Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CONCERT/AWARENESS PROGRAM






....here are some more shots from the concert on Friday Night -- it was outdoors -- the description is in post below!

peace
john

WESLEY CHURCH





Earlier I had posted some pics from a church that had some really interesting architecture -- this was the location for the outdoor concert on Friday, Feb. 20th. It was an evening event that started at 7:00pm with a worship team from YWAM Hyderabad. I had the pleasure of meeting them earlier in the week. They shared about 5 songs to start off with and then the "Formal" welcome happened where I was presented with a "Prayer Shawl" and also some flowers as is customary for this part of the world. Trevain from NeoLife Mission Trust was introduced and then he introduced me. You can also see a picture of Pastor Weston and his wife and kids and myself. He is the main pastor at the church. They are trying to construct a very large "Mega Structure" that will last them for many years and allow for growth. We had a good crowd -- some sound system problems -- many things that challenge you when you are pressed for time and also when it is "live" -- ultimately I think God touched hearts.

Peace . . . .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

HYDERABAD BAPTIST CHURCH YOUTH MEETING






Another evening with Hyderabad Youth at the Baptist Church. I spoke there the night before at the English Service and was asked back again to address the Youth. I was a bit tired before I got started and a bit at a loss of what I was going to speak on, having shared my story there, preached there 2 other times as well -- so as I sought for direction I was lead to John 15 about Abiding In Christ -- and how "apart from Him we can do nothing...." a life lesson and a launching point of sharing. We had a great time -- great question and answer time and also a time of re dedication to God's plans for our lives.

YWAM - HYDERABAD






I was invited by Saji & Priya from YWAM to come and speak at the Base. Paul (his last name escapes me right now) was the one who translated for me and we had a really good time. It was interesting as there was a group of about 15 from North Carolina who were on their DTS (Discipleship Training School) and so I was not used to speaking to Americans and Indians at the same time -- a bit of a brain warp -- but the Lord got me through it. I was invited back next time to partner with them in the work they are doing locally to Schools, Colleges, etc. Saji & Priya are heading up the HIV/AIDS initiatives for YWAM in the area. Saji is the one looking at the camera and smiling -- his wife Priya is just next to him looking the other way.......

WESLEY CHURCH






We had a chance to meet Pastor Weston of the Wesley Church (I am doing a concert/sharing this Friday Night in an outdoor area). You can see him in the photo with Vijay and myself. Vijay is a part of that congregation and is the one organizing this Fridays event. There will be a big draw from the local colleges. You can see the outside of the Original Church which was constructed in 1927. This was actually a matter of meters from where the King of the Muslims was located -- so you can notice in the architecture that it incorporated many aspects of the local flavor and the Cross was added later. I loved the stain glass windows on the inside. They are going to construct a new church and hope to build something that will last for the next 50 years -- seating capacity of 10,000. I suggested it would be great to keep this original building as part of the cornerstone if at all possible -- it is a great building. Looking forward to this Friday.....

CONGRATULATIONS TREVAIN R. KUMAR


I took Trevain (Raj Kumar) and Vijay out to dinner to celebrate the finishing of Trevain's Thesis and his 4-year program of Theological College. What a major accomplishment for him and I was happy to be part of the cheering section. We went to a place down near the water called simply, The Waterfront Resturant.

Friday, February 13, 2009

CITY SHOTS








Here are some different shots from around the city.....
click on the photo of the guy with the mirrored sunglasses -- you can see the citylife in the reflection.

enjoy
peace
john

NOTES FROM HYDERABAD

I arrived in Hyderabad about 7 days ago -- I am staying at the Catholic Retreat Center again -- it is quiet and simple. There is not enough water pressure for a shower so you fill up buckets and bucket bathe -- there is also no hot water - I didn't want to have them bring up buckets of hot water in the morning so I am just "waking up" quicker! It makes me appreciate things and is also a reminder of how blessed we are in the west.

I have many programs coming up, A Pastors Conference on February 28th, A Concert on Feb. 20th.at the Wesley Church Grounds (it will be an outdoor concert of about 2000 people), Addressing the Staff of YWAM Hyderabad on the 16th and Speaking to the Youth at Hyderabad Baptist on the Evening of the 16th. The Hyderabad Baptist is where i did the youth rally last year -- the big church. I am also speaking there in the English service this Sunday night the 15th. In between I am seeing friends and colleagues and connecting up for future works -- the Lord has blessed me with a very big network of people around the world -- I am a blessed man.

