Sharing Truth in India
As Doors Open
Wayne and I arrived safely at Spicer Memorial College in Pune, India, on the morning of January 19, 2011. We met with our friend, Dr. Sharath Babu Nakka, the blind pastor who has a half-hour television program in the Telugu language on Subhavaartha Television Channel, broadcasting from Chennai, India. On Sunday morning at 5:30 we had the privilege to sit in
his home and watch his program on television while he sat nearby and translated the program for us so we could understand what he was teaching! Starting two years back, he went through the whole book of Daniel, and last year he started the book of Revelation. This next year he will finish Revelation and then do a series on last day events. His program is one of the most popular programs on the channel, along with three other Seventh-day Adventist pastors who also do teaching programs. All of the other pastors on the channel are Sunday pastors, and most of them are involved in faith-healing or other miracles and preaching, with very little Bible teaching. The Hindus and Muslims are responding well to our programs. Also, Sunday pastors are calling in, asking many questions, and some of them are becoming converted on the Sabbath truth and other doctrines. Many of these pastors have 50 or more other pastors under them and are asking for conferences for pastors so they can have our pastors come and teach their pastors the truths of Daniel and Revelation. These people are awakening to the Seventh-day Adventist message, and this is a tremendous breakthrough for our church there. Please continue to pray that God will cause the seeds planted to bear much fruit.
In Kolkata (Calcutta), we were able to speak at an ecumenical gathering of pastors on the subjects of the health message and Bible memorization, emphasizing not just learning the verses but becoming doers of the Word which they are learning. Our next journey took us to Chennai where we met Pastor Elisha Rao who took us to the Subhavaartha television studio where we met the director/owner and discussed the needs of the station for programming. He is very desirous of Seventh-day Adventist programming, especially for health programming, as there is very little available to him which is Christian oriented. He even said he would air the programming free if we could find the programming and send it to him, or have our people prepare the programs using his studios, either the studio at Chennai or the one in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. Please pray with us about this that God will show us the right programming for Indian health programs. Also, we would like to sponsor more doctrinal programming on the television channel.
Two years ago, my husband and I had been sponsoring two small non-conference schools in Andhra Pradesh, but felt that these schools were not really representative of the type of education which God wants to be done by our church. Through some friends, we had looked for property near Kanigiri to start a school that would follow the blueprint of our message, and we would move the students to that school, but we found the realtors were trying to deceive us regarding the amount we had paid. The Lord helped us out of that situation through some high caste Hindu lawyers and one Seventh-day Adventist lawyer who all worked with the police department. We had no more time to search for other property, so we dropped our plans and discontinued the other small schools. This year we were back in the area where one of those lawyers lived in Kanigiri with whom we had been able to share the health message and decided to look his family up again and see how they were doing. Hiking across town to where we thought we remembered they lived, I called out to a lady who was tending her flowers near her gate, to see if she could help us. She looked up at me and shouted in surprise because she immediately recognized us! God had helped us find the right house.
They invited us in, and almost immediately they asked us a question: “Do you still want to start a school?” “Uh, we don’t know, do we?” we said as my husband and I looked at each other. Well, maybe we do. We had given up on the idea, really. But we asked them why they were asking. They said that the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh was coming to Kanigiri the next day, and they thought they could get us set up to see him and ask for government property for a school. What do you say to people who had so kindly helped you get out of a sticky situation in the past and now really want to help you have a school? Is God opening this door? Not wanting to shut a door ourselves, we said we would be willing to see if it would be possible. Not having a lot of time to do any praying or thinking about it, we were told we needed to see the local MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) who would be in town that evening for a short time, who then could arrange a visit with the Chief Minister (CM) the next day. We said that, yes, if it would work out that we could see the MLA, we would. Providence opened the door to see the MLA, and we were able to explain our health message in less than ten minutes, also showing the MLA that our school would teach health, and it would be a work/study program for needy children who agree to follow the principles we will teach them. The MLA is also a young medical doctor as well as a politician. He said, “You do not need an interview with the CM. I will back you up myself and approach the Assembly to get you the property you will need. Just submit more information to me, and I will try to see you here the first week in March.” The first week in March, we were to fly back to the United States, so we had a small time frame in which to work. We would be back (God willing).
My husband was asked by Elisha Rao to do simple health presentations for the Sunday pastors’ conferences he had arranged because of all the interests from the television programs. We attended several of these conferences with about 40-50 pastors each time. About three hours of doctrinal presentations on the Three Angels’ Messages were given, then about one hour on the health message. Pastor Elisha Rao conducts a series of six programs for each group of pastors, all on the Three Angels’ Messages, which covers the important doctrines of our church. More of these conferences need to be held, as many requests are coming in, but it takes funds to do each one. God is providing through a sister in Hyderabad where we also did health presentations, but it is not enough to do them all.
We were able to meet with the MLA in Kanigiri, and presented the paper to him on how the school should be run using principles from the Spirit of Prophecy. Remember he is a high caste Hindu as well as an aspiring politician, but he has a heart to help the poor people of Kanigiri. He read the first paragraph and the last, like the lawyer told us he would do, and said, “I do not want to go through the lengthy process and red tape to get government land. I have two properties of my own that you can choose from, and you can either purchase the property yourself, and we can get government funds to build some of the buildings, or I can donate the property freely, and you can build the buildings. But you must come back soon and choose the property.” So God has kept the door open. Now it is up to us to decide what we really should do. We hope to be back after the hot month of April and see what property the MLA has for us. Also, after the short visit, we were able to leave two Ten Commandment posters, one in English and one in Telugu. Praise God! Please pray that God will show us now what to do. We need more expertise if this school is going to really happen. So far, we have not signed any papers, so until we do, nothing is for sure. But God has given us a short window of opportunity to work, and we pray that it might happen quickly. Please keep it all in your prayers! Thank you.
By Wayne and Shelley Senner. The Gospel and Good Health, 26710 N. Yale Rd #18, Chattaroy, WA 99003. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org