Update from the Smith’s in India reaching Leprosy Colonies
Our family arrived here in India over a week ago to reach out to the unreached and needy of South India. Our very deepest thanks goes to all of you who, knowing our burden to return to India, have been praying for our family and have helped us get here again! Our work began immediately on the very next day after arriving at the airport. We planned to visit three leprosy colonies on our long drive to our destination.
The first leprosy colony we visited was a colony of over three hundred residents. We named this colony New Beginning Leprosy Colony. We had personally visited this colony four years ago. Through the love of a supporter, last year Independent Church in India (ICII) had drilled a well for the residents here because they were desperately in need of having their own water. Through this love act and the gospel preaching, many residents have grown in the Lord and were excited about him. There were many new people living in the colony again so we took the opportunity to share the Gospel message of Christ with them. While we were preaching a message about heaven and hell, one man raised his hands and said, ‘I am going to hell because I am living in sin.’ Others as well urgently shared that they did not want to go to hell and were ready to receive Christ’s forgiveness. We shared with them how they can ask Jesus to forgive their sins, and many people bowed their heads to accept Christ.
After this, we gave them each a gift of a blanket and those who could read a New Testament Bible, and then we prayed for each of them. We visited each person in the sick wards to pray for the people and deliver to them a blanket. They all were very grateful for the blankets and the Bibles.
The people at the leprosy colony shared that before ICII had dug the well for them, it had been very hard for them to get water during the heat of the summer, and life had become very difficult for them. This well has been a true blessing to them because the well is now sufficient for all the people for drinking, cooking and washing. They said that it is a wonderful thing that has been done for them. This well is a constant reminder of Jesus who is the living water in the colony of over 300 residents!
Later that same day we visited a new leprosy colony and we preached the salvation message of Jesus Christ there for the first time and many of the residents at this colony also received Christ into their lives. These once hopeless people were so thankful to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the next day we visited a colony we had named ‘New Joy Leprosy Colony’. We had visited this colony three years ago. The colony was actually a small village filled with very poor families who had leprosy. Three years ago we had shared the good news of Christ there, and we returned to see how the residents were doing in their Christian walk. We were so glad to find that most of the residents were now stronger Christians and were following the Lord.
They had given up on their former Hindu practices and were praying daily to the Lord for His guidance and providence. We had also been sending a missionary there in the past that had the opportunity to teach them more about the Lord. We learned that since then the Lord had been faithful to them and had sent a pastor to them to lead them in worship services right in their village each week! It was so fulfilling to personally see that the people there had so much more hope in the Lord for the past three years. We taught them the word of God, which was well received by them, and we also delivered to each of them a blanket and a 30 pound bag of rice for each family along with beans in which they were so grateful to receive.
Other outreaches we did last week were visiting another poor government run leprosy colony closer to our own area and bringing the gospel message to them and delivering blankets to them. We also ministered at the Promised Land children’s home and the elderly leprosy community, we did village ministry, and attended a children’s village Bible school and delivered to them gift packs, which they were so happy to receive. On Sunday, Lowell and I shared the Word of God at the church.
This week we are all geared up to travel five hours to a colony we have adopted as our own for the past four years, called New Life Leprosy Colony. We will be delivering food and clothing to them and will also be visiting some surrounding colonies in that same area.
If you would like to give a gift towards leprosy outreach or towards any other areas of the ministry of Independent Church in India through Pay pal, please click on the link below: http://www.indchurch.org/projects.html
If anyone would like to send a gift through the mail please respond by sending a gift to the below address. Independent Church in India PO Box 238 Fredericksburg, PA 17026 Please make out checks or money orders to “Independent Church in India” or “ICII” Please mark it (“Leprosy Outreach”).
Thank you for your love and support for God’s work in India!
…by Kathy A. Smith
(Missionary to India)