“How Could God Answer our Prayers from that Dark Place?”

*Karly and her roommate *Allison re-visited a family who had previously welcomed them and the Scripture stories they shared. 

During the first visit, the family had asked for $50 to help pay their rent. The young ladies didn’t know what to do. They didn’t want the family to rely on them financially. That is not why they had visited. Instead, they prayed. Sitting on the floor in the dark, they all lifted the family’s needs to God.

Two weeks later, Karly and Allison met with the family to study the story of Joseph. They asked the couple, “How do you see God from this story?”  

“God doesn’t sleep,” the wife answered. “God always has a way to help. When we prayed last time, I felt God very close even though it was so dark. After you left, I continued to pray and cry to God. The next morning, someone we didn’t know came and gave us exactly $50 and groceries too.”

The husband asked, “How could God answer our prayers from that dark and dirty place?” Referencing the Islamic ritual of washing before prayers he added, “We didn’t even wash our hands!”

Beyond donors, you have played a part in this story! Pray for this family as they continue to encounter our Heavenly Father.

*pseudonym

How the Bhojpuri Church Planting Movement has Started Other Movements

by Victor John

God is working in amazing ways among the Bhojpuri speakers of North India, with a Church Planting Movement of more than 10 million baptized disciples. God’s glory in this movement shines even brighter against the backdrop of this area’s history. Many religious leaders were born here. Gautama Buddha received his enlightenment and gave his first sermon in this area. Yoga and Jainism originated here as well. 

In the past, this region was incredibly hostile to the gospel, which was viewed as foreign. It was known as “the graveyard of modern missions.” When the foreignness was removed, people started accepting the good news.

But God does not want to reach only Bhojpuri speakers. When God began to use us to reach beyond the Bhojpuri group, some asked, “Why don’t you stick with reaching the 150 million Bhojpuri? Why don’t you stay there until that job is finished?” 

My first response is the pioneering nature of gospel work. Doing apostolic/pioneering work involves always looking for places where the good news has not taken root: looking for opportunities to make Christ known where He is not yet known. 

Second, these languages overlap in their usage. There’s no clear-cut line where the use of one language ends and another begins. Also, believers often move for various reasons. As people in the movement have traveled or moved, the good news has gone with them. 

Some came back and said, “We see God working in this other place. We would like to start a work in that area.” We told them, “Go ahead!” 

So they came back a year later and said, “We’ve planted 15 churches.” We were amazed and blessed because it happened organically. There was no agenda, no preparation, and no funding. When they asked what was next, we began to work with them to help the believers get grounded in God’s word and quickly mature. 

Third, we started training centers which expanded the work, both intentionally and unintentionally (more God’s plan than ours). Sometimes people from a nearby language group would come to a training and then return home and work among their own people. 

A fourth reason for expansion: sometimes people have come to us and said, “We need help. Can you come help us?” We assist and encourage them as best we can. These have been the key factors in moving into neighboring areas beyond the Bhojpuri. 

We praise God that the movement has spread to different language groups, different geographic areas, multiple caste groups, and different religions. The power of the good news keeps breaking through all kinds of boundaries. 

 While these movements are led indigenously, we continue to partner together. We recently began training 15+ Angika leaders in Eastern Bihar in holistic (integrated) ministry. We plan to help start holistic ministry centers in three different Angika locations in the coming year and raise up more local Angika leaders. Our key partner working among the Maithili is also extending work into the Angika area.

Victor John, a native of north India, served as a pastor for 15 years before shifting to a holistic strategy aiming for a movement among the Bhojpuri people. Since the early 1990’s he has played a catalytic role from its inception to the large and growing Bhojpuri movement.

Excerpted with permission from the book Bhojpuri Breakthrough. (Monument, CO: WIGTake Resources, 2019) . 

What Will the Team Do Now?

*Ari, *Lukas, and *Andi traveled to the big city at the heart of their unreached people group. Once there, they had an unexpected encounter: they met a couple who were there to reach Muslims with the Good News. They even heard about a third person who might be there as a witness for Jesus!

The men told *Chad and *Tia, their partners and Beyond mission catalysts, the exciting news. “Praise God!” Chad says. “We’ve never run into anyone else focusing on this area.”  

What will the team do now? The newcomers have likely been trained using traditional approaches that often bear little or no fruit. “We are certainly not experts and don’t claim to be,” says Chad, “but we are connected to many people who have seen great fruit using simpler and more reproducible disciple-making methods.”

The team is planning to come alongside and support the new workers. They hope to be able to equip, care for, and partner with them. Thanks to BEYOND donors whose support enables Kingdom building relationships like these. Please pray over their next steps. They want to do the Lord’s best, biblically and strategically, with wisdom and love. 

*pseudonym

One Illness, 63 House Churches

We first came to this area one year ago. At today’s meeting, Nishan, one of the local leaders, shared how he and his family became followers of Jesus last year.

Nishan’s wife had been very ill for a long time. They spared no expense looking for a cure. Nothing helped. Eventually, they lost everything – their savings, their home – all lost. The worst part was that his wife was still sick!

One day, in the midst of this desperate sadness, they had the opportunity to attend a nearby house church meeting. What they heard about Jesus thrilled their hearts. There was hope! 

After some time, they put their trust in Jesus and his Kingdom. Then they wanted to know if they could start a church in their home. Of course! The disciples of Jesus were happy to show them how.

That was one year ago. Since then, Nishan and his wife have seen seven generations of disciples made and 63 house churches birthed!

The story above was part of a report from a movement leader in North India. If you are a Beyond donor, your generosity has played a part in this story!

*pseudonyms

Isa al-Masih Was Crucified and Resurrected

*Joe was visiting his local partner, *Nia, and ministering in a community known to be hostile to the gospel when Sudi walked over. 

“Can I share a story about Isa al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah) with you?” Joe asked.

*Sudi agreed, and Nia translated as Joe told him the story of Jesus calming the waters. Sudi said he knew the story, and he wanted to talk more. Joe then shared the story of Isa al-Masih being beaten, crucified, and resurrected from the dead.

“I know this story also, and I believe,” Sudi said.  No one else knew he followed Isa. 

That morning, Sudi had heard a voice in his heart tell him to go walk on the road because he would meet his “brothers.” When he obeyed, he immediately saw Joe and Nia and knew they were who God meant.

Nia said they should study the word of God together, and Sudi excitedly agreed. Nia promised to bring him a Bible. God had provided for Sudi.  

Pray that Sudi will grow strong in his faith and for many in this remote village to follow Isa al-Masih. 

Thank you, BEYOND donors! You have been a part of Sudi’s exciting journey.

*pseudonyms