Dear Friends & Prayer Partners: 

Greetings in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ! I apologize for the delay in getting out this update. I have had an unusually hard time readjusting. Even though not wanting to admit it, perhaps my age has something to do with it.

As usual, my recent trip in and out of India was filled with blessings. It was an extremely great blessing to have my daughter Tammy, grandson Zachary, and long-time friend of our family, Glenda Peninger with me for the latter portion of my trip. Before their arrival, thanks to Ningon, President of Covenant Baptist Bible College & Seminary in Ukhrul Town I had a full itinerary.

Upon the invitation of our missionary, Ninglum Wungkhai, I began my trip attending a four day TNBTA theologians conference in Litan, Manipur. Dr. Jim Preston and his Assistant Pastor Donnie Wilson from Lighthouse Baptist Church, Moreno Valley, CA, were the guest speakers for this conference along with two other local leaders. It was a challenging and informative time. Having come out of the ABC, Dr. Preston was especially helpful in guiding the group with some very sound advice regarding the present condition of the American Baptist Convention, USA.

The following week we had our 30th BSE graduation in Ukhrul Town. On Sunday May 4th, we split up and went to different churches. I preached at Lungphu Baptist Church in the morning and Litan Baptist Church in the evening. During the day, there were 45 decisions for Christ. Beginning on the 6th of May, I visited numerous schools and churches introducing our vision for India and Asia as a whole.

Our first school to visit was Model High School where approximately 50 students made professions of faith, and 125 presented themselves before the Lord as being available to go out as missionaries to
the regions beyond. That same afternoon we conducted our 30th BSE graduation at the headquarters of Indo-Myanmar Baptist Mission.

From May 7th through May 13th, we saw 232 decisions for Christ and 101 present themselves as available to go as missionaries to the regions beyond. On May 10th we returned to Imphal to receive Pastor Chris Luppino and Stanley Helm. Almost immediately, we split up into two teams and went separate directions; Chris and Stanley headed towards Uhkrul Town, and I went to the extreme eastern corner of Manipur--very close to the border of Myanmar. I was taken to the village of Chatric, a very interior village.

We had to be transported via an old WWII 4-wheel drive Jeep. Ningon’s brother, Angelus, and his wife accompanied me. We arrived very late that evening. The weather was fast deteriorating, and all day Sunday, Mother’s Day, we were confined to this one remote village due to the heavy rains and our transportation being broken down. Even though it was Mother’s Day, since I had traveled so far, and thinking that I may never return to this remote village, I felt compelled to somehow bring a message on missions. I prayed and asked the Lord for His message and the Lord led me to John 2:5,

“His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” and Luke 8:21, “And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” 

I then preached at Chatric Baptist Church a Mother’s Day message on the Great Commission and doing the will of God. “God is not willing that any should perish” but “how can they hear without a preacher”? 13 souls were saved.

Monday morning we awoke early. Angelus began to walk down the mountain at 4 AM to find us a way out. He arrived back with a JCB tractor being used by a road building crew. The roads were so muddy and slippery there was no other way out. We loaded all of our luggage and ourselves [3 people plus the driver and 2 others] unto the JCB and headed down the mountain. All the while I was thinking to myself, God has a greater purpose in all of this, and HE has provided the assurance of salvation to 13 wonderful souls at Chatric.
I now realize that God did have a MUCH greater purpose. After reaching the road crews camp, we still had to get down to the river and then across the river and back to the town of Komjong to our vehicle. After we reached the camp of the road crew, we finally were able to get a cell phone connection and request another 4-wheel drive vehicle to meet us on the other side of the river. While we were waiting I thought, why not preach to the road crew?
So, preach I did, and Angelus interpreted! After completing my short message I gave an invitation, and the foreman of the road crew, A. B. Dew, called upon the Lord for salvation, surrendering his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. We finally reached the river and made it across to the other side and took the big Tataman truck to our rendezvous point for our 4-wheel drive vehicle to take us back to Komjong. I was able to give Dew some of our literature to study and to help him go deeper into God’s Word.
As we said our good byes, I turned around quickly because I could not hold back my tears. I had to leave this newborn soul, thinking that I may never see him again, at least down here on this earth; it brought a mixed response of tears and joy to my heart. Praise the Lord! I will see Dew again in eternity. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6).
By the time I reached back to Komjong, Pastor Chris and Stanley had already come and gone. We finally met up later the following day. Together, we visited two more schools in the Ukhrul area and then went to the Southern Tangkhul Naga Baptist (STNBA) headquarters for an evening service and some sweet fellowship with the leaders and young people.
The next day, we met our church planters, Shimreipam and Awon Pungshok along with their son Jeremiah. We took Stanley and Chris out to Chil Chil Baptist Bible College. That same evening, we made a short visit to Mr. Preshow and his family, the Tangkhul MLA (Deputy Speaker of the House). (Please see the attached file from Pastor Chris Luppino for a much more detailed report of his and Stanley Helms time in India).

Pastor Chris and Stanley departed to the states on May 16th. I left Imphal one day early to hopefully be able to meet with some important people in New Delhi. God definitely went before me, and I was given the opportunity to meet with these people and share my concerns and vision for the Northeast, and in particular for Manipur and Nagaland. My family arrived on the evening of May 21st.
The following morning we flew to Imphal. After checking in, we loaded our belongings in our vehicle and began our ministry. I had previously promised Dr. Rishang Keishing to introduce my daughter and grandson to him upon their arrival. Dr. Keishing served the state of Manipur as Chief Minister for 14 years, was the youngest Member of Parliament and Senior most Member of Parliament until his retirement in April of this year at the age of 95. His son Victor now serves as one of the 60 Members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. Twenty of the sixty state MLA’s are professing Christians. Please pray that all might turn to Christ. What a blessed difference this could make in the state of Manipur! We have not because we ask not.
Recently, I challenged some of the churches where I had preached to begin to pray for their 60 MLA’s by praying every day for two of these leaders and daily pray for their Chief Minister, so that over the course of a month they would be praying for all of their leaders as taught in I Timothy 2:1-6.

