The Lord Jesus commanded,
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Matthew 28:19)
On December 24, 1983, Brother Sadhu had a supernatural visitation from the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in the Spirit and began speaking to him about the legendary Sadhu Sundar Singh and his ministry in Tibet. The Lord Jesus spoke to him for about 20 minutes. The Lord Jesus then asked Sundar Selvaraj, "Will you continue that ministry?" Without any hesitation, Sundar answered "Yes Lord!" Smiling, the Lord said, "Do not reply hastily! This is a very difficult ministry with lots of suffering. You may have to suffer loneliness, isolation, hunger, pain and persecutions. Now tell me. Will you accept this ministry?" Humbly kneeling before the Lord Jesus, Sundar answered, "Yes Lord. I will continue Sadhu Sundar Singh's ministry." Pleased with that answer, the Lord Jesus came towards Sundar and placed a mantle. Laying his hands upon him, the Lord Jesus then said, "I am ordaining you as an apostle to Tibet. Go and evangelize to Tibet and her people. From today, you shall be called Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj."
After two years of praying and waiting on God, the Lord Jesus revealed a strategy for the systematic evangelization of the Tibetans. From 1986 up till 2006, Brother Sadhu went regularly to Tibet every year to bring God's healing love to the Tibetans.
THE MYSTICAL SHANGRILA
The Tibetans are an unreached people group who live on the 'Roof of the World', the 'Land of Snows' at an altitude of between 4,000 - 5,000 m (12,000 - 16,000 ft) in far-flung west of China. Tibet is a vast, remote area surrounded by an aura of mystery and magic. Tibet lies on the great Himalayan plateau between China and India.
High mountains and harsh weather have proved Tibet to be an almost impassable barrier to missionaries. As a result, millions of Tibetans are yet to hear the 'Good News' about the Lord Jesus Christ.
WHO ARE THE TIBETANS ?
They are simple-minded, warm-hearted, generous, very spiritual and nomadic people. Tibetan nomads roam the grasslands while the settled population live in fertile valleys, growing barley and raising sheep, yaks, goats and horses. In the villages, Tibetans live in flat-roofed mud houses. When rural Tibetans greet each other, they stick out their tongues and hiss loudly. This shows the other person that you are human and not a demon, which are believed to have black tongues.
In 1959, China annexed Tibet. It is now known as Tibetan Autonomous Region. About 2.5 million Tibetans live in Tibet and the Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan. They are strongly nationalistic, venerating and worshipping the exiled Dalai Lama regarded as 'god-king', spiritual and political leader. Tibetans have long resisted any attempt to bring the Gospel to them.
WHAT DO TIBETANS BELIEVE?
Behind their smiles lies a religion full of idol and demon worship—Tibetan Buddhism. Orthodox Buddhist teachings are mixed with the native animistic Bon religion (Bon is an occult religion which practices human sacrifice and the worship of spirits, gods and demons). Buddhism adopted many of the Bon rituals like the flying of prayer flags and the turning of prayer wheels. These rituals combined with the esoteric practices of Tantric Buddhism evolved into Tibetan Buddhism called Lamaism. A typical Tibetan's life consists of flying prayer wheels, offering of incenses, and the recitation of mystical phrases. The goal is to accumulate as much merit as possible for a better life in the next reincarnation.
ARE THERE CHRISTIANS?
There are a few Tibetans who are Christians and they live in Tibet and about 200 in India and Nepal. There are one or two house churches in Tibet, pastored by Chinese Christians and a few churches in India and Nepal, pastored by Tibetans and Ladakhis. It has proved to be a tough spiritual battle to share the gospel to the Tibetans.
Sadhu Sundar Singh
THE APOSTLE WITH THE BLEEDING FEET
Sadhu Sundar Singh
(1889 - 1929)
Sadhu Sundar Singh disappeared in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1929. As a Christian witness, he had been rejected as well as welcomed, persecuted, and even left for dead. Many missionaries and even Indian Christian leaders regarded him as a highly eccentric person, totally out of step with contemporary Christianity as he wandered the roads in his yellow robe and turban. And yet, even though he had never heard the word "indigenization", he had done more than any man in the first half of the twentieth century to establish that "Jesus belongs to India". He made it clear that Christianity is not an imported, alien, foreign religion but it is indigenous to Indian needs, aspirations and faith. He remains one of the permanently significant figures of Indian Christianity.
