PAGANS PERISHING RAPIDLY WITHOUT STATE SUPPORT

Date: 9/11/2005

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ANDRHA PRADESH /// "Two of our full-time evangelists were looking for accommodation for the night," reports German missions agency "Stimme der Zigeuner" (Voice of the Gypsies). "When they eventually found a place to stay in Khamman, Andra Pradesh State, the house owner refused to let them in because they were Christians. The housewife bravely decided to let them in. The unfriendly owner, a rich landowner, suffered from diabetes, and had open wounds on his feet. His doctors had prescribed various medicines to prepare him for an amputation the following week. His wife asked her guests for prayer for herself and her husband. The evangelists told her that she too should pray to God. The healing was rapid; the surprised doctors cancelled the amputation, because the man was completely healthy. When his wife told of her husband's healing in the nearby store, the store owner, who suffered from cancer, also started praying to God. She was healed too. The thankful landowner donated land, on which a church building was opened in April 2004." Stimme der Zigeuner, July 2004 /// UTTAR PRADESH /// Operation Agape reports that 800 Muslims in Northern India recently became Christians. Over 100 house churches have been planted in various districts of Uttar Pradesh State in the past six months alone and every member used to be a Muslim. Many of the new believers are already actively sharing their faith with friends and relatives in their surroundings. In West Bengal State, 15 Islamic priests and their families have been baptised, and there is a growing church planting movement among the region's Muslims. Source: Operation Agape, July 2004 /// HIMACHAL PRADESH/// Manoi learned black magic and sorcery from a Hindu priest in Himachal Pradesh. For eight years, he served as a priest in the famous Chamunda Temple, which made him rich. He lost his fortune, though, so returned to his hometown. His sister spoke to him regularly about Jesus, but Manoi said that if this God existed, he should appear to him personally. The following night, Jesus appeared to him in a dream, saying "Today, you will become my son," and giving him a New Testament. The next day, a pastor visited, who had had the same dream. Manoi gave his life to Jesus, and now plants churches in Himachal Pradesh. Kingdom Ministries News, June 2004 /// HIMACHAL PRADESH/// G. Singh was a very well-known witch doctor in Himachal Pradesh, India. He 'healed' many people, but the healings only lasted a short time. One day, he became seriously ill himself, and nobody could help him. Finally, he called on a Christian for help. The Christian, K.N., prayed for him, and he was healed instantly. The first thing he did was burn all his spell books, then he was baptised, along with the rest of his family. In a short time, he won 15 other families for Jesus, including his previous guru. Kingdom Ministries News, June 2004 /// The Lord has recently worked miracles in the lives of three practitioners of black magic, bringing them to Christ. One of the magicians, an elderly man, worked as a magic healer for many years. Although many sought his cures, he could, ironically, do nothing for the illnesses from which he and his family suffered. After years of suffering and questioning his own practices, he requested prayer from a native missionary. When the gospel was explained to him, the magician placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Both the man and his wife then experienced miraculous healing in their own bodies. Now he shares his testimony of deliverance with those who visit him, as well as pray for their healing in Christ's name. The wife of another magician became ill and was unable to speak or eat. After four days, the magician sought help from native Christians who were fasting and praying. When Indian believers prayed earnestly for her, she was again able to speak and eat. Finally, there is the case of Devadas, who practiced sorcery for 30 years and strongly objected when some of the village families accepted Christ. He planned to attack the native missionaries who worked in his community. However before he could execute his plan, Devadas was struck with malaria and became very weak. His black magic and witchcraft were of no avail. Neighboring witch doctors were equally powerless. Devadas' health deteriorated and eventually his kidneys began to fail. He was taken to the hospital, but even the doctors lost hope. One evening, in desperation, he called his Christian neighbors and asked them to pray for him. Within a few hours after they prayed, his kidneys began to function. Having gained faith in Christ, he requested prayer for his full recovery, and this too occurred. Devadas and his entire family have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and committed their lives to Him. Missions Insider, May 2004 /// JAMMU AND KASHMIR/// The Northern Indian state Jammu and Kashmir, previously mostly unreached, consists of 14 districts, 6,000 villages and has some 18 million inhabitants. "In the past five years, thousands of people have decided to follow Jesus Christ, and hundreds of new house churches have formed," reports Agape Voice. Whole families regularly come to faith, as in Badaol, a village in Doda district. "Our church-planting team encountered a whole family lying sick in bed. None of them was able to fetch the doctor. Our team explained the Gospel, and prayed for them. Jesus healed every single person, and the entire family decided joyfully not only to follow Jesus, but also to open their house for regular church meetings." Northern India is also home to one of the fastest-growing revival movements on Earth. Last year alone, 200 new house churches were planted in Hariyana, which was long considered to be one of India's least evangelised states. According to an April 2004 report, the number of house churches in Northern India has grown to around 30,000 in the past 7 years, with an additional 28,000 regular home prayer meetings. Experience shows that these rapidly become house churches. Church growth adviser Joshua Pillai reports that there are a further 10,000 house churches in Southern India. Agape Voice, Joshua Pillai and others, Friday Fax, May 2004 /// PUNJAB/// Indian missionaries are fervent in their quest to spread the news of Christ. In April 52 missionaries, trained as church planters, graduated from a Bible college in Punjab assisted by Christian Aid. One of the first tools new missionaries require in India is a bicycle, which will enable them to cover many villages each day. Many times the wives of missionaries ride alongside their husbands during the day, because in the Indian culture only women can evangelize other women. "On foot I was able to cover only two to three villages each day. Once I got a new cycle, I was able to go to many more villages, some of them over 30 miles away. And I can return home each day now," reports an Indian missionary. The native Christians are boldly evangelizing in villages and towns throughout India, in spite of the fact that attacks against Christians have increased in the country. In Madhya Pradesh 65 homes and churches were burned, causing 30 gospel workers to flee the area. In Orissa a gang shaved the heads of six Christian women, some of whom were also stripped and tortured for not returning to Hinduism. "We have surrendered our lives at the foot of the cross so that we can take Christ's love to the hurting, dying and crying humanity," writes an Indian ministry leader, "We know the price that we may need to pay, but for us, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Missions Insider, June 2004 /// "In April 2004, at a conference in Nagpur, central India, I met a very special man," writes Susanne Gmur from Switzerland. "Abandoned by his parents, he grew up a gypsy, and ended in a children's home. One day, a preacher came, took him out of the home, and helped him. His parents were jealous, because he earned a wage. They took him back home, but he ran the 25 miles back to the preacher. At 15, he started evangelising, and baptised 6,000 people in the following years, but failed the exam to become a pastor seventeen times (really!). At a conference in Hyderabad, he met Dr. Victor Choudhrie, a strategic church planter, who explained that it is not about the number of baptisms, but about disciples! He immediately left his denomination and started planting house churches. Today, his disciples include several professors from the Brahman caste. His heart for children is particularly impressive; in addition to his own two natural children, he and his wife have adopted seven street kids. Two days before we met, he slept at the Nagpur railway station beside a 7-year-old girl, who knew neither her own name nor her parents. He asked her if she would like to stay with him. She agreed immediately, and wouldn't let her 'new father' out of sight. He bought her clothes, and named her 'Hope'. The adoption took only five minutes. He had not even informed his wife. You should have seen the girl smile!" Susanne Gmur, Friday Fax, May 2004 /// The Lord is working miracles in the lives of practitioners of black magic in India, bringing them to Christ. One of the magicians, an elderly man, worked as a magic healer for years, and although many sought his cures, he could do nothing for the illnesses from which he and his family suffered. After suffering and questioning his own practices, he requested prayer from a native missionary. When the gospel was explained to him, the magician placed his faith in Christ as his Saviour. Both the man and his wife then experienced miraculous healing in their own bodies. Now he shares his testimony of deliverance with those who visit him and prays for their healing in Christ's name. Christian Aid, Missions Insider, May 2004 /// Every month our pioneer missionaries share the Gospel with more than 250,000 families in India, generating over 10,000 responses! Among the new believers in Jesus is a man named Suresh who suffered from severe epileptic attacks for many years. Two EHC workers appeared on the scene. "They came to my house and introduced themselves as messengers of the good news of God. They explained to me about Jesus Christ the Savior and gave me literature. I received a strange peace of mind and asked them if Jesus can answer my prayers. They said yes and prayed with me. When they prayed, I was surprised because they were not chanting some words or phrases, but were talking to Jesus as if He were right there. I felt the presence of God at that moment and prayed with them in my heart. I slept well that night and the epilepsy attacks never returned from that day! I am writing to you with joy that this Jesus is now my Lord. I am grateful to the EHC workers who introduced me to Jesus!" E-vangelism Update, April 2004 /// Tens of thousands are turning to the Lord in India as gospel teams are professing Christ openly in many parts of the country. Native missionaries recently saturated a town with the gospel in a weeklong series of open-air meetings held nightly in a city of 100,000. Average attendance at the meetings was about 1,000. The gospel was preached, and by week's end more than 200 attendees had come to Christ. This crusade was combined with numerous evangelistic activities with student teams handing out printed Scriptures in some 80 surrounding villages. Through follow-up efforts, local missionaries planted several new churches. Christian Aid, Missions Insider, March 2004 /// WEST BENGAL/// A West Bengali witch doctor was recently healed of his afflictions through the intercession of a Christian missionary. The witch doctor had an established clientele, with many local people coming to him for remedies. But his craft was of no avail when he himself became mentally ill, nor was his own guru able to help. In desperation, a local Christian missionary was called in. The man of God prayed and through Christ's intervention, the curer was instantly healed. Duly impressed, the witch doctor destroyed the altar of his Hindu god and he and all his family accepted Christ. Missions Insider, February 2004 /// GUJARAT/// It really wasn't Leela's fault. She lives in a region of India that is under control of radical Hindus, who severely oppose Christian missionary work. Paralyzed for seven years and unable to walk, this village woman was miraculously healed through the intercessory prayer of two Christian missionaries. However, when one of the Christians later returned to strengthen Leela's faith, he was unexpectedly attacked by a gang of 25 villagers led by the village leader. They severely beat the man of God, breaking three of his ribs. The missionary lost consciousness, was revived with water, and was taken out of the village to be finished off. Fortunately, the missionary escaped from his captors, hiding in a lake until he could give them the slip. The ministry of these