...with your whole heart

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Latest News from Kardias Ministries

Mission India 2008

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." (James 1:27)

A typical widow dressed in her best.

Looking after the weakest and most helpless members of society is a cornerstone of American life. It is so engrained in our culture that it’s easy to plug in to any number of organizations to help the needy in our land. And who wouldn’t support an effort to, say, help to fix up the house of an elderly widow who didn’t have enough money or strength to maintain the home herself? It’s so natural to us that it is the odd person who would say, "No thanks, I don’t believe in helping widows."

This is not the case in India. In fact, quite the opposite. If you have five minutes, take a moment to read this article from CNN about how widows are treated in India; it will break your heart. Orphans don’t fare any better.

Picture, right: A widow named Sarayamma, currently suffering from uterine cancer.

At Kardias Ministries, it is our desire to love the Lord with all our heart. We believe that when He said to go and make disciples of ALL nations (Matthew 28:19), that He meant it. That is what compels us to go to India. Plans are progressing nicely for Mission India 2008 (MI-8). It is hard to believe that there are only about five more weeks before we leave. For those of you who don’t know, MI-8 is our mission trip to India June 1-16, 2008. It is no mistake that the focus of our mission trip is twofold:

  1. To teach and proclaim the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
  2. To look after the orphans and widows in their distress.

To Proclaim the Good News of Christ

Our primary contact in Kakinada is Gampala Chitti. He has found a village called Pedapudi Island only 15 km from his home. This small village of about 50 people has never had the Gospel of Christ preached before the Gampala family was recently led there. During our visit, we will have a “Gospel Meeting” to share the message of Christ to a truly new group. We are hoping to be able to supply everyone in the village with a Bible written in their local language, costing about $2.50 each.

To Look After the Widows In Their Distress

One thing that the Lord demands is compassion for widows. Gampala Chitti’s own mother is a widow, and he has witnessed firsthand how hard life is for her, even with her two sons supporting her as best they can. It is no surprise, then, that Chitti’s church is comprised largely of widows from the surrounding village. The Gampala family does everything they can to help the widows, but they just don’t have the resources to provide everything needed for those widows who are truly helpless.

While we are there, we would like to catalogue the neediest widows in the area and make them available for someone like you to "adopt". For only $30 per month, a widow could have the very basics of life: Nutritious food, simple clothing, and adequate shelter. This would be worlds better than the life they are currently scraping together for themselves.

Speaking of widows, there is a widow named Sarayamma who is suffering from uterine cancer (see picture, above). You can read the prayer request on the blog.

To Look After the Orphans In Their Distress

Our primary contact in Chennai, Michael Hubert, has started an orphanage and school, but his facility is woefully inadequate. Short term, it would be wonderful if every one of his orphans were "adopted" to provide for their most basic needs. Again, $30 per month gets that job done. Long term, what these children need is a new facility that is adequate for their numbers and their needs.

While we are there we plan on putting on a two-day kid's camp. Activities will include a Bible lesson, soccer lessons (boys), knitting lessons (girls), English lessons, and a song. As part of these activities, we will pull each of the orphans aside individually and gather some information about each of them.

We’re Almost There

A team of eight young men and women have committed to MI-8. It is truly inspiring to watch the Lord build the faith of His people; stepping out in faith has a transforming effect on one’s life. All of the sudden, teens who were bored are now ablaze; people who didn’t prefer prayer are now praying powerfully. And if you think that’s a miracle, wait until you see what happens when we arrive in India! I’ll tell you what: They will never be the same again, and neither will the people to whom they minister.

In order to make this trip possible, the eight of us had to fundraise $2,500 per person for the international portion of the costs. For all eight of us, that is $20,000, not to mention passport fees, visa fees, and domestic travel costs! That seems like a lot of money to me, but the Lord has blessed the efforts of the young men and women who have committed to this adventure. We currently stand at close to $15,000 raised. I am amazed at how many people have donated $40 here, $100 there, and how quickly that adds up.

If you have already donated to one of the team members who are going on Mission India 2008, thank you from the bottom of our heart! If you would like to help out with a tax deductible donation by sponsoring a missionary or with any of the other efforts of Kardias Ministries, please send a check made out to "Common Ground Christian Ministries" and send it to:

694 Hohlier Ln
Avon, IN 46123

As we carry out the plans for this mission trip, we will have each of the team members submit a blog entry on our web site to share how this experience is affecting them. Which brings me to another large piece of news that I would like to share with you.


Web Site Updates

We have been trying to mature the Kardias web site into an informative and useful site. Along those lines, we have added the following features that you may find interesting...

Forum

A new forum has been added to our web site. You can get there by going to: http://forum.kardias.com/. Feel free to come and chat about your own efforts or ideas at missions trips or your walk with the Lord. Registration is required in order to post, but it is simple to accomplish, and is free. Rest assured, we will never abuse any information you provide.

Blog

We have created a blog to keep you informed about updates that are made at the Kardias domain. This will keep you informed about new items which are added to the Library, new features added to the web site (more are planned!), new initiatives from Kardias Ministries, and updates on the various ministries that we support.

Library

On various occasions, I have the privilege of giving seminars, sermons, or writing articles. I like to make this material available to all with the hopes that it is a blessing. As new material is created, I will add it into the library. Currently, there is a mini-book about The Life of Gideon, which was an absolute joy to author. Gideon is such a colorful character, and there is such a wealth of jewels to mine from his story. Also, there is my favorite seminar, Adding Wonder to Worship. If the opportunity arises, I would be pleased to offer works authored by others as well. I do hope that you will check it out and enjoy.

 

We love you,

Brian and Stephanie Smith
Brian and Stephanie Smith

 

This email is a newsletter from Kardias Ministries, led by Brian and Stephanie Smith, explaining our ministries. You can visit our web site to view some of our other activities: http://kardias.com. If you are receiving this email from a friend and would like the information sent directly to you, please let us know by sending an email to info@kardias.com. If you would prefer that this email be sent to a different email address, please reply and let us know of the change. It is not our intention to spam or annoy anyone. If you would prefer not to receive this email for any reason, simply reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject or body of the email; no explanation is necessary.