Sundar Singh was born on September 3 1889 into an influential and rich landowning Sikh family in Patiala state, North India. Sundar Singh's devout mother took him week by week to sit at the feet of sadhus—ascetic holy men—who lived in the jungle some miles away. She also sent him to a Christian mission school where he learned English.
Losing his mother at fourteen plunged him into violence and despair. He turned on the missionaries and persecuted the converts, and ridiculed their faith. In final defiance of their religion, he bought a Bible and burned it page by page. Unable to quench the depression and void in his soul, he retired one night, determined to commit suicide on a railway line the following morning.
Just before dawn, Sadhu saw a bright cloud of light filling the room. Within the cloud, it seemed he saw the similitude of a cross and a man hanging on it. "Why do you oppose me? I am your Saviour. I died on the cross for you,” said a voice from the cross. Sadhu then asked, "Who are you Lord?" "I am Jesus,” came the reply full of love. Sadhu then fell at the feet of the Lord Jesus. When he arose, his heart was filled with an indescribable peace beyond human understanding.
He then ran and woke his father up to tell him that he had seen Jesus Christ in a vision and heard his voice. His father and his relatives pleaded and begged him to renounce this new faith. Sadhu was unrelenting. Sadhu's father, Sher Singh, then gave a farewell feast for his son before the family excommunicated him. A few hours later, Sadhu realised that his food had been poisoned. By the grace of God, his life was saved only by the help of a kind Christian family.
On his sixteenth birthday, he was publicly baptized as a Christian at the St. Thomas' Church in Simla, a town high in the Himalayan foothills. Then, in October 1906, he set out wearing a yellow robe and turban. The yellow robe was the "uniform" of a Hindu sadhu—traditionally an ascetic devoted to the gods, who either begged his way along the roads or sat in silence mediating in the jungle or some lonely place. Sundar Singh had also chosen the Sadhu's way, but he would be a Sadhu with a difference. "I am not worthy to follow the steps of the Lord," he said, "but, like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him, I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all men the love of God."
The 16-year-old Sadhu began his ministry northward through Punjab, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Baluchistan. His thin yellow robe gave him little protection against the snows, and his feet became torn from the rough tracks. Not many months had passed before the little Christian communities of the north were referring to him as "the apostle with the bleeding feet". He was stoned, arrested, and left to sleep in a way-side hut with an unexpected cobra for company.
From the villages in the Simla hills beyond the long line of the snow-capped Himalayas, lay Tibet, a closed Buddhist land that missionaries had long failed to penetrate with the gospel. Ever since his baptism, Tibet had beckoned SundarSadhu. In 1908, at the age of 19, he crossed the frontiers of Tibet, the land of snows. Any stranger entering into this closed territory dominated by Buddhism, risked both terror as well as death. SundarSadhu Singh took the risk for the love of Christ which constrained him. The state of the people appalled him. Their airless homes, like themselves, were filthy. He was ridiculed when he bathed in cold water because they believed that "holy men never washed". Food was mostly unobtainable and he existed on hard, parched barley. Everywhere, there was hostility. And this was only the lower Tibet, just across the border from India.
As Sundar Singh moved into his twenties, his ministry widened greatly. And long before he was thirty years old, his name and picture were familiar all over the Christian world. He was approachable and humble, with a sense of fun and a love for nature. This, with his illustrations from ordinary life, gave his messages great impact. Many people said: "He not only looks like Jesus, he talks like Jesus must have talked." Yet all his talks and personal speech style sprang out of a profound and deep intimate life of prayer. In 1918, he made a long tour of South India and Ceylon. The following year, he visited the then-Burma and -Malaya and China and Japan. He had power over wild things, like the leopard which crept up to him while he stood praying and crouched as he fondled its head. He had power over evil, typified by the sorcerer who tried to hypnotize him in a railway carriage and blamed the Bible in Sadhu's pocket for his failure. He had power over disease and illness, though he never allowed his healing gifts to be publicized.
Sundar Singh visited the West twice, traveling to many nations in Europe, the United States, and Australia. He was welcomed by Christians of many traditions, and his words searched the hearts of people. Sadhu was appalled by the materialism, emptiness, and irreligion he found everywhere in the West, contrasting it with Asia's awareness of God, no matter how limited that might be.
