Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Free Distribution of Evangelistic Resources

GLS is committed to the churches and the Lord’s servants in India by providing quality resources for local evangelism. This means developing, publishing and supplying tracts, booklets and books designed to present the gospel in a succinct but clear manner, free of cost. The following info graphic shows a detailed break-up of numbers and areas of our reach. But more so, these figures and statistics tell the story of a nation and its Church committed to fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission. GLS has been honoured and privileged to partner in this task. We welcome churches and committed believers to partner with us through prayers and support.
See interactive one: http://infogr.am/Total-Free-Distribution-Summary-of-Tracts-Booklets/

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‘Rehoboth: This is My Place for You’.

She speaks with a soft lilting tone in a Kiwi accent even after close to 55 years of life in Thrissur, Kerala. At 80, that voice is firm and joyful even as it speaks the rough and tumble of a life lived out in obedience to God. This is Ms. Phyllis Treasure, Superintendent at Rehoboth Ministries, in conversation with HT’s Sarita Khisty.
HT: So, to start off, please tell me a little about yourself, the background that made you the person you are today?

PT: Yes sure. I am a New Zealander. I grew up in a Brethren Christian home with a loving, supportive family. Every morning and evening we would have prayers at which time Father would always pray that we would be an ‘unbroken circle in the glory’. I knew that I was not saved. And that if Jesus returned, I would not go with Him. This was always something that troubled me. And just briefly put, I sat up one night and I could not go on anymore. I prayed then, accepting the Lord Jesus as my Saviour, acknowledging that I was a sinner and that I needed a Saviour.

I used to go to Sunday School and I received a prize. It was a book called ‘Climbing’ by Mrs. Goforth. It was her memoir as a Missionary Wife. In it, she narrates an incident where she goes to visit a lady in China. Now that lady warned her not to come over as her family had been ill and she could not clean her home which had bedbugs. And Mrs. Goforth mentions a verse which came to her heart ‘The love of Christ constraineth me’. And so she went to that lady’s home, sat on her bed, embraced her and spent time with her. As a little girl living in NZ where there were no such things, I said in my heart “Oh! Don’t ever send me where there’s bugs!’ And then I remember time and again it seemed the Lord was speaking in my heart saying “How much do you really love me? Would you go somewhere if I asked you to go?” And so finally I said “I love you enough to go anywhere You ask me to go.” And in that simple statement there became an awareness that God had an intent and would definitely send me somewhere. And so through my growing up years I was constantly waiting, hoping and looking to notice the place where He was going to send me. We went to missionary meetings and I read magazines and books and this thought was always there: ‘Will you show me today?’ But there was no response. In all this time, I told nobody what was in my heart. That was between the Lord and me.

One day I was teaching in a place quite some miles from home and one day, a Ms. Wallace came from India to our ladies meeting, telling of the orphanage at Rehoboth and how the lady she was working with, Miss Sundgren, had died and how she worked for 5 years on her own and how she needed someone to go back with her to India and help with the work. And immediately in my heart was the knowledge that ‘This is my place for you’ spoken by God into my heart. But it was such a big thing. The world was very different back then. And how could I leave New Zealand? I knew that my call was for life. I knew it was a lifetime commitment. And I had difficulty in leaving my parents and hometown. So I said to the Lord ‘Please confirm this for me’. And then a letter came from Ms. Wallace saying ‘I do not understand it. I have been all over New Zealand; east, west, north and south and no one, not a single person is ready to go back with me’. And in my heart I said ‘Nobody will because I am that person’. But I was still not sure. So I asked God for a third time, ‘Please tell me again if this is what You want me to do. Please remove all doubts.’ And there is an Assembly magazine in New Zealand. The next month’s issue carried in prominent, bold type ‘Prayer request for Ms Wallace and a Helper’. I saw that and I said ‘Thank You Father’ and I knew that I would be coming to India.

