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  SRI LANKAN NEEDS UPDATE - In the aftermath of the recent tsunami, Lamplighters World Ministries is working to assist the Sri Lankan people as they rebuild their lives.

Great interview with Steve Bycroft by National Public Radio
"NPR : In Sri Lanka, Healing and Paranoia as Aid Flows"
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4515275

Please click on the headline to the story using a RealAudio or WindowsMedia player.
For players or technical support, please visit NPR's Audio Help page. http://www.npr.org/help/audio/

*Order a text transcript of this story* http://www.npr.org/transcripts/story.html
 

 
  DECEMBER 2006 NEWSLETTER  
 
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

Our greetings to you in the name of Jesus our Lord and Savior. We pray that all is well with you, your family, and ministry.

As I write this it is Thanksgiving Day morning for us, but we won't be having any turkey as it isn't available here, maybe in Colombo, but even if we had a turkey we don't have an oven to cook it in. Even without turkey and everything else it is still a good day to be thankful!

God has blessed us in so many ways it is so amazing to see when we stop and actually consider all that He does for us! Some of these blessings we will be sharing in the letter this month.

Our rainy season actually came a couple of weeks earlier than usual this year so some of our plans we had were put on hold. The last couple of days have been without rain but I'm sure that it won't last. Usually this time of year we get rain but not in the amounts we have been getting, it's been more like monsoon time which usually hits mid December. Makes washing and drying clothes a real challenge.

The other morning we had sunshine but no electricity so we hand washed the clothes and hung them to dry on the line. At the end of the day we took the still wet clothes off the line and brought them in and draped them everywhere in the house, and then next morning took them back out to the line. Just one of the inconveniences of life.

One of the blessings we have and thank God for are you our supporter whether by prayer, finances, or both. We know that people are concerned about our welfare and the ministry God has entrusted to us and we want to say thank from our hearts for holding us before God and supporting us
financially. You are a blessing to us!


NEW WORSHIP SERVICE STARTED

This month we realized another dream come true in the ministry. It was a real joy to participate in the first official worship service in Onthachimadam.

Nona has been having a Sunday school program there for over a year. Several of the older siblings and parents have started coming as well. So she began sharing with all of them and visiting and a few have already been baptized because of her working with them.

Nona is one of our earlier converts from the Periyaneelavanai church. She has been living with us since the tsunami of 2004 when she lost her mother, an older sister, a nephew, and a younger sister. From that time she has been involved in the ministry with us.

When you consider she has pretty much done all this on her own it is amazing to see how God has worked in her life and had such an impact on others for eternity.

Several of the people had been attending the Koddai Kallar church services but because of the difficulty of traveling usually by foot the two miles to get here they wanted to have their own service.

We had built a small building before we left for the Sunday school but it was not finished nor was it rain proof. This was one of the first projects to tackle when we arrived. With that completed we held the first worship service, around 25 Sunday School children, and about 15 adults us included. After the service some milk rice was served for everyone and we had a good time of fellowship with them.

NEWEST PREACHER AND WIFE A TRUE BLESSING

Just before we came back to the States a young couple had come desiring to work with us here in the ministry. We had actually only met the preacher, Asirvatham, but not his wife Grace. They came and have worked under Sydney and Rani in our absence, and become very involved in every aspect of the ministry including the care of the five young children in our home.

The name Asirvatham means blessing, and he truly lives up to his name! Both he and Grace are fully committed and very active in the ministry work. After the first of the year they will be going to Mahiloor to work and helping Nona in the Onthachimadam church.

INFLATION HAS HIT HARD

One of the first things we noticed on our arrival back has been that the cost of things is much higher than when we left especially in construction materials.

Food and household items are about 15-20% higher, but construction materials are now 40-70% higher than 7 months ago. Mostly due to high demand for materials with all the construction going on and foreign organizations funding them can absorb the higher costs.

What this means for us is that the money we had to complete the tsunami houses won't be sufficient now. Construction had to be put on hold when we left as none of our preachers could adequately oversee the project, plus we had not gotten out written permission to proceed only verbal permission. So to avoid major problems we had them wait. We are wondering now if that was the right thing to do but we can't change the past.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

All of the Sunday School children are getting more excited by the week because Christmas is coming! Every church will have it's own Christmas program with the kids singing, dancing and doing dramas. This is also when we give them their gifts usually new clothes and school supplies. These programs usually attract large crowds of people and they hear the Gospel some for the first time. Please pray for these programs to reach out to the lost in these communities.

PRAYER CONCERNS

1. Our workers here; Sydney & Rani, Vijay & Ananthy, Nona, Asirvatham & Grace,
In Trinidad; Rennie and Christine.
2. The need for more workers to go into the harvest.
3. Our Christmas programs, to not just meet physical needs, but spiritual needs.
4. More people to respond to the Gospel.
5. Safety here as the war is escalating.

Merry Christmas,

Steve & Shanthi
 
 
  NOVEMBER 2006 NEWSLETTER  
  November 1, 2006

Dear fellow laborer in Christ,
After spending seven months in the States we are now safely in Sri Lanka. After two days of flying we arrived here on Thursday morning which would be Wednesday evening in the States. We flew first of all to Portland, Oregon where we met Sue Thatcher and then continued on with her.
Sue and her husband Bob had made three different trips over to work with us after the tsunami. Bob is an engineer and now working on a tsunami reconstruction project south of us about two hours in Arugum Bay. Heíll be here for about another 18 months before returning to the States and Sue came over for a visit for a couple of months.
They have both become very good friends and helped us out in so many ways since our first meeting. We are looking forward to seeing them several times over the next couple of years.
We do thank all of our supporters who faithfully pray for us and send financial support to enable us to do this work here. We realize you do this out of your love for God and His kingdom and a desire to see His kingdom established in other countries. We pray that God will bless you for your partnering with us in this ministry. Please remember us especially while we are here in your prayers.
In Christ,
Steve & Shanthi


MUCH PRAYER NEEDED
We really need lots of prayer to accomplish all that lies ahead of us! We know that you will join with us in prayer that God will be glorified in all we do. We also want to reach out into a new village with the Gospel over the next couple of years. So our prayer list will be longer than usual.

