BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER June 2024 1st Edition

“AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD” – ECO-THEOLOGY

As we found in the Book of Genesis Chapter 1, we know how much God loves the creation, because they are so beautiful, so special and so satisfying. Eco-theology is a profound and evolving discipline that explores the relationship between religion and ecological concerns, emphasizing the theological and ethical imperative to care for the Earth. Rooted in the belief that the natural world is a creation of God, eco-theology calls for a harmonious relationship between humanity and the environment, asserting that caring for creation is an act of worship and respect for the Creator.

Understanding the Divine in Nature

Eco-theology posits that the natural world is not merely a backdrop for human activity but a manifestation of God’s glory and creativity. It challenges us to see the environment as sacred, urging a shift from a dominion-based view to a stewardship-based perspective. This theology encourages believers to recognize the intrinsic value of all creation, advocating for a reverence for nature that mirrors our reverence for the divine.

Care for God’s Creation: A Moral and Spiritual Mandate

Caring for God’s creation is a moral and spiritual mandate that calls for responsible stewardship of the environment. This involves sustainable living practices that respect the Earth’s finite resources, reduce waste, and minimize ecological footprints. It also entails advocating for environmental justice, ensuring that all communities have access to clean air, water, and a healthy ecosystem. This care is seen as an expression of love for both God and neighbor, acknowledging that the wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants are deeply interconnected.

Practical Theories to Follow in Our Lives

  1. Sustainable Living:
    • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Minimizing waste through conscious consumption and recycling efforts.
    • Energy Efficiency: Utilizing energy-efficient appliances and renewable energy sources to reduce carbon footprints.
  2. Environmental Advocacy:
    • Policy Engagement: Supporting and advocating for environmental policies that promote conservation and sustainable practices.
    • Community Involvement: Participating in local environmental initiatives and organizations.
  3. Conservation Efforts:
    • Biodiversity Protection: Engaging in or supporting efforts to protect endangered species and habitats.
    • Resource Management: Practicing sustainable agriculture, forestry, and water use.
  4. Spiritual Practices:
    • Eco-Spirituality: Incorporating nature into spiritual practices, such as outdoor worship, meditation, and eco-friendly liturgies.
    • Education and Awareness: Learning about environmental issues and integrating ecological education into religious teachings and practices.

Conclusion

Eco-theology and the care for God’s creation call us to a transformative way of living that honors the sacredness of the environment. By embracing sustainable practices, advocating for ecological justice, and integrating these principles into our spiritual lives, we can contribute to the healing and preservation of our planet. This approach not only reflects our commitment to God but also ensures a thriving world for future generations. When the morning comes, let us join together and say ‘Creation is Good!” and let’s continue to say “Creation is Good!” when the evening comes!!

By Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi 
A/D Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation

DIMAPUR AUXILIARY: BSI Released Galo Holy Bible

The Bible Society of India released Galo Holy Bible on 31st May 2024 at Galo Mission Centre, Basar, Arunachal Pradesh. The Galo people embraced Christianity by hearing the words of God. The word of God is the seed of faith. Romans 10: 17 says, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” They felt the need for having the Bible in their own language. In 1986 they began the New Testament translation which was released on 29th June 2008. The Galo Old Testament project was approved in 2012 and the translation was completed in 2023.

At the opening of the releasing ceremony, Rev. Dr. W. Along Jamir, Director Translation read Matthews 24:35 and Rev. Dr. Yiepetso Wezah, Auxiliary Secretary offered prayer for the ceremony. Five selected ordained ministers carried the wooden box containing the Galo Holy Bible around the Tabernacle symbolizing the covenant with God through His word. When the procession reached the pulpit, Rev. Dr. Along Jamir released the Galo Bible on behalf of the Bible Society of India.

Rev. Gode Doke, Translator thanked the Advisor for assisting him and proof readers for their cooperation and giving their best effort in proof reading. He appreciated his family members for the support. He thanked all the leaders of the Galo Baptist Convention for the encouragement and support. In appreciation of his hard work in translating the Bible into Galo language, the Galo Baptist Convention and well wishers acknowledged him, his family members and proof readers.

Rev. Dr. Yiepetso Wezah, Auxiliary Secretary, Dimapur brought greetings on behalf of the Bible Society of India, the General Secretary and staff of the Central Office, Bangalore, Shillong Translation Centre and Dimapur Auxiliary. He stated that it is a historic day for the Bible Society of India and the Galo Baptist Church Convention (GBC) as the Galo Christians received the Holy Bible in their own understandable language. He challenged them to read, meditate and be spiritually nourished. Shri. Pekbin Doke, President, Galo Baptist Convention brought greetings on behalf of the Galo Christians irrespective of denominations. He appreciated the Translator, who gave his best service to bring God’s word in Galo language.

Rev. Dr. W. Along Jamir, Advisor gave the message challenging the congregation, that the Bible is the true Word of God, yet devil sets iits target to divide people. Thus believers have to be watchful. He further challenged people that there is no perfect translation. So there is always a room for correction and editing. He shared from Psalms 119:105 which stated, “The Word of God is a lamb to my feet, and a light to my path.” Christians are on a journey. They have to give priority to the Word of God for guidance.

The releasing ceremony was chaired by Rev. C.B. Karko, former General Secretary of GBC. Rev. Bigo Doke invoked God’s presence. Dr. Punya, General Secretary, GBC expressed words of welcome. Special cultural items were presented by Ponu, LTBC, Calvary Church, Soi and Town Baptist Church, Basar. The programme concluded with mass prayer. 

KERALA AUXILIARY

Thanksgiving Memorial Service of Rt. Rev. Dr. K. J. Samuel, former President of BSI & Kerala Auxiliary

The first Thanksgiving Memorial Service of the former President of the Bible Society of India and Kerala Auxiliary, Rt. Rev. Dr. K. J. Samuel was held on 7th May 2024 at CSI Christ Cathedral, Melukavu. He was the former Moderator of CSI and second Bishop of CSI East Kerala Diocese. The Bishop of CSI East Kerala Diocese, Rt. Rev. V. S. Francis led the Service along with other Bishops. We thank God for the great life and ministry of Bishop Dr. K. J. Samuel. We remember his great leadership and contributions to the Bible Society of India. The Auxiliary Vice President, Rt. Rev. Dr. Oommen George; Former Auxiliary Secretary, Rev. Dr. Mathew Varkey; Auxiliary Secretary, Auxiliary staff and Branch leaders represented Bible Society during the thanksgiving memorial service.

Branch Annual Meetings

BSI Mavelikara Branch: The 44th Annual Meeting and Thanksgiving Service of Mavelikkara Branch was held at CSI Christ Church, Mavelikkara on Sunday, 19th May 2024. The Branch President, Rev. C. I. Jose presided the meeting, Auxiliary President, Most Rev. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Crysostomos Metropolitan inaugurated the meeting, Auxiliary Secretary gave the key-note address. Clergies and pastors from various churches participated and greeted the event, and members from the area attended the meeting. We truly appreciate the leadership of the Branch President, Rev. C. I. Jose; Mr Saji Varghese, Secretary, Mr Jacob Varghese, Treasurer and other leaders. We thank the entire branch members and churches for their effort and financial support for the Bible Cause during the year 2023-2024 and being in the fourth position in Auxiliary level in the Resource Mobilization.

BSI Kottayam Branch: The Annual Meeting and Thanksgiving Service 2023-2024 of Kottayam Branch was held at Bible House, Kottayam. The Auxiliary Secretary, Rev. Jacob Antony Koodathinkal gave the presidential address, Rev. Jogi Oommen shared from the Word of God. During the meeting, the new Office bearers of the Branch were elected. Leaders and members from various churches attended and graced the occasion. With thankful heart, we appreciate the leadership of Mr. George Mathew, Branch Secretary and all other leaders. Our thanks goes to the entire branch members and churches for their financial support for the year 2023-2024 towards the mission of reaching this changing world with the Unchanging Word of God.

ANDHRA PRADESH AUXILIARY

The Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary organised Bible Exhibition cum Sale and observed Bible Sunday at Madanapalle on 18th and 19th May 2024. We are thankful for the amazing support from the BSI Madanapalle Branch leaders and community.

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER May 2024 1st Edition

Empowering Faith: The Journey of Braille Bibles in Indian Languages

“The LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.” Psalm 146:8

Nearly 25 years ago, the Bible Society of India (BSI) embarked on a remarkable mission, aligning seamlessly with its vision to ensure access to the Bible for the visually impaired. Initially, only select portions of scripture were available, but recognizing the pressing need, BSI established a dedicated department catering to Special Audiences. This initiative, envisioned as a catalyst for transformation, has led to the release of Braille Bibles in numerous Indian languages. Supported by ongoing reader contributions, BSI’s commitment to inclusivity continues to bear fruit.

In its pursuit of this vision, the Bible Society of India has successfully produced Braille Bibles in 22 Indian languages, marking a significant leap towards accessibility for individuals with visual impairments.

An Unveiling of Hope and Inclusivity

On November 14th, 2023, the BSI unveiled Braille Bibles in seven additional languages, namely Ao, Sumi, Angami, Saurashtra, Rabha, Mara, and Biate. This milestone event radiated hope and inclusivity, expanding the reach of transformative biblical verses to new linguistic realms.

Addressing a Critical Need

India is home to approximately 12 million visually impaired individuals, representing one-third of the global blind population. The provision of Braille Bibles in diverse Indian languages addresses this critical need for accessibility and inclusivity.

A Collective Effort

A virtual gathering of 17 auxiliaries, directors, and department heads acknowledge this initiative’s collective passion. Rev. Dr. Kavito G Zhimo, the General Secretary expressed gratitude for the momentous occasion, emphasizing the importance of making the Bible accessible to the Visually challenged communities.

Continued Support and Collaboration

The recently introduced Braille Bibles are set to be dispatched to local churches and language groups, fostering unity and connection within communities. Each language edition represents a unique opportunity for engagement with scripture, facilitating profound transformations in readers’ lives.

Forty-three books comprise one complete Braille Bible. The production cost for each book ranges from Rs 800 to Rs 1000, totalling to Rupees 30-40 thousand for one set of Braille Bibles. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to partners committed to joining hands in production, ensuring Braille Bibles are always distributed without cost to the needy people.

BSI extends heartfelt appreciation to Campus Braille and United Bible Societies for their unwavering support and collaboration. The development of Braille fonts and tables required skill and effort, with Campus Braille playing a pivotal role in bringing this vision to fruition.

Looking Ahead

BSI aims to produce Braille Bibles in five additional languages in 2024 and envisions having Braille editions in 50 languages by the end of 2025. Additionally, a collaborative effort with the United Bible Societiesis underway to explore the creation of a Tactile Bible for the Braille community in India.

A Call for Continued Support

BSI acknowledges the crucial role of the Church and partner agencies in the production of Braille Bibles. The organization humbly seeks ongoing prayers and support from partners and well-wishers to facilitate the distribution of these Bibles, enabling transformative engagement with God’s word.

In Conclusion

The commitment of the Bible Society of India to making the Word accessible to all remains steadfast. Through ongoing reader support and collaborative efforts, BSI continues to illuminate hearts and minds, contributing to the transformation of countless lives across India.

Caleb Martin Hilton
Associate Director – Media and Special Audience

KERALA AUXILIARY

Influence of Audio Bible: Mrs. Jolly John, Ernakulam shares her testimony on receiving an audio – Bible. She says, I am suffering from poor vision since last two years and with utmost difficulty, manage to read at least one verse from Senior Citizen Bible. When the members of BSI Thiruvankulam Branch on their visit gifted me a book, “Words of Comfort”, I have shared this concern to them and requested for prayers. After some days, Mr. Abin Kurian (Joint Secretary, BSI Thiruvankulam Branch) called me and said that an audio-Bible is available, I was excited to obtain it. I am very joyful on receiving Audio Bible, and thankful to Bible Society and its members for providing this precious gift to me. Praise God for this instrument, so that we people can keep in touch with the Word of God through audio-Bible.”  She was ib tears of joy, while sharing this experience in the Church during Worship.

Importance of Wall Writings: “Have you read the Bible today”? – the old and famous writing on the top parapet wall of our Bible House speaks much on the influence and importance of Bible reading among the viewers. Or we can say, in the minds of some people, even the identity of the Bible House, Kottayam remains in the above writing. We are sharing below two recent incidents for realizing its Importance. Once, as our Auxiliary Secretary was travelling from Pala to Kottayam near to the General Election Day in his personal car, the police stopped the vehicle for checking, as part of security check in connection with the Election. As he was in civil dress, the police officer asked about identity to Rev. Jacob Antony and he replied satisfactorily. In his mentioning the name of Bible Society Kottayam, the police officer responded with great interest, “Yes, I know the institution with writing, “have you read the Bible today”?  In other incident, one of our staff was going to his residence in taxi auto. As he reached his place and the driver while leaving, in the casual talks, the driver shared his concern of the writing being omitted on the building. The driver said that he had saved the phone number of Bible House with this description (coincidentally, it happened on the day, the email being sent to the Central Office for approval). People have shared their personal experience of the influence of this writing in their lives, especially in reading Bible daily. Most of us are familiar with the Bible verse writings on walls, but as this writing is short, the readability and its influence are higher. We are thankful to the General Secretary for approving the unanimous decision of the Auxiliary Committee pertaining to the greater demand from Church/Branch leaders and general-public to rewrite the words, “HAVE YOU READ THE BIBLE TODAY”? (in English and Malayalam). We pray and hope, that this writing continues to touch many lives as they read and meditate daily on the Word of God.

