India (MNN) — Andhra Pradesh has been nicknamed an “emerging hotbed of anti-Christian violence” by World Watch Monitor.
Far Corners Missions ministers in the area.
Today it is the state with the highest anti-Christian incident rate in India. These attacks often target pastors and their families. Andhra Pradesh is also neighbored by many states enforcing “anti-conversion” laws. And there’s no telling how long Andhra Pradesh will remain operating without a similar law.
However, growing violence and opposition isn’t stunting the growth of Christianity in India. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Far Corners Missions began their Vision 25 campaign earlier this year. Their goal is to reach 1250 unreached villages on the Central East Coast of India with the Gospel by 2025.
To do this, Far Corners needs to have the ability to train more pastors at their Word of Life Bible Training Center.
In order to train more pastors, they needed more room to house them. So in January, Far Corners began raising funds to build another floor on their student dormitories.
Gary Bishop of Far Corners shares, “Within a few months, we had all the money that was needed to completely pay for the dorm expansion, so God blessed that step of faith and the desire to plant those churches in an amazing way.”
The ministry is now down to the finishing touches.
Word of Life focuses on training men to plant churches and engage a village in practical ways. Their curriculum is very similar to Bible courses in the West. However, the students in India also have the opportunity to practice their preaching at churches in the evenings.
Bishop says, “This is preparation for these young men to go to unreached villages. That is a village where there are no known Christians and no one is planning to plant a church there.”
The students are given helpful courses to equip them with useful skills. The classes teach first aid, small appliance repair, electrical wiring, and driving.
Bishop says, “Almost 100% of the villages that our guys go to will be villages without any kind of medical help at all.” He continues to explain that in the poorest villages, anyone who has a broken appliance will throw it away rather than try to repair it. Learning electrical wiring will help pastors set up solar-powered lighting that will allow for more working, studying, and security in the daily lives of the villagers.
“These four courses give them a step in the direction of credibility in a village where they’re going, where it will be largely Hindu people,” Bishop says.
Before Vision 25, Word of Life could only train 50 men, 25 each from the freshmen and sophomore classes.
But this fall, Word of Life will be able to welcome 15 more men to learn how to plant churches.
“We have some additional young men ready to go, and we’re excited for what that means for the Kingdom in India,” Bishop says.
Far Corners Missions provides for all the needs of the students while they take classes. For the low cost of $65 a month, all their expenses are covered.
Click here and select “India – Teach” to help this project financially, or call 800-550-0035.
When you partner with a student at Word of Life, Bishop says, “It’s a really personal connection.” You have the opportunity to be a prayer partner with him, and you will receive updates on how he is doing every quarter of the school year.
Bishop asks for your prayers that Word of Life will be able to handle the extra students as they continue to grow.
Also ask God to strengthen His servants in India despite the hardships they face on a daily basis.