El Roi – The God Who Sees Us

El Roi – The God Who Sees Us

This story comes from *Jenny, a seasoned Church Planting Movement practitioner who has seen thousands of people come to know the Lord and has seen the start of several hundred movements. She shares this story of simply listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying.

“Last week I discovered my elevator card wasn’t working, an uncommon and concerning enigma. I knew I needed to go down to the management office to ask why it wasn’t working and felt the Lord’s prompting to share a story with the office manager, *Rita while I was there. I had shared with her a couple times before, just simple verses or whatever *Shema statement came to mind in the moment. I hadn’t met with any resistance but also couldn’t tell if there was any real interest there. So, I went down the 10 flights of stairs to ground level and then walked over to the building next door and up two more flights of stairs to the management office.

Rita was there as always, with a big smile on her face and a warm welcome. We took a couple minutes to sort out my elevator card issue and then sat down to chat for a few minutes. I asked about where she lived and she said that she and her son were living with her mom, not too far away. She went on to share about her difficult decision of whether to divorce her controlling husband or to give the separation more time.

I shared with her what had been my prayer verse for the preceding week: “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’”(Psalm 32:8) I told her that I would be praying this for her and she seemed really grateful. She continued to share, especially about how painful it was being cast out by her husband and how she felt that she always had to put up a brave front for her son and others and not let people know her pain and fears about single-parenting.

Immediately it struck me what story I needed to share – just that morning, a friend had suggested I read the story of Hagar, in relation to something totally different that we had been discussing. I had meditated and prayed about that story for over an hour that morning before I decided to go down and deal with my elevator card. As I shared the story of Hagar – a woman with a small child, cast out by her husband, alone and afraid in the desert, but seen by God, taken care of by God, Rita began to cry. I told her, “God sees you, Rita, He sees your pain and your fears for your son, and He will help you.” She thanked me several times for the story and the encouragement. Please pray for me as I go back in the weeks to come to visit with Rita again and share with her about God’s love and His infinite mercy for her.”

*pseudonyms

**Shema is the Hebrew word often translated “hear” but better translated “hear and obey” in Deuteronomy 6:4. Among movement catalysts, “shema statement” or “shema lifestyle” is often used as a shorthand description for a spiritually fragrant word or deed which invites but does not force a spiritual response to God

MENTIONING GOD …
God instructs His people to talk about His commandments “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
read more …

DESPERATE TO BEAR MORE FRUIT
… we’ve seen God encourage us when we’re down, challenge us to stay engaged with local people, and reinforce best practices for multiplication. read more …

I AM NOT CHRISTIAN. I’M THAI
They associate their ethnic or national heritage exclusively with one religion. The two are inseparably tied read more …

Reshma’s* Story

Reshma’s* Story

A woman invited her neighbor, Reshma*, to participate in a Discovery Bible study in her home. The woman was a follower of Jesus. She knew that things were not good in Reshma’s family. She wanted Reshma to hear a True Story about the True God and she wanted Reshma to receive prayer. If only the group could pray for Reshma, the friend just knew that God would help her with her every need.

Reshma attended the Bible study. The story of creation amazed her. What wonderful news! There is a God above all gods. When He made the world, He made it beautiful and good. The world with its violence and aggression, its oppression of women, its sadness and loss was not how it had always been! It was water to the dry soil of Reshma’s heart.

Reshma attended three more Bible studies in her neighbor’s home. Thrilled about the Good News she was learning, she began to share the True Stories with relatives in the village. Her husband became furious when he heard about her activities. How dare she leave the house! How dare she promote Christian stories! It was time to put a stop to the nonsense. Reshma’s husband took her to the roof of their home, held her over the edge and promised he would throw her off if she didn’t stop telling people about this Jesus. The next time Reshma met with the other disciples, she informed them through tears about her husband’s threat. They told her she should stop reaching out. Reshma replied, “What I am learning [about Jesus and His commands] encourages me to do this. I cannot stop!”

Soon enough, Reshma’s husband heard that she was still sharing about Jesus with their relatives and neighbors. Thankfully, he didn’t follow through on his threat about the roof, but he did imprison her in a room in their home. Before locking the door, he declared, “No one will meet together. You are separate from our family and will not see your children.”

Reshma prayed. Six weeks went by. One day, her husband was badly injured in a fall from the tractor while out in their field. With her husband now confined to his bed, Reshma was allowed out of the room in order to serve him. She kept praying. And for 22 days she cared for her husband. She brought his meals to the bed. She fed him. Over time, he began to treat her politely. Finally, his arrogance melted into humility. Once he was up and walking around the house again, Reshma dared to ask, “Are you still angry with me? If not, can I do Jesus’ work?” He made no reply. Reshma took his silence as permission. Thrilled, she began once more to share about Jesus with others.

In nine months time, this line of believers would grow to five generations of disciples with 42 people baptized into new life with Christ!

*pseudonym

IN SPITE OF THE BEATINGS
The two men shared a Bible story with the family. The family liked the discussion. The men didn’t preach, but simply shared the story, … read more

FROM BRICK-MAKERS TO DISCIPLE-MAKERS
A few months later, monsoon season arrived. While the farmers rejoice at the rains, brick-makers cringe.   read more …

Freedom from Demons, Baptism and 40 New Churches

Freedom from Demons, Baptism and 40 New Churches

Moon (literal translation of his name into English) is from a poor, nomadic, unreached people group in India. Illiterate and low caste, Moon had no job and no prospects. He lived on the side of the road in a plastic tent, sleeping on adirt floor. Moon was estranged from his wife because of his abusive anger. He was once arrested for getting violent with a girl. He fought anyone and was afraid of no one.

