“We have to face the fact that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty, which stands in glaring contrast with a scientific and technological abundance. We have learned to fly the air as birds, we have learned to swim the seas as fish, yet we haven’t learned to walk the earth as brothers and sisters” Baptist Minister Martin Luther King Jr
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings, prayers and wishes for a blessed new year 2018!!!
2017 was an eventful year. Waking up from the struggles of demonetisation and other issues of 2016, the year paced up to witness more perplexing events and happenings that reminded us that we are in the age of “wars and rumours of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, earth quakes (cyclones and tsunamis), famines” claiming hundreds and thousands of lives across the globe.
Despite different interpretations of our GDP growth (and decline), the news reported on 27th Dec was quite a good surprise “India to be the 5th largest economy in 2018 (and the 3rd largest, just in another 9 years)!!!
Quite ironically, the next day, 28th Dec, the same newspaper reported a heart breaking story- in a Jharkhand village, one death and two tales” of a 13 year old losing his widow mother on 1st Dec 2017. The story as we read it, is of a household with a dozen people in a mud hutment struggling to find their own ways out and how corruption, and insensitivity grips the poor people, far from a ray of hope in our country.
The two tales as punch-lined by the news is one where she died of starvation and the other is that she had food in her belly and died of some unknown natural cause (Inquires are on as the news reported).
Evidently, these two tales portray two different sides of our dear nation. One that, there are hundreds of thousands who still live/die in poverty, and their struggles are numerous. The problems of our country are deeper than what we can imagine (as most of us come from the elite sections of our society). While the “feel good” reports of our times project a journey of becoming a super economic power, the face of poverty is real inside as we see in the Jharkhand story. With very low development in the interiors, there has been an exodus from villages to cities, contributing to the growth of urbanisation (17% in our first decade to 32% as of now). But, sadly even in urban India, a huge 40 to 60% is classified as “urban poor,” living in the fringes (mostly in tin-boxes) with extremely difficult conditions, While the story in sight is of a woman having more than one bank account, the global Findex data base reveals that only 53% of India are holding bank accounts (of which 43% are dormant)- unbelievable! Do only 25% of Indians have active bank accounts? There are further more disturbing data on the urban- rural divide and the rich-poor divide. Urgent efforts are required to ensure light reaching these areas of thick darkness.
Now, let’s come to the other tale, where a woman died with food in her belly probably due to some unknown natural disease. The technology advancement, (in medical and otherwise), often not available to the weaker sections of society come to penetrate deep for acquittals. Yes, if she died of natural (even unknown natural) causes, the government systems (and U and I) can claim an acquittal from the responsibility of the death of an equally valuable citizen in the country. The news reports states that her son, reported of over a week without any provisions at his home, while other people reported of a requirement of minimum 3-4 times walk to the ration shops for the ration. Meanwhile, technology is trying hard for Aadhar Linkage for all- for equality and social justice?
As God’s people, shouldn’t we be concerned? For reaching out to the urban and rural poor in the country? Praying and participating in the poverty alleviation and development of country? It’s an urgent need, more people to move to these areas, form Godly communities there that would plead for healing of these situations in line with II Chron 7:14, seeking the Lord’s face for the healing of our nation.
Let us pray with our local area maps, state maps and national map – marking needy areas for sending more EU- EGF people into these areas, for formation of communities, reaching out to students in the area to fulfill our mandate “transformed students, impacting the nation as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, in these troubled times and struggling areas.
As our students and graduates advance in their studies and engagements in their domains, let us also pray that God will reveal His ways of healing the situations in our nation, by the expression of His wisdom in their domains, and that each of our EU-EGF members becomes His answers/solutions to the problems of our times.
On Finances, we took an effort to close December without any deficit. However, couldn’t fully succeed. Praise God that He enabled us to disburse Christmas Gifts to all our Staff (this time a small gift to staff children too) on 7th Dec, Travel and other reimbursements by 12th Dec, Staff Salaries (Dec) by 20th Dec, PTCM Scholarships – Instalment-I on 22nd Dec and Gratuity (Q3) on 23rd Dec. PRAISE GOD for all the timely provisions.. The Future Benefits Q3 (NPS, PPF and EPF) couldn’t be done fully due to want of funds, so as the pending bills of training projects.
As we enter the last quarter of the financial year, let us approach His throne of grace with thanksgiving and pray that God will mercifully lead us further. The January 2018 needs are as follows
Kindly be in prayer for 65L. Please pray and participate as the Lord leads each of us. . .
With prayers for a BLESSED 2018 to each of U,
Joyfully, with you in Christ
Reji. K. Daniel