Summer 2009: India Report – Victor Gill
Author: Victor Gill
Publish date:
Dear Reader:  

Mark Kiefiuk and I have returned from India, where God has been working in wonderful ways.

India is not an easy place to go. It is thirty-five hours away, a pagan country, and very, very hot at this time of year. To add to the difficulty, I had a terrible cough when we left. I was restless at night, and I had little energy. In fact, while waiting for our next flight in Frankfurt, Mark said, “Pastor, I don’t think we should go any further. You are sick, let’s go back.”

I said, “No Mark, I will never go back. God is in this thing, and He will see me through.” I knew Satan was trying to discourage me right from the very start.

Friends, we are on a battlefield for our Lord (Ephesians 6:12). As soldiers, we must never give up! We must keep pressing on, until God tells us otherwise. Everything had been put in place in January. People depended on me to come and fulfill my commitment. I could not let them down. I prayed, “Lord give me strength.”  

We left Frankfurt 11:30 p.m. By the time we got to our hotel in Hyderabad it was close to 3:00 a.m. We slept for a few hours then took a six-hour sweltering train ride to Mancherial for the Sabbath.  

On Sabbath, we visited many who had come to my meetings in January. We had a wonderful time. Together we sang hymns expressing our great joy to God for Jesus. The people were so glad that we came to visit them. One could not help but sense the love and appreciation these new Sabbath keepers had for truth. They had found a hope beyond this old world.

It was very encouraging for me to see the continual evangelism going on in Mancherial. Since we were there in January, there have been several other evangelistic series conducted there. It was in Mancherial that we had previously purchased a whole complex including a church and grounds to start a new conference. God is blessing the work in Mancherial. Like in Bible times, the Lord is adding “unto the church daily such as would be saved” (Acts 2:47).

At 5 a.m. we boarded a train back to Hyderabad. On the way, Mark said to me, “Something strange is happening to me. I’m all numb around the mouth, my hands are all numb and I feel very weak.”  

The only thing to do was pray—and that we did. We were not sure what the problem really was. Mark had heard me say before, “You never want to end up in a hospital in India.” The ones that I had seen were not to inviting to say the least. But we had no choice.  

We finally checked in at our hotel, and went to the hospital. We were pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness of the emergency ward. From their loving nature, it was obvious that all the doctors and nurses were Christians. They checked Mark thoroughly, but all that could be determined was that he was dehydrated.  

Once we were back at our hotel, the conference president came to ask me to preach at his church on Sabbath, as they would be having communion. I told him that I was already preaching at another church. But after further conversation with the man, I agreed to do the service.  

CC Dhirad

On Sabbath, we went first to Pastor Devadas Devarapelli’s church. I had taught the Sabbath to him five years ago, and have not seen him since. This man is still not a SDA as such, but he believes and teaches our truth as far as he understands it. We’ve been corresponding with each other through emails, and I have been sending him literature, tapes, and money to help him with his work there.  

Pastor Devadas’ church was a room about eight feet by ten feet, plus a shelter covered with a tarp outside about three times that size. The place was packed. I preached and encouraged the people there to be faithful and obey the Word, ever trusting in Jesus for salvation. That was an experience we will never forget.

Then Pastor Devadas came with us to the other church. They were singing awaiting our arrival. Mark gave a talk, which was very good and well received, and I preached the message the Lord gave me on the way.

Then, the men and women separated, the men going outside under a tree on the one side and the women going outside on the other side of the church.

Pastor Devadas had never participated in an Adventist foot washing or communion service before, and was going to just quietly slip away. But I asked him, “are you not going to participate with us? He said, “I haven’t fasted or prayed about this, do you think I could?”  

I said, “Well, brother, you know your own heart, is everything all right with you and the Lord?”  

He said, “I have no unconfessed sin in my life, is it alright for me to participate?”  

I said, “By all means.” I had the opportunity to wash his feet, and we were both so blessed.  

Pastor Devadas had been in an auto accident about three weeks before and shattered his collarbone. His arm had been in sling ever since, until that morning, when he took it off to come to church.  

After I had washed his feet, he tried to lift himself up with his hands and experienced excruciating pain in his collarbone. He felt he had broken it again. Mark and I asked him what happened. He told us, and Mark laid hands on him and prayed. Immediately, the pain was gone and he has had no problem since. Praise God!

The next morning we took another eleven-hour train ride, this time to Rajamundry. We stayed in a hotel there, even though it was a seventy-five-minute drive from our meeting place in Atilli, because there was no fit place to stay that was closer.  

In Atilli, we preached four times a day. With no fans and no breeze in 43-45 degree temperatures, this was very draining. But God is good, and He supplied the strength. Here we saw many of the same pastors I had met with in January, along with a number of new ones. Many of them were very much convinced of the Sabbath. What they will do with their new knowledge remains to be seen.

Our goal was not to make Seventh-day Adventists out of them, but to teach them God’s last warning message for the world, so they could return and preach it to their congregations. They now have all my sermon outlines in Telegu, their own native language.

After two weeks of preaching in Atilli, we worked with our own pastors and Bible workers in Rajamundry. Our meeting place was not far from our hotel, which was a real blessing.

Here we had around a hundred men, and a number of translators from the conference. Here Mark was really blossoming into a real preacher. We were excited about how God was using him. We felt it was in answer to our prayers.  

We prayed a lot in India. We would usually rise at 4 a.m. and pray until 7. We felt a real need for prayer as we were making the devil angry with our preaching, exposing his errors and deceptive plans to take the world captive. God blessed our ministry.

After our series in Rajamundry, we preached in Vinukonda, a village two hours from the hotel. It seemed to get hotter everyday.

During this time, Mark took sick again. We felt it was demonic attacks and prayed earnestly that Satan would not be able to afflict him in any way, but he continued to be weak and numb. We had real concern for him and looked all over for a hospital. We saw several, but none that looked clean and safe.  

I called the conference president and he came to help us find a hospital. We did find one, but it wasn’t very nice either. The doctors checked Mark out as best they could and decided he was dehydrated. They hooked him up to an IV, and once he was finished, he went back to the hotel.

In the mean time, I had a hundred men waiting for me two hours away. And with Mark sick, I had to preach all four sermons by myself.

Mark decided to go back to the nice hospital in Hyderabad. Again, they could find nothing wrong with Mark, so he decided to catch the next flight home.

I stayed and continued preaching to these pastors in Vinukonda. I started out with eighty-seven pastors, and it grew to 210 before the week was over. For the most part, these were non-SDA pastors. The hall could not hold them. They were seated outside the walls listening. We gave them all Steps to Christ and my sermon outlines in their own language.

India is ripe for the Gospel. Doors of opportunity are opening wide everyday. The conference wants me back again in November. Only eternity will reveal the true results. Thanks to those who have helped make all this possible. Keep investing in souls for the kingdom, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).

By the way, Mark returned to Penticton and had every test you can imagine. The doctors found nothing. He was very sick for an entire week with the flu. But in service on Sabbath April 25, we had a special prayer and anointing for him and he was divinely healed.  

All glory be to God. 

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