FROM THE IMA GENERAL SECRETARY

 

01 May 2015

 

Dear Friends,

 

 Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from hot Hyderabad!

 

On the night of April 13th we had a storm in the IMA Vision City campus and surrounding areas. Hailstones as large as marbles hit the buildings and damaged the fruit trees in the campus. Even the next morning we could see some of the areas of the campus still carpeted with hail stones.

 

The mango trees were particularly damaged with tender mangoes and mango leaves strewn over the ground. We may have lost 60-70% of the mango crops this year. IMA is not dependent on the mango crop. But what about the farmers, who lost a lot of their crops, because of the vagaries of weather? We need to pray for them.

 

Finance

I praise God along with the IMA team, that we were able to close our accounts for the year 2014 -15 without any deficit. I thank each one of you who paid your contribution to IMA and also gave much more to help us.

 

As we begin this new financial year, I request each of you to kindly send your contribution for this financial year. The minimum is only Rs. 5000/-. But may I request you to be generous and give much more than that. I would like to see IMA stand on its own feet with the help of Indian resources.

 

FCRA

As per our Auditors advice, we have submitted to the Home ministry in New Delhi, the duly filled FORM FC-5 for the Renewal of ‘Registration Certificate’ for FCRA. Please pray that we will get the renewed registration certificate soon.

 

I hope each one of you, member missions, who have FCRA registrations have applied / are applying for your renewal, following your auditor’s advice.

 

IMA Missionary Staff support

I have been encouraging member missions to come forward to support 6 of our IMA Missionary staff. The average salary of each staff is Rs. 20,000/-including house rent. At present 6 missions have come forward to support the staff at the rate of Rs. 5000/- per month. We need a total of 24 missions to come forward to support our staff at the rate of Rs. 5000/- per month. I request you, especially the larger missions, to come forward and support the IMA missionary staff. I would like to see all the staff of IMA fully supported. Will you please consider this?

 

Forth Coming Programs

The following programs are planned in the coming months. Each program is focussed on one issue that missions face.   I request you to kindly go through them and send your leaders to these programs which will benefit them and also help your mission to function in a better way.

 

1.       Member Care Training: May 27-29, 2015 at IMA Vision City, Hyderabad. This is for all involved in Recruiting and Caring for missionaries. Resource Persons – Dr. Ravi David (Coordinator), Mr. Isac Rajan (MUT), Rev. Jonathan Chavan (IEM)     Cost Rs. 1000/-

 

2.       6 City Partnership Seminars: June 5 -15, 2015

A team of 4 leaders will be visiting 6 cities in the month of June 5-15, 2015 and conduct one day Partnership seminars on the theme ‘Partnership for mission in the 21st century’. The leaders are – Mr. Rio Sibarani (IPA, Indonesia), Mr. Prem James (Interdev India), Dr.Wati L (GSD, IMA) and I. The details are as follows:

 

a)      June 5, 2015: at YMCA, Ritherdon Road, Vepery, Chennai 600007. 10 am – 4 pm.

b)      June 8, 2015: at Nagaland Baptist Ch. Council Hall, Kohima, Nagaland. 9 am - 1 pm.

c)       June 9, 2015: at Manipur Baptist Ch. Hall, Imphal. 9 am – 4 pm

d)      June 11,2015: at Tripura Baptist Ch. U. Hall, Agartala. 9 am -  4 pm 

e)      June 13,2015: at Baptist Missionary Society, 44, A.J.C.Bose Road, Kolkata- 17. 10 am - 4 pm

f)       June 15, 2015: at Church of God Premises, Cuttack Chandi, Cuttack, Odisha 753001.  10 am – 4 pm

 

I request all those leaders in the respective cities to come and participate in these meetings to learn more about partnership and how to partner with each other effectively.  