His gifts, his personal attractiveness, the relevance of Christ as he presented Him to the Indian people could have given Sundar Singh a unique position of leadership in the Indian church. But till the end of his life, he remained a man who sought nothing for himself, but only the opportunity to offer Christ to everyone. He was not a member of any denomination, and did not try to begin one of his own, though he shared fellowship with Christians of all kind. He lived to introduce his own people to Christ Jesus.
In 1923, Sundar Singh made the last of his regular summer visits to Tibet and came back exhausted. His preaching days were obviously over. During the next few years, in his own home or those of his friends in the Simla hills, he gave himself to meditation, fellowship, and writing several books. All his writings are based on the deeper Christian life. He authored eight books during his lifetime.
In 1929, against all the advices of his friends, Sadhu was determined to make one last journey to Tibet. In April, he reached Kalka, a small town below Simla, a prematurely aged figure in his yellow robe among pilgrims and holy men who were beginning their own trek to Mount Kailash, one of Hinduism's holy places hundreds of miles away. Where he went after that is unknown. Whether he fell off a precipitous path or died of exhaustion or retired as a recluse to spend his remaining life in prayer and meditation will remain a mystery. Sadhu Sundar Singh had been one of the most treasured figures in the development and story of Christ's church in India.
Evangelism in the Himalayas
While praying on the morning of November 24, 1983, in a vision, Bro Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj saw the words, "NEPAL, GO PREACH." As he waited further on the Lord God, the Lord Jesus spoke saying, "Prepare my Nepalese bride for My coming." This command propelled Bro Sadhu to launch an outreach to the mystical kingdom of Nepal where a strange fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism coexist harmoniously.
Brother Sadhu first went to Nepal in September 1986. From then onwards, he has been reaching out to the millions of Nepalese people living in Nepal, India and Bhutan. Thousands have been saved into the kingdom of God, baptised with the Holy Spirit and healed by the power of God of various sicknesses and diseases.
Since September 1986, an active outreach to the Nepalese people was launched. It includes the following:
Evangelistic Campaigns (Good News Festival), Revival Meetings, Believers Conventions, Youth Camp Meetings (Himalayas Youth Camp Meeting), Women's Conferences (Arise Deborah Women Conference), Books and Messages in Audio and Video tapes.
The Nepalese believers are edified and fed on the solid meat of the Word of God. Many even accept God's call to yield themselves as vessels for the work of the kingdom of God.
Youth Camp Meeting
THE HIMALAYAS JOSHUA CAMP MEETING ’05
The theme for the 2005 Camp Meeting was “All Things New”. In many respects, this was indeed a new kind of experience for us all—the young people and those who were involved in the planning and conducting of the meeting.
Though the actual meeting took place from 7 to 12 January 2005 in Kalimpong, West Bengal (India), the physical and spiritual preparation started many months before in the form of intensive prayer and fasting, ongoing conscription of volunteers and staff, and an assortment of administrative tasks. None of us, however, were really prepared to witness what God actually had in store.
In the early morning hours of 7 January, eager participants started to crowd the registration stalls. Before noon, we up to full capacity; every available seating and boarding was taken but people were still coming in large numbers and we had neither place for them in the auditorium nor accommodation in the hostel. More chairs were quickly brought into the auditorium. Later in the evening, more chairs were hired, as many more as could be squeezed in. The aisles were also crowded. The next day, we had no choice but to allow people to sit on the stage too. In none of our meetings over the previous seven years had we seen teenagers and youth so hungry for God. They were desperate to be in the meeting. Sadly, due to the physical constraints, many latecomers had to be turned away.
Youth came from all over the Himalayan region: Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Siliguri, Deoars and even Bihar, as well as the neighboring countries of Nepal and Bhutan. 95% were attending the camp for the first time.
The exuberant worship of the Joshua singers brought on the presence of God into the auditorium from the very first session. When the Shofar was blown and Brother Sadhu was welcoming Jesus with the “Khada” (the traditional silk scarf), the whole atmosphere was suddenly transformed; we could literally feel God moving in our midst!
In the first message, Brother Sadhu shared the vision of Joshua Camp meeting as God had revealed to him in 1997: “Touching the whole Himalayan region through young people”. He exhorted the youth to turn to God and several hundred young people got up to do just that—they gave their lives to God.
