IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER

By Dr. Michael Grubbs

PRAYING

There is one very important element to our prayers which needs to be identified.  What is the primary focus of our prayers or what should we pray for?  Let’s look at some Scripture to help in identifying what we should be praying for.

GIVING

Testimonies

“It was one eventful evening. The Lord led me to visit my senior brother at his residence…He gracefully explained the way of salvation to me. I read Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23. He knelt down with me and I prayed the sinner’s prayer.” Jonathan was baptized a year after joining Faith Independent Baptist Church in Accra, Ghana. Jonathan’s senior brother persuaded him to study cost accountancy in one of the leading commercial colleges in Accra. In the middle of his second year, he read a sermon by Dr. John R. Rice in The Sword of the Lord. The message was from Joshua 24:15. In his sermon, Dr. Rice challenged every young man, who has been called, to enter the ministry. Without delay, Jonathan took the challenge whole-heartedly. Jonathan is currently serving the Lord in Ghana, West Africa.
Jonathan Quarshie, Ghana
I came from a polygamous family which also practiced fetishism. When I was 20 years old, I had to leave my family in order attend school 53 KMs away from my village. While there, I met an evangelist who told me about Jesus and gave me some lessons to study. I studied these lessons and one afternoon in 1993, I prayed and accepted Jesus as my Savior. I was baptized in 1994.
Assatchou “Roger” Fetou, Togo, West Africa
Though he was brought up in a Christian home, his father being a pastor, his personal relationship with God began in 1995 during a youth camp organized by his home church. During this camp, he heard the Gospel of salvation and felt in his heart the need to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He confessed publicly Christ and his personal relationship started there. He was baptized in 2003.
Olatounde “Rock” Otekpola Jr., Benin, West Africa
I grew up in a home where there were many arguments about finances, so I developed the attitude that if you had enough money, you would not have problems. By the time I was 22, I had achieved a commissioned position with an insurance business, had acquired land, homes, and developed five restaurants, employing 150 people. I became bored with all this and learned how to gamble. In trying to fill a void in my life, I also became a certified scuba diver and a private pilot with commercial and instrument ratings. But the pursuit of all these things was indeed vanity, as Solomon said, although I did not realize it at that time. It wasn’t too many years later that God allowed all my property and holdings to be lost due to my persistent gambling. Ready and searching after this devastation, I entered a Bible-believing church in 1988 and heard the message of Psalm 119:71: “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” The pastor gave an invitation to accept Christ. I met with him later and trusted Christ as my personal Savior on December 21, 1988, at the age of 38. I was then Scripturally baptized on January 1, 1989.
Kerry Psinas, Grenada, West Indies
Moses was born into a pastor’s family and is the third generation involved in ministry. Growing up, he was very active in children’s and youth programs in the church, however, his involvement was more of a pressure than commitment. Finally, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior on December 31, 1997. As he grew up, he saw his parents (Dr. & Mrs. Chatla Devasahayam) experience many troubles, humiliations, sufferings, and persecution due to their faithfulness to Christ. Moses was hesitant to take up the cross. It was his intention to get a good education, job, and support the ministry. But, God strengthened his faith through the example of Moses found in Exodus 3-4. He was challenged by God’s assurance to Moses against the five objections he posed to God in order to escape from his God-given mission. “I will be with you,” are the words that prompted him to dedicate his life and to carry the cross. He joined IGM in 2008.
Moses Chatla, India
Ninglum Wungkhai joined IGM in January, 2010, working through Vision2020Asia. Ning was saved as a teen when a preacher told him that knowing Jesus by name would not save him if he did not receive Him in his heart. He poured out his heart to God to forgive his sin and received Jesus as personal Savior. When he was mocked for his testimony, he realized the lost could not know about Jesus unless someone witnessed to them. He dedicated his life to serve God and become a preacher. God brought a trial into Ning’s life when, at the age of 18, he lost both his parents. He took the responsibility of caring for and working to feed his brother and sister. His situation gave him compassion for street children and orphans and caused him to ask God to use him to care for them. God opened the door for Ning to attend Bible College in Southern India. After school, he returned home and organized a group of college students to visit the border area villages. One of the village elders told him, “Brother, you are [only] the second person who came and talked about Jesus in my village.” He was challenged again to become a preacher. God then opened the door for him to attend West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, CA.
Ninglum Wungkhai, India
In 1997, I was invited for the first time to a prayer meeting in a church. At the time of the invitation, I was dejected and discouraged with life because of my poor academic performance. I was out of hope and I was about to be kicked out of school. I agreed to participate in the prayer meeting because of the difficulties. After the prayer meeting, the preacher invited the new people to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It was then that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and my personal Savior. Matthew 11:28 After accepting the Lord Jesus Christ, I received hope to continue living. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for this great love that He has shown and which He continues to show in my life.
