Going to hard-to-reach remote areas
An open top truck carries missionaries & evangelism equipment
"We rented this truck to travel to an outlying area. It was large enough to carry all our team members, evangelism equipment, and food for the day."
Indigenous ministries are working to reach the hard-to-reach and the never reached. When they have begun a work in one of these remote areas, they return often to strengthen the new believers.
Many times the only way to transport equipment and materials needed for evangelism is to rent a truck. Otherwise, they have to walk, carrying everything needed by hand. The cost for these rentals, or long distance trips by foot, greatly hinder their outreach. They would be able to cover more ground and work more effectively if they owned reliable transportation.
A ministry leader in Andhra Pradesh State, India, describes some of these problems in a recent letter to Christian Aid:
"We walked the remaining five miles."
"Because of your prayers we conducted a successful outreach trip to a remote village located across a wide river. We left at 9 a.m. in a large rented topless truck with 30 young people and four church elders all riding in the back with the equipment. We reached the river about 12:30 in the afternoon and parked the truck, because the river was too deep to drive through. From that point, we had to carry all of our equipment across the waist-deep river and walk the remaining five miles to the village.
"After reaching the village we set up our equipment (sound system, lighting, generator, etc.) and had lunch. After that we went door-to-door talking about our Lord and inviting the people to the gospel meeting at 7:30 that evening. A few people attended, but during the meeting some anti-Christians burst upon us. They carried sticks, stones, and wooden weapons to hurt us. There were nearly 50 of them, and they told us to leave the village immediately. So we stopped the meeting.
"But the village leader came in and talked to them. After that, they allowed us to preach the gospel, as long as we did not criticize their gods or beliefs. Afterwards, the leader of these activists came to me and asked me to pray for him. Twenty-three village people were also touched and asked for prayer.
"We carried our tent, sound equipment, lighting, generator, and set up a meeting place in the village."
"We left the village after midnight. We were tired and most of us were not feeling strong enough to carry all our equipment back to the river bank, so we had to rent a bullock cart.
"In spite of so many handicaps, the long trip, and even the threats against us, we came back victorious in preaching the gospel to many. We need to make this trip again very soon for follow-up."
The temperature that day was 113 degrees Fahrenheit, when they drove 55 miles to reach the river. By the time they reached it, they were weary and sluggish. While it may have been a relief to jump into the river once they got there, they still had five more miles to go. Many of them wore sandals and some were barefoot as they carried all of the equipment across the waist-deep waters and then walked the rest of the way.
Christian Aid donors have been faithful in supplying many of the needed tools for evangelism. But this kind of ministry could be greatly enhanced if they had a hardtop van, protecting them from the hot sun. A cart would be helpful for moving equipment in places where driving is not possible. And sturdy walking shoes are needed, as well, since walking is often a necessary part of these trips in remote areas.