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January 1998 - A note from Rolands

Yes, we are back from India. We left Madras at 1:30 a.m. December 18*^ and
reached Chicago the same day about 12:30 noon! It was a long 24+ hour day. We got
some sleep on the planes so were able to drive from Chicago to Lincoln and Pittsfield,
Illinois in a rented car.
The rented car was big enough to take most of our luggage: eight pieces we had
with us, and three suitcases the boys had brought with them when they returned from
India. After spending the night inPittsfield we drove toBison on the 19^. After a good
night of sleep there we returned toPittsfield onthe 20^, and spent three days with
Gordon Smith, son Paul's father-in-law.
On the 24^ and 25*^ we had agood time with son David and family. We attended
Christmas eve service with them at the Jeff St. Church in Lincoln, Illinois. Then we spent
most of Christmas day with them. It was especially good to see our second and newest
great grand daughter, Kara Joy—daughter ofBoomer & Angia Roland. (Since then
another great grand daughter has been added: James & Sylvia Boonaerts presented Mary
Esther & Henki with a grand daughter, named Cloe.) Now we have three great grand
daughters, two of who we have not seen.
After Christmas we returned to Bison, and have been busy getting settled. Some
have asked for clarification about our address. Our residence is 515 W. Street; Bison
KS 67520. For mail it is P. O. Box 286; Bison, KS. Our phone is 785/356-2390.
We thank you again for your faithfiil and long-time support ofour ministry in
India. We will be gratefiil if you can continue your support for this year of change to help
us get adjusted to living in the States again. We will continue to use some ofthe mission
funds for the students ofMadras College ofEvangelism whom we are sponsoring. We
have pledged their support through April of this year. We will continue sponsoring
students after that if you would like to send funds for it.
During this year we hope to be able to visit all of our supporting churches, groups,
and individuals. If there is some time you would prefer for us to visit you please let us
know. We will be working on a travel schedule.
The La Crosse Church, eight miles west, does not have a minister now, so
William will be taking preaching turns with other leaders there.
Thank you for your recent gift. We wish you a blessed and prosperous 1998.
In Christian love,
William & Jean Roland
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH - INDIA MISSION FUND
PC Box 503; La Crosse KS 67548
February 1998 News Note
My, how time does fly!! It is hard to believe that we have been back in the States
two months already. Getting settled sure takes lots oftime, including running aroimd for
shopping and other things. We have been to our local doctor a couple oftimes. He is an
Indian, formerly ofJabalpur, Central India; about a day's drive from Bilaspur where we
spent 16 years of our India service. William has had to follow up on prostate trouble for
which he was getting treatment in India. We both have had to have wax-pluggedears
cleaned. Otherwise we are getting along OK for 70+ year-olds.
William has preached at the La Crosse, KS Church two times. We are enjoying
the fellowship and worship with this congregation that has been our "home church" for
nearly 20 years. Last Sunday a young minister preached a trial sermon, so we may be
having a regular minister soon.
We have gotten several letters from fhends and coworkers in India. One is from
Surya and Selina, a young couple wdiose wedding we were able to attend. Surya is a
convert from Hinduism. They attended the church near our house in Madras. They are
now living in Andhra Pradesh, about 20 miles from the Leprosy Hospital. Since moving
there some local Christians have been worshipping in their home, so we hope a church
will be started. They write: "Dearest Aunty & uncle in Christ. We hope this loving note
finds you all in the best ofhealth by the grace of God as the same attends to us here. We
would like to thank you both for the kind gifts. We could not come in person to see you
both off to U.S.A. but we remember you all in our daily prayers. We may be far away
from each other, but in spirit we are so close. We hope that you landed safe and also
doing God's work there. How are all your relations give them all our love and regards. As
for us and the ministry are going well my daughter Cathy, she is fine singing & showing
actions of the choruses. Here we having six families of 15 members coming to our
Congregation. Please pray for us and for the ministry".
Some disturbing news is also coming out of India. You may be getting some of
the news on TV and/or radio. We have not seen much on TV, but get more complete
reports on the computer via Internet. There have been many deaths due to rioting by
communal groups trying to influence the voting. One Hindu nationalist group is expected
to be the biggest wiimer. Ifthey should form the government it would be a setback for
secular policies and free-market advances ofrecent years. We need to pray for God's will
in the election results.
Thanks for your gift. Please continue to pray for our Indian brothers and sisteas in
Christ.
