel better.”
How often one Christian will have a insight
that benefits another.
I Come to church to be loved and encouraged.
Michael Nolan says
Like my truck,
I fill it with gas but after a few days it runs out…
Likewise my soul needs filling.
So, I attend church as often as I can
to refuel my spirit
so that I may continue on my spiritual journey!
Public worship is the best place
to give your soul the Word-of-God-nourishment it needs.
Before I started going to church I felt so lonely.
Even though I had friends and family
I felt like there was something missing.
That missing piece was God.
When I first started going to church
I was a lost and confused.
Since I have been going to church
I have become whole with the help of my church family.
I go to church because everyone is welcome.
I attend Calvary Chapel church.
We have a great pastor who preaches the Bible.
All people are welcomed to attend.
Long hair, tattoos, earrings, etc,
are all familiar sights.
We all feel that GOD did not turn any away,
Who knows when or where
the Holy Spirit will reach out to someone.
We all love our church.
Tommy Young says:
I go to church for spiritual renewal.
At church it is as if I have been ‘charged’–as a battery.
The spiritual environment of the church
lends peace to my soul.
The church is a fountain of the living water
I connect with God in a special way in Church.
The sanctuary of the church is a ‘holy’ place
-reverent and restoring.
Someone shares I come for the prayers:
Jesus once promised,
There is power when the people of God pray.
An often overlooked reason to come to church
is to be prayed for.
Going to church is the best time to worship God
with your brothers and sisters in Christ,
singing praises, hearing the gospel and sermons,
Worship together really makes you feel
our dear God is speaking.
That is why I come to church.
God can reach out to you and I,
Like opening the door to God…
God often uses others to help us of course.
Maybe it is like a story,
about a church service once…
it was a special mission being held at a church.
Norman Vincent Peale
found himself addressing a Methodist
gathering in Atlanta, Georgia
along with a fine preacher,
Bishop Noah Moore.
Also Pierce Harris, a much-loved local pastor.
They were all guests of the local minister.
In his sermon
Peale said that he believed
that Jesus Christ
could come into a life and change it.
No matter how hopeless it seemed
if you opened yourself to Christ in prayer,
Christ would help you.
After the service,
when he and the other guest preachers
were gathered in the minister’s office,
they were told that a man wanted to see them.
A somewhat disreputable-looking man,
they were warned
“unshaven, unwashed, poorly dressed.
When the man did come in,
he was reeking of alcohol,
but his mind was full of the sermon
he had just heard.
“Do you really believe
that Jesus can help me?” he asked.
“Without a doubt,” Peale replied.
Then the man asked if they would pray with him.
So the four ordained ministers
prayed with the man.
When he went out,
Bishop Moore said, a bit wistfully,
“If that man changes,
we’ll all be surprised, won’t we?”
There it was,
a flicker of doubt from a good man
that change is possible for people.
Six months later,
Peale said he was sitting in the lobby
of a hotel in Clearwater, Florida,
when he saw a man coming toward him,
leading two little girls by the hand.
The man was immaculately dressed,
his daughters were exquisite children,
attractive and well-behaved.
At first Peale didn’t know who he was,
but as he came closer,
he recognized the former derelict from Atlanta.
There was a smile on his face,
He was humming “Amazing Grace”
one of the Hymns Peale had chosen for that church service….
The man he held out his hand in greeting.
Peale said it was one of the most emotional
unforgettable encounters of his life.
It was real,
Christ was real,
they opened the door…..that night…
in that prayer…
Rarely are we completely lost.
And rarely are we completely found.
The wonderful thing is –
The most wonderful thing
is that God knows where we are
We have only to come,
to open the door….to pray…