Heart Healed and Saved


Many rituals like this are involved in the animistic religion to which Renu once devoted herself.

Joji watched his wife, Renu, stand up in church and share her testimony about how the Lord both healed and saved her heart. This was the miracle he had waited for seven months to see. Up until just a week before that day, Renu had vehemently opposed her husband’s faith in Christ.

Joji and Renu come from a tribal background in Jharkhand, India. They followed an animistic religion of worshipping trees, rivers, mountains, the sun and the moon. The rituals consumed Renu, and when Joji received salvation in 2006, she was irate.

“Our relatives and the other villagers will abandon us!” she would scream at her husband. “Don’t follow this new religion.” But Joji’s faith in the Lord remained strong, and he believed that one day Renu would also trust Jesus. In addition, Joji prayed for another miracle: healing. Renu had heart problems. The couple had five children, and Joji didn’t want anything to happen to his wife!

Praying Missionary

Many like Renu experience God’s healing through the prayers of native missionaries.

When Joji heard that Gospel for Asia missionary Kanak was going to lead a two—day Gospel meeting, something inside prompted him to invite Renu. To his surprise, she agreed to attend. The Word of God touched her deeply at the conference, and on the second day, she chose to receive Jesus as her Savior. At the same time, she believed He could heal her heart—and He did.

The next Sunday, Renu came to the church where Kanak was pastor and shared her testimony before everyone. The radical difference in her life from just a few days before was an answer to Joji’s prayers. Now, Renu says that no matter what happens, they will follow Jesus.

Kanak requests prayer that Renu and Joji will continue to stay strong in their faith, and that their testimony will bring many others to Christ.

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

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Elections Bringing Democracy to Nepal

Church in Nepal

There are many Christian churches like this one in Nepal.

Residents of Nepal will participate in a historic democratic election Thursday, April 10. Voters will choose a Constituent Assembly, which will be charged with writing a new constitution and reintroducing democracy to this tiny Himalayan nation.

This week’s elections promise to be tumultuous. The past few months have been marked by violence between the various political parties and bomb blasts by rebel groups. Gospel for Asia leaders in Nepal are asking for prayer, saying that the situation in the country is tense and that there seems to be little hope for a peaceful election.

“Nepal has the opportunity to become a new model for legitimate democratic transformation,” said GFA’s Nepal correspondent. “The behavior of the monarch and the Maoists and the involvement of the international community will largely determine the success of Nepal’s push for a democratically elected Constituent Assembly and its drafting of a new constitution. We don’t really know what is waiting for the ‘New Nepal’ after the election.”


Getting around in Nepal can be difficult. These missionaries walk on narrow mountain pathways to bring the Gospel to the villages.

This week’s elections bring an official end to the monarchy, which has ruled the country since 1959. Politicians promise the new constitution will guarantee religious freedom. They also promise that Nepal’s new government will be secular. The country has officially been a constitutional monarchy with Hinduism as the official religion.

This week’s events are in sharp contrast to the events of the last two decades. Nepal’s beloved King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya and several members of their household were murdered in 2001. On the heels of this tragedy, King Birendra’s brother, Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, ascended to the throne.

Shortly after Gyanendra’s reign began, the Maoist party—heavily influenced by nearby China—waged a civil war against the constitutional monarchy. The United Nations estimates more than 12,000 people died and another 10,000 were displaced by the war. It came to a tentative end in 2006 with a peace agreement that allowed the Maoists to join a government created when the king relinquished his power.

In late 2007, the Maoists walked out, demanding that the monarchy be abolished. Legislators agreed to the demands—the monarchy is scheduled to end this year—and the Maoists returned to their legislative posts.

GFA leaders ask for prayer for peaceful elections. They also ask for continued prayer for Nepal as these new legislators create a new constitution and government system for the country. Pray also that GFA missionaries will be free to continue working in Nepal and that the churches will continue to shine the light of God’s love.


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

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Christ Proclaimed in a Dalit Slum


The life of a Dalit in Asia can be very difficult, but many of these precious "Untouchables," like the woman pictured here, are hearing of their worth in the eyes of Jesus.

The name of Christ is forever changing the lives of the Dalits (“Untouchables”) who live in a Karnataka, India, slum. Gospel for Asia missionary Sampath, a Dalit himself, is committed to serving his fellow Dalits by bringing them the Good News.

Sampath recently met Dilip and Anita, a couple whose three-year-old son, Sunil, was suffering from an unusual illness. The boy had small tumors throughout his body—and bumps on his waist, hands and legs.

