Starting Trouble?

When I was invited to speak in a Youth Meeting and share about how I started the Feed Orissa Project, it appealed to me. Many want to serve God but they do not know how. So I thought, based on my experience I would share how we can be an eveready witness for Christ and start some work for Him. If you are one such person I want to encourage you today that you too can start now. As Paul the Apostle says, we must be always wearing the shoes of readiness (Eph 6:15).

Ministry at Home: The first step in starting a ministry is to be a witness in Jerusalem, the place where you are. Be a witness to anyone who comes to your home. Have good tracts, booklets and New Testaments at home. Do not be businesslike. If the courier boy comes or the Newspaper man to collect the bill or beggars or the vegetable vendor or auto driver or anybody for that matter, greet them and enquire, “How are you?” Ask them if they would like to read a book and give them a tract or booklet. It goes without saying that young people must be careful and sensible when they develop a relationship for the Gospel sake.

Shyness is the worst enemy in your witnessing life. Overcome it gradually. Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of Me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the Holy angels” (Mk 8:38).

Sunday School: I started my ministry even when I was in school. By the encouragement of one of my aunts, I became a teacher in our Church Sunday School. This proved to be a valuable experience. If you get a chance to teach in a Sunday School, please accept it. Don’t think small of it. Children are precious in God’s sight. They can become believers. So pour yourself heart and soul in teaching them.

Campus Ministry: Then I came to the Medical College. I witnessed to some of my classmates, but mostly to patients. After 50 years I started praying that God should bring me in touch with at least one classmate so I can lead her to Christ. What a wonder! Soon I had a call from a man who said, “Lilian, we are planning a get together and you must come.” Sure enough I was there. When my turn came, I went to the mike and witnessed. There was a thunderous applause. In the subsequent gatherings I gave them New Testament and books. Now we have formed a whatsapp group and now and then I post a small gospel message. I could lead one girl to salvation through mobile.

Prayer Cell: When I married and came to Vellore, I started praying with a friend. She invited her friends and I invited mine and our friends invited their friends and so it became a 30 member prayer cell in our house. Many were saved and received the Holy Spirit.

House Visiting: I also had another friend and we both walked the dusty streets of Vellore, knocking at doors. Wherever we were invited in, we shared and prayed. Then the Blessing Youth Mission gave me a bicycle and with my three year old daughter at the pinion, we wandered around Vellore. Many received salvation and the Holy Spirit at that time. Glory to God!

When people think of ministry, they think of pulpits, crowds and an aeroplane. That never works. You must start with what you have. If you are faithful in little things, then God will entrust in your hands bigger ministries. So go to the next house, next village or to the Government Hospital and help poor patients by buying them food or medicines.

Institutions: I was desirous of ministering, but nobody invited me to preach. God told me to go and preach in uninvited places (Whenever I say, ‘God told me,’ I mean the inner urge and not an audible voice). I had heard about an After Care Home for wayward women and girls. It was a Government Home. Would they permit me? I went and sat in the queue waiting to see the Superintendent. When my turn came and I went in, the Superintendent stood up to greet me. “I was transferred from Madurai. I was planning to invite you to come and talk to these girls. I am glad you came.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. There many Hindu and Muslim girls came to the saving knowledge of Christ and received the Holy Spirit. One day we took a Brahmin convert to testify to the girls. Next week when we went, to our surprise we found that the sister and a team from her church were ministering to the group. Our ministry was usurped. We decided to leave the ministry to them and go to another place. The world is very wide.

It was here that we heard about a similar Home for boys. Would God perform a miracle there too? We went with prayer. Only the caretaker lady was there. She said, “Amma, I saw you in my dream yesterday. I came to the Hospital for stomach ache and you treated me. I am alright now. Please come and talk to the boys”! We had a fruitful ministry there for many years and I handed it over to a missionary.

We preach about the power of God but don’t believe in the power of God. The women went lamenting, “Who will roll the stone for us?” but to their great surprise they found the stone already rolled away. They did not lament and pray and stay at home. They went even though they knew the stone was there. There is a time to pray and a time to act. Believe on the Lord’s power and go. If no miracle happens, go to another place. Search for Old Age Homes, Blind Schools, Deaf and Dumb Schools, Orphanages, Hostels etc. and go with prayer.

Children’s Classes: At this time we shifted our house and the prayer in our house had to be stopped. But they all were witnesses and some started their own ministry. In this new place I had too much time in my hands and I was looking for ways to use it. One day I saw a little shepherd boy grazing his cattle. I called him and made him sit in our sofa. I told him a story, showed him pictures, taught him a chorus, gave him Christmas cards, gave him a toffee and told him to bring his friends the following Sunday. Five turned up. Soon it was 106 and we had to frantically look for teachers. Many were saved in this Sunday class. Then we started to go to nearby villages. Today some are in foreign countries and some are serving the Lord.

Our country is a vast mission field. Wherever you are, there are souls, only if you open your eyes and see. Who can despise the day of small beginning. Start small and work at it. Keep it up. Be patient. It may take years of hard work, to build up a ministry.

Ministry among Mendicants: Five lepers used to come to our house every Saturday, begging for alms. I used to drop some coins in their tin can. One day I gave one rupee. Those days one rupee was a big amount. So they smiled at me and made a namaskar. I didn’t know how to react. I pretended not to have seen their smile and namaskar, turned around and went inside the house. The Lord convicted me. Why can’t you smile at them and return their namaskar? asked God. I was waiting for next Saturday. I smiled and greeted them. That was the start of the Precious Pearls ministry. I started sharing the Good News to them showing them pictures from the Children’s Bible. I used to wonder if I was wasting my time with them. After five years, one day they said, “Amma, we want to be baptized.”

It was a hot summer day. I was worried. Would they be there? Was I over enthusiastic to arrange baptism? To my great surprise there were seven. “Amma, these two received Jesus as their Saviour when they heard the Good News from us” they said. So they were baptized. Some are alive even today. When my husband and I shifted to the field we handed over the ministry to the Headquarters staff. Missionaries Julies and Jeya took over the ministry and are passionately ministering to them. Till the lockdown, twelve students from the Vellore Institute of Technology used to come in three auto rickshaws with their guitars and teach them. Today it has grown to 80-100 members. First of every month they come and after some teaching, go with their alms.

Love should be your motivating factor. If people don’t see love in your face they will not come near you. There is always a crowd of beggars outside any church. Give a good breakfast and share the Good News to them and give alms. Remember, they are human beings and they have a soul. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is never wasted,” said Aesop, Greek fabulous and storyteller.

Redlight Area: When I was working in a private hospital, many ladies used to come with venereal diseases. They all would give the same address. So I told them that I would visit them. Mrs. Lillian Kingsley and I went looking for the address. Horrors! It was a red light area. There were huts and each hut had a “mother” and girls. We started talking to them. One lady Thanjamma opened her house for weekly prayer. We would be teaching, when a man would come, pick up a girl and go to the next room. One day a demon-possessed girl started rolling all over the room and all the girls ran out. We both stood there praying. When we laid our hand on her head and prayed, the demon left and she was delivered. For Christmas we went with a gas light and a crowd gathered. After songs and skits the Good News was preached.

The men who brought these girls and used them would be keenly watching us, which gave us goose bumps. Many received tracts from us. Some left the place. Some got married and moved out. Then the Government cracked down and bulldozed their houses and cleaned up the place. Thanjamma started selling curry leaves in the market. The last time we met her she said that they were reading the Bible and having family prayer.

We keep praying for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What would you do with gifts if you are sitting tight at home? Why would the Lord give you gifts? You go out and start ministering and without your asking, you would find the gifts of the Holy Spirit operating.