First Annual Meeting – BSI Peechi Branch (Thrissur Region): The first Annual Meeting of BSI Peechi Branch and Bible Exhibition was held at Brethren Christian Church, Pattikadu on 9th April 2024. Rev Jins T Raju (Branch president) presided the meeting. The Auxiliary Secretary gave the key note address. The new office bearers for the forthcoming year were elected.  Mr. Thomas M. M (Branch Secretary) and Mr. M. C. George (Regional Co-ordinator) co-ordinated the meeting. Clergies, pastors and members from different churches attended the meeting.

Annual Meeting – BSI Karunagapally Branch (Kollam North Region): The Annual meeting of BSI Karunagapally Branch and Fare-well meeting to the out- going Branch leaders were held at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Kollaka on Sunday, 21st April 2024. Rev Daniel M Jacob (Branch President) presided the meeting, the Auxiliary Secretary, Rev Jacob Antony Koodathinkel gave the keynote address. The clergies and other leaders graced the occasion with their presence. The Branch officials for the year 2024-2025 were elected. Special mementos were presented to the out-going Branch leaders, Rev Daniel M Jacob and Rev Koshy in recognition of their great leadership. We express our sincere thanks to Rev Daniel M Jacob (Branch President), Mr Varghese John (Branch Secretary), Mr Thomas P G (Treasurer) and other leaders. The Auxiliary Secretary attended the Divine Service at CSI Resurrection Church, Kannetti.  

Bible Convention – BSI Neyyattinkara Branch (Trivandrum South Region): BSI Neyyattinkara Branch organised Bible Convention at Thozhukkal C.S.I. Church, Trivandrum from 26th to 28th April 2024. The Auxiliary Secretary attended Worship Service, shared from God’s Word; conducted Bible sale and exhibition. We appreciate the great support of Vicar and Branch President, Rev. Dr. N. Mohanadas, Asst. Vicar, Rev Prashanth Selvamani, Church Committee and the congregation. We express our sincere thanks to Mr. Santhosh Kumar (Regional Co-ordinator Trivandrum South), Mrs. Sherly Prashanth (Branch Secretary), and all other branch leaders for co-ordinating the event.

By Rev Jacob Antony Koodathinkal

BOMBAY AUXILIARY

The Nasik Branch of the Bombay Auxiliary arranged a blessed meeting in St. Andrews CNI Church Nasik on May 4, 2024 with local pastors and lay leaders from diverse church denominations. The Church choir led the worship. Auxiliary Secretary Rev Clement Christian had a time of sharing the vision and mission of the Bible Society of India and challenged and encouraged everyone from Psalm 19. People promised to support the BSI Ministry for the Bible cause every month. The meeting ended with fellowship lunch sponsored by the Nasik Branch. May our God Almighty bless the enthusiasm of the people in reaching out to thousands of people with the Word in and through the ministry of the Bible Society in this part of the land.

By Rev Clement Christian

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER April 2024 1st Edition

An article devoted to all BSI staff and Volunteers who formed this amazing tapestry in God’s mission of Generosity of Fundraising
Embracing Divine Generosity: The Journey of Fundraising for the BSI Ministry
Volunteers do not necessarily have TIME, but they have the HEART
(Elizabeth Andrew)

In the circle of human existence, threads of faith, compassion, and service intricately weave together to create a narrative of shared humanity. Within this narrative lies the sacred mission of God’s ministry – a beacon of hope, love, and benevolence guided by the divine principle of doing good and loving one another. The Bible Society of India is also one among the many Christian organizations and Non-Governmental Organisations where Fundraising for such a noble cause transcends mere financial transactions; it becomes a sacred endeavor, a communion with the divine, and an opportunity to partake in God’s boundless generosity for spreading the Word of God. At the heart of the BSI Ministry’s fundraising efforts lies a profound belief in the power of collective action fueled by faith. It is a call to arms for individuals and churches to become instruments of God’s grace, extending a helping hand to those in need and spreading love to the farthest corners of the world. In essence, fundraising for the BSI Ministry is not merely about securing funds; it is about embodying the spirit of generosity and compassion that lies at the core of the ministry’s mission.

As we begin the new Financial Year 2024 – 2025, our Auxiliary Secretaries, Staff, Auxiliary Committees, Branch leaders, Mary Jones Women Fellowships, Youth and volunteers across 17 Auxiliaries begin the new journey of mobilising resources. They are guided by the unwavering belief that every act of kindness, no matter how small, has the potential to spark a ripple effect of goodness and transformation for the Bible cause. They understand that their efforts are not confined to the realm of the material but are infused with spiritual significance – an offering of love and devotion to the divine.

On the same wave length, donating for the BSI Ministry is a testament to the power of community – a coming together of individuals and churches from all walks of life, bound by a shared commitment to serve the greater good for God. It is a reminder that each donor is not an isolated being but interconnected with one another, united by our common humanity and our shared values and responsibility to uplift one another through the most valuable source of life that is the Bible in various forms and formats. The Bible Society of India is currently involved in 110 on going Bible translation projects, with completed translations of the Holy Bible in 84 Indian languages; the New Testament portion with additional in 86 languages; Study Bible in 12 languages; Diglot Bible in 7 languages; Audio Bible in 69 languages; Braille Bible in 22 Indian languages; Digital Library in 88 languages for BSI partners and members. All these achievements are possible because of the sacrificial donations from our donors and committed staff and volunteers of the BSI who are in the mission of Fundraising.

In the pursuit of fundraising goals, challenges inevitably arise – financial constraints, logistical hurdles, and moments of doubt. Yet, it is during these times of adversity that the true essence of faith is revealed. Fundraisers draw strength from their unwavering belief in God’s providence, trusting that God will guide their footsteps and provide for their needs. Moreover, fundraising for the BSI Ministry is a testament to the transformative power of generosity. It is a channel for personal spiritual growth, inviting individual donors and churches to transcend their own limitations and embrace a mindset of abundance for God and for others. In giving freely of their time, talents, and resources, fundraisers experience a profound sense of fulfillment – an affirmation of their inherent worth and dignity as children of God.

Fundraising for the BSI Ministry is also an invitation to cultivate a deeper relationship with the divine. It is a sacred journey of prayer, meditation, and reflection – a communion with the source of all love and goodness. In the quiet moments of solitude, fundraisers find solace in the presence of God, drawing strength and inspiration from God’s boundless grace. Furthermore, fundraising for the BSI Ministry is a testament to the transformative power of love. It is a declaration of solidarity with the marginalized, the oppressed, and the forgotten – a proclamation that no one is beyond the reach of God’s love and mercy. In extending a helping hand to those in need, fundraisers bear witness to the transformative power of love to heal, to restore, and to uplift by giving the most precious gift in the form of the BIBLE. Fundraising for the BSI Ministry is not without its rewards. Beyond the tangible outcomes of financial support and material assistance, fundraisers experience a profound sense of joy and fulfillment – an affirmation of their role as partners in God’s divine plan. They witness firsthand the impact of their efforts – the lives transformed, the communities revitalized, and the hope renewed.

In conclusion, fundraising for the BSI Ministry is a sacred journey – a testament to the power of faith, community, and love. It is a chance to partake in God’s boundless generosity, to embody God’s divine qualities of compassion and kindness, and to bear witness to the transformative power of faith in action. As fundraisers, we are called to be vessels of God’s grace, channels of God’s love, and instruments of God’s peace. And in this sacred endeavor, we find not only purpose and meaning but also the true fulfillment of our human potential.

By Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi – Associate Director
Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation Department

Empowering and Embracing Diversity:
The Impact of BSI’s Audio Bibles in India

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35

India’s linguistic diversity, encompassing over 19,500 languages and dialects, is a testament to its cultural richness. The Audio Bible emerges as a beacon of opportunity, breaking barriers by granting access to sacred texts in everyone’s heart languages, irrespective of reading abilities.

Beyond mere accessibility, the Audio Bible serves as a guardian of cultural heritage and tradition. It reverently preserves and propagates cultural teachings, echoing the oral traditions deeply cherished in Indian society. Through this medium, timeless wisdom is seamlessly transmitted across generations.

Moreover, the Audio Bible opens doors of spiritual enlightenment for the visually impaired, estimated at 15 million strong in India. It empowers them to independently engage with spiritual insights, fostering a profound sense of scripture engagement, belonging, and inclusion within communities.

Geographical hurdles fade away in the face of the Audio Bible’s portability and digital dissemination. It transcends physical barriers, ensuring that the divine message reaches even the farthest corners of the nation.

Furthermore, with India’s tech-savvy youth and burgeoning digital connectivity, the Audio Bible presents an innovative avenue for cultural immersion. Its seamless integration with digital platforms and mobile applications makes the Bible accessible and engaging for younger generations.

In a nation marked by religious plurality, the Audio Bible fosters unity and understanding. It serves as a catalyst for interfaith dialogue, promoting mutual respect and cultural harmony.

In essence, the Audio Bible heralds a new era of accessibility, enlightenment, and cultural enrichment in India. It beckons all to partake in this transformative journey, where every contribution nurture inclusivity, dialogue, and spiritual growth across diverse communities.

The Vision and Initiatives of The Bible Society of India

For over the last four decades, the Bible Society of India, in collaboration with its partners, has been actively engaged in the production of Audio Bibles in a multitude of Indian languages. Out of the available BSI translations in 170 languages (Full Bible in 84 languages with only New Testament in 86 languages), Audio Bibles are currently available in only 70 languages. This signifies the urgent need for expanding this initiative to reach the hundreds of languages across the country still awaiting this vital tool for spiritual nourishment and education.

However, the production of Audio Bibles is not without its challenges. To produce the entire Bible in audio format, the cost typically ranges between seven to ten lakh rupees. Even for the New Testament alone, the expenses amount to three to four lakh rupees. These costs can escalate further when additional artists and proofreaders are involved, along with the necessity of individuals traveling long distances for production purposes.

Despite ongoing efforts, the demand for Audio Bibles continues to outstrip current capacity. Many more languages are in the pipeline to receive this invaluable resource. We earnestly appeal to the Church and the wider community to generously contribute towards these efforts. Your support can make a profound difference in the lives of countless individuals who lack access to traditional written forms of the Bible.

Additionally, we invite individuals to share their talents and skills towards this noble cause. Whether through volunteering time, providing financial support, or assisting with production logistics, every contribution, no matter how small, is invaluable.

Furthermore, we encourage everyone to spread awareness about the importance of Audio Bibles and the urgent need for their availability in various languages. Together, let us join hands and make a tangible difference in the lives of those longing to hear the message of hope and redemption.

This year marks a significant milestone in our efforts to improve access to sacred texts through the production of Audio Bibles. Our focused initiatives aim to expand this noble undertaking by creating Audio Bibles in an additional 30 languages. This expansion not only involves recording scriptures in languages new to our collection but also includes revisiting and revising existing recordings to align them with the latest translations and ensure higher quality output.

In response to feedback from our community, we recognize the preference for Audio Bibles without musical accompaniment. Many individuals have expressed a desire for plain voice narration, believing it enhances clarity and deepens scripture engagement. Therefore, we are dedicated to meeting this preference by providing recordings solely featuring the spoken word, offering a more immersive and focused listening experience.

Moreover, revisiting existing recordings allows us to incorporate advancements in translation and linguistic nuances, ensuring accuracy and authenticity in conveying the sacred message. By prioritizing quality and relevance, we strive to enrich the spiritual journey of our audience and foster a deeper connection with the scriptures.

We earnestly request for your prayers, seeking divine guidance and provision as we endeavour to create the highest quality Audio Bibles in these languages and ensure their accessibility to all who seek them. We invite you to partner with BSI in this important mission of producing Audio Bibles. Whether you choose to contribute towards the production of a single Audio Bible or support the entire translation cycle, your participation is invaluable. For more information, please reach out to your nearest Auxiliary or visit our website. Together, let us make the Word of God accessible to everyone who seeks it.

Caleb Martin Hilton
Associate Director – Media and Special Audience

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER Mar 2024 2nd Edition

RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST: 
AFFIRMATION OF LIFE HERE ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN

Luke 24:6-7 recounts the pivotal moment when the angels announced to the women at the empty tomb, “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'” These verses encapsulate the essence of the Christian faith  – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The words of the angels unveil the profound implications of this event, exploring its theological significance, its  transformative power, and its enduring relevance for believers today.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ stands as the central tenet of Christian belief, distinguishing Christianity from all other religions. It is the defining moment that validates Jesus’ claims to divinity and authority. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus foretold His death and resurrection, proclaiming Himself to be the Son of God who would conquer sin and death. His resurrection fulfills Old Testament prophecies and confirms His identity as the long-awaited Messiah.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not merely a historical event but a cosmic victory with far-reaching implications. It marks the decisive defeat of sin, death, and the powers of darkness. Through His resurrection, Jesus triumphs over the forces of evil and inaugurates a new era of redemption and restoration. As the Apostle Paul declares, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). The resurrection is the lynchpin of God’s plan of salvation, offering forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life to all who believe.