missionaries continues to impact nearby villages. Missions Insider, February 2004 /// BIHAR/// Bihar, a State in northern India with 87 million inhabitants, was known as "the missionaries' graveyard". In the past five years, though, the picture has been a little different - some 1,000 church planters were trained in the area, according to the Dawn Report. What happened? "Most important was training new believers and established Christians to spread the Gospel in an oral culture. The results are better than we could have dreamed," say Rev. Jim Bowman and his wife Carla. In 1998, they started training 120 evangelists and pastors in oral communication, with astonishing results, as the participants started putting that which they had learned into practice: one pastor has planted 30 new churches, another 20, others 5, 15 or 17 - unheard of in Bihar! Traditional evangelistic concepts such as tracts and Bible studies have little effect, because many people in tribal societies and villages are illiterate; written information has very little value for them. The evangelists were trained to use stories, songs and metaphors to communicate the Gospel. In five years, over 1,000 church planters have been trained, who are leading thousands of people to Christ, and planting new churches. Some of the characteristics of the church planters: 80% are Biharis, 20% missionaries from other Indian cultures; 60% are full-time church planters, 40% part-time; 80% are directly involved in church planting, 20% in social ministry; 80% are less than 30 years old. DAWN Ministries, March 2004 /// Work by local missionaries is bringing the light of Jesus Christ to temple prostitutes and their families in several states of India. Devadasis, is a Hindi term attributed to women who serve as "maid servants" of one of the Hindu gods. They usually begin their profession as temple dancers, but very often become prostitutes because of the money they can receive from patrons. Several government programs instituted to stamp out this practice failed due to lack of motivation and proper follow-up. No measures were put in place to provide alternative employment of the ex-prostitutes. Local Christian ministries, however, have helped fill this gap. Native missionaries question prostitutes at yearly temple festivals, and initially the women pretend to be enjoying what they do. When further questioned, however, they cry and express their hopelessness and despair. Aware that earning a livelihood needs to be addressed, the Indian missionaries provide monthly food and medical support for the women who abandon their sordid life. Several ministries purchase sewing machines in order to teach former devadasis how to stitch clothing and thus earn a living. At the same time they are taught the gospel of Christ and his power to transform the lives of those who believe. As a result many former prostitutes are now radiant Christians. Where possible, these women are also being prepared for Christian marriage, and children of the former prostitutes are being instructed and cared for by Christian teachers. Much remains to be done because thousands of temple prostitutes are still enslaved by this practice. But through the efforts of gospel workers, "maid-servants of god" are becoming the maid-servants of Christ. Missions Insider, March 2004 /// A poor woman in India had a goat that had fallen ill. Despite all the medicine and murmured mantras, the goat could hardly breathe and was obviously about to die. Everyone in the village gave up the goat for dead -- except the poor woman who owned him. She went to the local Christians, members of the Yadav shepherd tribe, who prayed. When the goat stood to its feet, the whole village was astonished, and about 25 people opened their hearts to Christ. Shout to the Lord for proving his power before the whole village. Ask him to mature these new believers into multiplying disciplemakers. Pray that the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ will spread throughout the region. Advance, March 2004 /// Native missionaries in Asia's remote villages are presenting the gospel through an evangelistic film that reaches where "The Passion of the Christ" is unable to go. Despite all the buzz and controversy surrounding "The Passion," millions of people in remote villages in Asia have yet to hear about Jesus for the first time. But a ministry called Gospel for Asia has equipped native Asian missionaries to reach their people with "Man of Mercy," a film about the life of Jesus. The film, which was made in India, is not shown in theaters, but is set up by missionaries outdoors and draws large crowds. Many viewers shed tears in response to the gripping film, and Gospel_for_Asia reports that tens of thousands of conversions to Christian faith have already resulted from these public showings. Nevertheless, 500,000 villages in India alone remain unreached. Gospel for Asia, March 2004 /// ANDAMAN ISLANDS/// A recent trip by native Indian missionaries to the Andaman Islands resulted in several unreached tribes hearing the Word and numerous professions of faith. During a four-day gospel meeting in this remote island region of India, attendance grew to 2000 with some 300 professing faith in Christ for the first time. Two bedridden women were cured and several deaf and dumb people were healed of their afflictions. As these and other deliverances occurred, many Muslims and Hindus who attended came forward to accept Jesus as their Savior. At another meeting held in a marketplace, over 90% of the attendees were non-Christians. Several individuals who watched from a distance noted that many in attendance rushed to the missionaries when miraculous healings occurred. One man who could not move his hand or leg was delivered and healed by prayer and some 60 souls were saved. Contact with the tribal members ranged from large meetings to individual interactions. During the month-long crusade, some 500 people professed faith in Christ. Missions Insider, March 2004 /// Christians interested in teaching children's Bible clubs in India are coming forward in large numbers and overwhelming Mission India of Grand Rapids, Michigan, reported mission spokesman John DeVries. He says the organisation has never seen a greater response in 30 years of ministry. "We've trained 70,000 children's Bible club teachers in a two-year training programme. That's the real good news. The bad news is we had to turn away 215,000 more," DeVries explained. "We lack the funds for bringing them to their localities for training, and we lack the funds for producing that many course materials." The 70,000 newly trained teachers taught 3.5 million young people. "We would have had an additional 6 to 8 million children had we had the funds for the training and for the Scripture supplies," said DeVries. The outreach is increasing despite growing persecution against Christians across India. "It seems like the higher the risk of persecution, the higher the demand grows. The tighter it gets and the rougher it gets, the more volunteers come out of the woodwork to want to reach the children." Mission Network News, January 200 4/// A ministry in northern India has gained a positive response to its presentation of the Christian message as a way of life on a higher plain. In recent months the ministry has presented a moral message to three public schools, at two open-air meetings on public grounds, and even to a special meeting of the city police (arranged by the Hindu police chief himself). The principal of a 1,000-student school even requested a Bible when he was approached about the possibility of presenting the message at his school. "The meetings were welcomed because they stressed right living - no smoking, no drinking, no drugs," the leader told Christian Aid. "These moral values were presented as being based on the claims of Christ. New life through salvation in Jesus Christ was shared as the way. Some tried to disturb the meetings, claiming that conversion to Christianity was the purpose. Generally, however, most people appreciated the moral life message. One purpose, admittedly, was to present Christianity in a favorable light." Those responding to the message may request a free copy of the Gospel of Luke video and a Bible. Personal follow-up is being planned. Christian Aid, Missions Insider Report, January 2004 /// Ishwar Das is a young man who was strongly into drug consumption and smoked hashisch. Gasram, a church planter from central India, came to Ishwar's village one day. Some people greeted him, shaking his hand, including Ishwar. When Ishwar shook Gasram's hand, something strange happened; he received an electric shock. He was instantly freed from his drug addiction. He asked question after question the whole evening, and was baptised the next morning, together with several of his friends. Of the village's 1,500 inhabitants, 275 have been baptised, and themselves reach the surrounding villages with the Gospel. Operation Agape, January 2004 /// A poor woman had a sick goat. Despite all the medicine and murmured mantras, the goat had obviously reached the end of its life, and could hardly breathe. Everyone in the village had already given the goat up for dead - except the poor woman. She went to the local Christians, from the Yadav, a shepherd tribe. They prayed, and the goat stood up, instantly healed. The whole village was astonished, and some 25 people were baptised. "We now have a goat church in the village," Agape Voice, January 2004 /// CHATTISGARH /// The gospel is having a delivering effect upon people of the Mariya tribe that inhabits about 230 villages in India's state of Chattisgarh. Mariya are illiterate and typically provide food for their families by hunting and primitive farming. The India census counts tribes people as Hindus, but they really follow folk religion or witchcraft. Masu and Sukie were members of the Mariya tribe, but Sukie was suffering from a demonic spirit. One day she and her husband, Masu, heard the gospel preached by an Indian missionary and came forward for prayer. Both accepted the Lord and Sukie was set free from demonic oppression. Christian Aid, Missions Insider Report, January 2004 /// CHATTISGARH /// Among the Mariya tribal women was a woman named Sabi, who was possessed by an evil spirit. She sometimes had uncontrollable fits, and once lapsed into an eight-day comatose state. The family members took her to many forest gods and goddesses, witch doctors and temples, but nothing helped. Then one day Masu heard about her plight and with some fellow believers visited her house and shared Christ. Sabi was touched in her spirit and accepted the Lord. After this, Masu declared three days of fasting and prayer and invited Sabi to attend a prayer meeting on the third day. As they prayed, Sabi experienced full deliverance through the Lord Jesus Christ and became normal again. This greatly impressed the other Mariya people who were present and ten of them accepted Christ that very day. The village church continues to grow at the rate of two new believers per month. Christian Aid, Missions Insider Report, January 2004 /// "We have never seen such rapid church growth as in India," says Elwira Howald of Swiss mission agency Kingdom Ministries. "Take Haroon, for example, who works with his wife as an evangelist in northern India. By 1998, they had led around 800 people to Christ and baptised them, but there were no house churches or leaders. When they started working with people like Victor Choudhrie, Haroon trained 24 men and women as 'Master Trainers', who themselves trained another 30 trainers. These 30 trained 65 others, who trained 300 church planters. These church planters have started over 1,000 house churches. The chain looks like this: Victor Choudhrie - Haroon - trainers of trainers - trainers - church planters - new believers. This multiplicative process keeps the missionary work in local Christians' hands from beginning to end and can grow explosively, because each person teaches others what they know," she says. Elwira Howald, Kingdom Ministries, January 2004 /// ANDRHA PRADESH/// Those familiar with the Christmas story may not realize how much it impacts those who hear it for the first time. A ministry in the Telegu-speaking area of India invited 200 non-believers to its Christmas observance held in a tent in front of its office. It was the first time most of the audience heard the story of the birth of Christ. One woman suffering from chronic arthritis and low blood pressure said, "This is a great day for me. I heard about a God who loves me." Several women surrounded the minister's wife and shed tears of joy as they said, "We are blessed. We came to know about a God Who knows about us and loves us." Missionaries conducting similar programs in outlying villages reported similar results. One missionary said because of drought people in his area had to purchase drinking water brought from the city only once every ten days. Ten litres of water costs $US1. "Poor people cannot afford it," the missionary said, "so they use any water from gutters or anywhere they find for drinking, which causes many health problems. Many farmers committed suicide because of dry fields and inability to support their families. People are running after any god or goddess looking for hope." Among those who accepted the Lord were many children and a 90-year-old Sadhu. Christian Aid, Missions Insider Report, January 2004 /// In northern India, a ministry in northern India let their light shine over Christmas despite fog and cold. The leader of a Christian ministry told Christian Aid it was able to bring the Christmas message to more than 4,000 Hindus and Sikhs through its school Christmas programs. The ministry operates several schools, including a school for 1800 children. About 4,000 relatives and friends attended the program put on by the students over a three-night period. The ministry also reached out to a home for 116 children of leprous parents. "We could not afford to give our children Christmas cakes," the leader said, "but they did not miss the Christmas joy, as many heard the Christmas story for the first time in their lives." Christian Aid, Missions Insider Report, January 2004 /// The president of a ministry that works to plant churches and spread the gospel to unreached nations says God is moving powerfully in India. Recently officials with World Help visited the city of Allahabad in northern India, where two years ago 60 million Hindu pilgrims gathered at the Ganges to purify themselves in the sacred river during a massive Hindu festival. But during this last visit, World Help president Vernon Brewer says he saw more than 40 thousand former Hindus singing, praying, and responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He describes the growth of Christianity in the region as "just an unbelievable move of God," and says even though the ministry is helping with resources, prayer, and funding, the visitors from World Help largely just sat on the sidelines and watched the spirit-filled Indian Christians worshiping, praying, and sharing the word of God. "It was led entirely by nationals," Brewer says. The ministry president points out that there is much work to be done in terms of evangelizing in this region. "This is the least-reached part of the world," he says. "As few as one in ten thousand are Christians." But Brewer says ministry partners in northern India have a strategic plan to reach 175 million lost people with the gospel and to plant one million house churches throughout northern India. Agape Press, January 2004 /// Evangelist Joel Marandi of the Brethren In Christ Church in Purnea, northern India, reports: "The Safa Hor are a group within the Santal people living in Mohini village in the Araria district. They worship the Hindu god Rama, and celebrate a fire walking ceremony each year: they dig a pit, in which they lay a fire, and then walk over the burning coals - without burning their feet. I've been evangelising in this village for two years, without visible result. I realised that this fire walking ritual was demonic, and the reason why I was not making progress. "This year, I called some Christian colleagues to help. Together, we walked around the place where the ceremony was to be held, praying that God would break the power of all demonic idols in the village. Only a few villagers showed up for the ceremony. One tried to walk on the fire, but burned his legs. I then told the people about Jesus, the true God. Following the clear demonstration of his power over their own ceremony, 25 villagers decided to follow Jesus. Isn't God great?" Friday Fax, December 2003 /// BENGAL /// The team showing the JESUS Film in West Bengal was exasperated as an old man continually interrupted by loudly proclaiming Hinduism. They packed their equipment and prepared to leave the village. A shadow of a man moved to one driver's door. "Pssst," he whispered. It was the rowdy old man who had interrupted the film. "What can I do for you?" the driver queried. "Can your Jesus heal my back?" the aggressive man pleaded. He now seemed nearly desperate with pain. "Yes," the Campus Crusade team member smiled. The team prayed. The Lord touched his back. He was instantly delivered from his searing pain. He ripped the talisman from around his neck and was filled with such joy that he ran home praising Jesus as his savior, and telling everyone that he had been saved and healed! The old man now stood upright when before he was bent and stooped. The word spread through the village like a fire. Even the man's guru became converted. The guru had 500 followers to whom he began to preach Jesus, saying "I didn't know the truth before. Now I do. Follow Jesus, he is the only way." Global Prayer Digest, December 2003 /// DELHI/// India's capital New Delhi has over 1,000 slums, in which mostly itinerant workers have their home. Some 6 million people live there - but the children are often simply abandoned when their parents go looking for work. The German missions agency Inter Mission started and supports 130 slum schools for children from non-Christian families. In the Alaknanda slum, they started a school in the toilet complex: 15 teachers teach 650 children. The Bible teaching and teachers' personal care for the children has opened many for the Gospel. When Ravi prayed for his uncle Ravi, one of the pupils in a slum school, had an uncle who was very ill. The doctors said that he would not survive. They took him to many hospitals, but without success. One day, Ravi simply knelt down beside his bed, laid his hand on his uncle and prayed for three hours. Jesus answered his prayer and healed his uncle. The miracle prompted a change of heart in Ravi's mother, who had previously forbidden him to attend Christian services. She has now decided to follow Jesus herself. Inter-Mission, December 2003 /// JHARKAND/// Birender Ram Bali, from the Munda, previously unreached people group in the northern Indian state Jharkand, witnessed his wife's 18-year fight against cancer. Her condition deteriorated steadily, and the entire village expected her death soon. In August 2002, Bali visited a nearby town on business. In the marketplace, he heard a man proclaiming something which he had never before heard: "Every one of you can ask Jesus to help you with your problems and sicknesses. He will answer your prayers because he is the true and living God." Those words echoed in Bali's head as he travelled back to his village. He asked himself who this Jesus could be. Knowing that his wife could die any moment, he decided to call on Jesus that night. He said "Jesus, I don't know who you are, but the man in the marketplace said that anyone can call on you, and you would help. Please heal my wife." That became his daily prayer. Over a period of three months, his wife's condition improved. Everyone in the village was astonished, and asked how she had been healed. Bali told them "I heard a man in the marketplace say that we can ask Jesus to solve our problems and heal our sicknesses. I started calling on Jesus that night. I called on him every day and night until I saw that my wife was healed." Many people in the village then wanted to know who this Jesus was, because they, like Bali, had never heard his name before. Bali told them that he did not know who Jesus was, but that he believed that he was a God with the power to do anything. The people started bringing their sick to Bali, so that he could pray to Jesus for their healing. To his astonishment, Jesus repeatedly answered his prayers. Finally, two Christian missionaries arrived in the Munda village. They had prayed that God would send them to a people group which had not yet heard the Gospel, and God led them to Bali. Bali was very touched that God had sent them to him, and became a devoted follower of Christ after hearing the Gospel. Following a thirty-day training, Bali is now a missionary in his own village. In the meantime, two churches have been started among the Munda. Inter-Mission, December 2003 /// ORISSA /// Severe persecution against church planting ministry in India's Orissa State was interrupted with a sign from heaven when a meteor crashed to earth near the Bay of Bengal . Missionaries with an indigenous church-planting ministry had won to Christ and discipled 15 families in a certain village. So in early September the ministry sent builders to construct a church building on a piece of land donated by one of the local believers. Suddenly on the third day of construction about 50 Hindus gathered about 50 yards away, placed a stone there, and said that someone had dreamed they should construct a Hindu temple there. The next morning about 300 people gathered at the site and attacked the laborers working on the church building. They snatched $220 from the builder's pocket, beat him mercilessly, and ordered him to stop construction. At that time the pastor and the president of the church arrived to see what the trouble was. The angry crowd dragged them both and ordered them to turn over 50 bags of cement and iron rods to them. The next day, two missionaries with the church planting ministry arrived at the site and they, too, were beaten, but managed to escape by motorbike. Then the tide began to turn. That very same night, one of the villagers who had forcibly taken four bags of cement died. Two days later a meteor streaked across the sky, spreading flaming fragments as it went. Witnesses said the meteor lit up the night sky and others reported hearing a deafening roar. It crashed into a house and news reports said at least 20 people were injured. Local citizens were terrified. After this, the leaders of the militant Hindus apologized to the Christians and said they wanted to return the materials they had taken away. "The police authorities were not helpful at all, but the situation is under control," the leader told Christian Aid. Christian Aid, Missions Insider Report, October 2003 /// Hindus, too, are being touched by the supernatural. One sweltering, humid morning Saral Singh, an EHC worker, came to Kashinath's village. Saral explained that only through Jesus Christ could one find eternal salvation. All Kashinath had to do was believe. But believing seemed impossible for the well-trained Hindu. Surely, he reasoned, salvation had to be earned by worshipping many gods, and required far more than the simple faith this evangelist described. So Kashinath rejected the message of Saral Singh. But then Kashinath had a dream in which he saw a man standing before him dressed in beautiful white clothing. "Kashinath," asked the Man, "how many parents do you have?" "One father and one mother," he replied. "Why, then, do you worship so many gods and goddesses? I am Jesus, the true way to God the Father." With that, Kashinath awoke from his deep sleep. It was early morning, and he set out immediately to find the EHC evangelist. Saral Singh had not yet left the village, and he listened intently as Kashinath described his unusual dream. Then, the evangelist explained once again the message of the Good News. This time, when he spoke about Jesus, Kashinath knew exactly whom Saral was referring to. He had seen Him in his dream. And before mid-morning, Kashinath had placed his trust in Christ. Why? Because his life-changing dream had confirmed to him the reality of the Gospel. Every Home for Christ, E-vangelism Update, October 2003 /// ASSAM/// The Hmar Christians of northeastern India are extending the "love of God" to their "enemies" - the Hindu Dimasas, who they say have recently killed many of them in a violent tribal conflict. Dr. Rochunga Pudaite, a Hmar believer and the founder and president of Colorado Springs-based Bibles for the World, says the organisation is planning to supply food and also to give tribal members the God's Word as a sign of Christian love. Pudaite recently stepped into the middle of the conflict by calling on both sides to stop the violence. He said that troubles were started on March 3 when what he called "Naga political revolutionaries kidnapped three people from a neighbouring Dimasa village and demanded ransom." The violence continued until many on both sides had been killed. "Our friends in the area where the killings took place have just bought rice to be given to the Dimasas," he said. "I have asked that they also give them something to eat with the rice, so they bought some dal which is like a split pea." When asked why he thought it was important to show God's love the Dimasas people in this way, Pudaite replied, "We are commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ to love everyone, including our enemies. We have to demonstrate that love by our life and by our actions." Advance!, September 2003 /// UTTAR PRADESH/// Mohan Philip was a fighter pilot until the age of 30. He then build a weapons factory for rockets, which made him rich. At 40, he suffered a severe heart attack; his coronary arteries were 90% blocked. He