Dilip and Anita took Sunil to a medical facility for treatment, but it did not help. They also took him to several temples, pleading for a cure. But Sunil’s condition stayed the same, leaving Dilip and Anita very discouraged.

It was around this time that the Lord led Sampath to cross paths with them. As he shared the message of Christ’s love with this couple, they told him of the sickness that had befallen their small son.

Assuring them of Jesus’ power to heal, Sampath prayed for Sunil right then. He also encouraged the family to come to church. Dilip and Anita began attending the services and listened to Sampath teach from the Scriptures. Meanwhile, Sunil’s health gradually began to improve. Within three months, the Lord had completely healed him.

Witnessing this miracle, Dilip and Anita put their trust in Christ.

He is One of Them

Growing up as a Dalit, Sampath has a place in his heart for those who, like him, have suffered much more than the rest of society. He knows their lives can have value in the love and salvation of Jesus Christ—because He has personally experienced this hope.

As a child, Sampath lived with his parents, two sisters and two brothers in a very poor household. Life was often a battle to survive, and there were times when they did not have much to eat. But the greatest difficulty for Sampath was the hopelessness he and his family felt every day in spite of their devotion to their deities.

As Sampath grew up, he sought fulfillment through various means. He became addicted to drugs and alcohol. He was also mingling with friends who had a negative influence on him. They were known for being bullies who physically and mentally tormented people.

During this time, Sampath’s heart became so hard that he had no compassion toward people. But he also had no peace.

Then Sampath met a Christian pastor who gave him a Gospel tract and urged him to read it. Out of curiosity, Sampath asked questions about the tract and its message. The pastor shared the Gospel with him, and Sampath received Christ.

This young man’s life drastically changed. Within a few years’ time, he enrolled in a Gospel for Asia Bible college to study God’s Word. Devoting himself to full-time ministry after he graduated, he saw 15 people receive Christ through his witness in one area.

It was then that he visited Dilip and Anita’s slum village, prayed earnestly for Sunil, and told them about Jesus. And today, by God’s grace, their lives will never be the same.

Sampath requests prayer that Sunil’s parents will grow in their walk with the Lord. He also asks for prayer that there will soon be a full-fledged church in this slum where Dalits can come and hear about their worth in the sight of Jesus.


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

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An Unusual Debate


Fearlessly, Santosh shared the message that the Lord showed him.

Deep in the night, Gospel for Asia native missionary Santosh Murari lay awake worried about the day to come. He was scared that he would not be able to speak clearly in the very important debate. Crying out to the Lord, Santosh prayed, “God, please give me wisdom and help me speak your words.”

Santosh’s village in Manipur, India, was dominated by 30local priests from a traditional religion. The priests often boldly condemned Christianity. Afraid of the priests, the villagers followed them because it appeared that the priests could hurt them through magic.

One of these priests, Nadish Rahul, had his own radio show to propagate his beliefs. He vehemently proclaimed that the deity he worshipped was the true living god, and he regularly blasted Christianity on the show. During one of his broadcasts, Nadish fearlessly challenged the local Christians to debate the two religions.

The Christian leaders in the area chose Santosh to represent them in the debate. Santosh feared that he would be too nervous to present a strong message, especially in a debate with someone like Nadish, who was an experienced public speaker.

Poring over the Scriptures and fervently seeking the Lord’s direction, Santosh began preparing for the big day. But he was still unsure of the best way to share about his faith with this hard audience, even the night before.

Tossing and turning, unable to sleep, Santosh continued to pray. Then at 2 a.m., the Lord placed on his heart exactly what to say. Praising God for providing the answers just in time, Santosh knew he was ready.

The next day, everyone gathered to watch the deliberation, including the 30 experienced priests from Nadish’s religion. The group chose Santosh to present his arguments first. Standing before the glaring audience, Santosh shared the Gospel message exactly the way the Lord had showed him.

After about two hours of clearly explaining his faith, Santosh was abruptly interrupted by one of the older priests. The priest stood up and said that Jesus was a “True God.”

Suddenly, all of the priests began arguing among themselves, and they came to the conclusion that Jesus was a real God. They told Nadish he was wrong and the god that he shared about on the radio was false. Then to everyone’s surprise, Nadish admitted that after hearing Santosh’s presentation, he believed Jesus was a “True God” as well.

Now the priests, including Nadish, do not oppose the local Christians. Although they have not accepted Jesus as the one true God, they are more open to the Gospel message.

Because of the debate, Santosh has had many opportunities to share his faith, and several people in the area chose to receive Christ into their lives.

Santosh asks for prayer that Nadish and the other priests will put their complete faith in Christ alone. He also asks for prayer that the new believers will continue to grow in their walk with the Lord.


