Simple Church

Image of Christian couple in IndiaDurti and Tamu, both in their early 30s, but just one-year-old in Christ. Their story follows…

Simple Church

David’s 2nd Blog from North India

Dear Family,

I am looking forward to the day when the first question that Christians ask each other when they first meet is, “In what country does your national missionary work?”

Every Christian in the world who can afford to spend $25 at Chick-Fil-A each month ought to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to support an indigenous missionary who is making disciples among unreached people. When you do that, you get part of the credit for their fruit. Plus, you lay up treasure in heaven that includes people who will be there, in part, because of you. And at the same time, you get to show your love for Jesus by caring for the “least of these,” because most national missionaries and their families live on just a few hundred dollars a month. To help someone like that is an opportunity that is almost too good to be true!

Today I was again reminded of these things when we visited a church planted by a native Indian missionary. Our American team is now in another region of North India, in the state of West Bengal, and we’re not too far from the borders of Nepal and Bhutan. The church we visited was planted in a tiny rural village nestled among some tea farms by a native missionary who shares the gospel door to door. One day he came to the door of Tamu and Durti, who were having problems. Their two children were ill. Their marriage was in a crisis. Tamu had been drinking the local brew more and more. His lifelong quest to find meaning to life had come up empty. He had sacrificed many chickens to the Hindu gods, but from what he could tell, those gods had done nothing for him in return.

The native missionary, however, told them about a God whom they had never heard of, claiming He was the only true God and the one who created everything. He prayed for them and their children in the name of that God. After he left, Tamu and Durti noticed that their children were no longer sick, and they felt a strange peace in their household and in their relationship. When the native missionary returned, they were all ears!

They spent some time counting the cost of becoming followers of Jesus, as they knew they would face rejection by their Hindu family and friends. But they finally decided that gaining Jesus was worth losing anything else. That was one year ago. Today our team listened to Tamu tell his story before his beaming wife and a fledgling congregation that has no building or pews, but that meets in the dirt yard of one of the church member’s wooden shacks that they call home. Church members sit on the ground on large woven mats. All total, the church consist of three young families and one older widow. All are former Hindus. Here’s a photo of most of the congregation, minus a few of the children, during worship today:

Image of small church in IndiaThat small pile in the front is the church offering. I noticed it consisted not only of gifts of money, but also small bags of rice. To the rear is one of the congregants’ homes, and to the right is the kitchen building.

“How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:14-15). That third step is where we can jump in.

If you would like to sponsor a national missionary each month (for any amount), here’s a link that will facilitate that. If you would like to sponsor one whom we’ve met in North India during this trip, email Jerry Jefferson, who is our team leader and who directs Heaven’s Family’s National Missionary Ministry.

Below are a few of my favorite photos from the past few days with captions. Thanks for joining me on this journey. More blogs to follow!

David Servant's signature

David Servant
Founder, Heaven’s Family

Image of children in IndiaWhen I was a pastor, I always appreciated the people who sat in the first row…

Image of woman reading the BibleGasp! The pastor asked one of the women to read to everyone from the Bible! (I would have reported him to the bishop, but there is no bishop!)

Image of Tamu and Durti and their two childrenTamu and Durti have two beautiful children, one of whom was not happy to have her photo taken by the scary man with white skin and hair.

Image of well in IndiaOne of the Heaven’s Family clean-water well projects that we visited a couple of days ago that has made many villagers healthier because they are no longer drinking contaminated water every day. This well also reduced the persecution being suffered by the new church that has recently been planted nearby.

Image of women with sewing machinesHere’s our team visiting a women’s sewing project (notice the treadle sewing machines behind us, and in front of the women). Our team members on this trip are Brenae, Micaela, Todd, myself, and Jerry. You may have noticed from this photo that we have the “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” thing mastered (at least, the biblical version). That is what happens in God’s kingdom!

Image of child in IndiaThis cute little girl is named Sanjana. She has no opportunity to attend school, but through a monthly sponsor who gives to Heaven’s Family’s Education Ministry, Sanjana attends a daily afternoon child development program at a church in her village. If you want to sponsor a child’s education, contact Elisabeth Walker, the director of our Education Ministry.

Image of baptism in IndiaWe watched 18 new believers be baptized a few days ago in a rooftop baptismal tank. I love the look of anticipation on this sister’s face.

Image of child in IndiaIf you ever have an opportunity to play poker against this person, I recommend that you pass. She’s the one-year-old daughter of our Christian hosts here in West Bengal.

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