I was then teaching far away from home and had told no one about this. So I wrote a letter to my parents telling them everything. One day I was teaching a class and the Principal came inside and said “It’s very strange; there is a telegram for you but it’s in code!!” And I asked him what the message was. He said ‘C-O-L 1-9’. I laughed and said “It’s not code; it’s a verse from the Bible”. The telegram was from my parents and the verse was ‘For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God’. And that was a wonderful response from my parents.

So in the end I told Ms Wallace and the Assembly and was sent out by them. I was 22 years old in 1956 when I was to travel. But that was the time of the Suez Canal war and no boats would sail via India. So I had to wait till 1957 when the war was resolved and boats began to go to England via India instead of South Africa. And that is how in March 1957, I arrived in India.

HT: Tell me about the Rehoboth Ministry and your involvement with it?
PT: I joined Rehoboth as a helper to Ms. Wallace. Once she was called home, the Lord continued to use me to further the main purpose of this ministry. Its mission is to provide a home for the poor, needy, orphans or destitute children, providing for their educational, physical, medical and spiritual needs; training and equipping them to some gainful occupation in life so that they will develop into good, healthy and progressive citizens. It also aims to educate men and women with spiritual values. Providing homes to the elderly people so as to give them a sense of well being and usefulness is another purpose. To this end, there is an orphanage for girls, a school, an old age home and a theological institute. And I have been blessed to be a part of this ministry. I have seen the Lord provide miraculously. Sometimes, in the evening gatherings, I would look down at 200 pairs of eyes and wonder where I would provide for the next day’s meal. But I have learnt to live by Mathew 6:30-32 ‘Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear’? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things”.
I am now nearly 80 years old and easily worried about tomorrow. And then the Lord reminds me not to worry about food, clothes or safety And so in this simple joy, I wait on the Lord, day by day, for His leading, for His guiding, knowing that He is faithful 100 %. And it has been a great joy serving Him all these years and to work with these children who are alone in this world.
HT: This seems to be a simple yet profound truth? But one is tempted to ask if it is enough to live that kind of life today?
PT: It’s because of Who is enough. It’s because it is God. When we realize a little bit of who God is, then it is enough. It’s not due to anyone’s faith or anything in any one individual. It is enough because God is God. Then we can trust Him completely because God is in control. Are we greater than God? It’s possible to keep focus of this fact only because God keeps a hold of me and each person. For in the difficult times, either from circumstances or our own failures, it is really He who holds onto us.
HT: There must be some regular practice that helps you remain close to Him?
PT: I have sought to have a Quiet Time with God every morning which would be the greatest privilege and the greatest thing. I can’t say that I have been regular every day. It’s a not a vow I have taken; but a longing to know God more and to know His Word and to love His Word and to let His Word be in me; which gives me the strength day by day. It is very important that the Word of God become to us like food; that it becomes so special that you can’t be or do without it. If you are down or feel sad, you can’t cope, you need strength to carry on. And so God allows problems to draw us back to Himself; to attract us back to His Word. And it is a living Word, a powerful Word. Therefore it is important to be soaked in it; to allow it to permeate your very being.
HT: Since you work among children, especially orphans, did you receive any kind of special or specific training for this task?
PT: Well, I was a Home Science teacher. And there we studied a lot of child care and child psychology in a basic way. All of which was very useful in the actual, day to day work I do now. And all this was in advance without knowing where it would be used in future. It was completely guided by God. It’s in hindsight that you see how all the little details work together. These are stories of God’s providence in one’s life.
HT: You moved out of New Zealand, came to India and worked in a ministry devoted to the marginalized. Apart from the sheer rigor of this task, there would have been voices of criticism and discouragement. How did you go through all them?