Flesh Trade: Then my husband and I shifted to Karnataka. Once when we were travelling by train we saw many girls, well dressed, wearing a particular kind of chain, decorated, with strings around their wrists and some of them with matted hair, traveling in big groups. When I asked the missionaries they said these were girls who were being taken to a village, where in a hill called Gudda in Saundatti town they would be dedicated as devadasis. A godman tells parents that if they dedicate a daughter to the goddess, their field would flourish, they would be blessed and their problems would melt away. My heart turned within me. Let’s go and see, I said. So we went. What we saw there wrenched our guts. People kept on coming with their daughters. The poojari would tie a thali chain around their necks and they’d be quickly set aside. Eunuchs who were waiting for them would be bargaining for 800 rupees or 3000 rupees for a girl. Then they loaded them in carts and took them (to brothels in cities, as I was told later). We talked to some who challenged us asking, “If this is not a god, why are so many coming here?” We had no answer. Here and there demon possessed people were swinging and magicians were trying to cast them out. We felt powerless and returned home with a heavy heart.

We started to pray and mobilise prayer. That year in Bahrain I shared in a Women’s Fellowship and the American lady who was in charge of the Fellowship, sat in the night and wrote to her friends around the world. I received Christmas greetings from around the world with a note assuring of their prayers for the girls. Work among devadasis was started. What wonder! The very next year the Government cracked down on the practice and the temple in Gudda was permanently closed. Today a Blessing Youth Mission church stands in Saundatti as a testimony. May God’s name be glorified.

For evil to prevail, good people should do nothing. When you see social evils such as these, don’t turn a blind eye to it. Step in holding God’s hand. Never fear. Many discouraged me from climbing the hills of the Gudda, saying, it was a place full of demons. If Christians cannot go to a place full of demons, who else will? was my reply. Fear is the worst enemy for ministry. We have unlimited power. Cowards die every day, courageous people die only once, goes the saying.

Literature Distribution: We spent three years in Odisha. When we went there we were warned not to distribute tracts because, they said, our van would be burned. Once when we were travelling by van, all went for a cup of tea. Since I don’t drink tea I sat in the van. I slowly thrust a tract through the window to a passer by. He took it and started to read. I took courage and thrust out another one, then another and then another till a small crowd gathered around the window. “Can you please give me one more?” “Do you have anything else?” “Will you send books if I pay money?” were the questions asked. From then on we started distributing tracts wherever we went and sold New Testaments. Our brothers would shout, “Dhooyi tongoku swarga jeeba,” meaning, “For two rupees you can go to heaven.” Buses would stop and we had to quickly place a New Testament into the outstretched hands and collect two rupees. We took boxes of New Testaments and Gospels and returned with empty boxes. It was as if we had broken through a wall.

The climate could change. An adverse situation could change. So we must never give up trying. Many times our human intelligence and experience will tell us, this will never work. But “nevertheless” because God tells us so, we must do what He says.

The Jungle Clinic: The last leg of our stay in Odisha was Ramagiri, an interior tribal village inside a jungle. We had electricity only for a few hours and an occasional bus. When we went there, we were told that 60 plus people had died of dysentery the previous year and the season was starting just then. We kicked into action and started a clinic. I put on my doctor’s coat and my stethoscope around my neck. We drove out the goats in the bus stand and cleaned up the place. We arranged our medicines and started calling people, shouting, “Come, we will give you medicines.” One or two shyly came. We carried their babies, talked and joked and gave them medicines. We could hear what they went and told others, “This doctor speaks Oriya, she even touches us.” Later missionaries told me that there doctors did not touch patients but gave medicines after hearing their complaints. To the glory of God not a single patient died of dysentery that year.

We treated Malaria, tuberculosis,Vitamin A deficiency, worm infestation (including tape worm), leprosy, venereal diseases and a host of other diseases. Everybody had scabies and they all scratched till they bled and did not sleep in the night. We bought gallons and gallons of ascabiol lotion and started treating them. We went to the local school and treated all the students. The results were dramatic. Those people who would not greet us but turned their faces and walked away as if we were enemies, now smiled at us and made namaskar. I met an young girl who had lost her fingers to leprosy. Tears rolled down her cheeks. I was smitten with guilt. If I had come five years earlier, she would be a happily married girl now.

I had a black board and a mosquito net hanging. I would draw pictures to explain how dysentery, malaria, leprosy, tuberculosis and other diseases spread.    They were intelligent and understood. But sadly there was no one to teach them. When the time came for us to leave, I handed over the ministry to Dr. Jaishankar who did an excellent job.

The need is your call. Pray and plunge where you find a need. God never asked Nehemiah to go and build the walls of Jerusalem. He saw the need, he felt the burden and moved into action. God honoured his efforts. Use your education for God. You may be a doctor, nurse, engineer, social worker, teacher or anything. There is vacancy in God’s Kingdom for everybody. Learning the local language is very important. Ministry means sacrifice and suffering. I had cerebral malaria twice but God saved me. Be wise to take care of yourself.

Feed Odisha: After about ten years I visited Ramagiri again. It was a time of extreme stress in my life and I felt I needed some rest. My husband also felt that I needed a short change and suggested Sitheri Hills. But I chose Ramagiri, a mission field close to my heart. I sat in the clinic seeing patients. We had no pass time. There were no malls, no entertainments, no icecream. After five or six in the evening you couldn’t go walking for fear of bears, wolves and tigers. All my time pass was reading the Oriya Newspaper. I was shaken to the core when I saw pictures of people who had died of starvation. I started praying for those unfortunate souls. A voice within me said, “Why can’t you go and feed them?” I quickly shut off the voice, pleading with the Lord not to speak to me. But the voice simply wouldn’t go away. I begged, “Lord, I am a woman and the place is full of dacoits. Send a man and leave me alone,” I prayed. One day while praying at 3 am, I saw a stack of picture cards at one corner of my cot. I took the first card and it was the picture of a guardian angel, spreading his wings over two little children, catching butterflies, standing on a broken bridge. Whether it was a dream or vision I do not know, but I knew it was the voice of the Lord, assuring me of protection if I went.

Some discouraged me saying that the newspapers published all lies; that even if somebody was dying of hunger, they wouldn’t give a handful of rice but only preach the Good News. I said that my view was different. A starving man must be given food, not the Good News. So I went. The Mission gave me the van and missionaries Mr. Samal and Mrs. Bimla Samal to accompany me.

We went to Bargad and enquired about the famine. Nobody seemed to know. All were well dressed and well fed. We were disappointed. Then a religious worker said that his relative might know. So we travelled 72 kilometers to that relative’s house. He also didn’t know. Downhearted, we sat down. At that time an evangelist came and we asked him expecting a negative reply. But he said, “Yes I know the place, I am working there. Come, let’s go.” So we all jumped into the van and proceeded to the place through dusty mud roads. Suddenly the evangelist shouted, “Stop the van. There he is, the man who bought the child.” Yes, Shyamlal who had sold his daughter because of poverty was in the news. And here was the man who bought the child. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Orissa is a large State and to see someone mentioned in the newspaper was nothing short of a miracle. So we interviewed the man and proceeded to meet Shyamlal. There he was, the man whose picture was in the newspaper. He had nothing in his house. We bought him whatever he required and proceeded to meet Premsila Bhoi’s house. Both husband and wife died of starvation leaving three small children behind. The children were with the brother. He shook his fist at us and said, “If no one is going to help me, I am going to sell these children.”

