Tag Archives: India

IYC Intern Engages in Sports Ministry, Captures Media Attention Abroad

Mark Shaner (left) with Austin Shaner (right) in India.

By Carl Stagner

Meet Austin Shaner. The December 2017 Warner University graduate and IYC2018 intern has his sights set on Christ and his heart tuned to students at home and abroad. An interdisciplinary ministry concentration on sports ministry from Warner left Austin with a deeper desire to spread the hope of Christ through relatable methods like recreation, but that’s not what recently captured the attention of the international media. With his father Mark Shaner, Austin traveled to Bangladesh and India this spring for a few scheduled—and a few unscheduled—ministry engagements. While in India, certain circumstances put him unexpectedly on the front page of the newspaper. Continue reading

Disaster Relief Urgent Request

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah 41:10 NIV

In light of what has been classified as truly extraordinary need, the Church of God Disaster Relief Committee is highlighting an urgent request. The current scope of devastation from natural disasters around the world is beyond our scale of imagining. The Disaster Relief Committee is working with national leaders and regional pastors in the affected regions to meet needs. Would you help? Donate now to Disaster Relief. Continue reading

India, Bangladesh Ravaged by Monsoon Floods

Devastating flooding in India.

By Carl Stagner

According to AccuWeather, 24 million people across India, Bangladesh, and Nepal have been affected by “the worst flooding in more than a decade.” While annual monsoon rains are nothing new to the region, the situation is compounded by unusually persistent rains and, in some locations, the release of water from local dams. Homes have been swept away, businesses and schools have been damaged, and families have been displaced. As the floodwaters rise, so does the incredible need. Another disaster abroad once again serves as a reminder that a swift disaster relief response requires the generosity of people like you. Continue reading

School at the Shelter Prepares to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

Photo: Shelter Primary School girls

By Carl Stagner

In 2014, the Church of God was reintroduced to the Shelter at the Church of God Convention. That year, the ministry, which began housing unprotected orphan girls a hundred years earlier, held a grand celebration of God’s goodness and provision. At the same time, the Church of God rallied around the Shelter and Church of God Trafficklight in the preventative role it plays in the fight against trafficking. A few years have passed since the spotlight was shone brightly on this life-giving work in Cuttack, India, but now they’re gearing up for another celebration with similar significance. This November, the Shelter Primary School, on the same grounds as the Girls Shelter Home, will set aside three days of centennial ceremony and activity to commemorate its impact on the church and community. Continue reading

A Season of Change at the Shelter

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Photo: Clothes drying at the Shelter.

By Don and Caroline Armstrong

Every year, on September 1, the Shelter celebrates its anniversary. I was there this year for the celebration of 102 years of changing the lives of girls who need love, education, and a chance for a better future. It was a time to remember the past and the dream of Rev. A. D. Kahn and the work of Faith Stewart, who helped make that dream a reality. It was also a time of gratitude for the recent changes to the property and a time of looking ahead to being able to help even more girls. Continue reading

When Jesus is the Subject in Meghalaya

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Photo: Celebration service inside the massive Nongthymmai church.

By Carl Stagner

Across the vast expanse of India, you’ll find cultures as broad as the Bay of Bengal and as unique as the Taj Mahal. In the northeastern state of Meghalaya alone, you’ll still find incredible diversity of culture, religion, and politics. Unfortunately, diversity all too often means division, even in the church. So it happened that Jim Lyon, whose history with India predates his service as general director of Church of God Ministries, was invited to speak to two separate assemblies of the Church of God in India. Providentially, the timing of both recent gatherings allowed Jim to make one trip and speak to both groups. Between an earthquake, cyclonic winds, and golf ball-sized hail, a concept, now familiar to the Church of God in the United States and Canada, was introduced that focused a divided region of the Church of God on their common subject. Continue reading

Hindus Convert to Christianity under CHOG Pastor’s Leadership

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Photo: Indian-American family at Bellflower Church of God picnic.

