Making a Way

You are making a way for people who thought there was no way!

The mission of Alpha Ministries has always been to share the gospel, reach the unreached and unengaged, make disciples and plant churches where no church exists. Quite often, this mission takes the form of serving the most basic needs of men, women and children when poverty, persecution or disaster strikes.

CoVid19 has caused a wave of food insecurity around the world. Recent estimates predict that more than 265 million will be facing hunger by the end of the year.

Thanks to the compassionate giving of friends like you, Alpha Ministries is able to distribute essentials like rice, lentils and oil, as well as basic hygiene supplies to families in great need. Ajay, Meena, and Mukesh are a few of those who are extremely grateful for Alpha partners who are making a way for them to receive emergency relief just in time.

Ajay is a mobile food cart vendor who lives with his five-member family in Danteshwar. Since the lockdown started he has had no work or income. He has loans on his business that he can’t repay and he hasn’t been able to purchase food for his family. “I can’t thank you enough,” Ajay said with a tremendous look of relief. “I was becoming worried we would not survive before you helped us.”

Meena has been a widow for 14 years. She was working in a nearby school as a maid when CoVid19 lockdowns began. She lives with her daughter who requires regular medical care and treatments. Being without work all this time has put an incredible strain on them both. What little money she had saved has been depleted trying to continue her daughter’s treatments. They were having to choose between medical care or going hungry. Through tears, Meena expressed her deep appreciation for the food she received. “Now we can eat, and I can focus on continuing my daughter’s care.”

Mukesh lives with his aged mom and younger brother in Sama. He worked as a clerk in a local library but was laid off when the lockdown started. Faced with uncertainty about the future and with no income for the last few months, the family began to ration what little they had. They agreed to just one meal a day so that their supplies might last longer. Mukesh was very concerned about his elderly mother surviving this ordeal. “This is a lifesaver. I have been so worried about my mother and keeping her alive. Thank you so much Alpha partners!”

Through your support, you are making a way and saving lives in India and South Asia. Thank you for being a blessing to others who are suffering in the midst of this pandemic. To give today, visit www.alphaministries.com.

And do not forget to do good

and to share with others,

for with such sacrifices

God is pleased.

Hebrews 13:16niv

Breaking the Chains of Opposition

OVERCOMING STRONG OPPOSITION IN THE LORD

Our frontline messengers across South Asia are always looking for ways to share the good news with those who have not heard. In that pursuit however, they encounter fierce opposition at times. But as Solomon wrote, there is “nothing new under the sun.” Consider the opposition Nehemiah encountered – including the daily taunting by the enemy – as he worked to rebuild the wall.

Pastor Ramesh has experienced similar struggles. Desiring to minister among the unreached Gond people groups, he moved to the heavily wooded region where they live. The people are deeply devoted to their own beliefs and idols, and are extremely superstitious. They are also bound by generations of occultic practices and rampant alcoholism.

Though it was difficult from the very beginning, Ramesh persisted, and in time a few became believers. Unfortunately, that made the opposition increase. The new believers’ families and the community aggressively resist them to force them to denounce Jesus and turn back.

As a result, Ramesh had difficulty gathering more than a few people at a time for prayer and Bible teaching and had to move to different homes for safety. Once, when pastor Ramesh was going to one such house church in a distant village with his two sons, more than 30 very intoxicated men surrounded pastor Ramesh and his boys. The men began to say vile and wicked things to them and the chaos drew more people. Thankfully, Pastor Ramesh and his children were able to slip from the midst of them to safety.

As word of Pastor Ramesh’s work in the community began to spread, more villagers turned on him. Some began spreading slander saying, “Do not join the Christians,” and “Christians don’t wear ornaments and don’t shave their head to respect the dead,” and “Christians will make you cow eaters,” and worse. The threats and rumors have caused more than 35 people to leave the fledgling fellowship who have not returned. Even though they saw the miracles that God did in their midst, they were not able to stand firm through persecution.

Ramesh was not deterred and eventually acquired a small piece of land on which he built a mud structure for himself and his family. Very soon, worship began to take place with a few people gathered at a time. Some who have become followers of Jesus gathered there for prayer, and some of the most faithful intercede day and night for their kin to be saved.

Since the atmosphere in the village is filled with violence and suspicion, Ramesh felt strongly that a safe structure was needed so the people could gather for worship. He reached out to us with this need and in a short time, God had used faithful partners like you to meet the need!