NEW CHALLENGES AHEAD
As we begin again there are new challenges ahead of us in the ministry. As I write this we are still in Colombo and leaving for Koddai Kallar in the morning. From what we have heard things are going well I guess time will tell. But we have be told that there are new people coming and a few baptisms in our absence so this in itself is encouraging! Usually when we leave and return here we pretty much start all over again but this time by Godís grace things have not only continued but have gotten better, maybe we should stay away more.
There are several projects which will need completion though as soon as we get there not much to relax as our monsoon season will be here within a month. Here are just a few of the things which lie ahead.
We must finish the new building in Koddai Kallar. Most everything is complete on the first floor but the second floor still needs paint electrical work doors and windows. Along with this we need a better water system as our gravity feed system wonít work with the second story. Hopefully we will get a pressurized system up and running within a couple of weeks.
Then we have to finish our tsunami houses in Mahiloor or at least make more progress before the rains come. We had begun five houses before we left and the families are still waiting our return to get things going again.
We also need to begin the construction on the church building and preachers quarters in Mahiloor. This is on the other end of the property where we are building the tsunami houses.
We also need to get our registration so we can open a childrenís home in our area. We donít know exactly how this is all going to work out but place it in Godís hands as He always accomplishes what He wants done!
We also need to begin construction on the new building in Periyaneelavanai. This is something much needed but we donít really have a actual plan as of yet.

CHRISTMAS JUST AROUND THE CORNER
It just doesnít seem possible that it is Christmas time again! This is always a very busy time for us in the ministry as now there are four Christmas programs to oversee preparations for the refreshments and presents to buy and bag for all the Sunday school kids. With all this there are new people who come for the first time and so they must have follow up as well.
God has always blessed these programs and we have seen several people come to Christ because of exposure for the first time to the gospel through the programs. So it is worth the effort!
We do want to remind you about the gifts for all the Sunday school kids as each one receives clothes and school supplies for the next school term. If you want to participate in this program mark your special gift for that purpose.

PRAYER CONCERNS
1. That God will be glorified in all we do.
2. For more workers for the kingdom.
3. The fast approaching Christmas season will be a time of outreach for us.
4. Completion of the building in Koddai Kallar, and the tsunami houses.
5. New construction of Mahiloor and Periyaneelavanai churches.
6. Continued health and strength for the tasks ahead.
7. Safety for us our workers and church members as the country is sliding back into civil war.
8. Our workers and families Sydney & Rani, Vijay & Ananthy, Asirvatham & Grace, Nona, our Sunday school teachers, and Rennie & Christine in Trinidad

CHRISTMAS CARDS TO THE BYCROFTS
If you would like to send a Christmas Greeting and/or note to Steve & Shanthi below is their address. Just a reminder that it takes about 2 weeks for them to receive mail from the US. Postage is 84 cents for one ounce.
(If you were planning on a Christmas gift for Steve & Shanthi, please mail it to the Joplin Office. They are unable to cash checks in Sri Lanka, the money will be wired to them)
Steve & Shanthi Bycroft Kalmunthal Koddai Kallar (EP) Sri Lanka
Email: lamplite@slt.lk
(If you email them, please send text only, their server does not allow them to receive pictures or attachments. Thank you!)
 
 
 
OCTOBER 2006 NEWSLETTER
 
 
  October 1, 2006

Dear Fellow Laborer in Christ,
Where has the time gone! It seems that we were just arriving back in the States and that our departure was a long way off, now it is almost here. Actually we have been ready to return for some time now but had several churches yet to visit and other things to do before we could leave.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here and have had some great visits in the churches. We have met so many wonderful people, some for the first time, literally all over the United States that have now become friends to us which has made the time truly fly. Along the way we have been able to take a few days for ourselves enjoying Godís amazing creation and several historical sights as well.
We have purchased our tickets and will be leaving for Sri Lanka on October 23rd. At this point in time we are planning to be in Sri Lanka for up to two years again, hopefully no tsunami this time or any other major disaster for that matter.
Since Shanthi has dual citizenship now she can stay as long as she wants, and as her husband I will now be able to get a two resident visa at NO charge. This will be a first, but this is one of the reasons Shanthi got the dual citizenship. Weíre anxious to get back to the kids, the church work and back into the swing of things.
We always share in our newsletters how much we appreciate your prayers and financial help so that we can continue to do the work in Sri Lanka, Trinidad and the Netherlands and hope that you realize it is heart felt thanks! We know that without faithful Christians praying for us and sending us with their finances we could not do this ministry. We pray that God will continue to bless and use you here as well.
Each morning Shanthi and I pray for the individuals and churches that support us as we feel it is a partnership with you as we labor together for Godís honor and glory.
In Christ, Steve & Shanthi


SURPRISE VISITOR
This past month a preacher from Sri Lanka had come to the States for a short visit and conference in Washington DC so we had him come out and spend a week with us. He is such a joy to be around and a real blessing to us in our ministry, he helps us in so many ways! We have a loose partnership in the training ministry he comes to our church once a week and teaches and we provide the facilities. His lessons focus on leadership training and the sacrifice of serving in ministry. Most people arenít into sacrifice these days and that is one of the things that he emphasizes in his teaching. Several of our church members attend his class each week and we are hoping that we along with what they learn in his classes will help them in their Christian walk and that they will one day work in ministry along with us. When he left to go home his bags were filled with books he had purchased for his classes and ministry.

TRINIDAD CHURCH SEES NEW GROWTH IN SUNDAY SCHOOL
We had hoped and prayed that our trip to Trinidad would have some lasting effects and it seems that is true.
We received a phone call from Rennie, as his email was not working, and he shared that they have restarted the Sunday school program again and are having between 20 - 25 kids each week. The kids are thrilled with the flannel graph lessons we took down and left with them.
We also recruited some of the adults to work in the Sunday school program and it seems there is a new spark in the whole church.
This is what we prayed for and God is working in peoples lives in ways they didnít expect because they are realizing that belonging to Christ means more than just attending church each week.

CHRISTMAS IS FAST APPROACHING
Before we know it Christmas will be here again. Each year you will remember we give gifts to the Sunday school children in all our churches and have Christmas programs in all the locations.
The gifts consist of new clothes, school supplies, and some treats. At the Christmas programs we have refreshments for all who attend depending on the location and time, sometimes it is several hundred people who come.
These programs are and excellent way for us to share the truth of Christmas, even the Hindus celebrate Christmas, and gives us opportunity to share the Gospel in a non threatening meeting.
We have in years past had a few people who eventually became Christians and the first contact was when they came to the childrenís Christmas program.
If you would like to help in an extra gift for the kids Christmas gifts and programs please mark your check accordingly within the next two months. We need the money by the first of December in order to purchase the gifts for the kids.

BUILDING PROGRESS HERE
The new office is coming together well especially since we have had several people who have come and helped at different stages of the construction. We are planning, working, and praying to have it complete before we leave.

PRAYER REQUESTS
1. Safety for our return to Sri Lanka on the 23rd of October.
2. Our coworkers Rennie and Christine, Vijay and Ananthy, Sidney and Rani, Asirvatham and Grace, and Nona.
3. For God to raise up more workers to reach more villages with the Gospel
4. Completion of the new office

BUILDING PROGRESS HERE
The new office is coming together well especially since we have had several people who have come and helped at different stages of the construction. We are planning, working, and praying to have it complete before we leave.
 
