It’s that time again. We sit down on our couch ready to skype back to India. We take a moment every Sunday to switch our minds from Mission Aviation Fellowship Arnhem Land to the ‘Help the Needy’ Mission (HTN) congregation back in India. It’s always such a blessing for us to see God causing the evangelical work of HTN to flourish. We skype every week to share God’s Word with a house congregation there and to encourage them.
Prabhu started HTN in 2012 before he joined MAF and it’s been a part of his life ever since. The purpose of HTN? The vision is to share the gospel around the world. However, for now, there is a team of 40 people in India with seven full-time staff in the office. These people bring Jesus to Hindu villages through their many activities whilst encouraging the local churches. Prayer fuels the mission in India, as they head out to bring Jesus to places that are home to radical Hindus, and we fear for their safety.
With God on their side, the HTN team are always working towards reaching people in remote villages as well as supporting and encouraging local pastors. Some of the activities they use to achieve this are:
- Regular youth meetings
- Children's Bible courses
- Medical camps (A day of giving out free medicine & appointments to those who can't afford it.)
- Prayer (Regularly receiving urgent prayer requests, the team faithfully pray daily for as many as they can.)
- Festivals that last up to three days. (Well-known preachers and singers come to share Gods Word.)
One of the activities they use to ensure people hear about Jesus is by holding open-air meetings. With just a few chairs or maybe a mat on the ground, people will gather around as the HTN preachers set up a projector and sound system, curious to see what’s happening. On the dusty ground, more people will gather as the music starts to blast. Every meeting feels like an extreme party with the loudness of the music! Often, not many people will show up to sit with everyone else, but you’ll see people peeking from their windows and rooftops as the Jesus film starts to play. We only hope and pray that all who hear the commotion will have the seeds of the gospel sown.
Prem, one of the HTN team members, reassured us there is a huge impact that our activities have that we don’t even know about. One starry night, as the sounds of the Jesus film blasted through the village, Prem wandered away from the crowd. He was on the lookout for the privacy of a tree since there were no toilets available. As he approached some bushes, he was startled to find someone lurking in the trees. There peering through the coconut trees at him, was one of the village men. He quickly asked Prem, “What are you doing here?” His voice was anxious. Prem calmly explained that they were playing a movie about God and they wanted to share about Jesus. Seizing the moment, Prem explained to this man who Jesus is. The man realised that Prem didn’t live in the village. With relief, the man explained, “Oh! I thought you were one of the sons of the man who owns this coconut field”. After being sure that Prem was not a threat to him, he confessed “I am a thief, I came here to steal.”
Upon waking every morning, the man would break a coconut before his god as a sacrifice so that his god would protect him from being caught stealing. “Maybe I could believe in your god, Jesus, if He can protect me from being caught.” The thief reasoned. “If your god is good, then you can pray for me and He can protect me from being caught while I steal.” “Jesus doesn’t protect you from being caught while stealing, but He saves you from sins.” Prem replied. After plenty of explanation about who Jesus is and how He can save us, the thief’s mind started to open up to God. Prem had the opportunity to lead this man in a prayer of confession. After the prayer the man looked at Prem and said “The people of my village need to hear about this good God too. Please come to my village and share.”
The Lord works in mysterious ways. This statement is very true! Who would think that walking through the dark to find an appropriate tree would end in leading someone in a prayer of confession?!
Regularly, these brothers will go into villages evangelising, villages that are dangerous for them to be in as Christians. Although they put themselves at risk, they see the importance of sharing their life saving, world changing God, Jesus. They risk their own lives just to make more stories like this one! They work to bring others to know about Christ while also seeking to encourage the growth of other Christians. They water the seeds already planted and sprouting.
As we handed her a Bible, she couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down her face. We didn’t understand. She had come first in the Bible quiz that we had put together for this youth meeting. We often give Christian literature as the prize for first place. Today, it happened to be a Bible.
With tears still rolling down her face and the Bible tightly held in her hands she explained why this was so important. “I do not have my own Bible and I don’t have any money to buy one. All I could hope is to win one.” This young girl had heard about the youth meeting that was happening. She had been told that there are challenges and prizes. She thought, “Maybe if I can win, I can get a Bible.” She prayed in her heart that this could happen, that she could win a Bible somehow. Now here she stood, Bible in hand, seeing an amazing answer to her prayers.” God answered her prayer through the HTN team. We saw in this story that God uses what we consider a normal act to encourage, actually answer prayer and grow faith.
We can see the amazing work God is doing in India and that it is essential.
We are committed to being regularly involved in the work of HTN and the activities of the surrounding churches in that area. Using the benefits of Skype to fellowship, encourage and share the Word of God with both believers and Hindus, we truly believe and feel our calling is to share Jesus, through our ministry, HTN India and through MAF. We feel the endless joy of seeing God work through these ministries to further His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.
Prabhu & Christina | Day 31 GC3 Daily Prayer Guide