After working underground in India, Christian leader back in the U-S

By February 1, 2007

USA (MNN) — It was about a year ago that Bishop M-A Thomas the founder of Hopegivers International traveled to Rajasthan, India, into a firestorm of anti-Christian activity that forced both Thomas and his son Samuel, the president of the organization, into hiding.

Much of that was forgotten, for a moment for a moment at least, as Bishop M-A Thomas was given permission by authorities in India to return to the United States. In an exclusive interview with Mission Network News Thomas relayed this message. "Thanks to everyone of your listeners who prayed for us and accept our special word of thanks and especially the government officials, including the President, and
every God's child who helped us and supported us."

Thomas told MNN that he was grateful for the prayers because both men were tracked down like dogs as a $30,000 bounty was placed on their heads by Hindu nationalists. Thomas says, "They wanted me to be killed. The offer came in the newspaper, not simply saying it verbally. (They) also gave our
information to every state government."

That forced them to travel only by car because people were looking for them at train stations, airports, and every check-point in the country.

The other part of the story is all of their licenses for their schools, orphanages, hospital and Bible schools were revoked.  They were later reinstated, but that coupled with mounting legal bills for defense themselves on trumped up charges has the ministry in deep financial crisis. They need between three and five million dollars to fix the damage. 

Bishop MA says the trumped up changes have forced them to go all the way to the Supreme Court to clear their names. "Going to the Supreme Court in India, one day appearance, we had to pay almost $10,000.  When we go to the High Court it won't be less than $4,000." That's not even talking about their ministry needs.

The senior Thomas was only granted permission to spend 20 days in the U-S, after which he will return to India. He's praying his son will also be allowed to travel home to see his family.

Thomas is thankful that despite the oppression they've faced, people came to Christ. Pray that their testimony will continue to see spiritual fruit and that they'll receive the funding needed to not only to defend themselves in court, but to fund ministry.

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