The Lord gave fruitful ministry in a remote village where J.S. and his family have been ministering for several years. J.S. is a graduate of STN and presently teaching in several areas of India. Our hearts are touched by the sacrifices of His people.
In Bolivia the institutes are already entering the second phase of the program, the attendance is varying. In Santa Cruz it remains with 24 students, in Cochabamba 22 students, La Paz has dropped a little because some students had to travel 90 minutes to reach the Church. For this reason we are seeing the possibility that next year we send a teacher to the city of “El Alto” and there we would have more than 20 students. La Paz now has 12 students since 10 no longer could travel the distance. But still the institutes are doing well.
Pastor Karel Golcher visited our church this year and was the preacher at our Family Camp. The Institute he directs in Guatemala is already starting the third book and they have 18 students.
Honduras had to stop classes for two weeks due to heavy rains but they are back in class. The Honduran Institute is outside of town and has 45 students.
Classes were also stopped for 2 weeks due to bad weather and the first earthquake of 8.2 that hit Mexico. The Church did not suffer damages, although some students and families of the Church suffered some damages in their houses, but thankfully no injuries or loss of life.
When STN International board discussed the issue of giving certificates to graduates of STN India, nobody knew that one day a group of 12 brothers and sisters from a small remote village in North India who were detained by the police in a custody would be released because of this graduation certificate!
Pastor A.K. was one of those 35 who attended our Lucknow Bible training seminar for five years. It was difficult for him to go through the discipline of doing assignments, staying up late in the evenings to study, and finishing the five year program. But it has proved to be very rewarding! Not knowing what was coming the future, A.K. continued his studies and on October 31st, he received a graduation certificate which he kept carefully at home.
He went back to his village and continued to serve the Lord, taking care of his small congregation. On Sunday, July 23rd, something happened that is not uncommon today. Local police called A.K. to report at the Police Station.
He then asked his congregation of 65 baptized brothers and sisters who happened to be from “H” background, “Who would like to go with me to the police station to confront an ugly situation?”
Twelve faithful and bold believers stood up and said, “Brother, we will.”
All of these marched to the police station to be questioned on religion, conversion and to be confined in custody. The police officer asked, “Why are you converting people?”
A.K. answered, “I don’t, sir, but God does.”
The officer asked, “Why are you preaching religion?”
A.K. said, “I don’t preach religion but peace; I preach Christ, and pray for the country.”
Turning to the 12, the officer continued the questioning, “What’s happening with you all? Why are you changing religion?”
The simple brothers and sisters, uneducated and illiterate, replied, “Sir, our lives are changed, our testimonies have become different, as A.K. brought us message of the Gospel. We had bad things happening in our houses but we are delivered and relieved.”
The police officer then turned to A.K., “Where did you get education, is there any proof?”
Avadesh, called his son at home. This son was afraid because his family was at police station. He was crying. A.K. said, “Don’t cry, and just get the certificate of STN graduation.”
A.K.’s son quickly got hold of this certificate and ran to the police station. The officer looks at the certificate carefully and considered the situation. (What happened at this point is a marvel!) The police officer said, “This group is well educated, they have a certificate, just release them.”
Pastor A.K. is financially supported by faithful brothers and sisters from STN International. These faithful supporters will have their reward in eternity.
Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
by Tammy Werth
I left Los Angeles Thursday, October 27 and arrived in Hyderabad Saturday, October 30th. My first flight into Dubai was excellent but the second into India was crowded. After twenty-two hours, I was happy to see the smiles of Ryder and Flory waiting for me at the airport greeting area. Getting through customs didn’t seem to be a problem and it was such a blessing to see the Kumar’s for the first time in over a year.
My second day in India was Sunday and we attended worship services at Ravi & Shanthi’s church, Rehoboth House of Worship. Worship started at 10:00 a.m. and ended three hours later. Lunch and tea with the congregation and then a wonderful time with Shanthi’s ladies group. I could not have asked for a better day with brothers and sisters who love the Lord and His Word.
Ryder and Flory were full of hospitality and encouragement. Getting from place to place was always interesting and a bit time consuming but Ryder assured me the traffic was light.
