Hello Everyone, I apologize for not being on my blog much the past few weeks. I have been super busy writing and looking for jobs. But, I thought you all might enjoy a guest on my blog. Phil is a friend of mine here in Australia who recently went on a mission trip to India and had an amazing experience. Shortly, though after he got home – the orphans have been going through different issues that could change their lives as they know it at the moment. Sorry that this is a bit long – but I truly felt like this needed to be shared with you all.
Can you share with me about your trip to India?
In early January 2012 I was blessed enough to be offered to join a mission trip to India. The trip was run through West Toowoomba Presbyterian Church, who has been supporting Shi-loh Church Ministries through finances and prayer for a number of years. A family friend told me of the trip, and after praying about it, I felt compelled to go. I didn’t really know why I was going or what I was after, but purely that I felt God wanted me there. Through work, I was in a position where I was able to afford the costs of the trip.
The trip itself is hard to describe. It’s like trying to tell about his greatness, it just can’t be done. His presence over there was just amazing. The way the people cling to Him daily for their spiritual sustenance was inspiring. We were blessed enough to meet so many men and women strong in Christ, as well as dedicate Bore Wells, speak at conferences and preach the Gospel in villages.
What was the biggest eye opener, while you were there?
The most amazing thing I found about the whole experience was how everyone relied on their faith. Whether it was Christianity or not. Faith is the main focus of their lives and it was an incredible thing to experience, as everyday we were with these people, living the way they live, fueled with faith. Faith is such a massive part of their lives, and it would be so incredible if those idols were replaced with the salvation found in Christ Jesus.
In descriptive words, can you tell me about the land, people, and orphanage?
We were based in the eastern villages of Andhra Pradesh. In the north rough, mountainous landscapes and green, lush forests are common scenery, whilst to the east you can find sand beaches lined with fishing boats and cast nets. The land near the dense populations is dirty and polluted; a far cry from the uninhabited peaks and ranges in the more isolated areas.
I remember we could see large rocks arranged in the shape of a cross on a mountain side. We were kilometers from it and it looked so amazing.
The Indian people were warm to greet us. Westerners are seen as wealthy, and so we are normally greeted with smiles and offered to purchase goods from the locals. In the more northern states, westerners are not welcome, and some state laws actually ban tourism of any kind from non-Indian nationals. This is because the Indian communists and Hindus see the Western world as all Christians. A link is then made between the wealth that we have and the poverty they have, they develop a jealousy and so then hate the name of Jesus for they feel he has not provided for them.
While God always provides for them, because of their hatred and jealousy they are unable to see this. Luckily, God has made an amazing way to care for the Indian children. SCM runs 3 orphanages, all in different villages of the state. The building, running and food costs for these facilities are completely run from donations.
Can you tell me about these orphans and their orphanage?
God’s care reaches to the far flung areas of India, and this occurs in one mentionable way, through Orphanage care. The Orphanages run by SCM current house, feed and care for 225
orphaned children. These children are spread across 3 orphanages, aged from 3 to 15 and have a variety of reasons for being in SCM’s care. Ranging from child neglect, violence or poverty, all the way through to murder and Christian prosecution. Most of the orphans in the orphanage in the state of Orissa are there due to the deaths of their families during the horrendous violence and persecution in 2008.
Walking into the orphanage, you wouldn’t know that most of these kids were once victims of such public persecution. The rooms light up with there smiles. Each orphanage is different; most consist of an eating room, with two sleeping rooms (boys and girls are separated) and a kitchen/food storage room.
How long has the orphanage been running?
Most of the orphanages have been operating for 3-4 years. Pastor Raju opened the first orphanage in Samalkot, the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh. Raj and his wife Rani began this orphanage inside their house, now they live with these children in a larger complex that houses 110 Orphans. Everyday Raj and Rani care, cook and share the Gospel to these children with the serving heart of Christ. The second orphanage opened in Moolopeta. This orphanage is run by paid workers who cook, clean and teach God’s word the children. 80 orphans live in this orphanage, which has recently begun construction for a new building. The new three story building will be able to house up to 200 orphan children, including rooms and a kitchen. This project still requires $33,000 to complete. Whilst visiting, we were able to see the second level concrete slab being poured. The children are so excited for the completion of their new home and we pray that these funds will be gained quickly so that that can live a bit more comfortably. The most recent orphanage to be opened is the one just south of Orissa. Located just a few hundred meters from the state boarder, this orphanage houses children that were involved in the horrendous persecution of Christians in Orissa in 2008.
These children live a very tough life, with persecution and violence around them daily. This orphanage is newly constructed, and God has done amazing things to continue to provide and support them. Previous to its construction the orphans lived in make-shift dwellings built from trees and palm fronds. These dwellings were commonly burnt by the local Hindus, making life very dangerous but also very faith building.
Tell me a little about the people who are running the organization?
