An exciting carol service

with leaves

‘Every time we say the date we celebrate Christmas.’ These were the words of Tim Brown, one of the Dwaar elders, at our Sunday service on December 14, 2014. It is so very true but so often ignored. The year 2014 marks the length of time since one of the most important events in history, the birth of Christ. Wow! We were all most intrigued by the thought, which took a while to sink in but brought proud smiles to our faces. It was a great reminder to us as the rhythm of our hearts mimicked that of the blue and white flashing lights on the walls of our venue, as the Christmas tree stood in the corner like a beloved new member of our church and as the warm green and red cookies baked by loving ladies were laid out on the table in preparation for the carol service that same evening. We were reminded of the importance and meaning of Christmas.

singers

Again we remembered Tim’s words fondly as we sang traditional Christmas carols in English, raising our chins and rounded our O’s, doing our best to sing like angels to ‘O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant’. Visitors and longstanding members alike joined in a chorus loud enough to wake the sun but gentle enough to put the never-stopping Delhi to a peaceful sleep. Our faith brings us peace and our fellowship with and love of each other brings us such joy. When we sing we sing for God, for each other and for Delhi.

snacksDelhi is one of the most populous and largest cities in the world and the members of Dwaar live in so many different parts of it, but when we come together each person’s journey is worthwhile as each has a gift and a service. We rejoice after a wildly successful carol service. Everything happened so seamlessly because everyone played a vital role, whether it was conducting the choir, playing the piano, printing the lyrics, making the tea, welcoming the visitors, taking pictures or simply being good company. We anticipate truly wonderful lead up to Christmas as we celebrate this Saturday, Sunday and on Christmas Day. All are welcome to join us. Find out more about what’s on.

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Dwaar: An Open Door for Open Hearts

open door

The history of India is replete with invading kings sweeping across this vast and rich land, fighting and conquering as they went. In the end, the victors who stayed back often celebrated their victory and honored their martyrs by building monuments to their conquests. Tall minarets, majestic palaces and tombs, and imposing fortresses are a common sight in and around Delhi, the historic jewel in the crown of India. But one type of monument stands out more than most – the “victory gate”. Magnificent gates of all diverse hues mark old Delhi in particular. And in New Delhi, “India Gate” stands tall, both as a monument to the victorious British Empire in the first World War, but also as a solemn living monument to all fallen Indian soldiers.

As a large metropolis, many come to Delhi out of the ambition of making a personal fortune. As the capital of the largest democracy in the world, the city also attracts those seeking public fame in politics, diplomacy, business and education, often at a national or even international level. A precious few people come to serve the city itself. Unfortunately, even among those who claim to follow Christ, few have had the vision to see Delhi as a city seeking a path, an open door to peace and salvation. Even fewer have sought to truly love and serve this often chaotic, crowded and confusing blend of languages, skin tones and cultures just as it is.

Dwaar (translated as “door” in Hindi) was started with a vision – to reach the capital of India with the unique message of an open door to life in Jesus Christ. Dwaar not just exists “in Delhi”, but also “for the love of Delhi” and “the nations” who call it home.

Ironically, the vision for a new community in the nation’s political capital first emerged in India’s business capital, Mumbai, where Samir Deokuliar was successfully leading his second church. As a “serial church-planter” Samir believed it was time for him to seek new horizons of God’s work in India, and Delhi seemed to be the next frontier. When he started praying and seeking confirmation of this vision, a small but dedicated group of fellow pioneers answered his call from places as diverse as Kochi in Kerala to Woking in the UK. Friends and strangers moved to Delhi from across India and abroad and the first Dwaar community was birthed in the “urban village” community of Lado Sarai.

Three years later, it is now clear to Samir and the Dwaar leadership that Delhi is too vast and too diverse to be served by a single location and a single style of worship. The open door would have to be accessible and look different for the numerous people groups assimilated into this vast city. So with encouragement from some prophetic words and with support from partners like Newfrontiers and Redeemer CTC, Dwaar has recently launched its second location closer to the heart of Delhi’s commercial district

The Center at Lado Sarai has now transformed into a contextualized, Indian style “Satsang” fellowship on Saturdays, while the new “Venue” at Africa Avenue meets on Sunday mornings for a more classical bilingual Fusion style meeting.

Our hope and prayer is that the open door will swing wider and further open to the hundreds of seekers and open hearts in this mega city.

