Welcome to our Village to Village Ministries Blog site. We've designed this site for those who are interested in hearing the latest news about what the Lord is doing through Village to Village to reach some of the most remote places in India. India is the ripest harvest field on earth. While most evangelists work in the big cities with large crowds, Village to Village has been called to the small places where in many cases the people have never even heard of Jesus. More than 74% of the people in India live in its 600,000+ villages. M.K. Gandhi said, "The soul of India is in its villages." As you read the stories presented here from time to time, please pray for the poor, sick, and often forgotten people who need a savior. If God calls you to partner with us either in prayer or financially please let me know.

Bob Saffrin villagetovillage@msn.com

So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere. (Luke 9:6)

Pray for India Video

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Trip Planned

We are in the planning stages now for our 11th trip to India. We leave on Feb 12th and have a team of five for this trip. We are planning a five night Gospel Festival, dedicate at lease two wells, and HIV/AIDS education in villages and schools. We will also visit many very remote villages and walk the dusty roads to pray for the sick and to introduce many to Jesus, the One True God.
I'm confident that when we return we will have many stories to tell of the saving power of the Gospel and the love of God.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Meet Jeevan Mathew

I first met Mathew in January’2008. Mathew is the eldest son of the regional pastor for the coastal region in Andhra Pradesh where we minister. He was 17 years old and just starting college. He adventurously set out with us as we walked the villages in Krishna District and facilitated with translating and with children’s ministry. As he invested time in those villages, God began to infuse Matthew’s heart with God’s love for the little children. Many had little or no clothes to wear, were under-nourished, and most had never experienced the true God of love. Mathew began returning to these villages and starting children’s clubs. This work in remote villages fits the Village To Village ministry that we are called to; thus, Mathew became our first National Children’s Evangelist. We support him financially from time-to-time to help with transportation expenses and buying balloons, Bibles and other supplies. As of now, Mathew has children’s clubs in eight villages that excitedly gather every week and total over 1200 children. Mathew is a wonderful illustration of what happens when the love of the creator begins to manifest Himself in a believer’s life. I am so proud of Mathew. He is a full-time college student studying computer science, a leader in his youth group, and now leads a team of kids and young adults that together minister to these 1200 children every week. This is only the beginning of the story. In my next blog post I want to share a written account of the new church building we just dedicated in one small village and how God is using Mathew in that work.

Please pray for Mathew. He has struggled with health, finances and school. He even lost one of his precious little children to a truck accident. In all of the trials Jesus has protected him and he has not lost his vision or his love for the little children. If you want to assist Mathew financially you can send a donation to Village To Village, or if you want to donate by credit card, just click on the “donate” button on this blog.

May God bless you and fill you with his love today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Water of Love

One of the wells we dedicated this year was in the village of Damuluru, population 700. Before this well was bored the people would get their water from a tanker truck that pumped the water from a polluted river. They store the water in concrete cisterns. The water in the cistern had to last until the truck returned. This picture of a cement basin shows where one family washed their hands and faces and brushed their teeth (see the toothbrush). This basin would be used by the whole family and the same water would be used over and over. It’s not hard to understand that they are very excited that they now have access to clean pure water.

Both of the two wells we dedicated this year were strategically located in places where the people previously had no clean water. It’s hard for us in America to relate to this as we just turn the tap and clean drinkable water flows. There are over 200,000 villages in India that have no source of clean water. The average village housewife will spend up to six hours every day gathering firewood, hauling water, and then boiling the water just to provide drinking water for her family. In many places firewood is hard to find and the people just drink the polluted water. More than 50,000 children die every year in India from waterborne sickness that is completely preventable. Many more children are chronically sick and under-developed.

Village To Village has
now provided bored wells in seven villages. Our goal for this year is to provide four more. The cost for one bored well is $650. One well will provide water for a complete village of 1000-3000 people. If the Lord speaks to you about sponsoring part or all of a well this year you can mail a donation to Village To Village Ministries or if you would rather donate by credit card just click the donate button on this blog site. When we go to India we tell people that God has sent us to them with the message of his love for them. Clean, life-giving water is a demonstration of that love. We can supply clean pure healthy drinking water for life for under one dollar per person. It's the best investment you are likely to find these days.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Miracle at the poo-shute

"Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. (Luke 10:19)

When the Lord sent out 35 teams of two to announce his coming he gave them protection against some pretty bad things that could happen to them. I haven’t been bit by a scorpion and so far the only cobra I’ve seen was headed in the other direction. I do, however, have a story of an amazing miracle that was a great encouragement to me this year. If you look at the picture, you see a section of open sewer. The sewer system in most of rural India is just a network of concrete trenches. One night as we made our way from the gospel festival meeting to our car, I was watching my granddaughter instead of where I was going. Yup, you guessed it. I fell in the poo-shute. My left leg hit the far side of the concrete trench scraping all the skin off my shin and then my bleeding leg was immersed up to my thigh in raw sewage. What’s that a recipe for? Instead of the first aid I should have attended to I just sat in the car for the hour and a half ride to the hotel. At the hotel, after praying that the Lord would protect me from whatever little microscopic monsters lurked in that sewage, I cleaned the leg as good as I could. I then emptied a tube of antibiotic ointment onto it and bandaged it air tight.

