Kidnapped Pastor Released by Militant Group Unharmed

Assam, India

Gospel for Asia missionary Haresh Kujur was released unharmed by a militant group that kidnapped him March 1.

Haresh is a village leader, and the kidnapping was politically motivated rather than being an act of anti-Christian extremism, according to GFA’s correspondent in Assam.

GFA leaders in Assam ask for continued prayer for the safety of Haresh, for his family and for the members of his church.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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Christmas Milk Turns to Water

Sewing Machine Gift

Sewing machines were another life-changing gift given at Punjab Bridge of Hope centers.

 

Melbin Ramesh drinks from his Christmas present every day—and so does his whole family. This unexpected blessing they received came in the form of a cow.

Melbin attends a Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope center in Punjab, India. Last year, through GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog, his Bridge of Hope teachers gave Christmas gifts to the enrolled children. Melbin’s cow provides a new source of income for his family, as they are able to sell much of the four liters of milk it produces each day.

But the cow gives Melbin’s family more than milk. As they saved up money from their new milk business, they were able to provide something they had never dreamed of getting—their own water well.

Before, the family had to draw water from a well some distance from their home. Since the children had to walk so far to get water, they were often late for school. Now, they have fresh water available whenever they want.

GFA’s correspondent in the area asks for prayer that through this gift, Melbin and his family will further understand the Lord’s love for them.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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Sharing God’s Love at Christmas

 

Christmas Celebration

Many Gospel for Asia workers use the holiday season to share the true Christmas story.

Joyfully celebrating Jesus’ birth, several Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries in Asia performed festive Christmas programs for the unreached. Traveling to 17 villages during December, the group offered the hope of Christ to everyone who attended.

As they arrived in each village, the believers went out and invited the local people to the event. Then they returned to the meeting place to prepare for the performance.

When it was time to start, men, women and children gladly poured in to see the programs. The beautiful praise songs and vivid cultural dances that the believers performed delighted everyone who watched. Then, GFA worker Salil Chirag read from the Word of God and used the Christmas story to tell about the eternal life found in Christ.

Understanding for the first time that there was a Savior who loved them, hundreds chose to follow Jesus. And many more wanted to know more about the Lord.

Blessed to see how open the villagers were to the Gospel message, the believers rejoiced after every program. They request prayer that those who decided to follow Jesus will continue to grow strong in their faith. These workers also request prayer that the people who requested more information about the Gospel will receive the love of Christ.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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Woman Finds Healing from Cancer

Praise

Even though new Christians in Asia often face opposition for their faith, many of them—like this woman—worship the Savior with fervency and devotion.

Mamoni had a gaping physical wound on her face, the result of cancer. But an even deeper wound was causing the cancer: Mamoni was addicted to chewing tobacco. There were times when she indulged in this habit during her every waking moment.

When the mysterious wound appeared on her right cheek, Mamoni sought medical treatment. After examining her wound, the doctor informed Mamoni she had cancer, caused by a bacteria commonly found in the tobacco.

Mamoni was devastated by the news and frantically sold all of her possessions to pay for treatment. She went to the doctor regularly over the next year, and they prescribed many different kinds of medicine.

But despite all these efforts, the wound was gradually growing, ravaging the skin wherever it spread. The pain often kept Mamoni up crying all night. Her wound had become so grotesque that people shunned her.

She became even more distraught and began to lose hope that she would ever be cured.  Then someone suggested that Mamoni visit Gospel for Asia missionary Dijomar Neupane, who serves as pastor of the local GFA-related church. Dijomar and several Christians from his church came to Mamoni’s home and prayed for her.

In spite of their prayers, Mamoni’s wound continued to grow for three days. Then Dijomar had an idea. He decided to try treating her cheek with a simple medicated liquid commonly used to cleanse wounds. He also continued to pray for Mamoni. She began to feel some relief, and in time the pain stopped. Then, the wound healed and her face cleared up.

Mamoni was deeply moved by the believers’ prayers and the love they showed for her. This woman and her entire family chose to follow Christ. Because their new faith goes against established village tradition, they are now facing opposition. But still, they worship the Lord Jesus with all their heart.

Dijomar asks for prayer for Mamoni and her family, that they will stay strong in their new faith in Christ.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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From Atheist to Gospel Witness

Radru

Through Gospel for Asia native missionary Radru Kirti’s ministry, many Nepalis in India have come to know the Lord.

Treated with disdain and rejection, Rudra Kirti grew up knowing nothing but life as a Dalit (“Untouchable”) in Nepal. His family followed the traditional religion of their country, but it offered no hope to Rudra. Choosing to follow no god at all, rather than one that left him empty, Rudra claimed to be an atheist. Little did he know that the God whose existence he denied would use his troubled past and Nepali background to minister to his countrymen in a foreign land.

