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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Joshua 3:4 --“Follow in the path I will show you. Now, you’ve never seen anything like this before, so follow about a kilometer behind the priests with the Ark.”
You will have plenty of time to see what I am doing, plenty of time to be ready for what I will ask you to do.
            Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
The small footlamp was not a spotlight! It gave little illumination beyond a step or two beyond. There are many times when we see no further ahead than a few steps.
Who is really called upon to trust God?
Many might say the ones with the footlamp. But I contend that both are called upon to trust God.
First the priests had to wade into a raging torrent driven by the rains. How far would you get into this torrent before you were swept away in and under it? But, that was what God said to do. The priests cross to the other side and wait for the people.
Joshua 3:16 says that the river was stopped a great deal above where they were crossing. At the Red Sea they apparently were able to see the water piled up on either side of them. Perhaps wondering when the wall might release and cover them with water. Here there was no way to see what held the water back. Might it begin to flow again sometime soon? I have seen such a flow where a dried up river suddenly filled with raging flow of water. Sunny day; no rain or threatening clouds, but suddenly the water filled and flowed in the dry river bed. The priests got over – but that was 20 minutes ago before the first of the Israelites started across. Was it safe? Would half the group get across, then be separated from the others? Well, no insurance company would sell you insurance against the chances. OSHA would certify it as definitely unsafe.
Still, they went across safely. Probably some with trepidation, some praying “Lord, I believe – PLEASE help me in my unbelief.” (See Mark 9:23-25.) Whether we can see a couple of steps or a kilometer, God calls upon us to grow in faith. Not all the circumstances are the same, but we can trust God in all circumstances.

Bill Stroup
Bill is serves as an Elder on the Advisory Team of The River Church

Monday, May 6, 2013

Martyred for Christ in Central India

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Martyred for Christ in Central India
Dear Ministry Partners,
My dad Dr. Mathews is on one of his two week trips to the villages. He is ministering in the central part of India where hundreds of first generation churches have been planted. As a result of these advances in the Kingdom, there is an increasing amount of persecution against Christians. He gave me this report of a Christian brother that he had met just a couple of days ago while preaching in his village.  This brother was brutally martyred for Christ.

Raut was a Christian who lived next to a Hindu neighbor who has tuberculosis. As is the common practice, this Hindu neighbor went to see a witchdoctor who lives in the village. The witchdoctor told him that the reason he was suffering is because of his Christian neighbor who is practicing "Christian Witchcraft" against him. Raut is known to pray out loud with his family every day. The other day when the Hindu neighbor heard Raut praying, he was convinced that the prayers were meant to be a form of Christian witchcraft against him. So the man decided to murder Raut.

After prayer, and as Bro. Raut was walking out of his house, the Hindu neighbor took his axe and attacked him and split his head wide open; Brother Raut fell dead in a pool of blood.  After killing him, the man walked straight to the police station confessing to the police that he killed a Christian who practiced witchcraft against him. The police took him into custody and a case of murder was registered against him. Our fellow pastors in the area took the body of Brother Raut and buried him.

Please pray for the Christians and churches in this region that they will be bold in the midst of the persecution. Like Stephen may Brother Raut's Martyrdom be used to lead many to Christ.  Please remember his wife and three children who are going through a tough time. Pray that God would protect Dr. Mathews as he has a few more days of ministry in this region.

For those of you who would like help the families of believer's like Brother Raut, you can contribute to our Persecuted Pastor's Fund.   These funds are used to pay for expenses that arise out of persecution and also assist the surviving family members.

Thank you for your prayers. 


Finny Mathews,
President, AIM President