Kouame Arsene Konan, Ivory Coast, West Africa
I was born on the 10th of November, 1960 in a little district called Lennox Bigwoods, Westmoreland, Jamaica. In April of 1971, my grandmother sent my cousins and I to the Good Friday Service at a little Baptist church in that same district where I was born. We waited for about two hours for the church building to be opened but, unfortunately, no one came to open the church or to conduct the service that day. Therefore, we went back home without knowing what a worship service was all about. Out of curiosity, I went back to that same church on Easter Sunday. I enjoyed the service and continued to attend church regularly. After I listened to the Sunday morning sermon on the 24th of October, 1971, at the age of 10 years old, I responded to the call of God to salvation and began my Christian life. I based my salvation experience on (Romans 10:9, 10 &13). I was baptized on the 26th of March, 1972. Since my initial days of salvation, my relationship with Christ has grown and developed into a life of spiritual maturity resulting in a practical, productive, and purposeful Christian witness. I was called of God to the pastoral ministry in May of 1981 and have been involved in this same ministry until this present time. I am driven by a supreme and overreaching passion for His glory. Through the proclamation of the Gospel of God in words and deeds, I desire to see the worship of God spread to all the nations of the world. Yours to the Glory of God, Garnet Samuels
Garnet Samuels, Trinidad, West Indies
I am Fritz Voltaire. I come from a family of 6 kids: 3 boys and 3 girls. I am the youngest boy of the 6. Our mother and father were not strong in the LORD JESUS. We used to go to church accompanied by our grandmother who was a fervent Christian. When I was 16 years old, I decided to choose my best friends among bad teenagers in my area. I went to church when I wanted and my father and my mother did not force me to keep serving our GOD. I remember one day, while we were walking in one area, we saw an old, ugly man sitting in front of his house. I spoke very rudely to him and laughed at him. He told me, “Pretty soon, you are going to die.” Somebody nearby advised me to ask him to forgive me because I did not know he was the most powerful voodoo priest in town. He repeated, “Ask your parents to buy a casket for you. Next month at this time, you will be here with me”. All my friends ran to their homes and they left me alone, trembling and weeping. I immediately felt something hit me. I went home, stumbling and getting dizzy. Our neighbors were saying, “Pretty soon, Fritz will be a zombie”. When I told the event to my mother, she cried her heart out. I could not eat, drink, or sleep. I became skinny. Every night, I thought I was in a coffin. My father went to the voodoo priest’s house to let him know he would pay him to heal me but the voodoo priest said. “It is too late.” My grandmother and some preachers from her church finally came to my home. They prayed for me and they explained to me that I needed to confess my sins and ask the LORD JESUS to accept me like His son forever. I promised the LORD that I would share His love and glory everywhere I am. This is why, from 1970 to now, I have JESUS as my Savior, my Master, my Best Friend, my Owner, my Treasure, my King, and my Guide.
Fritz Voltaire, Haiti, West Indies
I trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior on December 7, 1976 at the age of nineteen. The Sudan Interior Mission (SIM), that operated the only Christian radio station (ELWA) in the country at the time, also offered Bible correspondence courses in government schools in Monrovia. I applied to do the course and was accepted. In the letter of acceptance, l was told that the only way I would understand the course was to confess my sin and accept Christ as my Savior. Under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I knelt down and prayed to receive Christ as my Savior. I felt something strange, a good feeling of joy as though some heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and l began to praise the Lord. That decision was the end of my search for God as a child. I grew up on the farm and my parents were not believers. We did not go church or Sunday school. But all along as a child, I knew there was a God. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” One person who demonstrated this verse was an old Christian lady, Nah Bontay, who was a member of the Baptist church in my town. She was single and lived in our village. One evening, she called us kids in her hut for family devotions and it was there that I first heard the story of Jesus. She told us how Jesus was born, how He healed the sick and raised the dead, and how He was put to death on a Roman cross, was buried, and rose again. At the end of the story, she gave the invitation. I raised my hand. But my elder brother glared at me, and out of fear, l put my hand back down. That night, the seed was planted in my heart and it grew over the years, including when I moved to the city of Monrovia in 1971. The thought of dying and going to hell haunted me all along. “Remember what Nah Bontay said? You have to give your life to Christ.”, I would tell myself. When December 7 came, I was ready. Following my salvation, God gave me the desire to tell others about Christ. I began to attend church, got baptized, and started to teach Sunday school and Bible classes in the neighborhoods. Sensing the call of God on my life, I was encouraged by my missionary teacher, Miss Majorie Macmillan, to go to Bible College. The Lord gave me a beautiful wife, Roseline. We got married in 1987 and were blessed with two boys and a ministry to help kids. I resigned my job with the government in 1997 and went into full-time ministry with Calvary Baptist Church, first as director of evangelism, later as assistant pastor, and now as senior pastor for almost two decades. I am always grateful to God for that dear old Christian woman who did not hide her light.
Rev. G. Larque Vaye, Liberia, West Africa
I was born on June 17, 1960 in Bouake, Ivory Coast, where my parents were serving the Lord as missionaries. I grew up in the country of Ivory Coast and was very fortunate to have had an opportunity to experience life on the mission field. It was exciting to see the response of the Africans to the Word of God and the change of life they experienced. At the age of six, I was sent off to Ivory Coast Academy, a missionary boarding school, where I attended school for the next twelve years. I graduated from ICA on July 7, 1978. I owe a great deal of credit to the school for helping mold me into the person I am today. Many times, I felt the rules and regulations at ICA were unreasonable but that’s what it took to mold me into a usable vessel for God’s service. On October 3, 1967, I received Christ as my personal Savior during a spiritual emphasis week in which Niel Foster was the guest speaker. The joy and peace I experienced at the time of conversion will always be remembered as long as I live. My lifestyle just totally changed direction with God at the control. The impact He has had on my life through the years has been tremendous and very enriching. He has molded me into the person I am today and will continue molding me. I received my calling a few years after my conversion while attending meetings in which a French evangelist, Jacques Gerald, was ministering. He had been asked to come to Ivory Coast by the president and to visit each major city and preach the Word of God. My father, in Bouake at the time, encouraged my brothers and I to attend a few of the meetings and experience the moving of God through the preaching of this evangelist. It was at these meetings that God dealt with me and called me into His ministry overseas and impressed upon my heart the need for evangelism and church growth among the African people.