Flory and I visited a church outside of Hyderabad for a children’s after school program and a ladies meeting. This church ran the program for local children who come every day for bible action songs, a lesson, tutoring and food. We started out with a few songs and half way through the songs the church was full of little ones singing the songs and doing the movements. Please pray for the children you see in the pictures. The Gospel is shared but most of these children are from Hindu families. My prayer is that God would use the pastor, his wife and all the after school workers to plant seeds that would grow in these children. After the children’s program, Flory and I were able to share with the sisters who attended the evening meeting until about 9:30 pm.
Mid-week,I spent time with the sisters at El Shaddai Church. I attended this church during my visit in 2014. Pastor Paul preached that morning and many remember him. Traveling around the city I visited the STN India offices that was dedicated to the Lord’s work a week or two after I left.
I also had the incredible opportunity to visit a Christian orphanage which was not what I expected. The children were beautiful, smiling and enthusiastic and the young couple responsible for helping heal these little ones hearts and shape their lives were obviously well suited for this special ministry. Please pray for this couple and the children in their care.
The highlight of my trip was the special graduation in Vijayawada. I was able to watch and participate in the graduation ceremony. There were 35 students and about 200 in the audience watching and cheering the graduates on. It was a delight to see the Kalapala family who are faithful to what they have learned and who are growing, training and disciplining others for the Kingdom of God. My heart was immediately joined to all these brothers and sisters and I will not forget them! I wish I had more time with this special family.
Submitted by Ravi Rathan Kumar
Shepherding the Nations successfully conducted the BTCP course over a period of 5 years and held its graduation in the year 2014. Nearly 40 pastors were given a certificate of completion. More than the certificate, it was the precious teaching that was given to them that they value the most.
During the two years we have travelled to the churches where the pastors are ministering, we observed a marked difference in their preaching, ministry and teaching. One of the visible effects of BTCP training was found in evidence that their preaching is rightly dividing the word of God. The next best thing that has happened to them was the “ingraining” of the correct doctrines in this age of false teaching and false doctrines.
New Training Begins
- One pastor has taken the task of teaching the BTCP to 10 students in his area and has completed the first 5 books of the course.
- One more course was held in Hyderabad on the 12th of September, 2016, taugth for 10 pastors by Brother Ravi Rathan and Brother Timothy. The pastors who were trained came from the remotest places of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States, and were trained for a period of 12 days.
It is our endeavour to encourage others to hold similar training programmes, and pass on the benefit to others who are otherwise deprived of this special and precious input.
We are immensely thankful to STN international, for their vision, support in helping us to impart the training.
A paradoxical shift has occurred in India as the majority of people, both in the community and government, have become hostile to the Gospel. I say this because it has become a conspicuous fact in the media. Persecutions that were unheard of in the past are happening now on a regular basis. But the God of the Bible is sovereign and will not withhold His mighty hand of power. What has been accomplished by STN International team in the past is really a preparation and prerequisite of what is now occurring. The hard labors, long and tiresome travels and long hours of the daily routines have been rewarded in abundance.
As I write this there are eleven faithful men, from different tribal backgrounds going thru a systematic equipping program. They spend ten hours a day studying and engulfing themselves with course material all to be completed in the next two weeks. This is conducted and taught by two of our STN graduates: Pastor Ravi is a retired bank officer and currently shepherds a lively church, and Timothy is a computer engineer and currently runs a company.
While these men are valiantly working, ten men from South India (all from s Hindi background) came from several remote villages a couple of days ago just in time for fasting and prayer. They began their systematic study program taught by Pastor Laxman Paul, who is a former attorney and was mentored by Pastor KB. The best part is that Laxman is a graduate of STN! How exciting that this is happening in North India in a state which is dominated by Hindu religion. Oh but there is more!
The state of Odisha that became well-known for the murder of the Stains (a missionary family with two kids from Australia) houses a similar study program for 32 participants. Twenty men are expected to do the same in Nepal starting in October. For many years missionaries have tried to reach an area called Budh Gaya. This place is said to be where Buddha had his “enlightenment” that eventually proved to be futile. The same area is not only reached with the power of the Gospel, but a group of 10 men who have been captivated by the Gospel, are making serious efforts to study from one of our STN graduates. Jose Simon travels a long distance with many challenges, incurring all the costs for his own travel.
