NORWALK, Calif. — Pastor David Masih hosted the 22nd annual Hosanna Convention with a three-day celebration including song, prayer, worship and a sermon from evangelist Dr. Paul Dhinakaran at the Hosanna International Church here July 27-19.
“I attend Pastor Paul Dhinakaran’s event every time he is in this area because I feel very blessed and very anointed. I will drive just to see him, I get goose pimples [bumps] all over talking about it,” Indian American worshipper Neerja Singh told India-West.
The Hosanna International Church is an Evangelical church founded by Pastor Masih in 1999. What started as a small church has flourished to hundreds of members of different races. The church seeks to address the “spiritual needs of the Indian, Pakistani, and Fijian community” by hosting sermons for the various communities in their respective languages. Greetings of “Salam Aunty or Namaste Uncle” met each attendee, depending on their country of origin. The weekend’s event aimed to celebrate the anniversary of the church by praying for those who are suffering financially or medically.
“We want to share our Lord’s message. People are looking for salvation. In order to receive salvation, the only way people get that is through Jesus. He is the one way to Heaven, and that’s one of the messages we are trying to spread all over the world,” said Pastor Philips Hans.
Celebrations began with inside the church prayer songs, jumping for joy, and screams of “Hallelujah.” Attendees filled the church pews with others opting to sit in the overflow tents.
Large television screens broadcast the sermon for those who could not make it in person. Younger attendees live-streamed the event; others like Jennifer Gavini played musical instruments like the piano to celebrate her devotion to God.
“It’s a place where we can come back to God. There’s about 150-200 people who come. People are shocked because they don’t think that Indians can be Christian. There are more Christians in India than people know. There are churches in Pakistan too,” said Gavini.
Chaz and Fahmida Yaqoot came from Redlands to attend the convention. Originally from Pakistan, the couple has now lived in California for 30 years. Fahmida Yaqoot, a registered nurse, was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago and was told that she would only have four months to live.
“We are recipients of many miracles in our lives. She is a living miracle herself. A lot of prayer along with medical help went into her treatment. Despite the fact that many people receive the same medical treatment as her, they do not survive. But personal faith and the miracle working of God helped her to regain a new life. Today she isn’t on any medicines. That’s a living miracle of God,” said Chaz Yaqoot.
The ceremony culminated with prayers from Paul Dhinakaran and a dinner to celebrate the end of the three-day convention.