NAMS Advent blog, week 4

In this final Advent blog, we look at the quality of peace – what it is and how it marks us out as Jesus’ disciples in the world. Peace, as this season of Advent reminds us, is a gift of God like love, faith and hope. May you and I revel in the peace that God brings through Christ this Christmas.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” (Luke 2:14). 

An old chorus I sang growing up, based on an African-American spiritual, spoke of having ‘peace like a river.’ [1] Recently, my wife and I were wondering where that phrase came from, since we didn’t generally think of rivers as peaceful bodies of water. We thought rather of waters in constant motion. 

At points indeed, rivers could be terrifying – raging and foaming rapids that cascade over treacherous, bone-wrenching rocks, often culminating in tumbling waterfalls. 

Shortly afterwards, in an evening devotion, we were reading together in Isaiah 48, in which God accused Israel of being obstinate in their rebellion against him.  He called them back, as He often did, to repentance. Isaiah records God’s plea in these terms: 

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your profit, who leads you in the way you should go. Oh, that you had listened to my commandments; then your peace would be like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” [2]

Now we got the point. Peace is like a river in that it brings life. Rivers in Israel were a real source of security, sustenance and abundance. The great Jordan River and her tributaries, as they cut across the thirsty, arid landscape, gave rise to fertile banks. The rivers of peace and her righteous waves were meant to carry us along God’s holy ways – a means of great blessing and rule that come from following in the way of God. 

Our sinful world however, like stubborn Israel, wants peace on its own terms. 

According to popular culture, peace is often (and only) thought of as the absence of conflict, war, trouble or stress. They picture a world devoid of struggle – that lets then be as they want. 

The Scriptures, by contrast, root ‘peace’ not in the absence of danger about us, but in the presence of God with us, no matter the outward circumstance.

True peace is God’s gift. It can only be found as we submit to the will and ways of God. The poet Dante captured it well: ‘In his will is our peace.’ [3] 

C.S. Lewis agrees: “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” [4] 

Peace then, that the angels sang about to the lowly shepherds at Christmas, is peace that is given through the favor and blessing of God. We cannot manufacture it, nor earn it ourselves. It is instead a dynamic by-product of the Gospel transformation that comes by grace through faith in the salvation of Christ alone, for God’s glory. 

Didn’t Jesus promise such a genuine peace – unlike the world’s type – in John 14:27? So we need not be afraid at all, even though a little later in John 16:33, he tells us that we will have trouble in the world. There again, he reiterates that in him, we have peace.    

May the peace of God that is yours in Christ therefore, rule your heart this Christmas. 

As disciples of Jesus called to ‘know nothing except Christ and Him crucified’ and to make disciples after Him, may that peace also be a source of blessing to many around you, this time and always. From Him, springs life everlasting and peace unending.

Oh cross that liftest up my head
I dare not ask to fly from thee
I lay in dust’s life’s glory dead
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be. [5] 

Can $10 make a difference? We believe it can. We are looking for partners that will help us to spread the gospel of Jesus to all the peoples of the world. We are currently working in 9 of the 16 Global Regions of the world. We need partners like you in this mission. Are you able to join us by investing $10 a month to allow NAMS to continue the work we are doing in over 40 countries. If you can please go to the address below.

[1]  In the same vein, the opening line of Horatio Spafford’s well-loved hymn ‘It is Well with My Soul’ carries the same image: “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way…”
[2] Isaiah 48:17-18, ESV. The passage ends with a solemn warning in verse 22: “There is no peace, says the LORD, “for the wicked.”
[3]  Dante Alighieri, translated from Paradiso, Canto III, line 85.
[4]  C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), page 50.
[5]  Final verse of Hymn “O Love, That Wilt Not Let Me Go” by George Matheson.

NAMS Advent blog, week 4

NAMS Advent blog, week 3

Hope (By Manik Corea)

In this third in our NAMS Advent series, we discuss the place of hope in the Advent narratives of the two comings of our Lord. The true disciple of Christ is first and foremost a person whose hope is set on the promises, power and purposes of God.

There is a folk story about a crooked official who was sentenced to death by the king of the land. The condemned man pleaded with the king for his life, and in desperation, offered to teach the king’s beloved stallion how to fly in two years. Having won a reprieve, his incredulous friends asked him how on earth he was going to teach a horse to fly. He calmly replied, “Well, perhaps in these two years, the king might die, or I might die. Or his horse might die. One never knows, the horse might even learn to fly!”

A fanciful wish indeed, premised on the inevitability of death.

