||GNI's first trip to India
offered an intimate potrait of life within this sub-continent, half a world away from our
homes in Houston. It is a beautiful land, a fertile land, a land teaming with life. A land
of great fields, deserts, rivers, mountains, of jungle heat and mountain cool. It is a
land of people, people, people everywhere. It is a land of great spirituality, and of
great spiritual darkness. It is a land white unto harvest for the Gospel.
The testimonies of Brad and Mark (pictured
at left, left to right, in the mountains of southern India) give wonderful examples of
God's saving power.
|Reflections on India - BJ
As I reflect on the India mission, two contrasting thoughts punctuate my memory. These two
thoughts are hopelessness and hopefulness.
I am still in somewhat of a state of shock over the scope and the depth of the poverty in
that country. Such a large mass of humanity living in such deplorable
to the USA) living conditions is shocking to the senses, and it doesn't depart the
consciousness quickly. I use the term "hopelessness" to describe the situation
because no other term fits, despite my general optimistic outlook on life. Mark summed up
it best with the comment, "All of the money in the World Bank couldn't solve this
problem." In human terms - hopeless. But with God...?
Despite the hopelessness of economic situation, the spiritual situation in India can be
described as "hopeful". India is a country with a population approaching one
billion people. Of the total, approximately four percent call themselves Christian. That
leaves over 950 million non-Christian people living in a land mass about one-third the
size of continental United States. I think this is best described by Tom Cruise's
character in the movie Top-Gun: "a target rich environment."
The response of the Indian people to the gospel of Jesus Christ was overwhelming. God
apparently changed hearts in a big way. They have been smothered in the darkness of
Hinduismfor so long the hope the Jesus Christ offers them should spread like wildfire in a
dry forest. Please pray that the seed that God planted will be watered and nourished in
the days ahead, and please pray for the safety of the believers in India as a face the
daily prospect of persecution.
In conclusion, I'm so thankful that God allowed me the opportunity to be a part of his
work in India. As is usual on these mission trips, the blessings to me far outweigh the
||In the School of Constant Prayer - MP
Their faces were sober. What they said did not surprise us, we had known
about the issue for months. We revealed the information to our families only two months
before our departure. We talked about it at the airport in Houston. Yet, hearing it from
those who were affected brought a sudden finality to the issue. This was a crisis of
faith. Hindu fundamentalists have been persecuting Christians for the previous 14 months.
They would often burn down the churches, kill the pastor, and scatter the flock. Pastor
Gnanadhas had received such a threat. We were now counted among his company. What did we
Brad Johnson, and I had a very sober discussion that night. What will we do if they come
for us? Those who had gone before us went like their Master, as a sheep to slaughter. That
must be our resolve as well. We prayed that night.
Throughout the trip, we never caught our sleep cycle. We went to the school
of Constant Prayer (1 Thessalonians 5: 17) that week. Our God did wonderful things. We
went to 29 villages, we preach the gospel 33 times, and we saw 815 profess Jesus Christ as
Lord and Savior! We encountered no opposition, no threats, no interference, and no
hin-drance to our going out or coming in. Not everyone who attended our meetings received
Christ, many simply walked away. In one village, we saw only two professions of faith; yet
another, we saw 94 professions of faith. We preached the gospel in two villages where it
had never been preached before. Thirty-three came to know Christ in one of those villages,
the 94 was from the other village. People came to us asking us to pray for them, to lay
hands upon them, and to bless their children.
All this took place in the school of Constant
Prayer. We would awake at 2 a.m. and begin to pray. We prayed about the message we were to
deliver, its invitation, the people who would hear--their hearts to receive, ears to hear,
eyes to see, deliverance from bondage, the follow-up program, our safety, our families,
and our hosts. We realized that God had to do much preparation for these people to respond
to our simple messages; we prayed that He would simply reveal Truth to them. He did time
and time again. We not only prayed in the early hours of the morning, but while we were
traveling, and while the other person was preaching (Brad and I took turns). The school of
Constant Prayer produced two graduates in India that week. My prayer now is that we will
continue to practice what we have learned. Jesus Christ was victorious in the Gundlupet
area, and we give all glory to Him!
I ask you to pray for the follow-up program in
India. Pastor Gnanadhas has six to ten young men to help him in this effort. He has
discipled them in preaching and evangelism. Pray that the new believers will be protected
from the threats of the enemy and that many churches will rise up from this evangelistic