Where we have been and where the Lord is leading

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The desire for every Christian and Christian ministry is to follow Jesus wherever He leads. This blog post is for both those who have been following our ministry, as well those who are new, to update and to inform you in regards to the missionary work of Our Father’s Home Ministries International (OFHMI).

“but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NASB)

He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:18 NASB)

Who we are

OFHMI is a Christ-centered, non denominational ministry. We work together with the followers of Jesus Christ wherever they are found, who believe in the power of the good news of Jesus Christ in word and in deed ! In fulfilling this call of the Lord, we have been led to carry this out by:

  • Helping indigenous pastors reach the lost with the gospel in India. We currently work with a network of approximately 30 pastors.
  • Providing basic needs such as shelter, clothing, medical care, schooling, food, and clean water for orphans, as well as providing food and clean water for the widows, the poor, and the needy

Where we have been

In 2011 we were introduced to Pastor Salmon and his family. At that time they were caring for close to 30 orphans in their home. The children were sleeping on the floor in two different rooms. In addition to feeding the children, they were feeding around 15-20 widows and other poor and needy in their village. They began this work by The Lord’s leading and faith. That year the Lord brought us together and we have seen amazing demonstrations of God’s provision:

  • Land donated by a wealthy man to build an orphanage, following dreams two different men had about Pastor Salmon working on the land adjacent to land we were unable to purchase
  • The building of an orphanage with room to care for approximately 100 children.
  • Beds provided for our 30 orphans who were sleeping on the floor
  • Children and widows having fresh fruit daily to help with with proper nutrition. This has resulted in less sickness and overall improvement of health
  • Bottled water to drink to help against sickness due to contaminated water

In the gospel work we have been able to see the following work begin:

  • Monthly pastor’s meetings for encouragement and prayer. The pastors help care for each other’s needs. It is a time to share and grow in understanding through the scriptures
  • Monthly village outreaches were the pastors and the 30 orphan children join together to pass out tracts and bibles and to share the good news in different villages
  • Providing bibles for new Christians and also those who do not have one

What is the need both now and moving ahead

The needs are regular in this ministry. Providing daily food, fruit, and clean water for the orphans and widows, as well as the poor and needy is a weekly concern. Feeding approximately 60-70 people each day takes considerable resources. There are times where we are greatly challenged in this need. Our orphanage has room to care for 100 orphans. Sadly Pastor Salmon has to tearfully (the tears are on both sides) turn away many who come seeking room, because the current resources are stretched to take care of the children under our care. The  percentage of the population in the state we are in that is Christian is 1.5 % which is below the national average of India. To say that  the need for the gospel is great is very clear. There are times where the outreaches and pastor’s meetings are more sporadic than would be desirable. Moving ahead these are the things that we believe the Lord is leading us in.

  • Providing care for 50 children in this next year. We gladly would welcome to care for more!
  • Regular outreaches and equipping new pastors to care for new churches
  • Reaching into the poor slum areas to minister to the lepers and gravely destitute with the love of God
  • Providing clean potable water for villages through well drilling and water filtration

How you Can Help

  • Pray!!! The bible teaches us that ‘the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. All great works of God are birthed and sustained by prayer and communion with the Lord.
  • Give!!! After prayer, it is undeniable that to accomplish a work like this for God’s glory needs the support of God’s people. We have men and women willing to do the work but need support. Many reading this have been blessed by God to never worry about basic needs. The people we help are without such basic needs as shelter, clothing, food, and clean water. These pastors are also very poor and have families. Most also do not have vehichles of their own and rely on public transportation. They are willing to do the hard, but blessed work of the Lord. However they are looking to their brothers to help them and support them. Many pastors need to build churches for the people to come to. The Lord has made it very clear to us that for His work to be accomplished in the remotest parts of the earth it takes the participation of the body of Christ to join together to be the hands and feet to accomplish it.
  • Volunteer  The need for help both here in the US as well as in India is varied. All such  decisions are arrived at only after serious prayerful consideration of both the individual and the ministry. If interested you can contact us at ofhmi@aol.com. You can also call us at (401) 484-2683 or message us on Facebook.

If you wish to help financially there is a Donate button link on our blog page to donate through PayPal. OFHMI is a registered 501C3 non-profit ministry and donations are US tax deductible in accordance as the tax law allows.