In Christian love,
William & Jean Roland, missionaries
PC Box 286; Bison KS 67520; Phone: 785 356 2390
Email: wjroland@ruraltel.net
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH - INDIA MISSION FUND
PC Box 503; La Crosse KS 67548
Roland's quarterlynews note- March, April, May '98
Travel, travel, travel - that is still the "name of the game". Westartedthe month
of March with a short tripto Wichita, KS to worship withthe West Side Church. The
main reason for going was to attendtheir annual leadership meeting. It was goodto meet
and get better acquainted with the local church leaders. •
Ourfirst long tripwas to Canton, OHforthe Missions Festat the First Christian
Church where we shared about the work in India and our plans for retirement. It was an
annual meeting connected with their Faith Promise pledge time. We enjoyed meeting
many coworkers who are supported by the Canton Church, and learning about their work.
We were glad tobeable torenew many acquaintances and enjoy thefellowship and
hospitality of long time friends.
The next trip took us to Cincinnati, OH for Jeanto attend theladies meetings at
theCincinnati Bible College. It was alsoanother good time of spiritual fellowship and
renewing ties with friends and coworkers. Onthe Sunday that wewere inthe areawe
worshipped with the Madeira Church, and visited with two special families who worship
there. JimandVirginia Willoughby have been friends andsupporters of the India work
eversince hevisited us at Bilaspur in 1989 . They have purchased several pieces of
equipment for our use in India over theyears. When they learned that weneeded a
camper forourtravels here they agreed to purchase onefor us. Sonowwewill bedoing
most of our traveling in the RV, thanks to their generosity and lovefor the Lord.
The other family we met in Cincinnati was DonandEleanorDavis. Weknew
them first inBilaspur when we were working together inthat Mission work. It was good
to be with them again and share their home. ' ! •
Ourlongest tripsofar, andfirst in theRV, started with a visit toDodge City, KS.
The MissionCircles of the First Christian Church invited us to present a programabout
India. We were glad toreturn to Dodge andshare again inthe fellowship of fhends in
Christ.
From Dodge City we went toJoplin, MO where Jean attended another gathering
of ladies at OzarkChristianCollege. While in the area we visited the retirement home
and former friends and colleagues living there.
After the time in Joplinwe went to Lincoln, ILfor the ladiesmeet at Lincoln
ChristianCollege. Besides meetingmany former friends and colleagueswe were able to
visit with family - sonDavid &family, andgrandson John Mark Boonaerts. John is still
studying at LCCand expects to completethe course and graduatenext year.
InMay we made another tripto Wichita, KS for some meetings of a different
nature. Ateacher in one of the WichitaHigh Schools invited us to speak to three of her
classes about India. We had an enjoyable time showingslides, telling about curios,
modeling Indian clothing, andanswering questions. During the three days inWichita we
enjoyed the hospitality of Jim&Mary Whitley, members of the West Side Church. Mary
is a teachers' assistant at the High School where we spoke.
We have received a couple of letters fromAvia Ngwasa. He was one of our
students who graduated in '97 and is nowon the staff ofMadras College of Evangelism.
In the first letter he writes:
Dearest Uncle & Aunty Rolanch,
This is mypriviley,e to write andsend my Joveand warmest regards to you.
I remember you both. You have been so good to us andyou have been out-
Christian Models. Thankyou .so muchfor all that you meant aitd done for us. Most
importantly, you havegivenus the instruction in the wordofGod. In His truthand
obedience to His will.
Inthe secondletter he says, / am.so delightedto have receivedthe Lisucomputerfont
from DavidMor.se. Avia is a LisuChristian, part of the tribes people among whomthe J.
Russell Morse family members have workedfor manyyears, and are still working. Avia
has been writing study materials in long-hand for his people. Before weleft Indiawe left
a typewriter and small computer with him. Weare hoping and praying that he will be
able to print materials for his people nowthat he has the Lisu font. Please continue to
pray for him, and the work in India.
Here at home in the Bison area we are still enjoying the worship and fellowship
ofthe La Crosse, KS Church. William is now an elder, and has had the privilege of
preaching a third time. The young manwhopreached a trial sennon, mentioned in our
last note, has been called to be our minister. He is working well with the congregation.
Healthwise we are gettingalongas well as can be expectedfor 70+year olds.
Jean continues to have back and legtrouble but manages to get aroundquite well. She
appreciates wheej chairs when there is a lot of walking, likein storesand at conventions.
William had a sore on his left ankle that refused to heal. The Dr. decided to remove it
sinceit looked like it might be a foimof skincancer. It was cancerous, but the Dr. was
able to remove all of it.