Heartbroken, we returned. I vowed that I’d come back and stay in Premsila’s house and start work. Then we went to Diptipur. The Bishop took us to the hospital and requested us to start work there. He had a point. This place was in the famine area and many were dying of tuberculosis. This hospital had an X ray unit, lab etc. So we decided to start ministry in Diptipur. I was given a room in the hospital to stay. It was like an oven (48oC). The toilet was outside. In the toilet, through the cracks in the walls peepal trees were growing. Huge lizards sat on the walls. My heart sank. The next day I was to confirm my stay. Night the Lord asked me, “You wanted to stay in a place without toilet and electricity; but now I am giving you a place with some electricity and a toilet and you are hesitating?” I was convicted. I walked down the next morning to meet the authorities to say, “Yes.” They were coming to meet me. Before I could open my mouth they said, “We have decided to give you the guest room.” I breathed a sigh of relief.

Don’t imagine a guest room with curtains. It was a little better than the hospital room. It was upstairs. The windows were just two cross bars without shutters. I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. I was allergic to mosquito repellents. With no electricity in the night and tears streaming down my face I asked myself, “Did the Lord send me or did I come here driven by my emotions?” I would fry a chicken and eat the whole to get over my depression.

Slowly patients started to trickle in. We travelled to the surrounding villages and supplied rice, dal, eggs and oil to all those who were starving. We taught them a trade, started tailoring and computer classes. In two years there was no starvation deaths in Bargad district. Two or three suffered from TB in a family. They would decide who would take treatment. No free treatment was given. They would sell their animals and take treatment. Conditions were pathetic. Many were healed in our hospital. We preached the Good News. Thrice I was called to the police station. Our team enlarged. A hostel for boys was started. Miracles happened. We had eye camps and expert surgeons came and operated on nearly 1300 cataract patients. Surgery camps were arranged. Today churches are springing up in areas where we did social service and preached. To know the details of the ministry, read my book, “The Dream that did not come by Night.” Recently a sister told me that she read the book and whole night she was weeping. Today she is ministering in Odisha.

God uses our times of stress and strain, times of weeping and sorrow, times of confusion and conflict to bring out something beautiful. So refuse to collapse. Face life boldly and keep going ahead. One more thing I like to stress is that there will always be times of doubt. Did not satan sow a doubt in the heart of Jesus asking, “Are you the Son of God? If so demonstrate it by a miracle.” But encourage yourself in the Lord. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory...” (Eph 3:20). Obviously he had experienced this power of Christ in his life. He never imagined that his ministry would affect the world to this extent. I never thought Feed Odisha would create such an impact. God does not give us in proportion to our prayer or desire, but according to His power. So pour yourself heart and soul into what you are doing.

Little Lambs Ministry: Lastly, I want to describe the Little Lambs ministry that I am currently involved in, in some detail. It started in 2014. Our church is in a village and I used to be heartbroken to see the village deities under the trees. I told my husband to drop me at the entrance of the village and decided to walk to the church from there. As I walked, I would chat with people. Then I started to share the Good News with some. Then I had a friend to go with me. We met a man who promised to come to church and give an offering if God gave him a child. The following week his wife Kuppamma told us the complete story. They were childless for eighteen years. The thought of suicide haunted them. They could not stand the jibes of people. So they decided to shift to this village. So every week we started sharing and singing to the four or five who gathered there. Then we were invited to another house. The number became 40. After three months Kuppamma became pregnant. She now has two sons. We gave a Christmas Programme in the church. Children sang and danced and recited memory verses. The congregation stood up. Cameras started clicking. After the service many wanted to help this ministry. One Dr.Selvamani met me and said, “I know I must serve God, but I don’t know how.” I said, “Come with us.” Today she is leading the Little Lambs ministry. For two years we preached the Good News in the village from house to house. The next year we were asked to get out by the village men.

Everything came to a stand still. Christmas gifts for children were ready. But all we could see was darkness. God was silent. Our hearts sank. We decided to try our luck with the lone house on the farther end of the village, on the other side of the road. A great surprise awaited us. Mr. Nicholson and Mrs. Jeyabai Nicolson welcomed us with open arms. They were evangelical Christians. They took their spare house key bunch and handed us saying we could use the house for our ministry. We praised God and conducted the Christmas Programme there with 32 children. The following New Year six children came. To cut the story short, today we teach around 80 children and 12 adults every Sunday. 250 attended the 2020 Christmas function.

Opposition and discouragement are bound to come. If one door closes, we must look for the next door. God’s work never comes to a stop. We were warned that this people belonged to a rough caste and not to go to them. But it is these men who bring their children and put them in our cars to go to the class. There were oppositions and threatenings. But on the whole there was a welcome attitude. The reason I believe is that we not only teach them religion but also morals, discipline, health, hygiene, English, Tamil (they are extremely poor in studies). We hug them and wipe their tears and treat minor health problems. We give counselling too since many live under traumatic conditions like getting beaten up by drunkard fathers. We give them a good snack every week and good meals on special occasions.

When you minister, take care of the total person and aim at their wholesome development. Don’t push religion down their throat. Children now beautifully dance and enact for programmes and even adults dance Kummi.

As we grow older, there will be a tendency to relax and be lazy. Never give in to such a temptation. In some way or other we must be witnesses. Jesus promised to be with us to the end of the age.

Our motive is also important. We start a ministry, not to feel good, or for advertisement, or popularity or for income or as a competition with somebody, or even to spend the money received from a foreign country, to show them photographs. Let your motives be pure. If you have a burden, that is good reason to start work there. Keep photography to a minimum. Be willing to spend from your own pocket. We started to give a peanut burfi to each to start with. Seeing the work people started to support the work.

You can either start your own ministry or join someone who is doing some ministry. Both ways you can shine. Many want to be leaders only. Discern God’s will in the matter. No ministry will have a smooth sail. You will face many storms and discouragement. Every other person I met told me to give up the Little Lambs Ministry. I felt like an insane woman going like a crack in the hot sun, holding the umbrella, in the streets of the village. My husband and a few others stood with me. But I myself did not imagine one day so many non Christians would sit with their pen and pad to write Scripture exams (the little ones and uneducated have orals). We crowned Bible Queens and Bible Kings. Never did I imagine 250 pucca Hindus would rush in to find a place in our Little Lambs Lawn to attend the Christmas program. God be praised!

Mobilise prayer for the work. It will be the backbone of your ministry. The team should get together at least once a week for discussion, planning and prayer. If physical gathering is not possible, the next best is online. When the ministry expands, send out a newsletter to the concerned. Be absolutely honest in reporting. Do not keep on appealing for funds. People must see your work and voluntarily contribute.

One big mistake servants of God make is trying to prove other religions false. Our principle has always been not to talk about their religion or their gods. We don’t try to convert them to Christianity. In fact we tell them that they can remain as Hindus. But we teach them about Christ and the salvation He gives. We stress that they must worship the true God and Christ alone. We emphasise on the conversion of the heart. We don’t tell them to remove their bindi or the thread round their wrists. We believe God will lead them further. Parents take the children to their temples and some little lambs take kavadi also. We don’t object to that or make fun of children who come with head tonsured in their temples. We close for Hindu festivals. We believe the truth will prevail.

You must always have in mind that satan is unhappy with you for serving God and will try his level best to pull your leg. The best way for him to do this is to push you into some sin. To safeguard yourself, let not ministry take priority over your personal relationship with the Lord. Beware of pride, greed, money mindedness, sexual sins, dishonesty, you name what. Beware of spiritual sounding statements which tell you that your sin is not at all a sin. Keep yourself in close fellowship with God’s children and be accountable to spiritual leaders.

