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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)



 

Vol. 10 / Issue 35 / October 2 2008

Contents of this issue

Editorial
Testimony of Arch Bishop Jonathan Ansar - Part 1
Through the Valley of Death
A New Christian Song Website

News Items (Common to all issues) :
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Your Spam Folder
Your Feedback

Editorial

By Sherly Isaac

During the last few weeks, what happened in some of the states of India was terrible and very sad. Many Christians were killed and their homes were burnt down. An estimated 50,000 Christians were forced to flee for their lives and they have been driven into jungles because the attacks on them have escalated. Such incidents are not new in India. For example the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were burnt alive in Orissa in the year 1999. Many Churches were also torched in different parts of India. It is a very sad situation in many parts of India.

When we trace back the history of Christianity, we can see several incidents of Christians being persecuted and their faith being severely tested. Jesus told His disciples in John 15:20-21, "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me."

Only a person who does not know God can do these types of terrible things to others. When a person comes to know the true God, he will transmit the love of God no matter how horrible the situation he could be in. When Jesus was beaten badly, when Jesus went through insults, when He was spitted on His face, when He was mocked and when He was finally crucified, He did not speak bad about them nor did He curse them but prayed for them. His prayers were recorded in Luke 23:34, Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." That was the love He showed toward His persecutors to those who behaved so badly with Him. Being the Creator of the world, He could have destroyed them in a split second but He humbled Himself and chose to forgive them.

In the Bible we read about another person named Stephen who acknowledged Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. When many religious leaders stood against him, when he was falsely accused and finally stoned to death, in the midst of that horrible situation, he prayed for his persecutors. We read in Acts 7:59-60, "And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

Christian life is not a bed of roses but is the way of the cross. The day you will decide to live with Jesus, all hell will break loose against you. You will be hated by all men. It is also possible that your own family members, relatives and friends may stand against you. Do not expect them to stand with you the day you take a stand for Jesus. But the beauty of it is that Jesus will walk with you. No matter what comes on your way, if you are faithful to Him, He will come with you and help you. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5).

Stephen prayed for his killers and there was a young man named Saul who was taking care of the clothes of the murderers. Bible says in Acts 7:58, "they cast him (Stephen) out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul."

Further we read about the story of the dramatic conversion of Saul. Saul was a very violent man and he made havoc in that area by killing and persecuting Christians but one encounter with Jesus changed his life. He was completely turned around from his evil ways and he served Jesus with holiness and humbleness.

Today also God can change the situation if we pray for our enemies.

Testimony of Arch Bishop Jonathan Ansar - Part 1

Jonathan Ansar was born in an Orthodox Muslim family. In the year 1963, when he was studying to become a Doctor of Medicine, circumstances led him to leave his studies and join the Army, where he was commissioned as an officer in the Commando Force. In 1971 he was wounded while on the Front Line in the battle which resulted in his having to walk permanently with crutches. He was medically unfit to continue in the Military Service and was boarded out by request.

As a young child he was trained in Islamic Religious Education to be a ‘Haffiz’ , which means ‘the one who memorized the Koran from cover to cover.’ As he left the army and went back home in Rangoon (Burma), an influential Muslim youth Movement asked him to join them as General Secretary of their Organization. He accepted and therefore served as a Muslim youth leader in 1971.

He became bitter against Christians who were preaching the Gospel in Burma. As he wanted to prevent Muslims getting converted to the Christian fold, he published an article "Jesus Died in Kashmir", a two page pamphlet which states that Jesus was not crucified on the cross, but instead of him another person who looked like Jesus was crucified. The pamphlet states that Jesus came away from that place and died a natural death in Kashmir where his grave is still there till this day. As a former gang member Jonathan had learnt martial arts and reached five duns above black belt.

After publishing that very article, one night as he was writing letters regarding how to stop Christian preachers reaching Muslims, he suddenly experienced a startling vision and became stiff in his whole body. His eyes were covered with a thick darkness and he was not able to see anything for a long time. He was falling into a deep pit. As he was falling he called out the names of all the gods, prophets and religious teachers he knew, but he continued falling. Then a thought came into his mind to call the name of Jesus, the one whose people he persecuted. He never wanted to call the name of Jesus. But there was no other option left so he called out the name of Jesus and immediately he stopped falling and remained in mid-air.

Within that thick darkness he saw a small light coming out from a pinpoint area which soon occupied the whole space of darkness. The light was shinning with golden rays coming out from it. Then he noticed a small thing which seemed to be a shaded image of a cross which grew into a huge cross and blood started falling like waterfalls from it, slowly at first and then gradually dripping faster until it was like a waterfall. While watching the same vision, the cross came very close to him and passed through his body. He then heard a voice saying " I have chosen you to bear my name among all nations" When he regained his consciousness the next day, he realized that he had been admitted to a mental hospital by his parents where he spent 10 days. Although he had not lost his mind, his parents believed he had because he had changed as a result of the vision.