The growing number of new believers there feel tremendously blessed to be able to meet in a safe building now, no longer needing to go from village to village and meet in different homes. It has a become a testimony among people about the miracle of what God provided.

Though the atmosphere had become filled with hate against Christians, Ramesh shared, “The witchcraft workers and other occultists who despise us and threaten us to not continue in our faith are now quiet having seen the amazing provision of God. Thank you for helping create a place where many can meet, pray, train and worship without fear.”

Several hundred miles away lies Ambaji, named after the mother goddess, “Amba,” and revered as her place of residence. It is one of the chief pilgrimage sites in the entire state of Gujarat. Every full moon, thousands line up in the small town to climb the hill where the deity resides. Millions of dollars in currency, gold and silver is offered to this deity each year. It is also the town where the Lord sent our Pastor Vinod to share the gospel.

At first the people he ministered to were opposed to him. Their livelihood depended on the “Amba maata” – the mother goddess. But the people began to see the power of God at work as many who were sick and bound by Satan were set free.

Pastor Vinod purchased some land just a couple of miles from the famous temple to build a home and a place of worship. Vinod has faced oppression from tantrics and occultists who are eager to cast a spell on him, but he has no fear because he knows he is authorized by the Name that’s above all names. Though he receives frequent death threats from the zealots of Amba, Vinod is steadfast because of the faithful who testify of how the Lord healed and blessed them. He is convinced that in spite of opposition he will set up a worship place for Jesus in the same land where the demonic forces have prevailed for so long.

We praise and thank God for the work that has progressed there, breaking ground on the first church building in the region, thanks to faithful partners like you. It is amazing that even in a place where a deity supposedly dwells, where witchcraft and demonic powers abound, and where opposition to the gospel is intense—many people are coming to faith in Christ. Pastor Vinod shared, “Now we are looking at the completion of the place of worship despite all the threats and opposition and for that we are grateful. Please pray that the word of God will spread rapidly and more and more territory will be claimed for the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

My friend, if you feel hindered and chained by heavy opposition to something God has called you to do, take heart! He has overcome! He is the chain breaker and the way maker. Stay steadfast in your faith and pray for breakthrough. Thank you for standing with us and with our frontline messengers all over South Asia. God bless you!

GRACE KIDS: Sharing the hope of a better future

Every child deserves the chance to reach his or her God-given potential. Your prayers and generosity help impoverished children do so!

Rajan comes from a very poor family in a village in South Asia. Like most of the impoverished families we minister to in the region, they barely have enough to provide a roof over their heads and food. There’s nothing left for school supplies and education beyond the basics. Thanks to caring people like you, Rajan received a sponsorship through Alpha’s Grace Kids Believer’s Care program when he was in sixth-grade. That was three years ago, and today, with the Lord’s help, Rajan has blossomed to a great young man. He says, “At Grace Kids, I have learned about Christ, and how to develop regular prayer and Bible reading habits. I am so very grateful for the sponsorship that has allowed him to receive a good education so one day, I can help my family.” The yearly provision for his educational, economical and physical needs has given him the opportunity he needed to break the chains of his past and poverty, and to have hope for a better future.

Sakina began attending Grace Kids when she was just 5-years old. She comes from another small village in South Asia, of another faith. She didn’t know anything about Christ, or things like basic hygiene. Her Grace Kids sponsorship has helped her tremendously. The teachings she receives in Believers Care homes, CBC and VBS helped her to know Christ personally and she received Him as her personal Savior and Lord. She has also learned many other things, including about hygiene and how to take care of herself. She has also received financial assistance for her school and tuition. The quality education she received prepared her to complete her first year of college this year! She is doing very well in her studies and is so very thankful to the Lord and to Alpha Ministries for nourishing her spiritually and academically.

Suman is 15-years old and lives with her uncle in a rural area of North India. She had never heard anything about Christ until she was enrolled in Grace Kids Club when she was in seventh grade. She began to grow curious as she heard stories, and the various CBC & VBS programs helped realize how badly she needed Jesus in her life. Earlier this year, she made the decision to be water baptized. She credits the Lord with helping her every day in her academic studies and in her ability to study His Word and spend time in prayer. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the assistance I received from Alpha Ministries,” Suman shares.

Did You Know?
Nearly 40,000 children are abducted every year in India, of which 11,000 remain untraced according to a report by the national Human Rights commission of India. Only 10% of human trafficking in India is International, while almost 90% is interstate. NGO’s estimate that 12,000 to 50,000 women and children are trafficked annually for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

We are grateful for the ongoing prayers and support for this work that makes such victories possible for kids all across South Asia, India and Africa!