Moreover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ embodies the hope of resurrection for believers. Just as Christ was raised from the dead, so too will believers be raised to newness of life. The resurrection assures believers of their future resurrection and eternal inheritance in the kingdom of God. As Paul writes, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). The resurrection is the guarantee of our own resurrection and the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore all things.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ also has transformative implications for the lives of believers. It empowers believers to live with courage, purpose, and hope, knowing that nothing can ultimately defeat them because Christ has conquered death. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work within believers, enabling them to overcome sin, live victoriously, and bear witness to the risen Christ. As Paul writes, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection” (Philippians 3:10). The resurrection is the source of spiritual renewal and empowerment for believers, equipping them to fulfill their God-given purpose and mission.

Furthermore, the resurrection of Jesus Christ serves as the foundation of Christian faith and the basis of Christian hope. The resurrection validates the truth claims of Christianity and provides assurance to believers that their faith is not in vain. As Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). The resurrection is the bedrock of Christian faith, inspiring believers to trust in the promises of God and live in joyful obedience to Christ.

The resurrection of Christ significantly empowers those who are mourning, the downtrodden, the insignificant and the socially outcast people who followed him all the way to the Cross. When Jesus said to Mary by the tomb, “do not cling on to me” (John 20:27), Jesus was indirectly telling Mary, do not cry over me and as I am not in the tomb anymore, go and proclaim to others that I am alive, spread the great news, death is conquered by the risen Christ!” The resurrected Christ told his disciples that He is with them till the end of the world (Mat 28:20), and the words of Jesus Christ “fear not, let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:27) should remain a constant reminder that we share the life of the resurrected Christ.

The most painful thing for humans is the death of our loved ones. Not just the death per se, but the consequences of death – total silence of the person, loss of the voices, the love, the care, everything that embodies the person. When the physical existence completely becomes a history, the vacuum and the void become unbearable for those who are alive. Even as the Christian believes that death is overpowered by the resurrected Christ, yet, it takes years together to accept the reality and take the pain of separation. But the beauty of Christ’s resurrection lies in the subsequent healing of our pain with the knowledge that the dead will rise again in glory as we live in Christ even as death does not have power anymore.

In conclusion, the risen Christ is the cornerstone of Christian faith, the cosmic victory over sin and death, and the source of hope, transformation, and empowerment for believers. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not just an event in history but a living reality that continues to shape the lives of believers and the course of human history. Christ is risen, therefore, there is hope for the world, for the risen Lord reigns forevermore and shares our pain and joy.

By Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi 
A/D Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation

NEWS FROM THE ODISHA AUXILIARY: SCRIPTURE ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME ON MARCH 7, 2024:

We are thankful to God for giving us the opportunities to have Scripture Engagement and distribution of Scriptures free of cost to the needy women in Odisha Auxiliary.  It was truly a blessed time being engaged with the Word of God at the Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nawarangpur, Dist. Nawarangpur. 

The beneficiaries from different churches were very happy to receive the Telugu Bibles in their hands. Many of them wanted to share their testimony about how they were waiting to receive Bible in their heart’s language, they were highly impressed and expressed their heartfelt thanks to the Bible Society of India for giving them the most precious gift in life, that is the Bible. The pastors from different churches also came along and joined the Scripture Engagement programme. Through this project, we could touch the lives of the people who are financially, emotionally, mentally challenged and having a thirst for the Word of God. We praise & thank Almighty God for this amazing opportunity as all of them were eagerly waiting for this event.  

Testimonies

  1. Mrs. Prabhamani is from the state of Odisha. She said with full tears in her eyes “Many a time, when I go through pain and distress, I trust the Lord and with prayer I read the Bible. When I read the Bible, God speaks to me and comfort me through His word. Over the years, my Bible became worn out but I could not afford to get a new one on my own. To my surprise I got the information that Bible Society friends are coming to Nawarangpur for the Scripture Engagement programme with free distribution. I then decided to surely attend the programme, there I got a new Bible that I had been waiting for many months. I thank God and the Bible Society of India for reaching out to our village with this programme. 
  1. Mrs. Braja Kumari Laxman is another lady from Nawarangpur district of Odisha. She said she was so joyful when she heard about the coming of the Bible Society of India in their village to have a Bible programme. She thanked God for the opportunity given to her to attend the meeting arranged by BSI, Odisha Auxiliary. She is one of the elders of the Church. Many months ago, she asked one of her brothers to get a Bible but she could not get a new one to replace her worn out Bible. When receiving the new Bible she was overjoyed and promised to read as often as she could to learn more about the love of God for poor people like her, so that she can share her joy and the Word of God more vibrantly to others who cannot read the Bible due to old age, and lack of knowledge to read and write and for some, who are blind and cannot see.

NEWS FROM THE KERALA AUXILIARY

Wills Memorial CSI Church, Mangad, Trivandrum: The Bible Sunday was observed and received special offerings at Wills Memorial CSI Church, Mangad, Thirumala, Trivandrum on 17th March 2024. We thank vicar Rev Israel Thomas, Asst. Vicar Rev Dr Rajeev John, Mr J Mohan Kumar, Church Secretary and Bible Society Thirumala branch Secretary, and entire congregation for their great support for Bible cause. We appreciate the great co-ordination and sacrificial service of Regional Co-ordinator Chev Dr Koshy M George.

 CSI MM Church,Trivandrum:

On 18th February 2024, Bible Sunday was observed and conducted door collection at CSI MM Church, Trivandrum. We thank for the great contribution through door collection. We thank the great support of vicar Rev. Dr L E Sahanom, Rev Dr R Gnanadas, Mr Premdad Justus congregation President, and entire congregation for their great support for Bible cause. We appreciate the co-ordination and grea commitment of the Regional Co-ordinator Chev Dr Koshy M George. We also thank Bible society leaders at MM Church, Mr. Immanual Henry, Mr. Sajan, Mrs. Raichel Joseph, Mrs. Girley, Mrs. Sajitha and others for the participation.

Bible Conventions, Exhibitions Cum Sales at Maramon Convention:

The Kerala Auxiliary Bible Stall & new Bibles Release happened at the world famous One week Maramon Convention on 11th to 18th Feb. 2024. The Bible Society of India publication, new variety Bibles printed at Amity Press was released at the inaugural day of the 129th Maramon Convention by Most Rev. Dr. Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan (Auxiliary Committee Member). Rt. Rev. Dr. Abraham Mar Paulos Episcopa (BSI Executive Committee Member & Working Committee Member), Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Barnabas Suffragan Metropolitan (Auxiliary former President), Very Rev. K. Y. Jacob (BSI Executive Committee Alternate Member& Auxiliary Committee Member), Rev. Abey T. Mammen (Sabha Secretary, Mar Thoma Church), Rev. Abey K. Joshua (General Secretary, Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association), Rev. Jacob Antony Koodathinkal (Auxiliary Secretary), Clergies and lay members were present during the release function. The Auxiliary President Most Rev Dr Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos Metropolitan attended the Convention and visited Bible stall. At the convention venue, the Bible Stall was opened for one week at the vast sand bed of the Pamba river with different new varieties of imported & Indian print Bibles. During this one week, many clergies, pastors, church leaders, branch members and believers visited the Bible Stall and acquired Bibles of their choices.

 CSI East Kerala Diocesan Convention, 4th to 11th Feb. 2024:  The Auxiliary Secretary attended CSI East Kerala Diocesan Convention on 10th February 2024, and shared the Word of God and about the ministries of Bible Society. The BSI Kerala Auxiliary is grateful for the support and encouragement to the BSI Ministry by the CSI Kerala Diocese and truly thankful to the Diocesan leadership.

 Assemblies of God Malayalam District Council Convention, 29th Jan. to 4th Feb. 2024:  On 1st February 2024, the Auxiliary Secretary attended the Annual General Convention of the Assemblies of God Malayalam District Council. He shared from the Word and updated about the ministry of Bible Society.  It was a historical moment as the Assembly handed over their Bible Sunday donation collected from all their churches along with the collections during the General Convention. And it was an added foot step of AG church along with Mar Thoma, CSI and St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India, from 2023 onwards in observing Bible Sunday systemically in all their churches.

We thank the great support and initiative of Rev. T. J. Samuel, Superintendent; Rev. Dr. Issac V. Mathew, Assistant Superintendent & former Auxiliary committee member; Rev. Thomas Philip, District Secretary; Rev. P. K. Jose, District Treasurer; Dr Santhosh John, Auxiliary committee member. We express our gratitude to Zonal Directors, Presbyters, Pastors and all the congregations for their love and support for the Bible Cause.

63rd Annual General Convention of St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India: The Auxiliary Secretary shared from the Word and about the ministries of Bible Society during the Annual Convention of STECI at Thiruvalla. The Church handed over the Bible Sunday donation collected from all their churches during the General Convention. We are thankful to the presiding Bishop Most Rev Dr Thomas Abraham, former Auxiliary committee member; Rt. Rev Dr Abraham Chacko, Auxiliary committee member; Retired Bishops, Rev Abraham George, General Secretary; Rev P. T. Mathew, Treasurer; Church officials, clergies, church workers, congregation members far and near for the great support. Our heartfelt thanks for arranging a special session in the final day of the convention for Bible Society of India.

58th Session of CSI Madhya Kerala Diocesan Convention 2024: On the 6th day of the 58th Session of CSI Madhya Kerala Diocesan Convention 2024 at Baker compound, the Auxiliary secretary shared God’s Word and about BSI ministry. We thank the great support of Rt Rev Malayil Sabu Koshy Cherian Bishop, Diocesan Office Bearers, Clergies, Church workers and members of the church.

NEWS FROM THE ANDHRA PRADESH AUXILIARY:

The BIble Society of India Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary organised a Women Leader’s Conference on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2024 at Bible House in Guntur. Rev. Dr. Leelavathi Vemuri, BSI President, Mrs. K. Asha Kiran Paradesi Babu, Chairperson, Women’s Wing, AELC and Sis. Dr. Varginia Rajakumari, Biblical Scholar, and Mrs. K. Shilpa Vikram led the sessions. Nearly 150 women delegates representing BSI Branches across the state participated in the conference.

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER Mar 2024 1st Edition

The Case of the Daughters of Zelophehad:
A Tribute to Women’s Rights in Numbers 27:1-11 

International Women’s Day is observed every year on March 8th. It offers a chance to contemplate the advancements achieved, to push for change, and to pay tribute to the acts of bravery and perseverance shown by ordinary women who have played extraordinary roles in the history of their nations and communities.

The theme for the 2024 celebration is “Count Her In: Accelerating Gender Equality Through Economic Empowerment.” This theme is in line with the main focus of the UN 68th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 68) and seeks to investigate pathways to enhance economic inclusion for women and girls worldwide.

In the ancient times of the Israelites, inheritance was a crucial matter, determining not just property ownership but also social standing and security for future generations. The story of the daughters of Zelophehad, found in the book of Numbers, chapter 27, verses 1 to 11, stands out as a significant narrative that highlights the value of justice, equality, and the empowerment of women in the biblical tradition. The passage begins with the daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah—approaching Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders, and the entire assembly at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Their father, Zelophehad, had died in the wilderness, and he had no sons to inherit his possessions. In a society where inheritance typically passed from father to son, this presented a dilemma for the daughters. They stood before the assembly to present their case:

“Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.” (Numbers 27:3-4)

Their request was not merely a plea for personal gain but a demand for justice and fairness. They sought to ensure that their father’s name and legacy would not be erased simply because he had no male heirs. This act of boldness in approaching the highest authority figures of their community reflects the courage and determination of these women. Moses, known for his role as the lawgiver and mediator between God and the Israelites, took their case before the Lord. The response he received affirmed the righteousness of the daughters’ request:

“What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.” (Numbers 27:7)

God, through Moses, established a new precedent in inheritance laws. The daughters of Zelophehad were to receive their father’s inheritance, setting a legal standard that ensured the preservation of family heritage through daughters when no sons were present. This decision not only addressed the specific case of Zelophehad’s daughters but also established a broader principle of justice and equity within Israelite society. The significance of this passage goes beyond its legal implications. It challenges traditional notions of inheritance, elevating the status of women as rightful heirs and ensuring their economic security within their families. It stands as a testament to the recognition of women’s rights and their active participation in the shaping of societal norms.

Moreover, the story of the daughters of Zelophehad illustrates the importance of speaking up against injustice. These women did not passively accept their fate but boldly stepped forward to demand what was rightfully theirs. In doing so, they contributed to the development of a more just and inclusive community. As we reflect on this passage today, it serves as a reminder of the enduring value of justice, equality, and the empowerment of all members of society, regardless of gender. The daughters of Zelophehad, through their courage and conviction, have left an indelible mark on the biblical narrative, inspiring generations to come with their example of standing up for what is right.