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

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Cyclone Phailin Kills 17, Affects 9 Million

After 13 hours of terror, Cyclone Phailin, the strongest storm to hit India in 14 years, was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, leaving in its wake 17 dead and 9 million people affected.

“One of our believers died today,” Gospel for Asia pastor S.E. Quamar said, explaining how the 30-year-old widow had been trying to save her household items when a wave threw her against a rock. “She fell down on the stone and died on the spot. She has one daughter who is 15 years old.”

Despite the heartache for 17 families, the low death toll is a marked triumph for government officials who put on one of the largest evacuation efforts in India’s history.

Voluntarily or by force, nearly 1 million people were evacuated in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in hopes of avoiding a repeat of Odisha’s 1999 cyclone, which killed 10,000 people.

“It is a huge, huge relief,” Odisha’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik told CNN-IBN. “Damage has been minimal.”

Still, officials acknowledge that rehabilitation will be a significant challenge. Electricity has been turned off in 12 Odishan districts and may take a week to turn on again, and communications are severely limited.

With many roads either collapsed or blocked by trees, officials are still waiting to see the extent of the damage along the coast. Some estimate 236,000 homes are damaged.

In Odisha, Gospel for Asia correspondent Ibhya Lall said more than 4,000 believers were affected by Cyclone Phailin.

“More than 500 believers’ mud houses were damaged, and they lost their household things and animals,” Lall said. “They do not know what their future will be. Most of our believers are depending upon agriculture. They have lost so many acres of agricultural crops.”

Intense monsoon rains this summer had brought an increase in the two states’ regular rice crop, but now more than 1 million acres of agricultural fields have been destroyed. As two of India’s greatest producers of rice, the damage will likely affect the rest of the nation’s food supply.

Meanwhile, threats of flooding brought by heavy rains loom over Nepal and the Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim. In one Jharkhand district, officials evacuated 1,000 villagers on Sunday.

With the government’s support, GFA Compassion Services teams plan to provide relief in as many affected areas as possible.

To find out more information, go to Gospel For Asia’s website.

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Gospel for Asia Film Team Arrested

Prem Billa

Prem Billa is one of the missionaries arrested this weekend in India.

Four men who are part of a Gospel for Asia film team arrested Friday night in Madhya Pradesh, India, are still in jail today. The team was screening a movie about the life of Christ when they were arrested. They are scheduled to appear before a judge on Tuesday, April 1.

The team, comprised of GFA-supported missionaries Nima Venkatesh and Prem Billa and two volunteers, had secured all the necessary permissions from the police and village authorities to show the film. But a radical, anti-Christian organization in the area alerted some higher government officials that the Christians were showing the film and accused them of forcibly converting people to Christianity, which is illegal. The police then arrested the missionaries and seized their equipment.

Because the men were arrested on Friday night, they had to wait until Monday for the court to open. When they attempted to appear before the court on Monday, there was no judge to hear their case, so it was pushed back until Tuesday.

GFA President K.P. Yohannan says the film team is living out one of the lesser quoted promise of Jesus from Matthew 10:18.

“Jesus clearly told His followers ‘You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles,’” Yohannan said. “So we are never surprised when our workers are arrested, even though it is unjust. But we also cling to the second part of Jesus’ promise in Matthew 10:19-20, when He assures His followers by saying that ‘…when they do deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.’ So, we are praying that God would fill these men with His grace to speak the truth of God’s love before this judge.”

Christian leaders in Madhya Pradesh are also trying to set up meetings with district authorities to have the men released and their equipment returned to them.

“We are also praying that God would speak through these leaders when they meet with the local authorities,” Yohannan said.

Yohannan asks for prayer for the film team and for the leaders speaking on their behalf. He asks for specific prayer that they would not be disheartened at this point of difficulty and that the Lord’s presence and comfort would be real to them at this crucial time.



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

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A God Who Answers – Gospel for Asia



Many people only know to turn to traditional gods for help.

Suren was only 25, but his wife and two children were about to lose him. As he lay in his hospital bed, the news of all the medical treatment he needed—and could not afford—overwhelmed him.

In this time of need, Suren and his family needed to receive hope from their gods. But instead, the silence that followed their prayers filled their hearts with empty despair.

Then Gospel for Asia missionary Badil met Suren’s family. Badil listened to Suren’s wife pour out the stories of hepatitis, appendicitis, and lack of money for vital operations.


Native missionaries often see God answering prayer in miraculous ways.

By the time Badil left the home, he had shared hope from God’s Word and prayed with Suren’s family. He also invited them to a prayer meeting he was having later that night in a local believer’s home.

