Reconciliation Report
India Ministry 2011

India team of seven from the USA became the India team of four in the week before departure. Two were eliminated due to problems obtaining a visa and a third pulled out due to the recent Mumbai bombings (Mumbai was a flight connection) and my not being able to go. Since two of the four left standing had been to India before (Joe went with me in 2008), and since the Grace Emmanuel Ministry (GEM) family is so capable, the fallback plan was that the team would go without me. We partnered with GEM in 2005. In retrospect, everyone was glad to have gone. For ministry reasons, the fourth (African American) team member is not pictured.

We arrived in India with much trepidation as we were without our team leader, plus several team members, but the Lord immediately assured us that we were there by His design. He blessed us with two other great team members and by His grace we attempted to accomplish what we had thought was impossible.

The highlight of the trip was seeing how the Lord was accomplishing His purposes through the pastors and their wives. We held three 2-day seminars, staying in area hotels during the seminars and then traveling by train all night to the next seminar. - Sandy

Joe taught the pastors about God and His relationships within the Trinity, and how God relates to His people. He has meditated upon the nature of God for many years (and is memorizing Romans in Greek). His teaching partner and translator was church planter Steven Sundilla, our host Pastor Shyam Sundar’s son-in-law. Steven is an able teacher, and translated for me in 2005. Pastor Shyam’s sons Sam and Steve, also in ministry, accompanied and cared for our Team everywhere.

Sandy and another team member taught the wives about "The Virtuous Woman" (Prov. 31), "Loving Children," "Persevering Through Difficulties," and "Leading Others to Christ." This last topic is more specifically Bible storying, which is most effective among those relying more upon speaking than reading. Ladies were taught, complete with skits, how to tell a story, how to tell our story (testimony) and His story. Celestine wrote poetry to go with all the lessons, taught sign language and served wherever she could. Approximately 25 pastors and 13 wives attended in Hyderabad, and about 35 pastors and their wives attended in Nellore and also at Chandrapur.

The last day meet here at Chandrapur finished at 7 pm, with feedbacks from pastors and ladies who shared it was a life changing for many as they learnt from the Word-ladies never heard this type of teachings which deals directly with their life. Joe's teaching on trinity was a eye opening for some pastors as they said.

The team, even though you were unable to come, all moved like a family and had ministry time together. - From our host Sam

Chattem Company provided 180 lbs. of Gold Bond Sheer Moisture Hand Sanitizer and Healing Skin Therapy Lotion, which were given to seminar attendees and others. Sandals are hard on the feet. GEM provided material for outfits for both pastors and their wives, as tailoring is inexpensive in India.

The RMNI Team couldn't praise the GEM Team enough for their excellent care, even providing Joe with his favorite treat, ice cream, for breakfast. They purchased two cell phones so that team members arriving at different times could connect at the hectic Mumbai airport. They were gentle with the curry. Even with such excellent care, Sandy caught a mysterious bug (the Delhi Belly?) at the end of her last day, but has recovered. Joe had a quick trip to the ER due to the heat, but was himself the next day, except for no memory of the Nellore seminar! GEM cares for orphans, sponsors an elementary school and a Bible school and conducts evangelistic outreaches, among their many ministries.

Quick facts:

  • Population: 1,189,173,000 (second largest nation)
  • Improved drinking water source: 88% of population; Literacy rate: 61%
  • Religions: Hindus, 74.3%, Christians 5.8%, Evangelicals 2.2%

Jim Sutherland

Prayer & Praise
  • Thankfully our team of four did serve in India in July, despite many obstacles. Pray for lasting fruit from the teaching.
  • Continue, please, to pray for jobs for “G”, Keon and Marcus and for establishment of discipleship groups of 2-3 at the Westside. Pray for ongoing development of an effective employer network.
  • Pray that the block machine that we described in our last eReport will arrive without difficulties and with low customs fees. Pray for the selection of the best people to train for its use, and that it will be used for many years in Kingdom projects.
  • Guidance for a ministry trip later in 2011, and for someone to go along.
  • Pray for the church plants to grow at Torit, Tsertanya, Hidonge and Lalanga, S. Sudan. The block machine's first project is the Torit church building, then hopefully the church at Tsertanya
  • Pray for staff to join RMNI, and for volunteers for urban and global ministry, including workers for our S. Sudan Team in March, 2012.
  • Praise for the local African American church that will fund my expenses for the next trip and for several AfAm pastors that are quite supportive.
  • Pray for the wrap-up of AfAm missionary survey.
Jim Sutherland, PhD, Director
POB 2537
Chattanooga, TN 37409-0537
Phone: 423.822.1091