In the end, the story of the daughters of Zelophehad is not just a legal case in ancient Israel; it is a timeless lesson in the pursuit of justice and the recognition of the inherent dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of their gender or social status. Furthermore, an intriguing incident recorded in Luke 10:38-42, during the ministry of Jesus, prompts reflection on the denial of women’s rights to pursue theological studies in our current context. Jesus, as a Rabbi and Jewish Teacher, challenged societal norms by opening the doors of ministry to women, who were often restricted from public participation. In this context, Jesus affirmed Mary’s autonomy and validated a woman’s right to choose study over traditional domestic roles. He demonstrated that women should not be confined to the kitchen but should have the freedom to pursue intellectual and spiritual endeavors.

There are many biblical passages with an example of how women, through faith, can courageously raise their voices and address their circumstances, ultimately becoming agents of change. On the other hand, there are many women who through their prayer and faith battle their struggle silently becoming the role model of faith to our present generation. In Numbers 27:1-11, these women’s courageous act of faith established a new precedent, a new law. It paved the way for a whole new realm of possibilities. In our time, we need modern-day daughters of Zelophehad—women who are willing to take bold steps of faith to illuminate new understandings about the treatment of women.

Faith is a vital component. Just as in any era, faith remains the foundation of blessings. Nothing from God enters one’s life except through the channel of faith. Every blessing, achievement, or victory truly becomes one’s own only when claimed through faith. Therefore, faith—both in the era of our scripture passage and in our present age—is the key to receiving God’s blessings. Women must boldly speak about their experiences, with faith, challenging the culture of silence and endurance. Faith inherently challenges traditions, calling us to embrace new directions against universally accepted norms and traditional beliefs. To live by faith means making choices that leads us away from the commonly accepted paths. Women must have the faith to challenge cultural norms that oppress them. Remaining silent is tantamount to endorsing injustice. Jesus affirmed in Matthew 17:20-21, even a small amount of faith, like a mustard seed, can move mountains, uproot trees, and bring about remarkable change. When we begin to exercise faith, we inspire others to do the same. God calls us to lead lives filled with faith and action. This is how God transforms human history.

Sushana Pramanik
Translation Advisor, The Bible Society of India

 BOMBAY AUXILIARY

Bible Exhibition cum sale in Nashik and other Programmes from 16 to 18 February 2024

The Bible Society of India, Bombay Auxiliary arranged a Bible exhibition cum sale in Nashik during 16th to 18th February 2024. During these three days exhibition we had also arranged for the following programme:

  • Women’s Mary Jones Fellowship on 16thFeb 2024
  • Youth Fellowship on 17thFeb 2024
  • Pastors fellowship and Nashik Branch formation on 17thFeb 2024
  • Bible Sunday on 18thFeb 2024

On 16-02-2024 Rt. Rev. Darbarasingh, Bishop of Nasik Diocese inaugurated the Bible exhibition with prayers. On the same day Mary Jones fellowship for women was organised in St. Andrews CNI Church, Sharanpur Nashik. Mrs. Mridula Ghodke (Auxiliary committee member) took the session for Mary Jones fellowship.

On 17-02-2024 Rev. Clement Christian, Auxiliary Secretary of Bombay Auxiliary conducted a meeting for the local youth. The youth were encouraged to read the Bible and get involved in the BSI ministry by using their talents.   A strong Nashik Branch was formed with the help of local pastors and leaders. Especial thanks to our representatives:-

  • Pravin Ghule (Priest in-charge & Advisor for BSI Nashik Branch)
  • Sharlet Nade (President of Mary Jones Fellowship & Branch Coordinator)
  • Mridula Ghodke (Auxiliary Committee Member)
  • Reeta Jadhav (BSI Representative).

On 18-02-2024 the Auxiliary Secretary preached in St. Andrews CNI Church in Marathi and English Service and shared about the ministry of The Bible Society of India. Mrs. Mridula Ghodke, the Auxiliary committee member of the BSI Bombay Auxiliary preached in two churches St. Thomas Church and St. Philip Church and Rev. B. A. Goodae (BSI Representative and fundraiser) preached in Christ Church, Deolali camp Nashik.

We thank God for this opportunity to serve in Nashik region.. It was a blessed time for BSI Bombay Auxiliary staff and for the people of Nashik as many people visited this exhibition cum sale in these three days.

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS

Scripture Engagement Program Implemented in BSI, Andaman and Nicobar Islands during January 21 to February 4, 2024.

Free Scripture distributions were held in five  different churches such as St. Mary Orthodox Church  Mohanpura, Port Blair  and Methodist church Bambooflat on 21 st January- 2024, Lugyi Memorial Karen Baptist Church Webi, Mayabunder and CSI church shivpur North and  Middle Andaman on 28th January, 2024 and finally in Holy Trinity Methodist Church on 4th February, 2024.

Church Pastors and Auxiliary Sceretary engaged the communities by preaching the Word of God and sharing the manifold ministry of the BSI.  All the pastors and congregations personally are very thankful to BSI for reaching out to the needy with free distributions of the Bibles in various languages. The beneficiaries were so thrilled and excited  while receiving the Scriptures and emotionally with teary eyes thanked God for the kind of ministry Bible society is doing. They were full of gratitude and promised to support our ministry in whatever way they can with prayers. We thank God and pray for all beneficiaries that God will continue to talk to them, abide with them and encourage them to enable them to navigate their lives in the midst of various challenges. The BSI – ANIs is grateful to our sponsors and the Central office for this journey of faith and support in times of need.

KERALA AUXILIARY

Scripture Engagement Programme for Poor Widows and Suffering Women

The Church, Public Relations & Resource Mobilization Department of the Bible Society of India initiated the Project for Women as part of the Scripture Engagement Programme. The Kerala Auxiliary conducted various Scripture Engagement programs in different parts of Kerala and distributed Bibles free of cost to the persons coming under the Project during December 25, 2023 to February 18, 2024.

Through BSI Kozhencherry Branch Bibles were distributed to the inmates of Mahathma JanaSevana Kendram, Kozhencherry. The light and life- giving Word of God will impart hope and meaning to their gloomy world. We thank God for the leadership and support of Rev Thomas Mathew (Branch President), Mr. Varghese Jacob (Regional Co-ordinator), Mr. Sabu P. Mathew (Branch Secretary) and Branch members for arranging the meeting. Rev Yesudas Thomas, pastors and lay members graced the meeting with their presence.

Under the auspices of BSI Edayaranmula Branch, visits were made to Shanthitheeram Old age Home at Chengannur and Mar Osthathios Gloriya Bhavan (Home for Women in Distress), Nellimala, Pathanamthitta. We had distributed Bibles to the women who are mentally and emotionally challenged. The inmates were happy in receiving the Bibles and praised God for this precious gift during Christmas season as their Christmas gift.  

BSI Elappara Branch, Idukki region conducted a program at St. Stephen’s CSI Church, Glenmary. The women members who are Estate labourers and financially challenged with their children received Bibles with great joy and gratitude in their hearts to God. The Vicar, Church worker and members of the Church appreciated the efforts of the Bible Society of India for this provision. 

On request from the beneficiaries, the Auxiliary distributed Bibles to different Branches and needy individuals of other faiths. The Bibles were distributed to various persons on request according to the need from the following Churches: IPC Horeb Worship Centre, Valara, Adimali, Church of the True Gospel, Sulthan Bathery, TPM Church, Ayoor, Kollam & CSI Kanyamala Church, Idukki. Also, Bible distributions were done to the following Branches according to the need based on their request: BSI Kadampanad Branch, BSI Chengannur Branch, BSI Perunkadavila Branch & BSI Kasaragod Branch. The beneficiaries were longing to receive the Word of God for their own, as the deer pants for the streams of water. We pray and hope that the seeds sown may produce a good harvest of souls.

The Kerala auxiliary is greatly thankful to the General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Kavito G. Zhimo, and the Associate Director (CPRRM), Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi for their leadership and guidance in executing the Project. Through this project, we touched the lives of the people who are financially, emotionally, mentally challenged and needy persons, having a thirst for the Word of God. We praise & thank Almighty God for the successful accomplishment of this project by distributing God’s Word and pray that many lives will be touched and transformed by the healing and transforming power of the Word of God. Let the Word be a solace and hope in their darkest hours of journey.

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER Feb 2024 1st Edition

Jehovah Rapha: God Our Healer:
“I am the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26, NIV)

In the rich tapestry of biblical names given to God, one stands out as a beacon of hope and restoration – Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our Healer. This divine title is derived from the Old Testament, specifically from the book of Exodus in the Bible. In Exodus 15:26, after the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea, God revealed Godself as Jehovah Rapha when God spoke to Moses. The verse reads, “I am the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26, NIV). This declaration marked a pivotal moment in the relationship between God and God’s people, God as compassionate and the ultimate healer. In the context where after crossing ​the Red Sea and ​continuing journey for three days without water on their journey of liberation from the oppression of Pharaoh, the children of Israel reached the ​​water point but ​​to their great anger and disappointment the water was bitter, therefore they named the place Marah (Hebrew meaning bitter). God was not pleased with their frustration including their leader Moses, which is ​​justifiable from a human point of view, even for God! Therefore, God instructed the Israelites to make a new ​​commitment to God to listen and obey and to do the right thing in the eye of God. With this conditional instruction​, God ​​reassured the Israelites that God​ ​​was their healer.  This attribute of Jehovah Rapha is not limited to physical healing alone but extends to the healing of the entire person – body, soul, and spirit. God’s healing encompasses the restoration of health, emotional well-being, and spiritual wholeness.

Throughout the Bible, there are numerous accounts of God’s healing power. Jehovah Rapha reveals Godself through miraculous healings, demonstrating God’s authority over sickness and disease. Examples include the healing of Naaman’s leprosy (2 Kings 5), the restoration of Job’s health and fortunes (Job 42:10), and Jesus’ ministry of healing the sick during His time on earth (Matthew 4:23).

God’s healing happens in any form, not necessarily of the healing of the physical body, but also healing takes place for the mind, emotion​, and spirit. I would like to narrate my recent personal experience due to ​the sickness of my father Mr. Hrang Dailova who will be ​​completing 89 this April 24. On the 12th morning of January, 2024, because of sudden drop ​in ​the oxygen supply in his body, my father became unconscious and was rushed to the closest Hospital in Aizawl, Mizoram​, and was put on ​a ventilator immediately. Me and my siblings who all are outside of Mizoram took a ​​flight home on the next day to be with my father. It was so ​​difficult to accept and I was emotional and could not control my tears when I saw my father on ventilator support, not even responding to my voice when I called “ka Pa, ka Pa” (my dad, my dad). The last time we were ​​happily waving goodbye​ was in the year 2022 when all of us were home for Christmas. After two weeks in the ICU/HDU when a bit of improvement was seen, even as the pipes run down his throat, and the feeding ​ going on from the tube in his nose, I left for Bangalore to get back to my office. Our situation is truly painful. Many questions ​cross my mind, especially asking the role of God in our lives, in this moment of despair. As I pray to God, the name of God as Jehova Rapha continues to ring louder and louder. I then realised that the God who heals our pain and sickness, who calms our hearts and emotions, who restores our dampened spirit and mind is the God who is with my father and with the rest of us who are so worried and afraid for my father. The God who heals continues to heal my father even as we do not know how the healing takes place. God is also healing our thoughts, our minds and our emotions to help us to trust in God and commit my father ​t​o God’s complete care. Human knowledge and skills are limited, ​and advancement of medical sciences and care ​i​s also limited, but God’s love and care have ​​unlimited boundaries. Being a thousand miles away, I can feel the presence of Jehova Rapha with my father and I know, we all are under ​the wings of God’s love, care and healing no matter what crises befall​s us. God in mercy, hear our prayer!  

Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi
 A/D Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation Department

ANDHRA PRADESH AUXILIARY

The 4th Annual Emerging Leaders Conference

The BSI AP Auxiliary organised the 4th Annual Emerging Leaders Conference on the 26th January 2024 at Bible House in Guntur. After Republic Day Celebration, Rev. K. John Vikram welcomed all the delegates across the state. Rev. Sathish Babu led devotion and Bro. Joel Kodali addressed the gathering on the theme ‘Youth in Nation Building’. The Auxiliary President, Bro. M. Johnson encouraged youth to excel in their careers. Ms. Madhurya, Sign Language Interpreter and Trainer, spoke on the importance of the inclusive environment in churches particularly in connection with special children. Mrs. K. Shilpa Vikram conducted activities for the youth. Around 125 members participated in the program representing various BSI branches in AP. 

Bible Sale

The BSI AP Auxiliary conducted Bible Sale at Hebron GDM Church in Peravali on 24 & 25th January 2024. We are thankful to the congregation for their wonderful response.

Youth Conventions

The Youth Department of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church organised Youth Conventions from 14th -17th Jan at Andhra Christian College in Guntur. The AP Auxiliary placed a Bible Stall in the conventions. The Auxiliary Secretary Rev. K. John Vikram addressed the youth on the topic ‘Bible and Christian Identity’.

