Restoration Ministries International

Pastor Devanandam Junapudi from India will visit Perth in October 2012 to minister and promote the work of Restoration Ministries. Pastor Deva is an anointed, international evangelist who leads a church movement primarily among the Dalits (‘untouchables’) of Southern India. A Dalit himself, Deva’s ministry is committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of some of the world’s poorest people and is attested by signs and wonders.

Deva’s connection to Western Australia is a story of faith that reveals God’s sovereignty and grace.

The connection was made in March 2010 when Pastor Alex Huggett attended the Mighty Men’s Conference in Perth. During one of the breaks, Alex happened to meet a conference attendee from India and soon found himself politely listening to the man’s story. Cautious about getting involved and becoming entangled in the endless needs of India, the Lord nevertheless prompted Alex with Hebrews 13.2: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers…” So for the next 10 days, Alex and family found themselves joyfully hosting this man of God.

Deva’s story is remarkable. The Lord called him to gospel ministry in circumstances of extreme poverty. In Deva’s first year he preached the gospel with only one pair of pants, one shirt, and no shoes. His first church members were street beggars and orphans. He was paid a tithe from the meagre amounts they received from begging. Not knowing how to help them, Deva cried out to the Lord. God simply said, “Open your heart to them.” He did, and has experienced God’s power and faithfulness ever since. Still a young man, Deva has now been serving the Lord for over 15 years, and during that time has planted over 100 churches.

Deva came to the conference in Perth on the strength of a vision from the Lord – with no contacts and no plans. His stay with Alex was significant, laying the groundwork for the formation of Restoration Ministries International – Australia (RMIA). Alex soon introduced Deva to his friend and prayer partner, Steve Dennis. Steve and Deva immediately found a common bond in the Lord and formed a close friendship. It was out of these relationships that RMIA was born.

At that time, Alex was pastoring Ellenbrook Baptist Church which quickly caught the vision to raise funds for an orphanage. Their diligent efforts raised sufficient funds to commence work on the building’s foundations in March 2011.

Meanwhile, in November 2010, Alex and Steve pioneered a mission trip to rural Andhra Pradesh. The welcome they received from the Indian pastors, churches and communities they visited was overwhelming. Many people were touched, including healings, salvations and women being set free from prostitution. Training semi-literate pastors and evangelists was a key objective. It was a life-changing experience for both men, one which cemented their relationship with Deva and Restoration Ministries. The RMIA support ministry was launched on their return to Perth.

Relationships with churches in Perth have continued to grow. When Deva visited Perth again in March of 2011, he met Pastors John Matthews of Coastal Community Church and Martin Frown of Ellenbrook Christian Centre (ECC). Both men were drawn to Deva and became keen board members of the fledgling RMIA. Partnership with these churches has continued to flourish.

Besides raising funds to help complete the orphanage, ECC caught the vision to start a tailoring school in India. The school trains Dalit women in sewing skills so they can start their own home businesses to help support their families. The first class graduated early in 2012 and the school will soon begin its third intake of students. Coastal church has also adopted a number of key fundraising goals.

The Lord is clearly blessing us through our growing relationship with Restoration Ministries. A second, two-person mission trip took place in November of 2011, with Pastor John and one of his leaders. They saw an even greater outpouring of the Spirit when they visited a leper colony. The Holy Spirit continued to move powerfully after they left. They saw a number of people miraculously healed and hundreds respond to the gospel.

In March 2012, the first stage of the Restoration Centre and orphanage was finally completed and dedicated to God’s glory. Alex and Steve were blessed to share in the opening via Skype. About 30 orphans, widows and street people began to move in immediately.

RMIA is keen to build partnerships with like-minded churches and Christians in order to see God’s Kingdom extended in remote areas of India. For Deva, preaching the gospel and compassionate ministry go hand-in-hand. Our mission teams are preaching the gospel, training pastors, and encouraging Indian Christians in impoverished areas. Our partners are making a real difference by building orphanages and enabling vocational training for the disadvantaged.

Would you like to meet Pastor Deva? Deva will be available to minister and connect with new friends during his Perth visit (Oct 12 – Nov 12). We will happily arrange meetings with pastors, small groups or churches. Our annual Quiz Night on October 20 will also be an opportunity to meet Pastor Deva. (Online bookings are now open athttp://www.quiznight.info/.)

We would love you to connect with us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/rmiaus or visit our website (http://www.restorationministries.in/). Friends and supporters can subscribe to our newsletters. Alex and Steve are also available to meet with anyone who would like to find out more.