The pastor in the photo above, Pervez Lal Ratan, was afflicted with polio as a baby. His legs became useless, and he never walked. As a child and young man, he used a hand-propelled bicycle or two crutches to get around.
When Pervez was 16 years old, however, a Christian man told him that God would heal him. Although he was a Hindu, he started attending a church and learning for the first time in his life about Jesus. He believed. And he started gaining strength in his legs. Today, he walks everywhere he goes without need of crutches, or he rides his motorcycle.
Pervez Lal is a pastor and church planter, and has set his heart on planting churches in 61 villages found in his remote region of India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh. So far he has succeeded in winning Hindus to Jesus in 37 of those villages, and he and the leaders whom he has raised up are discipling them all!
After arriving today in Varanasi—Indian’s most holy Hindu city—I was blessed to teach at a gathering of about 25 church-planting pastors that included Pervez Lal, as well as 10 who are sponsored by Heaven’s Family through our National Missionaries Fund. All of them are successful self-supported pastors. So our $35 monthly sponsorship, administrated though the ministry of Serve India Ministries—founded by my Indian friend, seasoned and respected leader Ebenezer Samuel—is used for the monthly training they receive and for expenses they incur planting new churches.
After my teaching, four of the pastors at the meeting shared their testimonies. All were former Hindus. All came to the Lord because of miracles—either healings or deliverances from demons. All had won many others to the Lord. And all were busy planting more churches among those who had never heard of Jesus. It was like listening to stories right out of the book of Acts. By the end of the day, I was doing spiritual backflips! Below are a few of their portraits.
Tomorrow I’ll be traveling for three hours by road to visit some of those same pastors, who returned home this evening, at their mission fields. I can’t wait!