James Arnold, Field Coordinator for Ivory Coast and Acting Director of FMI
My name is Ishwar Shrestha. I am the youngest son of my parents. I was born and brought up in an orthodox Hindu family. When I was a Hindu, I believed in different gods and goddesses. My father was a famous Hindu priest in my local area. He was a very devoted Hindu. But we were caused to come to Christ because of an attack of the devil. In 1994, my older sister was 20 years old. She became sick and affected by a demonic spirit. During the initial period of her illness, we did not know that it was caused by a demon so our family performed all kinds of rituals like sacrificing many animals such as goats, roosters, etc. and following the rules suggested by the local witch doctor but her condition was deeper than that and it became worse as time went on. Then we took her to the hospital but were surprised because she kept getting worse and the doctors could not diagnose any disease. They had no suggestions for further care and so there was no more hoping to be cured by medicine. Then we took her to a Buddhist priest, hoping to get some solution because her physical condition was getting worse and we could not wait. That was also in vain. We took her to many other priests and witch doctors but no one could help her. After almost three months had passed since she become ill, she reached the last stage. We almost lost all hope for her life and we now were waiting for her last breath. However, some people heard that the news and came to suggest to us that we take her to the church for prayer. So, as a last resort, we searched for some Christian people to pray over her and found some. When we attended prayer at their church, the pastor said that there is healing for all kinds of sickness and disease. He told us that if we believed in Jesus Christ, my sister would get well. So, we decided to do whatever he said. He prayed and rebuked the devil and immediately, an amazing incident happened. The devil left her and my sister was immediately healed. She got up from her bed. We saw that and were amazed so we committed our life to Jesus Christ and whole family has followed Him to this day. At that time, I was 14 years of age. After some time, when this news spread through the village, then great suffering and persecution befell our family. We were not allowed to enter any neighbor’s house. Our neighbors began telling us that we have all accepted a foreign religion and are now low caste (Nepal has a caste system). They put my father into police custody for 3 days. By the grace of God, we stood strong in faith. In 2002, I attended Bible college for three years (2002-2005) and earned my B.Th. at New India Bible Seminary in Kerala, India. After college, I planted a new church In Bhaktapur, Nepal and I am serving there as the pastor. I have a calling from God to reach unreached peoples, tribes, and nations in remote areas of Nepal through preaching, teaching, evangelism, church planting and making disciples. Now we have seven churches. Please remember our country, Nepal, in your prayers. Thank you.
Ishwar Shrestha, Nepal
I was born and raised in a family that didn’t know God. Our family used to believe strongly in witchcraft and lots of Spiritism. At the age of 12, one day I picked a Gospel tract that had been written…YESU ATARUDI TENA, JE UKO TAYARI? Christ is coming again, are you ready? After reading that Gospel tract title, the question came to mind, if it happens that Christ returns today, am I going to Heaven? My heart was disturbed. I feared a lot. But I did not get an answer until one day a missionary visited our school. He shared the Gospel clearly and I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Thanks to God for saving me. It’s a journey I have lived for all this years with many challenges but His grace has been sufficient for me. I have the assurance of seeing Jesus when He comes for His saints.
Franklin Ngala, Voice of Hope Baptist Church in Kikambala, Kenya
When I was born, my parents were actively living for the Lord. I constantly heard about Jesus loving me so much, He died on the cross for me. Mama had a Bible club in our home. My dad belonged to a group of men that would go from church to church as ushers helping for special meetings. Our family would often go with him. We lived in the city of Philadelphia. At age 5, we went with Daddy to a large church where Bill Rice [John R’s brother] was preaching. We sat in the balcony where Daddy was ushering. It was that night I knew for sure I needed Jesus as my Savior. I raised my hand and then Daddy went forward with me. A man talked to me and helped me pray, confessing that I was a sinner and only Jesus could help me. When we came out of that room, my mom says I shouted out, “Mommy, I have Jesus in my heart!” And after 73 years, He is still with me, leading, comforting and supplying my every need. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Flossie Abbott, Mexico
I grew up in a pastor’s home where my parents were faithful to share the Gospel with me. After hearing a sermon from a visiting evangelist, I asked my dad how I could be saved and go to heaven. He shared the Gospel with me from the book of Romans and I prayed and trusted Christ as my Savior. I was 5 years old.
