Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hyderabad/Secunderabad - Positive Friends - Making Room For Jesus

Trevain R. Kumar - NeoLifeMission Kids Home
Dec. 20th -- After arriving at the airport and being greeted by the brother who first welcomed into Hyderabad, Trevain Raj Kumar, we drove to the kids home where I got a chance to see the progress of the kids and also to see the new location.  Trevain, who heads up NeoLifeMission, has been so faithful with the work the Lord has given him, including adding a small store that sells books and school supplies.  I had the privilege of spending time with his wife Preeti their son Bobby who now towers over his parents (smile) and their new little daughter who is adorable!  After a great dinner and a good night sleep at their place, I was driven to Secunderabad where I would meet Saji Mathei to spend the next few days.

Saji & Me

We met Saji in Secunderabad and then proceeded to drive to his home.  This would be the place I would stay for the next few days and where we would conduct the Homosexuality, The Church & You program as well on Dec. 23rd.

In the meantime -- today we would have a Positive Friends meeting in the afternoon and then we would go into their 1st annual Christmas Party for Jeevanan Trust Ministries.

We began with about 25 or so individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS and had a time where I was able to share my testimony of living with AIDS and how the Lord has helped me through this process.

Positive Friends - Dec. 21st, 2013

John Sharing with Positive Friends (Christopher translating to my left)

We got into some lively discussions as they were explaining to me some of the challenges they face.  I was trying to encourage them to be a part of the change and that they could initiate that by their attitudes and that the Lord could use them to help break stigma by being courageous -- it was a really good time.  I gained more insight into some of the never ending complexities that these individuals face in this country.

After a good couple hours together -- it was time to head up to the roof -- where the preparations for the Christmas program had been put in place.

Deva and his wife Preshanti -- opened things up for us with a warm greeting and some Christmas songs.  I just love Deva's heart and he and Preshanti have such a fun way about them -- their two boys are a joy to be around!

Deva (right) and Preshanti (purple) and another sister lead Christmas Carols.

There were songs, drama, testimonies and I had a chance to share a short word on making room for Jesus in our hearts.  At the end I had a time of prayer for the group and invited those that did not know Jesus to receive them into their hearts for the first time to start their relationship with him!

John Sharing with Joseph translating!

It was pretty magical on the roof -- with all the lights surrounding the edge and being able to see the rooftops of other buildings and the stars above that --
John with joseph translating.  Skyline
Then it was time for Silent Night -- we were all led to take candles and light them and then to sing Silent Night together -- that was a very beautiful time -- there were bags with sand all around the end of the roof with candles in them along with the lights on the tree and the candles people held -- very beautiful . .. here are a couple shots of that . . .

Silent Night

The kids had a great time -- and when it came time to blow out the candles -- they were not wanting to end the magic that had been created. 

Deva (L) Saji (R)

Deva asked Saji to come up in the end to thank everyone for coming and to give a Christmas Greeting -- we ended the night with a prayer.  Then it was time for dinner and there was a really nice meal prepared for everyone -- some who had traveled a long distance to be with us -- Jeevanan is growing as a ministry -- keep them within your prayers!

On December 23rd we had the Homosexuality, The Church & You workshop with about 12 Pastors/Leaders -- and the leaders of Jeevanan Trust Ministry-- we had some good discussion and it was a full day.  There were a couple days of rest and then a great visit with Sumanth & Beena and the members of the church in Secunderabad -- such a big family God has adopted me into!

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