February 2017

Dear Friends in Mission,

As we send out income tax receipts for 2016 donations, we also want to give you some updates on various aspects of Far Corners work in North East India. Our last newsletter for October 2016 was accompanied by a copy of our first ever gift catalogue. We have had a very positive response to the catalogue and its ten projects from both individuals and churches. Thank you so much for this encouraging support! Please remember that the catalogues are not just for Christmas time, but have been designed to be used throughout the year. If you would like additional copies for yourself or for larger groups, just let us know by phone or email, and we would be happy to send them out to you.

November Mission Trip: In November, Ginny spent sixteen days in West Bengal with a team of seven from the Whyte Ridge Baptist Church in Winnipeg. This was the fourth time that a team has come with us from this mission-minded church family. Everyone participated in sharing at retreats for pastors and women in two separate cities, along with visiting and participating in various local meetings with youth, women, and church families. There were many opportunities to see ongoing FCM projects such as the kindergarten and primary classes at the mission school, the renovated church that was most recently finished, and the poultry farm. They also were able to see some very inspiring new projects. The first was a woman’s weaving project, which has provided an alternative source of income to women who were previously making and selling illegal alcohol to support their families. Now, they are no longer contributing to the widespread problem of alcoholism in their area. They had the opportunity to meet with a group of women who were about to start a three month training program in tailoring and sewing. It was exciting to see the people whose lives can be so positively impacted by these new vocational training initiatives.

In early March of this year, we have a team of three going to West Bengal to take part in several retreats and also to visit various ministry sites. The group consists of a pastor & wife from Sussex, NB, and one of our Board members who is also an experienced pastor. They will share at a retreat for couples in pastoral ministry, and with women and youth leaders. Please keep them in your prayers as they travel from March 9th to 25th.

Latest Project Updates:

The training program in tailoring has just started a couple weeks ago and will continue for a total of three months. After these ten women finish the program, they will each be given their own sewing machine thanks to the great response to this gift catalogue item. Our regional director will then assist them in setting up a cooperative that will help them develop a solid business and livelihood. We will be constructing a simple building for this cooperative on the same land as the poultry farm. Previously, we mentioned about another vocational training program for bee-keeping. This will start in the next few weeks, and will provide a good source of income to both men of the village, and to local pastors. We expect that twenty-five people will take this training. These projects promote self-reliance and self-worth! We were looking for donors to contribute to the construction of a small church, and we have received approximately half of the $7,000 needed. This project will also be starting in the coming weeks, so we invite you to consider giving a special gift for this need. We have had some additional funding come in for deserving pastors, but this is always an ongoing need as we seek to support the outreach of the Gospel into new areas.

Upcoming Opportunities:

The next mission trip going to India will be in November 2017 for approximately two and a half weeks. It truly is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in local ministry, and to be challenged and blessed by the faith and commitment of our mission family in India. Please contact me for more information about this trip.

Again, I want to say a very sincere “thank you” to all of you. This work could not happen without your continued involvement. We value your continued prayer support and ask that you pray for us, for our Board here at home, and for our ministry partners in West Bengal. We still face challenges working in a country like India, where government regulations are very unpredictable, but God has blessed us with trustworthy partners who continue to show great wisdom as they work with us in Far Corners Ministry. If you have a church or small group that would like to hear firsthand about our ministry, please contact me, as both Ginny and I are available to come and speak together or separately, depending on the need. Our next newsletters for 2017 are planned for early June and October, and will continue to update you on all of the exciting things that God is doing in the “Far Corners” in which we are privileged to work.

Yours in the Lord’s Service,

Rev. Dr. Shant Manuel

Executive Director Far Corners Ministry