Greetings from Japan
by Russell & Sandra Board
We were excited to welcome the 5th IPHC Global Assembly to Asia, hosted in Hong Kong from May 6th-8th. We were greatly inspired to hear the national leaders give a brief glimpse into what God is doing in and through the IPHC family around the world. Through the meetings, fellowship, worship, and prayer, the Spirit of God moved deeply and powerfully among us, binding us together in unity of purpose and vision. Russell spoke to the delegates about the work of IPHC in the Asia/Pacific region. He was proud to introduce two anointed leaders from the region: Bishop H. of Indonesia told of Muslims coming to the Lord in unprecedented numbers, as local churches and believers are trained and mobilized for outreach; Rev. Michael John of India told of revival in Varanasi, the seat of Hinduism, where 160 house churches have been started in the past five years.
Surprise praise report #1: At the Global Assembly, God orchestrated promising connections in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea! We are taking steps to initiate IPHC work in these countries.
Surprise praise report #2: At the Global Assembly, Bishop Samuel Moses presented an offering from the South India Conference to the Global Outreach fund for world evangelization. The amount? US $1028!! Many Indian workers earn only $2 per day, yet these believers joyfully sacrifice for the privilege of participating in the cause of global missions!
In June we traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a special weekend of ministry. On Saturday, Russell delivered the commencement address for 10 new graduates of LifeNet Bible College. Through partnerships with the South Carolina Conference School of Ministry and Advantage College, LifeNet Bible College offers Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in Practical Theology. On Sunday, Sandra preached in the early morning Tamil language service, while Russell preached in the afternoon English service. We also held strategic meetings with missionaries, interns, and national leaders. Malaysians come from various ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese, Indian and Malay. By law, the majority Malays are Muslim from birth, and are not allowed to convert. Christians (mostly Chinese and Indian) constitute 9% of the population, and face discrimination and restrictions on their activities.
Change in Plans
We were forced to cancel our scheduled visit to the US this summer, due to the recurrence of ocular motor nerve paralysis resulting in double vision for Russell. We are remaining in Japan for recuperation and investigation of the cause. We regret missing the opportunity to participate in missions meetings, visit churches, and see family and friends.
Points for Prayer
- Pray for healing for Russell’s eye condition, and discovery of the cause.
- Pray for the graduates of LifeNet Bible College, that they will enter into fruitful ministry for Christ’s Kingdom in Malaysia.
- Pray for the ministries of Bishop H. among Muslims in Indonesia, and Rev. Michael John among Hindus in India.
- Pray for our missionaries in Nepal as they continue their relief efforts to aid the families who lost homes or loved ones in the April earthquake. We ask you to join us in donating to relief and recovery through People to People Ministries (disaster relief project #09055).
Photo credit: Russell Board