On the following day, other servants of God shared anointed messages that brought great edification. Rev Jose Rocco taught on holiness; Rev Jack Yeo spoke on the fatherhood of God; Rev Stella Rocco taught people to pray; and Mr Sylvanus Tamang spoke about Bethel—the dwelling place of God.
During the ministry of word and worship, conviction fell on the people. They started confessing the sinful lives they were living in—their drug and alcohol addictions, their sexual lusts, etc. Hundreds testified to God setting them free from their bondages that night.
One of the most challenging sessions was Ms Amutha’s workshop on “Sex and Purity”, which dealt frankly and honestly with the issues the youth were facing. Many youngsters openly admitted how God touched their lives through this workshop.
The session devoted to praying for the baptism of the Holy Spirit was an especially powerful moment. Hundreds of youth who were prayed over by their fellow participants, led by Brother Sadhu, received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. During the anointing session, the power of God fell on the people. The glory of God was so heavy that the people fell all over the place. The Holy Spirit, working through Brother Sadhu, gave numerous personal prophecies to different individuals.
The six power-packed, life-changing days of Joshua Camp Meeting were a greater fulfillment of what God had revealed to Brother Sadhu in 1997.
The worship team, choreographers and the ministry team comprising Indian, Australian, US, and Singapore brethren really blessed the people with their hard work and their humble service.
All glory be to God!
“ARISE DEBORAH!” WOMEN CONFERENCE ’05
Deborah, in the Bible, becomes the model of a woman liberated by God to serve Him. In ancient Jewish society, which didn’t even consider a woman worthy of being numbered among the tribes of Israel, Deborah’s defeat of Cisera broke strong social norms, and she did it with God’s approval (Judges 4:1-23).
Many years ago, God gave Sister Amutha Arnasalam a similar vision to set the women spiritually free to serve God and their family and society and to bind her wounds inflicted by the mistreatment of society down the centuries.
In this year’s Deborah Conference (the fourth) held at Kalimpong, West Bengal (India), we saw this vision come to fruition in a greater fashion. From 14 – 16 January, about 350 women from all over the Himalayan region gathered to worship God. They came from different denominations but they came as one body before God. Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj inaugurated the conference, sharing how women are special in God’s eyes and are a unique creation of God in His plan. On that first evening, God healed many women of emotional wounds they had been carrying for years.
The next day began with Ms Arnasalam sharing an anointed teaching that women are life-giving people through whom God wants to bring forth life in a dying world. As she concluded her session, she invited people to receive a touch from God. Hundreds of women came forward and there was a powerful visitation of God.
The meeting was also edified by the teaching of Rev. Saroj Rongong, who shared how women take the role of a princess and can therefore act on the king’s behalf. She also taught on the significance of prophesying and blessing through our spoken word.
Ms Heather Rex shared an eye-opening lesson on mission. Her message powerfully impacted the people for she herself is a missionary from the U.K. living among the Nepalese people.
Rev. Stella taught on how God looks at women, and why it is important to overcome a poor self-image and self-pity.
One of the most significant features of the conference was the powerful worship led by the Joshua singers. In every session, as women broke out in singing and exuberant dancing before the Lord, the Shekinah glory came down on the people, liberating them from the sins, bondages, wounds, hurts, discouragement and fear.
Many women committed their lives to do ministry in whatever capacity God would allow them to function.
All glory be to God!
WELL DONE! GOOD SERVANT
"Andrew" in the Greek language means "manly". This perfectly describes the tall, slim and charming young man called Andrew Karthak. He was one of the closest associates of Brother Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj.
Andrew received his education in Kalimpong, West Bengal. Though he grew up in a godly family, he only accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal saviour in 1988 at an evangelistic meeting conducted by Bro Sadhu. From the moment he gave his life to the Lord, he felt the call of God upon him to serve God. He then joined JESUS MINISTRIES and become Brother Sadhu's first associate and a dear spiritual son.
He travelled extensively with Brother Sadhu to the remote places of the Himalayas in India, Nepal and Bhutan. Together, they witnessed Christ to the numerous Tibetan monks and to the common people living in towns and villages. Besides that, he was also involved with the Hyssop Singing Ministry. He travelled with this team to different parts of northern India and reached out to hundreds of people with the love of Christ Jesus through his melodious voice.
