The Faith to Believe

December 12 2018

Lakshman is a hard working stone cutter in India. This is hard work. But this is how he provides for his family. Lakshman became an orphan at a young age and was later raised by his grandparents. Unfortunately, at 12 years old Lakshman had already begun smoking and drinking alcohol. His passion was going to the cinema every Sunday to watch movies. Over time, however, he grew restless and noticed some Christians going to worship. His grandfather had also told him that if he went to church he would find peace of mind. Finally, some believers accompanied him to worship. He was struck by the words of Jesus, “If you ask, you will receive.” As a Hindu, he wondered how a single deity could handle the many requests made by so many different people. He questioned if God could hear his prayer. Because Lakshman did not know how to read, he prayed and asked God to teach him. He also combined his prayers with 10 days of fasting. On a Friday, the Holy Spirit spoke to him that his prayer would be answered. He went outside and saw writing on a wall and was able to understand it! People wondered how he was now beginning to read. As he pursued Christ through prayer, he felt convicted about the wrong things he had done in his life. He asked forgiveness and discovered the reality of Jesus living within.

Lakshman had a desire in his heart to share his new-found faith with others, but he didn’t know how. He connected with an ECC team leader and began watching, learning, and joining in the ministry. He was taught the T&M strategy and began sharing Bible stories in his own village. Ten people pursued faith in Christ and formed a nucleus of a new house church. Over time his vision also included the building of a place of worship. The poor villagers themselves doubted their ability to raise the necessary resources. With faith and the collateral of the women’s gold jewelry from the congregation, Lakshman somehow secured a large loan to begin construction. The work is now nearly finished. As we visited, a carpenter was making window frames with just a few basic tools.

Lakshman shared that he is currently training three new leaders and sharing the Gospel in 15 other villages. I never cease to be amazed at the obedient faith of my Indian brothers and sisters.

By Roger Kruse, Church Multiplication Facilitator in India

Tags: india, church planter, leader, faith

​Rice Planter to Church Planter

April 25 2017

Jose Nunez, from San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, grew up helping his family on their farm. He learned to prepare the field, chose the right seeds, water, prune, and harvest the crops. As he learned the family trade of how to farm, he also learned how to gamble and drink alcohol at a very young age.

“I helped my family in the field in the morning and once we were done, I would gamble either by playing cards or cockfighting. This all changed when I went to South Korea in January of 2006 to work in a manufacturing company,” Jose related.

During Jose’s first month in Korea, he met a pastor from Pakistan who told him about Friends of All Nations and that he could meet other Filipino there. So, he went and met the pastor and some other Filipino workers. From that day on, Jose continued to go to FAN. As he learned more about God’s Word, a hunger to know more grew in him. Jose shares, “I kept reading the Bible and attending the Bible studies in people’s houses. Not long after that, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized on June 7, 2007.”

The changes in his life were not sudden, but as time passed, he noticed there were drastic changes compared to his life before. His perspective on life changed, and all his vices disappeared. “My desire now is for my entire family, my friends, and relatives to come to know the Lord,” Jose said.

Jose met his wife at FAN in 2009 and got married in September 2010. They both grew in their spiritual walks through the ministries of FAN. In 2011, they returned to the Philippines and with the help of a pastor from FAN, Jose and his wife started a Bible study in their community and some of Jose’s relatives accepted Christ. They are now part of the local church in their community. My whole family is actively involved in our church.

In 2012, we returned to South Korea for work. Now his job is not located near a FAN branch. The company is located in a remote area and there are no churches nearby so Jose and two of his coworkers started a Bible study. Jose shared, “Now, we are about a dozen people who attend the study. Some are just listeners for now, but some are on fire as they study God’s Word.

“God allowed me to learn how to be a rice planter in the Philippines who cares for his crops and knows how to make them grow. Now, I use those things that I learned in planting rice to plant churches!”

Tags: philippines, south korea, farmer, rice planter, church planter, immigrant ministry,