Demonstrated Love in India

December 12 2018

Seventy men, women, and children sat down on the large plastic tarp spread out on the dirt at the entrance of the village. With a dubious history as roving Gypsy thieves, this unique community of the Banjara tribal people is now settling into a more traditional agricultural life. What a privilege for me to stand before them sharing God’s Word.

The stories of Jesus I chose seemed to capture their focus and move their hearts. Indian people delight in drama, so my translator and I acted out some of the events described. Their response showed clearly that God was at work! The next thing I knew I was given a bag of candy to pass out to the children.

It was obvious to me that the village people lacked basic, essential health care. Open sores, infections, and disabling injuries were quite evident. Our team spontaneously promised to sponsor a free medical clinic in the coming year. God’s love is best understood when it is demonstrated, not only explained. Expressions of kindness and compassion were the norm in Jesus’ own ministry. He healed the sick and took notice of those suffering without help and hope. May the Lord teach us all how to be sensitive, ready and willing to meet the needs of people around us. It is the greatest joy in life!

By Roger Kruse, Church Multiplication Facilitator in India

Tags: india, church planting, teaching god's word, banjara people, compassion ministry,

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