 

Bleeding and Left to Die

Have you ever wondered if God is even aware of your plight? Have you felt alone and unable to change your circumstances?

 

With the recent pandemic that has impacted nearly every soul on earth in one way or another, many have felt alone, broken, anxious and some have even contemplated suicide. My friend, I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the present moment seems, you can call on the God who cares about you. That’s why I want to share Reshma’s story with you today, because I believe it will encourage you greatly.

 

Many of our Alpha frontline ministers serve among unreached people groups. Pastor Valvi is being used by God to establish churches in new areas where people have not heard the Good News before.

 

Though Valvi was born to a Hindu family, his grandfather had become a Christian. When Valvi was in the tenth grade at a boarding school for boys, he had to be sent home because he was very ill. During his time at home he began to read a Bible his grandfather had given him. When he read the words of James 5:14, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord,” Valvi felt hope for the first time since becoming sick.  He asked his grandfather to invite the elders. They came and prayed for him and within two days he was completely well. He accepted Jesus as his Savior and began to follow Him.

 

After graduating, Valvi enrolled in Alpha Bible College training because he felt burdened for those who had not yet heard the gospel. He chose to serve in Nasvadi, an unreached area of Gujarat, India. Valvi shared the following testimony with us:

 

While serving in an unreached village, we came to a house where a woman named Reshma lay sick. We were told that, for many years, Reshma had suffered from a menstrual disorder that would cause her to bleed continuously, sometimes for days and weeks on end. The family members were poor and had tried everything they could to find treatment for her, but nothing helped. It came to the point where they had to choose between money for treatment that wasn’t working or food for the family—so Reshma was left to suffer.

 

When we saw Reshma, she was laying on a mat on the mud floor soaked in blood, so weak she was unable to move. She had been bleeding for fifteen days at that point. An unbearable stench covered the room. The family was waiting for her to die. We were broken-hearted to see her in that condition.

 

My wife, Martha, and I felt for Reshma, and began praying for her with a great burden in our hearts. We needed money to take her to the hospital, but where was I to get so much money? The only thing I could think of was to sell my old motorbike quickly and get the money to provide for her treatment and surgery. Having convinced the family of the same, I proceeded to do so. With great difficulty we managed to carry her to the hospital where she was treated. After several days she had regained her strength and we were able to bring her back home fully recovered!

 

Reshma’s family was overjoyed. Everyone wondered why we, who were total strangers, did so much to help this woman. Wherever we went in the village, news of what had been done for Reshma became an opportunity to glorify God. We were only doing what our master commanded us, to “Go and do thou likewise.” That is what Jesus commanded the Scribe to do at the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

 

Praise God that this act of kindness worked in the hearts of the poor villagers. First Reshma’s husband, then their four daughters and three sons all gave their lives to Christ. Other relatives started showing keen interest in knowing the Lord and began coming to the prayer meetings. We praise God for the miracle of salvation!

 

The village chief and other leaders visited Reshma at home to express their displeasure. They told her it was not right to let Christians enter any house in their village. Feeling the pressure of the village leaders, we continue to conduct prayer meetings at her home, but we avoid large gatherings and for now, have put on hold our wish to build a church at this village. Persecution and opposition follows proclamation but we trust God and continue. 

 

We praise God for servant’s hearts like that of Valvi and his family. God is using them to bring light into darkness, to share the Good News where many have never heard it before. If you are struggling today, or you know someone who is, stir up your faith. Know that God is near, and is faithful to answer when you call upon His Holy Name!

 

Thank you for making it possible for Alpha Ministries to continue training leaders like Valvi to go out and gather the Harvest. Our frontline ministers continue the works of Jesus just as He promised.

 

 

 

[Names have been changed for privacy and protection]

Changing Lives and Giving Hope in Myanmar

We are grateful for the impact we are able to make in the East Asian nation of Myanmar (formerly Burma). James, our young missionary leader, and his ministry team have been effectively doing an outreach and discipleship with the youth from the regions that border Bangladesh, Thailand and China. Decades of civil war and ethnic strife have left the region plagued with poverty, drug addiction and hopelessness.

The youth in our program are being fed spiritually and physically as they are nurtured to wholeness in Christ. So far, 48 young people have been transformed, gone through intense discipleship and Bible training, and sent out as emissaries to reach other young people and lead them to faith in Christ.

