Scriptures: Mark 1 verses 35 – 39
Scripture verse for this year ministry
” Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He Prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for Him, and when they found Him, they exclaimed: Everyone is looking for You! Jesus replied, let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages, so I can preach there also. That Jesus said, is why I have come. So, He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons”.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
Here we are again! We Hope this letter finds you doing well and in high spirits as we approach this Christmas Season. Can you believe it, this is our 22nd year of Ministry in India. Where has the time gone? It seems that life passes us by so quickly, like a mist and gone. Only a spec on the time line of life.
Up above you will see I have picked the Scripture verses related to the theme of Prayer. This is because THE WORD OF GOD FOR ASIA, Ministry survives on Prayer. Prayer is direct communication with God. With communication comes understanding. When we do not communicate with God, that lessens our understanding and relationship with Him. I will come back to this later in the Newsletter.
After 22 years of writing Newsletters, what could be written that has not already been written before. Struggling with this, I decided to take an approach not often taken with Missionaries. Instead of the typical report, I thought after Prayer and Meditation to express to you the difficulties in the Mission field, and why it is that I continue in this effort to bring the Word of God to others overseas in this ministry.
I will get right to the point. I had no idea when I founded this ministry in 1994 / 1995 what hardships, dangers, toils, pains, trials, and tribulations I would have to endure. Being a younger man at the time I didn’t much care either way what I would face in order to bring the Word of God to the people of India. As the years progressed, I found myself tempted to give it all up many times. I wanted out more times than I care to remember. Often, I said, it is just not worth it. I’m tired of all the crap! That’s right I said crap because I ended up in the middle of everything I did not want to be in the middle of. Government bureaucracy, Religious orders, and Family politics just to name the big three. I thought I was invincible and consequently went against the grain and butt heads with everyone in order to fulfill my dream of bringing the Word of God to the indigenous peoples of remote North-East India.
My thoughts and my plans were most likely not the Thoughts and Plans of God, but I did Pray through it all. The discovery was when God calls us into His service, your either all in or you are not. There is no halfway, in between, or meet me somewhere in the middle with God. Therefore, it was always a battle. My intentions I thought were always good. I knew God was for me, so who could be against me. My intentions are still good today as I perceive them to be, but now I know that the World will always be against the servants of the living God. That old devil fights against anything done in the name of Jesus. Mission Ministries will always be tough. God is always with His Children, He never leaves them nor forsakes them. The victory will be ours, and we will win the good fight, but there will still be pain, sacrifice, and trouble that causes all kinds of grief. Please be patient and follow along as I lay out Prayer against the schemes of that old devil.
BIBLES: When bringing Bibles to India for the first time, I did not know those Bibles would be lost. I prayed and they were found. When Bibles could not be transferred into North-East India, Mother Theresa stored them in her office. Over the years our Bibles have been stolen and sold on the black market by those that could profit from what was supposed to be a free gift. Those same Bibles were stopped at border crossings by corrupt government officials, militants, and underground insurgents. They were eaten by rats and damaged by weather. Yet today 56,000 Bibles plus have been put into the hands of people longing for the Word of God. Not to mention, printing contracts, negotiations, shipping obstacles, and Bible translation work. It was never easy dealing with all these situations, in fact, it was hard and complicated. By the Prayers and Supplications of many, everything worked out to fulfill the perfect will of God.
PASTORAL MINISTRY: It is a great Honor, and gives me great pleasure in attending to our Pastors and their families. This leads to great hair loss as well, but I love them so much. It is easy for me to identify with what they are going through on a daily basis. Pastors face many toilsome trials and tribulations. We have learned to feed off one another spiritually, and to lift each other up as we bring the Word of God to Christians and Hindus alike. Pastors deal with all types of spiritual complexities, and believe it or not I actually spend a lot of time listening to their struggles with the church, family, and other more personal things. The pastors we work with in India live hand to mouth. They are so poor, but so rich in the spirit. They are devoted to showing the love of God, and to bring the Word of the truth to their people. These Pastors face many hardships unlike any other. Persecution, ridicule, humiliation just to name a few. we have 7 Pastors and 5 Evangelists full time. I try to spend at least 2 days with each. This is essential for house to house ministry, and it energizes them for the year to come. Somehow, I receive something more from them then what I was able to give. It is a type of regeneration and restoration of my own soul. Feeling the Love and Grace of God in order to weather the storms in my own trials and tribulations. These Servants give strength to the very bones of my body through their intimate Prayers with the Almighty One.