PT: It was hard; very hard. Most of it was from of intense homesickness. There were no telephones back then. We would have to communicate via mail. Back then we would write a letter and it would take a minimum of 2-3 months to get delivered. We didn’t know all that was happening in between back at home. I had a loving and supportive family back in New Zealand who lived in a village with only one post office. And so staying in touch would be so hard. And learning the language here was another struggle. Malayalam is a difficult language and I would practice it day after day. But there would not be anyone to practice it with. Ms. Wallace would go on visits, leaving me alone with the children. And I would be homesick and desperately lonely. There was no spiritual input, no library I could use to learn from. I was in a strange land, not knowing the language, no one to talk to and the food did not agree with me. I soon began to fall seriously ill. And I would not get better. And what was worse was that in my mind, I was not meeting the spiritual criteria that I had set up for myself. In the midst of all this hardship, I kept getting more and more sick. And I refused to go home. I knew that if I returned back to NZ, I would never be able to return to India again. For months, I could barely eat nor work. Finally, Ms Wallace put her foot down and demanded that I leave as it was getting increasingly difficult to care for me. Still I did not return to New Zealand but went to Ooty where I stayed some months, then returned to Ms. Wallace at Kunnamkulam. Only after completing 5 years in India did I return home. There I received medical care, rest and the comfort of home till I was strong enough to return. The way has not been easy and many times I too have wondered ‘Why not give it all up?’. That’s when the confirmation I had asked for and received served to make me stay; to not quit. That and I had a stubborn streak in me right from the start.
In the midst of disparaging and discouraging voices, I remind myself that God is in control. I can only call out to Him and cling to Him regarding problematic issues. He says that ‘If you will not believe, you will not last’. (Isaiah 7:9) And this is true in all problems. For I do not have the strength to handle any of this. I must absolutely commit all of them to Him. And at such times, His Word speaks loud and clear and livingly to the heart. And there is no other way to handle this. The verse says ‘Cast your burdens on the Lord’ but I don’t have the strength to even pick it up and put it on Him. But in one version, I found that the word ‘cast’ originally means ‘to roll’. And I was so encouraged thinking ‘now that I can do’. I can push it on to Him and let Him handle all of this. But it is a matter of the will. You cannot let yourself be bitter. You cannot let your mind wander; you must fix your eyes on God alone. And if he is God, then all things are possible with Him and that is enough strength, day by day.
But beyond that, I can “pray for people which despitefully use you”, saying ‘God bless them’. The Bible is clear ‘Don’t let the root of bitterness be in your heart or else many will be defiled by that’ (Hebrews 12:15). And that is important.
HT: So apart from all these, what else encourages you on a day to day basis?
PT: While the Word is definitely high on the list, but there are also people who God sends to encourage you. The great thing I have is the power of prayer and I know I have been prayed for by so many people. I will go back to New Zealand and people will come up to me and say ‘Dear I have been praying for you twice a day for the past 50 years’. And that is such a blessing. Where is my strength? Surely it is in the Lord and that is what keeps me going. Another crucial thing is that you have to let yourself be encouraged by these people. Accept their encouragement. A lot of it is in the mind and in the will. You have to have a bit of stickability. All ministry work needs more than ability they need stickability.
HT: In His calling you to ministry, how did the question of marriage get determined?
PT: Since my childhood, I have sensed the Lord’s hand on me. I have known that He intended for me to move to a distant land. And so this consideration was visible in all my friendships. I did not allow myself to be intimately involved with anyone even in college. And yet, in the year before moving, it was a struggle to leave behind the people I knew. Since then, it has not been easy. Being a single white woman in India, I have sensed that one’s worth is determined by one’s marital status. And the loneliness too was a factor. Yet, I was called to live a life of singleness in accordance with His plan for me. I would not deliberately advocate singlehood to anyone unless the Lord has specifically called them to it.
HT: How do people partner with Rehoboth ministry?
PT: I would prefer that people contact us directly. Based on the extent of the involvement they desire, they can be prayer partners, regular visitors or financial support to us. They can get in touch with us via our website.
HT: In conclusion, what would you say to our readers?
PT: Each of us is called to live with a heart of compassion, a heart like Jesus Christ’s. We can be involved in people’s lives and sufferings to His glory wherever we are. It is not necessary that only full time workers do His work. Where ever you maybe, that is where you are called to live a life of Christian faith and values. Yet in a sinful world, it is imperative that we must do so.

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