It is a great Report.

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EVANGELICAL     HUMANITARIANS
The Life of a Leper
The life of a leper is among the loneliest lives in the world.
A 63 year old man with leprosy told me how he came to the village.  He said, “I was 17 and developed Leprosy. My family brought me to this village and left me here. Today I am 67 and I have never seen my family since I was 17.  They left me and forgot about me.  But you have shown me that God does love me, and your people show me that they love me.”
It is a GREAT  REPORT! September 2014
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Dear Jim,
Pat and I are happy and excited to share with you that we received enough funds to meet every need and commitment for our mission work since our last E mail. We were able to close out August and began the month of September in better shape.  We are so grateful to those who made special donations to help make-up the deficit we were experiencing this summer.
We are humbled everyday by those of your who have committed to support our work every month. Obviously the financial donations are what enable us to do what we do for others, however it is also your kind letters of encouragement and prayers that elevate us emotionally and spiritually and help keep us going.
As we preach the Gospel, feed children, train leaders, minister to lepers, Pastors and everyone in between you are there with us. You are giving the meal, your consoling a child, your giving away a boat to fishermen, or building a home for a family.  We are so blessed to have the best partners any
Cam girl Black shirt Jim and Pat smilingmissionary could hope for.
God bless you richly for standing

with us these past 9 years.

Love and blessings,
Jim and Pat Harris

                     Providing gifts to those with Leprosy in India.
Recently Pastor Phil Stern, Steven Bufford, Jeremy Bufford of Tulsa, Oklahoma USA joined me, along with Charlie Pisaruk (RE Field Director) and Pastor Sam Paul (RE Trust Director India) in India.  We visited the six villages of people with leprosy, where we distribute rice each month.  In partnership with Feed the Forgotten, 2 Serve Ministries and the partners of Relevant Expeditions, our RE team delivers most of the rice that these poor people need to survive.  Our team also serves the people by sharing the Gospel, training, prayer and friendship.

These people are raising gifts that we brought them. These new towels are such simple gifts yet bring so much joy to these people who have so little. They use them for many things.  They cover themselves if they are cold, they dry themselves if they are wet, and they wear them on their heads to stay cool in the hot climate of India.

This photo features seven amazing Indian Pastors who are part of the Relevant Expeditions Team. These men are truly the backbone of the work we do in India.  There are hundreds of families who have come to know Christ through these men.  They facilitate the work we do with the people with leprosy while also handling their pastoral duties. Pictured from LEFT TO RIGHT: Pastor Phil Stern Access Church Tulsa, OK USA),  Pastor Peter, Pastor Michael, Pastor Charles, Pastor Manoa, Pastor Ezekiel, Jim Harris, Pastor Sam Paul and Pastor Mannasseh.

Pastor Phil Stern (Access Church / Feed the Forgotten (Tulsa, OK USA) and me pouring the monthly rice supply for this man who is blinded by his leprosy.  He used to be a follower of Islam.

At each rice distribution our team shares the Gospel and teaches from the Bible. Left to right are Pastor Sam Paul, Pastor Phil Stern, Jeremy Bufford, Stephen Bufford, Jim Harris and Pastor Manoa.

The people were all so appreciative of the gifts that they received from us.  You can see the joy in this woman’s face.

Missionary Charlie Pisaruk giving a gift to a very poor man in a leper village.
Feed the Forgotten and Relevant Expeditions provided a hot meal for each of the 600 lepers,  it is an Indian favorite Mutton Biryani.  It is a flavorful rice, with seasoned lamb meat, and a hardboiled egg.  If you visit an Indian restaurant you can usually order Mutton or Chicken Biryani.  Try it and you will see why they love it so much!  It is such a privilege to be able to provide such a meal to them.
This little girl is not waiting for the rice to be distributed or even cooked.

Pastor Phil and me with a towel on our heads similar to the way  the local men wear them and we also have on a lungi which is a peace of cloth that is wrapped around you and tied in a knot or tucked in.  Each man received a towel and a lungi, and each woman received a Sari which is a traditional dress for Indian women.  They were so excited to receive these gifts.  Thanks so much for our partners who made this outreach possible and such a huge success.  These people get no other gifts during the year or life time in some cases so it is a great blessing for them.

We are always desiring to do more for them.  If you would care to partner with us in this bi-monthly rice distribution to help provide rice for more people, or to bring a team to bless them and minister to them please contact me.
Want to bring a team for a life changing mission experience? I can assure you that if you were to come for a single mission trip to visit these precious people with leprosy, your life will never be the same.  To start a conversation about the possibility of doing this shoot me an email and we can discuss it.