New BSI Branches in Paderu and Araku

The BSI AP Auxiliary inaugurated new BSI Branches in Paderu and Araku on 17th January. One of the Auxiliary Committee Members Rev. D. Enoch garu has been instrumental to form these new branches. Local pastors and leaders joined as members of the BSI branches. 

Bible Sunday and Bible Exhibition cum Sale

The BSI AP Auxiliary conducted Bible Exhibition cum Sale at Jewett Memorial Baptist Church in Ongole on 13&14 January. The Bible Sunday was observed and the word of God was delivered by Rev. K. John Vikram, AP Auxiliary Secretary, on 14th January.

The BSI AP Auxiliary also conducted a Bible Exhibition cum Sale at St. Peter’s CSI Church in Gannavaram on 20th&21st January we are thankful for the Gannavaram BSI Branch for making all the necessary arrangement for the event. The Auxiliary President, Bro. M. Johnson inaugurated the Bible Exhibition and addressed local leaders and pastors. The word of God was preached by Rev. K. John Vikram, Auxiliary Secretary in Sunday Service on 21st January, 2024.

 KERALA AUXILIARY

Scripture Engagement with Women of Mahathama Janasevena Kendram, in Kozhenchery:

The Bible Society of India Kerala Auxiliary along with Kozhencherry Branch visited Mahathama Janasevena Kendram, Kozhenchery for Scripture engagement programme with 40 inmates and distributed Bibles to those needy women on 12th January 2024. Rev Thomas Mathew, Branch President chaired the meeting, Auxiliary Secretary shared the word of God. We also conducted the Kozhencherry Branch meeting. Rev Yesudas Thomas, pastors and other members attended the meeting. We thank Mr. Varghese Jacob (Regional Co-ordinator) and Mr. Sabu P. Mathew (Branch Secretary) and all other leaders for arranging this meeting.

Regional Meetings

Pathanamthitta: The Pathanamthitta revenue district Regional meeting was held at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church Kozhencherry on 16th January 2024. Regional co-ordinators from six regions attended the meeting with the respective Branch Officials from around 20 Branches. Rev Philip George presided the meeting, Auxiliary Secretary delivered the message. Rev John Mathews and Pastors graced the occasion. It was a fruitful time with devotion, prayer, group discussion and resolutions. We appreciate the leaders for making this meeting a blessed one.

Thrissur: The Thrissur Regional meeting was held at Mar Thoma Ravivarma Mandiram, Thrissur on 23rd January 2024. Rev Jay Mathew presided the meeting, Auxiliary Secretary delivered the key note address. Clergies and pastors attended the event. We really appreciate the great efforts of Regional Co-ordinator, Mr. M. C. George by making the event a blessed one. The Branch Officials and members from six Branches (Thrissur, Peechi, Kunnamkulam, Wadakkanchery, Mannuthi, Chalakkudy) attended the programme. It was really a fruitful time.

New Branch Formation: Upputhara Branch (Idukki Region)

BSI Upputhara Branch in Idukki Region was formed as the 151st Branch in Kerala Auxiliary at CSI St. Thomas Church, Karintharuvi on 30th January 2024. Rev. K. A. Lukose presided the meeting, Auxiliary Secretary gave the inaugural address. Clergies, Pastors and members from various churches attended the meeting. The following persons were elected as the office bearers: President – Rev. K. A. Lukose, Secretary – Mr. P A Sunny, Treasurer – Mr. Varghese Kurian; and members from different churches to form the Branch Committee. We appreciate the hard work and support of Rev. Binoy Mathew and Rev. K. A. Lukose for organising this meeting. We express our gratitude to all Clergies, Pastors and members from various churches for making the new branch formation a great blessing. Let us together reach this changing world with the unchanging Word of God.

Transcending Boundaries:
The Timeless Wisdom of the Bible

Imagine a world where the timeless wisdom of the Bible transcends barriers, reaching every soul with its comforting, inspiring, and spiritually enriching words.

For Every Heart, Everywhere: The elderly, whose eyes may have dimmed but whose spirits burn bright for divine wisdom and find peace. The visually impaired, finding joy and nourishment in their souls. Individuals of all ages and different walks of life find solace and nourishment in the profound teachings of the Bible, whether they’re on their daily commute or at home with family. These invaluable resources not only foster personal growth but also strengthen familial bonds and uplift entire communities through meaningful scripture engagement.

In Your Own Language, Your Unique Journey: With translations available in over 170 Indian languages, the Bible Society of India is dedicated to ensuring accessibility for all. From audio Bibles and Braille editions to captivating gospel films and emerging sign language adaptations, the Bible’s message is made available in various formats to cater to diverse needs and preferences. Currently, the Bible Society of India is in the process of producing nine audio recordings, including languages such as Lambadi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Saurashtra, Chodri, Nagamese, and Goan Konkani, with five of these recordings nearing completion.

Join the Movement: This is made possible because of collaborative efforts of BSI, the church, and its partners. We extend a warm invitation to all who yearn to make a difference in spreading hope and positivity. Let us unite in our mission to create a world illuminated by the teachings of love, compassion, and peace found within the Bible. Together, as a community fuelled by dedication and passion, we can bridge linguistic and generational divides, fostering wisdom, understanding, and profound transformations. Join us on this remarkable journey of amplifying the impact of Bibles, as we strive to touch hearts and inspire souls across this great nation.

 By Mr. Caleb Martin – A/D Media and Special Audience Department

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER Jan 2024 2nd Edition

Morning Mercies:
Embracing the Consistent Faithfulness of God

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” Lamentations 3:22-23

To understand the context of these verses, it’s helpful to examine the entire passage and consider the circumstances that led to the writing of the book of Lamentations.

Lamentations, a collection of poetic laments traditionally attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, was penned in response to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The people of Judah were exiled, and the city lay in ruins. Lamentations expresses deep sorrow, grief, and repentance in the face of this national tragedy.

In the midst of sorrow and despair, the verses in Lamentations 3:22-23 provide a glimmer of hope and comfort. They highlight the enduring nature of God’s love and mercy even in the darkest times. The author acknowledges the faithfulness of God, expressing confidence in His unwavering love and the daily renewal of His mercies.

The phrase “they are new every morning” suggests that God’s mercies are not only abundant and enduring but also fresh each day. It signifies a daily replenishing or refreshing of God’s compassion and grace. The imagery here is powerful, emphasizing that no matter how challenging the previous day, week, month, or years might have been, God’s mercies are fresh and available anew every morning.

This reflects the unchanging and faithful nature of God, providing comfort and hope to those who trust in Him. It underscores the idea that God’s love and compassion are not depleted or exhausted but are consistently renewed, offering a source of strength and encouragement each and every day.

Lessons We Can Take:

Hope and Renewal in our Struggles:
The idea that God’s mercies are “new every morning” can offer hope and encouragement in the face of political, financial, social, and communal challenges. Emphasizing the renewal of God’s mercies each day can inspire individuals to approach each new day with a sense of optimism, trusting that God’s faithfulness extends to all aspects of their lives.

Steadfastness in the Midst of Uncertainty:
The assurance of the Lord’s steadfast love, even when faced with confusion and challenges, can serve as a foundation for individuals to remain steadfast in their values and principles. The unchanging faithfulness of God can encourage people to persevere in pursuing justice, integrity, and compassion.

Community Building Through God’s Faithfulness:
The Bible Society of India serves to encourage a communal understanding of God’s faithfulness and foster unity and oneness. By emphasizing the shared reliance on the unwavering love of the Lord, individuals may find strength in coming together to address issues collectively. This perspective can promote empathy, cooperation, and a shared commitment to building a better future despite the uncertainties in various aspects of life.

May God guide us through life’s challenges. Grant us the wisdom to choose His will over our own, bring comfort to the troubled, and healing to the broken. May our actions be a reflection of love and kindness. Strengthen our faith, reminding us of His unwavering presence. In His mercy, guide us toward a world filled with love, peace, justice, and compassion.

Mr. Caleb Martin Hilton
Associate Director, BSI, Media and Special Audience

BOMBAY AUXILIARY: Bible Exhibition cum sale in Nagpur

On January 13th to 16th 2024, the Bombay Auxiliary organised Bible exhibition cum sale in Nagpur under the leadership of the BSI Nagpur Branch. Rt. Rev. Paul Dupare, Bishop of Nagpur Diocese and the Branch President inaugurated the Bible exhibition at SSI Hall, Mount Road, Nagpur on the 13th morning. Many pastors, leaders, Church members, and the Bible Society of India, Nagpur branch members were present for the exhibition. The crowd were very happy to see a lot of varieties of Bible in different languages at reasonable prices available in this exhibition after a very long time.  

It was a great joy to have a meeting with the members of the BSI Nagpur branch at 6:30 pm where the Bombay Auxiliary Secretary preached the word of God and encouraged and thanked the branch members for their active participation in the BSI ministry. The Auxiliary Secretary had the privilege of preaching at the All Saints Cathedral and in St. Thomas CNI Church on a Sunday morning the 14th January.

On 15th, Monday, the General Secretary of BSI Rev. Dr. Kavito G. Zhimo visited the Bible exhibition and in the evening at 6:00 pm, he had a very fruitful and meaningful meeting with the Bombay Auxiliary staff along with Nagpur branch leaders.

It was a very impressive response from the community of Nagpur city to our Bible exhibition cum sale, we had good sales, donations and promises to support the BSI ministry. The people of Nagpur branch were very thankful to the Bombay Auxiliary leadership and the GS for organising the much needed Bible exhibition cum sale and meeting. We thank God for the success of these four days programme. 

ODISHA AUXILIARY

We thank and praise God for enabling us to distribute the Bibles to those who are in dire need.   Engaging children and widows with God’s Word in different places of Ganjam and Koraput Districts of Odisha on December 6 and 7, 2023 where 300 Odia Bibles and 40 Telugu Bibles were distributed. On January 21, 2024 Scripture engagement programme was held in Sanshaluda, Paradeep District of Jagatsingpur where 60 Telugu Bibles were distributed to the deserving poor women. It was an immensely joyful experience for all of us here in Odisha Auxiliary.

The beneficiaries were very happy to receive the Odia and Telugu Bibles.  Many of them shared how eager they were to receive God’s Word in their heart language.  They received the Bibles with grateful hearts and thanked the Bible Society of India for making it possible.

Testimonies:

I am thankful to God and the Bible Society of India for providing me a copy of the Bible. Even as my Bible is already worn out, am so thankful to the BSI for this gift of Bible at  the right time. I love to read Bible and particularly when I am down, I read and rely on God and God  gives me peace through His Word. I always seek for this spiritual food through which I get strength. I want to give my heartiest thanks to Odisha Auxiliary.” – Ms. A. Niharika

“I belong to a large family. For a long time, I was in distress and pain but throughout my life I depended on God. Whenever I read Psalms 34:4-5, I am encouraged; it touches my life to give thanks to our living God. I always try to be happy in this world because I trust God’s Word. At times, when I was in deep sorrow, the Word of God came as a reminder that God is my help, and comfort. I needed a Bible but could not afford. After long years of waiting, now I have received a Bible through the BSI Odisha Auxiliary and am so grateful to God.” – Mrs. Sabina Sirka

“I love to read Bible from my childhood. When I go through pain in my life the Word of God always comforts me. Even as my Bible is worn out and was wishing to have a new one but have no money to buy one, I prayed to God then I came to know the Bible Society of India, Odisha Auxiliary was organising a program in our locality, and with prayer I attended the meeting. Unexpectedly, copies of the Bible were given to us free of cost for those who do not have money to buy. I really thank God and Bible Society of India, Odisha Auxiliary for giving me a Bible, which I trully needed for long.” – Mrs. Manjula Khosla

“I thank God for the opportunity to attend the woman’s meeting arranged by BSI, Odisha Auxiliary in our locality. When I heard about this meeting, I decided not to attend due to sickness. But God answered my prayer and I could make it for the meeting. For many months, I asked one of my brothers to get me a Bible but in vain! I believe this is God’s appointed time for me that the BSI had arranged a program to have a new Bible. I love it. Thanks to BSI, Odisha Auxiliary. Now I will read the Word more often and keep it in my heart to understand the love that God has shown to me and stand for God as witness in all seasons.” – Mrs. Jyoti Pani

DIMAPUR AUXILIARY: Bible Engagement with Poor Widows and Children

During December 12 to 24, 2023 the BSI Dimapur Auxiliary was able to organise Scripture engagement programmes in various places. It was a great privilege that the Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation Department arranged 63 Bibles for free distributions to deserving persons with free of cost in various villages such at Sümi Village, Dimapur, at Seluophe Baptist Church, at Bethel Prayer Home, Dimapur, at Deomali Town Baptist Church, Arunachal Pradesh, District Hospital, Dimapur and at Bade Baptist Church. We praise and thank God for the Ministry of the BSI, serving the poor by providing them the Bible, the Word of Life, especially to those who literally could not afford to buy a copy of the Bible in the midst of their daily hardship for survival.