planned a five-fold bypass operation in a special clinic in the USA. In the meantime, his wife and daughter came to faith in Christ. "You won't need an operation," his daughter told him, and prayed for him on the telephone. A subsequent x-ray revealed that the blockage of his coronary arteries had receded so much that an operation was no longer necessary. Mohan decided to follow Jesus too. Today, four years later, he is one of the main leaders of the UP Project, an almost unique church planting project in the Indian state Uttar Pradesh. Friday Fax, October 2003 /// UTTAR PRADESH/// Around two years ago, Uttar Pradesh - previously a Hindu stronghold - with its 175 million inhabitants, began to open for the Gospel. This had been preceded by many Northern Indian Christians' intense prayer. Since then, tens of thousands have come to faith; some 2,700 new house churches have been planted in Northern and Central India alone since January 2003. Around 1,800 church planters and house church leaders are involved in the UP Project - a long-term missionary initiative aiming to plant 1 million new churches by 2010. Pairs of church planters go to pray in villages, typically visiting ten villages each day. They introduce themselves to the mayor, and ask whether there is anything for which they can pray. They then pray, fast and preach the Gospel until they find a 'house of peace' - one of the villagers opens his house as a house of prayer. This often happens following a healing or deliverance from demonic possession. When the first people come to believe in Jesus, they are immediately instructed how to follow Jesus. There are already around 24,000 'houses of peace' in 4,000 of Uttar Pradesh's villages. These houses of peace are only then called 'house churches' when the new believers seriously follow Jesus and have been baptised. Kingdom Ministries, October 2003 /// Are illiterate women more effective missionaries than educated women? Bindu Choudhrie, Dr. Victor Choudhrie's wife, reports "It used to be normal for the wives of men in full-time Christian ministry to work within their husband's ministry, but their contribution was never really noticed. In courses over the past 13 months, we've been encouraging women to live out the full potential which Christ has put in them. Many of them knew that in theory, but had never experienced it. However, the fruit was immediately visible when they were confirmed in their role. Of the 2,063 women who took part in these intensive courses, 30% became church planters, themselves leading people to Christ, baptising and discipling them. They have planted 728 new house churches. Interestingly," says Choudhrie, "the women with little or no education were much more effective missionaries than educated women. One of our main strategies is prayer walking in advance of church planting." Victor Choudhrie's report about Jayaker is a typical example of prayer's role in evangelisation and church planting: "Jayaker was an active young man, but became enchanted with a group of naked Sadhus (itinerant monks) in his village. He fell into a trance, and then left with them. For 10 years, he lived naked, taking hashish and harder drugs, filling his life with occult practices. Later, he joined the more occult Rajnish Ashram in Poona. He finally heard the Gospel from someone, and woke up, becoming a dedicated disciple of Jesus. One day, he was in Ujjain with his friend Raju, where he discovered a Hindu priest with a tray full of things used for idolatory: oil lamps, flowers, coconut and so on. Jayaker asked Raju for prayer covering while he neutralised the priest's mantras - which he knew by heart - in Jesus' name. The priest was astonished, because he was suddenly unable to move his arms to sacrifice to the idol. 'Another power is at work here,' he said. When the priest tried to move again, the tray fell out of his hand. Jayaker and Raju belong to a team of Indian Christians in Ujjain preparing for the Kumbh, a festival which twenty million Hindus are expected to attend." Choudhrie family, Madhya Pradesh, India, October 2003 /// "It's the rainy season in India, which means more snakes - and more demonic activity," writes Dr. Victor Choudhrie. "The farmers go about their work, asking the Gods for special favour. The Saperas - snake charmers - appear everywhere with their poisonous Cobras in bamboo baskets. Hindus sacrifice milk, among other things, to these Cobras - many not realising that Cobras can't drink milk because of their forked tongue. During the Hindu festival Dev Uthani, in which the local God 'sent to sleep' by the Hindu priests are 'woken up', millions of idols are made. But the Living God does not sleep. Millions were expected to attend a Hindu event in Nasik near Bombay in August 2003, but God sent a flood; the whole temple complex was under three feet of water, so that only the most dedicated came to celebrate. In northern India, minor and major miracles are happening as never before. When Jesus delivered a demonised man, the Christians told the demon to leave a clear sign that it had left the region: it left a large whole in the roof. Concerted prayer is making a growing number of religious centres ineffective, and some have even been closed," says Choudhrie. Victor Choudhrie, Friday Fax, September 2003 /// "'Thomas', an Indian church planter, lies in a dilapidated hospital after being severely beaten for preaching the Gospel. He has only one thought: 'How quickly can I get out of here to preach again?'" writes Jim Montgomery, founder of the Dawn Movement. "One of the highlights of my life was meeting Dr. Donald McGavran, the father of the church growth movement. He taught me to measure the growth of churches, and to find out how to accelerate that growth in a healthy manner. Not long ago, ten percent growth per year was exceptional - for example a church growing from 100 to 110 or from 600 to 660 in one year. Today, though, we're experiencing something which far exceeds that, like throwing an old typewriter away, replacing it with the newest computer," he writes. "In traditionally unreached nations, but also in evangelised nations, we're seeing movements in which that which used to take decades is happening in years, months or even weeks. One recent report from Thomas' region, for example, tells of 32 missions teams which started with 2,616 house churches on 1 January 2002. By 31 December that year, there were 8,784 house churches - a growth of 236%! The number of Christians grew from 43,676 to 128,665." DAWN Report, August 2003 /// NAGALAND/// Nagaland, one of the world's most mysterious lands tucked in the mountainous, jungle-covered northeastern corner of India, has 10,000 missionaries poised to take the gospel to nearby lands, said Nagaland's Christian president, Isak Chishi Swu, while visiting California Saturday, August 23. "We want to penetrate China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Nepal with the gospel," he said. "We have 10,000 missionaries who are ready to go." Swu said the outreach is being held up by the finalisation of peace talks between the Indian government and the 4 million people of Nagaland - an Indian state established in 1961 - that borders China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. "We want to request the whole world to pray for us that the peace process with India will be successful so that God will then release us to preach the gospel around the world, particularly in the neighbouring countries. We are not demanding our independence from India, but we do need recognition." The soft-spoken 73-year-old president was born in a hamlet called Chishilimi in the Sumi region of present-day Nagaland. "In 1921 my father was one of the first converts in Nagaland," Swu said. "God used him mightily, and he and some colleagues converted our whole tribe during a period of four or five years. Before this, our tribe was pagan." He says that 95 percent of the Naga people are Christian. Assist News Service, August 2003 /// "I was recently reminded of a story in 1 Samuel chapter 5. The Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant and put it in their god's temple. The next morning, the statue was lying on its face in front of the Ark. They lifted it back in place, with the same result the following morning. A Tamil woman was brought to the service last year because she had bad asthma. She asked us to pray that she would be healed, and afterwards came regularly to the service and converted from Hinduism to Jesus. In her apartment, she had many pictures of Hindu gods; one day, they all fell to the ground. Her husband hung them back on the wall and fastened them with sticky tape. When the woman returned home after a service, they were all on the floor again, even though nobody had been at home. Her Hindu husband was naturally amazed, but at the request of his wife, they threw the pictures away." Daniel Rutschmann, November 1995 /// One Christian girl was married in her village. On the wedding day a great storm arose with strong winds. All the wedding guests fled in panic. Heavy rain drops fell from the black clouds overhead. The people thought that the tent that had been erected for the ceremony would be blown away and all the food would go to waste. At that point three young Christians the only believers in the whole village decided to pray to Jesus since they had seen on the Jesus movie that He has all authority over the weather. They knelt down on their knees and started praying. In a short time the storm was completely gone and the sky was clear. They started loudly praising the Lord. This event stood as a powerful witness to the community and many came to faith in Christ. Cooperative Outreach of India, May 2001 /// / RAJASTHAN/// Two Christian workers entered a village in India's Rajasthan state and were asked to pray for a man who had been bedridden for 20 years. After praying, the workers left the village with a promise to return the next week. When they came back, the formerly bedridden man walked out to meet them. "I have accepted Jesus Christ with great faith!" he cried. "He has helped me and given me a new life. My whole family believes in him, and we will praise him all our lives!" Praise God for his wonder-working power, which heals both body and spirit. Ask him to mature these new believers and use their testimony to start many more churches in Rajasthan state. Advance, April 1998 /// TAMIL NADU /// Sunder, a pharmacist in Madras, India, grew up as a Brahman and knew nothing of Jesus Christ. At the age of 30, he was diagnosed as suffering from Leukaemia. The doctors saw no hope of recovery, and Sunder was soon unable to leave his bed. Shortly before his expected death, he had an unusual experience: he saw his two white angels carry his spirit out of his body on a sort of stretcher and place him on a table. Lying there, he could see nothing other than a very bright light, and heard a voice say "I am Jesus." That was all. Immediately, he felt his spirit return to his body. He sat upright in his hospital bed and astonished his relatives by proclaiming "Jesus is Lord!" and starting to remove all the needles and pipes from his body. The doctors and his relatives assumed he was delirious and had lost his mind. Sunder, however, insisted that he was healthy and wanted to go home, so the doctors, unable to do anything else, tested his blood again. To their complete surprise, they found no more indications of Leukaemia and could do nothing but release him from hospital. Sunder then decided to become a Christian, married a Christian woman and now lives with his two small children south of Madras. He has not had any relapse since the event and continues to work in a pharmacy. Sadhu Chellappa, August 1995 /// The new Christian, an ex-Hindu, was shocked: his rice field was full of weeds, and he was in danger of becoming the butt of village jokes because his harvest looked so poor. In tears, he went to the Indian missionary Ravikumar Kurapati. "I encouraged him with the Word of God," says Kurapati. "The next day, I went with him to his field, watched by almost the entire village. I took a bucket of fresh water, and prayed. I then asked him to take the water and throw it over his crop. When the harvest time came, he was amazed: he collected an incredible 30 sacks of rice from his narrow strip of land. It also opened the other villagers' eyes to see that Jesus Christ is the true God," says Kurapati, who planted a new church in the village. The newly-saved farmer donated some of his land for the church. Gospel for Asia, October 1996 /// TAMIL NADU/// On 12th October 1996, the Indian evangelist Sadhu Chellappa held a crusade in the previously unreached town of Kandarvakkottai in Tamil Nadu. The pastor of a church-planting project had obtained permission for the event from the local police which was then withdrawn after he and the police chief received threats from the fanatic Hindu RSS party. The event could only take start at 6:30pm after the intervention of a local member of the Legislative Assembly. 