January 12, 2010
Scripture: Hardships – Romans 8 verses 35-37
Scripture verse for this year ministry
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “for your sake, we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. – (Romans 8:35-37)
Dear mission partners in Christ Jesus,
We hope this letter finds you all in praise and thanksgiving for what the Lord God has done for you in 2009. At this same time, we ask that God will continue to watch over you and keep you in the hollow of his hand in this year 2010.
This year like every year has its own set of challenges for us personally, and for the Word of God for Asia. We can be very thankful that God has provided all that we need to continue on with the work he has called us to in India. I want to take this moment immediately to thank each of you for all your support. We are thankful and praise God that so many of you share our enthusiasm for this ministry.
Many of you know over the years how I like to share with you, my thoughts on how God works in our mission program, and I always try to let God lead me in the writing of each newsletter. This year I am months behind in this newsletter because I was not sure how God would be leading me to write to each of you. I have prayed about this newsletter, probably more then any other newsletter I have ever written. The following pages are what I believe God has helped me to write, and I hope it speaks to you.
The following thoughts and themes were topics of discussion with our pastors before planning our open-air outreach programs in India. The types of things we read about in God’s holy word. If you do not have love, then you have nothing. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Then the question would come up. How do we apply these things to the world in which we live, and how do we communicate these thoughts to unreached people groups? My newsletter, however, is speaking to you, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus who may have had a much longer-term relationship with almighty God.
I would like you to consider for a moment looking at the Christian of today, and how he or she is living in this world, or even in this country. Does it ever seem like we live in a type of Babylon? A place where beauty, power, wealth, selfishness, and wicked addictions to many things cause an alienation from God. Mankind tends to make these things their God, instead of making the creator himself their God. So, where are you? Are you loving yourself and everything else more than God? Or are you loving God more than everything else. (I believe God should be our first priority in life).
Even when we have a personal relationship with Jesus and our father in heaven. We still continue to fail time and time again. We are a people who struggle with sin, it’s just that plain and simple. Selfishness is usually the big one. If you are one of those persons who is battling and struggling with these kinds of things, and you continue to seek the Lord God for help, then you
Will receive that help from him, and you will have a right relationship with God.
The evil one however, is always looking for an opportunity to destroy the children of our father God. Satan does not want us to have a relationship with God, and he will do anything to try and stop and end any relationship we have with Jesus, the holy spirit, and our heavenly father. We need to keep getting up after failure, we need to keep pressing on, we need to win the battle, fight the good fight, and be victorious. To those who love and seek the Lord God, he will help us to be over-comers. Those who try to live by the law cannot do it, and that is why Jesus came to save us. We may continue to fail, but Jesus will lift us up as long as we look up to him for salvation.
Keep reading! This leads me into writing about the hardships our pastors have had to endure in order to proclaim the gospel in India!
In Gods holy word (the bible), you will find many examples of people who sinned against God, who by the world’s standards were failures. Remember Moses, David, Peter, Paul, and others mentioned in the bible. It was murder, adultery, persecution, and denial. God made them all conquerors and made them victorious over these wicked actions, because they were men seeking a right relationship with God. The men, women, and children mentioned in the bible became victors, because they asked God for forgiveness and asked God to heal and save them from all unrighteousness.
In India, I have been so blessed and honored to meet people who have had lives similar to Moses, David, Peter, and Paul. One of those person’s is a man named Shyamkani. Who when he was a young man, killed another man in cold blood. Shyamkani was a man on the run from the law for more than 20 years. As time Progressed, Shyamkani asked God to forgive him, asked God to come into his heart, and some years later became an ordained pastor. He started a church in the heart of Imphal, Manipur, north-east India. The church grew and grew and grew. Then one day the lawful authorities caught up with him. Soon thereafter his lovely wife of many years died, and Shyamkani was taken to a prison to serve a sentence of life for killing a man. In prison he has been beaten, and abused, beyond imagination. This prison is one of the darkest, horrific prisons in the jungles of India, where all the prisoners have killed, terrorized, and raped multitudes of people.