Jacob Sechrest, New Zealand
I was saved in September 1974 at the age of 16. Both of my parents are Catholics but only my father went to church sometimes. I was baptized when I was 8 days old, according to Catholic teachings. It was there, I was given the name “Paul”. I went through their classes for confirmation. I had opportunities to teach the class whenever our teacher was absent or came late. Unfortunately, we were also worshipping idols at the same time. There is no problem in doing so according to Catholic teachings. It was February 1974 when a white Baptist missionary came to our area and was living opposite of our house. Our father did not allow us to go to the white missionary. According to my father, the white missionary had another god. I was drawn to the missionary because of sports. I love to play soccer, volleyball, basketball and table tennis. The missionary had all these games and many more. Therefore, I used to go to the missionary’s house almost each evening for the games. The missionary used to give us pamphlets and sometimes he shared the Gospel with us. I was touched several times by the Gospel message but I was afraid of my father. Because I knew that he would not be happy with me. The missionary invited an African pastor from the country of Benin for a one-week crusade. I was able to attend that crusade. The day before the ending of the crusade, Saturday morning, I went to that African pastor with many questions about God and about our culture. I was born after twins. Moreover, according to our culture, I was a god of the family and I had power. I could not resist God’s calling for salvation after I got the answers to my questions. It was that morning in September 1974 that I accepted Christ as my Lord and my Savior. Truly, I experienced great joy and I had peace of mind, which I never had before that day because I was afraid to die and I had been asking myself where I would go after I died. A few days later, my mother found out that I went to the white missionary and I had his God. She talked to my father about it. One day, early in the morning at 2 AM, my father called me with my mother. It was not an easy morning for me. My mother was crying. She said I would die because I turned from our worship and because I threw away all the talismans they gave me. My father wanted to kick me out of the house but he listened to the counsel of one of his friends and he did not. I went through hard times. Nevertheless, I am very thankful to the Lord for sustaining me and helping me through it. I am also thankful to the Lord for some of my brothers and sisters who gave their life to Christ, too.
Edoh “Paul” Assignon, Pastor of Temple Shalom in Kara, Togo
Wes Auger was preaching and performing magic tricks for the children. He seemed to turn cutouts of rabbits from black to white on opposite ends of the platform. He was illustrating the sinfulness of man and the forgiveness of Christ. As a five year-old, I understood that I was a sinner and needed forgiveness. At the end of the message, he gave an invitation. I was sitting with my mother in the back of the church and I was on the aisle. My mother saw me leaning to go down front and took my hand and we went forward together. I remember looking out the car window into the dark of night and I knew something was different. As the years went by, I understood what had happened. I thank God for eternal security, the sure knowledge of my home in heaven, and His presence in my life’s journey.
David Hamilton, the Lord in a pulpit supply ministry called, Have Bible, Will Travel
I was born on December 28, 1958 to Mr. Joe Kaba Weidehgar, Sr. and Mrs. Teebeh Newon Weidehgar in Kapa Town, Timbo District, Rivercess County. My parents were at first of the Islamic faith. My mother came to know the Lord in 1985. She faithfully served with the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Lower Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, while my father received the Lord in 1996 when I witnessed to him on his sick bed. He has gone to be with the Lord. I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the age of nine while attending the Liberia Inland Mission School, Rivercess County in 1967. I backslid upon moving to Monrovia in order to further my education. When I enlisted in the Liberian National Police, years later, my spiritual lifestyle took on a slow downward trend as a result of my association with ungodly friends. I became involved in all kinds of sinful vices such as womanizing, smoking, drinking and night clubbing. Even though I sometimes went to church while living such a life, I did so only for selfish motives (to entice women and make connections). As a married man, I was an abusive and unfaithful husband. On one occasion, I got drunk and dragged my pregnant wife in the pool of rain. My life was so morally bad. As a police officer who was supposed to be a peace maker and loyal citizen, I was a law breaker and not at peace with myself and God. This was my spiritual condition until the Lord brought me back into His sheep fold. I rededicated my life to the Lord in September 1985 when a brother invited me to his church. The Lord used the message titled, “Sinners, Where Are You?” to get through to me. I responded and rededicated my life to the Lord and was subsequently baptized in December of the same year. My Christian life was again shattered when two ministers of the Gospel got into confusion over church purity. One was accused by the other of “putting too much emphasis on sin” which, he said, will drive away more members from the church. This situation caused my already shaky spiritual life a serious problem, thus leading me back to Egypt, figuratively speaking. But thanks be unto the Lord: He is always concerned about one lost sheep. He used a friend, Pastor Peter Gebeor, to bring me back unto the Lord after series of invitations to the Freeway Baptist Church of which he was the pastor. I finally rededicated my life to the Lord in 1991 and began my gradual growth to spiritual maturity. Upon rededicating my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I developed a strong desire to promulgate the Gospel to the lost world as an evangelist. This was prompted by the knowledge of God’s Word. Based upon this decision, I seriously started street evangelism. The success of this soul-winning campaign aroused my desire for a sound Bible College education. This decision caused me to abandon my secular college education in accounting at the University of Liberia. Encouraged again by Pastor Gebeor, I enrolled at the Baptist College of Church Ministries in 1992 and graduated in 1995. While at the college, I enrolled in the ROGMA BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE and obtained two certificates. Thanks be to God, I have served as pastor for two churches, the Second Calvary Baptist Church and the Matadi Baptist Church.