1,000 of the town's 6,000 inhabitants came to listen, but the RSS was not so easily put off: they had the seemingly good idea of cutting off the town's electricity supply. They hadn't reckoned that the Christians had brought along a diesel generator able to power the lights and 32 loudspeakers. For the duration of the event, there were no other sources of noise, and the preacher's voice could be heard clearly throughout the town. According to Chellappa, hundreds accepted the gospel that evening. The newly-planted church is now attended by over 150 people. Sadhu Chellappa, October 1996 /// ORISSA/// Lalit from Orissa state was, as he describes himself, "a worldly singer" before contracting a fatal illness. He lay on his death bed for 3 months before seeing a vision of Jesus at around noon one day. "Jesus was carrying something like a rod in his hand, and touched me on my bed. I was healed. I have been serving him since then!", he says. To start with, he became a preacher and tract-distributor with Every Home Crusade. One day, his leader sent him to distribute tracts near Kulpani, which Lalit describes as having many fanatical Hindus. One of the villages to which he was sent was infamous for its Kali-Mandal, a temple to the goddess Kali, to whom human sacrifices are still made today. He hadn't been there long before people started warning him "Babapriest, the head priest, is already searching for you. They want to sacrifice you to Kali. Run away quickly!" Too late - 500 armed men captured the small team, beat them and dragged them to the Kali temple, where the priest was waiting with a large sword. "Deny Jesus and turn to Kali, or Kali will drink your blood today!" They gave Lalit cow dung mixed with water to drink, but he said to his Lord "If I die, I am with you. If I live, I will continue to serve you. My life is in your hand." The priest lifted his sword, but was interrupted by a woman shouting "Let him go. We don't want to see that any more." Other women took up the cry, and Lalit could escape. Today, he is a modern David: when he plays his flute (the 'rod' he saw in Jesus' hand in his vision), people are healed and demons driven out. He and his team of 25 have planted 110 churches since 1992, and have baptised almost 3000 people. Smiling broadly, he says "There are now 3 churches with a total of some 150 members in the Kali-Mandal village now." Lalit Kumar Nayak, December 1997 /// RAJASTHAN/// Dunger is a village on the border between the northern Indian states of Rajastan and Gujarat. A 6-year-old boy drowned there recently and was to be buried later the same day, as is normal in many hot countries. But according to Parthing Matchar, the boy's father, pastor Duad, a Christian called Manu and a number of other members of the Indian Pentecostal Church (IPC) got there first. They prayed in Jesus' name and placed their Bibles symbolically on the child's body. "Then the child opened his eyes, alive. We could find no words to express our feelings as we experienced God's power raising the dead as he did in Acts." KY. Geevarghese, September 1997 /// HIMACHAL PRADESH/// "At first, Randeep didn't want to pray for the girl. She was lying on the ground, possessed by demons, and the Hindu Pujari (witch doctor) wanted money and goats to drive the spirits out. God spoke to Randeep: 'If you don't pray for her, I will ask someone else.' Randeep obeyed, prayed, and the girl was delivered. The people were greatly shocked. The next morning, others came to knock on Randeep's door, to ask him to pray for them as well. Thousands heard the gospel, many people were freed of demons and repented of their sins, and the Christian churches grew. Then came the opposition: Randeep was hung head down over a river with his feet tied together, and was told that he would be drowned if he did not promise to leave the district. He replied, quietly, that they should let the rope down, because he wouldn't leave - but his persecutors decided not to drown him. Instead, they stabbed him in the stomach. He didn't have to go to hospital, though, because Jesus healed him. Randeep's young wife told him 'If you die for the Lord in Kinnaur District, I will raise our son and pray that he will take your place.'" NIHN/Concern, August 1997 /// TAMIL NADU/// Just like a predecessor in the New Testament, a woman in Tamil Nadu state, India, had been suffering from haemorrhaging, reports the mission agency Gospel for Asia. "Her illness was so severe that she was no longer able to work. As she heard that Joseph, a local evangelist, would be preaching in a nearby church, she asked friends to carry her to the meetings on her bed. Joseph noticed the woman as soon as he started preaching. Nothing happened on the first day, but Joseph was filled with joy on the second day as God touched the woman wonderfully. She got up from her bed and jumped for joy. 50 people decided to become Christians that day, and 25 have already been publicly baptised." Gospel for Asia, June 1997 /// RAJASTHAN/// Raju (name changed for his protection) was a newly-saved Christian who listened carefully as his pastor spoke of the healing miracles Jesus performed. Suddenly, the stories became reality for him: he noticed that a tumour from which he suffered was vanishing. His personal experience of how Jesus is healing people today caused his faith to grow in leaps and bounds. A few days later, he passed through a village in Rajastan, where he heard that a local politician belonging to the fanatic Hindu party RSS had just died. Raju offered to pray for the dead man. The dead man's relatives told him to go away, but Raju insisted that Jesus can raise people from the dead. He pushed his way through the people, laid his hands on the dead man's body. As he prayed, the man's hands started to move, frightening the others present. With that, Raju became even more bold: turning to the others, he told them that they must declare that Jesus is Lord and Saviour of all people before he continued to pray. Everyone present did so, and as Raju continued praying, the dead man rose in front of their eyes. As a result, all of the politician's family members decided to become Christians. Other members of the politician's party reported them to the police for breaking the anti-conversion law, which forbids anyone to convert to another religion. When the police arrived to investigate and arrest the accused Christians, they found a prayer meeting. Some of the people present asked the police to wait until after the prayer if they wanted to arrest anyone. The group then went to a nearby pond, where 350 previously orthodox Hindus were baptised in front of the police. "Hey, you really are converting!" said the police, to which the new Christians replied "No, we are already Christians. We are simply taking a holy bath. Surely you can understand that!?" With that, the police left. Rev. Rajamani, Mission Director of the Assemblies of God Churches, May 1997 /// PUNJAB/// The public cheered as a previously mentally ill man was led onto the platform during an evangelistic event at the end of April 1997 in Ferozpur in Punjab state on India's border with Pakistan, reports evangelist Dale Sexauer. The man was known throughout the town, and his illness was so serious that he had been kept on a chain like a wild animal for the last 8 years. The crowd could hardly control their excitement as they saw the man walk onto the stage without his chain, which an assistant was carrying. Jesus Christ became the talk of the town, and Sexauer says that around 50,000 people attended the last event of the 18-day mission. Now, 2 or 3 weeks after the meetings, hundreds of people are still waiting to be baptised. People in the surrounding villages have also become open for the gospel after hearing the reports of the healings. Sexauer reports that over 1,000 people experienced some form of healing or deliverance, including 191 suffering from Polio, 94 deaf and dumb people, 35 with various tumours, 25 blind people, 15 deaf, 14 lame, 12 dumb and another 12 with kidney stones. Dale Sexauer, May 1997 /// UTTAR PRADESH/// Dr. Sam Thomas, head doctor at the Herbertpur Christian Hospital in Dehradun at the foot of the Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, told us of new evangelistic breakthroughs. In the village Andheri, 140km away from the hospital in the almost completely unreached state Himachal Pradesh (with 5.5 million inhabitants and less than 100 known Christians), the head man experienced how his second son was healed by an operation and prayer by Christians. He invited the team to visit his village. A doctor's visit is very exciting for such a remote village, so the news of their arrival spread very quickly. Men from another village in the area brought a severely crippled man, whose legs were set in a sitting position. To bring him to the doctor, they had to carry him over three mountains in a basket. Dr. Thomas examined the man, but the diagnosis was hopeless. He prayed for the man in Jesus' name, and the man was healed in front of their eyes. Since then, a church has been started in Andheri with between 35 and 40 members. 7 churches have been planted in recent years due to the hospital's evangelistic work. Dr. Sam Thomas, February 1997 /// UTTAR PRADESH/// Ramesh, a ex-Hindu, has become a Christian through the hospital's work. "I have been persecuted and avoided, simply because I became a Christian," says Ramesh. He now gets up at 3am every day to pray and ask God what he should do that day. One day, God told him to go to a particular village. Ramesh thought to himself "I've already been there. I'll go to another one." On the way, though, he asked himself "Why should I follow my flesh?", and went to the village God had shown him. When he arrived, he spoke to a woman outside her home, who was interested in the gospel, but her husband came and chased him away. He went on to the next house. The woman followed him secretly, because she suffered from very strong headaches. Ramesh prayed for her in Jesus' name, and simply stated that she was being tormented by a demon, which vanished after prayer, along with the headache. As a result, the woman's husband and many other villagers came to hear what Ramesh had to say about Jesus. According to Dr. Thomas, Ramesh has been able to convince many people to become Christians. Dr. Sam Thomas, February 1997 /// PUNJAB /// He told me almost in passing "Oh yes, last year we experienced how God raised five people from the dead through prayer." 'He' is pastor C.M. Rustam from Ferozpur in Punjab, northern India, close to the border with Pakistan. The hospital in Chandigarh regularly sends people to the church for "prayer treatment" after seeing people healed of tumours and crippled limbs through prayer. Rev.C.M. Rustam, February 1997 /// MUMBAI/// Gracy is married to a Bengali man, and lives in the Bandra district of Bombay. Her life was hard; her husband mistreated her, sometimes beating her daily. One day, he brought home something wrapped in a red cloth and hung it in their apartment, and also hid a silver image of Kali, the goddess of revenge, in the wall. In her desperation, Gracy began attending a Christian church, and one day invited some Christians to pray in her home. They not only prayed, but prophesied: 'Something is hidden in the wall'. They broke through the plaster and found the image of Kali, and also opened the red cloth, which concealed a coconut containing a dry bone - a symbol of black magic. As they prayed, a cooling fan on the table fell over without cause. Some non-Christian neighbours who watched the prayer out of curiosity were very astonished, particularly those who fell down because they could no longer stand. It was clear that Jesus had more power than black magic. New Frontiers, February 1998 /// BIHAR/// The Malto tribe lives in the north of India, in the state of Bihar... It's an area "saturated" with the worship of Satan and hundreds of false gods... A "JESUS" film team approached the Malto tribe. But the resistance was so stiff that they bypassed the area and went on to more receptive villages. A few days later, a 16-year-old girl died in one of the Malto villages... They were about to bury the body when the girl suddenly, miraculously awoke. In stunned disbelief the people [heard her say,] "I went to the place of the dead. But God told me I must come back and tell you about the real God, the true God." Still astonished, the villagers began to ask her, "then who is the true God?" She went on to tell them it was the God proclaimed by the film teams they had turned away. "God has given me seven days to tell as many people as I can that He is real," the girl said. The next day, she sought out and found the film team in another village... For the next seven days, they showed the film to the now receptive Malto villages. (Needless to say, word had spread everywhere about her return from death! ) Before