Seven Generations of Disciples

In North India, some women have been trained in making disciples. They have been faithful to apply what they’ve learned, and are experiencing joy from bearing fruit. They have also cast a vision for disciple-making in six districts of their state.

One of the leaders of this group, a lovely and gentle woman, recently shared her testimony. Two years ago, she became a follower of Christ. She, her husband, and their children had been idol worshipers. Her family was “broken and terrible.” They had no joy. Her husband drank all the time and beat her. Her children were undisciplined and refused to go to school. 

Then one day, she says, it was as if a light suddenly came on. That was the day she attended a Bible Study in a nearby home. She loved it. After participating in the Bible study for three months, she wanted to start one in her own home. Soon, she and her whole family were baptized. 

Today, through ongoing obedience to the Word and the application of its truths to their lives, this woman and her whole family have been changed. Her husband no longer drinks or beats her. Their children are full of joy. They actively share with others all that God has done for them. This one woman has started nine different Discovery Groups from which have come seven generations of disciples making disciples! 

Jesus promised to build His church and has not forgotten His promise. His Kingdom of love and light is growing in some of the hardest-to-reach places in the world, through simple disciples like these ladies in North India.

Don’t Hoard, Share the Food . . .

“This is the kind of fasting I want: . . . Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless . . .. Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” –  Isaiah 58:7-8, 10

News about COVID-19 is bleak. The virus is in virtually every country. The numbers of those infected and dead continue to rise. Many of us in the U.S. are entering our sixth week of quarantine. We have exhausted our self-entertaining options and are dealing with personal struggles. Even as we cope with these daily stresses, we should keep in mind the horrific situation multitudes around the world are facing.  As you heard last week, many people around the world are daily wage earners. Each day they don’t work is a day they don’t eat. 

 But . . . 

God’s people in one North India movement are mobilizing to help those hit hardest by shelter-in-place restrictions. Below is a translation of a voice message received from *Sanjay, a national movement leader and Beyond teammate:

. . .We give thanks to Jesus Christ for today’s work!  We left our house this morning at 7:00 because we had set a long journey for ourselves.

. . .We made 133 food parcels to give away. Each pack contained 10kg rice, 10kg wheat flour, 2kg sugar, tea, spices (coriander, turmeric, chili), 1l oil, 2kg lentils, and salt. We were able to take these rations to each place we visited. 

We are very happy because God helped us with all this travel. It’s very hard to travel these days due to the coronavirus lockdown, but even so, we were able to be out all day without getting stopped by the police . . .. We were able to distribute food in four locations. All these people are so very poor. There are more than 70-80 house churches [families] in these four areas. As we hand out these food parcels, we encourage those receiving them to share with their neighbors . . .

Tomorrow, more such visits are planned closer to town, but *John and I will not go because other house church leaders have volunteered to distribute rations.

We thank the Lord Jesus for all the work that happened today. We also give God great praise for the prayers you pray and the help you give.

Then this dear brother in Christ expressed his concern for all of us! We have seen the news about coronavirus in the US. There are so many cases there. How is everyone with our team and all those associated with you? Are they OK? We are worried for them and feel concern for all who care for us. Please let us know if anyone gets ill. We are praying for all of you.”

The beauty of this story is that these same leaders who are distributing food parcels to the starving don’t have very much themselves but share with others out of their own lack. Join us in praying for the 50,000 house churches in the North India Movement. Pray they will continue to wisely yet boldly apply Isaiah 58 to their lives. Pray that God would protect them as they obey, and that God’s Kingdom would greatly advance in these days.

*pseudonyms used

“My Lip Has Fallen Off!”

You never know how God has prepared people to receive truth from his word. Sometimes we think we are the first to bring the gospel into an unreached place when, in fact, God has already been at work. *Krish’s testimony illustrates God’s work in his life before he met a man from a spreading movement in North India and became an industrious disciple-maker himself.

Krish grew up in a devout Hindu family. For six years, he had been an active member of a radical pro-Hindu group. He persecuted followers of Jesus and led others in doing so. 

One day, Krish’s doctor told him he had mouth cancer. The disease progressed until Krish’s mouth became so disfigured that he started wearing a handkerchief to cover it. 

Krish continued persecuting followers of Jesus. As Christmas approached, Krish called together a group of friends to attack a prayer meeting being held nearby. When they arrived, however, Krish realized that the pastor facilitating the meeting was a personal acquaintance. The man invited Krish to sit with them. He did. He told his Hindu friends to leave; he would “take care of things” on his own. They left, and Krish sat through the whole service. He heard about Jesus. The testimonies people shared touched him. Then they offered to pray for his healing! Krish was shocked. These people who had been the target of his aggression had welcomed him in, and then prayed for him? Krish went home befuddled but hopeful. Maybe he’d get better?! After waiting three days, his cancer remained. 

At this point in the disease, his face had become so severely deformed that he could no longer drink by himself, even through a straw. His mother had to pour water into his mouth from a cup. Krish began to feel foolish for believing he’d get better. Then he got mad. He became so angry at the pastor for building up his hope that he decided to return and beat him up. How dare the man say that God could or would heal him?! 

Krish’s mother caught him as he was heading out the door. She said, “We have paid many doctors to heal you, and they could not, yet you did not beat them. Why are you going to beat the pastor?” Her question stopped Krish cold. He had no answer. He turned around and went back inside. 

Five days later, Krish called his mother to pour water in his mouth. As he removed the handkerchief, he realized he could no longer feel his mouth. ”My lip has fallen off!” he thought. “Or maybe I am dead?!” In his terror, he began to scream. His mother ran into the room. She took one look at him and exclaimed, “Your mouth! It’s completely normal!” He had felt no pain because he was completely healed! The very next day, Krish visited the pastor and pledged his life to Jesus.

Krish’s life would change again when he later met a man named *Satish and learned how to become a disciple-maker. In two weeks, we’ll tell the story of their meeting and the fruit that has come from their partnership. Don’t miss it! 

*pseudonyms used