Dear Friends of Shalem,
We’ve received more news from India about the liver transplant patient, 10-year old Shalem. I’d like to offer some observations to help “fill in the blanks” as you read the email message below from Rev. Solomon Mamidi, pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hyderabad.
First he notes electricity problems. Power frequently is disrupted in India.
Solomon mentions, “Today and tomorrow we have the Seminary classes.” There are 14 men enrolled in Seminary at present. They have studied for many years, and we hope they will be ordained in January, 2014. The Seminary professors are the four Indian Pastors: Solomon Mamidi, G.J.Ananda Raju, Pradeep Lingala and Kalyan Gollipali – the last two men are graduates of Bethany Seminary in Mankato.
He writes, “. . . Friday Church Service ended by 9.30 pm.” The Indian Lutherans worship every Friday evening, in addition to their Sunday worship. The members are used to lengthy and frequent services. During the 40 days of Lent, congregations worship every evening (40 minute sermon, a new one each service, is expected) in services held in the homes of members who take turns hosting. The members invite Hindu neighbors and provide a meal – this is a primary evangelism opportunity, and generally results in new members in Adult Instruction and baptisms later in the spring.
We are still not certain when the surgery will take place, nor which parent will donate tissue. Obviously, this is a matter about which we should all continue to pray.
In the email, Solomon disucsses finances. It appears that the family generated $10,000 to save their son’s life. It is astonishing to me that they could raise this amount. I assume there is some debt incurred, or something was sold or mortgaged.
It seems that the Indian government has granted $5000 – probably a fund for needy patients.
Solomon notes, “LMSH ELS” gave $4,100 and $7000. He is refering to funds sent from ELS to Lutheran Mission of Salvation-Hyderabad for the liver transplant. To date ELS has sent $11,100 for Shalem ($2000 from Board for Christian Service, $2000 from Board for World Outreach, $7100 from ELS donors). Treasurer Keith Wiederhoedt has on hand an additional $6225 for Shalem and will wire transfer that amount soon. Several ELS schools have pledged their chapel offerings, and that money will be sent as it arrives.
If you are inclined to offer support, please do! Funds are still needed. No doubt there will be many ongoing expenses related to this complicated surgery, and the family will have many unexpected costs to deal with – lost time on the job, travel, medicine, debt repayment, etc. If it should happen that we raise more money than is immediately needed, we will hold funds in reserve for Shalem’s later expenses, or use them for other medical needs among our Indian members.
Finally, part of the fund-raising effort must have included a “telethon” type program on Indian TV. I think you’ll find interesting the exchange between Shalem and the host as Solomon relates it.
Thanks again to all who have reflected the Savior’s love in their gifts for young Shalem!
ELS Board for World Outrteach
Here’s the latest email:
August 8, 2013.
Dear Rev. Steven Petersen,
Sorry for the delay to write a reply. Due to electricity problem Wi-Fi didn’t work morning. Today and tomorrow we have the Seminary classes. After the seminary class, Friday Church Service ended by 9.30pm.
Let me update about Shalem’s surgery. The family went to the hospital and went through some tests. Again they need to go to hospital on 13th August (Tuesday) to admit in the hospital for surgery. The date was not fixed by now but we are expecting between 15 – 17 of august.
Regarding the finance, our efforts came into fruit. By the Grace of our Lord,
We got the funds as follows:
Family: $ 10,000
TV add and local gifts: 2,000
LMSI – ELS : 4,100
Church – St.Peters: 200
LMSH – ELS: 7,000
Through TV > Trust: 15,000
Gifts : 1,200
Shalem’s school raising funds for him???
St.John’s youth raising some amount???
Expecting other gifts. $ 5,150.
Before I conclude, In the TV live program the host (Programmer) asked Shalem, Host : “After the surgery, you will get heal, then you will go to higher studies, then what is your life ambition?”
Shalem : “I want to become a Pastor”
Host : “Are you Christian?”
Shalem : “Yes,”
Host : “Which church?”
Shalem : “Lutheran Church.”
the host surprised, because he is also a Christian.
If you have any questions, you may write me back, I am available some more time in the office.
In His service,