Alpha Ministries has been standing with Pastor James and his team for over a decade. Recently, construction was completed on a two story building that will house future discipleship students. The spacious, fully furnished facility is an answer to prayers. Thanks be to God for our generous supporters who have made completion of this vision possible!

Myanmar has nearly been destroyed by ethnic strife, and there remains a strong divide between ethnic groups. Pastor Thet belongs to a persecuted tribe that has suffered much agony historically. Working in slums among the poorest of poor, he has successfully been able to establish a cross cultural ministry.

Since stories of children being trafficked were rampant in the area, Pastor Thet knew the children desperately needed to be guided and cared for until they were old enough to acquire skill and move on in life. As he came face to face with one heart breaking story after another, he decided to start a children’s home to house orphans and poor, underprivileged children.

Thanks to our caring partners, Alpha Ministries was able to come alongside Pastor Thet and his work to help him set up a three-story home where children can stay and receiving nurture and discipleship. There are currently 24 children are being cared for from many different ethnic groups. Some are affected by HIV and have emotional scars from abuse and neglect.

For a nation like Myanmar with so many unreached and underprivileged people, the task is huge. But we are grateful for the doors of opportunity that the Lord has opened. We can be a blessing to the nations because of the faithful prayers and support of friends like you!

To make a difference in Myanmar and other regions within the 10/40 window today, please make a secure online donation today. Thank you and God bless you!

Who Has the Victory?

While the CoVid19 pandemic shakes every nation on earth, I’m sure you have felt the impact of it in one way or another. This global crisis reminds us that things in life can change very quickly and that nothing is certain except for the Word of God. But that very certainty is why we do not lose hope or live in fear. We know Jesus Christ is Lord, He is on the throne and He is the One who has the victory. Amen!

As a friend of Alpha Ministries, I want you to know that we have been praying for you in the midst of all the turmoil. Like Paul wrote, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” that you might be filled with all the fulness of God—praying the will of God to be completed in you. “According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph.3:11).

We pray that all of us will emerge from this crisis with our lives and families intact and with our faith and trust in God stronger than ever. We are praying earnestly for the protection and healing of our community as we seek the welfare of our city and country.

As scary as this illness is for those of us living in the United States, it can be even more costly for Christians in other countries who regularly experience harsh persecution for their faith. We receive regular updates about increased threats and attacks against believers throughout South Asia since this began.

Can you imagine how hard it is for fellow believers who are grappling with coronavirus, lockdowns and shortages on top of persecution? Please continue to lift them in your prayers.

This lockdown has created what amounts to a refugee class of people—roughly 300 million in India and millions more in Myanmar and Nepal—who live below poverty level and survive hand-to-mouth based on daily earnings. These workers have been trapped away from their families and their homes without resources or means enough to even buy food.

We have a God given responsibility to pray and show His love in the midst of their fear, hunger and confusion—by providing for their basic needs. During these difficult times, our Frontline Messengers continue to be a light unto the nations by delivering food, praying and helping those in need.

Your prayers and support are making a difference for those suffering in the midst of this crisis. On behalf of frontline messengers, pastors, children, youth, churches, and families we represent worldwide, thank you so much for your prayers and partnership!

[To help Alpha Ministries provide essential, emergency food and supplies, please make a secure online donation today. Thank you!]

Being Still in the Midst of Mayhem

My friends, first, I want to thank you for the prayers and messages of concern many have shared for our family and our ministry in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic.

I want to encourage you to remember that in dark days and even darker nights, for stretches of hardship that seem never to end, for the everyday problems of real life we need to cling to this truth: God is always with us!

Every January, I take a break from my busy schedule to go to North Carolina to stay at a long-time friend’s home. It is a time of restoration and faith building as we meet with others to pray and encourage one another. A pastor friend asked that I share in one of their meetings since I was in the area, so I began by sharing one of my father’s favorite scriptures, and one that encourages me greatly, Psalm 46:10:

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

A couple approached me after the service and introduced themselves. They explained that Psalm 46:10 is one of their favorites as well, and asked if I would follow them to their car because they had a surprise for me. They opened the trunk of their car and presented me with a beautiful painting of Psalm 46:10. My heart was so blessed and it was truly a surprise. I asked the pastor later if he knew the couple. He had never seen them before that day.

That is one of the ways God has blessed us and prepared us for the events of this year. The painting is in my living room and has become a constant reminder to me and my wife that no matter what happens, we must stop and put our trust in Him. It tells me snap out of it…wake up…don’t run around in fear and panic…know Him…get close…put your ear where you can hear His heart.