OUR CHURCHES IN INDIA: Frustration beyond words would be the nicest way to explain my work with our Churches in India. Properties purchased in remote regions, finances spent, labors of love into a physical structure. Wow! It all happens in places where people hate you, and in many instances would sooner kill you then look at you. This has happened in two locations where we have Churches today. Everything starts out with enthusiasm, the true Church has grown from the grass roots level, several house churches are bursting at the seams. Now it is time to come together as one body of believers, let us build a structure near our Hindu village where we can worship freely and witness to all. They are a living Church of baby Christians who love Jesus with all their heart, but have no deep root of faith to keep the Church going and growing. when I write about this, I find myself thinking ” for the Love of God “. literally, the church planting and building was the easy part. What really bothered me was when the body of Christ began fighting viciously against one another. One part of the church was extremely conservative, and the other a more charismatic group. The Church begins to split, brothers and sisters in Christ become unhappy, and well what more can be said. When this type of thing happens, it makes one wonder if it is all worth it. I have often thought that keeping the Church family together, must be harder then pulling teeth an expression taken from one of my Grandfathers. In years past THE WORD OF GOD FOR ASIA, has helped to fix more than 20 other churches from other villages, that were forgotten by their own organizations and denominations. Some Church families would get upset when another Church received help, but theirs did not. Others became ungrateful, while others became just plain darn right slanderous. So, why do we support these mission efforts, and continue to do these good works. Because it is all about bringing the body of Christ together. Teaching each person how to love one another, as Christ loves the Church. To Forgive and Pray for one another. Today in 2017 our Churches are growing in dangerous regions, why? Because – – THE CHURCH THAT PRAYS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER.
ORPHANS AND ORPHANAGES: I never, never, ever wanted to take care of orphans. I knew this would be a big job. I did not want this ministry I thought at the time, to go in this direction. It was not something I wanted personally to pursue. Oh my! Then it happened. Several of our unrelenting Pastors in India, one in particular would not leave me alone regarding this endeavor. He told me many times, this is what we need to do. Well, the rest is history. We went from 5 or 6 kids, to 23 kids, then 23 kids to 65 kids, and now at present we have 21 children. So this is my perspective. The greatest pain in ministry for me has been taking care of orphans, and at the same time it has been the Greatest Reward. Anything that can go wrong, does go wrong with an Orphanage and its Orphans. 90% of the time it is not the fault of the children. They truly are the innocent ones. Here are some reasons why I felt like giving up so often. An Orphanage is crisis all the time. Children are constantly getting hurt, or they are sick with malaria, flu and diarrhea. The electrical system in many of the places we work is off more than it is on. Clean water, or any water is always an issue. Educational needs and keeping children in school becomes another challenge. It is non-stop hard work! Raising the finances, setting up the budgets, dealing with tribal leaders, and then there is the Government red tape which gives everyone a headache. Trusted people end up stealing everything all the time, and everything is a negotiation for food, clothing, and housing. The most horrible thing to go through is the death of a child. Running an Orphanage is brutal. Many hours are spent talking everything through to figure out how to survive the next day. There is no rest for those who love these children. God helps me to persevere through these children. Once the Orphan children have your heart, it is nearly impossible to give up on them. Let me tell you about the Prayer of Child. When a Child Prays, it is like no other prayer on earth. The faith of a child is true, and their Prayers are fervent. I would rather have one Child Pray for me, than 100 adults. The Prayers of Children who love the Lord Jesus, are more powerful than anything I have ever known.
Nothing was mentioned about running a non-profit corporation here in the U.S.A. Nothing more needs to be said. If a person called by God can get through all these types of things, then by God’s Grace they can overcome anything. Prayer is the key to living throughout the day. This is why I chose the Scripture shown on page – 1 of Jesus starting His day in Prayer, in a place that was Quiet and alone. Jesus recognized that prayer was essential in helping Him accomplish the will of our Heavenly Father throughout the course of His day. Prayer does not make anything easy, it just makes everything possible.
In this Christmas Season, and throughout this New Year, please remember that it is not all about you, it is all about the one who gave His all for us. May God Bless Your Family with Love, Joy, and Peace! Thank You all for not giving up on this Mission Ministry: THE WORD OF GOD FOR ASIA. Please continue to support those who are called to fulfill the Great Commission in Jesus Name.
In the Service of our Savior Jesus,
Steven L. Rozema
THE WORD OF GOD FOR ASIA, INC. A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, 501 (C) – 3
TAX ID. #38-3364751
P.S. We have not yet purchased our Airline tickets as of this writing, we are hoping to leave for India mid-January, and hope to return God willing around the first week of March, 2017.