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Nepal Earthquake

As many may know by now a powerful 7.8 earthquake hit the center of Nepal yesterday, April 25, 2015. The death total currently is above 2000 and is expected to rise. Many more are injured and have lost their homes. The toll on the people has been heavy. Many are left with nothing. The weather is cold adding to the burden of having little to no shelter. It is at this time that we pray for the people whose lives have been affected by this disaster. Our ministry is young and just starting and does not directly have the means to facilitate aid for food, medical, water, and other needs. However we would like to provide you with some links of ministries who will be working to bring the love of Christ in action to help the people affected by the earthquake. Below we have listed links if you would like more information on how to help. May this disaster provide the opportunity for the people of Nepal to receive the comfort and love from God at this greatest time of need.

Gospel for Asia link:   http://www.gfa.org/earthquake/nepal/

World Vision link:      http://www.worldvision.org/news-stories-videos/nepal-earthquake

Convoy of Hope          http://www.convoyofhope.org/blog/features/disaster-response/responding-to-the-nepal-earthquake/

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Motivation

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I will admit upfront that this post will provoke thought and challenge the reader. It has been several months since the last post and there has been a multitude of different reasons for that.

Throughout history God has clearly declared His desire for how His people are to live.  The two great commandments are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus expands the latter command to love others as He has loved us. So clearly love is the center of God’s desire toward man and it is also His desire for man toward Him and to our fellow men. This should really be simple. But in reality men complicate it. Our selfish nature rules our decisions naturally and that comes at the expense of God and others. Yet the greatest joy and peace man can experience is living out the love of God. There is something so pure and right about it. It brings healing to the soul and to the conscience. This conscience is the point of this post. For it has puzzled me as I have been called to this work of missions to the lost and the orphan and widow how the response of love is often complicated and resisted by those who profess to be followers of Christ. As I read the scriptures I see that this is also God’s response;

Yes, truth is gone,
and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.
The Lord looked and was displeased
to find there was no justice.
He was amazed to see that no one intervened
to help the oppressed.
So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm,
and his justice sustained him. (Isaiah 59:15-16 NLT)

It seems that this is something that amazes God also. That is quite a statement from the Creator of the heavens and earth. Other versions use the word “wondered” and “amazed”. Consider what the LORD says in Jeremiah;

He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy;
Then it was well.
Is not that what it means to know Me?”
Declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 22:16 NASB)

Also consider this verse:

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? (1 John 3:17 ESV)

God clearly is looking for His people to be the ones who intervene on behalf of those who are helpless. That is what He did for all of us at calvary where Jesus suffered to save those who were helpless to save themselves. So what should be the response be when God’s people become aware of the need of those that are perishing and the plight of the orphan and widow. There are times when the response is guilt. Initially that in of itself is not wrong. How are we as men to recognize sin and wrong in our lives without an initial sense of guilt. But this is where we have a choice. We can choose the freedom of repentance and be motivated by love to be the people God has called us to be. If we do not choose that then we choose selfishness. If the sacrifice that love demands leaves us sorrowful then we are left only with guilt to motivate us. What follows is resentment, resistance, and, to numb the conscience, the result is indifference.

For the man or woman who has been saved they have become new people. The scriptures use the terms regenerated, born again, and new creation. It also says all things have become new. The very presence of the Savior Himself is in communion with them by the power of the Holy Spirit. God takes the hard heart of stone and gives a new heart of tenderness and compassion. Compassion now directs the conscience. I “have to” because of guilt is now replaced with new desires of “I want to” and “I long to”.  Compassion is not sympathy or good intentions it is empathy which moves the individual to action. Compassion does not say “it is not my problem, it is somebody elses”, it says what can I do? However EVERYBODY who has experienced the grace of God truly will ask this question of themselves. It may be to be moved to heartfelt and burdened prayer. It may be to add to that prayer to give to help. It maybe to add to praying and giving to be the one to directly meet that need. But it will never be indifferent. Compassion acts in joyful sacrifice to be like the One who has saved them. And now they do this because they are new. They are not doing it to earn God’s grace but as the natural outflow of those who were also helpless themselves, and recipients of God’s grace.

As I close this post consider the example of the early Christians in Macedonia. They were burdened for their brothers and sisters many days journey away and not just those right in their own area.

Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia.  They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.  They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)

Let us who profess the name of Christ follow this great example of demonstrating the power of the love of the One who was dead but is now alive for evermore.

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Update Prayer request: The Plight of the Orphan

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On December 9, 2014 we posted on this blog an urgent prayer request for Jodi, the girl who was taken from our orphanage by a relative and sold into child labor. The post to date was the most visited and viewed and the response from all was overwhelming.  Many people have joined in fervent prayer for her freedom and deliverance. I am praising our God to report to you that as of January 16, 2015  Jodi is safely back at the orphanage.  Truly our God is a prayer answering God!!!  I am following with the email I received from Pastor Salmon to give you the report of this great answer to prayer. I have only edited for clarity.

