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Thanksgiving 1999

Dear Family, Friends, and Thankful Pilgrims,

First, I want to give a brief report of the ministry in southern Asia. In Sri Lanka, what was to be a pastor’s confer­ence became a family camp (due to changes prior to our arri­val). The camp was held 80 km south of the Tamil Tigers’ border, a rebel group presently in control of the northern and eastern borders of the country. There were many road­blocks but we encountered no problems. The Lord was very present in the meet­ings as well as with pastors and leaders. He prepared several divine encounters while travelling to the country.

When not in ministry at the Camp, we stayed with Jake and Julie Perera, who along with their parents are administering an orphanage and hospital. They are doing an excel­lent work to provide health care in that region, as well as giving needy children a home, hope, and teaching skills for the future. It was a privilege to speak to the dedicated team of workers at the home, residents, and hospital personnel.

In Madras, over 250 pastors and leaders were present for a one-day confer­ence. What a wonderful time of worship, testimony, and preaching of the Word by myself and others. Then it was on to Calcutta… described by some as the “armpit of the world.”

A pastor’s school on the outskirts of the city brought together many pastors from north­east India. In one 7-hour day of ministry, 80 students from Buntain Theological College also attended. Beds for the pastors consisted of hard wooden tables placed together in rooms—without mat­tresses or pillows. Talk about “accommoda­tions”! No, I slept on a bed.

Some of these pas­tors had come from areas such as Orissa, where persecution of Christians by Hindu extremists is especially preva­lent. Persecution is on the rise in the country, especially in the north. The Church there continually needs our prayers.

What a humbling and joy­ous experience to lead them in prayers of blessings for their enemies and see their dedi­cation and commitment to go back to these areas for ministry, in spite of the present dangers. I was moved by these intelligent, committed, and dedicated ser­vants of the Lord! November 14th has been set aside to pray especially for the persecuted church worldwide. Join with others in this prayer endeavor!

A small school of con­verted Muslims being trained for ministry in Bangladesh be­came our next min­istry stop. It thrilled me to see the commitment of these students. They are eager to know God and are being trained for ministry under capable lead­ership. I was privi­leged to share the Word of God with them and encourage choice ser­vants of the Lord in that needy country. The main purpose of our visit was for prayer, fellowship, and encour­agement of a precious brother and family who are giving their lives to that country.

Before leaving India, I stayed for a couple of days in the home of Ron and Felicia Shaw in Faridabad, outside of New Delhi. They provided such hospitality, grace, and generosity. I was on this ministry assignment because of their gracious invitation to serve with them. Our fellowship was blessed!

Before returning home, I stayed overnight in Singapore to encourage a brother, friend, and pastor. Our short time of fellowship was precious! The ministry in Pakistan has been postponed, possibly until next year. We are scheduled to go to eastern Europe in the spring.

Thank you for your prayers, support, fellowship, encour­agement, letters, and phone calls. We are blessed to have friends who have been so faithful in your “fellowship in the Gos­pel”. You are in our hearts and prayers continually! May the God of heaven recom­pense you abundantly! Some of you have opened your doors for ministry. We have been blessed to be in your pulpits and homes. We thank you.

In this Thanksgiving/Christmas Season, we are again reminded of the “unspeakable Gift” of Christ and of His Work of grace in our lives. “Oh, the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”

Ominous global changes will escalate toward the “Final Solution” in the Coming of Christ and His Kingdom! These changes will continue to demonstrate an increased hostility toward the “intolerance” of our Christian Faith. However, we will march forward with confidence knowing that “the Ancient of Days” shall come and “the Kingdom … shall be given to the People of the Saints of the most High, Whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him!” Hallelujah! (See Daniel 7:22-27; Luke 12:31,32; Acts 4:24-31; Revelation 19:1-6.)

One last word … Jesus is Lord over time … including Y2K! We need not fear, no matter what difficulties we may or may not encounter. In Psalm 93, King Jesus sovereignly reigns in majesty and strength. He is contrasted to “breaking floods” and “waves” (troubles and wars that have fixed boundaries and are temporary). “The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters …” The Lord will not abandon His own. His sure Word of Promise and the faithfulness and immutability of His Person deny such a possibility! Jehovah-Shammah! Jehovah-Jireh! Jesus is Lord! Maranatha!

Serving Christ with joy,

Reuben & Carmen Sequeira
Daniel 11:32b
II Cor. 1:11