Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Lamp has been lit.

India has 122 major languages and 1599 other unique languages. Thirty of these major languages has more than 1 million native speakers each. Hindi, the largest has 366 million speakers. That is about the population of the USA and Canada put together. 

Each tribe and people group in South Asia has its own unique language. For the sake of governance, most state (province) also has a provincial language. However, there is a great gulf between the ‘heart language’ and ‘state language.’

LEFT BEHIND

The village of PKote spoke only their unique ethnic language. So, they have remained isolated from the rest and did not participate in any progress. They were being left behind. Even the children of this village did not attend the school in the neighboring village. The walk through the forest to the school was not the challenge. But, these children could not understand the state language that was used in the school. Their village spoke only their unique language. And, no one here knew how to read or write any language. They lived a very primitive life in every way.
 
One day a Compelled missionary was told about this people. So, he decided to visit this village. He could not converse with the people. So, he smiled a lot and drank the water that was offered to him as a sign of welcome. He felt a unique burden for this village. So, he started to pray for them and also kept visiting them regularly. Over time, he began to develop their trust and friendship. Meanwhile, he found someone who spoke both languages.

THE LIGHT

The missionary one day met with the elders of PKote. He shared his willingness to teach them to read and write in the language of their province. He also explained that he would also train them to count, so that they could sell their produce at a fair rate in the village market. They were excited and agreed.
Soon, every evening the Compelled missionary would go to this village with his paper charts, chalk board, and the Bible. They met under a tree or in someone's hut; and every night he would teach them one alphabet at a time, one number at a time. 

Initially, thirty villagers committed to attend the classes. As others saw the progress in these thirty, more showed interest to join in these literacy classes. A literacy worker, on an average, conducts classes in 2-4 different villages every week.

Today, a large number of villagers at PKote have learnt the state language. They can read, write, and count. The villagers have now started to engage with the government agencies towards progress. Most of the children now to go school. Above all, the witness of the missionary and the Bible stories that he would share has already led 60 people to commit to be disciples of our Lord.



The missionary brother leading the literacy worker in this region sums it well, "The lamp has been lit in this village. The light has entered their minds and spirit." 




Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Christmas and Chicken

Rescued girl in one of our Children Home in India
Every year, as an organization, we try to do something special for the children living in our boys and girls homes across South Asia. Although school supplies, new clothes, and sweets are fun, delightful gifts to share with these boys and girls, the field leaders sensed it was time to take a different approach this holiday season.
Gifts are tangible expressions of love and joy – often meeting practical, emotional, and physical needs. And, this year, one of our senior leaders hatched a gift idea that would meet all three: chickens.
Initially, the idea of purchasing chickens as Christmas presents might seem a bid odd, but such a gift would assist the children in a variety of ways. In addition to serving as a pet for each boy or girl, the chicken would teach the children responsibility and resourcefulness. If the children care for the chickens properly, they will produce eggs--an essential source of nourishment and nutrients. Additional, the children will be able to sell eggs at local markets to start generating income for their future needs. 

For a mere ten dollars, you can provide two chickens, a feathered companion to a boy or girl in need. And amazingly, your gift has the propensity to multiply in its effectiveness. As each orphan cares for his or her chicken, they will see the direct impact of their diligence and care. They will grow strong, adding much-needed protein to their diets. They will grow independent, earning a fair price for the eggs they sell. And, in small, but powerful way, they will feel both provided and cared for.
Children in one of our Homes along Nepal

We humbly ask for you to participate this Christmas season in showing the love and provision of Christ through your gift this holiday season. I encourage you to join with me in giving, as we watch orphaned children experience the joy of having something to call their own.
Again, thank you for joining in taking the good news of Jesus to the children of South Asia. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Pray for the Unreached


Teeming with life, gushing rivers crisscross the mountains of the north Indian state of Himachal (HP). These streams, filled with trout and buried deep in the Rhododendron forests, are framed by breathtaking, cascading waterfalls. Thousands of villages are also hidden throughout these alpine forests, tucked between the slopes of snow-capped mountains. 

A villager
Himachal is a small state, measuring about 25,000 square miles. However, 358 distinct people groups, speaking 30 different languages, reside in these Himalayan mountains. A large number of villages and tribes are still untouched by civilization, as we know it, as the mountain terrain hinders local travel.

Chandan lives in one such mountain top village, situated at an elevation of almost 10,000 feet. From the main road, it’s a four hour, arduous trek to reach his village. The twenty odd houses in this community are built of locally gathered stones, stacked one upon another. The roof is also made up of thinly chiseled rock pieces.

Chandan shared, "During winter we, at times, get snowed in for 20-30 days. So, before winter begins we stock our small huts with firewood and grains to survive the tough Himalayan winters, [just] in case we can’t get out."


For Chandan, the name Jesus Christ registers no familiarity or recognition. When asked about him, Chandan said curiously, "I do not know him. He surely does not live in any of these mountain villages.”

Mountains trails in Himachal that I walked through
Raj is another Himalayan mountain dweller. He is a shepherd. He has to trek much, looking for pastures. In some places, he has to walk on all fours to climb steep mountains, holding on to sharp, protruding rocks for stability. One wrong step could result in a deadly fall. The goats, however, are at complete ease jumping across steep rocks. Black bears, snow leopards, and other varieties of wild animals add to dangerous landscape of Himachal.

Raj's Herd
Raj belongs to the Gaddi tribe. This is primarily a nomadic, muslim community of cattle herders. Their fierce-looking shepherd dogs are famed for bravery, known to fight off bears and snow leopards. The self-sufficient existence of the Gaddi revolves around their sheep, cows, and goats. Tribe members migrate from high mountain pastures to low plains during harsh winters, escaping the scorching summer heat of the plains.

Raj and his family live in makeshift tent. He stays there for several weeks, as his herd of sheep and goats graze in the forest mountains and meadows. He knows this rocky terrain well, in fact, it’s all he knows. The challenging life of a
shepherd confines Raj to a predetermined future, yet he wants a better life for his children. Most of the Gaddi children never go to school, and medical care is non-existent in these forests and mountain tops.

The Challenge

Andrew Murray said, "We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world and can bring its power down to earth." A breakthrough can only occur when supported by the power of prayer. The words of Chandan speak to the stark isolation of countless people in Himachal Pradesh, "I do not know him. He sure does not live in any of these mountain villages."

Going on a pilgrimage
It has been two thousand years since the death and resurrection of our Lord. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 villages in India alone that does not have a Christian witness. How much longer do they have to wait?

May God will break our hearts for the unreached and oppressed peoples of this earth. And, may we begin by praying for the nations, specifically, Himachal Pradesh. As C.H. Spurgeon said, "Prayer can never be in excess."


PRAY FOR HIMACHAL (HP): AT A GLANCE

Size: 22,000 sq. mi.
Himalayan Moutain
Population: 7.0 million
People Groups: 358 People groups
Religions:
  • 95% Hindu
  • 2% Muslim
  • Less than 10,000 Himachali Christian
  • 2% Others
  • 24% are illiterate



Mountain Village at a distance: Pray for the Unreached Villages of South Asia