Mission To India
 

Mr. & Mrs. Rev. K. Joseph

Dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Rev. K. Joseph the founders of I.E.R.F.

By Lee Y. Martin

 

 

bar

 

Along with Jeannette, I have had the privilege of visiting Rev. K. Joseph in India during the month of May. It was a long awaited visitation. My family has supported the India Evangelistic and Relief Fellowship for almost ten years, but I have never had the opportunity to make a trip over to their side of the world. Words cannot express the excitement and joy I received at seeing the work that they have accomplished and are doing for our Lord. I have frequently talked with others who have made the trip there and wanted badly to be able to go over and minister to the people myself. I was never given permission to go by the Lord until this spring. My heart is filled with joy and delight about what Rev. Joseph has accomplished with the revenues he has been afforded. I stand amazed, even astonished, at how far Rev. K. has been able to extend his ministry with his limited income, compared to other ministries having large denominational organizations or unified missions' groups supporting them. It goes without saying that we should never attempt to make comparisons in God's Kingdom because everyone in every ministry proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ has a work to do. Yet, accountability as good stewards of God's money is incumbent upon each and every Christian whether or not he or she is called to full time service.

I would like to express my own personal gratitude towards anyone who has given even a dollar or two to the I.E.R.F. I was greatly impressed by the loving and happy faces on every single child in the orphanage. Their precious smiles and loving hands and arms will forever be memories I shall cherish. The gratefulness of being able to live in an environment where the love life is a reality is obvious to anyone who comes to the compound. Rev. K. and Rachel are truly Mom and Pop to each and every child. The children are given free access to them as well as to their four children's family and facilities with very little restrictions. They were treated with the same love and respect as Rev. Joseph's own children and grandchildren. I was awed by how smoothly the daily routines were carried out. The children were up at 5:00 o'clock and in the church building having their devotions with the Lord before breakfast.

The days in May were hot and much activity went on early in the morning and late evenings. Armstrong, Rev. K's youngest son, and his new bride were tutoring about two dozen students while we were there every evening. May is their summer and school is out. So, these students from their school along with local students were preparing to take exams to enter the next level of education. Rev. Joseph's school this spring made the highest marks of all schools in the Cloughpet, Ongole area. All their students received 84% or better on their tests. The other city schools were way down the list with many students not passing. What a testimony to the Lord's gracious protective covering of this work. This speaks highly of the quality of education children in the I.E.R.F. are receiving. Many of these children will go on to become in due time missionaries and pastors to their people in India. Also, many of the school students are from local Hindu families and will be influential in spreading the gospel of Jesus in the area.

The entire family participates in the education program in some way. But each of Rev. Joseph's four children have a special place of work. Their oldest child Sweetie has a beautiful voice and is sought after by local groups to come sing for them. She and her husband who is a teacher in the school head the music ministry. Samrat and his wife are associate pastors to Rev. K. and Rachel, and both work in the school. Vickie and his wife Rebecca lead a youth ministry, which is strong and growing fast. Rebecca also teaches in the school. Armstrong and his wife head up the education part of the ministry, but Rachel is still head mistress. The family has many volunteer workers in all areas that love the Lord and are just pleased to be able to help in some way. There is such an ambiance of love that people are happily coming and visiting all the time.

They added the second story to their new school building while we were there. What an experience to watch the primitive way in which they poured the cement. I felt like I was looking at the Israelites building a structure in Egypt. There were 50 of them working as a team in assembly line fashion carrying the raw materials to the bucket that they turned by hand to produce the cement. Then another team carried and lifted the cement in concert from the ground to the second story using scaffolds to stand on. They passed bowls holding wet cement from one pair of people to the next all the way up the ladders. There were 8 pairs of people and what a sight that was. The women on the ground and on the second story carried the bowls of raw materials and bowls of wet cement on their heads to the place where it was dumped! They worked in a fascinating rhythm and had it all done in one day. When this building is completed, the old dilapidated schoolrooms will be torn down, a requirement by the local authorities due to the poor condition of the classrooms. The school building will be extended to the end of the property along its rear while the front area along the street will be left open for a playground behind a wall. This area is adjacent to the church building.

Because they will be tearing down some rooms where a portion of the children live, the orphanage is in need of another building to take its place. They acquired a piece of vacant land next to the main compound building on which to build a new dormitory. They now need the money to build the building. We cannot invest in anything better than children. Anyone desiring to contribute to this work of the Lord can contact Rev. K. at his snailmail, email address, or us here at White Stones Ministries. Children are the future of any nation. Especially do we need Christian children who love the Lord and want to proclaim the good news about Jesus and His soon coming to set up His Kingdom. Already, many of the children who attended the orphanage previously are now working as pastors in outlying villages. We must never forget that it is infinite folly to forsake giving to the work of the Lord. His Kingdom will be manifested one day and then we will see the riches, which we have stored up for ourselves for all eternity. What a day that will be! Praise God that we have a real opportunity to be a part of God's work nurturing children in the orphanage at I.E.R.F. I feel eternally grateful that I have been given a part in this ministry for it has proven itself accountable to the monies which it has received. Again, I am overwhelmed with what Rev. K. has done with so little.

