Indian gospel workers reaching tribes; facing great danger
October 19, 2011
During the months of June and July, with help from Christian Aid, the Lord enabled native missionaries serving with a ministry in India to reach 224 new villages with the gospel for the first time. Field missionaries, with assistance from missionary trainees who were helping in the field as a part of their summer internship, presented Christ in a variety areas. A few thousand from the Gond, Oravan, Munda, Assame, Chamar, Lohar, Vanniya Gounder, Velala Gounder, Pusali, Lingayat, and Mahar people groups were reached with the gospel. The ministry leader reports that the work of the Lord is moving forward in several states.
In addition to these successful outreaches, five new worship groups were started by the ministry in recent months. And thirty people have confessed their faith openly through baptism. Also, missionaries conducted follow-up meetings in 35 villages. They ask for prayer that these follow-up meetings will become active worship groups in the days to come. The ministry currently has regular worship groups in over 90 villages.
When a team of native missionaries went to one of the most primitive tribes in the area, people in their village heard the gospel, but one young man rose up in opposition. The rest of the villagers, on hearing the Word of God, admonished him and removed him from the place. They heard the Word with much interest and have requested the missionaries to visit them regularly.
For many gospel workers there is a constant threat of danger.
In one village two missionaries were severely beaten by anti-Christians. They accused them of transforming the lives of the tribal people in their area. The anti-Christian and anti-social elements want the tribal people to remain ignorant and enslaved to evil habits. This is because their spiritual and social transformation hinders the oppressors from taking advantage of them.
On another occasion, two female missionaries were aggressively opposed and verbally abused by the local village leader while they were conducting a prayer meeting. He stirred up the local people to beat them. Miraculously, by the Lord’s guiding hand, they escaped.
Amazingly, when a political activist gathered some young men to beat the missionary, two policemen on their way to some other village inquired about the problem. Christian Aid received this report, “The missionary shared the gospel with them and explained the problem created by this activist. The policemen took the troublemakers to the police station, filed a case against them, and put them in custody. They allowed the ministry to continue. On hearing this, the relatives of the arrested men came and pleaded with us to speak for those men who were in police custody. Upon our request, the police released them with a warning.” Thereafter, the entire village population were provoked by the power of the Lord and requested the missionaries to return to their village to explain the gospel.
Despite the dangers, new believers are regularly added to God’s kingdom. Training meetings were held in five different places and more than 200 elders and leaders attended the camps. The ministry also conducted discipleship camps in three places with more than 500 believers in attendance. Many seekers also came and received the Word of God.
Thus through evangelistic campaigns and continuous training the team of native missionaries are having a positive effect on the people of India and continue to surge forward in the face of great danger.