Moses U-Joe Weidehgar, pastor of the Living Spring Baptist Fellowship and Administrative Dean of the Jake Memorial Baptist College
I got saved when I was a 16 year-old boy. Before then, I was a boy who hated the words, “born again” because I thought I was on my way to heaven by doing good things. I thought a person went to heaven if they did more good things than bad things and they went to the lake of fire if they did more bad things than good things. One day I visited my uncle, Pastor Centure Oloka, who told me that without salvation, no one will see God. Then I told him, “Uncle, my religion says that only baptism and doing good things takes us to heaven.” He said to me that that is not true. It is through accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He shared with me verse by verse to show me how to be saved. I was told four things to know before getting saved: 1. I am a sinner and no one is perfect. Romans 3:10 and 3:23 2. For everything you do, there is a payment or salary so my salary or payment for my sin was death and hell. Romans 6:23 3. The good news is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sin. Romans 5:8 4. If anybody believes the above 3, he or she can be saved. I realized that I was a sinner and on my way to hell. I repented of my sin, then I called Jesus to come into my heart and save my soul. Romans 10:13 Today, I am confident that I am on my way to heaven because I believe that only Jesus can save man from his sin.
Paul Okoth, Pastor of Uganda Baptist Church to the glory of God.
I am a fourth-generation Christian. My grandfather served as a teacher in a school run by a British missionary and he got saved and became a pastor. My father served the Indian Railways, took voluntary retirement, and served in a radio ministry as an evangelist. Though I am from a Christian family by birth, my re-birth into Christ happened in the year 1992. While I was attending a Summer Bible School, God touched my life through His Word and I realized that I needed to be born-again. I gave my life to Christ in that Summer Camp. Since then, I have served the Lord in various capacities. The Lord has used me as Sunday school teacher for kids, a youth leader, an evangelist, and now as a missionary. I married Ms. Pauline in 2005 and we are blessed to have two handsome boys, Paul & Chris.
Jayaraj Golla, Northeastern India
I was born in a state called Andhra Pradesh, South India and brought up in a nominal Christian family. In spite of attending Sunday school and church since my childhood, I never repented of my sins and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. I was very wicked and did all the worldly things, bringing disgrace to God and to my family, which resulted in my having no peace in my heart and no hope in my life. I was in great confusion as to where I would be going after my death. This lead me into depression, therefore, I wanted to end my life. But I was afraid I might go to hell. As I was living this restless life, one day I was invited by my friend to attend a youth meeting where the Word of God was preached from John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” These words touched my heart to believe on Jesus Christ and trust Him as my Savior and Lord. From that very moment, I experienced a great peace in my heart. The Holy Spirit helped me to confess all my sins and to trust and believe in Christ. I was assured of the forgiveness of Lord according to First John 1:9. This day, March 25, 1999, was memorable in my life. After I was saved from my sins and eternal damnation, I obeyed the Scriptures took water baptism on the 18th of January 2001. As I was continuing my secular studies, one day I happened to attend a revival meeting. The preacher spoke from the book of Isaiah, chapter 6 (“…who will go for us?”) and challenged us regarding the great need in the country (INDIA), full of Idolatry and millions dying without salvation. Therefore, I responded to the CALL of God and said, like the prophet Isaiah, “HERE AM I LORD, I WILL GO.” In that very moment, I was assured that the Lord wanted me to serve Him, so I dedicated my entire life to serving my Savior. I gave up my secular studies and went to Bible College to equip myself from His Word and eventually to serve Him effectively. Hence, on the 15th of August, 2005, I entered Peoples Baptist Bible College & Seminary in Trivandrum, Kerala. I finished my Bachelor of Divinity degree in March 2009. After finishing my studies in Kerala, I came to Andhra Pradesh and worked 3 years and 6 months with a Baptist Church in Hyderabad. During these years, the Lord used me to lead more than 180 souls to the saving knowledge of Christ and to baptize them. I met my wife, Praveena Eunice, in the year of 2012. She had the same vision for the ministry. After 7 months, I resigned and started by faith “GRACE & TRUTH BIBLE CHURCH,” on the 9th January, 2013. At present, more than 30 families are worshipping the Lord there. The Lord has blessed us with a son and a daughter.
Vijayanandam Kummaragunta, Pastor of Grace and Truth Bible Church
I was born again in 1997, after hearing the true Gospel being preached at an evangelistic meeting in our neighborhood. This happened when I realized that I was a lost sinner in need of a Savior, and I admitted all my sins, and confessed my sins, and I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life, and at that moment, the Lord Jesus Christ saved me. Later, the Lord led me to be trained and prepared for ministry at Tabernacle Baptist College and Theological Seminary in Virginia Beach, VA. After completing my graduate studies, I married my beloved wife, Beritah in 2015. The Lord has blessed us with a son, Andrew. Since seminary studies, the Lord has used me as a Bible teacher, Bible Conference speaker, and church planter.
