BRETHREN BELIEVERS ASSEMBLY KUWAIT (B.B.A.K.)
Jesus Christ said “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18
Church and Gospel
Church means a group of called out people. God created Adam and Eve and gave them all freedom and put them in the garden of Eden, enjoying sweet fellowship and friendship with their creator. However they disobeyed God’s instructions and became sinners .Because of their disobedience, they lost their fellowship and friendship with the Almighty God and they were pushed out from the garden. Due to the sin of Adam and Eve, all generations became sinners before God. But God, who is love, loved the world and opened a unique way to deliver the sinners from eternal punishment and death. The wages of sin is death according to the word of God or the Holy Bible. Bible says in John 3: 16 ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have ever lasting life”.
God’s only begotten son Jesus Christ came into this world at the fullness of time and took upon himself the punishment of sin on behalf of man and became a propitiation for sin. Jesus Christ died only the cross and was buried but he rose again victoriously on the third day and he is living today at the right hand of his beloved father in heaven. All those who confess their sin, believe in Jesus Christ and accept him as their personal Saviour and Lord, will be delivered from eternal death. They will be called the children of God or born-again people. This is the good news or the Gospel. A group of such people is known as the called out people or the Church.
Brethren Movement Around the World
The Brethren movement was started in the early part of 19th Century in Dublin. Even in the first century, the disciples of Jesus Christ were called Christians mainly because they followed Jesus Christ The disciples visited different parts of the world including Kerala and preached Gospel and established churches. During the beginning of 19th Century, the Holy spirit revealed the real Biblical truth and the worship pattern changed. The old pattern of worship as well as many other practices , prevailing at that time, were discontinued and the new practices were introduced.
This is exactly in accordance with the Bible doctrines. However there were objections from old denominations but the new movement was spread to different parts of the world rapidly. The same movement started in Plymouth, England at a later date with the same doctrinal teachings. A sudden revival took place in many parts of the world. Members of such churches were born-again people.
Moreover those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord, witnessed the Lord in the waters of baptism. Bible says in Matthew 28:19 ” Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them ( i.e. all those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord) in the name of the father , and of the son and of the Holy Spirit” Prior to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, he established the Lord’s Table and asked his disciples to observe this in remembrance of him until he comes again. Mark 14:22-24, Matthew 26: 26-28 and 1 Corinthians 11: 23-25.
Brethren Movement in Kerala
The Brethren Movement started in Kerala in the year 1872. A real revival took place. People were eager to follow the new pattern of worship. Foreign Missionaries came to India and also to Kerala and preached the Gospel. Initially there were large scale objections from Church authorities and they warned the people from joining the new movement but many people joined the Brethren Movement. Some people were pushed out from their homes and even from their churches.
Worship places were constructed in many places and a few schools and mission hospitals were started. The Brethren movement was widely spread to Kerala and hundreds of churches were established in Kerala and all over India. Many Bible Schools and Colleges were also established and hundreds of dedicated young people are coming out from these institutions every year to serve the Lord as full time Evangelists in Kerala and other States of India.
Brethren Movement in Kuwait
In the early period of 1960, a few believers from different parts of Kerala got the opportunity to come to Kuwait for employment following the discovery of oil wealth. By the Grace of God on 14th August 1960, the first Brethren worship service with the Lord’s Table took place in the house of one of the brethren. This worship service and other meetings continued in the houses.
Initially there were only ten members including a few sisters. Many new believers started arriving from Kerala and also from Arab countries who were holding the same faith and patter of worship. As the number of believers increased, an apartment was rented for worship meetings at a place called Quibla in the heart of the Kuwait city. Since the number increased, the Indian believers and Arab believers agreed to gather separately sharing the same apartment on different days and times for more convenience.
In the year 1969, by the Grace of God, the Brethren Assembly obtained a worship place in the same compound of National Evangelical Church of Kuwait ( N E C K) with the recommendations of Kuwait Town Malayalee Christian Congregation. NECK has several gathering places with all essential facilities in the Church compound and over 60 different Christian congregations from various countries are gathering in these places on all days of the week. Members of Brethren Assembly increased considerably and started worship services at five places in different locations in Kuwait. They were Brethren Assembly (Sharq) Kuwait, Brethren Assembly Kuwait, Jabriya Brethren Assembly, Fahaheel Brethren Assembly and the Konkani Brethren Assembly.
Many Evangelists visited Kuwait and preached the word of God regularly. Evangelists V.T. Mathai, K.G. Kurian, Y. Ezekiel, V.P. Jacob, M.M. Zachariah, John Kurian, Varghese Kurian, Chandappilla Philip, P.S.Thanmpan, Bros. A. J. Rowberry, Michael Brown and Charles Wigg and several others visited Kuwait on various occasions. During their visits members of all five Brethren Assemblies used to gather together to listen to the word of God and enjoyed sweet fellowship.
One of the main problems faced by the churches at that time was the non-availability of a proper place for baptism. Believers were baptized secretly in the sea, in the early morning hours of the day. Later a large plastic baptism tub (tank) was provided at Quibla hall for baptism.
Almost all spiritual activities were paralyzed when Kuwait was invaded by Iraq in 1990. It was a terrifying experience but it pleased the heavenly father to take all the believers and their families to their homes in India safely. After the liberation, believers began to return to Kuwait and Brethren Church activities including worship service were started in June 1991. Most of the old believers and so many new believers arrived and joined the Assembly.
The strength increased considerably and many believers felt it necessary to have a separate Assembly for spiritual growth. After the liberation of Kuwait, the Church authorities (NECK) constructed a permanent baptism pool in the church compound and it is now being used for baptism service by most of the congregations including Brethren Assembly, Kuwait.
Brethren Believers Assembly, Kuwait
After earnest prayer, many believers expressed their views to start a new Assembly with the main intention to grow spiritually and extend the outreach ministry to different parts of Kuwait. In April 1995, Brethren Believers Assembly Kuwait (B.B.A.K) was started with strength of nearly 180 members, including children.
The Elders of the Assembly were Bro. K.M. Samuel, Bro. P.S. George and Bro. Raju T. Mathew. Suitable gathering places were allocated to BBAK in the church compound for various Assembly activities. Many new believers also arrived later and the strength of the Assembly increased considerably. Two more brothers, Bro. Baby Mathew and Bro. Sam Kuruvilla, were also recognized as Elders in the year 2000. Bro. K.M. Samuel left for Kerala in 2003 and later Bro. John Mathew P was recognized as the Elder of the Assembly. Bro.Thomas Samuel was recognized as the Elder of the Assembly in the year 2012.
By the end of year 2010, Bro. Baby Mathew and by the beginning of year 2011 Bro. Sam Kuruvilla left Kuwait for good. Bro P.S.George left for Kerala in 2013.
Since the beginning of Brethren Believers Assembly Kuwait, many families left Kuwait for U.S.A., Canada and also for India for their permanent residence. At present BBAK has strength of over 130 members participating in the Lords Table. The spiritual activities are being conducted regularly.