A Former Hindu, a Former Muslim . . . Partners for Jesus

A Former Hindu, a Former Muslim . . . Partners for Jesus

A young man in North India became a follower of Jesus while studying the Bible with his family through a Discovery Bible Study (DBS). The DBS process focuses on applying the Word in practical ways. It emphasizes hearing and doing, not just hearing and understanding. Thus, when he read Matthew 28:16-20, he didn’t ponder IF he was to obey. He simply sought how.

The nearest people who weren’t followers of Jesus were Muslims who lived in the next village. He went. He told those he met the simple truth: as a follower of Jesus, he had to obey all of His Lord’s commands. So, he was there to make them into disciples of Jesus.

The young men beat him and ran him out of the village.

Weeks later, he returned. They beat him again.

He returned. They beat him again.

The young disciple had no training. He didn’t know the “correct way” to speak with Muslims. All he knew was that he must obey his Lord. Regardless of the cost, he would keep obeying.

Amazingly, one evening, after they had beaten the disciple yet again, one of the Muslim men thought, “This guy is so determined! What in the world could he have to say that’s so important?”

So he asked.

Within a short span of time, the Muslim man became a follower of Jesus, too. Today, these two young men, a former Hindu and a former Muslim, co-labor together in the Kingdom, empowered by the Spirit and compelled by their love for Jesus. 

THROWN INTO SLAVERY
Bahar and his paternal uncle, Navi, traveled to a faraway province in their South Asian country in search of work. read more …

ONCE FROM PRISON …
Not long after his miraculous escape from slavery, Bahar moved his family to a new town. But catastrophic flooding read more …

AFRAID OF HAVING SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS WITH MUSLIMS?
Don’t be intimidated, watch this short video to learn more … watch now

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 …

Friends of God

Friends of God

In India, God continues to rescue Banjara people from darkness and mobilize them for His Kingdom! In the process of learning their value before God, their lives change dramatically. Before following Jesus, they have no hope, believing they deserve only to live among trash and sewage, unable to rise above their station. But when they become children and friends of the King, they learn that God has provided work for them to do, and they joyfully do it!  Five months ago, Mr. and Mrs. Jothi turned their backs on their idols and committed themselves to following Jesus while attending a Discovery Bible Study group. Though poor and illiterate, they have since birthed eight churches among other Banjara families. The new disciples in those churches all recently took baptism.

One of the baptized men is the village head in a nearby area. His whole family worships idols, but he told Mr. and Mrs. *Jothi, “I [also] want to do the work for this God.” He has faith that one day all 37 families in his community will become followers of Jesus.

Pray for more Banjara people – and those from other people groups – to discover the God who gives them dignity, and calls them His children and His friends.

*pseudonym

READ MORE STORIES ABOUT SOUTH ASIA

IF JESUS SUFFERED A JUDAS, …
The leaders estimate that every day about 50% of the movement faces persecution in some form: verbal abuse,
read more …

THE “CURSED” SON
In North India, a young follower of Jesus tutors in the home of a neighboring Sikh family read more …

8 MONTHS, 5 GENERATIONS, 64 BAPTIZED
Ranbir met Chara, a woman interested in discussing spiritual matters. He invited her to a Bible study to  read more …

What Did God Say About Racism?

What Did God Say About Racism?

Racism and prejudice are unacceptable to God, and casteism is racism to the extreme. Caste teaches that some people are simply better and more valuable than others. It is a huge issue that must be dealt with in movement churches.

North Indian movement leaders knew that new churches needed to learn from the Bible, not from them because only the Lord can touch a heart. So, they gave Raj, a movement trainer, a list of verses that addressed casteism, the equality of all people in God’s Kingdom, as well as who can take the Lord’s Supper.

Raj brought the scriptures to the new church leaders. They studied God’s Word and discussed what He said regarding casteism and the Lord’s Supper. Raj did not preach or teach. He prayed. He asked questions. Finally, the leaders concluded, “If I am in Jesus, I am no longer Brahmin (or whatever caste I was born into). I can either be a Brahmin or in Jesus, but I cannot be both. If that’s the option, I want to be in Jesus!”

Then, the leaders did something rarely seen. They apologized without attempting to save face or defend themselves. They said “I am sorry; I was wrong” to Raj AND to their disciples. For the leaders to own the wrongs they had done, and then to apologize, not just to one considered “above” themselves (Raj), but also to people who look up to them was astounding. 

But they went further. After apologizing, the leaders gathered multiple churches with mixed caste-background people and everyone took communion together!

Your generous donations enabled this training that fostered profound change in the hearts and minds of new disciples. 

 God broke through their natural filter of casteism and into their hearts and minds by His Word alone. Hebrews 12:4 says:
For the word of God is living and active and full of power. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart (AMP).

Thank you for giving so that others may walk in the truth and freedom that comes through God’s Word.

Related Articles:
Friend, Peon or Manager?
Your Home Would Pollute Me
Owning the Great Commission
Balking at Baptism
Friends of God

Bearing Fruit in a Radically Different Culture

Bearing Fruit in a Radically Different Culture

What is it like to be among people who don’t speak your language, whose beliefs and worldview are radically different from your own?  

Last year John*, one of our partners and a movement leader in India, visited a Muslim area in eastern India to see if anyone was open to hearing stories of Jesus. 

John felt uncomfortable, though. The men had beards and wore traditional clothing – evidence of conservative Islam. They didn’t speak Hindi, and he didn’t speak their language.

But God led him to a man named Benju* who could speak Hindi. They agreed to meet the next day. Benju said he would bring friends to hear about Jesus. John prayed for people to come and have ears to hear. 

The next day Benju arrived with about 12 people. They had heard of Jesus before, but they had no idea how to follow him. They asked many questions. John was amazed and excited. 

Since that first visit, Benju and all of his friends are moving toward saving faith in Christ. They have received ongoing training and coaching, and are facilitating Discovery Bible studies in their homes. They have asked John for Bibles in their language and are growing in their understanding. 

God is growing His kingdom through humble, sometimes even fearful, followers like John who follow God’s command to “go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all the commands I have given you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

*pseudonym