Watch the video for an update on our Iraqi relief efforts.
This summer will be a very special time at our children’s home…lots of activity! First, in June a team of college-aged bravados from the US are coming to paint the building getting it ready for the new school year which begins in July.
Sponsorships are now available, and for only $35 a month you can impact a child in India with Christ’s love for a lifetime. Thank you – Sarah Rieger. SRieger@IndigenousMinistries.org
Update on Grace Bible College graduation, Grace Bible Memorial Chapel, Women’s Conference, and more.
Central India – Excitement filled the air on February 14 as we dedicated this very special and beautiful chapel to the memory of Shirley Cook and to the glory of the Lord for future ministry. With over 500 in attendance, right after the dedication, Grace Bible Memorial Chapel was the scene of GBC’s 11th graduation service where 15 young men and women were graduated for full-time ministry and further studies.
The community came together as a show of full support to the faculty and staff of Grace Bible College and the Children’s Home ministry on this campus. The next morning, we held the first Sunday services with sun streaming in the windows. We are so thankful that this building is now fully operational for GBC and the church.
Some special young people live very active lives in our Children’s Home; over the nine years since we built it, the paint is worn; the walls and roof need repairs.
So, this June, we are asking young people 18+ interested in throwing their shoulders into fixing up our Children’s Home building to travel with us to India for two weeks for just that. They will also be helping with children’s Bible clubs in local villages for a very special ministry time.
* Cost: $2685, Deposit: $1700 (this is a great group trip!)
* All travel arrangements are made through the IM office
Ready to sign up? Want more information? Email Chase Ward: CWard@IndigenousMinistries.org
The Grace Bible College Chapel was Dedicated on 14 Feb 2015.
Meet Matthew Mohod. He’s kind, handsome and soft-spoken. He’s also a recent graduate of Grace Bible College (last month). We’ve been Matthew’s sponsors at GBC throughout his education and big fans of his since he was a very little boy. We chose to invest $100 per month into his Bible education for the past three years and last month he graduated and will go on for further studies. We’re proud of Matthew! He says GBC has prepared him to serve the Lord as a business man and he’s excited to reach people for the Lord in the business field. Pretty cool!
We’ve asked Sarah to sign us up for another GBC student, because we believe in investing in these young people! Why don’t you join us? Email Sarah and ask her to sign you up too! – John and Dee Cook
Just a few days ago, I received the horrific news that a pastor from northern Iraq, pictured, right, was killed by ISIS after the delay of a ransom payment that was to be paid by his church in Mosul… this comes on the heels of news of the Japanese reporter who was killed for not putting up the $200 million that was demanded for his release.
What is interesting is that now the second captured Japanese man will now only be released if ISIS demands are met that a woman suicide bomber from an attack from 2005 is released from a Jordanian prison. Dee and I were just a block away from where that took place in Amman, Jordan. In that attack, there were three suicide bombers from Iraq that ISIS claims as theirs.
Hope and Good News
In mid-January, hundreds of children were helped through donations to Beautiful International, as they received new backpacks, paper tablets, pencils, chairs and two large tents for their tent “school” they will meet in at two of our refugee camps.
That same week last month, the 40’ shipping container that Chase Ward and many others worked so hard to send off in December, arrived in Erbil, Iraq, with 45,000 pounds of clothing! This is right in time for the deepest part of winter and brings protection to many thousands of people against the cold. When you think of the living conditions of unfinished shopping malls without walls or unfinished homes with no windows, no relief for warmth against falling snow, this means so much. It is the warmth from your heart that physically has brought warmth to thousands of people in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m so excited to share that the 50 tents from India have also arrived in northern Iraq. This is the gift and blessing from a partnering church in Ohio, which is now helping over 100 Yazidi families. Because of your care, a Yazidi mother can put her child down to sleep at night in the protection of a warm tent. They no longer have to bear the cold and live out in the elements, but have a warm and dry place. Please pray with me that the Lord will settle the hearts and lives of these people as they’ve gone through some of the most difficult traumas human beings can face.
As we’ve written previously in this newsletter, with our relief aid to the refugees, we are moving towards our Phase Three, which is assisting with $2000 per family unit (20-40 people moving into an apartment) in northern Iraq. We are working with the local churches reaching out to refugee families and encouraging them with the love and care of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our partnership with these churches has come in the right time, and one of the things that is so exciting is that the church is reaching out to both ethnic people groups, along with Muslims and Christians. The results so far are that 100% of those they are reaching out to and that you are assisting with, are trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
I can’t think of any more words of encouragement that I can share with you concerning this issue except for the fact that the Lord has used you and continues to use you as we reach out in one of the most difficult of circumstances that our global community is facing today. You have answered with the Lord Jesus Christ’s love. We trust that the Lord will bless you as we continue to partner together in making a difference in the lives of these precious people who are dealing with so much difficulty.
Dr. John Cook, CEO
Do you have a favorite hobby? Maybe building model airplanes, sewing doll clothes, or playing a favorite sport? At our Children’s Home in central India, one of the favorite sports is football, or as we call it here in the States, soccer!
As I watched the boys play football this past October, I was filled with joy. They were so happy as they ran, passed, and scored with their ball. Bright smiles were on their faces and laughter filled the hair. It was clear they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. But you know what struck me? Even though they were clearly having a good time, their football was extremely worn out. It even had a whole in it so that when it was kicked, it deflated to a half-moon shape.
That week, funds were provided to purchase not one, but two new footballs. One for the boys and one for the girls. As you can see in the photos, the boys were ecstatic to receive a brand new football! It’s the little things sometimes that make such a big difference in our lives. Here in America its easy to take even the little things for granted.
I ask you to remember these children, who are the future of India, in your prayers. They have many needs, both physical and emotional, but I think we can agree that their greatest need is to know the love and grace found in Jesus Christ. Each day the children in our Children’s Home are taught about Jesus Christ and work on memorizing Scripture. Would you consider giving a child the opportunity to hear about the love of Jesus? Sponsorships are now available, and for only $35 a month you can impact a child in India with Christ’s love for a lifetime.
As I prepare this update, I’m in India with our team anticipating our National Pastors’ Conference which is all next week. I’m thrilled that we will hold these meetings with our local pastors in our new Grace Bible College chapel for the first time! Would you please join us and uphold this time in your prayers?
Update on the Iraqi Relief Fund: Last week our team in Iraq prepared food packets for distribution to over 6,000 people in Irbil, Iraq. These Christian families are living in the unfinished Ainkawa Mall and were very grateful for the continued relief aid they are receiving. Our team emailed me these pictures and I wanted to pass them on to you for your encouragement.
Thank you for your continued support in these relief efforts. Please read on below…
We were also able to purchase heaters for many families to help stay warm through the coming winter.
Please pray for these precious brothers and sisters in Christ as we continue to be your hands and feet, and most importantly, the hands and feet of Christ.
“People that have fled from Mosul fled to Qaraqosh because thinking that this is a Christian city that they’d be safe there. ISIS came there and they had to flee up to Erbil.”
“Believers in Jesus Christ in the West have not just an interest but a responsibility to respond and say, ‘Yes, we are going to show up.'”
“Many, many Muslims are trusting Jesus Christ as savior as a result of this,”
“These are people that have literally said ‘no’ to the things of this world. ‘You can have all of my things. I will choose the Lord and we as a family will leave.’”