Most people would know Manna Farm in Padapai as a ‘retreat centre’. Thanks to the vision of (late) Jimmy uncle and Queenie aunty who opened their farm house in the 1970s to people in Madras (now Chennai) for camps, retreats and prayer meetings. Manna Farm continues to be a preferred destination for camps and retreats.
In the year 2012, the Lord gave the vision of ‘Harvest-in Church’ to Philip and Dulcie. In Mathew 9:37 the Lord Jesus was calling the attention of his disciples to the harvest-field ‘ripe for harvest’. But in Manna Farm, it was the vision of the ‘harvest’ which had fallen-off the trees, which just needed to be collected and brought-in….hence the name ‘Harvest-in Church’.
In a sense, the Lord had already prepared many things for ‘Harvest-in church’ to begin.
- The chapel was built and ready, beckoning a church to gather within
- God had ordained and trained Philip in the role of a pastor for ten years during the secular assignment in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
- Here in Padapai there were a few people looking for an English church
- The Lord also confirmed this through a pastor In Chennai where Philip ministered for five weeks during the pastor’s vacation
So, on 5th of August 2012 Harvest in Church was born. Philip was in Bangalore, still working in the corporate, travelling every week-end to Chennai for next one year to conduct the worship service in Padapai.
The first 2 years had just six to eight people meeting for worship, Dulcie leading the worship and Philip sharing the Word. An English service in a suburban village like Padapai seemed like an absurd idea. Many questioned our mission. But since it was not our idea, but the Lord’s leading, we continued the ministry.
Specifically the Lord showed the ‘geographical region‘ and ‘two people-groups‘ who needed an English church and ministry. The region was the 20 km radius around Padapai bordering SOMT ( Sri Perambudur, Orgadam, Maraimalainagar and Tambaram) having so many factories and IT businesses.
The two people-groups being,
- The ‘migrant, non-Tamil-community’ working in the factories and IT companies in this region.
- The next-generation Tamils, who are more English-speaking; a good number of them from the Padapai community itself.
The Lord brought a family from Kerala who asked us if we had ‘Sunday School’. That’s when we started “Kingdom Kids” to cater to the needs of children.
Today Harvest-in English church is a growing community of believers. We have ministries catering to the specific needs of the community as below,
|Worship service||Sundays 8.00 am to 9.30 pm|
|Kingdom Kids||Sundays 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm|
|Bible Study||Wednesdays, 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm|
|Dawn Prayer||Mondays & Fridays 5.30 am to 6.30 am|
|Half Night Prayer||2nd Friday night, 9.30 pm to 12.30 pm|
Informal times of fellowship and prayer are an inherent part of our church. Our children and youth are constantly engaged to serve the Lord through skits, choreo and dance. Some of the special events we have during the year are
- Church outreach during Easter, Resurrection Sunday
- Kingdom Kids Camp in September
- Christmas Special Program in December
- Monthly House Groups Meetings
- Year-end, Thanksgiving Celebrations on the last Saturday of December.
We are still working towards the vision and consider all that we are doing now as ‘work-in-progress’!