Philippines Cyclone

I received this photo recently from our partners on the ground in Cebu, Philippines. We quickly came to love the following people that we worked with in the Philippines, Pastor Jose Ian Villacarlos, Jill Villarey Villacarlos, Merlyn Baring Villacarlos and Pastor Allan Manzanilla. Pastor Allan is the National leader for CRC Philippines and I must thank Pastor Barry Silverback for connecting me with these amazing people.  They are fantastic people, great friends, lovers of God and people. What an honour it is to work with them on Cebu Island and surrounding islands in the Philippines. Thank you to our partners who have blessed so many people in the Philippines with tons of rice, water and other supplies. We have built 35 homes and have built 9 boats for fishermen who lost the ability to make a living when the super tyhphoon hit November 8th of 2013. Thanks Relevant Partners all over the world for helping us to reach out to the hurting people of the Philippines with compassion, love and aid. We are still involved in the Philippines and we hope to provide more housing, boats, rice and most importantly proclaim the Good News of Jesus.

 

 
We had this boat built along with a total of 8 others for fishermen in the Philippines who had lost their boats and the ability to make a living.  We painted some of the boats but this one the fishermen painted and they wanted to honour our partners so they painted RELEVANT EXPEDITION on the side of the boat to say thanks.

 

Sewing Project India UPDATE:
We have received funding to buy 4 of the 6 needed sewing machines for our work in Kerala, India where we plan to start a sewing school!We still need two more machines at $250 each     2 needed

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Also Solar power lighting for each of the 3 projects     $150 each
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Next stop:  CAMBODIA
Pat, Charlie and I will travel to Phnom Penh Cambodia September 8th.  Then we will go on to Kampong Thom, Cambodia where we will spend several days with our family, leaders, Pre-school, children of our home, staff, and the hundreds of children that we help daily.  We will have a lot of ground to cover and are praying for a safe, productive expedition.

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Introducing Charlie Pisaruk

This is Charlie Pisaruk’s new blog page with Relevant Expeditions…

Charlie is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center and has served in the USA as an associate pastor, bible school instructor, children’s pastor, youth worker and helps minister in church administration. Charlie also lived and administered an outreach in Cambodia for a large ministry from the USA. He currently bases in Malaysia and serves as a missionary with Relevant Expeditions in Cambodia, Thailand, Asia, India and Nepal.

Check out more details here

A Christmas Like I Have Never Experienced Before

I awoke at 5:00 Christmas morning feeling a bit down. I was not rising from a “long winter’s nap”,  nor was  it anything like the crisp cold snowy white Christmas I am accustomed to in the USA, but rather it was a hot, humid, muggy 85˚ South East Asian morning in a $12 hotel. There were no sounds or smells coming from the kitchen of cinnamon rolls, bacon and coffee.

ZZ4460D00FI didn’t hear my grandkids giggling over the holiday music playing in the background, as they awaited the signal that the coast was clear for them to come to the living room where the gifts waited under the tree.  To be honest I was having a bit of a pity party. I wiped away my tears and made my way to the Relevant Expeditions compound where dozens of Cambodian children were waiting. As I arrived they saw me and ran toward me hugging me, giggling  and smiling beautiful bright smiles of joy and appreciation.

Instantly the reality of the situation hits me square in the face.  This IS the meaning of Christmas.  It is about sacrifice and sharing.  It is giving hope and love to others.  It is why Jesus came.  To seek and save the lost.  I felt God’s presence right beside me with his hand on my shoulder and a smile on his face.  “See Jim, this is Christmas.” Different from what you have always known Christmas to be, but it really is more like Christmas than anything you have ever experienced.” Of course I was ashamed of my self pity as I looked around at the children who had never experienced Christmas of any kind.

Christmas has always been about HOPE for me. But honestly my hope as a child and as an adult has often been a sort of selfish hope.  One of my great joys as an adult is giving an unexpected gift to someone, something special and memorable.  As a child I would  HOPE for a toy fire engine, hope for something special, hope for laughter and smiles from others, hope for happiness.

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One Christmas I had so hoped for a Pony as we lived on a farm, but we were poor and there was no way r that was going to happen.  At 4AM I awoke to see my dad placing 2 saddles near the tree but he put a blanket over them.  With my heart racing with excitement I Ran back to my bed and didn’t fall back asleep until we were told a few hours later that we could come downstairs.  We opened other gifts found our Christmas socks, fruits and candies.  And we were thrilled!  But those saddles I saw      were not a dream – they were my hopes of what could possibly be waiting to wear those saddles!  Then we were told to take off the blanket to see the saddles and were told that my brother had a horse and I had a pony and a friend was keeping them.   In that moment all of my hopes and dreams had come true! There was no greater joy, nothing in the world could compare.

Since then Christmas has been about the excitement of those  moments of hope.  Always before those moments were spent with my family at home, but this year I was with these very poor children, many of whom had never ridden in a car, owned a pair of shoes, and  likely only had one shirt to their name.