 

3.       Research workers and Field Directors consultation & Training: June 25-27, 2015 at IMA Vision City, Hyderabad. This is for all involved in Research on fields and for Field directors of missions. Resource Persons – Dr. Theo Srinivasagam, Mr. R. Kannan Cost Rs. 1000/-

 

4.       Church Planting among the Unreached: July 15-17, 2015, IMA Vision City, Hyderabad. This is for Mission CEOs and other leaders to discuss about reaching the unreached in our land. Resource Persons – Rev. Vasantharaj Albert (Church Growth Research), Mr. Ninan Varghese (Campus Crusade), Dr. Theo Srinivasagam. Cost Rs. 1000/-

 

5.       Persecution and Legal Issues: August 4-7, 2015, NCCI Campus, Nagpur. This is for all leaders who want to get trained on facing persecution and the Legal issues involved.  Resource Persons – NCCI Leaders. Cost Rs. 1500/-

 

For further information please contact Mr. Solomon Babu, Training Coordinator, IMA at the following email training@imaindia.org OR Mobile No. 91-9866440722.

 

Prayer Requests

Please pray for the following:

·         For the finances of IMA and specially for the IMA Missionary Staff support

·         For the Renewal of FCRA Registration

·         For the various programs outlined above

·         For the Ethne’15 conference in Hyderabad

·         For the travels, health and strength for the small IMA staff of 9 people.

·         For the various needs of IMA member missions, the mission leaders and well-being of all missionaries and their varied ministries.

 

With warm greetings in Christ,

R. Theodore Srinivasagam

General Secretary, India Missions Association

 


LOOKING AT SCRIPTURE

THEME: ‘GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS…TRIBES, PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES” (MATT.28:18-20, REV. 7:9)

 

4. “MAKING DISCIPLES……” IN GOD’S MISSION*
 ‘THEREFORE GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES…..’ (MATTHEW 28:19)
R. Theodore Srinivasagam

 

The Lord Jesus Christ gave the command to his disciples, ‘go and make disciples…….’

 

In our Indian context the concept of ‘guru and sishya’ is well known from ancient times. It describes a pupil who submits himself or herself to a gifted teacher or wise man to learn whatever the teacher teaches. This involves a close relationship and dependence of the pupil on the teacher.

 

We also see this in the model of our Lord Jesus Christ when he selected 12 men from different walks of life and trained them to be his disciples. The men voluntarily submitted themselves to the authority of Jesus. They travelled with him, ate with him ,saw the miracles that he performed, listened to his teachings, debated with him and lived with him till his death on the cross and resurrection. This led them change in their world view, religious outlook, relationships and life style making them submit every area of their lives to their master Jesus Christ. This is our model.

 

This leads us to the following questions.

 

1.    Who is a disciple of Jesus Christ?

There are various components in describing a disciple.

 

a)    He is one that believes and is committed to the Lord Jesus Christ, by accepting him as Saviour and Lord of his life.

b)   He is a ‘learning believer’ (Gk. matheteuo) – someone who is constantly growing in the Lord by learning from God’s word and obeying. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (John 8:3).

c)    He is one who shares about his Lord to others and makes others also the disciples of Jesus (Matthew 28:19).

 

2.    What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Every guru sets certain conditions for anyone who wants to be his sishya. Some want them to get up early in the morning and meditate. Some want them to eat only certain kinds of food and or do fasting at certain times. But the conditions that Jesus set are of a very different kind. In Luke 14:25-33 we see 3 conditions given by Jesus.

 

a)    Loving Jesus more than others (Luke 14:26)

Jesus said, ”If any one comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes even his own life – he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). He also said, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). What do these mean? It means that Jesus Christ must take the first place in a disciple’s life and must love him more than anyone else or anything else. How do we measure up to this? Do we love Jesus more than any other human relationship, material possession, position and title?

 

The compensation for loving Jesus in this fashion, is that he will give us much more than we have lost. Jesus tells us that we will “receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come, eternal life” (Luke 18:29, 30).

 

b)    Bearing one’s cross (Luke 14:27)

The second condition that Jesus gives is, ”Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). We see the same thing in the parallel verse in Matthew 10:38. These are strong words. The cross represents hardship, suffering and death.