every crowd, she fearlessly proclaimed, "I was dead, but God has sent me back to tell you that this film is about the true and living God... You need to believe in Him." Then, after the seventh day, although physically she appeared fine, she collapsed and died... Hundreds of people who were bound by the chains of Satan turned to the living Christ. As a result, at least six churches were established. Certainly, God was glorified! Paul Eshlemann, JESUS Film Project Newsletter, June 1998 /// TAMIL NADU/// It was going to be a literally hot party in Madras. A Hindu celebration called the Holi festival was scheduled for Sunday, 15 March 1998, including 'holy fire walkers', Hindus who are respected as being particularly holy. To demonstrate their holiness, they walk bare-footed through a 6-meter-long bed of burning coals. The loudspeakers had been blaring Hindu music for the whole week leading up to the festival. In missionary circles, the talk is increasingly of so-called 'power encounters' in which two spiritually very different worlds collide. I had asked the local 'Christian Fellowship' to pray that the truth about the event should become visible, which they did, praying that Jesus would stop the power of the demons hidden behind the Hindu gods' names, so that people would realise what sort of fire they are playing with. At 2pm that Sunday, the flames in the bed of coals were several meters high, and at 5pm, everything was ready for the promised spectacle. Accompanied by the sound of drums, the first of the fire-walkers set off in front of hundreds of spectators. "But hardly had his foot touched the coals, he fell face first into the fire," reports Satsama, a Christian who was watching. "It took 6 men to lift him out. Exactly the same thing happened to the second fire-walker - he also fell into the flames. The others who tried did manage to walk through the fire, but they were screaming with pain as their feet were burned, and left the ceremony very quickly to escape the shame. The spectators left disappointed." Satsama, DAWN Friday Fax, March 1998 /// HIMACHAL PRADESH/// 21 years ago, brother Chacko had a burden and vision for HP. He left the army, and moved with his wife and 7-year-old daughter Mercy to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. They received a cool welcome; nobody wanted to rent them a house, so they spent the first three months in a chicken coop, but rejoiced as they remembered that Jesus was born in a stable. Their work advanced slowly: in March 1980, they baptised 15 people, and 25 more in April. God gave healings, and some possessed people were freed. They also experienced resistance: some people wanted to kill Chacko, but the killers always left without success, complaining that there were always too many people around the house. The Chackos heard the reports through their children, but could not remember having any visitors. It must have been angels. God punished other people who caused them problems, so many people were filled with a fear of God. Today, 350 people have been baptised and 40 sent out as missionaries from this one church, which has become a spiritual center. DAWN Friday Fax, July 1998 /// HIMACHAL PRADESH/// In November 1994, Shakuntala Mathews had a vision telling her to move from Shimla District to Kinnaur. She had a good job in a nearby hospital, and her husband Rev. Mathews had been a deacon until 1992, before becoming an official. She told her husband of her vision, and they prayed together for a sign. Two days later, they received a postcard from a Hindu asking Christians to come to Kinnaur District. Later, Mathews went to the address on the postcard, but has been unable to find the sender to this day. A few weeks later, they were already in Kinnaur. Their son Randeep, then 22 years old, went into the bazaar in Poo, Kinnaur's main town, where he came across a crowd of 500 people standing around a woman rolling around on the ground screaming, as a magician tried to drive a demon out of her. He walked past, thinking that nobody would listen even if he said something. Then he heard a voice speaking to him, saying "Randeep, Randeep, Randeep. If you don't pray for this woman, I will use someone else." As he returned to the woman, he had a vision of her past. 10 paces away from her, he raised his right hand and prayed, and the demon left the woman immediately. Randeep, in front of the woman's parents and the onlookers, then spoke with the woman about her past, astonishing everyone. The following day, many sick people came to the Mathews' house for prayer, from 6 in the morning until 10 at night. Everyone was healed, the local hospital literally emptied. In the last 3 1/2 years, Mathews has baptised 600 people, but the work has only just begun. All of Himachal Pradesh must hear the gospel, and many more churches must be planted. Dr. Alex Abraham, DAWN Friday Fax, July 1998 /// HIMACHAL PRADESH/// We received the following report from a reliable source: "A 4th-grade girl was recently bitten by a venomous snake, and died in hospital despite the doctor's best efforts to keep her alive. The staff left the dead girl's room. A few minutes later, two Christians from a church in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, heard what had happened and went into the room. They prayed for half an hour, calling on Jesus to restore the girl's life. The girl started to breathe, and her life returned. They quickly called the doctor, who was naturally perplexed by what had happened; he removed the venom from the wound on the girl's leg. The girl is now completely healthy. The news spread not only in the local church, but also throughout the hospital." The report continues: "In the Lak valley in northern India, a poor family brought their seriously ill little daughter to the local hospital. The doctors had no idea what to do, and wanted to send the girl to the nearest city for treatment, and told the father that it could cost US$7,000. Sam Chand, the girl's father, was in a desperate situation, because he, like most others in India, had no health insurance. After hearing of his need, the staff of a local mission agency went to the hospital to pray for the girl. God performed a miracle: she is now healthy and has returned home." DAWN Friday Fax, October 1998 /// TAMIL NADU /// "God can do extraordinary things through ordinary people," says David Mohan, pastor of the largest (15,000 members) Assemblies of God church in Madras, India. "Only a few days ago," he told me, "Rani (name changed), an elderly woman, came to tell me something exciting. She only recently decided to follow Jesus, and can neither read nor write. While visiting a Hindu village, she noticed a lot of activity: a pregnant woman was apparently dead after falling into a well. Attempts to resuscitate her, including blowing acrid smoke up her nose, had failed. Rani felt that she may be able to help; she had heard that Jesus had raised people from the dead. Hesitantly, she asked if she could pray; she was given permission, so laid her hands on the lifeless woman and asked Jesus to touch her. As she did so, the pregnant woman opened her eyes, started to move, coughed and sat up. Since then, a large number of people in the village have also decided to follow Jesus." Pastor D. Mohan, Newlife AOG church, April 1999 /// JAMMU & KASHMIR /// "I find Christianity better than other religions," said Bashir Ahmad Shah, an elder in Mamusa, a predominantly Muslim village some 7 miles from Pattan on the road between Srinagar and Jammu. "Christ's teaching contains more honesty, and he preached against the unjust treatment of the poor." The unusual thing about this comment is that it comes from the Kashmir valley: the area around Baramulla in Jammu & Kashmir state has been an important Muslim and Buddhist center for centuries, and there have never been more than a handful of Christians in the valley outside Srinagar . Is the situation changing? According to Law Kumar Mishra, a reporter for the Times of India News Service, Ahmad Shah played a key role in 50 Muslims' decision to become Christians over the last few months. According to the report, Bashir also contacted people from other villages in the area who also decided to become Christians. Ghulam Ahmad Shah, a village doctor with the same name, said that he also supports the spread of Bible teaching, because Christians "are, in comparison, more honest and devoted than followers of other religions," and commented that the inhabitants of the Kashmir valley would gladly accept Christianity, because they do not follow their traditional religions particularly closely. When asked what he thought of the conversions, Shabir Shah, separatist leader and President of the Democratic Freedom Party replied "We shouldn't get so excited about it. Everyone should have the freedom to follow the religion of their choice." Times of India newspaper, March 1999 /// "Signs and wonders happen all the time," reports Kingdom Ministries. In one village, a woman crawled around on her hands and knees, eating grass, just like King Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible. Doctors were unable to help her, and she was generally considered possessed. When A, a church planter, arrived in the village, he explained that he could not help the woman himself, but that Jesus could free her. He prayed for her, and she became normal again, with the result that many of the villagers decided to become Christians. Kingdom Ministries, August 1999 /// // ASSAM /// Rochunga Pudaite, who belongs to the former headhunting Hmar tribe of northern India, is hoping to re-ignite the "Welsh Revival" that took place 100 years ago. Pudaite, founder of Bibles for the World, plans to send 100,000 Living New Testaments to the people of Wales as a "thank you" gift. He says, "It was a Welshman, Watkin Roberts, who was brave enough to come to our headhunting village following the Welsh Revival of 1904, and because of that I also found Christ." Now the transformed tribe wants to minister back to the Welsh people. Today less than 3 percent of the residents in Wales attend church. "In view of this, I felt we had to do something about it, so we are printing these New Testaments with a red Welsh insignia on the cover. We're excited about that! It's our prayer that this will re-ignite the flames of revival in Wales and then spread to England and Scotland and then maybe across the world." Pudaite said the outreach to Wales is the first step in the ministry's new "Billion Bible Campaign" that will be officially announced at the ministry's office in Colorado Springs, Sunday, March 7. CMDNet Weekly Update, February 2004 /// HIMACHAL PRADESH /// We received the following report from a reliable source: "A 4th-grade girl was recently bitten by a venomous snake, and died in hospital despite the doctor's best efforts to keep her alive. The staff left the dead girl's room. A few minutes later, two Christians from a church in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, heard what had happened and went into the room. They prayed for half an hour, calling on Jesus to restore the girl's life. The girl started to breathe, and her life returned. They quickly called the doctor, who was naturally perplexed by what had happened; he removed the venom from the wound on the girl's leg. The girl is now completely healthy. The news spread not only in the local church, but also throughout the hospital." DAWN FridayFax, September 1998 /// "It was a vision of a man in white robes, his face shining and full of glory." The vision that had come in the night was disturbing to 23-year-old Dinesh, a devout Hindu who worshipped Shankar and a host of lesser gods. He felt the vision was important, but he didn't understand its meaning. Then a second vision came. This time he saw a man preparing a place in the open sky, with someone directing him to follow a pathway leading to it through the clouds. As Dinesh thought about the visions he remembered seeing two Christians who had been sharing the Gospel in the village. Dinesh found them and shared his visions, hoping they might be able to help. The two Every Home for Christ workers, David Chhetri and Marcus Masih, eagerly shared the Gospel with Dinesh. They explained to Dinesh that Jesus had been reaching out to him through the visions, inviting him to enter His kingdom in heaven. "My heart was filled with joy!" Dinesh said after meeting the EHC workers. "I started studying the Bible and other Christian literature. Then I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized. Pray for me that I may become an effective witness for Jesus Christ." Every Home for Christ,, November 1998 /// MAHARASHTRA/// A Christian radio program saved the life of a Hindu family in Maharashtra, India. Eknath Shelke planned to kill himself and his family because he was despondent over his poor financial situation, Gospel for Asia said. He had operated a successful clothing company but began to have financial