December 2019 Update

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December 26, 2019

Greetings to our brothers and sisters in Christ!

We are excited to share with you about an opportunity to join in ministry for the sake of the gospel in India. As we have previously mentioned, there have been discussions and extensive planning toward the creation of a Children’s Home in Vijayawada, India. Though the need for the home goes back as far as 2006, this need was first brought to our attention shortly after Baptist Charities came into existence under the leadership of Larry Jones. This was a project that was of utmost importance to him and Rodgers Baptist Church as the sponsoring church of this ministry. In 2017 there were plans to make a trip to India to assess the needs and practical ways that Baptist Charities could provide assistance to East Side Baptist Church of Vernon Texas and their missionary Rufus Saripalli.

In order to understand this project, here is a very brief history of this need and ministry. For decades, the ministry of East Side Baptist Church in Vernon has been planting churches in India through their missionaries, the Saripalli family. Solomon Rao Saripalli and his wife Nirmala came to the United States to attend Bible College at the Independent Baptist College which was located in Dallas. Upon the completion of their studies, Solomon Saripalli and his family returned to India to begin planting churches. The Lord worked in the hearts of men and women in India, and churches have been planted. God also called their son Rufus into ministry, and he has served faithfully in this ministry for many years. While Solomon and Nirmala are both with the Lord, the ministry is continuing as strong as ever under Rufus’s leadership. Through God’s providence, seven churches have been established to date.

In 2006, a young widow in one of the churches came with two little boys needing immediate help. She was a middle caste Hindu convert who was facing severe ostracism because of her faith. Since she was a young widow and in the rural villages, this meant facing extreme situations of immoral abuse. Although her parents were opposed to her conversion, they agreed to keep her in their home, but they refused to let her keep the little boys.

When she came to Bro. Solomon, he called Rufus and his sister Mary, and it was decided to keep the two boys with only the financial support Bro. Saripalli was receiving as his personal mission support. Before long, another three children with similar needs came that same year, followed by five other children, all without a dedicated facility to house the children. Finances were getting tight, the Lord brought about a few individuals who knew of the need and gave as they could. By the year 2010, the number had increased to eighteen
children and the Lord was moving to provide the needs as a few others learned of the needs and began to give to provide for their wellbeing.

As the children have grown into adulthood, the churches from where the children had come have stepped in to support them as they become independent adults. Now the Children’s Home has six new children and many more are need of help, but there have not been the resources to provide them with a place to live, food, clothes, and education.

Plans are underway for the construction of a Children’s Home under the ministry of the church in Vijayawada. A converted Hindu woman in this church has a great zeal to serve the Lord and she sees the need for this ministry. She has been pleading for help for ten children as of now. A small school has already been launched in preparation for this ministry and to meet the needs of the children already in the care of the Indian churches. This lady has donated land for the Children’s Home with the vision of a complex being built to house not only a residence hall, but a school and facilities for the church to meet within the security of the Children’s Home.

While the passing of Larry Jones has delayed this project, we have been hard at work to carry out the vision that we have shared to see a Children’s Home built to provide a home for the abundance of homeless children in the shadows of established independent Baptist churches in India. Pastor Curt Rutledge (East Side Baptist), Pastor Ron Thomas and Joshua Pettijohn (Rodgers Baptist), Missionary Rufus Saripalli, and the ministry team at Amazing Grace Children’s Home in Mexico have prayed and planned together for direction in this new venture. We are excited to tell you that we are ready to begin construction! Baptist Charities has already given funds to begin site development, construction of a wall around the property and the drawing of plans for the Home itself.

Cost of living and construction are both very low in India compared to the United States. A conservative estimate shows that construction dollars will go five times as far in India as it would here in the United States. This project can be completed for a fraction of the cost in India compared to what we would expect it to cost in the USA.

Please prayerfully consider a capital contribution to the construction of this home as well as ongoing support for the operating expenses. The Indian people in the local churches are already giving sacrificially to keep this ministry alive, but we believe that God is opening doors for you and your church to share in this ministry. As we have pastors, missionaries, teachers – men and women of God through children’s home ministries that are operated by local new testament churches. There is truly a great opportunity to be part of an incredible harvest through the orphaned children of India. Will you be part of this great opportunity?

To God be the glory!

Ron Thomas      Joshua Pettijohn      Curt Rutledge      Rufus Saripalli

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