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


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.


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