RANCHI AUXILIARY

Ranchi Auxiliary organized a special program from 2nd – 5th November 2023 in different places of Ranchi District.

Annual Bible Exhibition & Annual Meeting on 2nd November 2023: Annual Meeting and Annual Bible exhibition were organized by the Ranchi Auxiliary. The program began at 4 pm at Bible House Ranchi. On this auspicious occasion Mr. Paul Stephen (BSI Director, Marketing & Publishing) as Chief Guest and our Auxiliary President the honourable Rt. Rev. Rajiw Satish Toppo graced the occasion with their kind presence. The students of St. Margaret School welcomed the honorable guests in a traditional manner. Right after the opening ceremony our honourable Auxiliary committee members, students and other visitors took the opportunity to see the exhibition and purchased different kinds of Bibles for their family members, friends and relatives. We are really grateful to all our partners who visited our exhibition.

The Ranchi Auxiliary Annual meeting was held in Hotel Maple wood. In the meeting, the chief guest shared the word of God and presented a short PPT about the Bible Society’s work. It was mesmerizing and helpful for all of us to understand our Bible Societies’ growth. Our Special thanks goes to our Mary Jones Committee and staff of Ranchi Auxiliary for their organizing skills.

Day with the Bible: A one day seminar was organized by BSI Ranchi Auxiliary on 3rd November at Maple wood. Around 150 donors, partners, Pastors and some young people participated in the seminar and were blessed. The theme was “Be Rooted in the word of God” which was taken from Joshua 1:8. Our President Rt. Rev. R. S. Toppo was the speaker for the day. He beautifully took the session that encouraged and inspired the participants to study the word of God more and more and apply those truths in their own lives.  The PPT presentation of Mr. Paul Stephen “God Created missionary” not only brought tears to everyone’s eyes but also created an atmosphere of self reflection. Rev. Soma Bhatkar gave a brief report about the progress of Bible work in Bihar and Jharkhand.

During feedback session Revd. Ashisan Bage the chief woman Director of GEL Church said that the sessions were not only filled with captivating and enlightening Bible expositions but also a period of self examination with questions like, where am I standing?  Have I been a main medium of conveying Biblical truth to others? Are we really helping the Bible mission to the best of our abilities? Our Special thanks go to Mr Atulya Kujur for anchoring the Program and Mr. Someshwar Prasad who interpreted in Hindi. We as an Auxiliary, thank the Auxiliary President, Auxiliary Committee Members and our Mary Jones Committee for their help in all our arrangements for this program.

Annual Thanks giving Meeting in GEL Church Hesag on 4th November & Bible Sunday on 5th November 2023 At NWGEL Church.  We praise God that we could thank Him along with 250 believers of GEL, NWGEL CNI Church of Ranchi, for his abundant mercies upon the Bible work In Jharkhand and Bihar on 4th November. We also thank the Pastor and Committee members of Hesag Church for opening their Church for our Thanksgiving Program. We thank the Secretary of Hesag GEL church who made a promise to help Bible Society on a regular basis. May God bless them abundantly.

We thank the honorable Arch Bishop of NWGEL Church and honorable Bishop Simant Tirkey of GEL Church for welcoming us to share the word of God on Bible Sunday on 5th November. We at Ranchi Auxiliary extend our gratitude to our General Secretary and sincerely appreciate our Director (Marketing & Publishing) for his esteemed presence and encouraging people in our region which will definitely empower and enhance the Bible work in Bihar and Jharkhand in the days to come.  Praise be to our God.

Staff Retreat & Holy Communion Service on 4th January 2024:-

Staff retreat & prayer day was observed on 4th January 2024 in the Bible House, Ranchi Auxiliary.  All the staff of Ranchi Auxiliary took part in this Retreat and Prayer. Our Auxiliary President conducted the retreat and Holy Communion Service and edified and encouraged the staff by the teaching of the Word of God. The meeting was followed by a fellowship lunch.

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER Jan 2024 1st Edition

New Year Message
“The Eternal God: Yesterday, Today, and Forever”

Dear Co-workers in Christ,

As we stand at the beginning of the year 2024 to delve into the timeless truths of God’s Word, I am reminded of the unchanging nature of our Creator God. The God we serve is not confined by the constraints of time and space; our God is the God of our Past, the God of our Present, and the God of our Future – the “Immanuel” – the boundless God.

What a comforting assurance that the God who walked with our ancestors in the past, the God who sustained us in our present, is the same God who holds our future as we read in Jeremiah 23:23-24 “I am a God who is everywhere and not in one place only. No one can hide where I cannot see them. Do you not know that I am everywhere in heaven and on earth?” and Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

The God of the Past: In reflecting on the past, we see the faithfulness of God throughout history. From the creation of the world to the redemption of fallen human kinds through Jesus Christ on the Cross, God’s design is evident. As we recount our personal histories, we can trace the fingerprints of God’s grace, love, mercy, and providence. The challenges we faced, and the victories we celebrated – are testaments to the God who walked beside us in the past.

The God of the Present: In the present, we experience the tangible presence of God in our lives. In Psalm 46:1, we are reminded that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The same God who sustained us in the past is with us today, guiding, comforting, and empowering us for the challenges of the moment. Our moment of challenges be it financial, physical, or mental health, broken relationships in the family and friends circle, war, conflicts and violence, political unrest, displacement, scarcity of food, repeated natural disasters due to climate change, … We can go on counting challenges that are unlimited. Amid these crises, where there seems to be no hope in our human understanding and limitations, there is one truth that stands out, that is, our reliance on God’s presence brings peace amid life’s uncertainties.

The God of the Future: As we step into the future of time and space we face the unknown with confidence in the God who holds our tomorrow. Isaiah 46:10 affirms, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'” Our God, who orchestrated the events of history, continues to hold the future in God’s sovereign hands.

Dear fellow sojourners, let us rest in the unchanging character of our God. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As we navigate the complexities of life, may we find solace in the God of our past, the God of our present, and the God of our future? (Hebrews 13:8). The Ministry of the BSI is a beacon of hope, a vessel of transformation, and a proclamation of the love of Christ. In Romans 10:15, we are reminded of the importance of bringing the good news: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Let us anchor ourselves in the promise found in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” May this year be a year of deepened faith, renewed dedication, and an outpouring of God’s grace upon each one of us. Together, as co-workers in Christ, let us press on with unwavering commitment, knowing that our labor in the Lord is never in vain. Let us journey forward with the assurance that the God who has been faithful in our past is faithful in our present and will be faithful in all the days to come. Amen.

Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi
A/D – Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation Department

JABALPUR AUXILIARY – Mary Jones Women’s Fellowship Christmas Tree Programme

As part of the tradition, the Mary Jones Women’s Fellowship once again organized the Christmas Tree Programme on 10th December 2023 at the Christ Church Cathedral premises. There were approximately 150 participants along with special invitees such as visually impaired and senior citizens. Women from various Churches of Jabalpur participated.  Rt. Rev. Ajay Umesh James, Bishop of Jabalpur Diocese, CNI was the Chief Guest for the event. Rev. Bruce Thangadurai, Treasurer, BSI, Jabalpur Auxiliary and Priest in charge of Christ Church Cathedral, Rev. Subh Venketgadi, Assistant Priest of  Christ Church Cathedral, Rev. Ms. J. C.  Luke, Advocate Arpan Pawar, Executive Committee Member were our dignitaries and they were honored with bouquets. Rev. Subh Venketgadi offered the opening prayer. Ms. Arpita Steele and Mrs. Parimal Mayo led the program beautifully. 

The Mary Jones Women’s Fellowship Committee Members led the praise and worship. Mrs. Manjulata Robert read the Bible scripture taken from John Ch.5: 30 – 47. Our Chief Guest shared the Christmas message and emphasized the importance of preparing ourselves to receive Jesus in our hearts, apart from our physical preparations with lights and decorations and varieties of Christmas programmes. He also shared about Mary Jones and her Bible. The message was very meaningful and well-received. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful performance of Group Dance, Song and Christmas Skit by the Members of the Mary Jones Women Fellowship. The BSI Audio Bibles were presented to our special invitees, which was greatly appreciated by all. Mrs. Prabha David who is blind was in tears while receiving the Audio Bible. Ms. Teresa Irene Rodrigues, staff, BSI, Jabalpur Auxiliary presented the Vote of Thanks. The program was concluded with prayer by Rev. Bruce Thangadurai and Benediction was pronounced by our Chief Guest.

Christmas with the “Mission to the Blind, Jabalpur”

On December 17, 2023, the Bible Society of India Jabalpur Auxiliary had the privilege to be part of another Christmas Tree Program organized by the “Mission to The Blind” at Prince of Peace Church, Johnson Compound Jabalpur.

It was a very joyful time in Praise and Worship led by Prince of Peace Church Choir. Mr. George B. Lall who is visually impaired read the Braille Bible from the Gospel of Matthew. It was really a heart touching experience for many people who witnessed how a visually challenged person reads the Bible. The group presented wonderful Christmas carols.

Rev. Cornelius delivered a very meaningful Christmas message, focusing on the meaning of Christmas, which is all about God’s love to humankind. The Auxiliary Secretary Rev. Daniel Nath also shared the Christmas Message saying, “Christmas brings Love, Joy, Hope and Peace we received from God’s sacrificial incarnation in Jesus Christ. To understand this Christmas message we need to develop this sacrificial attitude of God within us.”  Braille Scriptures & Audio Bibles were distributed to the visually impaired and we are truly thankful to the BSI Media and Special Audience Department for providing us these Scriptures. The beneficiaries of the Braille Bibles and Audio Bibles were filled with joy and gratitude to God. It was a Blessed moment for all the participants of this event.

TAMIL NADU AUXILIARY – BSI Christmas Programme

The Bible Society of India Christmas programme was held in the Bible House of BSI TN Auxiliary on December  21, 2023 at 11.30 a.m. Rev. John Giridharan, Senior Presbyter (Retd.) who is also a member of ESV  Global Study Bible Translation started the programme with prayer. Rev P. Moses Devadason, the Auxiliary Secretary welcomed the gathering  and greeted the Presbyters, Auxiliary Committee Members, Branch Officers and the staff who participated in the Christmas programme. Rev. Sam Rajkumar coordinated the events of the Programme and brought special greetings about the birth of Jesus Christ.

The following distinguished guests such as Rev.  John Giridharan, Rev.  Samson, Mr. V. S. Jebaraj, and Mr.  Stephen Bakianathan brought special Christmas greetings and encouraged the gathering to support the BSI ministry. A very meaningful Christmas message was shared by Rev. N. G. Mathew, Presbyter in-charge, CSI  Risen Redeemer Church, Kodambakkam from the text Luke 2: 9 – 20, the sign of the birth of Jesus Christ to the Shepherds. Rev. D. Manogar our  Sr. Marketing staff  presented  the vote of thanks. The programme came to a close with prayer by the Rev. T. Devaputhiran, Executive Committee Member BSI, TN  Auxiliary  and benediction by Rev. John Giridharan.

KERALA AUXILIARY: The CELEBRATION of LOGOS to the COSMOS
(the Word became flesh and dwelt among us)

During Christmas season, as part of the Scripture engagement programme, the Auxiliary Secretary shared the Christmas message and introduced BSI ministry in the ‘Christmas celebration and Crib competition’ held at Government Dental College, Kottayam on 21st December 2023.  We really appreciate College Principal Dr. Suja Ani, all Doctors, staff and students for their great efforts.

On 17th December, the Auxiliary Secretary attended the ecumenical carol night and delivered the Christmas message in ‘Painter Hills Carol Night 2023’, organised by the Churches established by Rev. A. F. Painter at Mankompu, Idukki district.  Around 400 members and 11 Church Choirs participated. BSI Melukavumattom  Branch President, Rev. James P. Mammen presided the meeting, Idukki Region Coordinator Dr. Josemon George felicitated the gathering. We praise God for the wonderful program.

The Auxiliary Secretary, Rev. Jacob Antony Koodathinkal shared from the Word and about BSI ministry in the Christmas Carol programme arranged by Power in Jesus Ministries, (a worship group for all language people) at Kattappana on 25th December 2023. Around a thousand migrant workers from various states attended the program. We appreciate the great ministries of BSI Kattapana Branch Treasurer, Mr. Vincent Thomas, and the leadership of Rev. Dr. Benoy P. Jacob (Patron), Rev. Joseph Mathew (President), Pr. Jacob Samuel(Secretary). God bless all the efforts of reaching the World with the Word.

The Auxiliary Secretary also attended the Platinum Jubilee Carol Service at Holy Trinity CSI Church, Mundakayam on 23rd December  evening and Christmas Carol at St. Stephen’s CSI Church, Ayyappancovil on 24th December  evening. Rev. Jacob Antony shared the Christmas message of the Divine becoming Human.

KARNATAKA AUXILIARY
Christmas with Widows and Poor Women in Srinivaspur Kolar, Karnataka

On Monday, the 11th of December 2023,  the Karnataka Auxiliary visited the Laymen’s Evangelical Fellowship Church in Srinivaspur Kolar, Karnataka for a Christmas programme with project Bible distribution. The service started at 6.30 p.m. The in-charge Pastor Peter Palathoti had invited around 150 poor women and widows from the nearby villages to take part in the Christmas service. A very meaningful time was spent in the service by sharing the Word and about the ongoing ministry of the Bible Society. Special program by the children and free distribution of the Bible was the highlight of the church service.