 
 
SEPTEMBER 2006 NEWSLETTER
 
 
  September 1, 2006

Dear Fellow Laborer in Christ,
We give our greetings to you in the name of Jesus our Lord and Savior. We pray that you have had a good summer and are ready for fall. I know we are ready for some cooler weather right now. It has been above average temperatures in Joplin and the area with no rain to speak of all summer long everything is burned up. Everyone always asks, ďI thought you were used to the heatď, but I donít think we ever get used to it regardless what country weíre in.
We have had a wonderful summer traveling to many of the supporting churches with several more to visit before we leave for Sri Lanka. It really has been a joy to meet new family in Christ and renew former friendships but we are getting anxious to return to Sri Lanka! At this point we are planning to go back around the third week of October no exact date as yet.
Each morning in our prayer time together Shanthi and I pray for our supporters, some by name with specific requests others just a general praising God for each one who prays for us and supports us financially. We do thank God for you, your love for Godís kingdom, and sharing with us so that we can carry on this ministry. May God continue to bless and use you in the days ahead.
Steve & Shanthi

PERIYANEELAVANAI PROPERTY UPGRADES
Actually about 3 months ago now we received photos from Vijay our preacher showing the new wall with gate and a toilet on the church property. These were much needed especially the toilet and are now complete. We are still praying that God will provide the funds necessary to build a new building and preachers quarters on the property this next year.



SRI LANKA WAR RETURNS
Although an official declaration has not been made by either side in the conflict the war is escalating once again. There have been numerous bomb blasts, shootings between soldiers and Tigers, and shelling by the government forces over the last few weeks. Some areas in the North people are fleeing and living in refugee camps but with no real supplies or adequate shelter. We have heard that food is in very short supply and people in some places have nothing to eat.
Most of the fighting seems to center around Trincomalee, which is on the East coast north of us about 4 hours and also Jaffna which is in the northern peninsula. There has been at least one bomb and some fighting in Batticaloa which is 25 miles from us. Right now everyone says things are tense but no fighting in our area for which we thank God. We do have family in Trincomalee so this is on our minds as well.
The U.S. embassy has sent out warnings for U.S. citizens to leave even our area and go somewhere safe. Exactly where that safe place is I donít know.


WORKERS UNIFIED IN MINISTRY
For a short time after we left things kind of went downhill which we always expect. This time with 2 new couples coming to work with us just before we came to the States we were a little bit worried.
God has truly blessed in that within a few months things seem to be back on track and the preachers and workers working together in harmony.
Iím sure there will be times when there are more problems but we thank God for the unity among our workers and a desire to work together for Godís glory!
They just had a weekend where they all went to Mahiloor to do canvassing and distribute tracts in the village.

CONSTRUCTION HERE AT HOME
We have been working this past month, along with several volunteers on a new office for the ministry and a garage for us. The existing office is just a little small so hopefully this will help us not be quite as cramped. We had debated about a garage a few years ago and decided against it so now it is actually working out better now than it would have then anyway!

PRAYER REQUESTS
1. For our workers to continue in harmony. Sydney and Rani, Vijay and Ananthy, Asirvatham and Grace, and Nona. Also for Rennie and Christine in Trinidad.
2. For safety for our church members family, and workers during this time of unrest.
3. Souls to come to Christ through the efforts of our workers and us.
4. Our plans to return to Sri Lanka in October.

 
 
 
AUGUST 2006 NEWSLETTER
 
 
  August 1, 2006
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ:
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus our Lord and Savior. We praise and thank God for watching over us in these last couple of months especially as we have been doing a lot of traveling around the States.
I realize this letter is later than usual. This is due to the trip we made to Trinidad July 25 through August 3. We wanted to be able to include information about the church and some photos of the VBS we held while there.
It has been a real blessing for us to travel and meet new people and supporters in the churches. We do thank God for all of you who faithfully pray for us, the ministry, and support us financially. We are confident that God will bless you for your love for us and your gifts will be remembered before God. You are such a blessing to us, to our coworkers in Trinidad and Sri Lanka, and the new believers in these churches.
In Christ, Steve & Shanthi


TRIP TO TRINIDAD
We, along with Anna May Guarino, Larry and Melanie Hiler, their two children Alex and Andrea, left for Trinidad early the morning of July 25th from Springfield, MO. Things got off to a rocky start as the airline cancelled our flight out of Springfield and so we did not actually leave until that afternoon.

We averaged about 60 kids plus adults each day which is actually less than what they have had in the past, but was still a great time for all. The adults seemed to enjoy the VBS as much as the kids.
Of course it was not without problems but the team worked hard and everything went pretty well we feel.
his created some problems as we were scheduled to make it to Trinidad all in one day, but now we had to overnight in Miami and then fly to Trinidad the following morning.
We had hoped to have an entire day to prepare before the VBS but now were limited to the afternoon and evening. We had taken lots of materials down to use in the VBS and the Sunday school which God protected and brought through customs with no real problems just questions as to what we were doing with all the crafts, and other things, and this made our time there more productive.
Each day we had a lesson, through video, concerning creation, how dinosaurs fit into the Bible, and Noahís flood. All this was geared to teach the kids that evolution is not even a good theory to explain how life began, that the earth is not millions of years old, and that God is involved in the creation and sustaining of the earth.

The team members really put up with a lot of inconveniences, hot weather, rain showers most ever day during VBS time, sleeping on air mattresses in the church building, mosquitoes, bats, and no hot water just to name a few.

The people in the church pitched in too providing the snacks and pop each day and even giving meals to the team in the evenings. Rennie, the preacher, drove his car and his brother Tommy drove the church van each day to bring the kids and return them home which required about two hours and several trips each morning and afternoon. So it was truly a team effort!

We had craft time, for this we had purchased and taken hand crafts from here, recreation, and snacks.

FLANNEL GRAPH NOT A THING OF THE PAST
We took Sunday school lessons using flannel graph figures to Trinidad. Flannel graph is pretty much a thing of the past here but is something new and exciting there. We have used these in Sri Lanka and they are a real boost to our program there so thought we would take one to Trinidad as well. There are thousands of figures which take hours to cut out as there are over 180 lessons in the set. The ladies Sunday school class in the Seneca Christian church Seneca, MO. took this on as a project. This was such a blessing to us and to the church in Trinidad! We want to publicly thank them to helping us in this way and pray God will bless them for their willingness to do this for us.
Rennie and the Sunday school teachers were excited to see it all and anxious to start using the materials. Please pray that God will use this in a mighty way for His glory and that the children will learn from the use of this material.


