In the West, it is the general practice for a business owner to hire a manager if he or she doesn’t have the time or desire to manage it themselves. In India, however, this is not the custom. The owner is the manager. He or she trusts no one else with the business. The owner manages, and everyone else is a peon. Yes, peon is a commonly used word in India.
Imagine the wonder, then, that people living in this rigid society of hierarchy feel when they hear Jesus say that He freely shares His authority with us (Matthew 10:1; 16:19; Luke 9:1; John 1:12; Acts 26:16). But He goes further than that! Jesus says, “You are my friends if you keep on doing what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer… but I have called you friends . . ..” (John 15:14-15). What?! The God for Whom there is no idol doesn’t consider me a peon? He calls me friend, and entrusts to ME the task to make other disciples? What a message!
Beyond’s South Asian field leaders, Ethan and Nicole, learned that the disciples in India were sharing Matthew 28:18-20 as part of the Gospel Message. “I love that they had eyes to see something about the Gospel that we with our western eyes and deeply rooted Christian traditions could not see,” Nicole says. “Have you ever included Matthew 28 in your Gospel presentation? I’m guessing not. But, for those coming out of slavery, for those who live in a culture where peon is still in common use, sharing in the Master’s authority and carrying responsibility IS Good News. They’re so excited about having a purpose for their lives that they can’t hold themselves back. They embrace the honor to be given the chance, and they quickly share the opportunity with their friends.”
Praise God for obedient friends of Jesus who diligently share His message!
Our field leaders ask for prayer as top Indian movement leaders travel to meet with local leaders to check on the wellness of the churches, gather reports of persecution, pray over needs, and pass on new trainings from God’s Word. The traveling is difficult; they can be harassed by the local police; they are away from their families. Your prayers for these trips are greatly appreciated.
Secondly, we can be praying for the disciple makers’ financial provision. God is giving them creativity to make money/work with their hands. Many are farmers. Some own small shops. Please pray that God would bless their labors so they can continue in the work of making followers of Jesus. Pray, too, that they would continue to be generous with one another like we see in the book of Acts.