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Swafford May June 2014 eNewsletter


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ministry news from Mission Explosion Intl

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Swafford May June 2014 eNewsletter

  1. 1. 80% 12% 3% 2.5% 2% 0.5% Hinduism Islam Protestant Catholicism Sikhs and Others Church of Christ "Religions" of India MISSION EXPLOSION INTERNATIONAL “Fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of Faith” Rusty Swafford, Evangelist PO Box 1331, Athens, TN 37371-1331 Office: (865) 292-4411 E-mail: May-June 2014 Newsletter Rusty Writes: News from India “Outnumbered A Billion To One” In just a few years India will exceed China’s population, making it the most populated country in the world. Over 1.3 billion people now live in India. The USA is roughly 3X larger in land size. As you can see by the chart, Christians are outnumbered by a vast majority. It is estimated that the New Testament Church of Christ makes up only .5% of India’s “religions”. The fields are truly ripe for harvest. Two times a year in the USA lots of folks will go to church, that’s Christmas and Easter. Many will show up for those “scared” holidays and you’ll not see them again until next year. It’s a very different story in India at Christmas and Easter time; the Christians seize the moment to spread the Gospel message of Jesus. You see, on those holidays the Hindus allow the Christians more freedom to express themselves in a bolder and more courageous way than other times of year. Christians gather in the streets to preach and go caroling, singing songs about the birth of Jesus. They hang out their Christmas stars to let all of their Hindu neighbors know they are proud to be followers of Christ. Many Hindus are converted at this time. Easter is a special time as well for the India Christians. They celebrate Palm Sunday by parading out in the streets with palm branches waving in their hands singing songs of praise and joy about the Lord. On Good Friday the churches remember the seven words Jesus spoke on the cross. They travel all day from church to church preaching on each one of the seven words. Many Hindus will attend these services and hear the salvation message of the Cross. Early Easter Sunday morning they have their sunrise service and celebrate the risen Lord. All day long they proclaim to the mountain tops that Jesus is alive and that He is inviting all to except Him as Lord and Savior. Yes, it is true that they are outnumbered a billion to one, but you would never know it by their excitement and strong faith. Every day they face hard times and persecution for their obedience to God; however, their love for His Word and their desire to reach their neighbor for Christ outweighs any suffering they may face. We value your prayers and support; in fact, we depend on them as we face incredible odds to reach India for Christ. New Converts to Christ! Freedom House Sunday school children enjoying Palm Sunday
  2. 2. Great News From Mexico! All Projects Near Completion! The projects for our church building are almost complete. We had a great response from our plea for help to finish the much needed repairs. Thank you for your generous contributions! We only need about $600 more to finish; this is due to a miscalculation on materials needed, a price increase of materials and the purchase of extra Sunday school supplies. We Need Lots of Bibles! Get the Word Out! We found Spanish Bibles for $3 each when we buy a case of 24. Will you help us raise funds to launch a massive Bible distribution in our area this July? We need to hand out hundreds of Bibles to those living around the church building. Along with the Bibles we will be distributing tracts and invitations to come worship with us at the Playa del Carmen Church of Christ. As I mentioned before we have many false doctrine churches in our area and plan to hand out materials explaining the difference between what they teach and what the Bible says. We will also be conducting VBS programs for two weeks in different areas around the community, using the parks and school grounds for our VBS meeting sites. Will you come and HELP? A Church on the move! We are excited to be working with this congregation. They love the Lord and His Word and desire to be a light for Christ in the community of Playa del Carmen. The church has a great Sunday school program as well as an active men’s and women’s Bible study group. They are a praying church and are planning great things for God in the future. The church would like to start a college outreach and training ministry for young men to plant new churches in the state of Quintana Roo. We look forward to serving with these brothers and sisters in Christ for years to come. I am eager to begin leadership training and help equip the church for works of service. Letter from Faustino When I was born my father left my mother, my brother, and me. We were from Sac-Xan, Mexico; it is a little town near Chetumal city on the border of Belize. We were a very poor family and my mom decided to travel to Chetumal to find work. She worked in different houses cleaning, washing clothes, cooking, and other jobs. She left us with our grandfather and grandmother. For 14 years we stayed with them. My grandfather was a baker and my grandmother helped him to sell his bread. My mother would send us money that she earned in her job. Since I was a very small child my grandfather always taught me the Bible and about God. My grandfather always studied the bible from a young age; he always wanted to be a preacher. The dates will be July 28th through August 11th Bibles for Mexico! Can you buy a case of 24 Bibles for $75, if not maybe you can purchase a 1/2 case for $35 or a 1/4 case for $20? He faced a lot of problems because he did not have the resources to have decent clothes and shoes but he always continued to teach me the Bible when he was not working. He is still living in the little town of Sac-Xan. He is now 83 years old and still reads the Bible and studies God’s Word every day. He has a lot of knowledge about the Bible and God. When I was 16 years old, I went to Chetumal with my mom to go to the high school. My brother could not go because he did not have good grades to go to the school. All the money my mom made she gave me for the school. Because of my good grades I had the opportunity to study at the university in Valladolid city. My mom sent me money for college, the university gave me a scholarship for my excellent grades, the government lent me money, and I also worked on a job. In my third year of school my mom traveled to Playa Del Carmen to get married to Jose Gil Aguilar Lugo. My grandfather taught my step-father a lot of Bible and gave him all his study guides when he came to Sac-Xan. My step-father and brother (Continued on page 3)
  3. 3. Antonio helped to start the Church we have today. Now I have finished college and I’m working a part-time job because there is not much work here for me. I will have to return the money to the government for my college loan. The church members are giving us the opportunity to live in a small room of the church building and we have been there for 2 years. My mother is working as a maid, my step-father is doing maintenance, and I am working at a clothing store. We hope to one day get a rented house for the 3 of us. My brother and his wife are living in another town and he is struggling with his family as well. I am trying to learn good English so I can use it in the service of God. I want to translate for brother Rusty; it will be my pleasure to put my skills to the service of God. There are a lot of things that happened in our life but I hope that you can know a little about us. I am here to help you brother Rusty and work together in the service of God. Message from Rusty about Fausto and Family Fausto is a wonderful young man who loves the Lord. He is very humble and is going to do great things for God in his life. He is helping me with my Spanish and I am helping him with English. LOL. It’s like the blind leading the blind. If God is speaking to you through His Spirit to do something for this young man I know he will be grateful and you will be blessed. I do not know exactly how much he needs to pay back his college loan but if you are interested in helping him I will find out the information. The family of 3 lives in a room smaller than most of our bedrooms. Their combined income per month is about $700. As you know wages in Mexico are very poor. As I read this letter I am thankful for the grandfather and grandmother who provided for this young man and his brother for years and most thankful he taught Fausto the Bible. I met the grandparents and they are special people who love their family and want the best for them. I was very impressed with the grandfather’s Bible knowledge. He knew all about baptism and the Lord’s Supper and all New Testament teachings. I asked him who showed him the Bible, he said God! Good answer! It goes to show you if we get the Word in the hands of the people they will read and obey. We need more Bibles being read and less soap box preachers, preaching. The photos are of Fausto and his family Below: grand-father studying the Word with his son-in-law Top 1.Fausto with his brother and his family 2. Fausto’s whole family 3. Fausto’s grandparents with his step dad 4.Fausto’s mother Nelly and his sister-in-law