Sanjay and a friend, Jacob, had been working closely with Moon’s community leaders for a couple of years. The leaders asked the two men for help. Sanjay and Jacob’s first impression of Moon was that he was simply crazy. He even drank the blood of goats when they were butchered in the market. What kind of person was this!?

For months, Sanjay and Jacob returned to Moon’s community to visit with him and pray for him. Most people avoided Moon. Sanjay and Jacob loved him. During the course of a year, they saw change. Moon became a follower of Jesus. He became peaceful. He and his wife reconciled. They now have a son.  As a family, they eagerly share their story with others. 

Sanjay estimates that over 40 new house churches have been birthed through Moon and his wife’s efforts. Moon has even baptized new followers of Jesus who he is discipling.

Like the story in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 5, Jesus is still in the business of rescue. Rescued new disciples are making more disciples. The movement churches reported more than 100,000 baptisms in two months, across 16 states in India. This is the power of multiplication—every disciple making another disciple.

 

RELATED STORIES

MY LIP HAS FALLEN OFF (KRISH’S STORY)
Krish grew up in a devout Hindu family. For six years, he had been an active member of a radical pro-Hindu group. read more …

FRIEND, PEON, MANAGER
In the West, it is the general practice for a business owner to hire a manager if he or she doesn’t have. read more …

IN SPITE OF THE BEATINGS
The two men shared a Bible story with the family. The family liked the discussion. The men didn’t preach, but simply shared the story, read more …

When 3+2=27+300

When 3+2=27+300

Three years ago, the caste leaders of a village attacked a visiting disciple of Jesus named Roman. They wanted Roman to stop telling “their” people about Jesus. They beat him up, destroyed his motorcycle, and threatened to do worse if he didn’t leave immediately. Roman was terrified. He fled the village and spent the next few days hiding in the jungle. Disciples of Jesus from other villages brought him food and other essentials. After a few days, Roman stopped hiding. He first went home, then, amazingly, he returned to the village he’d fled.

The caste leaders were unhappy. “We beat you. Now, you’re back!?”

“You must hear me,” Roman said. “I have good words for you.”

Intent on stopping Roman for good, the village leaders “reported” him to local Hindu radicals. They came and threatened Roman. He responded by boldly proclaiming the Good News about Jesus. Eventually, the group left, but later, two returned to speak with Roman privately. Roman asked two other movement leaders to join him in the village. Once all were together, the Hindu men exclaimed, “What kind of strength do you have to endure these things [beatings and threats]!?!” The five men talked for days and visited a local house church.

As soon as the two Hindu men returned to their own community, they started a Discovery Bible Study. Four months later, 27 people in their village, most of whom had also been radical Hindus, were baptized as disciples of Jesus. Of the 27, three pairs of workers emerged who have influenced 300 villages for Jesus so far. Recently, 60 people from those villages gathered to learn how they also can make more followers within the disciple-making movement and see new churches birthed in other unreached villages.

Being a disciple of Jesus does not erase suffering or eliminate trouble. However, when struggles come, we, like Roman, can listen to the Spirit and obediently go where He leads. We serve a God who performs wonders – Sauls become Pauls, Simons turn into Peters, and Sons of Thunder change to loving servants!

 

WHEN TRADITION CLASHES
When a Christian woman visited another state in India last year, she met some believers from  
read more …

MORE BAPTISMS …
“We’ve shared much with you about the persecution faced by the churches in India. Our last report was especially read more …

The Quiet Guy Disappeared

The Quiet Guy Disappeared

A few years ago, Sanjay and John, national partners of BEYOND’s South Asian field leaders, conducted a series of disciple-making trainings in Northern India. One of the participants was a man named Satish. He was a quiet person. He listened intently to the discussions but didn’t say much. He was not the kind of man that many people noticed.

The trainings occurred monthly. After eight or nine months, Satish disappeared. Sanjay and John didn’t know why, but knew that this happens sometimes. People return to their home state or move to find work.

Then, about a year after the training, Satish suddenly reappeared at a training event. And he had a testimony to share. He had indeed been home (he is from one of the poorest states in India), but not for work. He had gone home to share with his people all he had learned in the Bible through Sanjay and John’s trainings. In all his years as a Christian, no one had ever told him that, as a disciple of Jesus, Matthew 28 was his to obey. He had never heard that making disciples of Jesus is not only for paid professionals. 

Satish had been so overjoyed to learn this truth that he’d decided to go home and share the good news with his family and neighbors. He couldn’t believe it, however, when no one seemed interested in listening. He even asked one pastor, “Who will lead your church if you die suddenly? What will happen to your work?” The man had no answer. Did no one care that Jesus’ commands are for all of us — not just a few? 

Then Satish met Krish. He was thrilled when Krish wanted to hear more. Soon, the two men were partnering together. Krish is a truck driver. He and Satish began traveling through their district village by village, proclaiming the Kingdom (Luke 10) as they went. They began to see fruit. Along the way, Satish learned Krish’s story (read Krish’s story at the bottomof the page).

To date, Satish and Krish have had the privilege of seeing churches birthed in three different districts in their home state. Those churches are birthing new churches. In one area, they have already reproduced to the fifth generation! 

Disciples are formed through obedience, and we make disciples by teaching them to obey Christ. What is a disciple? Is there a difference between converts and disciples? 

*pseudonyms used

 

MY LIP HAS FALLEN OFF (KRISH’S STORY)
Krish grew up in a devout Hindu family. For six years, he had been an active member of a radical pro-Hindu group. read more …

FRIEND, PEON, MANAGER
In the West, it is the general practice for a business owner to hire a manager if he or she doesn’t have. read more …

IN SPITE OF THE BEATINGS
The two men shared a Bible story with the family. The family liked the discussion. The men didn’t preach, but simply shared the story, read more …