 

What then is ‘taking up the cross’ mean? It means following Jesus in good times and bad and sticking to him along the narrow way through various vicissitudes of life and saying ‘no’ to self. Paul describes this as ‘dying every day’ (1 cor.15:31) and as “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1).

 

So any one who is seeking after comfort and gain in this life cannot be a disciple of Christ. Taking up the cross and paying the cost is not a once and for all action, but it is a continuous cost. Are we carrying the cross?

 

The compensation for carrying the cross is the ‘crown’ that is promised. It is a crown that will last forever (1 Cor. 9:25), a crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8) and the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).

 

c)    Renouncing all (Luke 14;33)

The third condition for being a disciple, according to Jesus, is renouncing all that he or she possesses. Jesus said,”Any of you who do not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Similarly Jesus said, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life“(John 12:25). Paul exemplifies it, when he says, “whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (Phil. 3:7ff). Have you renounced your all for Christ? Are you keeping your possessions as trust for God to use it for his purposes?

 

The compensation for renouncing all is gaining Christ.

 

Are we truly his disciples and meeting the conditions of discipleship?

 

3.    How to make disciples of Jesus Christ?

We cannot make disciples of Jesus Christ, unless we ourselves are his disciples.  How then do we make disciples? In these days of instant food and instant communication we also would like to make disciples instantly. However, from the example of Jesus, we know that it is not possible to do that.

 

Bringing people to believe in Christ is much easier than making them into disciples. It takes much time, patience and effort. The command of Jesus is to make disciples, not just converts. So how do we make disciples?  By making people accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord (baptism is outward symbol of that) and teaching them all that he has commanded (God’s word).

 

Are we doing this? What are we aiming at in our churches and mission fields? Merely number of converts or disciples? 

 


FROM THE MISSION LEADERS...

 

CHURCH PLANTING IN BARABANKI DISTRICT, UTTAR PRADESH BY ZION SEWA
Rolly Singh*

 

THE BEGINNING

I went as a pioneer missionary to the Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh in 1979. I left my job and the local church that I attended supported me in this endeavor. I started my ministry as an evangelist. I used to cycle 40 to 50 km everyday to different villages and openly preached the Gospel on the streets and distributed tracts. From the initial days we were very clear that the gospel is needed for everyone and it must be preached to everyone without restricting it to any one particular group. Due to these efforts, our first church with people from different backgrounds was established in the same year.

 

CHANGE OF MINISTRY METHODS

As the days progressed, we transformed our ministry according to the needs of the times. We were clear that the Message never changes but the Methods can. We must have clean and clear motives behind any changes. So we shifted from our initial days of open air preaching to film ministry. We shared the gospel using the Jesus film. We used to cover around 15 villages in a month and many churches were formed. From the beginning my commitment was for strong churches that can spread widely and get deep into the word of God. I gave importance to quality with good teaching on the word of God.

 

MINISTRY ACTIVITES

Our ministry is based on Luke 2:52, “growing in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men.” Zion Sewa, our mission organization, has adopted that verse in our constitution and is committed to the development of physical, spiritual, mental and social aspects of a human life.

 

·         Church Planting: We establish churches and they are called as ‘Zion Churches.’  Our focus is not on quantity but quality. We aim at strong and quality churches with healthy teaching. Our main goal is to have committed pastors with good knowledge in the word of God. Through Zion Churches we exhibit our commitment to develop physical, spiritual, mental and social aspects of people. For example, we help people to build their life, education and career. We have supported a few girls in their nursing courses and boys in their engineering studies.   

·         Youth Ministries: Our main focus is on youth. We conduct youth camps, seminars, retreats and other activities. We cultivate them for future ministry and prepare these young people for church work. Some are interested to become pastors, while some others prefer to support church activities and wish to work as deacons and other leaders. We conduct training programmes for youngsters in 2 batches in summer and each batch consists of about 50 to 60 youth.  