Jonathan Pillai – Leader/ Scientist

 

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Spreading the cheer!

There is much exchange of gifts at Christmas. Shiny wrapped parcels can be seen winking under every tree, tucked under every arm but there are also gifts that don’t have to be bought at the mall or ordered online. One of these free, wonderful and plentiful things is ‘cheer’.  Dwaar found out that there’s no time like Christmas to spread this fuzzy warm cheer. So off we went, to homes, gardens, hospitals, clubs and malls, spreading a generous dose of cheer. It was our way of expressing love to many and bringing the true message of Christmas to people.

You never know where you can spread a dose of cheer and  we looked forward to the familiar spots like a party for the children at Dwaar, a party for the teens, a grand Sunday celebration, youth get togethers plus a celebration with professionals at the Vasant Vihar Club. Each of these ocassions was filled with fun and cheer.

Then we found three whole new ways  to spread cheer, in places we had never pictured ourselves.

The season of good cheer began with an afternoon of carol singing and tea with the ladies from the Delhi Commonwealth Women’s Association. Our hearts gladdened as they joined us in singing the old familiar carols under the shade of the gracious old trees that Delhi is so well know for.

DCWA

Next was a visit to Shanti Avedhna. This is a centre where  terminally ill cancer patients are cared for. Many of these people play out the last days of their life  lonely and struggling with their illness. A team of ten from Dwaar Global got together to visit these patients. The team spoke to them, loved them, sang Christmas songs and gave gifts to them. The sixteen patients were blessed. Many were moved to tears. Surely, the Lord was pleased with this gesture.

Shanti

All he wanted was for the team to pose with him and his colourful blanket gift

And finally-the Dwaar group of singers were out on three evenings singing and interacting with the many kids and shoppers at the DLF Promenade Mall in Vasant Kunj, spreading cheer and explaining the true meaning of Christmas. It was such a joy to hear the mall echo with “O come let us adore him” giving honour where it is due during Christmas.

DLF

The group singing Christmas carols at DLF Promenade Mall

There is much pain in this world. Let us take every opportunity to spread the cheer!

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I will boast in the Lord

IMG-20140103-WA0000 Commuting from our home in Ghaziabad has always been tiring and time consuming. Apart from that, my mother always wanted to serve in in Khushboo (an NGO for the empowerement of women). I too wanted to be closer to our church in Lado Sarai, in South Delhi. With all these factors in mind we were praying for a suitable and affordable home in South Delhi.

One Sunday afternoon, a friend told me about a beautiful flat available near Kailash Colony metro station. He said it was reasonable and we should have a look. We found it to be a lovely place, perfect for all our plans. However to move here we needed to get a tenant for our house in Ghaziabad to help us pay the rent of the new house. I took a step of faith and moved in the new place, trusting that God would find us the tenant at the right time.

However getting a tenant was a challenge and as the days passed I began to get anxious.

I was reminded of a verse in the Bible which says – I will boast in the Lord. I dwelt on it. That evening an Uncle from Nainital sent me a message quoting this verse, and the following Sunday, Samir read out the same words at the Dwaar meeting.

I felt God talking directly to me and I was sure that in the course of time I would boast in what God will do.

My peace returned to me.

On the 27th of December we shifted into our new house with no tenants at our Ghaziabad home yet.

I was praying and praying hard.

Walking out of my building I heard an inner voice prompting me to turn around and ask the person who had just crossed my path, if he was a broker. Very tentatively I asked him and to my amazement he turned out to be just such a person. On the very same day he had one portion of my house rented out and by the next evening he got another family who wanted it. Everything was falling into place. Well almost…..

The broker’s partner wanted to cheat the broker of his brokerage and urged me to double cross the broker  by dealing with the partner directly. I refused even at the cost of  losing a much needed tenant.

I came home and prayed. Half an hour later he called saying he had changed his mind. He would not cheat and that we could go ahead with the deal. What a relief!

On the last day of the year, we signed the rent agreement and left the problem of the rent behind. I thank God for His faithfulness; he truly “honours the righteous”.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
-Proverbs 3:5-6

Today I am boasting in the Lord!

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Tell us your story!

Dear friend

Many have experienced the goodness of God in their lives. It is good to recount our blessings and give thanks to God.

You too have a story.

Please send in your story to info@dwaar.org so that others may read and be encouraged.

Thank you

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