For the year 2021, the theme of Austin Christian Fellowship of India shall be: “God is our refuge and strength, and an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). The truth of the verse was also applicable for last year (2020) as God became our refuge by extending over us his divine protection and provision in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did God became our refuge, but he also helped us to meet together every Sunday for online Worship Service and all the other church programs.
I congratulate and appreciate all the ACFI members for consistently coming together and participating in all the online programs of the church. In addition to the Sunday Worship Service, ACFI also has four other Bible Study programs for its members. The Milk to Meat Bible Study meets every Sunday before the Worship Service for an in-depth study of different themes of the Bible. The Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi Bible Study regional groups meet on the first Friday of every month to study a particular book of the Bible.
It is encouraging to see an increase in the participation of the church members in all of these online Bible studies during 2020. We do hope and pray that, in 2021, we will find even more members participating in these groups.
ACFI has three core ministries: Children, Missions, and Prayer. In addition, there are 14 other ministries of the church with each of them being led by 2 co-leaders. We praise God for the enthusiastic leadership and participation of all the members as all the ministries performed well despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our church is supporting missionaries in 8 mission fields. One of them is in 2 countries – Bangladesh and Dominican Republic and the rest are in 5 states in India; Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana. We were privileged to be able to help the COVID-19 stricken people in India through these missions and by generous contributions of our members.
We do hope and pray that during 2021, ACFI will be able to worship and conduct all church programs in our own church building. ACFI is committed to purchasing its church property, “A Home of Our Own”, and the Trustee Committee is diligently working hard for all of this to happen. The church celebrates Harvest Festival annually to raise funds for the Missions and church property. Last year the result was a great success./p>
Going forward, the focus of ACFI in 2021 is going to be on evangelism. We are praying that the COVID-19 threat will be reduced to a point where we will be able to meet in person on Sundays and go out in the streets to preach the gospel. It is exciting and encouraging to see that many ACFI brethren are ready to reach out with the gospel.
Let us praise God that because of His protection, strength, and help we have been able to come out of 2020 safely. Let us also hope to thrive in all the above areas in 2021 with the strength and help of the Lord.
Many Christians are moving to Austin from various parts of USA and looking for a Bible based evangelical church. I will be very happy to get in touch with them. I can be reached at the contact details listed below.With many thanks and all blessings,
Sincerely in Christ,
Dr. Samson Parekh
Email: [email protected]