Peter Nilson, Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Kitale, Kenya
Greetings in the blessed name of Jesus Christ our Lord. My name is PRABHAKAR RAO JUTIKE. I was born in a small village in the state of Andhra Pradesh, South India. My parents used to work in the fields as daily laborers. In the year I was born, a great thing happened in my village. Some preachers brought the Gospel to my village and preached for 3 days. Seventy people accepted Christ as their Savior and were baptized, hence, the Plymouth Brethren assembly was started and continues until this day. So I had the privilege to attend Sunday school and church along with my mother, who believed in Christ as her Savior, but my father did not believe. When I was 10 years old, I was sent to the American Baptist Mission boarding home and upper primary school in the nearby town for 6 th & 7th grades. After 2 years, I was admitted to the Lutheran high school and hostel for 3 more years. While I was in 10th grade, I accepted the Lord Jesus on the 25th of January, 1973, while walking from a nearby village to my village. Then when I was 14 years old, while in 11 th and 12 th grades in a bigger town, my life became much worse and I was away from the Lord. During the 2 years of my college studies (11 th and 12 th grades in the United States), I was totally corrupt and far away from the Christian life. But in the eternal purposes of our Lord, I realized that He chose me to serve Him. Therefore, I repented like the prodigal son and dedicated my life to serve Jesus as His servant on the 24th of July, 1975. In the same year, I enrolled in the Bible College in Hyderabad, South India and completed my Bachelor of Divinity degree, my Bachelor of Arts degree from Osmania University, and also a Librarian course. From 1979 to 1986, I worked in the same college as a librarian and part-time lecturer until 1986. I got married to Esther in the year 1984. The Lord has blessed us with 3 daughters. After resigning from the college, from 1986 to 1990, I visited Telugu churches in the state of Karnataka. After many months of prayers, the blessed Lord helped us to start a church with 3 ladies in a small room on March 4 th , 1990. The gracious Lord blessed the ministry to have 2 more branches, besides evangelizing hundreds of villages, preaching in thousands of Gospel and revival meetings, and teaching 2 years in a Bible school in Bangalore, Karnataka. At present, we are supporting 10 village pastors through IGM. We are very thankful to the Lord for His goodness. At present, I am: 1) Pastoring 3 churches in Hyderabad with 2 assistants 2) Teaching 2 subjects in the Bible College where I studied 3) Visiting village churches in 2 Telugu states and in Orissa state
Rao Jutike, India
I was a lost person for fourteen years of my childhood. I was born into a family who did not know God. My dad never believed in the written Word and he was against Christianity. By God’s grace, the Scriptures in Luke 19:10 was fulfilled which says Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost. It was at the age of fourteen years that I heard the Gospel preached and I believed it to be the true Word of God. Thus, I gave my life to Jesus despite having great opposition from my parents. I received a “call” and a “burden” in my heart to love and serve God in my life. My life verse is John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Colossians 2:6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:” Thus, I, Cleophas, do put my trust only in Him.
Cleophas Wamalwa, Pastor of the Redeemed Baptist Church in Naivasha, Kenya, East Africa
I was born and brought up in a Christian family and my father was a pastor as well as the executive secretary of an association of 10 churches. I have three younger brothers and 4 younger sisters. Being brought up in a Christian leader’s family, I got the chance to attend many conferences and camps but my heart was not with Jesus. But by the grace of God, I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior in October 1985 at one of the youth camps conducted by our churches’ association. The following year, on Easter Sunday, I got my water baptism. Later in the next year, 1987, I went to Bharat Bible College in Andhra Pradesh to equip myself for the ministry. I am blessed with a beautiful wife and three children.
Halpu Chothe, Pastor of the Chumbang Baptist Church in northeast India
I was born in a traditional African polygamous family and I used to follow my parents to idol worship. Christians told me about the salvation offered by Jesus Christ but I did not take them seriously. But in 1988, in one of the annual ceremonies, a quarrel occurred. It was in the middle of this that I was convinced of the fact that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. So in December 1988, I was led to faith in Jesus Christ by Pastor TAMA. I was baptized by total immersion on October 15, 1989, in Dimori Baptist Church by an American missionary named Ray.
Nabou “Ezekiel” Nambou, Pastor of a Baptist Church in Dimori, Togo
I was born to Catholic parents and I used to attend a Catholic church with my mother. In March 1998, one pastor paid a visit to our home looking for my elder brother. He said, “I have good news for you.” He preached to us about the love of God. The Scripture was John 3:16 and he ended with John 5:24 where he explained the assurance of new life for believers. From that point, I discovered myself in need of receiving Christ Jesus as my Savior. I accepted and gave my life to Jesus Christ and the pastor prayed with me. I started attending his church and after a period of six months, I was baptized by immersion. The church elected me as the church secretary but my desire was to become the pastor after completing a theology course. It was in 2009 that I heard that Pastor Maungo Wilson from Kenya was coming to minister in a seminar at Munamba Baptist church, so I also attended with them and we welcomed him for three days of seminar teaching. On the last day, he invited students to attend the Bible college and I was the first one to raise my hand. He registered me that day. I took my pastoral course from 2009 to July 2014 and earned my diploma. Before my graduation, I paid a visit to Trinity Bible Baptist Church and found the Christians there crying to get a pastor, so I was called to be the pastor of Trinity Bible Baptist Church where I am now serving. CONCLUSION: I will serve the Lord until I am called home to heaven. Thanks. Yours, Paul Syaiti
Paul Syaiti, Uganda
