On March 4th, one of the missionaries who we have supported for seven years in the Andaman Islands entered into God’s presence. Our leader on the islands, Pastor Ram*, shares about her legacy (for others’ security, we have removed most of the specific ministry and location names, as well as keeping all names anonymous):
“Obituary: A courageous lady servant of God, Sister Pastor Naomi* entered into God’s glory today, March 4th morning, at her home town. Kindly uphold in your prayers for the comfort of family members.
A few things about the life of Naomi: She was born and brought up from a Christian family in Tamil Nadu, India. After her Bible College study in Chennai, she came to Andaman & Nicobar Islands in her young age, as a missionary through a Mission based in Chennai in the year 1987 at the age of 27. She was not married.
As a missionary she ministered in four different Islands of Andaman. She left the Chennai based Mission and started her own ministry on one of the islands. She established two churches there. After the Tsunami she came to Port Blair and started the ministry of gospel preaching, prayer cells, free tuition to poor children, medical camps, etc. She appointed a pastor on the other island for running the church. About 33 years she did ministry in these Islands. She was bold and courageous in speaking and tackling the situation. She was a visionary missionary.”
The last reports we received from Sister Naomi were regular reports that we receive in the Spring and Fall. We share portions of these below.
Naomi’s March 2020 update: “We focus our ministry work on two islands. They are one day’s journey apart by ship. My assistant operates a church on the smaller island which has a community of around 40 people who gather and worship the Lord there. Services are held in the Hindi and Tamil languages. There is a high density of Bengalis in the area around the church. We work to spread the gospel in the area through personal evangelism, by passing out tracts, and by conducting prayer walks each morning. We conduct fasting prayer and evening prayers.
In Port Blair, church services and tuition-free schooling for needy children are offered in a two-bedroom home. The tuition-free schooling is offered each evening for two hours, and 20 needy children are studying there. I have been able to hire a teacher to help run this ministry. The teacher and students pray at the beginning and end of each study session. Most of the children that study at the home are Hindus. Each day we provide evening snacks to the children. Land has been purchased in Port Blair where we will build a church for hosting services and to be used as a children’s home.
I am an unmarried woman who, in addition to the work listed above, evangelizes by regularly visiting others in the hospital, visiting families of known contacts in their homes, and also going to unbelievers’ homes. God is using me to do His work and spread the Word among children, youth, and women.
Please pray that the Lord will provide the daily household necessities and personal items for the students studying at the home in Port Blair. Please also pray that the Lord will keep me in good health. Pray that the Lord will continue to provide a place to host the children’s ministry and church services, as they are currently held at a rented home. Pray that the Lord will oversee and bless the construction of the church on the land that has been purchased.”
Naomi’s last report, September, 2020: “Since my house and church are in the same place and outside the town, nearby people come to my house for prayer on Sundays and other days too. God opened the new door through this pandemic so that new people came to the house for prayer and now I am doing follow up work.
One Sister Selina, aged 63 years was suffering from high sugar, stomach pain, and weakness. She was not able to stand and do any work. I met her and prayed for her healing and brought her to my house to take care of her. She was in my house for 10 days and I took her to a medical doctor for further treatment. During this pandemic, everyone was opposed to it, but with prayer, I nursed and took care of her. After 12 days in the hospital, she was completely healed and glorifying the Lord.
Through telephone I prayed for Sisters in ministry in mainland Tamil Nadu for their healing from Corona. God healed them and they are now glorifying the Lord.
One Pastor, aged 85 years, and his family members were affected by Corona and I prayed for them. God healed them all, but after one month, Pr. Albert died. One Sister, aged 62 years, was suffering from fever, cold, & cough. I prayed for her over the phone and God healed her.
Pray for a four-wheeler for ministry, which is needed since I am becoming old and am not able to go in buses and by other means. I pray for churches to be built at two different ministry locations. Also, for parsonages to be built in these places.
My goals for the next six months are to do more evangelistic work of tract distribution and children and youth ministry. To reach the children and youth with the gospel.”
Join us in honoring and celebrating Pastor Naomi and her faithful life of service to our Lord. Pray for the ministry she left behind, and that it will continue to glorify God through all of the leaders she led and trained. Pray for her family and for all who knew her to be comforted in this time. Pray especially for the children and youth and women who will feel her loss so deeply. And pray that we can follow in her footsteps of loving God and loving others.