Our next trip will take us to St. Louis and the North American Christian
Convention. We do not have a booth, but if you attend we will look forward to seeing
you there..
Post Box286, Bison KS 67520 December 6,1998
Dear Friends, '
Weremember our Thanksgiving last year in Madras withfriends there. Thisyear
we were thankful to have turkey andsome of the trimmings. Weonly once hadturkey in
all our years in India. But we were alqne thisyear sothe turkey will last us for a long
time. That is nice as Jean will not have to do so much cooking. We also had cranberry
sauce and celery, which werealso not available in India.
Now weare looking forward to theday when people around theworld celebrate
the birthof Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It seemsstrange to us that on the day
celebrated as the birthday of Christ, many peopleinthis country (a so-called Christian
country) donot have a church service tocelebrate the birth ofthehead of the church.
And instead of giving gifts toChrist &God, they give and receive gifts among family and
friends. For most Christians in India a churchservice is an important &essential part of
the day. They alsovisit back andforth among friends andshare snacks in eachother's
homes. They usually do have a special meal with thefamily. But there is more emphasis
onthe spiritual aspect and fellowship. Those who canafford to may also give gifts.
The materialistic celebration ofthe birth of our savior is one of the cultural
shocks we have when we return to the USA after spending times in India. We cannot
denythat it is fascinating to see the bright lights and gaudydecorationsat this season. But
havingbeen surrounded by idolatrywe cannot but feel that some of the manger scenes
and other items smack of idolatry. Certainly idol worshippers who see these figures must
be confused and think that these are indeed our idols.
Another disturbing thingis that parents oftenteachtheir children to lie bytelling
them that Santais the giver of the gifts. Thenwhen the childcomesto realize that thereis
no Santa, they realize that their parents have lied, so they think it is all right to lie. Or
they may beginto doubt all that the parent tells them. They maythink Godand Christ
and all the Bible heroes are also myths.
It is so easy to fall intothe ways of the world and love the things of the world.
But we are warned not to love the world or the things ofthe world. We are warned
againstbeingdishonest. We are warned against causingour brotherto stumble by what
we do even if our intentions and motives are good. These failures on our part may be
what is hinderingthe growthofthe church. If people see we are no more honest or
obedientto Godthantheyare, they mayfeej it i§ ysejess to heedwhat wepreachor
advocate.
Our prayer is that God's people andChrist's Churph around the world mayknow
the true significance of Christ's birth, life, teaching, example, death and promisesto
preparea place for His peopleand to come again to take us to be with Himeternally. He
has finished his parl in providinga v^'ay of salvation for all mankind. But we have not yet
finishedthe task he assigned for us. Sometimeswe may be afraid of persecution, which
He warned us we would face. We may be fearful of ridicule and rejection. Christ also
faced that. We may be afraid of failure. But we certainly cannot accomplish anything by
being idle and doing NOTHING. Let us pledge anew to be about Our Father's Business.
Our job is to sew the seed. He is the one who gives the increase!
May God guide and bless each of us as we remember the birth ofJesus the Christ,
the Sonof God, andspread the good news of the salvation which is available in Him.
Our prayers and love are always with you. vays with you, ^ f
MADRAS COLLEGE OF EVANGELISM
Our Mission
The Madras College ol'Bvangelism equips and trains disciples of Jesus Christ in the
work ofbringing His Gospel to the lost and establishingchurches that will be the light
and salt of the world. Our mission is ver>' simple but eternally important. Our trained
young men will go into all parts of Asia to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those
people who have not heard the Good News. Many of our graduates will return to their
own churches to be servant leaders,) outh ministers,
CE directors.
Campus Dedication - October 4, 1998
The dedication service of the campus was almost canceled by the staff prior to the arrival
of eight US suppoclers, due to heavy rain. For several days prior to the service, it had
rained almost day and night causing the road to the campus to become almost
impassable. The students spent several days breaking up large boulders into small rock to
nil in the worst mud holes. The forecast called for continued rain for another week. But
God is so faithful and the rain stopped for three days including Sunda) for the service.
Over 300 people a!iended the celebration and the dedication was a total success.
Record Student Enrollment
When the College was meeting in rented facilities enrollment had to be limited to about
?? students, due to 'ark of space! On September 6, J998 the College moved to the new
campus so has much more room. The present enrollment is 36. Work on the campus is
still in progress. As facilities are added enrollment will increase. Plans are for a total
student body of 200 by the year 2003. Students pay part of their tuition atid other
expenses, but most of the expenses ate subsidized. Currently the monthly cost per student
for the ten-month school year is aboui. $50.