·         Social Activities: We are involved in social activities as well. As and when the need arises we help in various humanitarian causes especially during calamities like floods, storms etc. by conducting medical camps and other activities in partnership with other organizations. We also have projects such as supporting 180 children with fees for their education and helping 60 pregnant women with their medical expenses in several villages and educating them on parenting issues.

 

CHALLENGES & NEEDS

We faced many challenges and needs throughout our ministry. I am mentioning some of them below.

·         Opposition: There was opposition from non-Christian elements and fundamentalist groups but it usually lasted for short periods and eventually assisted in our growth. But resistance from some of the traditional Church groups that didn’t understand our methods, doctrines and strategies was a bit difficult to handle.

·         Training People: While preparing people for work, by spending time, energy and money our hope is that they will remain with you; but sometimes that does not happen.  But we continued our training by hoping that they will play a major role in the spread of the gospel through obedience to the Great Commission, no matter which organization they work with.

·         Project vs Person: Are we committed to run a project or through the project build people’s life? This is a question we often ask ourselves. We do have projects, but we are strongly committed to build people and their character, skills and quality through these projects.

·         Local Language Bible Teachers: In the initial days, we didn’t have many Hindi Bible teachers and that was one of the reasons that I committed myself to teach in Hindi and God is using us effectively. We also train our church leaders to have good knowledge in the word of God. Their teachings in the local languages must be understood by the congregations and help them to grow in Christ.

·         Preparing Younger Leaders: We need young leaders and they must be fed with solid Bible teaching. We run training programmes especially for this 3 times a year. We invite different pastors who have a passion for the word of God to teach and prepare these youngsters for God.

 

MESSAGE FOR TODAY’S MISSION LEADERS

We must be watchful in spending time with the Lord and studying the word of God.

 

We are called to make disciples. When people come to churches, we should have real burden and concern to make them grow in the word of God. We must provide sound Bible teaching and constantly watch over our God given flocks. We should invest our time and energy towards church members. Church must feel that their leaders are concerned about them.

 

We must not indulge in false reporting and insensitive strategies that hampers the growth of the church.

 

Jesus is coming soon and may we all prepare His bride, the church to be ready to face him.

 

* Bishop Rolly Singh is the Founder and Director of Zion Sewa based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.


IMA NEWS

 

IMA LEADERS VISIT TO MISSIONS IN NAGPUR AND PUNE
7-11 APRIL 2015

Wati Longkumer, General Secretary Designate
  

As part of the on-going activity of IMA of visiting member missions, Dr R Theodore Srinivasagam, General Secretary and Rev Dr I Wati Longkumer, General Secretary designate travelled to Nagpur and Pune from 7-11 April 2015.

 

In Nagpur they were hosted by Maharashtra Village Ministries (MVM) and we especially thank its General Secretary Rev Dr D B Kulothungan and his Associate Rev Prakash Tadi for their kind and generous hospitality.

 

At Nagpur we had a fellowship meeting attended by 20 leaders representing 13 IMA member and prospective member agencies. It was encouraging to note that the churches and Mission agencies have come together and formed a forum for fellowship, coordination, encouragement. 

 

Meeting with the mission leaders in Nagpur

 

We had good interactions with Mr. Satish Meshramkar, CEO of Prakash Institute and Rev P. D. Joseph of Mission India. We also visited the offices of IEM and FMPB.

 

With Mr. Satish Meshramkar, CEO of Prakash Institute, Nagpur

 

With Rev P. D. Joseph and other leaders of Mission India, Nagpur

 

The other important appointment was the meeting with NCCI officers led by the Rev Dr Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, including Executive Secretaries Rev Sunil Raj Phillip and Rev Caesar J David. The discussions centred on the modalities for a closer partnership and coordination between the two agencies. As a first step on closer ties it was decided that a training seminar on the topic “Persecution and Legal Issues” will be jointly conducted at the NCCI Nagpur centre in august this year.

