God has called us to take the Gospel to broken and unreached of South Asia. It is a beautiful thing to see Jesus heal, restore and redeem this broken world.
Sharing the Good News and then careful discipleship is one of our central ministries. And, one of the ways of evangelism is the village gospel festival.
A village gospel festival is a small scale, relationship based, intelligent presentation of the message of the Gospel.
The festival begins when a ‘man of peace’ in the village invites us to present the Gospel to his friends and family. We work with him to organise an event in his courtyard where his friends and family gather. Here we present a culturally relevant presentation of the message of Jesus Christ on subsequent nights.
ONE SUCH FESTIVAL
Brother Sam shares this with us:
“I was invited by a family in Village S to share the Gospel with their friends and family. So, I organised a village gospel festival in his courtyard. On the first night I sang songs, sharedstories from the Gospel and prayed with people. It was an amazing time in the presence of God. “I have never heard anything like this,” remarked a young lady, “I want to bring my parents, too, tomorrow night.” Several echoed the same thing.
I realised that we would have a larger crowd the second night, so I invited a group of believers and fellow missionaries to join me that night. I wanted us to be able to pray with people individually and build relationships for continuing follow up visits.
Well, as expected, a larger crowd had assembled that second night to hear the life giving message of the Gospel. But, unknown to us, a group of fanatics had also made a plan to attack us.
I began the meeting with prayer. The believers who had accompanied me also joined in this prayer. However, before the prayers had ended, a group of 40 young men arrived from outside and began to threaten us. They then proceeded to destroy chairs, our song-books and the Indian musical instruments we had with us. Some ripped the small cloth-tent we had put up in the courtyard and pulled out the supporting bamboo poles. We continued to pray.
These attackers then began to taunt us. They had wanted us to talk back or defend ourselves so that they could escalate the attack. However, we stood still and kept on praying. When they realized that we would remain non-violent,they picked me out as the leader of the group. I was dragged out and then one of them began to beat me with the large wooden club. I held my head with my hands, in protection, and stood praying as they showered blows upon me.
Meanwhile, someone had gone to the nearby town when the attackers had arrived and informed the police. The police did come when the attack on me was going on. But they joined the attackers and laughed at me. Soon, blood was flowing from my head and body. As the physical attack on me increased, a group of brave believing sisters encircled me. They felt that the attackers would not beat them, since they were females. However, the attackers broke through them and kept on attacking me. Finally, the police realised that I would be clubbed to death. So, they broke up the attack. However, to my surprise, instead of arresting the attackers they arrested me and took me to the jail.
In the jail I was still bleeding profusely. The attackers had also arrived at the police station by now. I was not provided any medical attention. But the attackers were given tea to drink. Finally, as I kept bleeding, I lost consciousness.”
LIVE FOR HIM
The level of persecution in the fields has increased multifold in recent months. It is scary when the police and state become part of the mob. However, our strength continues to be in the Lord and in remaining faithful to Him.
As Brother Sam says, thumbing his chest, “Christ lives in here. I will live for Him and I will die for Him.”
1.The persecuted in South Asia.
2. The new believers. May they remain strong & grow
in the Lord.
in the Lord.
3. For the advancement of the Gospel.
4. For God to move the heart of the attackers, so that
they may experience His love.
they may experience His love.
5. For Brother Sam. He is out of jail and is recovering.