Do not live by sight but by faith. If you live by sight, you will live by fear. But you will be surprised at what God will do when you lay aside fear, stop trusting in what you see and walk by faith. Trust Him because He is God. He is our refuge. He is a strong tower and a great help to us who are weak. We can’t rely on ‘chariots or horses,’ nor on our own strength or statistics. Fully rely on God (FROG). God will be glorified as we submit joyfully to Him in our troubles. The chief end of man is not to live a happy, carefree life, but rather, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

In order to find security in God, we have to stop finding security in everything else. Jesus assures us, “LO, I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). Nothing in this world will offer you or me the security we have in God. Be still. Know that He is with us till the end of the age.

This is a time to make sure we are right with God and to be busy helping others be right with God. This is a time to pray for ourselves, our families, our nations and all those worldwide whose lives are being devastated by this disease. During times like this, people are asking questions because they want to know who they can trust. Now is the time to share the love of Jesus.

We are praying that we will all emerge from this crisis with our families and faith intact and stronger than ever in God. My friend, God knows your heart. He knows your needs and your concerns, and has provided! We read many times in the Old Testament, “Be strong and courageous.” Deuteronomy 31:6 continues, “Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

No matter what is going on here on earth, be still, lift your eyes and keep your vision focused on Him.

In the Shadow of the Statue

The Gospel is taking root in Zand Village

Zand village in Gujarat, India is famous throughout the region as a pilgrimage site because of the 30-foot tall statue of the popular god, named Hanuman, that is located there. For the last ten years, Alpha Ministries has served the people of Zand through various outreaches including medical camps and children’s programs, however, we have not had a church there.

Last year, the Lord put it in the hearts of some of our church members from neighboring villages to begin visiting the people of Zand weekly to hold prayer meetings and eventually plant a new church. What began as a small house prayer service with 10 people in attendance has since become a growing church with many coming to faith in Christ. The first church in Zand village has been established within a stone’s throw of the Hanuman  statue.

At Christmastime, the members of the church wanted to host a Christmas program, so they sent out 300 invitation cards to relatives and friends in five neighboring villages. Out of that number, 150 adults and 160 children gathered together for the celebration. It was an amazing program that kept all in attendance in rapt attention. The Gospel was presented through song and dance, and ultimately preached with great boldness. At the end of the program, 45 people indicated their decision to follow Christ as their Savior and 11 people obeyed Christ in water baptism.

Until now, the villages all around Zand have been without a gospel witness. Now, through the Christmas programs, our church planters have established contacts in 5 villages and ministry has already launched 3 new churches.

We praise God for the glorious opportunity! Even in very difficult circumstances, there are ample opportunities to share Christ.

Please join us as we pray that the seeds sown will produce much fruit for the glory of God in the days ahead, and that churches will be established in the villages and surrounding Zand. Thank you for standing with us in the gap.

When the Way Seems Hard

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs
in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring
whose waters never fail. (Isaiah 58:11 niv)

 

Though our family encountered many challenges last year, through them all, God faithfully guided and provided grace, mercy and peace. He is our good Shepherd, leading and guiding even when the path seems treacherous, when the land seems barren, when your burden is heavy and the way is dark and gloomy.

I want to encourage you that whenever you face challenges in life—and you will—always remember that God will use those challenges to mature you in your walk as you trust in Him. He is Faithful and He will strengthen your faith for the journey. His Holy Spirit will comfort you as you lay your burdens at the foot of the cross.

Similarly, when you encounter opportunities, pray and seek God’s counsel as to how He wants to expand your borders and your vision. You will not be disappointed! My father and mother have made it their life-long practice to always seek the Lord before moving forward or expanding into new fields of ministry.

During the holidays, our teams across south Asia were confronted with many obstacles that prevented them from publicly acknowledging the birth of Jesus or celebrating Christmas in any way. However, through prayer and determination, the Lord made a way in many situations.

When the district police in the city of Lanni denied our Alpha Church permission to celebrate Christmas publicly, the pastor went to the regional police for assistance. When it seemed that his efforts would be in vain, permission was granted at the very last minute and a police squad was assigned duty at the venue for protection.

The Lanni church members printed 1700 invitation cards for the Christmas celebration and nearly 1500 people showed up—half of whom had never heard the gospel! It was a firecracker of a celebration with hundreds dancing and praising the Lord, and our Alpha Ministries pastor (MN) preached for an hour declaring Christ as the Savior of the world.