Mobilizing the African American Church for Global Mission
In This Issue:
  1. India Ministry 2011
  2. Sudan 2012 Trip
  3. Ministry Update
  4. Prayer & Praise

Consider Serving in Southern Sudan March 10-24, 2012

Why come with us to the Republic of South Sudan?

  1. A leader of a Presbyterian denomination in Juba is justifiably concerned that false teaching will enter the country now that access will be more free. We can help to provide orthodox teaching and discipleship, as servants of the church in southern Sudan.
  2. The needs of S. Sudan are enormous (see For example, 27% of adults can read, only 55% have access to good drinking water, and the Gross National Income per person averaged $984.00 in 2010. The government hospital in the Eastern Equatoria state capital of Torit does not have an x-ray machine.
  3. Virtually any spiritual or professional/vocational gift can be used. In many countries you are not allowed to openly teach the Bible or preach the Gospel, but not in the Republic Of South Sudan (ROSS). Your spiritual gifts can be fully used. Are you an evangelist? You may openly witness and preach in the open air. Are you an entrepreneur? You may teach entrepreneurship or help incubate a small business. Are you a preacher? Folks will listen. Are you a builder? An interlocking block machine is on its way to S. Sudan. Many building projects are possible, including churches and school buildings (extra funds would need to be raised to provide materials for those projects). Would you like to assist in church planting? Are you an educator? We can connect you to schools.
  4. One of the greatest needs is medical help. We conducted a medical clinic in 2007 and can provide logistics to medical personnel. Seminars for Sudanese medical personnel are also possible.
  5. While the ROSS became independent on July 9, 2011, the work of nation building is at the ground floor. More than ever a spiritual base is needed. The population is about 50% Christian and the balance mostly animists, with some Muslims.
  6. Your church or ministry may be able to develop your own strategic partnerships.
  7. Our Sudanese ministry partner is a native of Torit, the ministry base, and is well-connected with church leaders and Non-Government Organizations.
  8. This is our sixth ministry trip to S. Sudan, dating from 2006, working with the same overall ministry partner.

Cost: the fee is $2,200, plus round-trip airfare to Entebbe, Uganda. Our travel agent provides discounted fares on quality airlines, and excellent service. Immunizations, visas and entry fees, and outfitting are extra. Depending upon how soon you paid for your ticket and how many immunizations you need, the trip would cost roughly $3,600.

Ministry Update

Westside: The two resumes of friends at the Ministry Update Westside housing project are still floating, and another (seasonal) employer is in our network. Neil Cole wrote the Organic Church, Organic Leadership, Search & Rescue, which are often wise and incisive analyses. The Search describes Life Transformation Groups, which several of us at the Westside project are trying to initiate (see Two or three gather one hour per week to ask accountability questions of each other, to discuss 30 chapters of scripture read during the previous week, and to pray for the salvation of specific people. Three young men agreed to begin reading last week.

Global: A local African American church has graciously offered to fund a second ministry trip in 2011, going as their representative, and reporting to their church.

Africa: Much time in the past couple of months has been spent vetting ministry projects in Africa for our local church. One in final consideration would provide four years of funding for seven Sudanese to take modular masters courses at Westminster Theological Seminary in Kampala, Uganda, and provide for two teachers to travel to Juba, S. Sudan, to teach modular courses to those without college degrees. The block machine for S. Sudan mentioned in the last Report should ship by Sept. 2, delayed by hurricane Irene.

Personal: Last Report I mentioned a tree that barely missed our cars, but three of its cousins persisted during another wind burst, and both totaled Dad’s car (now replaced) and punctured our roof. The almost apocalyptic weather and quakes that our nation and globe have endured can be a wakeup call to us all. Due to India team expenses, we had a very low paycheck in July—the first in about 2 years, but in accordance with Ps. 50:14-15, God has since provided abundantly. He has blessed us with great friends and ministry partners, for which we are grateful. Thank you!

Prayer and Praise