PRAYER REQUESTS
1. Our coworkers in Trinidad Rennie & Christine. 2. Our coworkers in Sri Lanka, Vijay & Ananthy, Sydney & Rani, Asirvatham & Grace, Nona & Thurvi. 3. Our travels here in the States 4. More people to come to Christ through our work 5. The kids we have left in our home in Sri Lanka

April - June 2006
Office Expenses $ 2,044.82
Payroll:
Personnel 8,543.53
National Evangelist 2,230.00
Trip Expenses 6,019.59
Overseas Special Projects 389.97
Total Expenses $19,227.91
Total Tsunami Support 25.00
Total Support Received $22,368.14

 
 
 
JULY 2006 NEWSLETTER
 
 
  July 1, 2006
Dear Fellow Laborer in Christ,

Greetings to you in the name of Jesus our Lord. We pray that all is well with you as you live for Jesus Christ and serve Him. We have been busy this month with travels to supporting churches which has been great to get to see folks we have known from the past and meet new friends!

We have spent some time traveling to the Northwest to visit friends, Bob and Sue Thatcher as well as the church they attend in Oregon. It has been a wonderful visit for us and we have had some time to relax and see some beautiful sights as well. We also spent a day touring Yellowstone park on our way to Oregon. Seeing the unusual sights lots of animals and marveling at our God and  His imagination, creativity, and some of His glory and majesty in creation! We have been truly blessed by the time we have had here. It has been refreshing to renew our friendship with Bob and Sue also.

They are the couple who came to Sri Lanka several times over the period of a year after the tsunami to help us and encourage us and have become very good friends. Now the engineering company Bob works for is sending him for a project in Sri Lanka and he will be there working on it for 18 months he is leaving late July. Sue is planning to come for extended stays and they will be about 2 hours from us so we are looking forward to seeing them frequently when we go back later this year.

We do thank God for you and your faithful prayers for us and your support of the ministry. We are truly blessed to have people who love Jesus Christ and want to send us to continue the evangelistic efforts in Sri Lanka. May God richly bless you in every way as you serve Him.

In Christ, Steve & Shanthi

CONSTRUCTION NEWS

Seems that we talk of this frequently but this is a vital element in the ministry especially since we are not there to oversee things. But God is faithful and things seem to be progressing in several areas even in our absence.
The building in Koddai Kallar has been almost totally painted inside and out most of the finish carpentry and masonry work. The gates have also been hung in the front wall.
Sydney and Rani have moved into the downstairs quarters and Asirvatham and Grace have moved into the upstairs so the building is being a real blessing to them as well.
The masons, under Vijay's supervision, have completed two projects in Periyaneelavanai. They have built a new wall across the front of the property with a drive through gate as well as a much needed toilet for the church members to use. There was already a well on the property so no need for that.
We have also heard that the long awaited electricity has finally been connected in Mahiloor. Now the cement block machine can be moved there and a crew can begin making the 20,000 blocks necessary to build the five houses for tsunami families and the church building and
preacherís quarters.
These were all things which we had to leave undone when we left there this last April to return to the States. So we are thrilled with the progress being made while we are gone. The more they complete before we get back the sooner we can concentrate on new areas of ministry!

UNEXPECTED TWISTS AND TURNS
We received a phone call from one of our new preachers, Asirvatham,
this month. He said that he has started doing some visiting in Periya
Kallar which is the village just south of us. Through this there are
a couple of families whom he has shared Christ with and is doing Bible studies.
Our plans had been for him to concentrate on Mahiloor but, evidently God is using him in a slightly different direction. We are praising God that he is working through Asirvatham in a new village work and we pray that we will be able to continue that work and expand it when we return to Sri Lanka.

HOW GOD PROVIDES
We have always depend on God to provide in every way for what we need.
the answer to our prayers comes when we least expect it and
sometimes in ways different than what we have asked.
This past month it had become evident that our 1989 Suburban was having lots of problems, to say the least. With 300,000 miles on it we were not looking forward to driving it to Oregon but had decided that it wasn't worthwhile to purchase a different vehicle for just a few months here.
We did however continue to pray that God would provide an adequate
vehicle for us to use, this He did and much more.
One of our supporters in the Joplin area called one day and said she was being led by God to give us her car. So after driving it for about 5 minutes we were in love. Not only is it adequate but is actually a luxury car, a 96 Lincoln Mark 8!It has been such a blessing already especially giving us very comfortable driving to the Northwest!
Also both of our cameras had stopped working and the digital; we were told was beyond help. Once again God came through for us and provided through another supporter a new and much nicer digital camera for us.
We are continually amazed at God provides for our every need and we
are confident that He will keep doing so.

TRIP TO TRINIDAD

We will be leaving for Trinidad on July 25th and will be there until August 3rd.We are looking forward to seeing Rennie and Christine and the church members again. Rennie and Christine now have two boys the youngest we've not seen yet.
Melanie Hiler, our office manager, her husband Larry, their two children Alex and Andrea, along with another friend Anna May Guarino will be going with us. While we are there we will hold a VBS program for the kids in the church and surrounding area. Churches from Barbados have conducted VBS programs there in years past and had over 100 children participate in the program. This has always been a special time for the kids and they really look forward to VBS time. We are praying that God will use us and our time there to His glory.
Please pray for this trip that our time will truly glorify God and build His kingdom in Trinidad.
The church continues to struggle there and we hope to encourage Rennie
and the church members while there.
Please pray for the teamís safety, and success in sharing the love of
God with the kids while we are there.
 

 
 
JUNE 2006 NEWSLETTER
 
 
 
June 1, 2006
Dear Fellow Laborer in Christ,
What a joy it has been so far to share with some of our supporting churches and individuals. Shanthi and I travel almost every weekend to a different supporting church, so far close to home to share what God has been doing in the ministry in Sri Lanka and Trinidad. Seeing friends and making new ones has been a joy for us. We are looking forward to seeing each of you.
Each morning Shanthi and I pray together and one of the things we pray for is our supporters. We thank God for you, your faithful prayers and support, and ask God to bless you and use you to His glory where you live. We have thought many times that we would like to share even more with you in this prayer time. So if you have something you would like for us to pray about with you please let us know and we will consider it a privilege to pray along with you for your concerns. We are told in the scriptures to bear one anotherís burdens and by doing this we can have an even closer fellowship with you our supporters.
We do thank you for all you do for us through prayer and support partnering with us in ministry to a lost and dieing world. And we ask for Godís richest blessing to be on you.
In Christ,
Steve & Shanthi


BIG QUESTION IN EVERYONEíS MIND
One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is ďHow are the kids you were taking care of?Ē To be very brief they are doing well by Godís grace.
Before we left we had hired a lady in her early forties, Chandra, to help oversee our home and care for the children. She along with Rasathy, who has been with us since December of 2004, makes sure that everything is taken care of especially the kids.
The kids themselves have adjusted well to our absence, probably better than we have to be honest. We call and talk with them every week for a few minutes. Any other time we call to discuss something concerning the ministry Prasanth, our 4 year old ďmustĒ speak with us which is okay with us too.
Sowmia and Darshini both had birthdays in May. They have been back into school now for a month, April is a holiday month in the school year, and doing well in their studies.
Actually our biggest concern is that we just learned this last weekend that their biological father has remarried. We donít know what this will bring as he may actually come and ask for the kids back. The last time he came for a visit to see them he was drunk as usual and the kids wanted nothing to do with him, but in our absence donít know how they will react if he comes again.

