In reference to false gods Deuteronomy 12:3 begins, “Break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars…” Last month I had the privilege of traveling and teaching with a dear friend and man of God who is fulfilling this biblical mandate across southern India. [For the sake of caution, I’ve elected not to share his name]
The first thing a Christian will notice when arriving in India is the pervasive “thirst” for spiritual answers. The entire culture is spiritually starved, like an emaciated child, willing to take even the sparest or most grotesque spiritual food, for some sense of relief.
The hillsides teem with 80-foot stone monoliths of gods and goddesses few westerners will ever name. Every street-side village sells demonic masks to ward off “visitors” from the netherworld. Shamans parade the city streets, sheepishly taking money from their disillusioned wards, well aware they offer zero spiritual vitality.
Yet amidst it all, like an ocean undercurrent stretching 2,000 years, spreads the growing Christian church. Even since the 2014 opposition against non-hindu religions due to the supposed western “underpinnings” Christianity continues to expand. Like a beautiful and healthy body, she’s exponentially reproducing herself in large crusades, backwater streets, and the most intimate of village huts…
Where ten years ago there were rickshaws there are now motorcycles… Thousands and thousands of motorcycles… and on many of them rests a sticker, like the machine’s own tattoo or badge of honor, a form of identifier not only about the individual who rides the vessel but about their family and business as well… The sticker is of Christ’s cross and the insignia reads:
“Jesus is Lord!”
Over my ten days in India I met the pastors who work on the ground-floor and visited the churches that started with six people and now overflow their doors. I was invited to worship on Sunday, with brothers and sisters who kneel for 5 hours in bare feet. I was able to join the crusades where tens of thousands travel for hours by buggy, truck, or rail, to hear the thunder of expository preaching straight through the book of Revelation. I was blessed to pray with the mother’s and their children who struggle with learning disabilities and spiritual warfare.
India is another beautiful example of how the Spirit of God breathes eternal life into the most thirsty of lands. If you are missionary minded, I ask you reflect on the words of Amy Carmichael following her arrival in India to work with orphans…
“We have given so much, yet not the one thing that counts; we aspire so high, and fall so low; we suffer so much, but so seldom with Christ; we have done so much and so little will remain; we have known Christ in part, and have so effectively barricaded our hearts against His mighty love, which surely He must yearn to give His disciples above all people.”
At Mission Bible Church we plan to continue our ministry in India along with works in Asia, Africa, and South America. If you are called today to support this ministry, please commit HERE.