Beginning this report, let me firmly state that the Work of God in Africa has been a blessing to me and a time of rejoicing in the Power and Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we finished our final meetings on this journey with our brothers and sisters and the Disciples and Vice Bishops; very few had dry eyes. In my heart were an ache and already a longing to continue the work in Africa and among those whom mean so much to me. The Disciples and Vice Bishops and Women have labored so tirelessly and unselfishly to help the Work of the Lord to prosper and grow. These who have hazarded their very lives for the Work and Word of God. It humbles my very soul to have the honor to labor among them and call them my brothers and sisters. I presented some of my brothers with Bibles I had purchased for them and yet it seemed like so little to me to give in return for the effort and work they do daily.

We traveled to Nairobi Kenya on the 12th of May and our last few days in Kenya for this journey. The ride took five an half hours and I found myself wanting to simply turn around and spend a few more months laboring in this wonderful country, however Christ has work for us yet to do in India. The next few days just flew by in a flash, as Brother Ron and Sister Linda hosted us and tried to do everything needful for us as we prepared to depart. Sister Gillian helped her Sister Linda and Brother in law Ron to make our time of leaving a bit less complicated and not nearly so stressful. We cannot begin to express how wonderful these souls are who struggle to care for us and our needs so unselfishly. Thank you Lord for the love and dedication of these whom you have made unto us such a blessing and a Joy.

We boarded the plane bound for India on the 15rh of May and arrived in India on the 16th. Our Journey was uneventful and we arrived on the 16th of May. Air India the following day on the same flight crashed killing all aboard, except six souls while attempting a landing during a thunder storm.

After a three hour rest, we arose and attended services in New Delhi.  I preached and taught as did Brother Larry. The temperature in India was a record high for May at 115 degrees during the day and cooling at night to a temperature of 98 degrees. Disciple Vimal Jaitley was a gracious and wonderful host, blessing us with looking to our every need; while his wife also blessed us with good food and trying to help us in every way. Sister Jaitley is a true handmaiden of the Lord and a very patient woman. After Church we traveled to the home of Rajesh for lunch that he and his wife had prepared and we once again were blessed to be in his home after an eight year absence.

We then met with Disciple Vimal and Disciple KK Kapoor to go over the schedule and discovered we needed very much to make some changes to the original schedule which really didn’t leave enough time in New Delhi to do the work needful. We made the changes and rescheduled the travel arrangements and then checked with Philippine Embassy for Larry’s Visa to that nation, as he was unable to obtain it before our departure from America. We then did some repacking for our journey to south India and the Chennia and Sivagangai and Erode areas. We emptied our suitcases and put what was needful in our packs and showered, did laundry and tried to rest before our departure on the 19th of May for Chennia.

The two and half day train ride to Chennia India was interesting, as our locomotive, broke down and it delayed us by a day. Then we had to be rerouted due to flooding in the Chennia area. On the 21st of May we arrived in Chennia India. It was extremely hot there also (in fact schools had canceled for two weeks due to the extreme heat). The entire city of Chennia, home to over 5million people was on total water rationing: all homes receive any form of water only on Sundays. This condition creates many difficulties to the poor people who need water to sustain life. We could buy bottled water, but the people lack the funds to do so and are limited to what they can store as they hand pump all they can save on Sunday to last them through the week.

We arrived in the afternoon and then studied with our Disciple Abraham through the night until about 11pm, before retiring to rest. We are staying within Disciple Abraham again this journey and his wife Stella and their two daughter’s do all they can to make us comfortable. We are humbled to be treated so very well. We shall always be grateful to Sister Stella for all she does to make our life easier.

Larry and I purchased some cots to sleep upon and a fan to blow the hot air around at night to keep the mosquito at bay. Then we would travel each night to visit members in their homes for home study. On Sunday the 23rd of May we traveled by bus to the Church and preached and taught to those gathered to worship the Lord; whom we had baptized and set up eight years ago. It was a joy to meet with them once again and share in the Word of God. We continued the home visits during the week and then on the 26th traveled to Kurahipadi, a village some miles north of Chennia. (About 5 and a half hours north) Kurahipadi is a farming village and small city in comparison to Chennia. We met near a refugee camp and there we taught the Word of God to interested souls and shared in the love of God with all who were gathered. Then we traveled back to Chennai, arriving at 3am and walked the two and half miles back to Abraham’s home.

I was blessed to spend my Birthday on the 28th preaching and teaching and also attending a wedding. We were blessed to teach many good souls following the wedding and then traveled back to Abraham’s home and packed for our journey to the city of Sivagangai, which is seven and half hours journey south of Chennia.

On Sunday we were blessed once again to be in the Church we had set up eight years ago. The local church is progressing and being blessed by the Evangelist who is faithfully serving the flock. The Evangelist is named D. Dayanithi and has been a faithful and indeed a wonderful Servant of Christ and His Church. He has built his flock up from a core group of five souls to almost forty souls and although not all are baptized; all are seeking the Lord and hearing the Word of the Lord and not the teachings of man. During our weeks stay in Sivagangai. We were blessed to have two Sunday’s here and every night we held services and taught the people. The only other Christian churches here are the church of south India and the Catholic Church. On our journey here in 2002 we baptized five souls: D. Dayanithi, S.S. Rajkumar, D. Jeevanantham, D. Maria Selvam, and K. Nathiya Nahomi; on December 1, 2002. We were blessed on June 6, 2010 to baptize three more precious souls and the Spirit of God called D. Dayanithi to the responsibility of Disciple and he was ordained this same day to Disciple of India.

Every night, the members had us over for a dinner they had specially prepared for us and blessed us with their fellowship and love. Our Brothers and Sisters here are not wealthy in money; however they are rich in the Spirit of God! It touches our very souls to find such Christian love and charity and I am reminded in truth of the words of the Apostle Paul in second Corinthians 8:1-6, wherein he said, “How that in great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord and unto us by the will of God.”  In spite of the hardship and deep poverty here, they sought to care for us and to listen with joyful hearts to the Word of God. Each night they came with a hunger and thirst for the Word of God and indeed the Spirit of God provided and all were filled. Truly God is great and His Mercy has no bounds. On the sixth of June, 2010 of our Lord we baptized three precious souls unto the lord. Victor Rajakumar, Elizabeth, and Esther were baptized near Sivagangai and the Spirit and Power of the Lord bore witness to their conversion and their faith. It was a blessed time for all and we give glory and honor unto God.

In the evening Brother Larry, K. K. Kapoor, Vimal Jaitley and Myself preached one final time before the flock gathered in Sivagangai and Disciple Dayanithi completed our words with his and his appreciation for our coming to Sivagangai. He then took us to the train station for our trip back to Chennia and onto Erode on the following day.

It is my deepest prayer that those who read these words will rejoice and find within them the Spirit and Blessings of God. We send them to edify and bless each of you who read them and to give honor and glory unto God who is the author and creator of all good things in this life. The trials, afflictions, and problems of this life melt away in His Grace and in His Love. We have known His Blessings and His Protection upon our journey. We have felt His Spirit in our meetings and we have shared in the Healings He has provided for the people who love Him and seek Him. We appreciate the prayers and support each of you has provided to make all of this possible. We shall write more from our journey before we depart India. May God Bless and keep each of you and May you rejoice in all that God Has Provided and done during this time.  May His Peace be unto each of you and may each of you stand steadfast in His Word and in His Will.

Your Brother in Christ, Apostle Norman D. Lyles

Construction work on the East African Headquarters

Missionary work in Kenya

Missionary work in Africa

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