Seeing the void and desperation in Rudra’s life, one of his Christian friends invited him to church. Rudra attended a service and enjoyed it enough that he decided to go back to hear more. Soon, he was very involved in Bible studies and worship services, even becoming close friends with the church’s pastor.

Through hearing God’s Word taught, Rudra began to sense the Lord working in his life. He began to understand the true love of Christ, and how it was so different from the hollow imitation his family’s traditions offered. As Jesus’ presence became more real each day, Radru decided to follow Him.

Radru’s relationship with Christ progressed, and he felt a burning desire to serve the Lord full time. His pastor could sense God’s call on Radru’s life and recommended that he attend a Gospel for Asia Bible college.

After completing his studies, Radru began serving in the Delhi, India, area. He is reaching out to Nepali people, just like himself, who are living away from their native land. Many people have come to know the Lord through his ministry, and Radru now holds worship services in two neighboring villages.

Vasur Tamang is one Nepali man whose life was dramatically transformed through Radru’s outreach. Although Vasur was a nominal Christian, he was not leading a victorious life. He had come to Delhi to find a good job, and in an effort to climb the ladder of success, he had given up even trying to lead a godly life.

Trapped by a deepening addiction to alcohol and tobacco, Vasur’s health plummeted and his heart became extremely weak. Although he sought medical attention, nothing seemed to help. It looked like his life was over.

Finally, someone told Vasur about Radru’s church. Remembering the power of Christ that he had deserted long ago, he attended one of the worship services. When Radru introduced himself, Vasur told him about his declining health. Stirred by the tragic story, Radru and the believers began praying for Vasur daily. And within two months, his condition was completely healed.

Now, Vasur has turned back to the Lord and faithfully attends Radru’s church along with many others who have received the love of Jesus though his ministry. Once a cold, callous atheist, tattered by his life as a Dalit, today Radru joyfully proclaims the Gospel message to those who need the true Savior’s grace.

Radru requests prayer that many more people will receive the gift of salvation through his outreach. He also asks for prayer that the believers in his church will continue to grow deeply in their faith.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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Kidnapped Christians Released

 

Evangelism

The tensions won’t keep GFA missionaries from sharing the Gospel.

Himachal Pradesh, India

Anti-Christian extremists have released the more than 60 Christians they kidnapped on February 27 in Himachal Pradesh, India. None of the Christians were harmed during their ordeal, and none were members of GFA-related churches as was previously thought.

The kidnapped Christians were forced to endure a humiliating ceremony at a religious temple before the extremists gave them anti-Christian literature and let them go.

The radical group responsible for the kidnapping, while part of a system that keeps Dalits and other low castes in virtual slavery, covered their own agenda by publicly accusing Christian missionaries of trying to split the nation of India along caste lines.

This leader also falsely claimed that missionaries offered inducements to low-caste people to lure them into converting to Christianity. Himachal Pradesh’s ruling anti-Christian political party believes that keeping people in the traditional religion brings unity to the state, and ultimately to the entire country. It is reported that the group who kidnapped these Christians is affiliated with the political party.

It is not unusual for these extremists to kidnap believers and try to force them to bow before the statues that represent the country’s traditional gods. If the Christians refuse to bow, they risk being ostracized from society, which brings much shame in the Asian culture in which they live.

GFA’s correspondent is thankful for the prayers for these believers, and says that by God’s grace, they are safe. However, religious and political tensions in the area are still strong. Please pray that these Christians and others near them will trust in the Lord and not fear.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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Pastor Killed in Sri Lanka

A gunman shot and killed Christian pastor Neil Edirisinghe, February 17 outside his home in Sri Lanka. His wife also received a critical injury from the attack. She was holding their baby son at the time she was shot, but the child escaped serious injury.

Neil was not affiliated with Gospel for Asia, but GFA’s ministry reaches throughout Sri Lanka. Reports of opposition and persecution against all Christians have poured in over the past few months, and this incident demonstrates that anti-Christian elements are becoming more bold.

GFA leaders in Sri Lanka request prayer for all Christian workers in the country, especially those who are serving in more violent areas. They also ask for prayer that GFA missionaries will remain encouraged in their ministries, relying on the Lord’s strength.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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Answers to Prayer amid Danger

Man Praying

GFA missionaries depend on the Lord for protection from anti-Christian groups.

“We are extremely grateful for your prayers for Pastor Gautam,” wrote Gospel for Asia’s correspondent in Madhya Pradesh, India. “The situation has calmed down.”