HOUSING NEEDED FOR PREACHER
One of the things we could not complete before we left was to find a house for one of our new preachers to live in. They said even if we couldnít find something they could live in the upstairs of the unfinished church quarters. The only problem is the word unfinished. The bathroom upstairs doesnít function, nor is there any water to cook or clean, no doors, no paint to name a few.
Asirvatham and Grace have been living like this for the last two months and this has been a real trial for them. In spite of this they are in good spirits and happy to serve the Lord along with us in Koddai Kallar and Mahiloor.
Our other new preacher Sri and his family found a small house not far from Koddai Kallar where they are living. This is actually one of the temporary houses which were built after the tsunami, the family having moved out to a different house. Their house is no cake walk either with only two small rooms, ľ plywood walls and sheet metal roof, and no water.
We need your prayers that they can find adequate housing so that it doesnít become a problem in their ability to do ministry.

BUILDING PROGESSING AGAIN
We had shared before that the building construction at Koddai Kallar had come to a halt as the masons had another job they had scheduled and our carpenters wouldnít stay on our job pretty much from the beginning.
The masons have worked on the building this last month and should be finished in Koddai Kallar by now except for a few minor things.
They have begun building a wall across the front of the Periyaneelavanai property as well as a toilet there for the church. When that is complete they will move to Onthachimadam to put a floor and short wall in the temporary building where the Sunday school meets presently.
After that, we are still praying that electricity will finally be supplied to Mahiloor, the block machine can be installed, and construction can begin again on the tsunami houses we started and also for the church building there as well.
There were lots of projects left undone when we came back to the States but by Godís grace they are being completed for which we praise Him!

PRAYER REQUESTS
1. Our coworkers in Sri Lanka and Trinidad to be busy in the work of ministry.
2. Housing for our two new preachers in Sri Lanka.
3. Construction concerns in all locations.
4. Faithfulness of the believers while we are gone.
5. Safety as we travel here in the States visiting our supporters and churches.
6. Our trip to hold a VBS in Trinidad in July.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT SCHEDULE

AUGUST
6th: Seneca Christian Church Seneca, Missouri
13th: River Tree Christian Church Iola, Kansas
20th: Lifetrack Christian Church Franklin, Kansas
27th: Tyro Christian Church Tyro, Kansas

JULY
9th: Villa Heights Christian Joplin, MO
16th: Union Christian Church Hodgenville, Kentucky
19th: Madison Hills Christian Church Richmond, Kentucky
23rd: Walhonding Christian Church Warsaw, OH

JUNE
4th: Lockwood Christian Church Lockwood, Missouri
11th: Diamond Grove Christian Church, Diamond Grove, MO
18th: Roseville Christian Church Roseville, Illinois

SEPTEMBER
10th: Western Hills Christian Church Lawton, Oklahoma
17th: Sugar Tree Grove Church Monmouth, Illinois

Thanks to all the churches we have visited so far, for their support, food and fellowship!!!!!
 

 
 
MAY 2006 NEWSLETTER
 
 
 
June 1, 2006
Dear Fellow Laborer in Christ,
What a joy it has been so far to share with some of our supporting churches and individuals. Shanthi and I travel almost every weekend to a different supporting church, so far close to home to share what God has been doing in the ministry in Sri Lanka and Trinidad. Seeing friends and making new ones has been a joy for us. We are looking forward to seeing each of you.
Each morning Shanthi and I pray together and one of the things we pray for is our supporters. We thank God for you, your faithful prayers and support, and ask God to bless you and use you to His glory where you live. We have thought many times that we would like to share even more with you in this prayer time. So if you have something you would like for us to pray about with you please let us know and we will consider it a privilege to pray along with you for your concerns. We are told in the scriptures to bear one anotherís burdens and by doing this we can have an even closer fellowship with you our supporters.
We do thank you for all you do for us through prayer and support partnering with us in ministry to a lost and dieing world. And we ask for Godís richest blessing to be on you.
In Christ,
Steve & Shanthi



BIG QUESTION IN EVERYONEíS MIND
One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is ďHow are the kids you were taking care of?Ē To be very brief they are doing well by Godís grace.
Before we left we had hired a lady in her early forties, Chandra, to help oversee our home and care for the children. She along with Rasathy, who has been with us since December of 2004, makes sure that everything is taken care of especially the kids.
The kids themselves have adjusted well to our absence, probably better than we have to be honest. We call and talk with them every week for a few minutes. Any other time we call to discuss something concerning the ministry Prasanth, our 4 year old ďmustĒ speak with us which is okay with us too.
Sowmia and Darshini both had birthdays in May. They have been back into school now for a month, April is a holiday month in the school year, and doing well in their studies.
Actually our biggest concern is that we just learned this last weekend that their biological father has remarried. We donít know what this will bring as he may actually come and ask for the kids back. The last time he came for a visit to see them he was drunk as usual and the kids wanted nothing to do with him, but in our absence donít know how they will react if he comes again.

HOUSING NEEDED FOR PREACHER
One of the things we could not complete before we left was to find a house for one of our new preachers to live in. They said even if we couldnít find something they could live in the upstairs of the unfinished church quarters. The only problem is the word unfinished. The bathroom upstairs doesnít function, nor is there any water to cook or clean, no doors, no paint to name a few.
Asirvatham and Grace have been living like this for the last two months and this has been a real trial for them. In spite of this they are in good spirits and happy to serve the Lord along with us in Koddai Kallar and Mahiloor.
Our other new preacher Sri and his family found a small house not far from Koddai Kallar where they are living. This is actually one of the temporary houses which were built after the tsunami, the family having moved out to a different house. Their house is no cake walk either with only two small rooms, ľ plywood walls and sheet metal roof, and no water.
We need your prayers that they can find adequate housing so that it doesnít become a problem in their ability to do ministry.


BUILDING PROGESSING AGAIN
We had shared before that the building construction at Koddai Kallar had come to a halt as the masons had another job they had scheduled and our carpenters wouldnít stay on our job pretty much from the beginning.
The masons have worked on the building this last month and should be finished in Koddai Kallar by now except for a few minor things.
They have begun building a wall across the front of the Periyaneelavanai property as well as a toilet there for the church. When that is complete they will move to Onthachimadam to put a floor and short wall in the temporary building where the Sunday school meets presently.
After that, we are still praying that electricity will finally be supplied to Mahiloor, the block machine can be installed, and construction can begin again on the tsunami houses we started and also for the church building there as well.
There were lots of projects left undone when we came back to the States but by Godís grace they are being completed for which we praise Him!