In 1992, he went to Singapore to attend a Bible School. There, he met his lovely future wife, Amutha Arnasalam. After a brief time of courtship and with the blessings of their respective families, they were happily married on February 19, 1994.
Andrew suddenly developed a serious infection in his lungs. Though he underwent long treatment both in Singapore and India, his health kept on deteriorating. During this dark period of his life at the hospital in Chennai, India, he never questioned God's love for him and was seen diligently reading the Bible and spending time in prayer and worship. No sign of discouragement was seen on his face while he was struggling for his life. Andrew believed that he belongs to the Lord Jesus and that he is His to do with as He wills.
In the last week of April 1994, his health greatly improved to the amazement of the doctors. All friends and relatives were very relieved and they looked forward to seeing Andrew and Amutha. However, suddenly on 2 May, his health worsened. Amutha saw clouds of glory hovering above Andrew's body for a few hours. While it was still dark on the morning of 3 May 1994, Andrew finished his race as he was called home to be with the Lord Jesus. Andrew, in over the several months of illness, never once questioned God, never asked "why me", never said "this is not fair", never breathed a breath of bitterness nor anger. Did Andrew or his beloved wife, Amutha, experience defeat? No! Andrew stayed faithful and true to the Lord until the end. HE WON! Death has no sting, the grave has no victory and it cannot hold him (1 Cor 15:55-57).
Andrew's life is a great inspiration to today's youth. He was an overcomer—victorious and steadfast in his Christian faith till the end. He was an overcoming warrior in his life. Andrew was called, he was chosen and he was found faithful (Rev 17:14). Of him, the Lord Jesus will truly say, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord" (Matt 25: 23).
SORENG PRAYER FESTIVAL 2004
Soreng is one of the sub-divisional headquarters of the West district of Sikkim, India. Usually a quiet and sluggish town, on that special day—3 November 2004—Christian music blared from loud speakers and people poured in from nearby places and other outlying districts and even from the neighboring state of West Bengal for the Soreng Prayer Festival.
They had traversed long distances. Some arrived on vehicles and others walked for many hours . They had come in person to listen to Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj, a teacher they had come to love and respect as they followed the ‘Healing Love’ program on TV week after week.
From their excited anticipation, it was evident that God was touching people in this region through the TV ministry. For many, it was an opportunity of a lifetime. They could bring their problems and sorrows to God in a meeting where Brother Sadhu, the man of God, would be personally ministering.
As we approached the prayer venue, the evening was strangely quiet. It was 5.30 pm, and a chilly wind was blowing directly from the Himalayas. When we stepped into the prayer arena, a football field, a heart-warming sight greeted us; hundreds of people—a large number of whom were orthodox Hindus, Buddhists, and animists—were already gathered in anticipation of our arrival. They were eagerly awaiting to hear from God.
That evening, Brother Sadhu preached that Jesus is the true God. He shared his testimony on how God touched his life while he was still a Hindu. About two hundred people stood up to give their lives to Jesus. For the next two days, Brother Sadhu preached about how God, who is the true light, dispels darkness in our life brought on by sin and Satan. He also told how God can heal bodies scarred by sickness and mend homes torn apart by sin.
Before the prayer for physical healing was conducted, about three hundred people stood up and responded to the invitation to accept Christ in their lives. During prayer, God revealed the specific names and lives of certain individuals. The chains of sickness were broken as the presence of God came down in the midst of the people.
Numerous people testified of blurred vision being restored, of the lame beginning to walk, and of chronic ailments having disappeared; and people completely deaf from birth started to hear for the first time.
We give all glory to God for the mighty works He had done in Soreng. God honored and blessed the united efforts of the churches of Soreng. They had labored day and night, spent months in fasting and prayer, in order to see God touch lives. God heard them. Hallelujah!
Since 1979, the ministry of Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj has been marked by urgency. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel" (Matt. 28:19). He further said, "be witnesses for Me" (Acts 1:8). This has driven Brother Sadhu to preach the Gospel from one end of this earth to the other in order to win as many people as possible for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord God has graciously brought Brother Sadhu to more than 40 nations on all the six continents (North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia) of this world.
Brother Sadhu will continue to work diligently preaching the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ until our Lord Jesus returns. We humbly rejoice and give thanks to the Almighty God for his merciful grace and kindness to use Brother Sadhu as a witness for His great glory.
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