Police have stepped in to protect GFA missionary Gautam Taru after extremist groups threatened him last month. The group told him he must leave the village within three days or face “serious consequences.”

At first, police simply advised Gautam to leave the village until things settled down. Gautam sent his wife and children to stay with her father for their protection, and he sought shelter at the GFA state office.

The anti-Christians did not leave him alone, however. They actively planned to lodge an official complaint against him, compelling many people to give false testimony against him. And three days after the original threat—the day the group said Gautam would face serious consequences—the situation looked ominous.

Worship

Seeing people come to Christ motivates GFA missionaries to continue in spite of danger.

“Every day, the fanatic group goes to the village to inquire whether Pastor Gautam has left the place or not,” our correspondent wrote that day. “We even heard that they are preparing a person to pretend that the pastor gave him money to become a Christian.”

However, now that the police have said they will protect Gautam, the situation appears to be calmer. Pastor Gautam was able to join his wife and children at his in-laws’ home. But the anti-Christian sentiment is still strong. Pastor Gautam asks for prayer for safety to continue his ministry.

 

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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Sharing the True Joy of Christmas

 

Christmas Celebration

Through joyful songs about the Savior’s birth, missionaries in Nepal shared the love of Christ with many who had never heard.

 

Gospel for Asia native missionaries, along with 65 Christians from four GFA-related churches, spent the days leading up to Christmas sharing the joy of their Savior. Through caroling, skits, reading the Bible on the street and tract distribution, the group shared the love of Christ with thousands of people in Kathmandu, Nepal.

On December 19, the believers gathered early in the morning to begin their first day of outreach. They divided into four groups, each with a different assignment for the day. The first group performed Christmas carols and skits, the second distributed tracts, the third shared the Gospel, and the fourth prayed for the people who had needs.

Throughout the day, the believers went to three different public locations for the outreach program. Large crowds gathered to watch the skits and listen to the jovial carols. The people were very open to the Gospel message and asked many questions about Jesus. Altogether, the believers distributed more than 1,500 Gospel tracts on the first day of the outreach.

Christmas Skit

Some of the young believers performed a Christmas skit for a crowd of people. There was a great response to the message they shared.

“There was great joy on everyone’s faces while we were caroling,” one participant said.

For the next five days, the believers continued this outreach. In each place, they received an overwhelmingly positive response from the crowds.

“We look forward to seeing the fruit from this Christmas outreach program,” a GFA missionary said. “We are thankful to Jesus for opening the door for all of us to share His love among the people living around us.”

GFA leaders in Nepal ask for prayer that many would come to know the Lord as a result of the Christmas outreach. They also request prayer that the Lord would open many more doors for future ministry in Kathmandu.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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Brutal Attack on Newlyweds

Indian Couple

Indian couples, like this husband and wife, rarely marry outside their own caste.

A young Dalit (“Untouchable”) man in Maharashtra, India, was stabbed in the eyes by his new wife’s family. They were angry because he had eloped with his girlfriend, who was from an upper caste. The January 9 edition of the Indian newspaper, Daily News & Analysis, reported the brutal attack.

Police arrested six of the girl’s relatives and are looking for six others thought to be involved. A friend of the groom was also beaten during the attack. Indian marriages are often arranged by the families of the bride and groom. Marrying outside one’s caste is still considered a social taboo in much of the country.

In the attack, the alleged assailants kidnapped the groom and his friend, took the men to a different city, then gagged and beat them throughout the night. They also stabbed him in the eyes. The injured men reported that when they passed out, the assailants splashed water on their faces to wake them up so they could beat them again.

After the assaults, the relatives took the injured men to the hospital, but warned the groom’s family not to report the crime. The police found out about the violence and are pursuing charges against the perpetrators.

Indian Couple

A Christian bride and groom are shown during their wedding ceremony in India.

Caste-based discrimination was outlawed almost 50 years ago by the Indian government. There is also a law, known as the Atrocities on Scheduled Caste Prevention Act, which offers legal recourse against those who resort to this type of violence. Yet, there are still frequent reports in the Indian media of young men and women who suffer severe consequences for marrying outside their own caste. At the very least, they are ostracized and cut off from their families. Some lose their jobs. Others are attacked and beaten. Many are killed.

Gospel for Asia missionaries are reaching out to the Dalits with the message that Jesus loves them, regardless of their social status. GFA missionaries have been sharing the love of Jesus in Maharashtra since 1990.

GFA leaders in India ask for prayer for the Dalits, that they would come to know the love of Christ.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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