Time has slipped by so quickly! We did not produce an official newsletter for August as we had planned, although invitations and information about the fall mission trip were sent out to many pastors and churches. So, with this newsletter, we hope to bring you up to date about the recent work of Far Corners Ministry (FCM).
Latest Trip to India
On October 29th we left on a two week mission trip to Northeast India with a group of nine. We were greatly blessed as we saw how wonderfully God provided the needed funds through the generosity of so many churches and individuals – most of it coming in the last fourteen days prior to leaving! One week was spent in Siliguri, West Bengal, where 140 nationals were sponsored by FCM to attend two simultaneously run conferences. Once again we were able to use the great facilities of the Him Corse Bhavan Christian conference center. The number of participants were equally divided between the conferences entitled “Leaders Led By the Spirit” and “Women Walking With God”. The men’s leadership conference was attended by both pastors and lay leaders from many churches in West Bengal. Their sessions covered many aspects of discipleship, leadership and dealing with substance abuse.
The women who attended came from diverse backgrounds (from rural women with very little literacy to recent university graduates), and represented many types of ministry involvement - pastors wives, lay church leaders, ministries to women, youth and children, and ministry to prostitutes. The Canadian ladies shared teaching on biblical equality, intimacy with God, methods of bible study, and great Bible women along with various topics dealing with family health and wellness. Both conferences were very well received, and were significant not only for the learning opportunities, but for the fellowship which took place among Christians from different churches who would not normally have the chance to come together and gain strength from each other. During the remaining week in India we had opportunities to minister and fellowship with believers in Gangtok, Sikkim, and to see several other dynamic ministries. FCM was also blessed to be able to give much needed financial help to quite a number of the very poor – widows, women, children, and ministry leaders. On a personal note, our grown children, Christa and Benjamin were able to join the team in India after the conferences – their first trip to India. When the Canadian team returned home, our family was able to spend another eight days in Chennai and Mumbai, visiting relatives and seeing many of the places where I grew up.
Activity Here In Canada
In the month of May I accepted a call to part-time ministry as the pastor at First Baptist Church in Hammonds Plains, NS. This allows me to spend 20 hours each week for Far Corners and 20 hours for the church. The church readily supported my need to be free to travel to India at least twice a year and I have found the combination to be the perfect balance for me personally. While I don’t have as many Sunday mornings free, I am still available for many various speaking engagements. Since May I have had the privilege of speaking at 16 churches, 2 mission conferences, 2 women’s missionary groups, and meeting with 23 pastors in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In late January I have been invited to Winnipeg, Manitoba to spend several days with a church as they consider sending a ministry team to India next fall.
I am planning to return to India in February 2010 with a small group. The emphasis will be on bringing pastoral and leadership training opportunities to greater numbers of nationals in the rural areas. This will be done by taking the training to several different sites and spending two days in each area. Our regional coordinator, Shakti, feels that this will be a very practical and useful ministry to many leaders who are not able to attend when the conference is longer and further away. I will also be helping some Canadian church leaders as they look at future ministry opportunities. So please be in prayer for these plans.
We were very blessed to have three of the members of our Board of Directors on the last trip to India. This gave us a unique opportunity to sit down with Shakti, and several other key leaders, and discuss needs, future plans and dreams. We will be engaged in discussions in the coming month which will hopefully lead to an organized two year program of study for the national pastors. We would covet your prayers for this important undertaking, and also for guidance as we investigate other ways in which we can help to strengthen the body of believers in these regions.
We now have a website address and hope to have content posted on it by the end of January. So, in a few weeks be sure to log on to farcornersministry.com and have a look. Also, if you would prefer to receive future newsletters electronically, please let us know by sending an email. Thank you so much for your ongoing prayer and financial support as we strive to faithfully represent Christ in the “far corners”!
In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Dr. Shant Manuel
Executive Director, Far Corners Ministry
CRA #812210615 RR0001
What I found remarkable is how much difference one person can make, and how each of us can touch so many lives.
- Lisa Snow, young adult & member of October 2009 mission team