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Edgar Sathuluri from India visited - (Nationals Training Institute for Village Evangelism)

 April 2008 

It has been a very encouraging month for our family. A key encouragement has been this: I have been working on getting the references for the year two Quiet Time sheets produced. Apart from Psalms & Proverbs, it can be difficult to get Scriptural references from the Old Testament that enable people, especially children, to hear from God.

Because of this, I have decided to give people two options. One option that is already on the website works through the book of Genesis. Parts of Genesis can be quite difficult to hear God's voice in a personal way although much of Genesis is easy.

For the easier option, I kept getting drawn to the book of Jeremiah. Much of Jeremiah is taken up with warnings to God's people that because of their wickedness & idolatry, judgement was going to come upon them. God was going to use the Babylonians to destroy Judah and Jerusalem. I kept wondering if the references from the book of Jeremiah were too difficult to include in option two. The thought came to me that I should check up on what our children had got when they did Jeremiah. We did Jeremiah 6 years ago in 2002. Joseph was 19, Jeremy 17, Matthew 15 & Isaac 11. I was amazed at the things they were getting from God, especially concerning the danger of idols in their lives.

On Saturday 6th June 2002, Isaac got from Jeremiah Chapter 1 the following:

Special verse: v16 "I will punish my people because they are guilty of turning from me to worship idols."

What could God be saying to me? "I shouldn't turn from the Lord to worship idols, but I should worship the Lord."

When talking with Kathy, it made us realise afresh what a wonderful and powerful thing the Quiet Times have been in the life of our family.

Another very encouraging thing during April has been this: For over 20 years, we have been very involved with a Christian Disciple-making ministry in India called NATIVE (Nationals Training Institute for Village Evangelism.) Over the past 10 years, in particular, NATIVE has trained over 7000 disciples, mainly village pastors, using similar Quiet Time sheets to us, where the question is asked, "What could God be saying to me?"

The founder/director of NATIVE, Edgar Sathuluri, visited NZ in April. Edgar has been the main person who has encouraged us to set up a family ministry specifically for discipling families. He visited us for a week and it was wonderful for our family. He encouraged us to press on with discipling families.

Edgar was very affirming of our family. He said that in his travels, he hasn't seen another family pray and share together as we do. I told him that we are an ordinary family who have had our problems and difficulties. I said that we have had many arguments in our family, but sharing our Quiet Times every day has been wonderful. I told him that sometimes, after my Quiet Time and hearing from God, I felt compelled to say sorry to Kathy or one of our children when I have been in the wrong. At times, as a result of their Quiet Times, they would apologize to me. Edgar said that it is quite obvious that our Quiet Times is the "glue" that holds our family together.

Edgar wants to make discipling families in NATIVE a priority and he has asked us, as a family, to go to India to help make this a reality. One of our boys may even stay on for a few months to help churches get the family Quiet Times established.

Nana is still being a great blessing to our family and to our wider family. Twice during April, we thought she was dying because of what she was saying. The first time was when Edgar was with us. It was a wonderful time for our family as we with Edgar and Colin's older brother, Roger, were able to pray with her releasing her to go and be with Jesus.

The second time she was so happy all day because she was going to heaven to be with Jesus. We were certain that she didn't have long to live. The irony is that she is still with us. We believe the Lord will take her in his perfect time.

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