I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic until I got saved at age 15 in March 23, 1976. By faith I received Jesus Christ as my only Savior and Lord, the Eternal God Who was born a human but without a sin nature, Who lived on earth, died on the cross because of His love for all mankind, was resurrected after 3 days, and will soon come back for the saved. As a child, I never saw my parents go to church because they both had different beliefs although both were very kind. My mother was so superstitious and animistic but my father would tell us Old Testament Bible stories but without any salvation message. When I finished high school, I became our community youth chairman and for the first time, I heard one of the youths talking about their Bible. He was from a cultic group but very persuasive. There I began to desire to know what’s in the Bible so I would know how to refute their teachings. God saw the desire in my heart and its emptiness and in a very short while, another young person invited me to a Christian church which was 3 towns away from mine. There I heard the pastor preach the Gospel and I put my trust in Christ and became a new person. This is where I was taught and became very passionate in sharing the Bible. Here, I first served God in teaching children and joining the outreach points until I finished my college degree. Of course, you can imagine how friends, relatives, and my own family disliked me. All of them except for my father cut all support for my education, but at that time, he was already blind. By God’s grace, He gave me different odd jobs like typist in a radio station or selling different household items. I had many difficult experiences but He blessed me and enabled me not to quit and to finish college. After several years, one by one, my brothers and sisters became saved. I am the 7th of the eight children and a first- generation Christian in the family. Eventually, my parents got saved, also. I forgot all the hardships and tears, knowing that my loved ones were and are heaven-bound. I entered Bible School as a student after graduating from college, but they lacked office personnel. So I became part of the staff in the finance office for 6 years and finished a one-year certificate in Bible. I was one of the Sunday school teachers for children of First Baptist Church of Manila and 2 new outreaches at that time. Here also, I met my husband who was a pastor and Bible teacher in the same Bible Institute. On March 16, 1987, we got married and later moved to Mindanao Island. God blessed us with ministries in evangelism, we taught the Bible in public schools, put up churches in several areas, and started an orphanage, radio program and school. I acknowledge that only God can do things that are impossible for us to do. We had three children and then my husband died on December 16, 2006. I still serve the church and school where my husband served. I still have the same passion for the Lord and His Word since He saved me. The joy never ceases. Even in manifold trials in many, many ways and forms, God never leaves my side. He just strengthens me with many other brethren. In 2007, Rev. Rex & Andrea Furman visited me and helped me to join IGM. I am most grateful that I belong to a soul-winning, Bible teaching group. I love the songs, “He Giveth More Grace” and “Constantly Abiding”. Philippians 3:10. All glory to God!
Nelly Hiquiana, works in a Christian school in the Philippines and also leads Bible studies
Grace Baptist Church, Rajahmundry, and South INDIA I was saved in March 1983 when I attended a Gospel meeting at Bhimavaram. I heard the Gospel message in that meeting and was convicted of my sins and repented for them and I asked Jesus to forgive me and to come and live in my heart as my Savior and Lord. Then my relationship with God started. I was baptized by immersion on May 16 th , 1983. In 1998, I decided to serve the Lord full time in the unreached part of our District and State. I am married to Ms. Karuna and we are blessed with two beautiful daughters, Esther and Sarah. Esther got married and Sarah is working on her post-graduate degree in Business Management. Please pray for our ministry and family. In His Harvest, Pastor Suresh Babu Ravi
Pastor Suresh Babu Ravi, India and Vision2020Asia
My name is Pastor K. Thomas and I was born in a small village called Kandlagunta, Andhra Pradesh, in South India. At the age of 17, I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. But I wanted to have a secular job and be a good Christian. After graduation, I joined a private firm and worked as a financial manager and was enjoying my life. But deep in my heart, I had the desire to serve Christ. As I was working as a financial manager in the company, the Lord called me through Matt 28:18-20, but I was reluctant. But when the Lord confirmed my call from Matt 9:37-38, “Then saith he unto his disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’” then I responded and resigned as a financial manager. I had a strong desire to learn the Word of God and so I went to the state of Kerala and earned my BD degree in People Baptist Bible College. After my graduation, I had the desire to serve the Lord in North India. God fulfilled my desire and opened the doors to minister in a Baptist church in Chhattisgarh for three years. Chhattisgarh is a very dangerous place for Christians as it has many Maoists (an Indian Communist party). But God used me to grow the church from 70 to 350 members. God enabled me to baptize 203 believers and encourage them to be strong in their faith. I have had many opportunities to preach, teach, encourage, and counsel hundreds of youngsters during these years. I am married to Sophiya Grace, who has the same vision and earned her BD degree at Bharat Bible College. We are doing the Lord’s ministry unceasingly for the glory of God. Please uphold us in your prayers so that we might become a great blessing to many. We were desiring and praying to start a church in CHHATTISGARH, North India. The Lord answered our prayers and enabled us to start BERACAH BAPTIST CHURCH in two areas. The first is in RAIPUR, 8Km from the airport and the second is in BHILAI which is 35 KM from the airport. We are toiling relentlessly for the growth of the churches. At present, more than 90 families are attending and worshiping the Lord. Presently, we are gathering in rented halls for worship. The mission of the BERACAH BAPTIST CHURCH is to ‘‘GIVE LIFE TO THE PERISHING SOULS’’. We pledge our lives to Christ and covenant with each other to demonstrate His Spirit through worship, witnessing, and ministering to the needs of the members and of the community at large. Please uphold us and our ministry in your prayers.
Kummaragunta Thomas, Pastor of Beracah Baptist Church in Chhattisgarh, North India
I met two young people in 1980 and they shared the Gospel with me using Ecclesiastes 12:1-3. At that time, I was very sad about the idea of ​​a judgment after death. There was no peace in my life and money did not bring me happiness. The Word of God touched my life and I accepted Christ as my Savior and began my walk with Him. Then my life was filled with joy. It was not until 1984 that I received baptism because I left the city where I was saved to move elsewhere and that delayed my baptism. The height of the Lord’s spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1: 3) was my call to serve Him. I thank God for His grace and for the positive impact of Jesus Christ on my wife and children.