The entire crowd was fed a sumptuous meal, and the police officers even enjoyed the program and were each given a New Testament. The next day, the local paper carried the news that the Lanni Alpha Church organized a Christmas celebration and that there was much joy as the gospel was shared—complete with pictures. God is on the move in the world today!

God is also moving in Saakasa Village, where pastor RB and his team launched a public Christmas rally. They went through the streets singing about the Savior who was born on Christmas day and nearly 450 people attended the public Christmas program in the main city square.

A well-known evangelist preached and a music team led special songs. Many bystanders said they had never seen a public rally go so peacefully and without trash littering the streets. The church had maintained the cleanliness of the city streets and received praise from community leaders. Many have asked to know more about Christ as a result.

The Alpha Church in Gujarat hosted the annual Christmas Day pageant in the University auditorium where 650 people gathered. The youth and children presented the entire gospel to the audience through skits and songs. In the end, Jesus was preached. Over 150 in attendance heard the Gospel for the first time.

A number of public schools gave us permission to do Christmas programs where we shared the Christmas message through singing carols. The youth did an event in the college women’s hostel where 150 college students stay. It was remarkable to see the songs and testimonies impact the hearts of the people. Most of the women commented on their surprise that it was possible to have a relationship with God. They had never heard of anything like that.

There are many more stories I could share about the many ways God opened doors for us and your partnership made it possible for us to proclaim the Good News!

Remember that many of these victories were achieved in a country that the organization Open Doors ranks as the 10th most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian, where “violence and injustice against Christians is on a deadly rise by more than 400 percent in recent years.” I can’t stress enough how important your prayers are as we continue.

I can tell you on behalf of the church planters, pastors, children, youth, churches and families we represent worldwide—your prayers and generosity are a lifeline for which we are all tremendously grateful. Please continue to pray for our teams as we labor to serve the persecuted church in South Asia and make disciples by training and equipping the frontline workers of the harvest. The Gospel is still vehemently resisted in some of the regions we reach, but we continue to press on, proclaiming the love of God.

Thank you for partnering with Alpha Ministries as we eagerly look for more ways to serve God and meet the needs around us in 2020! I believe God has tremendous opportunities ahead for us this year, and I am very glad to know that you are part of this work as we move forward.

I Am With You Always

I Am With You Always

Shining brightly in the midst of persecution

When Yogendra Nishad was a young boy, his home was filled with turmoil. His father and uncles were alcoholics and what little money they earned quickly went to buy more booze. Their families were struggling financially and emotionally.

During the worst of it, one of our pastors visited the family and shared the Gospel with them. As they prayed together, strongholds were broken and the Lord mightily touched their lives. Yogendra accepted Jesus as his Savior, and so did his father and uncles. They were set free from drinking and the entire family began attending church. As they grew in faith, they began to see the blessings of the Lord.

But their new faith began to be tested right away.

The rest of the villagers and the village leaders soon heard of the family’s conversion. Leaving traditional faiths to follow Jesus is not allowed. The villagers organized against Yogendra’s family and began to threaten and persecute them, insisting that they renounce their faith in Jesus or face the consequences.

As Yogendra’s family continued to grow stronger in their Christian faith, the persecution increased. The villagers ordered the shopkeepers to refuse to sell them any food or necessities. The family had to walk about 5 miles to the nearest shop that would allow them to purchase what they needed. The wives were harassed in the streets. In school, Yogendra was teased mercilessly by his classmates for his decision to follow Jesus. The villagers encouraged their children to bully and harass him.

For a boy in 5th grade, Yogendra’s world was becoming very lonely. His parents encouraged him to remember the promise of Jesus, that He was with Yogendra always, even when he was being teased and harassed, and that the Lord would make a way for him. Yogendra also looked forward to the Pastor’s visits because he would encourage the family from God’s Word and they would pray together.

They began to see the Lord helping them in every situation . . . and so did the villagers. They began to recognize that Jesus was protecting the family from all their threats. They saw that the family remained strong in their faith and not even witchcraft was affecting them.

God has been glorified in their home and in their lives in the midst of persecution. The children have excelled in their studies and the family is prospering in spite of the opposition they have faced. Little by little, the villagers are beginning to speak to them again. Yogendra is happy and wants to become a pastor when he is older.

Please continue to pray for families like Yogendra’s who are caught in the crossfire of persecution, that they would have the grace to love those who persecute them and truly be salt and light for the world. Families are suffering physical violence and much worse for following Jesus. Your prayers and practical support truly make a difference for our persecuted brothers and sisters!

 

 

*Representative names and images used for safety.