Today Shyamkani is bringing the light of Jesus into the cells of darkness and into the hearts of cold cruel men. (failures) – looking to be saved by the highest God through his son Jesus. I have known Shyamkani for more than 13 years now. I have visited him in prison and have taken many bibles there. No words can express the horrible conditions, the dankness of the dungeons, and
The darkness of hell inside the walls of this prison. Yet God is working though Shyamkani in that place, and bibles are in the prison. God’s word lives, and is Life to those who cling to it. Shyamkani is a warrior and a witness. I watched him become saved, become a pastor, start a church. I have gone to countless homes with him while we preached the word of God to all who would listen. We prayed with those who were crying to be saved by Jesus. Shyamkani always took me to the drug addicts up in the mountains and in the slums. He took me to the terrorists, some of them who also have killed men in cold blood. Many of these were the cruelest men and women not loved by anyone. How many were saved, I cannot say. But many of them are now today traveling to and from throughout the villages of India proclaiming the name of Jesus with boldness and giving testimony to others about how Jesus came into their heart and saved them. I know who some of these people are, and they are the
Backbone of the Christian faith in India.
So, what does this story have to do with, “if you do not have love, you have nothing”? Shyamkani’s story is about the love of Jesus knowing no bounds, and saving a wicked man. Shyamkani’s love is his life story of showing Jesus Christ’s love to others who are wicked, lost, and want to be saved.
What does this story have to do with Babylon? The truth is that we all live in a biblical Babylon no matter who we are. The Babylon that we live in is this world. It is all the things we personally fight against in this world that are wicked and unjust. It is all the things we struggle with that we must over-come with God’s help in order for us to be saved.
Let me tell you about one of our other pastors who was born among a staunch Hindu family in a remote mountain jungle. He was a young fellow when he first heard of Jesus. He wanted to know more about the man who died and rose again. One day he asked God to forgive him for his anger, his lust for the flesh, and for worshipping Gods of wood, stone and ancestry. Today he is one of the humblest Meitei pastors in all of north-east India. He has suffered greatly over the years for the sake of Jesus. He has been beaten, stoned, persecuted, threatened, and the list goes on and on. He has continued to proclaim the name of Jesus for 50 years or more. Thousands upon thousands of Hindu people have come to know Jesus through his actions, his witness, and his love in the name of Jesus. In the future, those thousands, will turn into hundreds of thousands because of his faith in Jesus. This pastor I call my Meitei daddy. He is one of our chief pastors, who shepherd’s many of our other pastors through the Word of God for Asia. Praise be to the name of Jesus! I am enclosing a letter from this pastor to the word of God for Asia, so you can read one of the many hundreds of letters we have received.
Another one of our pastors started an orphanage for girls with his wife about ten years ago. Both he and his wife had been living in poverty, but did all they could to make enough money so they could feed other children who could not fend for themselves. Yet because of what Jesus did for them they also wanted to take in the needy and children who had been abandoned. Most of the girls in the orphanage today have lost their parents due to death from decease, accident, or quite often death through suicide. I admire how the poorest of the poor, are taking in and caring for those who are poorer yet. What better way to praise, honor and glorify the lord then to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. We are God’s children, and he takes great care of us. Note: these girls sleep four and five to a bed, have only two rooms to live in, only have a few changes of clothing, and can only go to school if enough money is raised to send them. They eat only twice in a day and have no money for medications when they are sick. They experience hardship every day, but that two will be overcome. Thanks to you these girls have hope and they know that God loves and cares for them through you.
The bottom line, is that no one on this earth is without some sort of hardship. We all struggle with sin and the difficulty of life. We must endure daily to overcome these things because we are sons and daughters of God most high. We are brothers and sisters in Jesus. Only the love of God can overcome all things, my hope and prayer are that we show that kind of love to the world, and be the light that shines through the darkness.
May God be with each and every one of you, and may he bless each of you with his love and mercy in 2010.\
In the service of the risen savior Jesus,
Steven and Elizabeth Rozema
The word of God for Asia, Inc.
A non-profit organization – our tax id # is: 38-3364751
A man and woman in northern Michigan have offered a contribution of $5,000.00 dollars as a matching grant to all those who contribute up to that amount as of the writing of this newsletter.
Please pray for our pastors, who are enduring huge amount of persecution these days. We are currently supporting 7 pastors full time, and 20 evangelists part time.
We want to thank God with you for all the bibles that have been sent into north-east India through the Word of God for Asia over the past 14 years. More than 38,000 bibles have reached their destination, and none was lost. Except for a couple that some rats ate. (we are not fond of rats). Please pray for our churches in Manipur, they continue to grow, but face many battles and challenges with certain Hindu groups. Please pray for traveling mercies for my family and I. We will be flying to India on January 21, 2010 – thru – February 25, 2010.
On back side of this page read a letter from our main pastor in India.