Prayer Letter December 2012Written by admin on Jun 10, 2013 in - No Comments
Dear Praying Friends and Supporters,
Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We thank God for you for faithfully praying and standing with us in this great outreach to the students at Syracuse University and SUNY ESF.
“Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Psalm 77:19-20
THURSDAY LUNCHEONS, OUR SIGNATURE EVENT–John 6:5
Every semester we have 10 luncheons where we average over 160 each week. The largest number we have had this semester is 192. We are grateful to God for our faithful volunteers and staff who have worked joyfully in serving the students. Week after week the students come with their smiles to be greeted by the volunteers and the staff. Students have been inviting their friends to the luncheons and the only requirement we make for them is that they should meet three new people every week. Comments from the volunteers indicate that they have been very blessed and refreshed every week.
A student from Bangladesh, who finished her Ph.D. course work and is waiting to defend it, shared with a Nepalese student about the Thursday luncheons. She was very happy to be there and shared with us how in the late 70’s Dr. Koshy had helped her grandfather who was pursuing his Ph.D. Through Dr. Koshy’s help he was able to finish his course and was grateful that we have these activities on the campus.
A group of volunteers from Beacon Baptist Church in Syracuse came to witness what the luncheons are all about. Our goal is to plant a vision. Our model is to be a catalyst in the community. We have also been training volunteers who could be potential missionaries and be a support and resource to the church at large.
The annual Thanksgiving dinner, which was started by Dr. Koshy and then carried on by the university for many years, was discontinued this past year. Over 500 used to attend. This year under the direction of Pastor James Pannafino and the members of his church, First Baptist Church of Baldwinsville, we had a Thanksgiving dinner in the Noble Room of Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University which was attended by 130 students and was served by 20 volunteers. One of the Christian organizations on campus coordinated the event. It was a great Thanksgiving celebration where Jesus Christ was truly exalted.
Through the direction of Sandy Booher, one of our Board members, we arranged for students to go to different American homes for Thanksgiving. Here are some of the students’ comments:
Treasure you in my heart
“Thank you ever so much for the wonderful food you all cooked for us & for your hospitality & kindness! Mostly appreciated while thanking God for making this happen.
I prayed for you (especially) & your family. May God sends more blessings to you. I wish I had known you some time ago, but I’ll treasure you in my heart.” –student from Asia
It is unforgettable
“It’s a pretty warm and comfortable night we spent with you and your family. Thank you so much for your hospitality, for the food, for the sharing, for the ride, for everything you did for us. We just feel like that we come home and meet our family and have a joyful holiday. Thanks for god we can have you all this night, it is unforgettable. Love you all.” –student from Africa
On December 1st we were invited by the “Friendship Builders” class of North Syracuse Baptist Church to bring a group of students for a Christmas party. A student who could not come encouraged her mother to go. A former student who was blessed by this ministry when she was here many years ago and is now a volunteer was sharing the good news of Jesus with this mother on the way there in the van. The mom received the Lord in the driveway of the host family as we arrived. Another student, who received the Lord a few weeks ago, was overjoyed at this sight. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7
By His grace and leadership the staff and the volunteers have been faithful in serving the student community. We have been continuously refreshed and grateful to God that we could serve Him.
“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” Ecclesiastes 11:4
“The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23
In John 21:6 Jesus said to cast the net. The staff and volunteers have been casting their nets meeting the felt needs of the students, and God in His faithfulness is bringing the students in. Just as in John 21:11 when God “e-mailed” 153 fish to come into the net and all the disciples had to do was pull the net in, so today we are called to cast out the net and God will do the rest. God does the real work and we get the blessing.
We have had a great year and are looking forward to a good new year. We will continue to serve the Lord in the field God has so graciously led us to. Please continue to partner with us in prayer and support as we carry on the work for God’s glory. “they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them…” Luke 5:7
Please continue to pray for the staff – Indira Koshy, Jay and Susi Koshy, Suresh and Ramani Thiagarajan, Dave and Lorrie McKeon, Lowell and Lynda Weeks and Celia Klare.
May you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The IFE Staff
“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” I Thessalonians 5:24
Items for prayer:
1. -that God would provide us with godly men and women who love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to serve Him and stand with us in the ministry.
2. -that God would provide all the necessary resources to carry on the work.
3. -that the Lord would provide a 12-15 passenger van to replace our aging (1998) 15-passenger van.
4. -that the Lord would continue to provide safety for all programs, as we do a lot of driving, cooking, cleaning, lifting, etc.
5. -that we will all be faithful to the end.