NOTES FROM THE FIELD
In this series, thoseinvolved with CLC foreign missions profile one aspect of our overseas endeavors.
[The following is a report from Pastor Jyothi Benjamin, in his own words, about the recent visit of Pastor David Reim to India. The report is lightly edited for clarity.]
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:9-10)
500,000 villages and communities in India have never heard the Gospel. But when you introduce a village to Jesus, amazing things happen. When you bring Jesus to them, Jesus transforms their lives and brings hope and change to places steeped in spiritual bondage.
CLC Visiting Missionary Rev. David Reim’s visit to India: It was a great blessing for the CLCI to work with Rev. David Reim from 27th January to 5th February 2020.
It is really challenging to bring the Gospel to illiterate Indian slums and tribal people because they come from the extreme faiths of ethnic Indian religious backgrounds. With the grace of our Lord, in the last year the CLCI has successfully established a few new congregations last in the slums, tribal areas, and fishing villages of Andhra Pradesh state. It is a great blessing for these newly established CLCI congregations to meet our dearly beloved CLC visiting missionary, Rev. David Reim, through whose outreach many lives were transformed by the Gospel.
Chairing the JAPC 2020: We praise God for the visit of Rev. David Reim to India in the months of January and February 2020. Rev. David Reim participated in the Joint Asia Pastoral conference among called workers of the CLCI, BELC, HCLCN, NCLCN and ZLCM. It is a great joy to inform you all about all the blessings we have enjoyed through this Joint Asia Pastoral conference under the valuable chairmanship of Rev. David Reim. We praise God for his valuable input, his edifying essays, and his morning and evening devotions.
Pastor Reim also encouraged us with greetings from the honorable president of the CLC, Rev. Michael Eichstadt, Chairman of the Board of Missions Joel Krafft, and from our beloved Missionaries Rev. Todd Ohlmann and Rev. Peter Evensen. It was a great privilege for all the delegates to hear these wonderful greetings messages from our honorable CLC leaders. With these greetings Pastor Reim reminded us of the hard work of our missionaries and humble beginnings of our missions. “This is the Lord’s doing; and it is marvelous in our eyes!” (Psalm 118:23)
Pastoral Conferences and Seminary Classes: After participating in the three-day Joint Asia Pastoral Conference, Rev Reim visited the CLCI from 30th January to 4th February to participate in a couple of pastoral conferences and to teach seminary classes in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. Pastoral conferences were conducted at Modumodi, Nidubrou, and Hyderabad. Hundreds of our CLCI pastors benefited from Rev. Reim’s lessons. Our Seminary students, especially, enjoyed his lessons on “Tabernacle” and “The Servant of the Lord.” The Lord has used Rev. David Reim in a great manner in this outreach. Reverend David taught our pastors and students important lessons using PowerPoint presentations, which helped his message reach our pastors’ hearts more effectively.
Visiting slum, tribal, and fisherman area CLCI congregations: Also we thank Reverend Reim for participating in public Gospel prayer meetings in various CLCI congregations located in slum areas. Everybody was thrilled to hear Reverend Reim’s uplifting sermons. I am sure that the Gospel transformed their lives in a great way.
From the bottom of our hearts we appreciate Pastor Reim’s zeal to reach these poor people for Christ. It is really amazing that the honorable CLC visiting missionary came forward with great courage to visit these backward areas in the midst of many critical and difficult situations. The members and pastors of these congregations welcomed the missionary with beautiful garlands and flowers. In the midst of great opposition, the Lord has used Rev. David Reim greatly to strengthen the faith of these illiterate members through his inspiring sermons and individual prayers. I have noticed much satisfaction in the faces of our pastors and members. Sometimes the nights were extremely long in doing many individual prayers for sick people, and we were a little bit exhausted when we returned to the hotel, but the mission was accomplished with great success.
Rev. David Reim opened a new CLCI Prayer shed at the Shanthi Nagar slum area. Tribal people are often treated as untouchables in Indian society, because many tribal people work as scavengers or raise pigs. Some of them catch rats in the paddy fields for a living and even use rats as their food. Nobody dares to touch them, or mingle and join with them. But the love of our Lord changed that. He laid his hands on their heads and prayed for them. Reverend David visited almost all our slum congregations and prayed for many hundreds of sick people there.
Children’s Program: Reverend David participated in a couple of children’s programs, one at the Mission House in Nidubrou and the other at Dandamudi village. The children gathered together with great joy to celebrate his visit with a special program of songs and children’s dances and action songs. Reverend Reim presented hundreds of New Testaments and gifts to the children, as well as to some of the adults, and shook hands with them.
Conclusion: Praise the Lord for this heart-touching outreach from this wonderful missionary! I am sure that this outreach transformed the lives of many people in the slums and tribal areas. There were many converts to Christianity. Many hundreds of our CLCI members, as well, heard the inspiring good news of the Gospel, and the Lord greatly strengthened their faith through His Word. The glory of God was there in all those nighttime services!
Surely the CLCI was blessed by this wonderful visit from our honorable CLC visiting missionary Rev. David Reim. Thank you Pastor Reim, and we love you, brother! Also we humbly thank the honorable CLC mission board for sending this missionary to us. We give God all glory for this great mission effort!
Pastor Jyothi Benjamin is the Chairman of the CLCI. His home is in Nidubrolu, Andhra PradeshState, India.