As all the saints there have been praying for Jodis future and to come back, God has done a miracle and heard all our prayers to bring her back.  I went to the man to ask him to deliver and send her with me to continue her studies and to grow up as a child.  When she sees me she just ran to me and hugged me and cried, sir i want to come with you and stay there to live and to study. When I looked at her, she had like dirty face, mud in her feet and  and torn clothes. I called the man out and said I am taking the child with me. First he seems not to send her with me. When I explained to him about her future and that her brothers want her to come back.  If you will not I will take her two brothers to the police station to file the complaint against you that you are keeping this girl to work at your home, to cook, bring water, clean house and other hard labor. So he told me to take her.  In the evening we get back and when the other children look at her they ran to her and hug and have their time with their friends.
She is thankful to you and all that who prayed for her future.
Thank everyone who prayed for her and her future.

I spoke with Jodi by Skype last evening and she was so happy and thankful and blessed. This is what the work of our ministry is about. It is doing the will of the Father who sent us to care about justice for the orphan. Together with reaching the lost with the good news of salvation in Christ alone, as well as the widow, the poor, and the needy. Our world in this time desperately need to see the risen Lord in His people not only by what we say but by what we do. Again thanks be to our God who as our Lord Jesus told us notices when a sparrow falls to the ground and Who cares for a little orphan girl, in a tiny village not found on every map, and insignificant in the eyes of those around her.

Charlie Doherty

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Train up a child in the way he should go

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In the time since being called to mission work outside of the United States I find the celebration of Christmas to come with mixed feelings. It is always a blessing to gather with loved ones to share a meal and also to give a gift to someone you love. Celebrating the birth of the greatest gift ever given; The Lord Jesus Christ, is always a good thing. However I see great differences in mission and purpose of the One whose birth we celebrate and what we too often see celebrated. (Before I move on I must clarify a few things. This post is really not about Christmas and how we celebrate it. It is also not intended to open up thoughts about abolishing Christmas or anything like that. It really is, about how the way we celebrate Christmas is often just another revealer of what lies in men’s hearts throughout the year. Lastly it must be acknowledged, that there are people whom on Christmas, like all the other days of the year, celebrate in the true spirit and heart of Christ Himself.)

The concern is about the seldom spoken or preached about sin in the Christian church; covetousness. The Apostle Paul tells us plainly in the book of Colossians that covetousness is idolatry. That means for a professed Christian to practice covetousness from the heart is no different from setting up a statue of a false god and worshipping it. Wikipedia defines covetousness as the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. It is applied to a markedly high desire for and pursuit of wealth, status, and power. If not recognized properly parents in turn train their children to follow the way of covetousness.

One of the greatest blessings of having spent time with our orphan children in India has been to see such joy, thankfulness, and contentment in children that have so little. They have seen hardship and suffering that many children here will never face. I remember vividly the time when we took them to the beach for a day trip. On our way back to the orphanage we stopped to buy each child a package of cookies to enjoy. A treat that they seldom get. Our team at the time was made up of 5 of us. Each package contained 6 cookies. The reaction from these children to receiving this special treat was that they with joy and thankfulness offered each of us one of their cookies, leaving them with just one. They were so blessed and insistent that we each have one cookie. These are children without parents, no electronic games, no toy boxes filled with toys, no refrigerator filled with a seeming endless amount of food and treats, and maybe 2 or 3 outfits of clothing to wear. They celebrate Christmas by going to the village church to sing songs of praise and to dance to bless the church members, as well as to share with those who do not know the joyful news of a Savior that was born. They do this with or without the blessing of new clothes.

I contrast that with trees surrounded by more gifts that any one child could need. Hundreds or even thousands of dollars spent to make sure we “do it for the children” in the right way. Many times it comes with having to remind them to say thank you to the giver. We even see disappointment that someone didn’t get what they wanted (probably because the parents couldn’t afford to go further into debt) despite having a pile of gifts beside them. The first statement we hear is “what I got” for a gift or the first question is “what did you get?” When is the last time you heard “this is what I got to give” or the question “what did you give?”