You can read in detail about these ministries in my books, Don’t Kill Religion, Goodbye Satan, Awake Deborah, Better Christian, Nearer My God and The Dream that did not come by Night.

Wherever you are, you must start a small congregation like Aquila and Priscilla (Rom 16:3,4,5). Go into all the world and preach the Good News to one and all. The Lord will come along with you and work wonders (Dt 20:1-4).

 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 5
   Updated

 Dr Lilian Stanley Blog
   Updated

  •   Day Break Events (Tamil)
      Jun 16, 2022
    Day Break Events more...
  •   Day Break Events
      Jun 16, 2022
    Day Break Events more...
  •   Jesus, the Lamb of God! (Tamil)
      Jun 06, 2022
    Jesus, the Lamb of God! more...
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 Daily Devotional for Women (English)
   Updated

  •   274. Oct 01 Feed My lambs!
      Mar 07, 2023
    Have faith and you will witness miracles more...
  •   273. September 30 Miracles in my life
      Mar 06, 2023
    Why don't you write down the miracles in your life? more...
  •   272. September 29 Worthy Woman
      Mar 05, 2023
    Are you a worthy woman? more...
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 Daily Devotional for Women (Tamil)
   Updated

  •   October 1 Feed My lambs!
      Oct 01, 2022
    Feed My lambs! more...
  •   September 30 Miracles in my life
      Sep 30, 2022
    Miracles in my life more...
  •   September 29 Worthy Woman
      Sep 29, 2022
    Worthy Woman more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 4

  •   051. Blessed Accident
      Feb 21, 2018
    A sailor wanted to go round the world in a boat and set up a record. Sadly, a storm lashed his boat and it broke to pieces. The sailor swam and reached a small uninhabited island. He ate wild fruits and roots and survived. He made a more...
  •   052. Offense
      Feb 21, 2018
    An elaborate feast was arranged for all the palace staff on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth?s birthday. It was a grand affair. The table was loaded with a variety of dishes. Everybody enjoyed the feast and sat down for dessert. In the meanwhile the table more...
  •   053. Great and Small
      Feb 21, 2018
    A small zero collided with a big zero. ?Don?t you have any sense? Don?t you know I am much bigger than you?? asked the big zero; ?You must be ashamed of yourself.? more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 3

  •   094 Ant and Worm
      Jun 01, 2016
    An ant was majestically walking along a forest. She saw a worm crawling. The ant told the worm: ?Look at me. I am so brisk and smart. You should be faster and dress up beautifully. You look ugly.? Despising the worm the ant moved along. more...
  •   095 Diligence Pays
      Jun 01, 2016
    Ragu was very jealous of the humble minister, Ra more...
  •   096 Poor Minister
      Jun 01, 2016
    A poor minister of God used to go to a rich businessman asking for contribution for the work he was doing in villages. The rich man would give excuses and ask hi more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 2

  •   001 The Modern Prodigal
      Jul 11, 2013
    The Modern Prodigal more...
  •   002 Lower One Foot, Lord!
      Jul 11, 2013
    Lower One Foot, Lord! more...
  •   003 Beautiful Cheques
      Jul 11, 2013
    Beautiful Cheques more...
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 Little Stories For Little Hearts

  •   Introduction
      Jun 06, 2013
    Story Behind The Stories more...
  •   001. Is GOD For Real
      Jun 05, 2013
    There were two scientists. One was a believer in the true God and another was an aetheist more...
  •   002.The Language of Love!
      Jun 05, 2013
    A circus was running in town, and crowds elbowed each other to buy tickets. One day an unusual incident happened more...
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 Sweet Sixteen

  •   019 - Mala the Great!
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Dec 1988 Dear Aunty, It?s been 2 months since we were in touch. I?m saturated with ?news? to give you and nearly bursting with curiosity to hear what?s been happening at your end. The last letter you wrote to me was an eye-opener. To more...
  •   020 - The Rainbow
      Jun 25, 2015
    On the day she arrived, she was at my doorstep! ?Hi aunty? ?Oh Mala, how are you?? She shook my hand so long and hard that it ached, and planted a kiss on my cheek - so unusual of her. ?Why didn?t you write aunty?? ?Oh, I knew you?d be coming soon. So more...
  •   021 - What to Do?
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Jan 1989 Dear Aunty, Christmas holidays were great fun. It was lovely getting in touch with friends and relatives. On New Year?s Day I gleaned thro? my diary- There was so much to thank God for! My friend Esther is in Rajasthan. She wrote asking for g more...
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 Ministry

  •   Youth Prophet
      Jul 24, 2022
    I am Jeremiah the prophet. Read my book, having in mind a budding youth who matured into a grand old man more...
  •   Starting Trouble?
      Apr 30, 2022
    Many want to serve God but they do not know how... more...
  •   I am a Missionary!
      Aug 14, 2018
    1. I am a missionary and so I work for God and not for an organisation. Though I am under the discipline of an organisation, whatever I do, I do with the fear of God. God is my Master and so I subject myself to the leaders. I quell any rebellious spirit t more...
  • Click here for more 

 Women

  •   Golden Girl
      Aug 27, 2018
    As India basks in the glory of the golden girls who kissed their gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games, let us meditate upon the Golden Girl who glitters in the Scriptures. The Psalmist profiles her in his 45th Psalm: ?At Your right hand is the royal bride more...
  •   Sister Sodom
      Jan 16, 2017
    Sodom is always associated with wicked ''men''. But here God calls her as 'Sister Sodom!' more...
  •   Women,Leaven and Heaven!
      Sep 30, 2016
    Women,Leaven and Heaven! 'The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened ' ,said Jesus (Mt 13:33). more...
  • Click here for more 

 Youth

  •   Parties Gone Wild!
      Dec 27, 2020
    Parties Gone Wild! more...
  •   A Teenagers Story
      Oct 04, 2017
    In the Bible we read about many teenagers. One such is David. When we are introduced to him, he is probably fifteen or sixteen, trying his more...
  •   Why Not Wait ?
      Oct 21, 2016
    It was a whirlwind romance - all moon-beams and star dust; until one day in a moment of madness, they succumbed to each other?s charms. That was the last cruise of their love boat. The world seemed to crash around her when she fo more...
  • Click here for more 

 General
   Updated

  •   Do You Want Half The Kingdom?
      Apr 15, 2022
    Many today have greedily grabbed the offer of half the kingdom with both hands and are so busy with their own affairs that they send souls rolling down to hell every minute... more...
  •   Why I Believe The Bible
      Feb 03, 2022
    Yes, the Bible is THE Book which changed my life! And this is why I believe the Bible! more...
  •   75, Not Out
      May 30, 2021
    75, Not Out more...
  • Click here for more 

 Family
   Updated

  •   Child Abuse
      Feb 03, 2022
    "Whilst child abuse may be committed behind closed doors, it should never be swept under the carpet," said Constance Brisco more...
  •   Wife Beating
      Jul 11, 2021
    Wife Beating more...
  •   Creepers Without Support
      Sep 30, 2016
    Creepers Without Support The Bible mentions ?pure religion? only once. ?Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world? (Js 1:2 more...
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  Address for Correspondence Contributions

Dr. Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91 9843511943
  lilianstanley@gmail.com

Blessing Youth Mission

Blessing Youth Mission
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91-416-2242943, +91-416-2248943
  hq@bymonline.org
  www.bymonline.org

For Donation & Contributions...