Mrs. Dafni and Mrs. Dorcas expressed their heartfelt thanks to BSI ministries while receiving the very first copy of the Bible in their lifetime. Their gratitude underscores the profound impact of this gesture, emphasizing the value of access to spiritual guidance and the significance of providing such resources to individuals, which can bring immense comfort and inspiration to their lives. The Auxiliary was greatly thankful to Pastor Peter Palathoti for giving them the opportunity to visit his congregation for Scripture engagement during Christmas season.

Christmas with Widows and Poor Women in Bangarapet, Karnataka

As part of advance Christmas Scripture engagement, on Sunday, the 17th of December 2023, the Karnataka Auxiliary visited the Bethel Mission Church, Bangarpet for distribution of Bibles as part of project implementation. The first service started at 6.00 a.m. The in-charge Pastor Rev. John Peter had invited around 150 poor women and widows from the nearby villages to participate in the service.

The Auxiliary had the privilege of sharing about the ongoing ministry of the Bible Society in two services. There was a time of Praise and Worship, and sharing the Word, which was followed by Scripture distribution program.  Mrs. Priya Yeshu and Mrs. Joyce, the beneficiaries among many expressed their gratitude to the Bible Society for the thoughtful gesture and shared their joy of receiving a copy of the Bible directly from BSI. All the beneficiaries expressed their heartfelt thanks, reflecting the significance of such initiatives in bringing hope and comfort to individuals in challenging circumstances. The Auxiliary was deeply thankful to Pastor Rev. John Peter for giving them the opportunity to take part in their worship and to have BSI women project implementation. In return, the church offered donation for the BSI Ministry, which was much appreciated.

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER Dec 2023 2nd Edition

REFLECTING ON THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTMAS

As the Christmas season is here, I find myself contemplating the profound question: Why Christmas? In a world filled with diverse celebrations and holidays, what makes Christmas so special, so universally cherished? Beyond the glittering lights, festive decorations, and the exchange of gifts, Christmas holds a deeper meaning that transcends cultural boundaries. It is a time when the spirit of giving, compassion and joy permeates the air, bringing people together in a shared celebration of love and hope. At its core, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, a symbol of love, peace, and salvation in Christian faith. The story of the Nativity, with its humble manger, guiding star, and angelic proclamation, has been passed down through generations, echoing through the centuries as a timeless narrative of hope and redemption. While the religious significance remains central, Christmas has evolved into a cultural phenomenon that extends far beyond the boundaries of Christianity. It is a time when people go out of their way to bring joy to others, embodying the spirit of selflessness and compassion. Moreover, Christmas serves as a reminder of the importance of family and community. In a fast-paced world where individuals are often consumed by their daily routines, the Christmas celebration becomes a sanctuary for togetherness. Families gather around festive tables, friends reunite, and communities come together to celebrate the bonds that tie them. The warmth of shared laughter, the joy of shared meals, and the comfort of shared traditions create a sense of belonging that is unparalleled.

Another aspect that adds to the charm of Christmas is the sense of nostalgia it invokes as we sing and listen to the Christmas songs. The season is imbued with memories of childhood wonder, eagerly anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus and the magic of Christmas morning. These nostalgic moments create a bridge between generations, as grandparents share stories with grandchildren, passing down the enchantment of the season from one era to the next. In a world often marked by challenges and uncertainties, Christmas serves as a beacon of hope. This season encourages us to focus on the positive aspects of life, fostering an attitude of gratitude. It prompts us to reflect on the year gone by, acknowledging both triumphs and tribulations, and to look forward with optimism to the possibilities that the coming year holds.

 Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year to all.

Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi
A/D – Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation Department

ALLAHABAD AUXILIARY UNITED CANDLELIGHT SERVICE

Allahabad Auxiliary United Candlelight Service is one of the oldest activities, which is taking place every year at the beginning of the month of December. Historically, this initiative started more than 50 years before to bring all the churches from various denominations together at the beginning of the advent season under the banner of BSI. CNI Holy Trinity Church has been the venue for more than 50 years. It was with great joy that on December 3, 2023, the United Candlelight Service was held at CNI Holy Trinity Church with more than 750 people. Choirs from 12 Churches & Christian Institutions participated representing various denominations.  Rev. Manish Zaidi, Presbyter of CNI Holy Trinity Church and Chairman of BSI, Allahabad Auxiliary welcomed the gathering. Rev. Gershombhai Khristi, Auxiliary Secretary (Pro-tem) welcomed and presented Hindi/English Bilingual Bible to the Rt. Rev. Morris Dan, Bishop of CNI Lucknow. The Bishop shared God’s Word and emphasized the importance of the unity of the Church. He appreciated the ministry of BSI in strengthening the local Churches by providing Scriptures in various languages for many years.

 DIMAPUR AUXILIARY – MOYON YNTHIING BIBLE RELEASE

The Moyon Ynthiing Bible was released on 5th December 2023 at Penaching Baptist Church, Chandel District, Manipur. Rev. Robertson, Pastor of Kapaam Baptist Church moderated the releasing ceremony.  Rev. Ng. Titus, Translator gave a brief report stating that Moyon Ynthing Bible took twelve years and eleven days to complete the translation. While appreciating the Advisers Zambolis Sawkmei, Rev. Dr. Along Jamir and Elder Vanlaltlana, Rev. Ng. Titus acknowledged Checking Committee Members for their constant support in assisting him. He also appreciated the leadership of the Moyon Naga Baptist Association and Pastors and leaders from different walks of life for their support. Rev. Dr. Yiepetso Wezah, Auxiliary Secretary, Dimapur released the Moyon Ynthiing Bible on behalf of the General Secretary Rev. Dr. Kavito G. Zhimo. He shared the words of God from Hebrews 4:12-13 encouraging them to meditate upon the words of God for it is active, alive and changes the life of individuals, churches and society. A copy of Moyon Ynthiing Bible was presented to the Translator, Checking Committee members and a few Church leaders. They also collected offering for the BSI, which was greatly appreciated. The programme came to a close with the Benediction by Rev. Dr. Longam Chara, Former Executive Secretary, MNBA.

BOMBAY AUXILIARYA CHRISTMAS PROGRAM WITH VISUALLY CHALLENGED PEOPLE

Mary Jones Fellowship of the Bombay Auxiliary organised a Christmas Program for the visually challenged people on Saturday, 9th December 2023 at Rahator Memorial Methodist Church, Parel Mumbai. Approximately 100 visually challenged people gathered in the program. The Christmas message was shared by Rev. Clement M. Christian, Auxiliary Secretary, Bombay Auxiliary. Participants from the visually challenged presented songs and some of them shared their testimony how they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The Auxiliary Secretary distributed the Audio Bibles and walking sticks to the visually challenged people. Rev. Alfred Tiwade, Presbyter-in-charge of St. Mary the Virgin Church concluded the meeting with closing prayer. The meeting was followed by lunch. The Bombay Auxiliary thank Mr. Caleb Martin Hilton Associate Director (Media and Special Audience) for arranging the Audio Bibles for the blind people on an urgent basis. Also thanks to the members of Mary Jones Fellowship of Bombay Auxiliary for their generous donations for food and other arrangements. Our heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Subala Chandran, the church relation’s director of Vision for Visually Challenged Foundation for her help.

KERALA AUXILIARY

Celebrations of Bible Sunday in various Churches

On the first and second Sundays of December, various churches in Kerala Auxiliary observed Bible Sunday. During the Worship, special prayer for the ministry of Bible Society were offered & special offerings were collected for the BSI Ministry. On December 3rd the Auxiliary Secretary attended Bible Sunday at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Pattoor, Trivandrum. He shared from the Word of God and about BSI ministry. We are grateful to the support of vicar, Rev. Dr. Philip George and the congregation. We appreciate the great cordination of Chev. Dr. Koshy M. George (Regional Co-ordinator), Mr. John Samuel (Pattoor Branch Secretary) and all other leaders for their support.

On December 10th Rev. Jacob Antony Koodathinkal, the Auxiliary Secretary attended Bible Sunday at CSI Church Nedumkandom and led the Divine Holy Communion Service, shared from God’s Word and introduced BSI ministry. We really appreciate the great support of Rev Joseph Mathew, vicar and president of Kattappana Branch; Rev. O. J. George; Sri. T. Joykumar, Diocesan registrar and the members of the Church. At CSI District Church, Nedumangad, Trivandrum, on December 10th as part of Bible Sunday observation, the Co-ordinator of Trivandrum Central Region, Chev. Dr. Koshy M. George shared from the Word and introduced BSI ministry. We are thankful for the leadership and support of vicar, Rev. T.W. Sugathakumar and the congregation. 

Christmas Celebration: Different Branches of the Auxiliary

The recently reformed BSI Elappara Branch of Idukki Region conducted Ecumenical Christmas Carol Night at CSI Holy Trinity Church, Elappara on 3rd December 2023. The Choir members from different church denominations rendered melodious carol songs. The Branch President, Rev. James K. John, Vicar, Salem Mar Thoma Church, Elappara presided the meeting. Pastor S. David, IPA Church, Elappara was the Chief guest. Rev. A. T. John, Vicar, CSI St. Paul’s Church, Kozhikanam delivered Christmas message. Mr. John P. Kurien, Branch Secretary welcomed the gathering and Mr. Robin S. Branch Treasurer presented the vote of thanks. Church leaders and members from different Churches in and around Elappara participated in the Carol Night.

The BSI Valakom Branch (Kottarakara) organized Christmas Carols at St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Valakom on 17th December 2023. Rev. Georgie Varghese, the Vicar & Branch President presided the Musical Evening Program. H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos Metropolitan, Auxiliary President inaugurated the blessed event and delivered the Christmas message. The choir team from various Church denominations and Mary Jones Fellowship Choir, Valakom Branch rendered meaningful and melodious carols. Mr. K. G. Thomas, Branch Secretary, Mr. Joykutty A., Branch Treasurer, Juby Shaji, Convenor shared Christmas greetings.

The Christmas celebration of BSI Kottayam Branch was held on 18th December at Bible House, Kottayam. Rev. Joseph Johny, Vicar, Bethlehem Mar Thoma Church, Kollad & Finance Committee Member, Kerala Auxiliary presided the meeting. Very Rev. Fr. Dr. M. P. George Cor Episcopa, Director, SAMA, Kottayam inaugurated the Programme. Rev. John Mathai, Vicar, St. Peter’s Mar Thoma Church, Manganam delivered Christmas message. The Auxiliary Secretary shared Christmas greetings, updated about BSI ministry and the importance and relevance of the ecumenical ministry of the Bible Society in reaching the unreached with the living Word. The Women’s Fellowship Choir team of St. Peter’s Mar Thoma Church, Manganam rendered Christmas carols beautifully. Mr. George Mathew, Branch Secretary welcomed the gathering; Mr. E. J. George, Branch Treasurer expressed vote of thanks. The Branch members, a few Auxiliary Committee members & Staff participated in the Christmas Programme.

NORTH WEST INDIA AUXILIARY

“Scripture Engagement for Christian Widows and Suffering Women” 2023 Christmas season.   

The BSI-NWIA conducted the “Scripture Engagement for Christian Widows and Suffering Women” at four different places in Ghaziabad, Meerut, Faridabad & Delhi. The programmes were truly a blessing for the BSI Staff and for those women who were not recognised in our society for many years. We are grateful to the BSI Central Office, Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilization Department for recognising and honouring our mothers and sisters in its truest sense.

The first program was conducted at Dua ka Ghar Church in Meerut in Eastern Part of Uttar Pradesh where we were able to mobilise 40 women from various denominations and honoured them with Bibles and shawls. Mrs. A. Dean, BSI NWI Auxiliary Committee Member was our chief guest. Refreshment was served, provided by Mr. Anand Sahai one of the BSI, NWI Auxiliary Committee members. Pastor Finny Abraham was so kind to provide Church premises and all the logistic support. The second program was organised at Central Methodist Church Ghaziabad. Rev. Titoo Peter, Presbyter and BSI NWI Auxiliary Committee Member and Sister Aruna Jacob were the main dignitaries along with Pastor Jagdish Singh BSI, NWIA, Assistant Marketing. We were able to mobilise 55 special women from various denominations and honoured them with Bibles and shawls. Lunch was provided by the Ghaziabad Branch, BSI, NWIA. The third program was conducted at the City of Faridabad in Haryana by Mr. Sandeep Chauhan BSI, NWIA Marketing Assistant in co-ordination with Rev. George Masih, Presbyter of Methodist Church, Faridabad, Haryana. 28 Privileged women of Faridabad participated in the program. These women were honoured with Bibles and shawls. The last program was conducted in the City of Delhi at Hand of Jesus Yeshu Prarthana Bhawan Church, which gives importance to women in society and church. Pastor Ajeet was profoundly thankful to the Bible Society of India for organising such a program for the free distribution of Scriptures to widows and the suffering women in our society. Altogether 50 special women were given Bibles and shawls. Refreshments were served by the local Church.