In 1988 the founder of Shi-Loh Church Ministries, Pastor G. Raju, received a prophesy through his mother G. Suguna. In it he was told that God wants to use him as a mighty man of God, to work for the poor and needy in His Kingdom. He promised Raj help through a lady from Australia, and this lady turned out to be mother Maureen Secretan. In 1989 when he was undergoing a Bible college course in Hyderabad, a team from Australia called JESUS HEALS CAMPAIGN visited. Its founder is Rev. Stuart Gramenz and mother Maureen Secretan was one of the team members. She accepted Raju as her son in Christ and from this relationship; Shiloh Church Ministries (SCM) has grown. Jesus has promised that fourteen countries would help SCM spiritually and physically.
Every year SCM hosts visitors to teach our pastors, and to hold a pastor’s conference. Through their teachings many pastors and leaders have been gifted with the power of God, and have a strong faith and a good knowledge of Jesus Christ.
SCM now operates with 160 Pastors (each with there own church) and 6 administration and operating staff. By a word from God, they aim to bring 1,000,000 souls into the light of salvation through this ministry.
For those who are not aware about what is happening in these orphan’s lives, can you please share with me about what is happening?
There are several concerns which are always an issue with the orphanages. Most of the rooms don’t have electricity, which makes sleeping difficult in the summer, the food can be scarce and urgent building repairs are being delayed due to lack of funding. But these are everyday issues they face, basic problems they are used to facing.
Recently, though a new issue has arisen from the state of Orissa. The Hindu and Communist parties involved in government have presented legislation which, if made law, would result in all establishments that teach the Bible to be permanently closed.
The motive behind this movement is related to education – the children are leaving the orphanages (children stay until they reach 16 years old) with a better education than that of the Hindu locals. This difference in education is resulting in local Hindus being unable to find employment, which is affecting their pride and their ability to support their families. There are currently 7 orphanages that will be effected by this change if it takes hold, resulting in over 900 children being homeless. If this occurs, these children will be forced to live and beg on the streets. In these conditions most of these children will die.
This movement follows the persecution in 2008 in which 114 people were murdered and 15,000 homeless. The new up rise in Orissa is developing along a very similar pattern that led to the 2008 violence.
By an act of God, the movement has halted slightly, as the man in charge of this law has been removed from power. However, once a new member is instated, it will be up to them to cancel the law for passing. This has given SCM a window of time to try and gather urgent funds in order to feed, house and care for these 900 orphans should the need arise. This year Pastor Raju received a word from God that he would be caring for 1,000 children in his orphanages, which seems to be occurring a lot sooner than expected. This will place extreme pressure on an already fragile funding system. More funding to prepare for this is urgently needed, I can not stress this enough.
Is there a way that people can give to support the Orphanage and the orphans? In Australia? In other countries?
SCM has a range of sponsorship options. Given the recent events in Orissa funding of any kind is urgently needed. The easiest way to support is to donate. The orphanage runs on $1000 a day, that’s meals and running costs for a facility that supports 100 orphans. Donations of any size really do make a massive difference, as we receive large amounts of small donations, all of which contribute to caring for these children.
Those interested in permanent pastor or orphan sponsorship packages should consult the website www.shilohcurchministries.com or contact me by email (Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org). I strongly urge all those who read this to pray about this ministry and give what God puts on your heart to give.
All donations are tax deductible with receipts available on request. Donations can be made to –
Name: Shiloh Church Ministries.
Bank: WESPAC BANK
Account Number: 141611
Due to the laws within India, we are unable to provide tax receipts to donations made directly into the Indian account of SCM. For this reason, this linked Australian account exists so that receipts can be gained and donations can still occur.
Please contact Bob Ewers via email on email@example.com to organize receipts.
What else can people do to help if they are not able to give money at the time?
The ministry is constantly housing groups of prayer warriors in their churches, to pray for protection over the ministry, for ongoing provision and for protection again Satan and his works. They focus a large amount of their time and resources on prayer, and know about its importance in bringing the spiritual world into the physical world. They are requesting massive amounts of prayer. Your support with this ministry through your prayers would be greatly appreciated.
Further, the word of this ministry needs to be spread. Currently, I am donating my time to go around to local churches and spread the word about SCM. When I am doing this, one of the most common questions that I am asked is why should the church sponsor this ministry? My answer is very simple. God is doing so much around the world through the form of outreaches and ministries, and it is very difficult to determine which are more worthy of funding than others. My answer to this is that no one ministry is more worthy than another when it comes to the works of God; however I do believe that through prayer God reveals which ministries he wants certain people and churches to support. He has so many missions and ministries doing incredible things in his name, and God reveals the ones that he wants us to support to us, through prayer. With this said, I firmly believe that my task is to reach those people God has prepared to assist SCM. God’s amazing work in India needs to be shared with the world to display the majesty of His works.
Please pray for their protection against the devices of the enemy, against physical and spiritual attack on the orphanage. Please pray for healing amongst there bodies as diseases are manic and medical aid is difficult to gain. Further, please praise God for his provision and deliverance of these children into the care of SCM; that he would continue to bless them and provide for them.