Saturday, December 21, 2013

Angel Ministries Outreach At Mercy Vineyard

Let the Games Begin
The outreach began with the group being split up into two groups and they were going to play some games.   Pastor Rick was going to facilitate this along with another brother.  It did not take long for the place to explode with laughter and to absolutely break the ice!  Even as the games continued people were arriving and the crowd went from about 85 to a good 125 or 150 quickly.


Pastor Rick (arms crossed) and Ellen Coffin (Pink w/purple scarf) of Mercy Vineyard
I had the chance to be introduced to Pastor Rick at lunch the day earlier but now was able to meet his wife Ellen (friends of Kurt Bubna - Spokane valley) and then many more guests.  It moved from the games to being seated again and it was time for worship.

Opening Worship


Many of these people have never been to a church service -- they would typically never gather in a place like this -- so it was a very big deal for Jagadish to get all these folks to come -- he told me he spent a lot of time on reaching out to various groups around the city -- even those spread out quite a bit -- but they were coming.  He had an evening of some songs, special songs, testimonies -- himself and his wifes', David's and his boss K.V. Paul was to bring the main gospel message.   K. V. is a business man who is involved in publishing of childrens learning books around the country, among other things.  He also has been very involved in ministry over the years and has deeply impacted the body of Christ with his work.  Jagadish told me that he has been mentored by K. V. over the years and he has had a profound impact on him -- like he is his own father. 

 Anyway, after the message,  they were going to all be treated to a wonderful home cooked meal and then some gifts.  Everyone was settling in once the program got going and with the words on the screen -- many of the guests began to join in the singing.

Hijira singing special song (David in black jacket)
I was blessed to see the group of Hijira up singing a special song, including David -- they all had accepted Jesus earlier Jagadish told me and each were on their own journey as a Christian.   I learned quite a bit just watching how everyone was inter-acting being at church -- how Pastor Rick related to folks --the environment that was created for everyone to be in -- and the impact of this approach -- I think was amazing.  It was a very free, non-judgmental, loving, fun and spirit-filled evening where Jesus could draw everyone to himself through what was sung, spoken or served.

K. V. Paul & Carolyn w/Translation for Gospel Message
 By the time K. V. Paul got up to share the gospel message, Jagadish's wife Carolyn was to translate.  Jagadish told me later he was not sure if people would be attentive the whole night so he wanted the message at the halfway point so they would for sure hear the gospel before they left if they left earlier.   After Paul's message he gave an invitation and it was at least 20 of the Hijira responded to receive Jesus -- this was great to witness.

Jagadish was thrilled, His commitment to have people know Jesus is really amazing and in his own journey, as God develops and grows him -- he continues to have an impact on very many people in this area -- pretty remarkable. Both he and Carolyn need our prayers that they would continue to be strengthened in the work that they are doing and that in this foundational time in their marriage that they would really grow in love and understanding of each other -- that will be the foundation for the years to come!

Jagadish & Wife Carolyn Sharing Testimony
When they got up to share their story it was very attentive in their as well -- it is a powerful story of redemption and God's grace.  Many were touched.

Jagadish, Carolyn look on while David shares testimony
David Shared about how being given a chance to work at the sewing center has helped him learn skills so he no longer had to resort to other bad ways of learning a living -- he also said that since he accepted Jesus -- there have been many changes in his life.  I was standing with him at the back before he went up to speak and asked if he was nervous and he said yes!  I had a chance to pray for him before and that was such a blessing to me -- knowing what he was about to do -- and the impact of that on this community -- God is good.
Jagadish and David hand out gifts
 Jagadish had got a bunch of gifts for folks -- each got a shawl, and then a bible -- either a written one or an audio bible in their language if they could not read -- amazing!  And then also a cake.  So they left full -- what a great outreach ministry and I pray that it would continue to bring forth much fruit.

David and Me
I told Pastor Rick that I was really blessed by his heart and the place he had opened up for Jagadish and this ministry.  Many pastors would have to take great risk to have this extremely marginalized community come into their church -- but it is what God is calling us to do -- reach out to everyone -- no one should be excluded from the gospel -- but when you actually start to walk that out -- very few can handle what that means.

My time with Jagadish was very limited -- I got to speak with Carolyn a bit at the outreach -- she worked late the next night and could not join us for dinner -- but I got some time with Jagadish and I just feel blessed to know him and will continue to lift him up and all that the Lord is doing in and through him and the Hijira.  God is on the move!

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