problems because too many people didn't pay their bills. His daily prayers to the Hindu gods at the temple didn't help, so he told his wife he was going to commit suicide. She was also depressed, and agreed to poison their two children so they would not be left as orphans, then commit suicide, Gospel for Asia said. On the day they planned to carry out the plan, their 17-year-old son turned on the radio. At that moment they heard a man say, "Brother, if you are going to commit suicide, stop. Jesus is the way. Don't be disappointed in life, Jesus is inviting you. Cast all your burdens on Jesus, he is the only one who can deliver you from anxiety, poverty, sicknesses, and debts." The couple decided not to go through with the plan, and wrote a letter to the ministry asking for more information about Jesus. In a few weeks, a native missionary from Gospel for Asia came and told them about Jesus. The whole family became Christians and is preparing to be baptized, GFA said. Religion Today, August 1998 /// BIHAR /// Eight families preparing for baptism were branded as traitors for their Christian faith. The village elders aimed their anger at Sanduh, the Christian leader, challenging him to stand on red hot coals for ten minutes. As the villagers watched and the believers prayed, Sanduh calmly stood on the coals for not ten, but 20 minutes. When the God of Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego kept Sanduh's feet from harm, believers broke out in praise. That same day, 47 villagers accepted Christ as Savior and later were baptised. OMS Outreach magazine, July-September 1997 /// PUNJAB /// The One who desires that all men be saved stretched forth His hand of healing to draw 580,000 people to hear the Gospel during our spring crusades in north India. As the Holy Spirit lifted up Christ, multitudes called upon His name for salvation during the three open-air crusades held in the cities of Guru Har Sahai, Faridkot and Moga. Hundreds of people testified publicly of miraculous healings, including 127 who were deaf and/or dumb, many from birth. Most of these were both deaf and dumb; a few had speech impediments. During the same crusades, seventy-six people who had been lame testified that Jesus had touched them. Most of these had suffered from polio, usually from a young age. Some threw away crutches or sticks and began walking unaided for the first time in years. Some were able to stand for the first time in their lives. Several said that their legs were not only lengthened but that their legs and/or feet actually grew in size and became larger, as the Spirit of God made them whole. A number said that their twisted legs had become straight. Sixty-three people testified that the Lord had healed their eyes. Some of these were completely blind; others were blind in one eye or had eye defects. Some had cataracts, which melted away like water. Several who had worn glasses said they were able to read fine print without their glasses. In particular, an unusual healing was that of a boy who said that he had a hole in his neck, where water would run out when he was drinking. During prayer, God sealed up the hole in his neck. You could still see a mark on his neck, where the hole used to be! One day a lady, who had a tumor on her hand, was at home talking with her husband against the crusade in Faridkot. They had attended the crusade and the husband was in favor of it, but his wife was speaking against it. While she was talking, the tumor on her hand instantly vanished! She immediately became a believer and began to tell everyone what had happened. Altogether there were 42 testimonies of healings of tumors/goiters. One man had five tumors, which all disappeared at the same time. One Sikh man said he had heard a voice telling him that he must listen to us that God had given us a message for him. Some people said they saw angels during the meetings on the crusade grounds, and others saw fire coming down upon the field. One night a group of local doctors, who were concerned because their business had plummeted, stood at the foot of the stairs. They were interviewing and examining the ones who gave testimonies of healings, as soon as they walked down from the stage. After discussing it among themselves, they agreed that miracles were indeed happening, and there was nothing they could say against it. In spite of negative newspaper articles, God brought around 275,000 people to the 12-day crusade in Faridkot. There was such a rush of people on the last night who wanted to testify of their healings, that the platform began to break and we had to stop the meeting. The rickshaw that was supposed to take us home also broke, and we rode home in the back of the police truck! One week after leaving Faridkot, when we were in Moga, the Faridkot pastor came and told us that his church had grown from 25 to around 1,400. He said that about 200 people had given testimonies in his church of having been healed at the crusade. One was a man who for 40 years had practiced witchcraft in the city, and was known by many. He gave his heart to the Lord during the crusade, and is now following Christ. In the city of Moga, God gave us great favor with a local businessman. He provided a squad of about 50 young men, armed with bamboo poles and shotguns, to guard the crusade field. One night a group of Hindu fanatics came to disturb the meeting, but after being confronted by our guards, they left in a hurry. However, we do not put our trust in any man, but in the living God, Creator of heaven & earth! US Prayer Track/World Harvest Ministries, May 1998 /// PUNJAB /// Around 122,000 people came to hear the Good News of Christ during the March-April open-air crusades which were held in three small unreached towns in the Punjab state of north India. Thousands called upon the Name of the Lord for salvation. Hundreds testified of miraculous healings, including those who were blind, deaf, dumb, and lame. One (leprosy sufferer) said his sores had dried up. Legs which were skinny because of polio were made whole, and many received deliverance from demons. The largest crusade was the second one, in Sri Hargovindpur, where the crowd reached around 10,000 on the last night. A notable miracle took place on the first night, when a pastor's daughter (known personally to us) who had suffered with polio for many years was instantly made whole. Her foot was crooked, which had caused her to walk with great difficulty, but now she was walking perfectly. On the night of her healing, she could hardly talk, testifying with tears streaming down her face. There was an unusually large number of demonic manifestations which took place every night in Sri Hargovindpur, with demons screaming, people rolling on the ground, shaking and moving uncontrollably. During the crusade, many testified, with smiling faces, that they had been set free from the torment of the demons, and were now experiencing the peace that comes from Christ. One lady said that she had tried to kill her own children because of the demons that had control of her. God revealed Himself to some during the crusade in dreams and visions. One man, who was born totally blind, saw a vision of Jesus feeding the multitudes. In the vision, Jesus came to him and asked, "What would you like Me to do for you?" The man replied that he might receive his sight, and his eyes were opened that night. A lady who could not use her hands had a dream one night in which she was picking up the baby Jesus. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, just as she had heard at the children's meeting during the crusade. When she woke up the next morning, her hands were completely healed. During the three small crusades, there were 55 testimonies given by people who were delivered from evil spirits, 35 who were blind or had serious eye defects, 31 who were deaf and/or dumb, 31 who had tumors, and 26 who were lame. On the last Sunday of the crusade, we had a morning meeting in a village church near Sri Hargovindpur. Hundreds of new believers from the crusade attended the church for the first time. The pastor was so happy, he was jumping up and down during the service! Another pastor had a list of hundreds of people who were healed during the crusade, and was in the process of starting a new church in the city. He was excited that there were so many people of non-Christian background who were now professing Christ. Joel News International, February, 1999 /// RAJASTHAN/// It was past midnight in Rajasthan when Sahib (names have been changed) was awakened by a fervent knocking at the door. Outside, he found a man and woman cradling a dying child in their arms. He knew they needed his prayers. The Hindu couple had pleaded with their gods in vain. The village doctors had also done all they could do, but the little boy kept getting worse. The grieving parents were ready to give up hope when someone remembered there was a Christian in the village who prayed for people. Quickly, the parents ran to find him. Sahib anointed the child with oil and began to pray in the name of Jesus. Then he told the parents to be at peace and to take their child home. The next morning, startling news spread through the village-the child was completely well. "The miracle compelled the child's parents to believe in Jesus," reported EHC Director M.M. Maxton. "Brother Sahib continued to counsel the couple and now they are firm believers in Jesus. They even donated a piece of land for the village Christ Group to build a church upon." Fax of the Apostles, May 1999 /// ORISSA/// Deeply moved by the crucifixion of Christ as depicted in 'Jesus', a Hindu priest in Orissa, India, realized Jesus' sacrifice was sufficient atonement for sin. He burned his idols and asked a pastor to cut off the long braids that identified him as a Hindu holy man. Now he shows 'Jesus' in neighboring villages. Jesus Film, May 1999 /// The stillness of the night was violently shattered by loud, impatient poundings on Raju's front door. The young evangelist awoke from a sleep in an instant, his heart pounding. As he quickly made his way to the door, Raju wondered if the local Hindu fundamentalist had come for him at last. He had spent the entire day sharing the Gospel with many in the area; and a few believers had gathered together in the evening for prayer. And now, with this incessant beating on his door at midnight, Raju couldn't help but expect to encounter a crowd that was ready to retaliate. As he pulled the latch back and opened the door, he was surprised to see only two people---the village Hindu priest and his wife. They looked anxious, but Raju calmly and politely invited them in and served them tea. Did you have some men praying with you earlier tonight? The priest queried. Surprised, Raju admitted that he had been praying with several believers earlier that evening. "Then it is true!" the man exclaimed. "What is true?" The priest explained, "Just a half hour ago, I woke up from a dream. I saw four witch doctors, fully armed with deadly weapons, headed for your house. These men were ready to destroy you. But as soon as they tried to enter your compound," the man continued, "an amazing thing happened! As each of the witch doctors put their foot forward, they were pushed back by some unseen force. They panicked as they realized they were up against a higher power. It was useless to try any further, and they finally fled into the night." As Raju listened in amazement, wondering what to make of the dream, the priest continued. "I woke up and could no longer sleep. I believe your God is the only true God. My wife and I are here because we want you to baptize us as soon as you can." Later, after asking around, Raju learned from the villagers that everything the priest had seen in his dream had actually taken place that night. It was such an encouragement for Raju to realize the protection of the Lord on his life. He greatly rejoiced when he found that the priest and his wife were sincere in their decision to give up their old life and follow Jesus only. Their conversion became a significant testimony for the Lord to the entire community! Gospel for Asia, January-February 1999 /// GUJARAT/// Sukarbhai, a great sorcerer had great influence over the villagers in Gujarat. The villagers were afraid of him because he had power to bring sickness on people and had power to heal the sick. Every Home Crusade workers faced opposition as they began sharing the Good news in that village. One day Sukarbhai became very ill but discovered that he had no power to heal himself. The EHC team approached the sorcerer and told him about Jesus and His healing power and they fasted and prayed for him in Jesus' name. Praise God that Sukarbhai was healed and immediately left all his magic, sorcerer and wicked ways. One day he committed his life to Christ completely and his family followed his step of faith and villagers also started coming to the Bible studies led by the EHC team. India Mail, March 2000 /// MANIPUR/// More than 1,500 members of the Mao tribe in Manipur state professed faith in Christ during a three-day visit by five American missionaries in March. Manipur is in eastern India on the Myanmar border. The missionaries held evangelistic meetings and services in Mao churches, Brent Knapton of Houston-based Window of Opportunity told Religion Today. About 5,000 people attended the daily meetings held in a large field, and 2,000 attended the church services, he said. About 900 people received dental and other medical care....The Mao were challenged to forsake spirit worship to follow Jesus Christ. "We didn't make it easy on them," Knapton said. "We told them that they must totally renounce their old religions and that they would face persecution. We weren't interested in having a large response, but [were interested in] the eternal destiny of each person." ...Scores of Mao reported being cured of physical ailments after receiving prayer, said team member William Lau, a veteran missionary and pastor. He told hundreds of Mao believers that God wanted to empower them to preach and to perform miracles in His name. He prayed for those who asked to receive God's power and told them to pray for the sick, resulting in many healings, he said. ...An error in timing resulted in 17 Indian Army officers becoming Christians. Manipur is restricted for travel by outsiders because of tribal wars and rebel activity, and the team's visit was limited to certain days, Knapton said. When the missionaries arrived at the airport a day early, a squad of airport security soldiers threatened to keep them in jail overnight....A medical missionary offered to give the soldiers dental checkups if they would let them stay in a hotel. The team held a clinic for them and other airport security personnel the next morning, and 16 Hindus and one Muslim professed faith in Christ and received Bibles, Knapton said. When they returned the next week a guard told Knapton that he was reading the Bible every night and was happy to be a Christian, he said....The team's visit is an answer to prayer for a small number of Mao who have been asking God to bring a spiritual revival, Knapton said. Church leaders, including Lorho Pfozhe, a prominent physician, have fasted, prayed, confessed sins, and established retreats where Christians can pray, he said. ...Knapton had made several trips to other regions of India and felt God was calling him to go to Manipur, but "everybody I talked to told me it was impossible to go there," he said. ...In a series of "divine coincidences," Knapton met Pfozhe, who took his application papers to state officials. The application was denied, but Pfozhe appealed until it reached the state's second-highest official, who is a Christian. He approved the application and, in an unprecedented move, agreed to let them travel into the mountainous area to visit the Mao village, Knapton said. Additional trips are scheduled for later this year and coming years, he said. ...It has been a slow awakening for the Mao. American Baptist missionaries William and Elizabeth Pettigrew brought the Gospel to them in 1894, but most rejected it, Lau said. Mao who converted did so "just to get the material blessings from the Lord" that they saw other tribes that converted to Christianity enjoy, Lau said. Tribal elders who were not Christians were appointed pastors and, because they lacked solid Bible teaching, "their Christianity became just another thread in the fabric of their animistic culture." Window of Opportunity, April 2000 /// We received the following report from a reliable source: "A 4th-grade girl was recently bitten by a venomous snake, and died in hospital despite the doctor's best efforts to keep her alive. The staff left the dead girl's room. A few minutes later, two Christians from a church in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, heard what had happened and went into the room. They prayed for half an hour, calling on Jesus to restore the girl's life. The girl started to breathe, and her life returned. They quickly called the doctor, who was naturally perplexed by what had happened; he removed the venom from the wound on the girl's leg. The girl is now completely healthy. The news spread not only in the local church, but also throughout the hospital." DAWN FridayFax, October 1998 /// "It was a vision of a man in white robes, his face shining and full of glory." The vision that had come in the night was disturbing to 23-year-old Dinesh, a devout Hindu who worshipped Shankar and a host of lesser gods. He felt the vision was important, but he didn't understand its meaning. Then a second vision came. This time he saw a man preparing a place in the open sky, with someone directing him to follow a pathway leading to it through the clouds. As Dinesh thought about the visions he remembered seeing two Christians who had been sharing the Gospel in the village. Dinesh found them and shared his visions, hoping they might be able to help. The two Every Home for Christ workers, David Chhetri and Marcus Masih, eagerly shared the Gospel with Dinesh. They explained to Dinesh that Jesus had been reaching out to him through the visions, inviting him to enter His kingdom in heaven. "My heart was filled with joy!" Dinesh said after meeting the EHC workers. "I started studying the Bible and other Christian literature. Then I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized. Pray for me that I may become an effective witness for Jesus Christ." EHC's gospel outreach in India has helped point millions of people to Christ. More than 461 million EHC gospel booklets have been distributed in India, reaching every home two times. Including Dinesh, 6,836,381 people have responded to the Gospel and 20,209 village fellowships called Christ Groups have been formed. Fax of the Apostles, November 1998 /// Prasad Shiva, a well-known Indian artist and Hindu, had agreed to illustrate Mark's gospel for a children's Bible. While reading the text, he was so gripped by the message that he decided to become a Christian. In spite of the anger of some family members over his decision, his mother and two brothers have also decided to become Christians. They are now working together to illustrate the gospel. Advance Newsletter, August 1998 /// / RAJASTHAN/// Workers were raising a church building in India's Rajasthan state, where less than one in 1,000 knows Jesus as Lord, when electrical power to the site was cut off deliberately. As believers prayed, power went out in the rest of the village as well, and a heavenly light appeared over the new church building. Astounded villagers were told about Jesus, the Light of the World, and many turned to Christ. Rejoice in God's power to glorify his name and draw people to Christ. Pray for the sweep of God's spirit across Rajasthan state. Advance, September-October 1998 /// RAJASTHAN/// A Hindu businessman in India's Maharashtra state was despondent because of financial problems. Daily prayers to Hindu gods at the temple failed to help, so he and his wife planned to poison their children and commit suicide. On the day they were to execute their plan, their son turned on the radio. They heard a voice say: "Brother, if you are going to commit suicide, stop. Jesus is the way. ... He is the only one who can deliver you from anxiety, poverty, sicknesses, and debts." The family wrote to the ministry and asked for more information. When a worker came and told them about Jesus, the whole family accepted Christ. Praise God for rescuing this family from destruction. Ask him to preserve them and mature them in the faith. Pray they will lead many in their community to Christ. Advance, September-October 1998 /// MAHARASHTRA/// A native missionary in Maharashtra, India, has led 105 people to Christ. Savita is a former Buddhist who became a Christian after a missionary prayed for her to recover from an illness, Gospel for Asia said. "Jesus, you are the living God. If you heal me, I will commit myself to serve you for the rest of my life," Savita prayed. Since then, she has established one church and three mission stations in a rural area. She prays for the sick, encourages new believers, and relates the story of God's work in her life to residents of 10 villages. Ten people were baptized recently after becoming Christians through her ministry. Her goal is to convert enough people in each village so a new church can be established in each one, Gospel for Asia said. Religion Today, September 1998 /// HIMACHAL PRADESH/// We received the following report from a reliable source: "A 4th-Grade girl was recently bitten by a venomous snake, and died in hospital despite the doctor's best efforts to keep her alive. The staff left the dead girl's room. A few minutes later, two Christians from a church in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, heard what had happened and went into the room. They prayed for half an hour, calling on Jesus to restore the girl's life. The girl started to breathe, and her life returned. They quickly called the doctor, who was naturally perplexed by what had happened; he removed the venom from the wound on the girl's leg. The girl is now completely healthy. The news spread not only in the hospital, but also throughout the local church." Friday Fax, October 1998 /// ORISSA/// On the morning of October 29, 1999, a terrible storm that had been developing for several days over the Bay of Bengal headed toward the coast of India. Meteorologists proclaimed it the largest storm of the century and gave it status as a "Super Cyclone". The storm hit land over the coast of the state of Orissa. Winds of up to 300 km/hour (185 mph) smashed into thousands of exposed coastal villages. Because most of the people are very poor and live in simple homes made of mud and straw, thousands were instantly killed and had no chance of surviving the onslaught. Tall trees were snapped in half like match sticks. Some parents, fearing the worst, tied their children to the ground with ropes in the hope they would not blow away. The sound of the wind was so loud that it was described to us as "like standing directly behind the engines of a jumbo jet." Soon after, tidal waves 35-feet high started crashing through the villages, drowning everything that the wind had failed to destroy. Thousands of villages were smashed to pieces during the two-day onslaught. When the storm finally subsided the true impact of the damage was revealed. A stretch of coastline 400 km (250 miles) long and up to 100 km (62 miles) inland had been affected. The lives of as many as 14 million people had been severely hampered. Later figures revealed about 60,000 Orissans were killed. Everywhere human and animal corpses lay strewn about in the fields, or stuck in tree branches where they had been washed by the huge waves. For those living nearest the ocean, only a great miracle could save their lives. When we visited Orissa after the storm, we were told some remarkable stories of God's protection. /// In the village of Batiagon in Jagatsinghpur District, just 4 km from the sea, there were just two buildings made of concrete: a church and a rich man's house. The rest of the buildings were straw and clay. People rushed into the two buildings for shelter. About 300 people, both Christians and non-Christians, jammed into the church. They cried out to the Lord for His protection. At around 11 a.m., a massive tidal wave 30 feet high slammed into the village, instantly destroying the shacks and sweeping away the rich man's house. Witnesses inside the church say the wave seemed to split and go around both sides of the building. All 300 people who had taken shelter inside the church survived. Just a few hundred yards away was a village named Dhobei. Every inhabitant of Dhobei was swept away to the sea except one 14-year-old boy named Sania, who somehow managed to survive. On the other side of Batiagon was a village called Bartola where just 14 people survived. All the people in Batiagon village confessed that God had graciously saved their lives. The Hindus declared they would never again oppose Christianity. After the storm, many of the secular newspapers and magazines in this part of India wrote that this calamity was the judgment of God on the State for the killing of Graham Staines and his two sons. The people feel they have experienced the awesome wrath of the Almighty God and many are humbled, especially as the rescue and aid efforts for the survivors were once again spearheaded by Christian organizations. Churches all over the state report growing numbers of inquirers and more of an openness to the Gospel than before. Through this disaster and the loving response of the Christians a clear witness has been given about both the holiness and righteousness of God, as well as His love and grace for all those who will humbly call on His Name. Asia Harvest, November 1999 /// .......................000000000

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