2017 India – Tammi Wenzig

God’s Faithfulness
(audio mp3)

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10-11

From December 26-January 1, I traveled with 12 other crazies from the many campuses of New Philly church in Korea and Australia to see what God is doing in Chennai, India and to partner with Him. We were blessed to team up with Pastor Mathew and his wife, Sister Jeeva who lead New Life Christian Assembly (NLCA), a wide-awake church with a dynamic online and streaming presence.

We had the opportunity to do many kinds of ministry from evangelism in far-flung villages, to a prayer service at NCLA, to a morning rooftop ministry filled with Hindu youth and many of their parents. I had the privilege of speaking to the children on the rooftop about how God thinks kids are important and how He’s ready to speak to listening ears even when people seem to think kids are unimportant. It was exciting to see Isaiah 55:10-11 in action!

In one village, a man was healed of partial paralysis just as we were getting ready to leave. He had been unable to walk without assistance after a stroke paralyzed one side of his body and the whole village was aware of his illness. But that day, not only did this man receive salvation in Christ, but he also gained the use of his legs as well! He was able to walk all the way back to his hut without a crutch, and strength even started to return to his paralyzed arm!

So, a little behind schedule, our team bumped along down backcountry roads to another village for the dedication of a new church. This little thatched-roof church was basically a large hut with a generator. It was simply and lovingly decorated.

When we arrived, Pastor Mathew told us the history leading to this significant moment: Years ago, this village area had been on the target list of villages that his ministry team endeavored to reach. Week after week, the pastor and different deacons would come out to share the Gospel and have ministry time. But week after week no one showed up. This wasn’t a simple drive to the countryside- it’s a long trek from town, and after years of faithful sowing in for breakthrough, the ministry team finally felt released from that particular village area. But then, God put it on one deacon’s heart to try again. This deacon adopted this village as his own mission field. He came out week after week. At first no one show up, and then a couple would show up, and then none again. But this deacon remained faithful until the salvation broke through and a body of Christ was revealed there. By the time our team arrived, a new church building built and was being officially dedicated- to be supported by NLCA. This church was more than just a building in which to gather. It was a symbol of faithfulness over the years, and the power of Christ to pursue the hearts of His people. After praying outside, dedicating the building, consecrating the space for God’s plans, we all packed inside. In an area no larger than most living rooms, children, women, and a few men from the village, 43 in all, gathered together to praise God for His goodness, and to dream big for what God’s good plans. Our team taught some VBS songs, sang a little in Tamil, our team preacher Pastor John Park preached a powerful message about thanksgiving. Our team then blessed each person in the room, praying for them one by one.

As I prayed for one little girl, the Holy Spirit whispered, “just look at her hands.” Her tiny hands with faded henna designs were raised to receive, and there was an unearthly peace and serenity deep in this girl, in the presence of God. I recognized that spirit. As I continued to pray for the girl, God talked to me about faithfulness in those little hands. She may not always know why she comes, she may not see fruit all the time, she may not know all the reasons she raises her hands to receive in the house of the Lord, but she comes. This little church was build out of such faithful dedication. Some, then none, then one.

As our team bumped along the country roads to our next meeting, God continued to tell me that this little church will be an anchor. Though numbers may swell and shrink, the building may crumble to the ground, the Bride of Christ is there will tend her lamp and ready herself for the bridegroom. First, it was through the pastor, then the grandmas, the mothers, and now these little hands.

It wasn’t only at this little church that we saw the fruit of faithfulness. We also saw God’s faithfulness to the youngest generations in Chennai- the future leaders of His church. There are so many children and young adults in this region that God has called out of Hinduism and tradition for Himself. Sometimes these youth are the only members of their families following Christ. At one altar call for those hearing a call to full-time ministry, 14 young people came forward to dedicate themselves fully to God’s will. What God is already doing in Chennai is amazing. But surely the best is yet to come.

There is so much more from our time in Chennai, but I’ll leave you with some areas to pray into:

  1. Please pray for Pastor Mathew and his family as they minister with authority and power in the NCLA congregation, the outlying villages, and through podcast all throughout the nation.
  2. Pray for more young people in Chennai to answer the call to follow Christ, and for faithful men and women to disciple them.
  3. Pray for the village ministries to continue to bear the fruit of healings and salvations to spread throughout the nation of India.

Once again, thank you so much for covering our team with your prayers and for sending us out with your financial generosity. Let us be expectant for even greater spiritual fruit to come out of this mission field!