We also visited Preshow and his family and then departed to Ukhrul visiting churches and schools. We traveled over 2,000 kilometers in the two weeks we were together. Sunday morning, we attended Ukhrul Town Baptist Church and had a delicious lunch with Pastor Somi and his family.
The Indian people are all so hospitable and so loving. UTBC has four services every Sunday. During the afternoon service, we all spent time with the youth. As time permitted, in many of the churches and schools, Tammy taught a very effective object lesson using a balloon and filling it with water. She used this to illustrate people who have the Holy Spirit and those who do not. She would then blow up another balloon and light a match and as soon as the fire touched the balloon it would burst. However, the balloon with the water inside would not burst when the fire was put to it. So, it is in our lives, if we have been saved and have the blessed Holy Spirit living within us. When the fiery trials of life come and test us, because we have the blessed Holy Spirit living within, we can endure the heat. It is a very effective illustration.

Every Sunday following the morning service, it is a custom to have an auction after the service. They do this so that those who do not have a financial gift to put in the offering, can turn their tithes and offerings of organic nature into a financial gift. One young lady had contributed her pet dog to the church. The young man standing next to Zach purchased the dog using cash and then gave the little dog to Zachary as a gift. We gave her the name “Snowball”, but perhaps “Miracle” or “India” would have been a better choice for a name since we were able to miraculously bring her all the way from NE India to Zachary’s home in South Carolina. She has a really sweet disposition and has won all of our affections.
God blessed us with many more souls being saved and many more young people surrendering to the call of missions. Pray that they will not forget the decisions they have made. Those who made decisions were reminded to write down their decision and the date in the front of their Bible so that they would always remember.

Sunday evening, we went to Chandel district to Kapaam Baptist Church. Glenda’s husband, Leon, had been with Myron Williams and me in 2003 when we dedicated the church that was to be built. It was a special time for Glenda to see the newly constructed building and to meet some of the pastors and many people who remembered her husband.
The next morning, we visited Pastor Halpu Chothe and his family and met with his school students, at their request, planted a few trees for them to remember us by, stopped by to visit Shimreipam and Awon, and then drove out to Chil Chil Baptist Bible College & Seminary. Dr. David Wijunamai and his people always go out of their way to show great hospitality.

Dr. David is always kept very busy having some sort of construction project going on. His campus is beautiful. They recently completed five beautiful guest rooms for their visitors from abroad. I preached twice during the beginning of their missions conference, and then we departed to Dimapur, Nagaland, to meet Lima & Arenla Jamir and their extended family.

Lima then traveled with us to Guwhathi, Assam, to visit Athing & Marvirose Shimray.
We received a warm, wonderful welcome from the Asian Christian Academy students and workers. It was so wonderful to see the tremendous progress of the ministry since I was there one year prior. Athing is overseeing several self-support projects to bring their ministry to a fully self-supported status.

After departing from Athing’s place, Lima kindly continued to accompany us as we drove all night to reach Siliguri by the next day for the 31st BSE graduation with Athem at Mountainview Biblical Baptist Church. Athem & Indu had prepared comfortable rooms for us to stay in and get rested up for our next day journey up to Ranka, Sikkim, in the Himalayan Mountains. It was wonderful to see Jefferson & Epi Quevedo also, who had just returned from Brazil. We are so thankful for their ministries and all the hard work in preparing these graduates.
The next day, we headed to Sikkim, but due to problems with our vehicle’s acceleration up the mountain, we turned back to Siliguri and located a Tata car dealer to check the acceleration along with some trouble evidenced with our brakes. They quickly found that the brake booster cylinder had broken, so they welded it together, and we headed up to Athem’s people in Sikkim. Praise God! God’s providential hand was upon all of us.

We had a wonderful time visiting Rohit & Joti Rai and the orphans and had Sunday worship along with a women’s gathering at Ranka Biblical Baptist Church, Athem’s first church planted in 2001. Joti is Indu’s sister. Rohit was one of the first men Athem led to Christ and baptized. Rohit is now taking care of the church and orphanage. Indu’s brother is running the Christian school. They now have 115 students. Athem’s school, like Athing’s school in Assam is helping to generate income for their ministry. Dr. David’s Christian School in Manipur is the same. Dr. David also has many other self-support projects ongoing. These men are doing what they can to help as many others as possible. They all are helping to send church planters to the regions beyond yet much more needs to be done. It is the local churches responsibility to send the missionaries.

Please pray that we will be able to convey our vision to the NE pastors and members to send many more missionaries.

It says in John 4:4,
“He must needs go through Samaria”.

I believe John 4 teaches us at least three reasons:
1) Jesus needed to teach the message of salvation to
a woman and her village (v. 42),
2) Jesus needed to teach His disciples that
there are to be no prejudices in God’s ministry (v. 9), and
3) Jesus needed to teach us
the urgency of the harvest (v. 35).

Please pray for more meetings in Aug-Sept and for my next planned trip to India Oct-December. Pray also for our new weekly 27 minute Vision2020Asia Truth & Freedom primetime telecast on Powervision Live TV every Friday 8 PM India time. Our T & F Director James Varghese is overseeing this wonderful means of outreach to over 52 nations. Currently, Dr. Tom Williams is preaching every other week in English and James every other week in Malyalam. Pray also that James will be able to get his US visa.

Thanks so much for your faithful prayers and support.

Jim & Joanne Starr - Vision2020Asia/IGM