 

IMA Leaders with Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, Gen Sec of NCCI in Nagpur

 

From Nagpur we travelled to Pune where Interserve India was our host and Mukti Udaharan Seva Trust (MUST) & Naga Christian Fellowship Pune (NCFK) extended logistic support. We are grateful to them all. The meeting in Pune was attended by 8 leaders representing 5 IMA member and prospective member agencies.  The felt need of an umbrella body of representative Mission agencies was discussed. We encouraged them to initiate a forum under the IMA umbrella.

 

With leaders of missions in Pune

 

IMA team also met with Mrs. Lorraine Francis, Mission Director and other leaders of Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission in Kedgoan and invited them to be part of the IMA family.

 

With Mrs. Lorraine Francis, Mission Director and her husband Mr. Francis of Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission, Kedgoan

 

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PARTNERSHIP TRAINING INSTITUTE 2015

13 TO 17 APRIL 2015

Solomon Babu and Sharon , Training Department, IMA

 

A Partnership Training Institute, which was organized by Interdev-India, was held in Bangalore from 13th to 17th April, 2015. There were about 15 leaders from various Indian missions, and one from Srilanka also participated in this programme. Mr. Solomon Babu, and Mrs. Sharon Solomon represented IMA.

 

It was a great time of learning on various issues on partnership which is very important in the contemporary mission scenario. There were faculty from SAIACS, Partners Associates and Inter-dev India who taught us on some important subjects on Partnership. Some of the subjects that were dealt with were – Why is Partnership Important? Biblical Basis / theology of Partnership, Partnership in Indian Context, Hindrances to Partnership, Culture and Partnership, Problem Solving in Partnership, Developing a Partnership (Stages), Role of a Facilitator, Sharing Credit, Fund Raising in Partnership and Partnership Principles.

 

Participants in the Partnership Training Institute, Bangalore

 

There was also a practical field visit to mission organizations who are very much involved in multiple partnerships. Participants had an opportunity to interview the mission heads personally on partnership strategies, advantages of partnering and conflict management. This was very encouraging and was beneficial to all the participants to effectively involve themselves in partnership ministry.

 

Interdev-India has had training programmes for several years. But this year they inaugurated “the Partnership Institute” in their campus in Bangalore. They will be conducting this training as an ongoing programme.

 

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TENT MINISTRY - 30 YEARS CELEBRATIONS

22-24 APRIL 2015

Prakash Nayak, Executive Secretary South, IMA

 

TENT celebrated God’s faithfulness of the last 30 years, 1985-2015, from 22-24 APRIL 2015 in the TENT Carmel Campus, Hyderabad. TENT invited 60 trainees from across the country to represent and witness God’s faithfulness apart from a number of guests to be part of the celebrations.

 

Leaders of TENT with Prof. & Mrs. B. E. Vijayam at the celebrations 

 

The TENT Ministries was started in the year 1985 by Prof. B. E. Vijayam to help rural Pastors and Evangelists to stand on their own feet taking care of their personal needs. Over the years it has trained hundreds of rural workers from a number of churches and missions. It further expanded to include Joshua Vision India (JVI) which has been in existence for 20 years, Indian Women in Lord’s Labour (IWILL) for 15 years, Customized Orientation for Strategic Transformation (COST) for the past 5 years. Testimonies of those who were trained here revealed that God has been faithful to many of these men and women who are serving Lord with holistic development among various unreached people groups.

 

We thank God for  His grace upon the TENT ministry for enabling them to equip 450+ graduate level men and women as Master Trainers, 1200 grassroots level women as Holistic Development Trainees and 145 couples under COST for the ministry among unreached people groups.

 

Dedicating the Research Team at the 30th anniversary celebrations at TENT 

 

During this time of celebrations they had a 3 day seminar and 15 JVI Master Trainers were also commissioned. Further, 7 workers were also set apart to take up research work on unreached people groups across the nation and dedicated for this special work by the IMA General Secretary, Dr. Theo Srinivasagam on 22nd April 2015.

