“Your Home Would Pollute Me!”

Raj*, a high caste Hindu man, hated that his low caste neighbors worshiped Jesus with friends in their home. Intent on stopping them, he convinced all the neighbors to join him against them. However, even through the persecution they continued to meet.

One day, the couple asked him, “Why are you against us?”

I am a high caste Hindu,” Raj said. “I don’t want you in my village.” 

Without knowing us, you are against us,” the wife said. “Only if you see our work can you judge properly.” 

“Entering your lower caste home would pollute me.” 

“We will give you a chair so you can sit outside and watch through the doorway.” 

So Raj went. When the gathering ended, he no longer hated them. Rather, he was so impressed that the next week he brought his wife. They sat outside. At one point, Raj’s wife asked for prayer for her knee. The church prayed and her pain disappeared. Later, they studied the crucifixion story. Raj and his wife had never before heard of a God who died for people. After the others left, they stayed to hear more about Jesus. 

Six weeks later, Raj and his wife received baptism along with seven other families they brought with them—107 people in all!

Raj declares, “I used to be so bad toward the disciples. They always responded to me graciously. Now I will share the Word [with others] like they shared with me.”

*pseudonym

Serving God in Difficult Places

Workers laboring in North Africa and the Middle East must be very careful — and very bold — in their disciple-making activities. They are serving God in very difficult places – places where governments and religious institutions are hostile to the gospel and to those who would spread it.

One couple, who we will call *Bill and *Susan, strive to meet new people with whom they might share their faith. They maintain those precious relationships over cups of tea and deep conversation. They train and coach followers of Jesus to make other disciples in a way that will produce many generations. Bill and Susan want those living in darkness to have the opportunity to choose Jesus’ offer of salvation and hope. 

This has been especially hard during the COVID pandemic. Bill and Susan have had the virus and know many others who have had it too. Their closest local partner recently recovered after spending many days in the hospital.

Despite the pandemic, the ministry continues. Bill and Susan, together with those they have trained, persevere in their Kingdom work.  They regularly hear of newly formed Bible study groups, and their partners report that thousands have found peace and renewal through becoming disciples of Jesus.

Even in the most difficult places, people are being called out of darkness into His marvelous light. 

*pseudonym

Church Simplified

During an early morning taxi ride, Amy* struck up a conversation with the driver. It was obvious that Mr. Wu was a Christian from the music playing and the stickers in his cab. 

“Where do you worship?” Amy asked. 

“Well,” he answered sheepishly, “not everyone understands, but we have people come into our home. The taxi drivers that I meet would probably never be willing to go into a church, but they like coming to my house and hearing stories about God. My children too!”

“That’s wonderful!” 

Mr. Wu was surprised by Amy’s affirmation of his “simplified church.” After he described a typical meeting, Amy noted its similarity to a Discovery Bible Study. She offered two simple suggestions: a question to help the group know God better and a reproducing step where everyone shares what they learn with others.

“Oh, that’s great! I’m going to try those this week!” Mr. Wu declared. 

Mr. Wu shared that he had seen Amy before and wanted to meet her. Amy knew the Holy Spirit had orchestrated their meeting. She, too, was greatly encouraged by meeting a local believer willing to take a non-traditional approach to see more people become followers of Jesus.

*pseudonym