Many people however, choose to live in a death-denying stupor. Faced with the grim statistic that 100% of the people who ever lived on earth have died, they prefer to avoid the subject altogether. Others may in fact take comfort in fanciful beliefs about the after-life, indulge themselves to distraction and numbness, or stoically face up to the prospect of one day being no more than a memory to their survivors.

But all of us in some way, conscious or unconscious, live in an awareness of our mortality. Many have a resultant fear of death and dying. Lurking in the dark corners of our existence, it stalks us down like bloodhounds on the hunt. Soon or late, the clock counts down to the dreaded moment when, in the words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet , we have “shuffled off this mortal coil.” [1]

Against such a grim and gloomy prospect, the good news of Jesus rises like a blazing comet, lighting up a hitherto dark and starless night. 

His Gospel trumpets a death-defying song of hope – Jesus alone holds the keys of Death and Hades [2].  

All others lived and died. Christ alone died and now lives forever. And because He lives, we also will live, no longer slaves to the fear of death [3].  Paul calls Christ in us ‘the hope of glory’ [4]. 

Advent is thus the season of good hope. We remember Jesus, the One whom prophets foretold and angels heralded in His historic Incarnation. We anticipate with the Scriptures His return in glory to usher in a new heaven and a new earth.

“We have this (hope) as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.’ (Hebrews 6:19)

Our hope is not wishful optimism or positive thinking, but the strong expectation and enduring hope that God who sent His Son to save us, will one day complete His glorious work of redemption in the renewal of all things by His second coming. Into this hope, we were baptized and now live.

The Scriptures call us consequently to set our hopes firmly in God [5].  In the midst of the storms of life that may batter and buffet us to despair, Christ the anchor of our soul holds firm, until that day when we die and enter His glory.

Oh joy that seekest me through pain
I cannot close my heart to thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be  [6]

Can $10 make a difference? We believe it can. We are looking for partners that will help us to spread the gospel of Jesus to all the peoples of the world. We are currently working in 9 of the 16 Global Regions of the world. We need partners like you in this mission. Are you able to join us by investing $10 a month to allow NAMS to continue the work we are doing in over 40 countries. If you can please go to the address below.

[1] William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1. Soliloquy. 
[2] Revelation 1:18
[3] John 14:19 Hebrews 2:15
[4] Colossians 1:27
[5] Psalm 9:18; 33:18, 22; 71:14; 130:5; Isaiah 40:31; Romans 4:18, 5:5, 8:24, 15:13; 2 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 1:18; Titus 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 10:23; 1 Peter 1:13, etc.
[6] Verse 3 of Hymn “O Love, That Wilt Not Let Me Go” by George Matheson.

NAMS Advent blog, week 3

NAMS Advent Blog, week 2

Faith (By Manik Corea)

In this second of our blog series for Advent season 2021, having begun with ‘love’, we look at ‘faith’ this week. Namely, how Advent calls us to an obedient faith that settles for no half-measures but seeks to be and do all that God asks of us, this season and always. 

Faith pervades the birth narrative of Jesus like footprints on sand – distinctly at times, imperceptibly at others. Let’s follow its trail: 

See a young, virgin girl submit herself in faith to the startling angelic announcement that she is to bear the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. See an older, experienced priest articulate unbelief that God could actually answer his prayer for a child, a prophet who would prepare the way for Messiah. The angel sentences him to temporary silence for his word of doubt [1].  

The faithful Joseph on the other hand trusts and bears the shame of his wife’s pregnancy outside wedlock, learning later that the child in her is not the fruit of her unfaithfulness, but is the fulfillment of the hope of Israel. Later, he heeds the voice of prophetic warning and leads his blessed family to seek refuge in Egypt to wait out the hellish rage of Herod.

We read of sleepy shepherds heralded by angels, who then make haste to find the baby – and of foreign-tongued magi trusting a heavenly sign to lead them to the king of the Jews.

When God wants to do a work, he looks for men and women of faith to partner with.

Our faith towards God in turn demonstrates our submission and alignment with God’s will and wisdom. Indeed, “… without faith, it is impossible to please (the Lord) ….” (Hebrews 11:6).

In his earthly ministry, faith was the one quality Jesus found sorely lacking in Israel and in his disciples time and time again [2].  He marveled when he found it in a Roman Centurion [3].  He questioned if he would still find it in his future return [4].  He called us nevertheless to have faith in God [5].  

What does it mean then to be people of faith? 