N’Dri, Pastor of Eglise Baptiste Biblique in Bouake, Ivory Coast, West Africa
Born in a Christian family, my dad was pastor of the old country church. After finishing my elementary school in 1974, l went to Port-au-Prince to continue school because they did not have a high school in my area. I was 17 years old when l attended the high school in Diquini. I used to come home very late at night. I had a terrible experience one night on the way back home. A voodoo ceremony was being performed on the road and there was no way to go around it. I found myself in the middle of it. The only thing l can say is that Jesus saved me from being harmed and l arrived home safely. I shared that experience with my pastor. He prayed with me and I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. I was baptized in April 1975. Since that time l dedicated my whole life to Christ.
Jean Joel Delisme, Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
It is my great joy to write this testimony. I grew up in a small village in a big Christian home. I am the second son of my family; I have 6 (six) brothers and 2 (two) sisters. I took care of my brothers and sisters from the time I was age 8 until I was   15 years old. When I was 16 years old, my father got a small job. My Mom and Dad had prayed for this for many years   and God, in His grace, answered. My parents always asked God to give their sons and daughters the opportunity to serve Him. My parents were Godly parents. While in my childhood I wished to go to school but I could not go. How much I wished to go school and learn Christian songs and Bible stories, but I was not able to go school until I was 15 years old. Therefore, I used to stand close by our village school compound while taking care of my younger brothers and sisters during the school day and listen to what the teachers were teaching. I learned Gospel songs and Bible stories from outside the school room. My Mom taught me Gospel hymns every night after she returned from her work and before we went to bed. I remember that my Mom and Dad prayed and dedicated me and my little brother, L. Shimray, to the cause of the Gospel. I followed and did every Christian activity and I also read the Bible and prayed to God. One night, I attended a Gospel meeting. That night, the preacher preached from the Gospel of John 3:15-18. That night, June 4th, 1998, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I was baptized on June 20th, 1998. I entered full-time ministry in 1999 but my ministry was not effective because of my lack of knowledge of God’s Word; therefore, I went to Bible college for 6 years in South India. It would take 6 days to reach the Bible college from my hometown and 6 days to return home by bus and train. I had so many difficulties and problems while I was in Bible college. But by the grace of God, I completed my courses in the year 2005. Thanks to God for His grace and love. Right after my courses, my little brother, L. Shimray, invited me to work with him in Assam, North East India as a church planter/missionary. I joined him in May 2005 for the cause of the Gospel. I began door-to-door evangelism, family worship, Bible study, inviting people to visit church to hear the Word of God, Gospel tract distribution, open-air Gospel preaching, prison ministries, children’s ministries, planting churches where there are no churches, and training missionaries because this was an unreached area, and many people were perishing.  In the beginning of my ministry, no one supported us financially and in prayers, except my parents and my younger brother.  He was in the Indian Army and supported us using his salary. I started a used clothing business in September 2007 in order to support our ministries. My brother was beginning a children’s home and children’s charity Christian school in a village of the Rabha tribe which had never heard the Gospel even one time and was surrounded by Hindus and Muslims.  We began with a great vision and burden for the next generation and followed in the footsteps of early missionaries. We were living in bamboo huts without electricity and no proper drinking water and not enough food to eat. The summer was burning hot and the rainy season brought flooding, cyclones, and many hardships. Every year, our children’s home and school, which were simply bamboo huts, were destroyed by cyclones. My brother and I were able to plant 15 churches and train up men and women as missionaries and church planters in order to reach different villages, tribes, and languages before he died. On May 7th, 2010, God took my little brother to His eternal home. Three days later, a cyclone came and destroyed all the bamboo houses we built for the school and the children’s home. The Hindus told me that my brother had come back and taken his properties and asked me when I would be returning to my home since I had lost everything. After my brother died, all the ministries became my responsibility to carry out by faith alone in Jesus Christ. My heart was very heavy, and the tears seemed to roll down my face unceasingly, but God never left me alone. On September 9th, 2012, I married my Godly wife, Marvirose Shimray. She never complains of living with so many difficulties.  God also gave us a lovely daughter, Yoyo Shimray, on February 10th, 2014. Thank God for what He has given me. My wife and I have encountered much persecution. Many times, unbelievers have tried to kill me. Three times our houses were burned down.  The Hindus totally shut our church fellowship, children’s school, and children’s home from May to August 2013, but by the grace of God, we reopened everything and continued our work. In 2015, five churches were burned down, and two believers were killed. Many new believers were kicked out of villages and their land and property were taken from them by force for following Christ. Still, we never turn from what God has given us to do and, therefore, God has blessed us in many different ways. Also, some of the leaders of these persecutors have believed the Bible and accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord. My wife and I have run a used car business since 2013 in order to support our ministries. Now our ministries are growing rapidly and winning lost souls in North East India. His love and grace are sufficient in our ministries. It was in God’s purpose and plan to send me here to fulfill Great Commission. I thank God for choosing my wife and I to serve Him. On behalf of my family, thanks to IGM/Vision2020Asia for allowing us to be member of the family. Thanks to Dr. Jim Starr and all our supporters who support us financially and in prayer. Through your love, support, and prayers, many people are blessed and lost souls in North East India are being saved. Please continue to support us in the days to come. God bless you all. Pastor Shimray is the pastor of Grace Asian Baptist Church. In His Service, Bro. Athing Shimray North East India Phil 1:21
Pastor Athing Shimray, Grace Asian Baptist Church

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