Now we work with more than over one hundred pastors and help equip and encourage them to share the Gospel throughout each area. In Odisha state many Christians are being persecuted and Hindus are burning down their houses and church buildings. There are so many villages and so many people who need to hear the Good News! Many of the villagers are very poor and are in need of basic necessities. It is our prayer that God will meet their needs spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Most of the people in India are Hindus and need someone to come tell them about Jesus and teach them His Word. We desire to see those who are saved take the Gospel to their families, friends, and villages so we can see more and more people come to Christ [Mark 5:18-20].
There are several obstacles to reaching the various villages for Christ. Geography, weather, languages, funds, etc. cause some difficulties. Many of the villages are remote and must be reached by foot. Sometimes pastors will walk six hours or more to reach them. Traveling to some of the villages can also be expensive because sometimes pastors must go by bus, taxi, bike, and then foot. Another obstacle is not everyone speaks the same language in Tribal Agency and Odisha. Pastors sometimes must rely on others to translate from one language to another.
Meeting together can be challenging for the new believers. They often meet at a house and have limited room. This can be a challenge as they invite their families and friends to come and hear about God’s Word when the space is limited. Sometimes people stand outside even in the rain to hear. Other times people will meet under tents [pandals] to listen. Some of the believers who do have a church building worship in a tiled building made of mud or grass. When the rain comes, the building floods and the rain still falls on the people gathered.