He works as a principal of a school with the responsibility the job entails, and leads a family with two young children making ministry very difficult. It is not easy for him to travel twelve times a year to a place, which entails 40 hours on a train plus surviving the rigorous bus journey and paying for the needs that arise during these trips. What the team from STN International have done in pouring out their lives to their ministry has accomplished more than just in the area of teaching. It has equipped these trainers and has demonstrated how things can be done when they follow the God who leads! Their commitment has displayed an accomplishment of ‘focus with perspective to multiplying God’s people’. We praise God for Paul Brown and Randy Leinen and the tremendous leadership they display and provide.
As we look to God for more resources as there are scores of servants waiting for an opportunity to be trained in the program. There is an equal number who are in need of financial support and need your help. Would you pray for God’s enabling? The King is coming soon! Would you partner with us? Philippians 1:5 “in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.”
It is not a paradox when His power is awesome! Zechariah 4:6 “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
Diane Brown, Tammy and I had the privilege to have a long lunch with Flory while she was visiting with her family here in California. We took the opportunity to find out more about how her life has changed now that she is living and working in India.
Q: Flory, what was it like for you when you moved your household to India?
A: At the beginning, it was very difficult. Ryder experienced some illness when we first arrived, but God proved himself strong in our weakness. In my ten years of marriage, this was the 5th move.
“God was preparing us so I don’t see ‘home’ as a permanent location, but any place where the Lord sends me.”
Q: How did you find the house that you are living in?
A: This was something that we prayed about before we even left the US. We wanted a place that would be safe and secure, but also a place in a neighborhood where we could have an outreach with the gospel to our neighbors. During our first week at church, we met a man who had a job as a driver. He knew of a house in a safe neighborhood that was available and took us there the next day. The owner was friendly and welcoming and I noticed that the house numbers were the same as my birthday. The rental price was lower than we expected and this was the house that God graciously provided.
Q: What ministry opportunities have you had since you have returned to India?
A: I have had the opportunity to teach several one-day women’s conferences. I have taught on “How to be a Mature Christian in the Church,” to 65 women from five different churches. I also spoke in Kanpur to 52 women from three different churches on “The Cost of Discipleship.” Other ministry opportunities have included a visit to Jedimetla Village where I led a one-day seminar with the ladies and an evening meeting with the children. I taught a Bible study to an orphanage, hosted a Christmas outreach to neighborhood, led Sunday ladies meetings and Sunday school classes.
Q: What church are you attending in Hyderabad?
A: We have been attending Emmanuel House of Worship since January. This was another answer to prayer. This church worships and preaches in English, which is so much easier for me. Ryder is in their preaching team and I, also teach at times with the children’s and lady’s ministry.
Q: What are you looking forward to the rest of this year?
A: After retuning to India, we will be doing some more traveling to have follow-ups with the teachers to whom Ryder has presented “Teacher Training Workshops” in various parts of India; also meeting with key contacts and board members. We will also have lady’s meetings in different regions, where we see the need.
Q: How can we pray for you?
A: Please pray for:
- Salvation for two new friends in our neighborhood, Jacoline and Nisha
- Health and safety during monsoon season
- Good health for both Ryder and I
- Develop new messages and teach wherever there is a need
- New ministry opportunities with children including singing, drama and CEF materials
- For our house maid, Manju and her family for salvation
STN international in God’s provision is moving forward in India for greater productivity. This is to see multiplication in the ministry based on this biblical principle:
“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
-2 Timothy 2:2
Often times, Pastor Randy Leinen referred with great burden to Colossians 1:28-29 28 “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” We were motivated to work hard and this work by God’s grace resulted in 70 pastors being equipped and trained under the leadership team from the United States. As a follow-up to this, there has been a careful selection from these graduates of 2014 to undergo Teacher Training Workshops to train others in the remotest parts of the earth. The Lord has provided some key leaders from Hyderabad, Lucknow, Nepal and West Bengal who will take on this difficult task of training others in the BTCP program.