It was privilege for me to be part of the celebrations.


NEWS FROM INDIAN MISSIONS

 

MISSION NEWS

Missions India, Thiruvalla, Kerala: They have started Balbhavans for boys and girls.  It’s a ministry of shaping children’s lives. Right now they have 131 children who are staying and studying across the nation. Most of these children were living a life of rejection, isolation and not knowing what their future would be like. To bring them to a disciplined life is not easy as they enjoyed a life of unbridled freedom in the streets. But once they come to the Balbhavan, by God’s grace many lives are changed. They are able to recognize their gifts and talents and now they want to pursue good education and are hopeful of a bright future. They understand the importance of leading a clean and healthy life and they submit themselves to grow into a disciplined and responsible citizen.

 

India Evangelistic Association, Cuttack, Odisha:

·         Discipleship Training Seminar: India Evangelistic Association conducted Discipleship Training Seminar at Goudakateni Community Church on 13th and 14th of March, 2015. Around 40 believers came together for two days. The subjects taught were: God, The Nature of God, Sin, Salvation through Christ, Christian life and Witness etc. IEA Ministry leader Bishop (Dr) Parichha, Rev. Pankaj Sahu and Rev. S. R. Pradhan were resource persons. The believers were very encouraged through all teachings. IEA plans to conduct at least six Discipleship Training Seminars in 2015. Each seminar costs Rs. 15,000/- inclusive of food, travel, accommodation.

·         Health Check-Up Of Abiel Boys Home: There are 30 boys in Abiel Boys Home from classes 2 to 9. All of them come from poor village background and majority of them are either orphans or semi-orphans and are provided free food, accommodation and educational needs such as books, uniforms, shoes, school fees etc. On 7th February, 2015, we arranged a health check-up of all the boys of the Home. Ministry Leader Bishop (Dr) Parichha drove with the Dr. Jayanta Sahu, MBBS, to the Children Home.  All children were thoroughly checked and medicines prescribed as per their need for 13 boys. Please pray for resources to build the required infrastructures for three of IEA Children including Abiel Boys home.

 


A PEOPLE GROUP PROFILE

 

RAJPUT OF INDIA

 

Introduction

Rajputs are the second of the four main castes, namely Ksahtriyas (warriors), of classical Hinduism. According to mythology, they are supposed to have been made originally from the arms of the god Brahma. The name comes from Sanskrit word “raja-putra” meaning son of a king. They are generally addressed as “Thakur” or lord, and it is a common title.

 

Rajputs constitute a class of nobility and is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central and northern India and current eastern Pakistan.  They rose to prominence from the late 6th century. The Rajput clans emerged as a dominant community in north and western India and governed the majority of princely states in the colonial period.

 

Traditionally, they are divided into thirty-six great clans. All these belong to one of the 3 primary lineages, namely, 1. Suryavanshi (solar race), claiming descent from Surya, the Hindu Sun-god; 2. Chandravanshi (lunar race), claiming descent from Chandra, the Hindu Moon-god and 3. Agnivanshi (fire race), claiming descent from Agni, the Hindu god of fire. They also have numerous branches of varying status.

 

Location

They are spread over north, west and central India. Populations are found in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

 

Custom & Lifestyle

They live in mixed extended families that are deep-rooted to their joint holding of land. In urban areas, however, the nuclear family is now the norm. The traditional purdah (veil) system that persists in rural areas has almost disappeared in the cities though most women still cover their heads.

 

One of the principal rules of a Rajput’s life is that he must marry his daughter into a clan equal or higher rank than his own. This has caused a lot of difficulty in arranging marriages of girls because of payment to the bridegroom and the heavy payment to the Bhats (traditional genealogist) to avoid sarcasm. Thus, in Rajput’s eyes, a daughter became the first step on the road to ruin and female infanticide was extensively practiced. This crime is not common in Central India where the rule of marrying a daughter into an equal or higher clan has not been enforced with the same strictness as in North India.

