Lectionary Text and Prayers for India: Luke 19:1-10
The Church of North India was formed in 1970 and just celebrated its 40th year of existence. The Disciples and UCC were TWO of the SIX main churches that came together to make this happen.
As I attended the ceremony in Napur on the 14th of October, I was asked to say something to the many thousands of people who gathered there.
This was my message and greetings on behalf of you, the church.
In 1868 a bullock cart left Nagpur and travelled for five days carrying Rev. Oscar Lohr to Bishrampur. He was the first missionary in the Chhattisgargh region from the United States who represented the United Church of Christ. Next month we are about to finish restoring the first church of that region originally built by Him in 1873.
In 1885 another bullock cart left Jabalpur and travelled for three days through the tiger infested forests of what we call Kahna National Park to Bilsapur. In this were three ladies Miss Anna Boyd, Miss Kingsley and Mrs. Adams representing the Christian Church Disciples of Christ of America.
Both these churches have not only concentrated their work in MP, Chhattisgarh and Orissa but in other parts of India.
I am here today on behalf of the many missionaries who followed through and the congregations of these two mainline churches of America that where two of the six churches that joined in the unification of the Church of North India.
For some of you who know me better also know that it is not only my seven years of service with the Church of North India on behalf of global ministries in Mungeli but a second generation of mission work that continues after the legacy of my parents namely my mother Mrs Nancy Henry who was sent out by the United Church of Christ 50 years ago as a young missionary nurse who married my father Dr. VK Henry.
I bring greetings from both these mainline churches of America knowing very well their continued involvement and contribution to the Church of North India today.
Our prayers and thoughts are with you as we together continue to share Christ's love with the people of India.
I believe that many of us are like Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. We do not live our lives like Christ wants us to, are ashamed and know it but on the other hand we also want to do good and are sitting there on trees wanting so much to do good. It is through God’s love that he sees us there up in the trees and invites himself to come into our lives to do special things for him.
I know that the Church of North India is large church and many times we only see the politics and the rivalry in the church. However, God then picks us up and makes us even greater instruments of his work if we would only listen to his gentle call.
I am here in this small place of Mungeli where we try and show God’s love through the running of a hospital (120 beds) and school (500 children). We not only pray for the Church of North India and how we can be better stewards of the church, but we ask for strength as we move toward the construction of a new school building, a cancer centre, start nursing education and help work with a community to help them better understand that our faith has very little value if we do not have action along with it.
We ask you to be with the Church of North India as it decides to have its mandate in social justice where a country is oppressed by the existence of the caste system and the evils on inequality by birth. Where the church realizes that women and children are at risk and need to be supported.
We ask you to help us in our work in Mungeli as we try and share God’s love in the work that we do through the school and the hospital. May we ask God to come transform our lives and clean us so that we may be better vessels of His work, like he did with Zacchaeus.
We ask you help us as we finish the restoration of the first church in Bishrampur in 1873 and that this may be symbol of God’s love to the people of this region.
Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
(Prayer by Teresa and Anil Henry)
Global Ministries International Partners in India:
Besides the Church of North India and the Church of South India, Global Ministries has about forty partners in India. To view a list of those partners and a paragraph summary on each, go to: http://www.globalministries.org/sasia/countries/india/ and scroll down to the partner section
Global Ministries Missionaries in India:
Teresa and Anil Henry are serving a four year term with the Synodical Board of Health Services of the Church of North India. Teresa is the anesthesiologist of the Christian Hospital of Mungeli and Anil works as a medical doctor there. They are currently sharing their ministry in congregations in the U.S.
Nancy Lott Henry is serving as a long-term volunteer with the Church of North India. She is working as a teacher of nurses for hospitals in their eastern region.