PRAYER
REQUESTS


1. Our coworkers in Sri Lanka and Trinidad to be busy in the work of ministry.
2. Housing for our two new preachers in Sri Lanka.
3. Construction concerns in all locations.
4. Faithfulness of the believers while we are gone.
5. Safety as we travel here in the States visiting our supporters and churches.
6. Our trip to hold a VBS in Trinidad in July.


SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT SCHEDULE

JULY
9th: Villa Heights Christian Joplin, MO
16th: Union Christian Church Hodgenville, Kentucky
19th: Madison Hills Christian Church Richmond, Kentucky
23rd: Walhonding Christian Church Warsaw, OH


AUGUST
6th: Seneca Christian Church Seneca, Missouri
13th: River Tree Christian Church Iola, Kansas
20th: Lifetrack Christian Church Franklin, Kansas
27th: Tyro Christian Church Tyro, Kansas

JUNE
4th: Lockwood Christian Church Lockwood, Missouri
11th: Diamond Grove Christian Church, Diamond Grove, MO
18th: Roseville Christian Church Roseville, Illinois

SEPTEMBER
10th: Western Hills Christian Church Lawton, Oklahoma
17th: Sugar Tree Grove Church Monmouth, Illinois

Thanks to all the churches we have visited so far, for their support, food and fellowship!!!!!
 
 
 
APRIL 2006 NEWSLETTER
 
 
 
April 1, 2006
Brothers & Sisters in Christ:
Greetings to you in the name if Jesus our Lord and Savior. Our last few weeks have flown by and we are left wondering where it all went. Iím sure that you can relate also time waits for no one. It also doesnít seem that we have been here for two years.
By the time you receive this newsletter we will be back in the United States. Our return to Sri Lanka at this time is still uncertain but we will be in the States for several months anyway. Weíve already been informed of some of our schedule when we get there and sounds like we will be as busy there as here which is good.
Over the last two years we have been through a lot of hardships it seems, but also a lot of good things have happened as well and God has been faithful through it all! Even through some of what we viewed as bad has been beneficial to the work here, Godís Word is true, Romans 8:28.
We have been very much aware of your faithful prayers which mean everything to us! We praise God for people who lift us and our work before His throne. Also your financial support which enables us to continue the work and projects here is another great blessing from God. We thank you from our hearts for all you do for us. Hopefully we will be able to say thank you in person while we are home.
Steve & Shanthi



NEW WORKERS
We have been praying for months specifically that God would lead workers to come here and assist in the ministry. Our current workers to be honest have their plates pretty full with everything that is going on.
God has answered these prayers by sending two couples to work with us. I had mentioned one last month, Sriskantharasa and his wife Subajini, they have officially joined us in our ministry. Sri has been in ministry in the past but due to several reasons has been out of the ministry for several years now. Both are anxious to get into the work and we are happy to have them with us. They will be working with Vijay and Ananthy in Periyaneelavanai and Chavalakkadai ministry.
One of our young ladies, Nona, has been assisting with the Sunday school programs there with Vijay as well as working in Onthachimadam with a Sunday school program. She will now work exclusively in the Onthachimadam ministry. So some of the burden for all is now less.
The other couple will be here in a couple of days, no house for them to live in yet but coming just the same. Asirvatham and Grace have been working in the central part of the country in ministry. They have been married only for one month, but have been praying for some time that God would show them what He wanted for them and where they were to work. They shared with us that God was leading them to come to the Batticaloa area to work. They knew only one pastor here, have no family here, and had no real desire to come here from the hill country, but were convinced God was leading them here.
We heard about them from this pastor and contacted them to see if they could come and talk. Within two days Asirvatham came and then they both came back three days later. We were very impressed with their desire to serve God and do whatever He asked them.
They will be working along with Sydney and Rani here in Koddai Kallar and Mahaloor, eventually taking over the Mahaloor ministry after a few months Lord willing. We are very excited and thankful to God for bringing these two couples to work with us! Please pray for them and that they will quickly settle in and begin working in the ministry.

TURBULENT TIMES
It seems that there are so many things going on presently which keep the political situation unstable nationally as well as locally. The new president and government speak of a lasting peace but there are factions within the government itself which seem bent on not allowing it to happen.
Locally there has been a lot of unrest between the Tamils and Muslims south of us. There have been numerous killings on both sides which leads to more violence on both sides. This brings with it transportation stop pages and temporary shop closures which is a hardship on everyone.
On top of this there is a break away group from the LTTE so there is fighting and killing between these two parties. All in all we need to pray for peace here. All of these situations keep everyone tense and on edge constantly wondering what will happen next.
Of course we see the answer clearly as Jesus is the Prince of Peace! Satan though blinds the eyes of people so that they cannot see the light of the gospel. Pray for the peace of Sri Lanka.


VISITORS COME TO WORK
This past month we were truly blessed to have Bob and Sue Thatcher come for another visit. They were with us for about ten days and actually stayed in the new church quarters, even though it wasnít painted yet.
They spent their time painting the worship hall, making cement blocks and helping to build an access road onto the Onthachimadam property. I think we really wore them out while they were here I know I was tired!
They are good friends and were such great help to us in getting some things finished up. To top it off they brought peanut butter and spaghetti sauce neither of which are available here.


ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE
We had hoped the Koddai Kallar building would be finished before we left, but it just didnít work the way we wanted. The first floor worship area and preachers quarters is painted with all doors and windows in place.
The second floor Sunday school classrooms and additional quarters is where work still needs to be done. Carpenters installed the ceilings this past week, electrical work is 90% finished, the masons are plastering the walls and floors inside and should be finished within a few days. We still need the doors and windows to be installed and everything painted. Lord willing it will all be done within a couple more weeks.
We thank God for all who have helped us financially to get this building built. It already is a blessing and will be a real blessing for years to come!
We have been using the worship area actually since before Christmas. The Sunday school classes still meet in our home across the street. One in the living room, one in the dining room, one in a bedroom and one on the back porch. So the kids are anxious to get the upstairs of the new building done especially!
It has a large meeting area sufficient for a childrenís worship should we ever do something like that, four class rooms, and a storage room for mats and Sunday school supplies.

MIXED FEELINGS
Every time we leave Sri Lanka and come to the States there is always a sense of happiness that we get to come home and see family and friends. Along with that there are feelings of sadness as we leave family, friends, and new brothers and sisters in Christ behind in Sri Lanka.
The sadness is more noticeable this time though as we are also leaving the five kids we have been caring for over the last year and a half. How do you explain to a 3, 6, 8, 10, and 13 year old that we have to leave for a long time and they canít come along. They truly have become our kids calling us Mommy and Dada. When Darsha the 8 year old was asked at school what her fathers name was she gave my name not her physical fathers name.
God has provided loving people here who help take care of them so that is not a problem. Itís going to be really tough leaving them.
We are glad to be able to come home though as we family and friends like you there waiting to see us.

