PUNE, INDIA (December 16, 2011) – “You wouldn’t believe, but it has happened – the church is arising anew!”
So begins a brief email update from Rev. Jyotirmaya Deep, writing on behalf of D.C David, moderator of the Hindustani Covenant Church, in recalling this past weekend’s Advent services at St. Andrew’s Hindustani Covenant Church, which was gutted by fire last week.
Other programs and activities are also taking place within the cleared-out shell of the sanctuary, including weddings. “Marriages are taking place in the same church in the presence of friends and relatives filled with joy,” Jyotirmaya writes. “None of the planned marriages have been canceled or postponed.”
Click here to read a story and view photos of the fire damage.
The congregation were particularly encouraged by a quickly arranged visit by representatives of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) and the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden, who joined in Sunday’s worship services. “It was an occasion of joy and thanksgiving as the church was coming back on its feet to fight against all odds,” Jyotirmaya added.
ECC representatives included Covenant missionaries Peter and Ruthie Dutton, Covenant World Relief director Dave Husby and Curt Peterson, executive minister of the Department of World Mission. The Sweden church was represented by Bertil Svensson, mission director who also preached.
Plans call for renovation work to begin the first week of January, expected to cost around $290,000. “Please pray that all resources required for the work are met,” Jyotirmaya asks.