Joining God’s Work in India and Nepal
Wednesday, April, 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM | by asmith
On March 11th, Doug McElvy, Mark Anderson, Rick Dobbs and I began the 10,000 mile journey to India. We rendezvoused with our treasured partner Nazir Masih and began a 1500 mile excursion in the northwestern sector of India. Our First Baptist Family has joined the Lord in facilitating an indigenous church-planting movement by funding the construction of church facilities. Nazir has networked over 150,000 believers and he has carefully crafted a systematic program for establishing churches. We dedicated FBC-sponsored churches #9, #10, and #11 to build the Body of Christ in an area where there are less than 1% Christian believers. All 11 of the churches are thriving and self-sustaining. Additionally, we identified the leaders and locations for FBC Montgomery-sponsored Churches # 12, #13, and #14!
As we dedicated the churches, we shared the Gospel along the way. We rejoiced in seeing 35-40 new believers embrace Jesus Christ. India suffers from a terrible worldview framed in Hinduism. The transforming truth of Christ truly sets the captives free.
In addition to dedicating the churches and seeing new believers enter God’s forever family, we conducted a two-day pastors’ conference in Amritsar, which sits on the border of Pakistan. Around 70 pastors came, and we shared eight biblical models for becoming God’s Kingdom leader. God used this rich time to build His Body and train those who will in turn train others.
Another highlight moment was a Saturday evening house church experience that could be called “Secret Church on Steroids!” The neighborhood we entered at dusk reeked with a horrific smell. But, when we arrived at the believers’ home, it was filled with the fragrant aroma of worship. After cordial greetings and the universal custom of sharing of food, we ascended to the rooftop of this small home, where three generations of people live. Around 50 people began to sing and pray on the rooftop under a full moon on the border of Pakistan. We shared testimonies, and I took warm slices of Philippians 4 and served it to our hungry friends like life-giving food.
Our journey culminated in Kathmandu, Nepal, where we met with seven of our IMB missionaries. Our teammates are skillfully piercing the darkness with a laser-like focus on reaching the hidden people groups of Nepal. They estimate that there are over 5,000 churches and over 900,000 Christ-followers in the region. God is doing a mighty work fueled by our faithful support. We waved at Mt. Everest as we headed west and returned to Sweet Home Alabama. We traveled over 22,000 miles and rejoice in exchanging our temporary earthly resources to make a massive eternal difference!