Today I traveled with Ebey Samuel and pastor Rajesh Udham to a few rural villages outside of Varanasi. They are the mission fields of some of the church-planting pastors whom Heaven’s Family is helping. The citizens of those villages are the poorest of the poor, the lowest of India’s castes, known as the Dalits, perhaps better known as the Untouchables. They live in homes with dirt floors.
It was at one of those homes that we met with our first Dalit congregation of the day. It consisted of about fifteen women, all wearing brightly-colored saris, and their small children. They explained that their husbands and older sons lived elsewhere in cities where they could find work. All of the women had converted to Christ from Hinduism. While they sat on the ground together, their pastor led them in prayer and worship, and then Ebey shared the Word. Twice during his message it began to rain, but no one moved. I thought about how rich they will be in heaven.
As our day progressed, we visited with three other Heaven’s Family-assisted pastors and some of their converts who lived in similar primitive settings. Then we took all four pastors with us to the nearest city and I bought them bicycles (using money from our Mobilize a Minister Fund, now merged with our National Missionary Fund), a possession they could have only dreamed of. They’ll be using those bicycles to take the gospel further.
Below are some photos from the day to better tell the story.