Elephants feared and revered

Elephants feared and revered

“The elephant is the national heritage animal of India. Elephants the animals and elephants the idea permeate Indian culture: religion, history, natural history, folklore, daily life. It started over 4000 years ago when elephants were first captured and trained. Elephants have served in armies as living tanks and troop carriers. They have done hard labor; carried great burdens, lent dignity to official functions, and even helped level the very forests on which their lives depended. They are the living embodiment of the god Ganesh, and are an essential part of Hindu temple festivals.  In short, elephants are pillars of Indian life and culture. These jumbos are social animals that love, cry, play and live together as a family for a lifetime.” The Indian elephant population is estimated to be between 20,000 and 25,000 in the wild. with approximately 10,300-11,300 in northeast India.  The biggest threat to these beautiful giants is from human encroachment, poaching for tusks, deforestation and constant human animal conflict. “In India, wild elephants are facing two problems. First, they are losing land as agriculture expands into the 1,800 square mile “corridor” they live in. Second, they are wandering into villages in search of food, where they come into conflict with people, often resulting in violence. State forestry officials say that some an average of 100 people are killed by elephants every year, and acres of croplands are eaten or trampled by them.” Elephant attacks are becoming more common as remote towns expand.  All over India, elephants show up unexpectedly. One of the most frightening experiences in the wild is due to elephant encounters. Two weeks ago 18 wild elephants wandered through the...
Lalmati’s Story

Lalmati’s Story

Lalmati used to worship the tree, she was a Hindu. Hindus worship many gods including trees.  “Trees being nature’s major processors of solar energy which is vital for our existence, and yielding flowers, fruit, wood or medicine, have been worshiped by the Hindus as a matter of gratitude. Hindus believed that they were conscious like humans and felt pleasure and pain.” In Jeremiah the Lord warns about idolatry and destruction.  The Lord says: “Their gods are like helpless scarecrows in a cucumber field! They cannot speak, and they need to be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of such gods, for they can neither harm you nor do you any good.”  Jeremiah 10:5   Lalmati met a family of believers in a nearby village who told her about the one true God.  She learned about Jesus and started coming to our church in Latehar with her 7 children.  After completely letting go of her former Hindu beliefs and worshiping of trees, she accepted Jesus Christ to be her Savoir and was baptized with her children.  Her husband, a Hindu, became very angry with Lalmati.  He felt that she had disgraced him and because she wouldn’t turn away from Christ, he kicked her and their 7 children out of the house.  This happened a year and a half ago.  Since then they have been living in a mud house in the nearby village where she goes to church.  Lalmati and her eldest daughter work every day carrying bricks and stones, but with the small wages they barely have enough money to put food in the mouths of the younger...
Sacrifice for Deliverance? A Mother’s Plight

Sacrifice for Deliverance? A Mother’s Plight

Most Americans find the thought of human sacrifices to be a revolting, sadistic and ancient practice.  Unfortunately, there are many countries where human sacrifices to gods and spirits are still practiced today.   India is one of them.  Tantrics are Hindu priests that travel from village to village giving the locals advice and medicine.  Many times these tantrics are also called “witch doctors”.  “Though human sacrifice has long been banned in India, some people, mostly the poor and illiterate, fall under the influence of “witch doctors” in the hope of reversing their fortunes.”  These people who feel they have no where else to turn often seek out the advice and pay very high prices for the advice or “healing” by tantrics or witch doctors.  In many cases these people give nearly everything they own to find a cure or healing for their afflictions or problems.  Many times they are advised that the god or goddess is unhappy with them and they need to give sacrifices to make amends, sometimes this sacrifice is a human sacrifice. Recently, Kali Masomat, a widowed mother of 4, was in the most desperate place of her life.  She was being tormented by evil spirits.  Kali visited a witchcraft doctor who told her that past generations of her family had always given a human sacrifice to the goddess to prevent the presence of evil spirits.   The witch doctor explained to Kali that she would have to offer a human sacrifice to this goddess in order to be free from evil spirits.   Kali’s 16 year old daughter was also tormented and out of her mind.  She wanted healing...
Nothing is Impossible

