Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Stories from India You Won't See in the News...

A Christian stands inside a vandalized church in Orissa, India.

Their story must be told. From Gospel for Asia, "Persecution of Christians is a Way of Life in India"

Every day, Gospel for Asia missionaries and Bible college students make a calculated choice to serve Jesus, knowing that they could be beaten or even face martyrdom for their Christian faith.

Raju in Uttar Pradesh is one of them. So are Vikram in Delhi and several Bible college students in Maharashtra.

Anti-Christian extremists do not like the fact that Raju's church in Uttar Pradesh has grown to more than 150 believers. And two weeks ago, they found a way to let him know it.

Around 7 p.m., returning home from visiting new believers, Raju was attacked from behind by an extremist mob of 10 people piled on three motorbikes. The radicals pushed him down and kicked him repeatedly in the face.

Raju's own motorbike fell on him, fracturing his hand. He was also left with injuries on his face from the kicks. He was unconscious for about five hours and unable to speak for a while after being admitted to a hospital. He was released several days later and is doing much better, but doctors have advised him to rest for a few more days because of internal injuries.

Every day, Gospel for Asia missionaries and Bible college students make a calculated choice to serve Jesus, knowing that they could be beaten or even face martyrdom for their faith.

In Delhi, GFA missionary Vikram leads a church of 80 believers. The Lord is also touching many more with the love of Christ through him. Not surprisingly, radical anti-Christians are not happy to see so many worshipping the Savior. They recently threatened Vikram, demanding that he not conduct any more worship services there.

"If you do," they warned, "we will do the same things that are going on in Orissa."

They also threatened the owner of the house Vikram rents, telling him that if he continues to let the missionary rent there, they will destroy it.

Vikram is being watched, and he knows he needs to be careful. For now, his church is still meeting, just at a different location. And by God's grace, so far he and those around him have been protected.

In Maharashtra, three Bible college students faced opposition while handing out tracts on their field internship. Local members of an extremist group began to speak out against them, claiming that the men were trying to forcibly convert people. They went to local police and filed a complaint, forcing the authorities to arrest the missionaries-in-training.

That evening, the police came to the believers' home where the men were leading a prayer meeting to make the arrest. When they heard of the incident, Gospel for Asia leaders appealed for the men's release by contacting a person in higher authority, who assured them they would have the police station release the men immediately.

For safety reasons, the police authorities waited until the next morning to let the men go. Local believers arrived at the police station, ministering to the students with love and food.

GFA leaders ask for your prayers for these missionaries and Bible college students in various parts of India as they joyfully serve Jesus, seeing many lives touched through their sacrifice.

Pray for Raju as he recovers from his injuries, and that this will happen quickly so he can continue his ministry at full strength. Pray for protection, encouragement and strength for Vikram and his church believers. Pray that the Bible college students in Maharashtra will be strengthened in their faith as they continue their training in the calling God has given them.

And give the Father thanks for such laborers who, like the Apostle Paul, are choosing to not count their lives as dear to them for the sake of the One who gave His life for them.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Thanks for giving us the sort of news that the media is afraid to give us. It is important that we, as Christians, know and understand what is happening to our brothers and sisters around the world.

Marie said...

My pleasure. That is my main purpose in writing this blog. Thanks for the encouragement.