I didn’t look at the leg for two days. I did note that it didn’t hurt, not even a little. I didn’t think much about that but just assumed that no pain was a good sign. After two days I decided that I should take a look at it. If there was going to be a raging infection I thought that knowing about it earlier would be better than later. To my great surprise when I removed the bandage the leg was completely healed. There was no wound, not even a scab. It was completely healed. The only evidence that the wound had ever been there was the scar. The scar is there so I can brag on Jesus. Isn’t Jesus great! Don’t you just love Him!

Some of you may find yourselves in a poo-shute of your own today. Don't worry. Jesus is not running out of miracles.

By the way the Indian Church leadership says that falling in the open sewer now qualifies me to be a missionary. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Loving on Jesus

Matt 25:35-40
'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

When we go to India we don’t try to be Jesus to them. They are Jesus to us. When we come across a person crippled with polio, that person is Jesus. When we see an elderly woman so sick with diabetes that she can’t sit up on her cot when we visit her, that woman is Jesus. When we come across a dirty, smelly, wild man, possessed by demons, rejected and hated by everyone in his village, that man is Jesus. The little girl dressed in rags begging beside the road – that little girl is Jesus. The prostitute with AIDS… Jesus. You get the idea! ( to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

...for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great

Our trip to India in February was a God-thing in many ways. I want to tell you one story that has been burning on my heart ever since the day it happened. I met a pastor when I was there that is a member of the Banjara Gypsy tribe in India. His name is Chandu. One day Chandu brought our team to a Gypsy village where they had never before seen a white person or heard the name Jesus. As our car slowly made its way along the path (not quite a road) to the little village of about 3000 people a man jumped off of a large rock that was alongside the road. He jumped right in front of our car in an obvious attempt at suicide. Our driver jammed on his brakes just in time to stop inches from this man who then picked up a large stone and began to smash himself in the forehead. Chandu and his friend Nova quickly jumped out of the car and escorted the man to the side of the road. We continued the 100 yards or so to the village. In the village the people looked at us with a bewilderment that was probably on our faces as well. What strange looking people they (and we) are. As a small group gathered, I talked to them about the one true God who sent us to their village with the message of His love. As I talked with the people Legion (that’s what we had nicknamed him) walked over to where we were standing. I noticed several village people hit him as he walked by them. They treated him like a wild animal and frankly he looked the part. As I presented the gospel Legion sat down on the ground in front of me. After we lead several people to the Lord I asked Chandu about Legion. “What is wrong with this man?” I asked. “He is demon possessed” said Chandu. “Gypsy witchcraft!” But then I looked at this young man sitting on the ground in front of me and I saw something else. In those wild eyes I saw something that probably only I would recognize. I saw a shame that I used to see in the mirror before Jesus washed it away. I sat down on the ground next to this man. He looked at me and then he unbuttoned his shirt to show me his withered left arm. In that instant I knew this man’s story and I knew why I was in India this year. This man was crippled with polio. Because the gypsy people are very superstitious they took his deformity to be evil and he became the village outcast. His only purpose in life was to be beat-on by everyone else. My heart was broken. The only difference between that young man and me was that he was born in Sabavath village in India and I was born in America. I talked with him. I told him how Jesus loved him so much and wanted to heal him as he has me. I prayed that God would give him peace, heal him of any evil spirits, and burst into his life with the assurance and confidence that comes with knowing that the God who created him loves him just the way he is. As I prayed we all saw a change in his face. The wild look left and he just lay down on the ground and closed his eyes. Ever since we left that village I have felt that I failed that young man…that I should have stayed longer…that I should have done more. A few days ago I received an e-mail from pastor Chandu. The e-mail reminded me (again) that it’s not about what I do but that Jesus is faithful to take even our inadequate attempts and to use them for great gain.

Excerpt from Chandu’s e-mail:

“Brother Bob, the boy whom you prayed in Sabavath thanda ( village) is well and all demons went from him. This is fact. All village tribal people praising lord for this great healing.” After your prayer that boy healed physically. Demon spirit went away from him and he became well. Physically. He is well. Brother, thanking you for your love to this boy and to us also. brother kindly pray for us as we are going to village for gospal among TRIBAL PEOPLE.

Sabavath Village, Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh India – Former unreached village – Now touched by the love of God.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Back from India

On Feb 19th I got back from my eighth trip to India. It’s always good to be back, but I’m already missing the many friends we’ve made there over the years. We had a very productive time of ministry. We conducted ten nights of open air gospel meetings and reached 93 villages. In all, over 4300 decisions were made for Jesus the one true God. We also walked ten small villages to do one-on-one evangelism and to pray for the sick where 130 people made decisions to follow Jesus. One of the villages was in a remote area where not one person had seen a white man or heard of Jesus. We led eight people to Jesus in that village and one local pastor said he would go and pioneer a church in that place. PRAISE THE LORD! Pray for the many souls who received Jesus and that their new-found relationship with Jesus would grow. Also, pray for the local pastors who have the challenge of following up and discipling new believers.
We were a team of four this year. Joining me on this trip was my daughter, Pastor Lori Moen; my granddaughter, Michaela Moen; and our friend and prayer warrior, Tammy Woolhouse. I saw the wonder of India for the first time all over again through the eyes of my daughter and my ten year old granddaughter. It doesn’t get any better than that! We also dedicated two fresh water bored wells on this trip and a new church building. There is a wonderful story surrounding the new church building, but I’ll save that for another blog entry. In fact, there are many stories of the great things God is doing. God is also working in me. India changes you. The economy of God doesn’t compute using human arithmetic.
I go to India to bring them Jesus and yet I come back with more Jesus than when I left. Go figure?? More coming………..