Home & NRE donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
Account Type: Current Account
A/c No.: 37268642054
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSC No.: SBIN0007274

Overseas Donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
A/c No.: 1074703964
Bank: Central Bank of India
Branch: Vellore
IFSC No.: CBIN0280887
MICR Code: 000016000
SWIFT Code: CBININBBMDR

Gulf Donors

A/c Name: T.Dickson Daniel Moses
Account Type: Saving Account
A/c No.: 35374362080
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSF: SBIN0007274

Click here for more options

  Blessing Literature Centre

To buy books written by Dr. Lilian Stanley, kindly reach to us in the follwing address

Blessing Literature Centre
21/11 West Coovam River Road,
Chintadripet,
Chennai 600 002, India.
 +91-44-28450411, 8806270699
  blc@bymonline.org

 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 5
   Updated

 Dr Lilian Stanley Blog
   Updated

  •   Day Break Events (Tamil)
      Jun 16, 2022
    Day Break Events more...
  •   Day Break Events
      Jun 16, 2022
    Day Break Events more...
  •   Jesus, the Lamb of God! (Tamil)
      Jun 06, 2022
    Jesus, the Lamb of God! more...
  • Click here for more 

 Daily Devotional for Women (English)
   Updated

  •   274. Oct 01 Feed My lambs!
      Mar 07, 2023
    Have faith and you will witness miracles more...
  •   273. September 30 Miracles in my life
      Mar 06, 2023
    Why don't you write down the miracles in your life? more...
  •   272. September 29 Worthy Woman
      Mar 05, 2023
    Are you a worthy woman? more...
  • Click here for more 

 Daily Devotional for Women (Tamil)
   Updated

  •   October 1 Feed My lambs!
      Oct 01, 2022
    Feed My lambs! more...
  •   September 30 Miracles in my life
      Sep 30, 2022
    Miracles in my life more...
  •   September 29 Worthy Woman
      Sep 29, 2022
    Worthy Woman more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 4

  •   051. Blessed Accident
      Feb 21, 2018
    A sailor wanted to go round the world in a boat and set up a record. Sadly, a storm lashed his boat and it broke to pieces. The sailor swam and reached a small uninhabited island. He ate wild fruits and roots and survived. He made a more...
  •   052. Offense
      Feb 21, 2018
    An elaborate feast was arranged for all the palace staff on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth?s birthday. It was a grand affair. The table was loaded with a variety of dishes. Everybody enjoyed the feast and sat down for dessert. In the meanwhile the table more...
  •   053. Great and Small
      Feb 21, 2018
    A small zero collided with a big zero. ?Don?t you have any sense? Don?t you know I am much bigger than you?? asked the big zero; ?You must be ashamed of yourself.? more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 3

  •   094 Ant and Worm
      Jun 01, 2016
    An ant was majestically walking along a forest. She saw a worm crawling. The ant told the worm: ?Look at me. I am so brisk and smart. You should be faster and dress up beautifully. You look ugly.? Despising the worm the ant moved along. more...
  •   095 Diligence Pays
      Jun 01, 2016
    Ragu was very jealous of the humble minister, Ra more...
  •   096 Poor Minister
      Jun 01, 2016
    A poor minister of God used to go to a rich businessman asking for contribution for the work he was doing in villages. The rich man would give excuses and ask hi more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 2

  •   001 The Modern Prodigal
      Jul 11, 2013
    The Modern Prodigal more...
  •   002 Lower One Foot, Lord!
      Jul 11, 2013
    Lower One Foot, Lord! more...
  •   003 Beautiful Cheques
      Jul 11, 2013
    Beautiful Cheques more...
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 Little Stories For Little Hearts

  •   Introduction
      Jun 06, 2013
    Story Behind The Stories more...
  •   001. Is GOD For Real
      Jun 05, 2013
    There were two scientists. One was a believer in the true God and another was an aetheist more...
  •   002.The Language of Love!
      Jun 05, 2013
    A circus was running in town, and crowds elbowed each other to buy tickets. One day an unusual incident happened more...
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 Sweet Sixteen

  •   019 - Mala the Great!
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Dec 1988 Dear Aunty, It?s been 2 months since we were in touch. I?m saturated with ?news? to give you and nearly bursting with curiosity to hear what?s been happening at your end. The last letter you wrote to me was an eye-opener. To more...
  •   020 - The Rainbow
      Jun 25, 2015
    On the day she arrived, she was at my doorstep! ?Hi aunty? ?Oh Mala, how are you?? She shook my hand so long and hard that it ached, and planted a kiss on my cheek - so unusual of her. ?Why didn?t you write aunty?? ?Oh, I knew you?d be coming soon. So more...
  •   021 - What to Do?
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Jan 1989 Dear Aunty, Christmas holidays were great fun. It was lovely getting in touch with friends and relatives. On New Year?s Day I gleaned thro? my diary- There was so much to thank God for! My friend Esther is in Rajasthan. She wrote asking for g more...
  • Click here for more 

 Ministry

  •   Youth Prophet
      Jul 24, 2022
    I am Jeremiah the prophet. Read my book, having in mind a budding youth who matured into a grand old man more...
  •   Starting Trouble?
      Apr 30, 2022
    Many want to serve God but they do not know how... more...
  •   I am a Missionary!
      Aug 14, 2018
    1. I am a missionary and so I work for God and not for an organisation. Though I am under the discipline of an organisation, whatever I do, I do with the fear of God. God is my Master and so I subject myself to the leaders. I quell any rebellious spirit t more...
  • Click here for more 

 Women

  •   Golden Girl
      Aug 27, 2018
    As India basks in the glory of the golden girls who kissed their gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games, let us meditate upon the Golden Girl who glitters in the Scriptures. The Psalmist profiles her in his 45th Psalm: ?At Your right hand is the royal bride more...
  •   Sister Sodom
      Jan 16, 2017
    Sodom is always associated with wicked ''men''. But here God calls her as 'Sister Sodom!' more...
  •   Women,Leaven and Heaven!
      Sep 30, 2016
    Women,Leaven and Heaven! 'The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened ' ,said Jesus (Mt 13:33). more...
  • Click here for more 

 Youth

  •   Parties Gone Wild!
      Dec 27, 2020
    Parties Gone Wild! more...
  •   A Teenagers Story
      Oct 04, 2017
    In the Bible we read about many teenagers. One such is David. When we are introduced to him, he is probably fifteen or sixteen, trying his more...
  •   Why Not Wait ?
      Oct 21, 2016
    It was a whirlwind romance - all moon-beams and star dust; until one day in a moment of madness, they succumbed to each other?s charms. That was the last cruise of their love boat. The world seemed to crash around her when she fo more...
  • Click here for more 

 General
   Updated

  •   Do You Want Half The Kingdom?
      Apr 15, 2022
    Many today have greedily grabbed the offer of half the kingdom with both hands and are so busy with their own affairs that they send souls rolling down to hell every minute... more...
  •   Why I Believe The Bible
      Feb 03, 2022
    Yes, the Bible is THE Book which changed my life! And this is why I believe the Bible! more...
  •   75, Not Out
      May 30, 2021
    75, Not Out more...
  • Click here for more 

 Family
   Updated

  •   Child Abuse
      Feb 03, 2022
    "Whilst child abuse may be committed behind closed doors, it should never be swept under the carpet," said Constance Brisco more...
  •   Wife Beating
      Jul 11, 2021
    Wife Beating more...
  •   Creepers Without Support
      Sep 30, 2016
    Creepers Without Support The Bible mentions ?pure religion? only once. ?Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world? (Js 1:2 more...
  • Click here for more 

Starting Trouble?

When I was invited to speak in a Youth Meeting and share about how I started the Feed Orissa Project, it appealed to me. Many want to serve God but they do not know how. So I thought, based on my experience I would share how we can be an eveready witness for Christ and start some work for Him. If you are one such person I want to encourage you today that you too can start now. As Paul the Apostle says, we must be always wearing the shoes of readiness (Eph 6:15).

