09/05/09: Missionaries in Training
“Prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse.” Steps to Christ, 94.
We have seen wonderful things happening these past few months at Green Pastures (GPHS). After a break of almost three months, we were able to reopen the Missionary Training School on April 10th.
All of our students arrived after a grueling three-day journey from the northeast of India, a few hours before the Sabbath. We could see the hand of God at work, when two teachers from Norway, Daniel and Silvia Pel, accepted God’s invitation to serve at Green Pastures. Their stay was short but truly sweet. We are in that time frame when God’s children are traveling from place to place (Daniel 12:4) proclaiming God’s Three Angel’s Message with great power and authority. There is no more time for years of study, but in a short time the Lord will equip His children to give the trumpet call and prepare themselves and their families for Jesus’ second coming.
It is a humbling experience to know that our Father in Heaven is willing to use even the weakest of vessels with all our frailties and waywardness. He so much wants to save us for His Kingdom and is longing for us to unite with Him in service for erring mankind. His heart of infinite love yearns to draw us back to Himself.
As a mark of His approval and acceptance, He sent to Green Pastures students from the past, some of whom have studied here for ten and twelve years, from the school’s very beginnings. Lydia (Rajeshwari) along with her sister Saranya took part in the Sabbath services by testifying of God’s redeeming love and grace. Lydia helped with translation along with another brother from the North. Ravichander (David), another young man of Green Pastures, promised to come back in May to attend Brian Beavers’ meetings. Other students from the past were supportive of the program and pledged to come back from time to time to assist us.
“The youngest child that loves and fears God is greater in His sight than the most talented and learned man who neglects the great salvation. The youth who consecrate their hearts and lives to God have, in so doing, placed themselves in connection with the Fountain of all wisdom and excellence.” Adventist Home, 279.
The Missionary Training School commenced with Daniel dedicating the students and praying for them. Brother Daniel dealt with how to study the Bible, while Sister Silvia taught the eight laws of health and restoration.
The students who enrolled for the Bible training course at GPHS arrived here after many hardships and oppositions and even estrangement from their homes and members of their families. Some of them are just babes in the faith and soak up God’s Word and truth eagerly. Despite communication barriers, they are keen on working to bridge the gaps caused by the many different languages spoken. The challenges are big, yet the spirit of wanting to learn is high, and this is heartening.
Though many of the students have wonderful testimo¬nies, we have space for that of only one student who has been currently studying at GPHS and has been with us for five years. Kaarthika left school in December, along with her brother and sister, when we informed them that we might not be able to operate the elementary school due to the lack of dedicated teachers. The children’s mother left resignedly, not knowing what she was going to do with the children. Having to feed and care for three, plus one other younger sister who lived with her, was very daunting.
One day we received a cry for help from the eldest girl, Kaarthika, who called to say that she would like to come back. The reason she wanted to return was that the elders in the family were contemplating marriage as an option to deal with financial problems. Of course, Kaarthika was not favorably inclined as she is just in her early teens. We were able to talk to the grandmother and convince her that it was not a good idea to force her into marriage and that we were more than willing to have her back at the school. We also offered to help the other two students to pursue their studies at a neighboring Baptist school while boarding with us. We knew that the mother would send the children to work to support themselves and ruin all chances of their going to school. When we thought that the problem was solved, one of the uncles was enraged to learn that the children were coming back to our school. So, in one of his drunken brawls, he waved his knife menacingly at Kaarthika’s grandparents for aiding and abetting to get the children back in school. This scene frightened Kaarthika, and she was very afraid to stay at home. When I invited her to come here as soon as possible, she did. Well, the Lord knows that she is still young for college, being just fourteen years old, but at that juncture there was only one option. She is now the youngest aspirant, and is a help to me and the other students — a great blessing and precious in God’s sight.
There are other marked signs of God’s love upon His chosen ones. We have had recurrent problems with power shortages and lack of skilled personnel to correct the malfunctioning of water pumps, generator, etc. Most of the equipment is quite old and almost at breakdown point. Our Lord is sustaining His work and helping us cope with day to day problems. Our young men students have done a wonderful job by helping us in the nick of time to dig a trench about 400 feet, where underground cables are going to be laid to restore the electricity supply, enabling us to pump water to the hostel building on the big property. Aerial wires have been stolen more than a couple of times, so this is what called for such a major operation.
As in days of old students helped to do all the work, we believe in these last days, when skilled help is hard to come by, God’s children will step in and do the needful work. We are reminded by our Lord’s admonition to idlers when He said, “Why stand ye idle?” The Lord has a work for each of us who are willing to go to work in His vineyard; and, of course, each of us have been gifted with talents of one kind or another. He is counting on us to fulfill the Gospel commission, in different ways of service.
All cannot teach or preach or strain every nerve and muscle, but we can do what we know will help others to give God’s Three Angel’s Messages by contributing our tithes and offerings. God is waiting on us, and we want Him to come soon.
By Anita Tharasingh, Green Pastures Project, India. Donations can be sent to Pacific Leadership Center, 374 SE Highland Park Dr., College Place, WA 99324. Please mark for SALUTE Ministries School.