Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On My Trip to India, Part 2

As most of you know, I traveled to Ventrapragada, India from May 5-16 to be part of a team that taught (and learned from) Indian Pastors and those training to be pastors. The team was sent by the Treasuring Christ Together Network (our family of churches) to serve an Indian ministry called Reach All Nations (RAN). This week I would like to share with you about the history and heritage of RAN.
The ministry of RAN began in April 2001 under the leadership of Vijay Mesaala and his father, Pastor M. Sundara Rao. Pastor Sundara, a former high-caste Hindu, had come to Christ some decades earlier and eventually founded a church in the village of Ventrapragada to reach both low and high caste people. By the power and faithfulness of God, his vision came to fruition and the church grew to over 200 people, which is fairly large for their area.
He and his wife were unable to have children, and so they prayed and told the Lord that, if he granted them a son, they would devote him to the work of the ministry. The Lord granted them Vijay and they did devote him to the ministry, however, they wisely withheld this fact from him so that the Lord could work in his life. It took many years for Vijay to hear and receive his call to ministry, but in the late 1990s the Lord stirred in his heart and gave him the vision for the ministry of RAN. After Vijay received his call to ministry, he pursued more theological education in India and America (he holds two Master’s degrees), and then worked under the authority of his father to establish the ministry of RAN which essentially functions as the pastoral training arm of the church.
In 2011, Pastor Sundara had a major stroke which left him legally blind and partially paralyzed. By the grace of God, he persevered in the ministry for another two years, often preaching from his wheelchair. But last summer he took ill and died which left the ministry of the church and of RAN in the hands of his three sons and one daughter: Vijay (Director of RAN), Nani (Pastor of the church), Satya (Ministry Coordinator), and Shanti (daughter, married to a man who runs the Bible School). 
Next week I’ll share with you about the various aspects of the ministry of RAN, but for now please visit them at www.reachallnations.org and lift them up in prayer. While the staff of RAN appreciates the various types of support they receive, they mainly long for partners who will pray. So let us pray!

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