The Hebrew word for faith is better translated as ‘faithfulness’ – it connotes acting in loyalty towards God, by doing as He says. Habakkuk 2:4, which became the rallying cry of the Protestant Reformation, should be seen in the context in which it was spoken, a call to persistent faithful living.  [6]

Therefore, faithfulness is much more a ‘doing’ activity more than an ‘professed’ belief – it is more ‘deeds’ than ‘creeds’. Such that James could say it must be seen in what we do or how we live, or it is dead [7].  Our obedience to Christ should thus be but a logical outcome of our faithfulness to him (Romans 1:5; 16:26). 

That great chapter of faith, Hebrews 11, is all about what great men and women of faith did as they trusted and obeyed God. Obedient faith always leads to action.

This Advent and always, may we be disciples of obedient faith who are found faithful in Christ.  

Would you like to make a difference somewhere in the world this Christmas?
Even a small gift will go a long way……
We in NAMS are organizing Christmas Gospel outreaches and providing aid and gifts to the poor in countries like India, Kenya, Cuba, Nepal and Egypt. Please add your gift to ours this Christmas by clicking DONATE NOW . (Remember to indicate in the comment section that it is for NAMS Christmas Outreach 2021).

[1] Luke 1:38 and 1:13, 18-22.
[2] Matthew 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; Mark 6:5-6, etc
[3] Luke 7:9
[4] Luke 18:8
[5] Mark 11:22; John 14:1
[6] Keeping faith would help the righteous in Israel to survive the coming invasion by the cruel Babylonians. This sense of its persistence is carried into the New Testament. Verses like Luke 8:15; Romans 1:17 and Hebrews 10:38- 39 bear out the link between faith and perseverance
[7] James 2:17. The Message paraphrases this particularly well: “Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?”

NAMS Advent Blog, week 2

NAMS Advent Blog, week 1.

In these next 4-5 weeks, I will be sharing some brief thoughts for the Advent season focusing on four primary values of love, faith, hope and peace that undergird the Christian message we must live and tell the world.

Love (By Manik Corea)

“For God so loved the world….” (John 3:16)

If you asked the average Christian to use one noun or verb to describe a key characteristic of God that they most relate to, most would likely plump for the word ‘love’. It is the one reflexive, controlling quality so many assume to be descriptive of the Person and work of God towards all people.

But while God is love [1] , love is not God. This is a point Tozer probes with perspicuity: “If love is equal to God then God is only equal to love, and God and love are identical. Thus we destroy the concept of personality in God and deny outright all His attributes save one, and that one we substitute for God.” [2]

Love absolutely describes our God, but it doesn’t categorically define Him. The triune God of our Scriptures is (by any attempt) infinitely unclassifiable, glorious without dispute, holy without compare, perfect without match – a constellation of eternal attributes reflective and deserving of One most worthy of endless worship, thanksgiving and praise. No theological concept is alone able to bear the weight of His matchless, undivided essence.

In this light, the word ‘love’ is inadequate as a catch-all word to describe Him, if we are to truly do justice to all that He is.[3] To be sure, He always acts in accord with His holy love, but not in a way that either repudiates or contradicts the many other characteristics that simultaneously hold true – His holiness, justice, righteousness, faithfulness, etc.

This is not however to denigrate all the Scriptures reveal about the love of God.[4] There are many powerful and glorious intimations about the dynamic power and sublime effects of God’s love bestowed upon us who were once dead in our sin.

Nowhere is this most seen than in the central act of the ages at the crossroads of nations – the cross of Christ. It remains the greatest expression of God’s love, in balance with His justice, mercy and truth. Jesus our Messiah is betrayed with a kiss, abandoned by his disciples, falsely charged, mercilessly beaten, scornfully derided and scandalously sentenced to the infamy and shame of a death by crucifixion. Jesus’ final death-cry gloriously heralds the end of sin’s tyranny toward repentant, believing sinners, able now to be forgiven and regenerate by his Spirit in the power of His resurrected life.

It is God’s love that sent our Lord to that hell we deserved, to gift us a heaven He desires to share with us in glory. We therefore show ourselves most like Him when we likewise love as He loves. Consequently, such a love must mark us out in the world, if we are to prove genuine.

Oh love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give thee back the life I owe
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be [5]

Can $10 make a difference? We believe it can. We are looking for partners that will help us to spread the gospel of Jesus to all the peoples of the world. We are currently working in 9 of the 16 Global Regions of the world. We need partners like you in this mission. Are you able to join us by investing $10 a month to allow NAMS to continue the work we are doing in over 40 countries. If you can please go to the address below.