A true story of transformation
In 2006, a Napalese couple, Mahavir and his wife, Sheeta, (from a “H” background) had many idols and photos of gods and goddess in their home. They heard the gospel message through KB. Their spontaneous response to this was to get rid of all idols from the house. Accepting the Jesus as their Savior and Lord became a dramatic experience as Mahavir was delivered not only from bondage of sin but also from evil habits. More people heard the gospel and a church was planted in Nepal. This church that started with five to seven people has now grown to 50 people. The message of the gospel is being spread to many nearby people in Nepal. The church with 50 people is being led by a pastor who is not theologically trained and is in need of the training of the STN BTCP classes. Mahavir is a graduate of STN BTCP classes and is ready to teach, having completed the Teacher Training Workshop.
Mahavir is not only known as an STN graduate and a Sr. Pastor in Nepal, but has another distinction – in 1978 he won an award for climbing 21,000 feet in the Himalayan mountains.
Multiplication goes on!
There is a need for 30 key people from Nepal to be trained. These 30 would each train 10 men, bringing a multiplication of 300 pastors to begin training in two years. The cost to begin training 30 men from July 2016 would be $4 per course book (4 x 10 x 10=$400 for ten course books) plus with the poor background of each pastor there is need to provide food and tea during the day costing $500 per seminar x 10 seminars = $5,000. Please pray for the the supply to answer this need.
Six Months In Review
It is now six months since Flory and I moved from the United States of American to India. This happened to be one of the toughest decision we ever made in our lives. There are people in the US who desire to get us back and there are those in India who wonder why we have come! I am reminded of Nehemiah, one of the great leaders, who said these words in Nehemiah 6:3, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”
God has shown us, aside from all human reasoning, that our motivation is not to live with complacency, or a comparatively comfortable life. We cannot look back from this commitment to serve the living God. It is worth journeying for thousands of miles, leaving behind a home, and going through the drills of security checks and standing in long lines at the airport, all for the sake of people who need the truth.
The message that we have in these temporary earthen vessels is a most powerful one that causes life or death. Acts 4:19-20 says, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
- During these months in India approximately 6,000 people have heard the Word of God with eagerness.
- There are times the believers stayed in meetings for four hours at a stretch.
- Ladies gathered in three places to spend several hours feasting on God’s Word.
- Saints were strengthened, congregations were blessed and the Word went forth with power.
While doing my M.Div program in the US under the eminent scholars at TMS and associated with Paul Brown to learn and study I did not imagine how far this truth will travel. Our Sovereign God knew and He took me through those valuable times.
Multiplication of Trainers
The Mission must be accomplished. SE Asia is waiting! The training programs we had in India to equip the trainers were very encouraging. We are envisioning 100 leaders to be trained the first year and to graduate the second year. This multiplication approach will enable us to see 10,000 to be trained after two years. God is able! The door is open. The time is now. 1 Corinthians 16:9 “For a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
How can you help? Praying is a powerful resource. Finances are providing resource. Would you pray and provide? The work must go on to combat the false teaching that is cropping up rapidly. The churches must be made healthy. Quality leaders must be raised up and disciples must be made.
Report by Vinay Kalapala
In partnership with the Shepherding the Nations we were able to conduct a one day conference for the ladies of our church and surrounding churches with the theme, “Your Effective Growth in the Body of Christ.” Brother Ryder Kumar gave an inspirational and insightful devotional study from John 6:1-14 speaking on “Incredible Blessing.” Flory Kumar spoke with clarity and burden based on the theme. She focused on six aspects of growth, “Worship, Fellowship, Membership, Serving, Discipleship and Giving.” The 62 ladies present were motivated and blessed by the teaching.
It was a real encouragement to see many participating from other churches such as Hebron Fellowship, LEF, and Zion Prayer house joined with our Shiloh Prayer hall. Followed by a delightful lunch a 20-minute game helped the ladies get ready for the afternoon sessions. Sis. Halleluiah and other ladies sang worship songs at the beginning of afternoon session. Flory continued her 2nd secession with group discussions. During this time, many shared their convictions and challenges in those 6 areas of study and made decisions to correct themselves and gave testimonies and spent time in prayer.
During the conference some of the pastors desired for a meeting with Brother Ryder to express their desire to request STN’s partnership in the endeavors to hold BTCP seminars for many who are in need. We are very much thankful to Brother Ryder and Sister Flory, and Shepherding the Nations for giving us a wonderful opportunity provided to meet the needs of these ladies of different churches. There is a great need for holding such conferences regularly.