...with your whole heart

Tuesday, July 21, 2008

The Latest News from Kardias Ministries

Spread the Word

Would you please help us? We would like you to forward this newsletter to your friends that desire to help the widowed and fatherless. Also, if you are receiving this email from a friend, let us know and we will be happy to add you to the mailing list.

Persecution in India

Have you ever heard of a place called Orissa? If you are like the vast majority of Americans, the answer is “no.” Orissa is a state along the coast of East India where a prominent Hindu leader, Swami Lakshanananda Saraswati, was killed. The local Hindu population immediately blamed the Christians for the killing and began to attack. Tens of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee from their homes, churches have been razed, homes have been burned, businesses have been destroyed, loved ones have been scattered, and there is no shortage of Christians who have been killed in brutal and unspeakable ways.

What makes this even more confusing is that a Maoist group claimed credit for the killing. You would think that in light of this fact the Hindu's rage would either subside or be turned against the Maoists, but instead they just stated that the Christians were working in cooperation with and supporting the Maoists, justifying continued violence against Christians. In short, this event is a great excuse to persecute Christians that have been “destroying their traditions and way of life,” and the police are unwilling to try much at all to put a stop to the violence.

Just south of Orissa is the state of Andhra Pradesh, where the Gampala family is ministering in the villages near Rajupalem. Just south of Andhra Pradesh is the state of Tamil Nadu, where the Chennai orphans are located. This is akin to saying, “Indiana is south of Michigan, and Kentucky is south of Indiana.” The violence which started in Orissa has emboldened the Hindu majority all accross the country to act on their frustrations with the Christians.

On Saturday, October 18, 2008, an attack was inflicted against the orphans in Chennai. This report is from Michael Hubert, director of the orphanage facilities:

"When the caretakers were away with children, some fundamental hatred filled group entered the place and ransacked the whole place tearing away bibles and very sadly the books of children, school bags. When the caretakers of our home returned they were struck with fear and shock and I was called and when I rushed to see it was horrible, the food provisions, like rice, cereals, vegetables were all thrown out. This was the replica of a strike against Christians in Orissa a month ago, trying to starve the Christian community.”

With the Gampala family, there are no reports of explicit violence, but they is the constant rub of friction between the tribes and between the classes. Sometimes members are prevented from being able to attend services or programs during the week.

Please pray that God will continue to protect them from the dangers and anger of the Hindu majority, both small and great. This persecution makes it all the more important that we build a proper facility to care for the orphans. That is one of the goals of the Matthew 25 Sponsorship Program.

Matthew 25 Sponsorship Program

Kardias Ministries is excited to announce a new program: the Matthew 25 Sponsorship Program. The purpose of this program is to allow individuals the ability to sponsor an orphan or a widow in an international area. By sponsoring an orphan or a widow, you will commit to providing the basic needs of the orphans or widows for a set amount of time: Food, shelter, clothing, and medicine. As you provide for the needs of orphans and widows, you will be playing a part in fulfilling the words of the King in Matthew 25:40:

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" NIV

Pastor Chitti Babu sent a good example of the need for a program like this for the widows. There are currently two widows who need eye surgery to restore their vision. One widow, Anamma (shown at left, right side), needs surgery to fix her cataracts, while another widow, Suvarthamma (shown at left, left side), needs surgery to stop her eyes from twitching back and forth. In addition to providing nutritious food, in addition to providing warm clothing in the cold season, one of the goals of this program is to have a small amount set aside to take care of these health concerns that will inevitably arise as the widows age. Consider what a blessing it would be to receive their sight again after so many years of blurred and distorted vision.

Or consider how the safety, health, and quality of life of the orphans would be increased if they had a proper facility. Their current buildings are little more than a large concrete box. The bathroom is a hole in the dirt with plastic banners as "walls". Though the facility is a goal that will take time to achieve, it is part of the purpose of the Sponsorship Program.

For instructions on how you can sponsor a widow or orphan, please visit the web site. If you are a member of Facebook, please feel free to join the cause!

Haung Dau Arrives in the USA

We are overjoyed to announce that Haung Dau has arrived in the United States. Haung Dau was the top student while Stephanie and I were teaching in Thailand. His dream is a noble one: To devote his life to serving orphans in the country of Burma (aka Myanmar). Kardias Ministries is giving Haung Dau the foundation he needs to achieve this goal by providing a collegiate education in Non-Profit Management. This goal will require about five years to achieve. If you would like to help Haung Dau pay for his studies, please see our donation page.

It is notoriously difficult to get an American visa from Myanmar, so we are praising God for this true miracle and trusting in His will for Haung Dau and his future. If you'd like to learn more about how this has come about, you can read the history on our web site.

We hope that you will have the opportunity to meet Haung Dau, and to hear about the current living conditions in Burma and his future goal in regard to being a light in his country.

Other Stuff

Aiming Toward 501(c)(3) Status

Kardias Ministries is beginning the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status with the US government. We believe this will allow us a number of advantages. Firstly, having 501(c)(3) status will grant us the ability to open a bank account in the name of Kardias. We plan on using this ability to reduce the costs of sending funds to our ministry partners in international areas, as well as increasing accountability. Furthermore, this should help us to make it easier for donors by giving the ability to donate via our web site.

In the meantime, donations to Kardias Ministries are still fully tax deductible via our strong partnership with Common Ground Christian Ministries.

Facebook Group

A Facebook group has been created for Kardias Ministries. If you are a member of Facebook, please feel free to join!

Prayer List

From time to time, there are important matters to pray for either at Kardias Ministries or with those that we serve. If you would like to be included on the prayer list, please send an email to prayers@kardias.com.

Traveling Speakers

The Kardias team will be giving a presentation during the Winter Family Weekend in Lexington, KY on Saturday, December 27, 2008. We have also penciled in a presentation in the Chicago area on January 17, 2009. We will send more details when this has been firmed up.

We at Kardias Ministries are available to visit your fellowship or church group. If you would like us to visit, we would be more than happy to share more details about the widows in Kakinada, the orphans in Chennai, future mission trips, and/or the life dream of Haung Dau. If you are interested, please contact us.

Thank you for your continued prayers, interest, and support. We could not be effective without your support. If you ever have any questions beyond what these updates or the web site are able to answer for you, please feel free to contact us:

Phone: (317) 605-0951
Email: info@kardias.com

We love you,

Brian and Stephanie Smith
and the Kardias Team