Dear Friends,

This is a brief newsletter to bring you up to date on some of the latest ministry news.

In February 2011, I travelled with a team of six from churches in Nova Scotia.  They visited and shared in the rural area of Mendabari, and the city of Gangtok. In November 2011, an eleven-member team drawn from churches in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Lunenburg, Milford, NS and Kingsley, NB traveled to India.  They took part in retreats in two locations in the state of West Bengal, the cities of Siliguri and Jaigon, attended by a total of four hundred men and women. 

During both of these mission trips, the local pastors continued sessions that are part of a ten-subject curriculum which will support and better prepare them as they minister in their local congregations. The women were enriched through bible studies and through  opportunities to share together in prayer, fellowship and worship.

The February team had the honour of attending the opening of the newly constructed church in Lathabari – a project that we had started the previous November.  It was a great blessing to see the joy of this local rural congregation, and to think that this 23 x 40 ft building was completed for a cost of $8500.  A sincere thank you to all who contributed to this project! In November, some of the team were able to share in a worship service at this church.  Far Corners also presented them funds to purchase a basic carpet – not just a luxury when you realize that everyone sits on the floor.

In November, we were able to spend time at Grace Ashram, a wonderful ministry that hosted our training sessions in the city of Jaigon.  This faith mission, headed by the Matthews family of eight, is working to meet the many basic needs of their community including constructing wells, operating a school, an orphanage for thirty children, and churches in several communities.

Looking ahead, in March we will host retreats for both pastors and women in Siliguri, along with a new location in the town of Samuktala.  Part of the group will work as a construction team alongside the local congregation to build a replacement for a church in the city of Jalpaiguri that has greatly outgrown its old building.  Presently 120 people are meeting in a building of 15 x 25 ft. Because the new church will be 30 x 50 ft, and is located in a large city, the cost of construction will be approx $15,000.  Amazingly, this local Indian congregation have already raised one fifth of the cost through their sacrificial giving!      
 

We continue to look for the best ways to bring pastoral and leadership training to those who have little access to education.  We continue to extend practical help to the poor in the form of blankets, warm shawls, and mosquito nets.  This year we will be providing guitars to poor congregations who have no form of music for their worship.  We are very excited about a new program that will provide funds to enable the children of needy pastors to get a good education. 

Thank you for all of your faithful support in 2011!  Please consider giving to Far Corners Ministry this year as we continue working with the churches and people of north east India.  We value your prayers, your financial support, and the wonderful contributions of our mission team volunteers.  After the March mission trip, the next opportunity to travel with us to India will be in early November 2012.  Visit our website for more information – www.farcornersministry.org 

In Christ’s Service,

Rev. Dr. Shant Manuel
Executive Director, Far Corners Ministry
CRA #812210615RR0001