GEM INDIA felt burdened to have an English medium school to educate 20 orphans and local community children in a Christian environment on GEM INDIA Campus. Children from the surrounding villages of GEM INDIA Campus were traveling as much as 10 kilometers to get to a school for their class level. Since the Lord provided suitable initial facilities, God opened the door to start GEM School. After prayerfully waiting upon the Lord and with the Lord’s direction from our USA GEM Board of Directors, we launched the school on June 10, 2013. The Lord enabled us to secure the first ten years of official government permission to maintain our school. This year, we teach grades 1 – 7. God willing and in the future, we will build and have grades 1 – 12. Due to financial constraints, we purchased the minimum requirement of furniture and playground equipment. While we hoped for at the most 30 children in our first school year, more than 100 children initially joined GEM School, but some of them could not continue as we currently have no school bus for their transportation. Since the school opened, we have hired a man who can transport up to 12 children at a time in his van. We are waiting on the Lord to provide a bus which can transport 36 children at a time. When we have a bus, my son, Abraham, will be the driver. At present we have more than 90 children and 10 committed Christian teachers. We paid many preliminary fees to the government to open the school, purchased some school furniture, school materials—which mostly entails textbooks, and some playground equipment. With 20 orphans and 10 committed teachers, our monthly budget has grown from $850 per month to $2,000 per month. However, the investment into our orphans, the community children, and their parents is reaping and will continue to reap spiritual inroads into these people and others in the community. We are very pleased that many Hindu parents have entrusted their children to GEM School. Yes, all of our teachers teach in English!!!
Political Disturbances: Our state, Andhra Pradesh, experienced extensive political upheaval from September to early November. During this time, government and private schools, government bus services, and government offices were closed. Violence occurred in the cities and along the roads, vehicles were burned, and food prices increased seven times. In our local district, all schools were closed; nonetheless, God allowed GEM School to remain open the entire time. We did not experience a single disturbance or attack. Our teachers faithfully conducted the classes while all of our students continued to attend classes. God miraculously provided government-subsidized food through members of GEM churches and other local churches. The price of food continues to be seven times higher than it was before the political upheaval.
Natural Disasters: During the political upheaval, there were heavy rains and cyclones in India which destroyed many crops and killed many people in various areas, but GEM INDIA Campus, which is at a higher land elevation, has always been protected by God. Even in heavy rains, we were able to continue the school. All of our teachers and students faithfully came. Many people around our area were afflicted by the seasonal fevers caused by the heavy rains, but our orphans, our outside students, our teachers, and the GEM INDIA staff were all protected by God’s grace.
GEM Churches: God is protecting all seven GEM INDIA churches. All of the pastors are doing well with their families. In spite of the danger, I visited these churches and pastors during the past three months. I went to preach the Word of God to encourage the pastors and strengthen their churches. Now, they are all preparing for Christmas celebrations. Winter season has begun and the weather is now cold. We need to get some warm clothes for our GEM Home orphans. The semi-Christmas and the church anniversary on GEM INDIA Campus will be held on December 12. Our thoughts are getting into the joy of Christmas, and we remember how Brother Bernie Wold preached in all of our GEM churches during last year’s Christmas and the New Year season.
We are praying that all of our supporters and the board members have wonderful Christmas and New Year celebrations with their families and friends. We praise God and thank all those who are supporting us with their valuable prayers and financial support. Your labor is not in vain in the Lord. May the Lord richly bless and recompense you with His riches in glory.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
· School bus for GEM School.
· Tables and chairs for teachers.
· At least five computers and three printers for the student computer lab.
· More playground equipment.
· Ongoing monthly salary for teachers and staff.
· At least ten ceiling fans for the administration office and the classrooms.
· Warm winter clothing for our 20 GEM Home orphans.
· Spiritual growth of all GEM Churches.
· Renewed construction for GEM School on our campus and for our four-story GEM Ministry Building in the city of Vijayawada.
Your co-laborer in Christ, Joseph
GEM TANZANIA: Peter Hoetter has endured a most difficult year. He continues to remain ill with a medical problem which has a 50/50 chance of successful surgery in Germany. If the surgery is not successful, he will not be allowed to return to Tanzania; thus, he continues to endure the non-life threatening suffering, to continue to oversee the work of 150+ orphans in Monduli. Due to his health limitations, he continues to live in Arusha, a much larger city, but it is at least one hour away from Monduli. Our Tanzanian nurse, Ancilla, also endured much physical and emotional suffering due to health issues and severe stress. There are those in Monduli who hate the ministry with the orphans. Ancilla endures ongoing harassment from certain people, who “call” themselves Christians, but they have proven to be treacherous. Grace, our kindergarten teacher, continues to serve her students. This past September, Peter’s German financial support ended. They are trying to force him to return to Germany and to leave the orphans completely abandoned. Peter is unwilling to forsake the orphans, and we know, by the Spirit of God, that it is necessary to continue to support this ministry to the orphans.
Prayer Requests: 1) Divine healing for Peter and Ancilla. 2) Discontinuation of the harassment against Ancilla. 3) New venues of financial support. 4) USA pastor/wife to work with the Monduli orphans/community.
May God continue to bless each one who is involved in supporting GEM via prayer, service, and/or financially.
To you and yours, we trust a most blessed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year!!!
Your co-laborer in Christ, Joseph
|Jill Christen||Scott Christen||Debbie Wold||Bernie Wold|