By Carl Stagner

Eight out of every ten men and women in India identify as Hindu. But did you know that an estimated 2.3 million Hindus live in the United States? Pastor Joel Kant has made evangelism to Hindus paramount as he serves Bellflower Church of God in the heart of the Los Angeles metro area. He’s passing along the baton of faith to anyone who will listen, all because one missionary took the chance on his grandfather in India many years ago. Leaving his secular job in 1985, Joel entered full-time ministry in India and witnessed divine healing, multitudes come to Christ, and the establishment of several new works. Over the past six years, Joel’s evangelism through Bellflower Church of God in Bellflower, California, has produced similar fruit. Continue reading

Movement-wide Generosity Brings More Help, More Hope to the Shelter

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By Carl Stagner

Thank you, Church of God. Your generous support of CHOG TraffickLight is not only rescuing women and children from the horrors of human trafficking, but is also preventing trafficking from happening in the first place. You’ve heard the stories of how the Shelter in Cuttack, India, has nurtured, protected, and discipled girls with otherwise uncertain futures. No one will ever know for sure where each girl would be today had they not found refuge and unconditional love at the Shelter, but one thing is certain: these girls did not end up as victims of human trafficking. Thanks to your support, the Shelter is now celebrating major improvements designed to enhance security, bless the girls with better living conditions and, as capacity increases, welcome more girls. Continue reading

The Shelter, Cuttack, India: See it for Yourself!

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By Carl Stagner

You’ve heard the stories. You’ve seen the pictures. Nothing can compare, however, to seeing it for yourself. The Shelter in Cuttack, India, has protected the lives of countless girls for more than a hundred years. Church of God Ministries is excited to make it possible for you to visit the Shelter this coming February for the experience of a lifetime. Project Link connects your passion, for ministry and missions, with vital mission projects of the Church of God. After a year of fighting against human trafficking, it’s time to see the faces of those we’re fighting for! Continue reading

Church of God Grows Stronger Amid Persecution in South India

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Photo: Newly constructed church in South India.

By Johnson George

Though Hindu fundamentalism and religious persecution are on the rise over much of India, the Church of God in India rejoices over spiritual and numerical growth. Even while one Church of God leader works on constitutional adjustments to guarantee certain religious freedoms, the persecution persists. But the kingdom of God cannot be shaken, and its advancement has not waned, especially in South India. We praise the Lord for the following report from Johnson George.

Persecution
There is a new government agenda is to reconvert the converted Christians to Hinduism. Their slogan is, “Come back home.” The government is giving financial support to those who go back to the Hindu religion, some of whom are threatened and forced to go back to Hinduism. In South India, most of the believers are converted from the Hindu religion. Pastors have very limited freedom to propagate the gospel, and many pastors and believers were severely attacked by the Hindu people. Please continue to pray for South India. In spite of the persecution, the Church of God is growing stronger. Continue reading

Lighthouse Church Shines At Home and Abroad

By Carl Stagner

One of the great analogies of our faith compares Jesus to a lighthouse. As the church is called to be Jesus to the world, so churches also become lighthouses. From Amsterdam to Zaire, local churches serve as lighthouses for lives sailing through the darkness. The Church of God congregation in DeLand, Florida, bears the name Lighthouse, and its especially bright light beams not only through the community but also to points around the world. Continue reading

Reflections on The Shelter’s 100th Anniversary

“The Shelter is a home for orphan girls and those in need, continuously operating in India for one hundred years,” Andrew Lyon explains. “At the centennial anniversary celebration on September 1, 2014, hundreds of women and their families streamed in to thank God for the way their lives have been changed.” In this video, missionaries Don and Caroline Armstrong share reflections of their experience while attending the celebration.

The Shelter Celebrates 100 Years of Ministry in India

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By Andrew Lyon

“People hated us because we were orphans. But now people see what we are capable of because of the Shelter. We are the proof of the potential of orphans.”

“Probably I would have continued in my old faith if I had not come to the Shelter.”

“I was here in the 1980s. I’m now living in Delhi as a teacher and am married with two children. The Shelter was instrumental in forming who I am.”

They don’t just disappear. Continue reading

Opportunity: Visit the Shelter, See God’s Fingerprints Everywhere

On the east coast of India is the city of Cuttack, where the Church of God established an orphanage for girls in 1914. The girls came from a variety of backgrounds. Many sources tell harrowing tales of girls being physically removed from Hindu temples, where their futures were very uncertain. Christians literally saved the girls’ lives and gave them a future. Continue reading

Celebrating Christmas a World Away

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By Don and Caroline Armstrong

On Christmas day in Thailand, the banks will be open, as will the post office, shops, and restaurants. About one percent of the country will celebrate Christ’s birth that day, but for most, it is just another day. And this is the case across much of Asia.

But Mrs. Chandrabati, who lives in a small village in the province of Odisha, India, is working on that. She understands the meaning of the great gift that was given that first Christmas, and she has dedicated her life to sharing what she knows. Continue reading