While sad, this is understandable in a culture that stands in opposition to God. It is not like the Father who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Nor is like the Lord Jesus the One who came to give His life for others that they might be saved. The church of Jesus Christ is called the body of Christ and followers of the Head. The world must see the resurrected Lord in His people. They will not see that in a people who say they are Christian, and go to church on Sunday and live just like them. We are called to be like Him. In Luke chapter 12 in a portion of scripture where Jesus begins to address His concern about covetousness in His disciples He said;

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Jesus is not joking here. He is not speaking in a parable. He didn’t say “I know what I just said but what I really mean is….” He shows us the solution to covetousness. He tells us to be like Him. To those who trust Him for salvation He gives them the Holy Spirit changing their very nature and empowering them to live like Him.

I am thankful to my family in India whom the Lord used to open my blind eyes to see this. I am thankful to my dear orphan children who have taught me this great lesson. I love you all so dearly!  They are children, who are really just the same in every place on the planet. They have learned the love of God and of our Savior Jesus Christ. They are being trained by Pastor Salmon and his family in the way they should go and their lives demonstrate that. To the church here in the US. We are training our children in the way they should go also. By our words and more importantly by the way we live and we are teaching them. We will be training up our children in the way in which they should go. The question is what is the way we are training them. For the follower of Christ He is the Way!!!

Charlie Doherty

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A Broken Record

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Growing up the only two options we had to purchase and to listen to music was the famous 8 track tapes (which thankfully are now part of history) and 12 inch vinyls called record albums or records for short. There were also smaller records called 45s or the older 78s. Records had great sound quality but were susceptible to scratches which gave it what we called the rice krispy sound. If the scratches were deep enough it would  cause what we called a skip, or an over and over repeating. This would take “she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah” and turn it into “she loves, she loves, she loves……..”.  This defect of a record repeating became the birthplace for the figure of speech often spoken as “sounding like a broken record”. It refers to when something has been said over and over again.

As I consider the history of God and His people throughout the scriptures, I realize in many ways that God is the first and holiest of broken records. The record of scripture shows God over and over again speaking through the prophets some of the same things to His people. Remember Me and the great things that I have done. Do not forget. Love others. Forsake evil and do good. The list could go on.

In many ways our ministry is the same broken record of some of the simple, but very precious things which are very close to the heart of the Father. The lost and unsaved. The orphan and widow. The poor and needy. When I think about the work that the Lord has given us the following verses come to mind;

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphanPlead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:16-17)

“He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?” Declares the Lord.  (Jeremiah 22:16)

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.(Acts 1:8)

Simply put the Lord  has spoken over and over about His desire for the salvation of men from sin and destruction. He has spoken over and over about caring for the orphan and widow and poor and needy. Our ministry is simply a record player playing the broken  record of God’s heart for these things. It takes all of together as the people of God to hear and respond. We ask for your prayers and also that you would consider supporting this work. A broken record would result in a response from the hearer when it was a song. Let the people of God also respond!

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Prayer request: The plight of an orphan

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This is a serious request for prayer. The plight of the orphan has a name and her name is Jody. We met Jody during our trip in 2013. She and her 2 other brothers were brought to our orphanage in 2012. Their father had died and the mother deserted her children to remarry making them truly orphans. I have met these three beautiful children. They were so joyful despite the great hardships they endured in their short lives. Accuracy of age is is often not known amongst these poor children. Many do not know, or have even celebrated one birthday. Having said that I will say that Jody is around 11 years old.

What I am going to write now will not be easily understood by the American mind. The differences in the two cultures is very stark. Sometime in 2013 to early 2014 a relative         ( referred to as an uncle) of Jody and her brothers came to the orphanage. His purpose was to take the children to put them into forced labor. This happened while Pastor Salmon and his father were not present at the home. The two brothers took off running into the rice fields and the relative was unable to catch them and eventually gave up. However he took Jodi and placed her into forced labor. Because this man is considered a relative and some business deal has been made, it is not easy to just go and take her back. This is a harsh reality for her. No education, no future, abuse, and opened now to all kinds of exploitation.

Last night I spoke with Pastor Salmon about her and the news has been distressing for me to hear. I know this girl personally. I have others like her here at home I know with names like Bria, Lily, Emily….. Jody from reports has lost much weight and is seriously thin with matted hair. For the most part she now looks like those very sad pictures we often do not want to look at. What is so weighing on me is the hopelessness and pain that is not seen except in her eyes, her heart, her soul. Please join me in praying for her that  The Lord will work in a powerful way to deliver her from this plight. I pray that He works speedily. Our team will be making a trip back to India in early 2015 and if there is no resolution by then I will make it a priority to get involved. Please, please share and like this post as much as possible that it can reach many to pray for deliverance for Jody. This is work of our ministry. Please pray for us and our team here, and in India.

Charlie Doherty

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