 

Customarily, the proposal for marriage should come from the bride’s family and the method is to send a coconut to the bridegroom. This procedure of bride’s initiative is possibly the relic of “Swayamwara” (maiden’s choice), where a king’s daughter placed a garland on the neck of the youth she preferred among the competitors in a tournament held to choose a suitable match.

 

Dowry is paid, and one tenth of the amount is paid as earnest money when the match is settled, so that the boy’s party cannot go back on the marriage alliance. Widow remarriage is not encouraged though it does take place and the offspring from the remarriage is received into the caste but with lower status.

 

The dead are cremated, except infants, who are buried. Mourning is observed for thirteen days for a man, nine days for a woman and three days for a child. The “shradh” ceremony is performed during the month of September or on the death anniversary. It was formerly held that if the Rajput died on the battlefield, it was unnecessary to perform his funeral rites because his spirit went straight to heaven. “Sati”(self-immolation by wives of the warriors who died in war) was practiced and the British officially banned it in 1827.

 

They abstain from alcohol but use opium before a battle as the frenzy and carelessness of death, under its influence, made them brave on the battlefield. They ascribed divine character to the opium and the mental “high” it created.

 

By tradition, the Rajputs have village caste councils to settle matters arising out of social disputes. At the district level this assumes the name of a larger assembly, found in every Rajput clan.

 

Profession & Food

Majority of the Rajputs are landowners and are engaged in agriculture. However, today many of them are in trade, professional and government services and also in the Indian army. They are very influential in politics. Literacy is higher in comparison to other castes and other caste groups respect them.

 

Most Rajputs eat meat but, as in other upper Indian castes, they observe a strict prohibition against beef. Wheat, maize, coarse millet such as jowar, bajra and pulses are the staple diet supplemented by dairy products.

 

Religion

The main deity of the Rajputs is the goddess Durga (also called Devi) in her more terrible form as a goddess of war. Their swords are sacred to her. Each clan has its specific clan deities which are worshipped every morning for good luck and protection against danger. At Dasara festival, they worship weapons and horses. They also worship the sun and revere the animals and trees sacred to the Hindus.

 

- from different sources (photo source: joshuaproject.net )


UPCOMING IMA EVENTS & PROGRAMMES

 

IMA CONSULTATIONS & TRAINING PROGRAMMES

 

1.       Member Care Training: May 27-29, 2015 at IMA Vision City, Hyderabad. This is for all involved in Recruiting and Caring for missionaries. Resource Persons – Dr. Ravi David (Coordinator), Mr. Isac Rajan (MUT), Rev. Jonathan Chavan (IEM)     Cost Rs. 1000/-

 

2.       6 City Partnership Seminars: June 5 -15, 2015

A team of 4 leaders will be visiting 6 cities in the month of June 5-15, 2015 and conduct one day Partnership seminars on the theme ‘Partnership for mission in the 21st century’. The leaders are – Mr. Rio Sibarani (IPA, Indonesia), Mr. Prem James (Interdev India), Dr.Wati L (GSD, IMA) and I. The details are as follows:

 

a)      June 5, 2015: at YMCA, Ritherdon Road, Vepery, Chennai 600007. 10 am – 4 pm.

b)      June 8, 2015: at Nagaland Baptist Ch. Council Hall, Kohima, Nagaland. 9 am - 1 pm.

c)       June 9, 2015: at Manipur Baptist Ch. Hall, Imphal. 9 am – 4 pm

d)      June 11,2015: at Tripura Baptist Ch. U. Hall, Agartala. 9 am -  4 pm 

e)      June 13,2015: at Baptist Missionary Society, 44, A.J.C.Bose Road, Kolkata- 17. 10 am - 4 pm

f)        June 15, 2015: at Church of God Premises, Cuttack Chandi, Cuttack, Odisha 753001.  10 am – 4 pm 

 

I request all those leaders in the respective cities to come and participate in these meetings to learn more about partnership and how to partner with each other effectively.  