Ministry at Home: The first step in starting a ministry is to be a witness in Jerusalem, the place where you are. Be a witness to anyone who comes to your home. Have good tracts, booklets and New Testaments at home. Do not be businesslike. If the courier boy comes or the Newspaper man to collect the bill or beggars or the vegetable vendor or auto driver or anybody for that matter, greet them and enquire, “How are you?” Ask them if they would like to read a book and give them a tract or booklet. It goes without saying that young people must be careful and sensible when they develop a relationship for the Gospel sake.

Shyness is the worst enemy in your witnessing life. Overcome it gradually. Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of Me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the Holy angels” (Mk 8:38).

Sunday School: I started my ministry even when I was in school. By the encouragement of one of my aunts, I became a teacher in our Church Sunday School. This proved to be a valuable experience. If you get a chance to teach in a Sunday School, please accept it. Don’t think small of it. Children are precious in God’s sight. They can become believers. So pour yourself heart and soul in teaching them.

Campus Ministry: Then I came to the Medical College. I witnessed to some of my classmates, but mostly to patients. After 50 years I started praying that God should bring me in touch with at least one classmate so I can lead her to Christ. What a wonder! Soon I had a call from a man who said, “Lilian, we are planning a get together and you must come.” Sure enough I was there. When my turn came, I went to the mike and witnessed. There was a thunderous applause. In the subsequent gatherings I gave them New Testament and books. Now we have formed a whatsapp group and now and then I post a small gospel message. I could lead one girl to salvation through mobile.

Prayer Cell: When I married and came to Vellore, I started praying with a friend. She invited her friends and I invited mine and our friends invited their friends and so it became a 30 member prayer cell in our house. Many were saved and received the Holy Spirit.

House Visiting: I also had another friend and we both walked the dusty streets of Vellore, knocking at doors. Wherever we were invited in, we shared and prayed. Then the Blessing Youth Mission gave me a bicycle and with my three year old daughter at the pinion, we wandered around Vellore. Many received salvation and the Holy Spirit at that time. Glory to God!

When people think of ministry, they think of pulpits, crowds and an aeroplane. That never works. You must start with what you have. If you are faithful in little things, then God will entrust in your hands bigger ministries. So go to the next house, next village or to the Government Hospital and help poor patients by buying them food or medicines.

Institutions: I was desirous of ministering, but nobody invited me to preach. God told me to go and preach in uninvited places (Whenever I say, ‘God told me,’ I mean the inner urge and not an audible voice). I had heard about an After Care Home for wayward women and girls. It was a Government Home. Would they permit me? I went and sat in the queue waiting to see the Superintendent. When my turn came and I went in, the Superintendent stood up to greet me. “I was transferred from Madurai. I was planning to invite you to come and talk to these girls. I am glad you came.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. There many Hindu and Muslim girls came to the saving knowledge of Christ and received the Holy Spirit. One day we took a Brahmin convert to testify to the girls. Next week when we went, to our surprise we found that the sister and a team from her church were ministering to the group. Our ministry was usurped. We decided to leave the ministry to them and go to another place. The world is very wide.

It was here that we heard about a similar Home for boys. Would God perform a miracle there too? We went with prayer. Only the caretaker lady was there. She said, “Amma, I saw you in my dream yesterday. I came to the Hospital for stomach ache and you treated me. I am alright now. Please come and talk to the boys”! We had a fruitful ministry there for many years and I handed it over to a missionary.

We preach about the power of God but don’t believe in the power of God. The women went lamenting, “Who will roll the stone for us?” but to their great surprise they found the stone already rolled away. They did not lament and pray and stay at home. They went even though they knew the stone was there. There is a time to pray and a time to act. Believe on the Lord’s power and go. If no miracle happens, go to another place. Search for Old Age Homes, Blind Schools, Deaf and Dumb Schools, Orphanages, Hostels etc. and go with prayer.

Children’s Classes: At this time we shifted our house and the prayer in our house had to be stopped. But they all were witnesses and some started their own ministry. In this new place I had too much time in my hands and I was looking for ways to use it. One day I saw a little shepherd boy grazing his cattle. I called him and made him sit in our sofa. I told him a story, showed him pictures, taught him a chorus, gave him Christmas cards, gave him a toffee and told him to bring his friends the following Sunday. Five turned up. Soon it was 106 and we had to frantically look for teachers. Many were saved in this Sunday class. Then we started to go to nearby villages. Today some are in foreign countries and some are serving the Lord.

Our country is a vast mission field. Wherever you are, there are souls, only if you open your eyes and see. Who can despise the day of small beginning. Start small and work at it. Keep it up. Be patient. It may take years of hard work, to build up a ministry.

Ministry among Mendicants: Five lepers used to come to our house every Saturday, begging for alms. I used to drop some coins in their tin can. One day I gave one rupee. Those days one rupee was a big amount. So they smiled at me and made a namaskar. I didn’t know how to react. I pretended not to have seen their smile and namaskar, turned around and went inside the house. The Lord convicted me. Why can’t you smile at them and return their namaskar? asked God. I was waiting for next Saturday. I smiled and greeted them. That was the start of the Precious Pearls ministry. I started sharing the Good News to them showing them pictures from the Children’s Bible. I used to wonder if I was wasting my time with them. After five years, one day they said, “Amma, we want to be baptized.”

It was a hot summer day. I was worried. Would they be there? Was I over enthusiastic to arrange baptism? To my great surprise there were seven. “Amma, these two received Jesus as their Saviour when they heard the Good News from us” they said. So they were baptized. Some are alive even today. When my husband and I shifted to the field we handed over the ministry to the Headquarters staff. Missionaries Julies and Jeya took over the ministry and are passionately ministering to them. Till the lockdown, twelve students from the Vellore Institute of Technology used to come in three auto rickshaws with their guitars and teach them. Today it has grown to 80-100 members. First of every month they come and after some teaching, go with their alms.

Love should be your motivating factor. If people don’t see love in your face they will not come near you. There is always a crowd of beggars outside any church. Give a good breakfast and share the Good News to them and give alms. Remember, they are human beings and they have a soul. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is never wasted,” said Aesop, Greek fabulous and storyteller.

Redlight Area: When I was working in a private hospital, many ladies used to come with venereal diseases. They all would give the same address. So I told them that I would visit them. Mrs. Lillian Kingsley and I went looking for the address. Horrors! It was a red light area. There were huts and each hut had a “mother” and girls. We started talking to them. One lady Thanjamma opened her house for weekly prayer. We would be teaching, when a man would come, pick up a girl and go to the next room. One day a demon-possessed girl started rolling all over the room and all the girls ran out. We both stood there praying. When we laid our hand on her head and prayed, the demon left and she was delivered. For Christmas we went with a gas light and a crowd gathered. After songs and skits the Good News was preached.

The men who brought these girls and used them would be keenly watching us, which gave us goose bumps. Many received tracts from us. Some left the place. Some got married and moved out. Then the Government cracked down and bulldozed their houses and cleaned up the place. Thanjamma started selling curry leaves in the market. The last time we met her she said that they were reading the Bible and having family prayer.

We keep praying for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What would you do with gifts if you are sitting tight at home? Why would the Lord give you gifts? You go out and start ministering and without your asking, you would find the gifts of the Holy Spirit operating.