January - March 2006
Office Expenses $ 2,303.27
Payroll:
Personnel 7,994.50
National Evangelist 1,040.00
Trip Expenses 1,107.93
Total Expenses $12,445.70
Total Support Received $16,563.98
Tsunami Support Received $ 992.79
Tsunami Expenses $15,000.00

 

 
 
MARCH
2006 NEWSLETTER
 
 
 
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
We're now down to one month before we return to the States. We are scheduled to be home April 1st, no April fools joke. We're anxious to get back there again but, are really wishing we could spend more time here right now, there is so much going on now that we supervising or directly involved in. We have found we are having to do more administrative things and actual "hands on" ministry right now but this is necessary as well.

We continue to thank God for you and your faithful prayers and support and pray He will bless you abundantly for your blessing us! We continue to be amazed at how God is working through your partnership with us in this ministry.
In Christ,
Steve & Shanthi



MORE TRIALS, MORE DEPENDANCE UPON GOD
Last month we wrote about the trials we are facing in Mahaloor. These, by
God's grace seem to be resolving, for the Lord our God is strong to save!
We took a petition into the area where we are working and got over 60
signatures from people, almost all Hindus, who are in favor of us building
a church there. This petition along with a letter concerning what we have
been doing and how long we have been working there was given to the LTTE
who is actually in control of that area.
We had held 4 days of free medical and eye clinics and had helped the 3
schools in that village with teachers desks, school books, school bags,
school supplies, and the 4 month vitamin program for the children so this
has put us in a favorable light with the LTTE. When the letter was
presented to them, without reading it they said, "we know who they are and
what they have done here". So by God's providence and grace we think that
this issue will be resolved. Lord willing we will be able to begin the
construction on the much needed church building.
God has used all of this to remind us that He is in control of every
situation and He will give the victory over Satan and his forces! And he
will use even people of the world to accomplish His purpose.
With all the problems our Sunday school attendance did drop, but there
have been 25 - 30 children who have continued to come even though they and
their parents were threatened and told to not come to Sunday school.
Sydney and Rani are to be commended as well, in spite of all this they
never missed a single Sunday even though their three wheeler was stopped
and they were told they could not go into that area to hold a Sunday school program. They are good and faithful workers!

CONSTRUCTION ON AGAIN OFF AGAIN
We continue with the work here on the Koddai Kallar building and if not completely finished should be very near completion before we leave. Our problem is keeping our contractors on the job. Carpenters come for a day or two then gone for a few days. So then the mason can't complete his work because the carpenters didn't finish. The electricians have been running wires for 2 days and continue today, but can't complete their work because the carpenters and masons have pulled off once again. But with all this progress is being made and the building by God's grace will be very functional and used for God's glory for years to come!

NEW WORKER?
It seems like years, but has been several months we have been praying for God to send us faithful workers. Some came, but didn't stay or after the
interview session never came back even though we asked them to join us, so
God has been at work in all this.
Just a week ago a young man, Sri is his name, came to see us asking if we needed any workers. He has actually not been working in ministry for a few
years now. He came and explained everything to us and it all checks out
from people who know him and us.
He has been doing labor jobs for us this past week and has done anything asked of him even some pretty rotten jobs to be honest. We also had him lead a Bible study during the week in which he did a good job.
Pray with us that this is a family who will be faithful to ministry work and come and join us.

COMING HOME!
Steve & Shanthi will be coming home in April. If your church would like for them to come speak about Sri Lanka. Please call Melanie to schedule a time in May, June or July.
Melanieís phone number is 417-782-4279
Or email her at the Lamp Lighters email address. lamplightersworld@att.net

VISITORS FROM THE STATES
We were very pleased to hear from our friends Bob and Sue Thatcher that they are coming for a visit here again. In spite of a lot of unrest in the country even in our area, they said they wanted to come.

They are planning to be with us for about 10 days helping with what is going on. Please pray for them and their safety.

HOUSES IN MAHALOOR
We have had several more people come and ask for us to give them houses in Mahaloor, but finances and time will not permit it at this time. We have foundations completed for 5 houses and have 3 more to build for families from Periyaneelavanai who are presently living in the Chavalakkadai refugee camp.
Each of these houses costs about $5,000. Pray that we can have some of these near completion within this next month.

NEW SCHOOL OPENS
This past month all of our Sunday school attendances have fallen off. This is due to several reasons but one of the main reasons is that a new school
has opened. Because so many young people were coming to church and Sunday school the Hindu temple chief has started a Hindu school which is held on Sunday mornings.
Many of the parents who previously were sending the children here are now sending them to Hindu school. This comes down to nothing more than peer
pressure from the temple leaders and our neighbors who are opposed to us. They don't want to be considered traitors to their religion by sending their kids to church.
We are praying about this and know that God will use even this to His honor and glory. "No weapon forged against you shall prosper", this includes Hindu schools and neighbors who openly oppose us!

PRAYER REQUESTS
1. For our present workers Sydney& Rani, Vijay & Ananthy, Nona, John, and Rennie & Christine in Trinidad.

2. New workers, including Sri and his family to join us in ministry.

3. Construction in Koddai Kallar, Mahaloor houses and church building.

4. More souls to come to know Christ before we leave.

5. Strength spiritually, physically, and mentally to complete all God
wants done before we leave.

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  FEBRUARY 2006 NEWSLETTER  
  Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Hopefully by now you are into the full swing of the New Year. At least writing 2006 is getting easier. I was going through some of our daily account sheets and saw I had begun dating them for February, time is really flying for me I guess.
Speaking of time we are down to our last two months before returning to the states. As always weíre trying to tie up loose ends. Which it seems there are more than ever! We so appreciate your prayers for us especially right now. By Godís grace and with His strength we will accomplish all we need to before we must leave.
We also thank God and praise Him for your generous support that enables us to do this Ministry. May our Lord bless you abundantly for the blessing you are to us!
In Christ,
Steve & Shanthi

Steve & Shanthi will be coming home the first of April. If you would like for them to visit your church and give a presentation on their work in Sri Lanka, please contact Melanie at 417-782-4279 or at lamplightersworld@att.net. They will be available for speaking engagements in May, June, & July.

ADDITIONAL HELP IN HOME
We have been looking and praying for an older lady to come and live here to care for the 5 little kids and 3 older girls who live with us.
God has blessed us with Chandra, a good Christian lady, hardworking, already loves the kids, and is a good cook too!
The kids are growing so fast and there are four of the five little ones in school.
Two of the older girls help here at home and are involved in ministry as well. The third is our niece who is completing her schooling at a highly recognized school in our area. She also was being abused by her father at home, so she came to live with us.
Leaving will be a little easier knowing all will be well cared for in our absence.

NEW ARRIVAL!
After a week past her due date, the doctors induced labor for Ananthy. She gave birth to a beautiful, big girl. She weighed over 10 lbs. Vijay is still walking three feet off the ground. They have named her Magdalene Asha in memory of their daughter and Anathyís sister who died in the Tsunami!

