India (CAM/ MNN) — While the rise of a Hindu nationalist party is raising red flags for some believers, others have cause to rejoice. Their joy comes as a result of the Gospel’s influence on local authorities.
“Before, there was no road to enter the village. We had to cut through the forest path to reach this place,” explained *Dayaram, a native missionary helped by Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions.
“But once the Gospel was being preached, local leaders were able to approach the authorities and apply for the construction of roads.”
The church leaders’ application was approved, and now a small access road is being built through the forest. Hard surfacing of the road will be done later this year.
“Very soon this village will have proper roads, and transportation will become easier. We praise and thank the Lord for the new church,” says Dayaram.
Dayaram and his wife first made the arduous trek to this remote mountain village in 2012. The couple traveled the first four miles of the journey by motorbike, and then set off on a rigorous hike. They walked down a mountain, waded through a river, climbed another mountain, and meandered through the forest for another hour.
When the new road to the village is finished, Dayaram and his wife will be able to visit more frequently–and in a fraction of the travel time. Best of all, the village church can now serve as a beacon of light to neighboring communities, directing people down the “narrow path” that ends at the foot of the cross of Christ.
Pray that this new road will help the Gospel advance in West Bengal.
It’s been a long time coming
After first arriving at the village, Dayaram befriended some of the community’s 50 families and found them to be very receptive to the Word of God. For eight months he made numerous trips there, even venturing out during the rainy season.
By October of that year, 13 people had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and were asking to be baptized. Even the local government leader received Christ!
Since no church existed in the area, the people assembled for worship and prayer in a room in one family’s house. The growing community of believers needed a larger place to gather. One family donated a small plot of land, 100 feet long by 50 feet wide. Other individuals felled trees in the woods and offered them as a contribution to the project.
Construction started in the fall of 2012 and progressed slowly as funds became available. Finally the long-awaited day came on November 14, 2013, when the community gathered to celebrate the dedication of their new church.
There are currently 11 families worshiping in the church, and the little wooden structure on the hillside may eventually need to be expanded. Eager to spread the Good News, the believers have become powerful witnesses for Christ among their own friends and neighbors.
“Many more new areas are being targeted for church construction and for spreading the Gospel,” says the director of a church-planting ministry assisted by Christian Aid.
“Please pray that we will be able to work vigorously for the building of the kingdom of God.”
Christian Aid donors helped provide funding for several of the 150+ small churches started by indigenous missionaries like Dayaram. They have also assisted the ministry’s Bible school, where Dayaram and his wife received their training.
*name changed for security reasons