.....I'll add more as I go....

peace
john

ARADANA TELEVISION






I had the privilege of meeting Paul Pulla, the Founder and Managing Director of Aradana Broadcasting International. It is a Christian Television Station that is just getting started. Trevain from NeolifeMission Trust and also Vijay Kumar introduced me this gentleman who has started a great work in his home. They built a studio and are eventually going to give the whole house over as the studio -- They are in the beginning stages but have a very high standard of excellence. I was asked to share my story of living with AIDS. The broadcast will take place in a couple months and will go out to all of Andrah Pradesh, to the Telegu Speaking individuals (which is the language of this region). It is a whole other ballgame when you have to look at yourself in TV monitors and be aware of how you look and sound, etc. A exercise in discipline to focus on the message at hand. Trevain did a great job interviewing me -- and it was fun.

Friday, February 6, 2009

CHAI-TEA TIME




Everyday after we are finished with whatever program we are doing -- Samuel and I have gone down to the beach and had a cup of Chai Tea at his favorite place. So here are a few shots of the Place, the People who work there and Samuel and our Driver Nani enjoying some!

NIREEKSHINA - VISAKHAPATNAM






Nireekshina - Visakhapatnam is a Christian Organization and is a sister clinic to the one in Hyderabad where I did the "Diagnosis to Hope" Conference in September last year. I had wanted to come and visit them and see what they were doing and to also lay the groundwork to do a D2H Conference perhaps in November of this year. I met Dr. Indiraa and also Pastor Vickey (In the second to last photo) Bandham the other day and they invited me back to speak to the clients. So we fixed today at 11:30 am.

When I arrived they had been seated and prepared and so Samuel interpreted for me and I opened up with a song -- Word of God Speak -- I explained to them what the song was about.

Afterwards I shared my story of living with AIDS and how God's love had made a powerful impact in my life. I read from Psalm 139 and told them that God was aware of all their circumstances and that they were not alone in this time of their life. I told them that the Lord could strengthen them and give them long life.

There were some who wanted to become Christians for the first time and we had a chance to pray for them -- it was wonderful.

I had shared that even though Nutrition was a big part of how we can be healthier I reminded them that Jesus said, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." So in order to provide spiritual food -- we went to a local bookstore run by OM Ministries and purchased 30 bibles and came back, signed them all and gave them to Pastor Vickey to hand out to the patients. So they can take their vitamins and also get their spiritual food everyday.

We are going to be working on a program together in November -- I was blessed to be there today!

SVNP+ (Society Visakhapatnam Positives)






We had a chance to go and speak to a group of HIV Positive people who have formed their own organization called SVNP+. In a city and a country where Stigma has forced many people down -- it is really exciting to see them being mobilized. On this particular day, they were meeting with a few different groups, along with a consortium of medical doctors who were going to be treating some of them for various things. One of the sponsors was also UNAIDS.

Samuel was able to translate for me -- it was a challenge with one microphone -- tag team!

A.G.M. Association of Gospel Ministries had invited me to come and speak -- they sponsor the SVNP+ with food parcels each month. Well it was a good time to share my story and also to encourage those who came that God's love can impact them along with medication and other areas that they were focused on -- We had a time of question and answers as well. It is always great to hear from the people what is on their minds -- it gives me insight as to how they perceive what I am saying and I learn alot from it.

I hope to work with A.G.M. in the future.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

S.V.V.P. JUNIOR COLLEGE FOR GIRLS






I was given a great opportunity to share my story of Living With AIDS and to have a time of Awareness/Education and a Question/Answer time with about 150 young girls from this college. They call it a junior college which would be the grade equivalent of 11th and 12th grades in High School.

I was introduced by the Principal and then Samuel interpreted for me. Afterwards I had a chance to have a picture with the principal (to the right in photo, Padmini (Samuel's mom -also a retired Principal and lecturer - and another colleague of theirs).

Another sector of people to share Gods love and to bring awareness in hopes of saving lives.

peace
john