Flesh Trade: Then my husband and I shifted to Karnataka. Once when we were travelling by train we saw many girls, well dressed, wearing a particular kind of chain, decorated, with strings around their wrists and some of them with matted hair, traveling in big groups. When I asked the missionaries they said these were girls who were being taken to a village, where in a hill called Gudda in Saundatti town they would be dedicated as devadasis. A godman tells parents that if they dedicate a daughter to the goddess, their field would flourish, they would be blessed and their problems would melt away. My heart turned within me. Let’s go and see, I said. So we went. What we saw there wrenched our guts. People kept on coming with their daughters. The poojari would tie a thali chain around their necks and they’d be quickly set aside. Eunuchs who were waiting for them would be bargaining for 800 rupees or 3000 rupees for a girl. Then they loaded them in carts and took them (to brothels in cities, as I was told later). We talked to some who challenged us asking, “If this is not a god, why are so many coming here?” We had no answer. Here and there demon possessed people were swinging and magicians were trying to cast them out. We felt powerless and returned home with a heavy heart.

We started to pray and mobilise prayer. That year in Bahrain I shared in a Women’s Fellowship and the American lady who was in charge of the Fellowship, sat in the night and wrote to her friends around the world. I received Christmas greetings from around the world with a note assuring of their prayers for the girls. Work among devadasis was started. What wonder! The very next year the Government cracked down on the practice and the temple in Gudda was permanently closed. Today a Blessing Youth Mission church stands in Saundatti as a testimony. May God’s name be glorified.

For evil to prevail, good people should do nothing. When you see social evils such as these, don’t turn a blind eye to it. Step in holding God’s hand. Never fear. Many discouraged me from climbing the hills of the Gudda, saying, it was a place full of demons. If Christians cannot go to a place full of demons, who else will? was my reply. Fear is the worst enemy for ministry. We have unlimited power. Cowards die every day, courageous people die only once, goes the saying.

Literature Distribution: We spent three years in Odisha. When we went there we were warned not to distribute tracts because, they said, our van would be burned. Once when we were travelling by van, all went for a cup of tea. Since I don’t drink tea I sat in the van. I slowly thrust a tract through the window to a passer by. He took it and started to read. I took courage and thrust out another one, then another and then another till a small crowd gathered around the window. “Can you please give me one more?” “Do you have anything else?” “Will you send books if I pay money?” were the questions asked. From then on we started distributing tracts wherever we went and sold New Testaments. Our brothers would shout, “Dhooyi tongoku swarga jeeba,” meaning, “For two rupees you can go to heaven.” Buses would stop and we had to quickly place a New Testament into the outstretched hands and collect two rupees. We took boxes of New Testaments and Gospels and returned with empty boxes. It was as if we had broken through a wall.

The climate could change. An adverse situation could change. So we must never give up trying. Many times our human intelligence and experience will tell us, this will never work. But “nevertheless” because God tells us so, we must do what He says.

The Jungle Clinic: The last leg of our stay in Odisha was Ramagiri, an interior tribal village inside a jungle. We had electricity only for a few hours and an occasional bus. When we went there, we were told that 60 plus people had died of dysentery the previous year and the season was starting just then. We kicked into action and started a clinic. I put on my doctor’s coat and my stethoscope around my neck. We drove out the goats in the bus stand and cleaned up the place. We arranged our medicines and started calling people, shouting, “Come, we will give you medicines.” One or two shyly came. We carried their babies, talked and joked and gave them medicines. We could hear what they went and told others, “This doctor speaks Oriya, she even touches us.” Later missionaries told me that there doctors did not touch patients but gave medicines after hearing their complaints. To the glory of God not a single patient died of dysentery that year.

We treated Malaria, tuberculosis,Vitamin A deficiency, worm infestation (including tape worm), leprosy, venereal diseases and a host of other diseases. Everybody had scabies and they all scratched till they bled and did not sleep in the night. We bought gallons and gallons of ascabiol lotion and started treating them. We went to the local school and treated all the students. The results were dramatic. Those people who would not greet us but turned their faces and walked away as if we were enemies, now smiled at us and made namaskar. I met an young girl who had lost her fingers to leprosy. Tears rolled down her cheeks. I was smitten with guilt. If I had come five years earlier, she would be a happily married girl now.

I had a black board and a mosquito net hanging. I would draw pictures to explain how dysentery, malaria, leprosy, tuberculosis and other diseases spread.    They were intelligent and understood. But sadly there was no one to teach them. When the time came for us to leave, I handed over the ministry to Dr. Jaishankar who did an excellent job.

The need is your call. Pray and plunge where you find a need. God never asked Nehemiah to go and build the walls of Jerusalem. He saw the need, he felt the burden and moved into action. God honoured his efforts. Use your education for God. You may be a doctor, nurse, engineer, social worker, teacher or anything. There is vacancy in God’s Kingdom for everybody. Learning the local language is very important. Ministry means sacrifice and suffering. I had cerebral malaria twice but God saved me. Be wise to take care of yourself.

Feed Odisha: After about ten years I visited Ramagiri again. It was a time of extreme stress in my life and I felt I needed some rest. My husband also felt that I needed a short change and suggested Sitheri Hills. But I chose Ramagiri, a mission field close to my heart. I sat in the clinic seeing patients. We had no pass time. There were no malls, no entertainments, no icecream. After five or six in the evening you couldn’t go walking for fear of bears, wolves and tigers. All my time pass was reading the Oriya Newspaper. I was shaken to the core when I saw pictures of people who had died of starvation. I started praying for those unfortunate souls. A voice within me said, “Why can’t you go and feed them?” I quickly shut off the voice, pleading with the Lord not to speak to me. But the voice simply wouldn’t go away. I begged, “Lord, I am a woman and the place is full of dacoits. Send a man and leave me alone,” I prayed. One day while praying at 3 am, I saw a stack of picture cards at one corner of my cot. I took the first card and it was the picture of a guardian angel, spreading his wings over two little children, catching butterflies, standing on a broken bridge. Whether it was a dream or vision I do not know, but I knew it was the voice of the Lord, assuring me of protection if I went.

Some discouraged me saying that the newspapers published all lies; that even if somebody was dying of hunger, they wouldn’t give a handful of rice but only preach the Good News. I said that my view was different. A starving man must be given food, not the Good News. So I went. The Mission gave me the van and missionaries Mr. Samal and Mrs. Bimla Samal to accompany me.

We went to Bargad and enquired about the famine. Nobody seemed to know. All were well dressed and well fed. We were disappointed. Then a religious worker said that his relative might know. So we travelled 72 kilometers to that relative’s house. He also didn’t know. Downhearted, we sat down. At that time an evangelist came and we asked him expecting a negative reply. But he said, “Yes I know the place, I am working there. Come, let’s go.” So we all jumped into the van and proceeded to the place through dusty mud roads. Suddenly the evangelist shouted, “Stop the van. There he is, the man who bought the child.” Yes, Shyamlal who had sold his daughter because of poverty was in the news. And here was the man who bought the child. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Orissa is a large State and to see someone mentioned in the newspaper was nothing short of a miracle. So we interviewed the man and proceeded to meet Shyamlal. There he was, the man whose picture was in the newspaper. He had nothing in his house. We bought him whatever he required and proceeded to meet Premsila Bhoi’s house. Both husband and wife died of starvation leaving three small children behind. The children were with the brother. He shook his fist at us and said, “If no one is going to help me, I am going to sell these children.”