Nothing is Impossible

Eight years ago when NJ Varughese performed the ground breaking ceremony for Shanti Bhavan Medical Center many naysayers said it would be impossible to build such a facility in northeast India, let alone in the remote area of Biru.  NJ new that it would be difficult, but he knew to trust the Lord and to be obedient to his call.  “For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37.  When the Lord provides a dream…follow it.  He is faithful and will provide the means for it to come true.  The Lord provided everything needed for Shanti Bhavan Medical Center to exist-the dream, the land, the construction teams, the doctors, nurses and facility staff.  The Lord also provided the financial means through our dedicated champions to help make it all possible. Celebrating 1 year!     On February 20, 2015 the staff celebrated a successful 1 year anniversary.  In the first year of opening the hospital has provided these services: Admissions:  1,364 Outpatients: 14,839 Orthopedic surgeries: 75 General surgeries: 132 OB/Gyn surgeries: 127 Deliveries: 121 CT scans: 323 Ultrasounds: 1,826 X-rays: 2,685 Lab tests: 29,751 ECG’s:  707 The hospital also provides services for the Mobile Medical Unit-Rural Medical Services.  Our Community Medicine doctor treats an average of 370 people a week in the remote villages of northeast India.  Three teams of Helpers to the Helpless have been trained at Shanti Bhavan Medical Center and are now serving in their respective villages.  We are blessed to share that Shanti Bhavan Medical Center attracts many people to the region of Biru, from high profile government officials to highly qualified doctors and physicians and organizations such...
Faith in Action

Faith in Action

A militant Hindu was elected president of India recently. His goal is to convert all nationals to Hinduism. He is using militant forces and terrorist groups to force conversions of the less than 10% of north Indians that do not practice Hinduism, and only 4% of them are Christians.  They are forcing this conversion by means of bribing, assaulting, rape and murder.  The Christians in that area know that this is happening and are standing strong against these evil forces.   When an Indian says that  they will worship Jesus as one of their gods, the Hindus do not care as they worship many gods, but when a believer says that they will accept Jesus as the one and ONLY God, that is where the problem begins.  When a person decides to follow Jesus, it can be the hardest decision they make because they do not know from that day on what will happen to them.  Persecution begins to take form in their lives.  D. Rajendra from GCC states examples of how villagers are persecuted below: “1. Excommunication from family and relatives. You lose your identity and share in the property, no one talks to you and cannot participate in any family function. Many times physical abuse and ill treatment takes place. 2. Excommunication from community / village. This means you will not able to take water from the public well / bore well, cannot buy things from the local store, cannot buy milk from the milk man and no one would talk to you in the entire village. It is a way of forcing you to leave your...
Imagine a woman…

Imagine a woman…

Imagine a woman.  She is a tribal low caste village woman.  She spends her days serving her husband and 2 children.  Every day she works in the rice fields gathering food to cook for her family or to barter.  Think of her unsandled feet as she walks miles each day to the village market to barter for meat and other goods for her family.  She also walks a mile each day to hand draw enough water to satisfy her family’s needs for the day.  She walks a few miles to the nearest pond to wash the few clothes and bedding her family has.  She helps take care of and elderly woman by cooking and fetching her water as well. Now imagine this tired woman 8 months pregnant, carrying twins. After a day of threshing rice she begins to feel the unmistakable pains of labor.  She knows now is the time.  She manages to find a neighbor to care for her children and walks nearly a mile to where her husband is working.  Anxiously, he helps his laboring wife to the nearest village clinic so a doctor can deliver his expectant twins.  Her contractions are steady now and the time is near. Picture the facility she is checked into.  It is a small 3 room government run clinic.  It has only a few rusted cots, and the room is filled with vile smells of feces and ammonia.  Laying on a rusted, dirty cot, her contractions are now minutes apart and she is ready to birth her babies.  Her pain is excruciating as the doctor informs her that she is not dilated...