From “Untouchables” to King’s Children
David’s 1st Blog from North India
Greetings from an undisclosed region of North India. I can’t reveal our exact location because it could put members of our spiritual family in danger of more persecution from their Hindu neighbors. But Heaven’s Family, through its various ministries, has been working here for at least ten years. Myself and several staff members are visiting for a few days and checking up on projects (that some of you made possible!).
You’ve probably heard of India’s caste system. Although it has been essentially eradicated in Southern India due to hundreds of years of Christian influence that began with the arrival of the apostle Thomas (yes, “doubting Thomas”) in the first century, the caste system still dominates North India where Hinduism holds sway.
There are hundreds of caste levels into which people are born, and from which they can never escape. Those who are born into lower castes understand that they are being repaid for sins committed in their previous life, while upper caste people know that they are being repaid for their goodness in their previous life. Those higher caste people also know that they should not relieve any of the sufferings of the lower caste people lest they work against the justice of the Hindu gods and prevent lower caste people from being reincarnated into better lives during the next cycle of life. That is one reason that Hinduism is compassionless.
Heaven’s Family has been partnering with a church-planting missionary here whom God called from the Christian South to the unreached north 14 years ago. The state in which he serves is the least-reached of all of India’s states, with less than 1/10th of 1% of the population identifying as Christian. Over the past 14 years, through his efforts and those of the men whom he has trained in his small Bible School, 320 new churches have been planted. The goal is to plant 5,000 churches in 5,000 villages that currently have no Christian witness and where many people have never once heard the name of Jesus.
Heaven’s Family has been helping to open hearts here through well-drilling projects, COVID relief, national missionary support, bicycles and motorcycles for those missionaries, job and skills training, widow empowerment, and more. I learned today that Heaven’s Family’s Safe Water Ministry has funded 107 water wells in this region over the past 9 years. Our partner here tells us that all these ministries have helped to swell the new churches.
Today our team visited one of those 320 new churches in a rural village. The church was planted only 4 years ago, but it already consists of 80 new creations in Christ! Four years ago, all 80 of those folks were Hindu. Their new water well is 400 feet deep, and it is their only local source of safe water. They could have never afforded to drill it themselves.
The special church gathering held today in the late afternoon was attended by mostly women and children because all of their husbands were out laboring in the fields and elsewhere. But we heard the testimonies of about 7 women and 1 man, all of whom had come to faith in Christ through experiencing healing miracles, either for themselves or their children. It was electrifying.
All of them were members of the lowest caste, often referred to in India as the “untouchables.” One of the jobs reserved only for them is to collect cow and buffalo dung and shape it into cakes for drying, so it can be sold as fuel for cooking fires. I was blessed to watch all four of our team members touch the “untouchables” at the end of the special church service, as they laid hands on and prayed for those who requested prayer.
Below are a few photos from the day with captions. More to come in future blogs over the next few days. To receive periodic Heaven’s Family staff blogs by email, click here.
Founder, Heaven’s Family