While in the hospital he sought to read some books to pass the time. The nurse from the hospital promised to bring him a book if he promised not to destroy it. She brought a Gideon's Bible. He read the books of the Bible from Matthew to the Acts of Apostles and became totally confused. However, when he read the Book of Romans chapters 1-10 a new light and understanding dawned.

While reading the book of Romans the Lord brought back to Jonathan's remembrance an experience he had when he was a child learning the Koran. When he was a child he had to wash his whole body before prayer. His religious leader told him that he had to start washing all over again as water had not reached between his fingers and that his body had to be perfectly clean before prayer. He asked his teacher, “If water cleanses the body what can cleanse my conscience” His teacher avoided the question and said he would answer another time. Repeatedly he was asked the question and he continued to avoid answering it. While reading the book of Romans he understood in an instant that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit cleanses his conscience.

After spending 10 days in the Mental Hospital he returned home and told his father that he had accepted Lord Jesus as his Savior and Master. He instructed his father not to wake him the next morning at 4.30am for their ritual Islamic prayer called ‘sallath’ or ‘nammaz.’

The next morning his father knocked his door, only to see him reading the Bible. His father gave him an ultimatum, to choose between being completely disinherited and his Christianity. At 4.45am on a cold November morning in 1971, Jonathan was driven out from his home with nothing but his Bible and the crutches on which he hobbled. He was not wearing proper clothes and not knowing what to do. He was ashamed to return to his home for few moments to take his belongings as his father had already shut the door behind him. In frustration, he threw the Bible down. It fell open at Jeremiah 33:3 which had been highlighted by the previous owner. It read, “Call to me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you have never seen.” He challenged God by giving Him 100 days to prove Himself through miracles everyday to show that He was true to what He has said, otherwise he will return to his Islamic faith. These turned out to be 100 days of miracles!

He survived by working in hotel and sleeping on roadsides. Then he remembered that Christians go to Church on Sundays. So he decided to go to Church on Sunday Morning. The first church he went to on Sunday was a Roman Catholic Church. Before entering, he asked a woman to teach him how to pray; she told him to copy what others were doing. Whatever the people did he copied, until the priest refused to give him Holy Communion.

The following Sunday, he determined to take the communion by force as he was refused the previous week. He passed a Baptist church on the way. He entered it just as they were serving Holy Communion. He took two portions of bread and wine, to make up for what he missed the week before! The elder was upset by this and challenged him at the end of the service. He asked, "Are you a Christian?" Jonathan said, "yes, I am". The next question was, "have you been baptized?" Perplexed, never heard that word before, he started thinking what is the meaning of baptized? The elder again asked, were you sprinkled over or dipped in water, if not you should not have taken holy communion." Jonathan Ansar answered, "Don't worry I take showers everyday so it will not make any difference." The elder asked are you a new Christian? He said, yes. On hearing Jonathan's testimony, the elder was greatly moved. Later he helped him to study in Bible College and prepare for ministry.

To be continued....

Through the Valley of Death

As many of you know that three years back our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.

This book is available for purchase at amazon.com

A New Christian Song Website

Now you can hear and watch Christian Songs in Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and in English. More languages will follow. Please visit at: Masihi Geet website

Through the Valley of Death & other Books

As many of you know that in the year 2005, our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.

This book is available for purchase at JasmineCorp Store

Also read these two books by Sherly Isaac "Allah and Elohim - Are they the same God" Available at JasmineCorp Store, and "Is Jesus God?" Available at JasmineCorp Store,

Both books compares the Bible and the Quran and read eye opening facts about Jesus, God of the Bible, Allah and Islamic faith. I am sure that you want to read this.

Download Articles in Handheld Computers

You can now download articles in Palm Doc format for your palm handheld computer. It will work with any devise that has Palm OS and Palm Doc Reader installed. To download click on the link named "Palm Doc Format" i.e. at the top of this page by the side of each articles.

Kids Page - Free Tutorials

Now you can learn Graphics and web designing online at Kid's page. These tutorials are free for kids who subscribe for CSI Kids Newsletter. Currently tutorials for Paint Shop Pro, HTML and Dreamweaver are available.

So please enroll your kids by going to http://kids.csinewsletter.org/member/join.asp

And visit CSI Kid's page at http://kids.csinewsletter.org

Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online

Now you can read Bible in Hindi online at http://www.hindibible.org
in Malayalam online at http://www.malayalambible.org
in Tamil online at http://www.hindibible.org?ver=tamil

Your Spam Folder

If you are getting this newsletter in your bulk/junk/Spam folder please hit the "not junk" or "not spam" button so that you could receive it in your mailbox. Also adding news@csinewsletter.com email address into your contact list can avoid this email from ending up in your bulk folder.

Your Feedback

Your feedback and comments are Welcome. Please send your Parish news & articles to Editor (Sherly N. Isaac) at this address News@csinewsletter.comThe messages submitted will be checked whether they are correct according to the word of God. Editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit the messages. The writers are responsible for the contents of their writings.



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