The 19th of June 2014 set another landmark in the history of New India Bible Seminary when the new Leader Development and Research Center (LDRC) at Paipad, Kerala was opened for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. A section of this beautiful facility will function as the library of the seminary. The ultimate goal is that the Leader Development and Research Centre will function as the power center for advancing the service of NIBS to develop God-centered leaders in Asia.
LDRC provides learning resources for advanced theoretical and practical research in missions, organizes ministry skill-development training in cross cultural missions, and offers strategic language-based services. Over 2000 learners from across the states of India and neighboring countries in South Asia are expected to benefit annually from this beautiful learning base.
Jesus Film in Angika
Hundeli is a remote village with about 2000 inhabitants. The local language is Angika. The people in the village are Hindus without any knowledge of Jesus, so many of them are interested in hearing about Jesus through the church planting work of NIEA. The majority of the people in the community are illiterate and thus written materials do not help in spreading the gospel message. Thus we decided to present the Film in Angika as a way of sharing the gospel with them. Around 1500 people gathered, including children and some leaders and influential people of the village.
Seeing the Jesus film in their heart language for the first time filled them with curiosity and excitement. Many realized that Jesus wants to move into their community speaking their language! They understood for the first time that He is for all and He came to give salvation for all.
Since and during the past two to three decades Scripture translation ministry has been serving the needs of dozens of language communities across India. However in the last 7 years, through the Last Command Initiative which is a broad partnership of organizations involved in church planting, Scripture promotion, language development and Bible translation additional partners have come together to initiate Bible Translation projects in various parts of the nation.
Currently work is being carried out in about 95 languages. NIEA is a one among the eight founding agencies of the LCI collaborative partnership with about twenty plus Bible translation projects in the Hindi Belt and Central Zone of India.
On October 13 & 14, 2014, about twenty Bible Scholars and Scripture Translators came together to interact with Scripture Translation consultants and partners who are intent on serving all Bible-less communities across India. This key gathering brought together Bible scholars to listen to, hear and pray for the LCI ministry. An open handed invitation was offered to the fraternity of Asia Theological Association (ATA), Serampore College and other formal theological education networks who were present at this gathering to serve this growing movement.
It is the vision of the LCI ministry that by 2025 each of the remaining 110 to 120 language communities will have access to God’s Word in a format that is most easily accessible to them.
Thus work is progressing towards providing Scripture in audio, video, and printed format of these accurately translated Scripture renderings.
Theological Education & Scripture Translation:
Teachers training programme:
Teachers have a significant role in addressing social issues and solving major problems in the community. NBM makes the training of village teachers a high priority. Training was conducted in three clusters, as follows; Katihar, Purnea, and Araria in October. Altogether, 83 teachers attended the training. Main topics discussed in the training sessions were building relationships with the community, the role of teachers in community development, problems faced in school functioning hurdles for quality education and a Christian approach to solving problems.
The children in the rural villages of Purnia and nearby districts of Bihar where NIEA operates are disadvantaged to such a great extent that their basic needs are not met. Furthermore, they are deprived of the various opportunities around them. The establishment of NIEA Schools in the region has brought light to the society by providing quality education to these children. Mission schools were first started in areas where literacy rates were less than 10%. There are 12 schools at present under the Mission. Some of these are located in the most backward and difficult areas of Araria and Madhepura districts.
The children receive care for their intellectual, physical, and spiritual needs through our schools. It may be noted that about 40% of these children are girls. A few years ago these girls could not even have dreamed of attending any school and are now grateful for the changes in their lives because of the mission schools. They have become confident about continuing to higher studies.
Mamta, a girl of the NIEA Kurmitola village school says: “I never expected to get education as there was no school in our vicinity. Besides, my illiterate parents could not bear the expenses of sending me to school far away; my brother was already in school at Purnia. Luckily the mission school was started in our village and I got enrolled”.
Children touched through school projects:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...
and teaching them everything I have commanded you...
(MT 28:19-20 NIV)
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER
WOMEN'S ESTHER STORYING PROJECT
The Women’s Esther Project is a collection of women’s ministry groups in different villages, designed to meet the spiritual needs of women who are so often overlooked. Many souls are gained for the kingdom of God through this outreach. This project is a choicest blessing from God for NIEA, engaging about 1500 women across the state of Bihar. The women who are part of this project are trained and commissioned to approach the village women narrating the Biblical stories in their own native tongue.
There are 6 teams that include 31 women who facilitate village women’s ministry groups and who are engaged in crafting stories of women from the Bible with a view to empower, strengthen, and encourage women. The Esther Storying Project throws a bright light on the way Jesus looks at women and the dignity, beauty, restoration, value and promise they hold for the Church and community alike!
Each woman facilitates 5 village groups, one each weekday, conveniently in the afternoons or evenings considering the availability of the women in the village. They also visit houses and hospitals, sharing from the Bible and engaging people in the groups.
Each group has around 10 women voluntarily attending the meetings. The project is successful in reaching women from various villages speaking 6 different dialects. The team leaders keep on training ladies and the trained ladies prepare other women of the village. It functions as a web, beginning from one and ending in a mass of hundreds.
Rescued from Red-light
"My name is Soni K and I am sixteen years old. I was born in a family where worshipping Allah was common. My home was on the Bihar – Nepal border. Unfortunately, my father died when I was very young. My mother remarried an idol worshipper who was involved with serious crime in red-light areas all over northern India. My mother was forced to go along with her new husband and his accomplices. There was none to support us children. Eventually, my step-father started to threaten and torture me. I escaped to my aunt’s home which I thought would be safe, but even there I had bad experiences and I thought my life became hopeless. Was there any hope for me?
The Almighty God seeing my sorrow sent somebody to my place in order to release me. This was done legally and finally I was brought to NIEA children’s Home. I am happy and secure here and now I know that God has a purpose for my life and existence. I now wish to become a social worker and dream of a future serving thousands like me."
There are 20 Homes for Children at present under NIEA where more than 650 precious kids like Soni are accommodated and cared for. All their needs are met in the Children’s Homes and they are provided food, shelter, clothing, free education and medical treatment. They are given parental love and the love of Jesus is shared with each one.
As result of this meeting, one of our church planters now visits the village regularly to talk to the people. The community accepts him as he himself has an Angika background. This has resulted in a few new believers being added to the church. They are now attending Kewatiya church which is 6 Km away from village. We are hoping to add more souls through our ministries in this area for the Almighty and to expand the Kingdom of God on earth. (NIEA Scripture translation teams assisted in the production of the Jesus Film in Surjapuri and Panchpargania languages besides the Angika language last year).