Heartbroken, we returned. I vowed that I’d come back and stay in Premsila’s house and start work. Then we went to Diptipur. The Bishop took us to the hospital and requested us to start work there. He had a point. This place was in the famine area and many were dying of tuberculosis. This hospital had an X ray unit, lab etc. So we decided to start ministry in Diptipur. I was given a room in the hospital to stay. It was like an oven (48oC). The toilet was outside. In the toilet, through the cracks in the walls peepal trees were growing. Huge lizards sat on the walls. My heart sank. The next day I was to confirm my stay. Night the Lord asked me, “You wanted to stay in a place without toilet and electricity; but now I am giving you a place with some electricity and a toilet and you are hesitating?” I was convicted. I walked down the next morning to meet the authorities to say, “Yes.” They were coming to meet me. Before I could open my mouth they said, “We have decided to give you the guest room.” I breathed a sigh of relief.

Don’t imagine a guest room with curtains. It was a little better than the hospital room. It was upstairs. The windows were just two cross bars without shutters. I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. I was allergic to mosquito repellents. With no electricity in the night and tears streaming down my face I asked myself, “Did the Lord send me or did I come here driven by my emotions?” I would fry a chicken and eat the whole to get over my depression.

Slowly patients started to trickle in. We travelled to the surrounding villages and supplied rice, dal, eggs and oil to all those who were starving. We taught them a trade, started tailoring and computer classes. In two years there was no starvation deaths in Bargad district. Two or three suffered from TB in a family. They would decide who would take treatment. No free treatment was given. They would sell their animals and take treatment. Conditions were pathetic. Many were healed in our hospital. We preached the Good News. Thrice I was called to the police station. Our team enlarged. A hostel for boys was started. Miracles happened. We had eye camps and expert surgeons came and operated on nearly 1300 cataract patients. Surgery camps were arranged. Today churches are springing up in areas where we did social service and preached. To know the details of the ministry, read my book, “The Dream that did not come by Night.” Recently a sister told me that she read the book and whole night she was weeping. Today she is ministering in Odisha.

God uses our times of stress and strain, times of weeping and sorrow, times of confusion and conflict to bring out something beautiful. So refuse to collapse. Face life boldly and keep going ahead. One more thing I like to stress is that there will always be times of doubt. Did not satan sow a doubt in the heart of Jesus asking, “Are you the Son of God? If so demonstrate it by a miracle.” But encourage yourself in the Lord. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory...” (Eph 3:20). Obviously he had experienced this power of Christ in his life. He never imagined that his ministry would affect the world to this extent. I never thought Feed Odisha would create such an impact. God does not give us in proportion to our prayer or desire, but according to His power. So pour yourself heart and soul into what you are doing.

Little Lambs Ministry: Lastly, I want to describe the Little Lambs ministry that I am currently involved in, in some detail. It started in 2014. Our church is in a village and I used to be heartbroken to see the village deities under the trees. I told my husband to drop me at the entrance of the village and decided to walk to the church from there. As I walked, I would chat with people. Then I started to share the Good News with some. Then I had a friend to go with me. We met a man who promised to come to church and give an offering if God gave him a child. The following week his wife Kuppamma told us the complete story. They were childless for eighteen years. The thought of suicide haunted them. They could not stand the jibes of people. So they decided to shift to this village. So every week we started sharing and singing to the four or five who gathered there. Then we were invited to another house. The number became 40. After three months Kuppamma became pregnant. She now has two sons. We gave a Christmas Programme in the church. Children sang and danced and recited memory verses. The congregation stood up. Cameras started clicking. After the service many wanted to help this ministry. One Dr.Selvamani met me and said, “I know I must serve God, but I don’t know how.” I said, “Come with us.” Today she is leading the Little Lambs ministry. For two years we preached the Good News in the village from house to house. The next year we were asked to get out by the village men.

Everything came to a stand still. Christmas gifts for children were ready. But all we could see was darkness. God was silent. Our hearts sank. We decided to try our luck with the lone house on the farther end of the village, on the other side of the road. A great surprise awaited us. Mr. Nicholson and Mrs. Jeyabai Nicolson welcomed us with open arms. They were evangelical Christians. They took their spare house key bunch and handed us saying we could use the house for our ministry. We praised God and conducted the Christmas Programme there with 32 children. The following New Year six children came. To cut the story short, today we teach around 80 children and 12 adults every Sunday. 250 attended the 2020 Christmas function.

Opposition and discouragement are bound to come. If one door closes, we must look for the next door. God’s work never comes to a stop. We were warned that this people belonged to a rough caste and not to go to them. But it is these men who bring their children and put them in our cars to go to the class. There were oppositions and threatenings. But on the whole there was a welcome attitude. The reason I believe is that we not only teach them religion but also morals, discipline, health, hygiene, English, Tamil (they are extremely poor in studies). We hug them and wipe their tears and treat minor health problems. We give counselling too since many live under traumatic conditions like getting beaten up by drunkard fathers. We give them a good snack every week and good meals on special occasions.

When you minister, take care of the total person and aim at their wholesome development. Don’t push religion down their throat. Children now beautifully dance and enact for programmes and even adults dance Kummi.

As we grow older, there will be a tendency to relax and be lazy. Never give in to such a temptation. In some way or other we must be witnesses. Jesus promised to be with us to the end of the age.

Our motive is also important. We start a ministry, not to feel good, or for advertisement, or popularity or for income or as a competition with somebody, or even to spend the money received from a foreign country, to show them photographs. Let your motives be pure. If you have a burden, that is good reason to start work there. Keep photography to a minimum. Be willing to spend from your own pocket. We started to give a peanut burfi to each to start with. Seeing the work people started to support the work.

You can either start your own ministry or join someone who is doing some ministry. Both ways you can shine. Many want to be leaders only. Discern God’s will in the matter. No ministry will have a smooth sail. You will face many storms and discouragement. Every other person I met told me to give up the Little Lambs Ministry. I felt like an insane woman going like a crack in the hot sun, holding the umbrella, in the streets of the village. My husband and a few others stood with me. But I myself did not imagine one day so many non Christians would sit with their pen and pad to write Scripture exams (the little ones and uneducated have orals). We crowned Bible Queens and Bible Kings. Never did I imagine 250 pucca Hindus would rush in to find a place in our Little Lambs Lawn to attend the Christmas program. God be praised!

Mobilise prayer for the work. It will be the backbone of your ministry. The team should get together at least once a week for discussion, planning and prayer. If physical gathering is not possible, the next best is online. When the ministry expands, send out a newsletter to the concerned. Be absolutely honest in reporting. Do not keep on appealing for funds. People must see your work and voluntarily contribute.

One big mistake servants of God make is trying to prove other religions false. Our principle has always been not to talk about their religion or their gods. We don’t try to convert them to Christianity. In fact we tell them that they can remain as Hindus. But we teach them about Christ and the salvation He gives. We stress that they must worship the true God and Christ alone. We emphasise on the conversion of the heart. We don’t tell them to remove their bindi or the thread round their wrists. We believe God will lead them further. Parents take the children to their temples and some little lambs take kavadi also. We don’t object to that or make fun of children who come with head tonsured in their temples. We close for Hindu festivals. We believe the truth will prevail.

You must always have in mind that satan is unhappy with you for serving God and will try his level best to pull your leg. The best way for him to do this is to push you into some sin. To safeguard yourself, let not ministry take priority over your personal relationship with the Lord. Beware of pride, greed, money mindedness, sexual sins, dishonesty, you name what. Beware of spiritual sounding statements which tell you that your sin is not at all a sin. Keep yourself in close fellowship with God’s children and be accountable to spiritual leaders.

You can read in detail about these ministries in my books, Don’t Kill Religion, Goodbye Satan, Awake Deborah, Better Christian, Nearer My God and The Dream that did not come by Night.

Wherever you are, you must start a small congregation like Aquila and Priscilla (Rom 16:3,4,5). Go into all the world and preach the Good News to one and all. The Lord will come along with you and work wonders (Dt 20:1-4).

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