While there, Rev. Joseph had a pastor's conference for local pastors lasting three days. There was not enough time nor money to make it larger although it could have been. Also, because it was summertime and school was out, there were three other three-day crusades in villages in the surrounding area. They were very well attended and competently planned. Rev. Joseph and his local church people have everything organized so that it is easily moved from one place to the next. Their van is very handy, but they could use a flatbed truck so that they could just pull up and not have to set up and take down so much equipment. I was impressed with how expertly they did it all using rented primitive equipment.

 

 
Sorry, your browser doesn't support Java(tm).
 

A new church building was dedicated while there and many people attended the festivities. What a privilege to get to see the elation on the faces of the church members. The elder pastor who began this church told me that he had spent 20 years praying with tears for this building to be built. How humbling it was to see such yearning in Christians who have so little. We saw many people rededicate their lives to the Lord and a number of new converts, 20 on the last night we were there.

One of the highlights for me was getting to observe Rev. Joseph baptize converts in the Bay of Bengal. We went to the beach twice to do this. Once while there, a small group of a dozen or so people kept eyeing us and finally came over to ask if they could address us and asked if we would bless them. They were Hindus. They said they recognized Rev. K. from his television ministry and wanted to meet with an American. They have been watching his program, which indicates that others must also be watching as well. Rev. K. says that the area television reaches as many as 200,000 people around the area. This shows that the TV ministry is a very important part of the work there. Praise God that the television station directors have offered 15 minutes a day to accompany their 30-minute program on Sunday mornings. However, it takes money and hopefully it will flow in via the TV ministry itself. I saw his Sunday morning program and feel that it was professionally executed. The Lord has blessed them with some good equipment with which to do filming. The biggest cost, however, is the payment for the weekly program. They are receiving many letters from viewers requesting prayer, which indicates that they are making an impact for the Lord. They pray over every letter and have designated someone to answer him or her. You will be happy to know that Rev. K. is dedicated to seeing that everything is done efficiently, timely, and without waste. Because of his exposure on TV, local government officials are calling on him for help frequently when they need it. For example, they called on him almost daily in May to help deliver water to distressed areas in the city.

The I.E.R.F. was provided with money to buy a water tank and truck this past January so that the compound would be assured of having water for their school and orphanage. Let me assure you that this has become a real asset to the ministry. While we were there in May, the truck was kept operating carrying water to people day and night. This is the hottest time of year and they are in a drought. Many areas nearby had experienced no rain and the paper reported that people had been dying because of dehydration in some remote areas. The city itself has only three water trucks with tanks the same size as the one I.E.R.F. now owns with which to supplement the limited supply of water people in the town receive. City water is supplied to residents for only one or two hours a day each morning. If water pots are not filled during that time, it is too bad because the water in the lines is turned off. Because the I.E.R.F. owns a truck and water tank, the government authorities called on Rev. Joseph every day we were there to help them supply water to people all over the area because they could not service all the people who needed water. They did this around the clock. The hot weather and drought created an acute shortage and the time was shortened for obtaining water in the mornings. It was a blessing for them to be able to take not only H2O, but "living water" to the peoples. On the side of the truck is inscribed "Jesus is the living water of life." On one occasion I watched as dozens of people brought their stainless steel and brass pots to be filled up and most of the people seemed extremely grateful for the water. We heard that there were some incidents of fighting over the water where the government trucks went, but the Lord's truck never had problems while we were there.

Rev. Joseph is the leader of all the local Christian groups. They meet once a month for prayer and discussion of local conditions. The Lord has given him a very special place of leadership in Ongole, and I believe it is because the hearts of the people at I.E.R.F. are pure. This is a direct reflection of the leadership of Rev. K. and Rachel. Their influence is beginning to reach out to the big cities as well, for there are two groups of pastors in two of the nearby big cities which are working in conjunction with Rev. Joseph's I.E.R.F. Rev. Joseph's family lives with such grace and modesty it makes one feel uncomfortable thinking about the waste we experience here in America.

It was such a glorious experience watching how the ministry is being used in more ways than I can tell you. Rev. Joseph's oldest son, Samrat, and his wife have started a prison ministry. Praise the Lord for their dedication to evangelization. There is so much that the family wants to do, but so little income to do it with. I can assure anyone who desires to give anything to the ministry there, that it will be used with the utmost prudence as well as being multiplied supernaturally to do more than it normally could. There is something about the work there that is invigorating and scrupulously spiritual. All I can say is that the Lord has His hand on I.E.R.F. If you haven't been over there and have a chance to go, you will be richly rewarded by seeing how your gifts have been used.

Thank you for letting me share with you my joy at being able to see firsthand how the Lord can take meager amounts and glorify Himself with it. On behalf of Rev. Joseph's family, I thank you for any amount of whatever you have to give to the work there. We are all in this together and I am looking forward to meeting with you one day myself. There are many brethren here in the States that I have a desire to know, and the friends of White Stones Ministries are among them. I never thought I would get to go over to India, but I did. So maybe I shall meet some of you on this side of heaven too. May grace and peace be multiplied to you abundantly.

 

For the lost and needy in our precious Savior's name,

Lee Martin

 
bar

 

 

Stained glass picture of Jesus Christ
Home
 

Credits

1.) Background and design graphics by jlvetter, © 2000

2.) Java applet provided by Anfy

 

Update: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:00 AM