Christmas, Missions

Update from Pastor Suresh: December 2023

Pastor Suresh with family at church in India

Pictured: Pastor Suresh Purra with his daughter Suhana, wife Prathiba, and daughter Susan (L to R). Suresh is pastoring in his native Hyderabad, India and is a supported missionary and ministry partner of Firm Foundation Bible Church.

The following letter is an update regarding Pastor Suresh’s life and ministry in India. For readability, sub-headers have been added throughout the letter.

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you all in the name of our great Savior, Jesus Christ!

It is always a great joy to share ministry updates with you. By God’s grace we are doing well, and we praise His name for everything.

I am thankful to our God for my wonderful family. Prathibha is doing well, and she is doing her part in the church ministry. The kids are enjoying school and excited about their Christmas break. Susan is now in 6th grade and Suhana is in 4th. We are thankful to our God for these two precious kids.

We had a wonderful Christmas with our congregation and also shared the good news of our Savior’s birth in several villages. That was a great opportunity to point people to Christ, who is the Savior of the world. Here in India people think that Christmas is merely a Christian festival, but it was a great time of telling the truth about our Savior.

The Preaching of God’s Word Bearing Good Fruit

We are so thrilled to see the work of the Lord in our midst. There are many good things that have happened in the last couple of months. A good number of people from our three congregations are growing in faith. People are day by day more connected to the Bible. God is giving me grace to teach and preach the Bible and theology. I have been preaching from Paul’s letter to Titus. It is a great time of studying and understanding the truth. Presently we are in the second chapter of Titus, and it is a blessing to study the text together concerning older men, older women, younger women, younger men, and slaves. It is a great privilege to address people of all age groups from this passage, because only sound doctrine can make people understand God better. God’s word is sufficient (Titus 2:1)! Lord willing, I am going to preach about younger men next Sunday from Titus 2:6-8. Please pray with us concerning this sermon series.

Please allow me to share a little story to illustrate the unique ways the Lord is working through the ministry here. A pastor from another place about five hours away listens to my sermons regularly online, but he confessed to me that he had only been listening to criticize me. I was preaching from Titus 1 and talking about the qualifications for pastors (that is, elders). One Sunday he became curious about my sermon on Titus 1:6-9, because at the beginning of my sermon I said to my congregation, “You may be wondering what I am going to say about pastors’ qualifications” (people here in our culture normally think this passage is to preach to pastors only). I said to the congregation, “You all need to evaluate after listening to the sermons from Titus 1:6-9 if I am qualified to be your pastor.” The pastor who had been so critical was struck by this statement and he called me and confessed about his personal life. He wants to know more about the Bible and good theology. I was so humbled to pray with him. I sent some books to him, which he is reading. Praise God!

Christmas services and events from Pastor Suresh’s churches in Hyderabad.

An Update on Our Pastoral Interns

Our interns are keeping busy. We read books together and we have a discussion twice a week. Our interns are teaching Bible study groups and a discipleship group. We have seven men in the discipleship group from these three congregations who are being equipped to be future leaders in the churches.

Pastoral training classes are going well. Apart from our regular classes, we meet every other Wednesday and spend the whole day together. There is teaching and book reading and discussion. From the beginning of December, we have been reading a book entitled The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter (we have this book in Telugu now, praise God). It is truly a fascinating book, and we are all learning a lot and being convicted by the Holy Spirit. God has raised spiritual giants like Richard Baxter who have passed a great heritage to us. I recommend every pastor read his book.

We want to thank Firm Foundation for providing the resources for pastors and interns. Thank you so much for your contribution which allowed us to buy many books. We were able to buy six sets of The Bible Knowledge Commentary, which is in Telugu now. Six Telugu-speaking pastors received these commentary sets. God also has provided through you all the entire set of The MacArthur New Testament Commentary for eight pastors who can read English. They also received Biblical Doctrine by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue. We were able to purchase some more books for our church library as well. We are thanking God for these wonderful resources.

Final Greetings

We want to thank you all for allowing Pastor Lloyd to come to India in October. It was a rich time of fellowship. Lloyd was very much pleased to teach us and our people have so much enjoyed learning theology. The teaching was eye-opening for some pastors. We are thanking God for all your encouragement.

We are so humbled to see God’s unceasing grace and love. Please pray with us, so that we may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

In Christ,

Suresh, Prathibha, Susan and Suhana

Colossians 1:28-29

Bible teacher contributor Pastor Suresh

About the Author

Suresh Purra is the pastor of Venkatapur Bible Church in his native city of Hyderabad, India, and is a supported missionary and ministry partner of Firm Foundation Bible Church. Suresh and his wife Prathibha have two daughters, Susan and Suhana. More from Suresh ⟶

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