I realized that many of them have experienced such hardships they can’t even imagine that there might be something else out there to actually HOPE for.  Of course we didn’t neglect an opportunity to share with them the ONE TRUE HOPE of the world…and it was truly amazing to see the expectation on their faces as we told them about Jesus.

The Hunger for God’s Word Never Ceases to Amaze Me

One memorable trip began with a three-hour flight from our base in Malaysia to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). We drove in the cover of darkness for hours. Then while it was still dark we mounted motorbikes, I was a passenger on the back of a very small motorbike with a driver that spoke no English.

After about an hour the group split up going in eight different directions. My driver and I were now alone driving on a mud road in the dark using no lights and it had started raining. His driving did not really suit my approval and then finally with the mud becoming so slick and the driver going too fast our bike spun out of control and slammed both the driver and I into the mud. My shoulder was hurt and I was slow getting up.

ZZ435FA6D6The driver was frantic and encouraged me to climb back on to his bike. I was very reluctant to get back on, until I realized that with me or without me he was leaving. I quickly got on not understanding what he knew, that the authorities were closing in fast on us. It was against the law with sever punishment for he and I if we were caught in this area. An hour later we finally arrived at the very remote underground house church in the highlands of Vietnam. I was muddy, tired and wet but grateful to be there. The motorbike group had split up to cause diversion for the police and government officials. These people had risked their lives to protect me. Now I understood why I was told to keep my helmet and jacket on, as if that somehow would make me look Vietnamese. I also realized the reason he was so fast was that if he put his foot on the brake the taillight would show up and would have lead the authorities to us.

Villagers began arriving at the house church one by one going from one house to another then sneaking on into the designated house of worship. Many came early to pray for two hours before the service. Some had walked many miles in the rain just to hear God’s Word. The house had no chairs, so the church members sat on rocks or pieces of wood. They worshiped in song with no sounds of music nor their voice. They would almost clap their hands but they never touched so as to not make a noise. When the service was over the floor had pools of tears left by the worshipers. They all left quietly, reluctantly and signally just as they had arrived so as to not draw attention to themselves and the other worshipers and to me.

Each had overcome extreme travel conditions to worship, and hear the word of God, none considered it a sacrifice. They just had a desire like David, who was drawn, to worship with every fiber of his being.

For those in restricted nations, church is not optional; it is essential. In contrast, in free nations many people make up their minds each week whether or not they will attend church. Do they have time? Is it raining? Would they rather sleep late? What’s the sermon topic anyway? Who is the speaker? Shamefully, we often run through a gamut of questions trying to decide whether church is worth our time. For these people and millions of others, going to meet with God was a no-brainer. In fact, they would not let anything keep them from it.

Investing Into God’s Passion

God’s word teaches us over and again that were to help hurting people.  I think that is Gods true passion to see the hopeless, helpless people receive help from us HIS people. He is passionate about the widows, orphans, the poor, the oppressed, the hungry, the naked and the homeless.

Please do not misunderstand me, I believe we are to have nice homes and drive good cars, and wear nice cloths but we are not to forget the spiritually lost, the poor and needy.  We are blessed to be a blessing to those we are lead to help.  I am not in any way saying we need to feel guilty for having a good life.  What I am saying is that we are to evaluate our lives and resources and pray hear from the Lord a see how we are to help the needy?  I do believe that it is not a matter of if but rather a matter of how much do we give.

In Gods word there are over 2000 scriptures that tell us it is our duty to help the Hungry, naked, widowed, orphaned and destitute.  I now see this as a supreme privilege and honor to serve Him and His people.

ZZ2D53D7DAWe are to enjoy life no question about that.  We do believe that if your involved in what Gods passion is you will life to it s fullest.  You will feel in your heart a since of pride and respect that you are really helping someone have hope, to know Jesus and a chance to find and fulfill their own destiny.  There is no greater feeling in the world.

We try to make it simple each month to send an envelope for you’re to send a check or to go on line to make a contribution.  You can see in our newsletters that we feed lepers, children, widows, we have orphans and orphanages.  We train leaders; pastors and we support native workers in the harvest fields.

We realize that you have many places, choices and demands on your money. But the bible says that when you give some of what you have to make someone else’s life better, it honors God.  And when you honor God He will honor you.

Pat and I appreciate you more than you know.  From the bottom of our heart we want to thank you for your generosity and faithfulness with your prayers and financial contributions that allow us to change the lives of so many in need of Gods love and compassion.

Sometimes during this economic down turn I have been tempted to embrace the idea of being content with what we are doing and just maintain.   However I do not feel that is Gods plan for our work or for those who are in great spiritual darkness or in pain from hunger!

What are you passionate about?

– Jim