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Throughout India on August 15, Gospel for Asia-supported churches held ceremonies and service projects to celebrate their nation's independence. At this church office in Karnataka, a pastor welcomed special guests from political and governmental organizations. The chief guest unfurled the Indian flag and gave a speech about working to preserve freedom.
Another church in Karnataka had a day full of activities. During the morning, they held a patriotic ceremony at the Bridge of Hope center, followed by a service at the church. Afterwards, the children participated in a rally in their village. They held signs bearing slogans such as "The Future of India is in Hands of Children" and "I Love India."
In one area of Andhra Pradesh, a local Sunday school organized a "plantation program." Over 200 children gathered to plant trees along a roadside.
In Himachal Pradesh, believers had a program that included prayer, a sermon about Christians' responsibility to India and a flag hoisting. Afterwards, they went to plant 200 trees at an area designated by the local forestry department.
In Jammu & Kashmir, a congregation had vowed that every year on Independence Day they would engage in "nation-building activities." This year, they organized a rally emphasizing the slogan "Cleanliness is Next to Godliness," which ended at a nearby hospital. They cleaned up the hospital campus, much to the appreciation of the hospital staff.
In Maharashtra, Bible college students were spurred by God's love for their country to clean up public areas around their city.
As in many of the other areas, a congregation in Rajasthan started the day with a flag ceremony. A guest speaker shared about freedom and said, "Though we, as Indians, received freedom in the year 1947, still we are living under the slavery of poverty, illiteracy and corruption. Let us pray that a real freedom will come to our nation." Later during the event, the congregation interceded for India.
After the ceremony, the men of the congregation cleaned their city's community hall. Onlookers were amazed to see them cleaning the smelly, littered premises.
Meanwhile, the women of the congregation pulled weeds. Some of the weeds and bushes were six-feet tall, due to the heavy monsoon rains.
Altogether, August 15 was a busy but blessed time for GFA-supported congregations to celebrate their country and glorify God.
date posted 10/28/2010