Read more

BSI Bimonthly E-NEWSLETTER Dec 2023 1st Edition

YOUR WORD IS A LAMP UNTO MY FEET AND A LIGHT UNTO MY PATH 
Psalm 119:105

In this season of joy and reflection we celebrate the timeless message Your Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path. This deep truth resounded in the hearts of the unassuming shepherds, who amidst the peace and tranquility of the night, heard the sacred Words in the song sung by a host of angels guiding them to the manger where the Savior was born. As we gather to rejoice in this miraculous birth, let us also remember the wise men who were guided by a celestial light and followed it,  as it illuminated the night sky. Their journey led them to the newborn king, and their gifts symbolized profound reverence and recognition of the divine Light.

In the spirit of the shepherds who heard the Word and the first ever Christmas carol, and the wise men who saw the Light, let us share the warmth of Christmas with one another as we exchange gifts and gestures of love. May we, like the shepherds, attune our hearts to the whispers of God’s word, finding solace and direction in the gentle nudge of its teachings as we resonate Christmas carols at home, in our churches and at public places. May the radiance of the streets, the glow of our churches and the illumination in our homes with the Star of Bethlehem strung on our corridors, mark the birth of Christ and dawn a new light to every seeking heart. May the Light and the Word continue to guide us towards compassion, understanding, and goodwill to brighten our journey to walk in the footsteps of love and kindness.

May the people who live in the darkness of hatred, violence and war, who live in the shadow of harassment and oppression see the Light and hear the Word of peace and hope this Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone.

Dr. Hrangthan Chhungi
A/D – Church, Public Relations and Resource Mobilisation Department

ODISHA AUXILIARY: CELEBRATION OF BIBLE SUNDAYS IN VARIOUS CHURCHES.

From 22nd October to 26th November 2023 the Odisha Auxiliary Secretary Rev Brajendra Kumar Kauri had the opportunity to engage in celebrating Bible Sunday in various churches across the Auxiliary. Despite difficulties God has enabled him to visit churches and celebrate Bible Sunday in English and Odia services at Odia Baptist Church in Sambalpur on 22nd October 2023, at Odia Baptist Church, Phulbani on 29th October, in the Union Church, Bhubaneswar and in the Cuttack Odia Baptist Church, Cuttack on 26th November. In all the churches, congregations were motivated and gave sacrificially to the ministry of the BSI.  In all the churches, it was a good opportunity to revive some old prayer partners and supporters for the Bible cause.

World Sunday School Day

The Auxiliary Secretary had another great opportunity to celebrate the World Sunday School Day at Bolangir on 3rd November, along with the 400 + children who gathered in the church. The children were very happy to hear from the Bible and listen to the story of Mary Jones.  On the same evening, in the Church, Rev Kauri was given an opportunity to observe Bible Sunday in the midst of a large crowd gathered from various congregations to talk about “Jesus, the foundation of the Church”. It was an enriching Sunday spent with hundreds of Bible lovers and an opportunity to meet with prayer partners, donors, church leaders and presbyters from many churches who were united in one heart to serve the Lord.

BSI GENERAL SECRETARY VISIT TO ODISHA AUXILIARY

BSI GENERAL SECRETARY VISIT TO ODISHA AUXILIARY AND CELEBRATION OF 40th ANNIVERSARY OF ODISHA AUXILIARY ON 25th  and 26th NOVEMBER 2023

On the 25th of November at 10.30 am the Auxiliary staff had a wonderful time meeting with the BSI General Secretary Rev. Dr. Kavito G Zhimo in the Auxiliary Office. GS spoke very encouraging words to all the staff, and everyone was grateful to GS for giving his valuable time and encouragement.

Celebration of 40th Anniversary of Odisha Auxiliary on November 25, 2023

The Odisha Auxiliary celebrated God’s faithfulness on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Odisha Auxiliary at Cuttack Odia Baptist Church. The GS, Rev. Dr. Kavito G Zhimo, was the Chief Guest and Speaker for this historic celebration. The message was timely, so inspiring, heart touching and served to enrich the church, it was an awakening call to all of us to put God first in everything. Many participants expressed their thanks for the entire programme. People from different denominations were able to join in this celebration and had a blessed time to thank God by remembering His faithfulness. The Auxiliary Secretary expressed his heartfelt thanks to Rev. Dr. Bijaya Kumar Pattnaik, the National Vice President of BSI, and all the Office Bearers of the Odisha Auxiliary along with some Auxiliary Committee members for their presence and support.

On 26th November

The General Secretary Rev. Dr. Kavito G Zhimo shared the word of God and the ministry of BSI in two of the biggest churches on Sunday one in the Union Church, Bhubaneswar at 9:45 am, and the other at Cuttack Odia Baptist Church, Cuttack at 3.30 pm. The congregation was touched by the inspiring messages. Meeting with a few leaders and prayer partners after the services was very meaningful and would surely make an impact on the Bible Society ministries. 

RUBY JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS ON NOVEMBER 25th  2023: REFLECTIONS ON THE 40th  ANNIVERSARY OF BSI, ODISHA AUXILIARY (1983-2023)

Four decades of unstinting hard work is an accomplishment worth celebrating. The year 2023 marks Odisha Auxiliary’s 40th Anniversary since it was founded as a separate Auxiliary of the Bible Society of India. Since then, we have taken pride in developing the relationship with the Churches and Institutions, whether the work is big or small.  40 years is a long time to remain a viable unit of the Bible Society of India. Even as the past 40 years have seen many ups and downs, economic challenges in the market, technological innovations, and social changes, the one constant is our commitment to translate, print, distribute and to engage the people with Scripture, with the sole aim to build a transformed community. After all, we have started this auxiliary by listening to our prayer partners, supporters, stakeholders and formulating the cutting-edge Scriptures in different varieties, to meet their needs.

The Odisha Auxiliary: The Scripture Distribution Centre and later Bible Depot, which was functioning at Cuttack from 1943 as an extended arm of Kolkata Auxiliary’s work, gained full-fledged status as Orissa Auxiliary on 26th November 1983, which is known as Odisha Auxiliary to this day. Odisha has seen publication of Scriptures not only in Odia, the main language of the state, but also in several tribal languages such as Sora, Ho, Kui, Mundari and so on. Mounting demand for provision of Scriptures for the unlettered, the Auxiliary facilitated production of Audio Scriptures in Odia, Sora, and Juango language. The Odisha Auxiliary built the Bible House and inaugurated it on 19th September 1992 in Cuttack.

Work in Odisha Auxiliary: The translation work of the Odia New Testament was taken up in 1804 by Dr. William Carey and published in 1811. The Old Testament was completed and the whole Odia Bible was Published in 1819. The Odia Bible has transmuted into its present state after undergoing revisions at different times in 1839, 1840, 1844, 1862, 1872, 1927, 1957 by committed people of God from India and abroad. Besides this the common language version of the Odia Bible was published in 1995. Indeed, it was a matter of great joy that we had 12 varieties of Odia Bibles.  The Odisha Auxiliary celebrated its 25th  Anniversary in 2008, from 2008 to 2018 we were able to add 7 varieties and from 2019 till today we could add 8 more varieties of the Scriptures. While the Auxiliary is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023, we were able to publish 27 varieties of Odia Bibles as per the demand of the readers.

Scripture for Tribals: Odisha has a population of 47,920,000 at present. The state of Odisha occupies an important place in the country having a sizable concentration of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe population. Both ST & SC constitute 39.98% of the total population as per the 2011 census. The Bible Society of India has been focusing on the development of these people by providing the Scripture in their heart languages bringing about the transformation of their lives to live as an enlightened community. In the past 40 years some major tribal communities  have received the Scripture fully or partially such as: Sora, Kui, Santali, Mundari, Ho, Kuvi, Kalahandia, Desia, Mirgan, Bodaparaja, Sambalpuri.

Audio Scripture through songs: The Bible Society of India had produced about 7 different Audio CDs and Cassettes, to communicate the Scripture in song formats. It also has Audio Scripture mainly for the visually challenged and the aged people.

KERALA AUXILIARY

Congratulations to the newly Consecrated Bishops of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church

The Episcopal Consecration of three newly selected Bishops of Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Rt. Rev. Zacharias Mar Aprem Episcopa, Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Evanios Episcopa, Rt. Rev. Mathews Mar Seraphim Episcopa was held on 2nd December 2023, Saturday at SCS Campus, Thiruvalla. The Most Rev. Dr. Theodosius Mar Thoma Metropolitan (Auxiliary Committee Member & former BSI Executive Committee Member) led a blessed Consecration Service along with Rt. Rev. Dr.  Abraham Mar Paulos Episcopa (BSI Executive Committee Member), Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Barnabas Suffragan Metropolitan (former Auxiliary President), and other Bishops of Mar Thoma and various Churches. The Auxiliary President, Most Rev. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos Metropolitan; Vice President and Rt. Rev. Dr. Oommen George graced the solemn Service with their presence. The Auxiliary Secretary, Rev. Jacob Antony Koodathinkal, Auxiliary committee members along with several regional & branch leaders of the Auxiliary attended the meeting. The Bible Society of India extended its hearty congratulations and prayerful best wishes to the new Episcopas to lead the Church in a blessed manner. We are grateful to the Mar Thoma Church for being a great partner in the ministry of reaching the world with the Word.

BSI Thodupuzha Branch Reformation (Idukki Region)

The Branch reformation meeting of BSI Thodupuzha Branch in Idukki Region was held on 23rd November 2023 at Holy Trinity CSI Church, Thodupuzha. Rev T J Sebastian presided the meeting, Auxiliary Secretary gave the inaugural address. Clergy, Pastors and members from various churches attended the meeting. The following branch officials were selected along with the 45  working committee members, Rev. Binu Kuruvila (President), Mr. M. I. James (Secretary), Mr. Varghese P. Jacob (Treasurer). We appreciate the hard work and leadership of Dr. Josemon George, (Auxiliary Committee member & Regional Co-ordinator) for organising this meeting with great success. Congratulations and best wishes to all the elected Committee members.

Bible Convention, Perumbavoor (Ernakulam East Region)

The 101th Church festival and Bible Convention of St. George Jacobite Syrian Church, Perumani, Perumbavoor was held from 12th to 19th November 2023. On 15th November, Wednesday the Auxiliary Secretary attended the meeting, shared God’s Word and introduced the BSI ministry. We thank Fr. Behanan Pathiyarathuparambil (Vicar, St. George Jacobite Syrian Church), Mr. A.V. Benny (BSI Perumbavoor Branch Secretary & Church Committee member) and entire congregation for their support and prayers for the Bible Cause.

BOMBAY AUXILIARY

Bible Sunday was celebrated in Robinson Memorial Methodist Church, Byculla, Mumbai on 26th November 2023. Rev. Clement Christian, Auxiliary Secretary, Bombay Auxiliary preached the word of God. Bible exhibition cum sale was arranged in the Church premises.  The response was impressive and our heartfelt thanks to the Robinson Memorial Methodist Church.  We thank God for the opportunity given to the BSI Bombay Auxiliary.

 AIZAWL THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE VISIT TO BSI AND ECC

The 26 students of the Aizawl Theological College along with their Faculty Rev. Dr. Laldingluaia made a visit to the Bible Society of India on December 5, 2023 as part of their Urban Exposure for the BD Final Year Students for the Academic Year 2023-2024. They were welcomed by the General Secretary of the BSI Rev Dr. Kavito G. Zhimo along with other colleagues in the Logos office. GS was appreciative that they had  BSI in their itinerary.  As students of theology GS  advised the students to have a firm foundation in the knowledge of God being rooted in the Bible. Mr. Paul Stephen, Director, Production and Marketing while acknowledging the Mizo community and  their love and contribution to the BSI ministry shared few words about the journey of BSI publications with a record of the BSI being the third Bible Society among the 154 members of the United Bible Societies in terms of Bible distribution.  Some students among them, who are interested in Biblical studies, received copies of Hebrew and Greek Bibles published by the BSI as gifts from the Aizawl Auxiliary. They had a very interesting time in the BSI Archives as the BSI Archivist Mr. Binu took them into a journey of the history of the Bible in its various forms and languages. For the students, holding, seeing and reading the first print of the Mizo Holy Bible (1959) and some books of the New Testament – Luke and John (1898), Acts (1899), Mathew and Mark (1906), was truly heartwarming and a dream of a lifetime come true.

After spending a meaningful time with the BSI, they proceeded to the Ecumenical Christian Centre in Whitefield to be welcomed by the Director Rev. Dr. Sham P. Thomas and the Assistant Director Mr. Samuel Sunith R. The historical journey of ECC from the beginning to this day, with the faith of the founding director Rev. Dr. M.A. Thomas, alongwith the Ecumenical contributions on the world platforms narrated by the Director was very inspiring and thought provoking. As Christmas feelings filled the air, the ATC students presented beautiful songs. The ATC students and faculty were truly thankful for the warmth of the ECC family and the fellowship that was shared.

Read more