[1] 1 John 4:8
[2] Aiden Wilson (A.W.) Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, Send The Light Trust: Bromley, Kent, 1976, pg 104.
[3] It was enough for God by self-disclosure to say to Moses, “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). He is all sufficient in Himself, the eternally existing One by whom all other things exist.
[4] Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 36:7; 63:3; 136:26; Isaiah 54:10; Jeremiah 31:3; Lamentations 3:22-23; Zephaniah 3:17; John 13:34-35; 15:9, 12-13; Romans 5:5; 8:37-39; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:4-5; 3:18; Colossians 3:14; 1 John 3:1; 4:7, 9-10, 16, 18-19; Jude 1:21 etc.
[5] Hymn “O Love, That Wilt Not Let Me Go” by George Matheson.

NAMS Advent Blog, week 1.

Lending to the Lord – NAMS COVID-19 RELIEF REPORTS

This Post has been edited to assist in the safety of workers in the field.

Do you know how to lend to the Lord? (See Proverbs 19:17 to learn how).

A couple of months ago, we wrote and asked for a second time in 2 years for contributions to NAMS COVID relief in parts of the world where NAMS has work or bases, that were facing particularly difficult times. We at NAMS thank God for those of you who gave and prayed towards this COVID-19 Relief Fund 2021, which we were able to channel to our leaders and bases in India, Nepal, Peru and Cuba, a few of the most hard-hit places.

You may remember that we shared that our NAMS South Asia Regional Team Leader — has contracted COVID. See his report of full recovery below. Also, thank God that our Companion in Nepal, Kiral Pal also recovered. However, three of our NAMS Companions, Pankaj Neupane in Nepal, and our NAMS missionaries in Peru, Juan Tamayo and his daughter Melissa, are  currently also COVID-19 positive. All are recovering, but please keep them in your prayers.

Two brief reports from Juan and Maida Tamayo, NAMS Companions and leaders in Lima, Peru of those helped by our COVID-19 Relief funds:

Sister Yaipsi: “Today, I want to thank our Heavenly Father for the great blessing received from all of you, my family in faith. My family and I are totally grateful for your valuable contribution and especially your prayers. May God multiply your blessings greatly and may His mercy be infinite to all of you”.

Sister Rosa: “Greetings to the NAMS brethren. Today I’d like to thank God for the great blessing which you are having you in my life. I know God is working greatly in my life with a purpose through the great act of kindness of your offering. The support of NAMS means a lot to me because it was in a moment that I was going through certain needs. Our prayers to God are powerful – their answers are reflected in the act of kindness of your offerings. I am very grateful.”.

Indeed, to all who gave and prayed, we at NAMS say ‘Thank you’ and thanks be to God.

Lending to the Lord – NAMS COVID-19 RELIEF REPORTS

Going to the Least of Them — COVID-19 Relief.

This Post has been edited to assist in the safety of workers in the field.


Dear NAMS friends and supporters,

We live in a world that continues to battle with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While those of us in developed countries have started to reap the effects of vaccinations in bringing down infection rates, such is still not that case in the majority world.

NAMS has work on 5 continents, and our Companions and leaders are widely spread around the world. Some of them continue to struggle with the effects of the pandemic. A few nations like India and Nepal are facing huge surges in numbers once more, as I am sure you are aware from the news.

We in NAMS are seeking to raise funds to help people through our NAMS  NAMS bases in 3 of the most hard-hit nations globally, that is, India, Nepal and Cuba.

In fact, in India, the NAMS leader of South Asia, is now in hospital being treated for COVID.

The situation is equally dire in countries like Nepal and Bangladesh. Our NAMS Nepal leader has just reported that one of our NAMS Companions in Kathmandu, Kiran Pal, has contracted COVID-19. They are now in a desperate search for a hospital to treat her.

Kiran Pal in Nepal

Finally, the island state of Cuba has not been much in the news. But our NAMS base there reports that COVID-19 and the collapse of the economy has meant that there is a shortage of food, essential items and employment in the country.

We would therefore like to appeal for emergency funds to send to our NAMS bases in these three countries in particular, India, Nepal and Cuba, so that they can help meet the needs of people there – especially the sick, suffering or destitute.

If you would like to help or donate, please click on the ‘Donate Now’ button here or go to our website directly ( be-involved.html ) to donate there. Contact us at for other ways to transfer any gifts. (Please indicate ‘NAMS COVID-19 RELIEF FUND 2021’ on the remarks column).

Above all, please pray for these and many other nations in the throes of this pandemic.


Going to the Least of Them — COVID-19 Relief.