SATAN REARS HIS UGLY HEAD
The Ministry in Mahaloor has been steadily growing over the last few months. Satan doesnít give up ground easily though, but through the blood of Jesus and by His power we will win the battle.
We had finished the preparation work and had begun digging the footings and foundation at the church site. That morning the Hindu Temple Chief brought a large group of young men with him who came shouting and threatening to beat the masons saying no church could be built there. We were not on the site so the masons came back to Koddai Kallar.
That afternoon we went to the area where we are currently meeting in Mahaloor and called together the parents who live close by and met with them. They were supportive of us and wanted us to build the church at the site where we started the construction.
We had originally chosen the other end of the property as the lot was larger at that end and therefore easier to lay out the building.
These parents are almost all Hindu but said they would even sign a petition against the others if the construction workers have any more problems. We have begun building homes for Tsunami victims from our Koddai Kallar and Chavalakkadai churches on Mahaloor property. We will be building the church on the opposite end of the property.

KODDAI KALLAR CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES
The majority of the block and concrete work is now completed on the second floor. We are now waiting again for the carpenter to build the roof. Still lots of work to do but we are working steadily and praying that we will be able to complete it before we leave.

TRINIDAD CHURCH GOING THROUGH STRUGGLES
We get letters from our preacher Rennie each month. It seems they continue to struggle to get the church growing from a stable base of believers. One month he will write that new people are coming to church. Then within one or two months he writes they have left and are going to another church where a friend or relative is going. This has been a constant struggle and is very frustrating for Rennie.
We are making plans to visit them this summer along with our Office Manager, Melanie and her family, to hold a VBS Program.

PRAYER REQUESTS
1. More workers to labor in the harvest.
2. Current workers - Rennie & Christine in Trinidad. Vijay & Ananthy, Sydney & Rani, and Nona in Sri Lanka.
3. Completion of Koddai Kallar Building.
4. Godís Grace and Strength for us.
5. Mahaloor situation and construction of homes & the church building.

October - December 2005
Office Expenses $ 1,349.65
Payroll:
Personnel 5,558.78
National Evangelist 2,760.00
Orphanages 1,650.00
Trip Expenses 195.97
Total Expenses $11,514.40
Total Support Received $50,412.81
Tsunami Support Received $1,842.00
Tsunami Expenses $20,000.00

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  JANUARY 2006 NEWSLETTER  
 
 
January 1, 2006

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus our Savior. Christmas this year was such a blessing in so many ways, I could write the entire newsletter on just that but there are other things to tell as well. We pray that you had a very blessed Christmas Season, as well and that God will bless you in the New Year ahead!
Thanks to all who sent special Christmas funds for the all the kids. This makes a big difference to these kids!
We also thank you for all your prayers and regular financial support as well. May God continue to bless you as you partner with us in this Ministry.
Steve & Shanthi


Christmas Blessings
As I said earlier there are so many things to tell this letter would not be enough. We had four Sunday School Christmas Programs this year. All were well received and two in particular had greater numbers than the others.
Mahaloor Sunday School held there program on our New property under a larger makeshift tent. We had prepared for 250 people to come and had over 400 show up! It began raining before the program was over, so many left as there wasnít room under the tent, which leaked severely. Even with that there wasnít enough cake to feed everyone and gift bags to give, so we brought more for the regular 80 Sunday School kids the following Sunday.
Koddai Kallar Sunday School Program was held in the new still unfinished building. We had cake for 310 people and gave it all out! Needless to say we were pretty crowded! It was a real joy to see parents of the kids come for the program as most donít come to church, but allow their kids to come.
The Periyaneelavanai Sunday School Program was held following the Sunday Worship Service on the 18th. Nona did the program, because Vijay and Ananthy really were not up to doing a program themselves, due to the December 26th Tsunami, where they lost five family members including their 1 1/2 year old daughter.
Christmas Sunday we had a joint service for all the churches here in Koddai Kallar. It was even more packed than for the Sunday School Program! We even had people sitting out on the front porch of the church. Several people were commenting, ďwe should have built a bigger buildingĒ, a great problem to have!
All in all Christmas was Good! We had good programs, great attendance, family and friends visiting and lots of cake.

Why the Angels Rejoice?
The scripture says there is great rejoicing when a sinner repents. So there was lots of rejoicing in December.
In Chavalakkadai we had 6 baptisms and 13 in Koddai Kallar! Two of these were people we have been working with for five years. We did a lot of rejoicing too!
Please pray for these new believers as Satan has already begun his attacks on them. Some even as new Christians are very strong in their faith and witnessing to others.
One young lady has only been coming to church for a couple of months but was finally convinced that Jesus is her only hope. Itís also neat to see fruit from our Tsunami Relief efforts. Her father received a fishing net from us and he brings her to church each Sunday on his bicycle.

A Sad and Difficult Situation
For several years now we have been supporting, through your gifts, three Childrenís Homes. We really see this as a needed ministry here in Sri Lanka.
These Homes were not established by us nor were we on the Board of Directors. Raji, an acquaintance of Shanthiís, started and operated these homes in Trincomalee and Jaffna.
The story is much too long to try to explain in our newsletter nor are we able to give a totally accurate representation of all that has happened as we are basically on the outside looking in.
Raji had employed a young lady and her brother in the Jaffna Homes, which consists of a boys home and a girls home. The boys gave testimony and it was reported to the authorities there was physical and sexual abuse taking place.
Raji was gone to Canada at the time and was evidently unaware of what was going on. On her return to Sri Lanka, the lady was sent off and her brother and another man put in jail, awaiting court hearings.
The problem that we have is there are so many conflicting reports from Raji and reports from very reliable sources about the situation. Raji insists that the lady and her brother are innocent and that some of the boys just didnít like them and made up the entire situation.
The Government has already taken custody of the boys involved and is making ďplansĒ to close the homes in Jaffna.
We have been saddened by this and canít get to the bottom of it all so we feel it is best for us to discontinue our support.


Prayer Requests
1. More workers here to do the Ministry.
2. For Vijay & Ananthy, Sidney & Rani, Nona. As we partner with these brothers & sisters to begin a New Year in the Ministry.
3. Rennie & Christine in Trinidad.
4. The Children in the Homes, the truth to come out, and God to be glorified in all things.

 
 

  

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Lamplighters World Ministries primary goal is to go to countries where the gospel has not been preached, or limited work has been done to establish Churches in those countries.  Founders Steve and Shanthi Bycroft work with the people of Sri Lanka.
 


Lamplighters World Ministries, 2641 East 6th Street, Joplin, MO 64801-1636, USA 
Email: lamplightersworld@att.net     Ph. 417-624-7078    Fax: 417-624-7085
Copyright 2009 Lamplighters World Ministries