 

3.       Research workers and Field Directors consultation & Training: June 25-27, 2015 at IMA Vision City, Hyderabad. This is for all involved in Research on fields and for Field directors of missions. Resource Persons – Dr. Theo Srinivasagam, Mr. R. Kannan Cost Rs. 1000/-

 

4.       Church Planting among the Unreached: July 15-17, 2015, IMA Vision City, Hyderabad. This is for Mission CEOs and other leaders to discuss about reaching the unreached in our land. Resource Persons – Rev. Vasantharaj Albert (Church Growth Research), Mr. Ninan Varghese (Campus Crusade), Dr. Theo Srinivasagam. Cost Rs. 1000/-

 

5.       Persecution and Legal Issues: August 4-7, 2015, NCCI Campus, Nagpur. This is for all leaders who want to get trained on facing persecution and the Legal issues involved.  Resource Persons – NCCI Leaders. Cost Rs. 1500/-

 

Please apply to Mr. Solomon Babu, IMA Training Coordinator at training@imaindia.org

 


NEEDS OF IMA FOR YOUR PRAYER & SUPPORT

 

The following are the needs of IMA: 

  • Prayer Coordinators: Missionary work needs much prayer. So IMA plans to develop a nationwide volunteer Prayer Leaders & Coordinators who will organize prayer for IMA, its member missions and the needs of India, in their homes & local areas. We welcome your involvement.

  • IMA Staff Support: 5 staff members need full financial support. Need: Rs. 18,000 per month per staff member.

  • IMA Staff Health Endowment Fund: To help IMA staff and their families in the high cost of healthcare, it has been decided to have a Health Endowment Fund with a corpus of Rs. 10 lakhs. You are requested to donate generously towards this.

  • IMA Staff Children’s Education Fund: This is to assist IMA staff to educate their children in good schools. We will appreciate your generous contribution to this fund.

  • Training & other Programmes: These need subsidies to make them affordable to missions. Sample subsidies needed are -

    • 2 days event for 35 people : Rs. 50,000

    • 3 days event for 35 people : Rs. 75,000

    • 5 days training for 35 people : Rs. 1.2 lakhs

  • IMA Infrastructure: Some of the urgent needs are -

    • Laptops, LCD projectors & IT equipment : Rs. 4 lakhs

    • 4-wheeler Vehicle : Rs. 8 lakhs

    • IMA Accommodation & Conference facilities upgrading : Rs. 10 lakhs

    • IMA Campus Farming : Rs. 1 lakh

For details you may write to Ms. Sharon Solomon at advancement@imaindia.org

 

On the night of April 13th we had a storm in the IMA Vision City campus and surrounding areas. Hailstones as large as marbles hit the buildings and damaged the fruit trees in the campus. Even the next morning we could see some of the areas of the campus still carpeted with hail stones.

 

 

 

Hailstones, the size of marbles, damaged the mango trees

 

The mango trees were particularly damaged with tender mangoes and mango leaves strewn over the ground. We may have lost 60-70% of the mango crops this year. IMA is not dependent on the mango crop. But what about the farmers, who lost a lot of their crops, because of the vagaries of weather? We need to pray for them.

HOW CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE TO IMA?

  • By sending your DD/Cheque drawn in favour of India Missions Association

  • By online transfer to IMA Bank Account - Name of the Bank: ICICI Bank; Branch: S.D. Road, Secunderabad; Account No: 004801044534; IFSC code: ICIC0000048.

Please inform us by email/post after you send your contribution to help us send you a receipt.

 


IMA ADDRESS

India Missions Association, 5-47, Kundanpally Village, Keesara Mandal,
R. R. District, Hyderabad - 501301, Telangana, India.
Phone: 91-8418-202064/65/66; Email: ima@imaindia.org; Website: www.imaindia.org

 


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For further information please feel free to contact us at ima@imaindia.org