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TIM continues to bring water, spiritual relief
Norman Jameson, North Carolina Baptist Men
June 23, 2011

TIM continues to bring water, spiritual relief

TIM continues to bring water, spiritual relief
Norman Jameson, North Carolina Baptist Men
June 23, 2011

Drought is gripping 17 of the 39 districts in the Indian

state of Bihar. In many of Bihar’s

45,000 villages the only water source is a deep water well bored by

Transformation India Movement (TIM), a Christian ministry led by Biju Thomas

and supported by many North Carolina Baptist churches.

Thomas, a regular speaker at the North Carolina Baptist

Men’s annual N.C. Missions Conference, said villagers blessed with TIM wells

say, “Yeshu Baba” (Lord Jesus) bore wells are working.”

Wells dug in Jesus’ name and that declare Jesus as the

Living Water provide an entry point for church planters trained by TIM. Times

of drought demonstrate the perilously thin margin between survival and

catastrophe to many millions of villagers.

In one village, Rajput’s, or higher caste people, opposed

drilling a well to which poor people would have access. Now Rajput’s wells are

dry and they are glad to use water from TIM bore wells, wherever they are dug.

NCBM photo

A village gets a well as part of the Transformation India Movement (TIM) led by Biju Thomas. North Carolina Baptist Men supports this ministry that helps get clean water as well as church planters to remote villages in Bihar, India.

Thomas reported in his most recent newsletter that 19 wells

were dug in April. Well drilling was temporarily suspended when the TIM well

drilling truck was confiscated by police to transport police and election

personnel.

It was only released after “much request and prayer,” Thomas

said.

To North Carolina Baptists, Thomas said, “The wells you

sponsored are life giving as well as a great relief in high temperatures for villagers

in Bihar.”

The well drilling success has created demand for more wells,

which is the cycle Thomas was anticipating. Each well is a key to open the door

to a village or the gospel.

Other TIM ministries changing lives

More than 150 women are training at seven sewing centers

offered by TIM.

Gaining the skill to sew offers these women an economic

opportunity they would not normally have. It makes them more attractive as a

potential spouse, and they have gained the currency to begin their own

business.

Several students have received Christ as savior while they

were in training, reported Thomas.

Typically, each graduate receives a sewing machine just like

the one on which they trained.

TIM currently does not have the funds to provide the

machines to all graduates, which cost $100 each. They are foot-powered machines

so they can operate anywhere.

To buy a machine for a sewing school graduate, send your

gift designated “sewing machine” to N.C. Baptist Men, 205

Convention Drive, Cary, NC

27511.

50 baptized in April

Fifty new believers were baptized in April, most from a

Hindu background, Thomas said.

They could not be baptized in a river as is the custom

because drought has dried up area rivers.

Many new believers endure threats and excommunication from their

families as a result of a public stance for Jesus.

Ajit Kumar Singh, who is from a high caste, was

excommunicated from family for his faith in Christ.

He is staying in a coaching center and his situation is

similar to others who are told, “If you go to church or any Christian prayer

meetings, we will not attend your marriage or social functions.”

Thousands curious about Easter message

TIM church planters found positive response as they

organized Easter meetings in villages and shared about Jesus’ death and

resurrection.

“Many people were convinced of their sins and received

Christ,” Thomas said. As many as 2,000 heard the message in one field,

many of them for the first time.

TIM church planters are witnessing to villages that have

never had a Christian outreach. Church planters peddle their bicycles many

miles to share the gospel, Thomas said.

They are getting prayer meetings started among several

previously unreached groups.

Some 50 children have gained admission to public schools

because of training at TIM literacy centers in past months.

Students leave the literacy centers prepared for school and

having heard the message of Jesus.

Thomas is planning two-day discipleship training events for

new believers — 50 at a time — and would like to conduct 60 such training

camps. Cost is about $150 each.

Training and encouragement is very important for new

Christian believers in a hostile environment. It can be discouraging when families

and communities disown them.

Hindu priest converts

One recent convert is Kashinath, formerly a Hindu

priest.

He used to conduct prayers and

rituals for other people but his own life and family was a mess. Thomas said.

He had no peace and evil spirits tormented his wife. He found no relief in more

intensive Hindu worship. One day a TIM church planter visited his village and

shared the gospel with him. He received Christ, as did his entire family.

Today, Kashinath is a Christian priest, traveling to villages

and sharing his new life in Christ.

“Praise God for the transformation the gospel can bring in a

person’s life,” Thomas said.

To support the work of Transformation India Movement, send

your gift designated TIM to N.C. Baptist Men, 205

Convention Drive, Cary, NC

27511.

TIM currently operates out of 5 rented buildings, including

an orphanage and training and sewing centers. Its largest need is to build a

facility in which it can consolidate its ministries on land it already owns.

The most efficient design on the precious land calls for

five floors, at a cost of $100,000 per floor. Thomas is praying for donors for

that project.