To Badil’s surprise, the family came to the prayer meeting—with Suren! The dying man listened to the words of life, and he believed with the Christians that God could save his soul and restore his health. The next day, doctors told Suren he no longer needed any operations.

Awed by the power of this miracle, Suren and his whole family received salvation. Suren’s testimony also helped lead five families in their village to the Lord! These families formed a new fellowship, which Badil is faithfully caring for. Badil asks for prayer for Suren and his family to grow in the Lord and continue boldly witnessing about God’s miracle.


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

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Missionaries Reach Out on World Literacy Day

The number of illiterate men and women in South Asia is well into the hundreds of millions, with women being the majority of those who have never learned to read or write.

Gospel for Asia pastors and Women’s Fellowship team members look forward to International Literacy Day, on September 8, as a special opportunity to reach out to their communities with programs that explain their literacy classes as well as share the Good News of Jesus.

Last year during the church’s International Literacy Day program, Pastor Radhesh encouraged the women to learn to read, so they will be able to study their Bibles and teachhttp://gospelforasia-reports.org/?p=3131 their children to do the same.

“I am a mother and I feel helpless because I cannot teach my children,” a woman from a local church said, “but today I learned to be strong and not give up, to do my best to learn to read and write.”

An Unexpected Listener

In another area, women missionaries shared the same message as Pastor Radhesh, encouraging local women to participate in literacy classes as well. Around 50 women gathered to hear what the ladies shared.

Narayana, a local elderly man, sat away from the crowd and paid close attention to what the missionaries said.

The women missionaries noticed he didn’t move from his spot after the program and quickly approached him. He told them what a good thing they were doing for the community and that their parents should be very proud.

The women gave him a piece of Gospel literature, and his response echoed the struggle that countless people in South Asia face when they want to read something.

“I am illiterate,” Narayana said to the women. “Please tell me what is written in it so I may hear it.”

As the women shared about Christ’s life, death and resurrection written in the piece of literature, Narayana listened carefully. By the time he heard the entire message, Narayana knew without a doubt Jesus is the only living God.

He asked the women to go home with him to tell his wife about Jesus, too. When his wife heard about Christ, she decided to follow Him as well!

International Literacy Day was a special day to Narayana and his wife, as well as to many others, because our missionaries shared the hope of a better future with them—both for this life and the next.

Please pray for our workers, on September 8, as they reach out to men and women on International Literacy Day again this year.

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

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A Historic First Election in Bhutan

Bhutan Archer

Archery is the official sport of Bhutan.

The world’s only Buddhist kingdom conducted its first democratic elections March 25. Bhutan’s 2.3 million residents cast their votes for parliamentary representation after living under the rule of the Wangchuk hereditary dynasty since 1907.

The Bhutan United Party claimed a landslide victory in the elections. The newly elected officials will form the National Council, which will set in motion the creation of a constitution and the platform for a Democratic government.

Gospel for Asia President K.P. Yohannan says it is still too early to tell if the yet-to-be created government will allow true freedom of religion.

“Of course, we are praying that Bhutan’s first constitution will allow true freedom of religion,” Yohannan said. “These precious people deserve the opportunity to hear the Gospel and to know that there is a God in heaven who loves them and a Savior who died for them.”

At present, it is illegal to share the Gospel in Bhutan, and missionaries are limited to supplying humanitarian aid, as long as they do not talk about their faith. GFA has had work in the country since 1995.

Student Witnessing

A GFA Bible college student (left) talks to a woman from Bhutan (right). The Bhutanese woman is wearing the official dress of her home country.

Less than one percent of Bhutan’s population professes to follow Christ. Believers can be expelled from the country and stripped of their citizenship if their new faith is discovered.

Bhutan is a small, impoverished and isolated country in the Himalayas. It shares borders with India, Bangladesh and China. Under the rule of former King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the country largely eschewed the modernization that much of the world now takes for granted. Foreign tourists were not allowed into Bhutan until 1974, and limited television and Internet services were only introduced in 1999. The country even has its own legal dress code.

In spite of what the Western world would see as a chokehold of control by the monarchy, the people of Bhutan hold their king and his family in high regard. It was King Wangchuk himself who implemented what he labeled a plan of “cautious modernization” during his reign. In 2006 he abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, a 27-year old graduate of England’s Oxford University. The current king and his father encouraged the citizens to vote in this week’s election.

Christian leaders ask for prayer for Bhutan and its newly elected officials. They ask for specific prayer that the new officials would allow true freedom of religion in the country. Prayer is also requested for the GFA missionaries who have done pioneering work in the country.



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

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