Southern Asia (MNN) – Bibles for the World (BFTW) is moving forward this year with a new project in Southern Asia.
BFTW is an organization that partners with local Christians and other local organizations to spread the Gospel through Bible distribution and Bible training and by providing other basic resources.
Now, BFTW aims to develop partners in other countries in Southern Asia. In one country, BFTW has adopted five formerly unreached people groups.
Barriers for BFTW
One major barrier to reaching these groups is that Western missionaries are not always accepted or allowed in certain locations or countries. Still, by partnering with local Christians, BFTW is able to spread the message of God’s Word.
President and CEO of BFTW John Pudaite says, “For our Indian missionaries and our Indian teams, [they] have a lot more free-access. They are able to do a lot of things that Western Missionaries wouldn’t be able to do in that country.”
A second barrier is the anti-conversation laws of many South Asian countries.
These laws dictate that a person may follow any religion they choose but many never convert to another religion. This means that many people in those countries are not legally allowed to convert to another religion other than the one they were born into or the religion they followed when the law was passed.
This can make it dangerous for new Christians and Christian missionaries working in the region.
Pudaite says, “Certainly in some countries in the region [these Christians] are experiencing push-back. They are experiencing persecution and opposition; some of it comes to the light of day and some of it happens beneath the surface.”
He adds, “This is where we really try to make sure that our national Christians and our national partners are educated in the laws and what are their limits… We encourage them to be as bold as possible within those limits.”
India and Nepal
BFTW has seen success in working with local Christians and local partners in India, and other South Asian countries. It has helped plant over 300 churches and has over 10,000 children attending Christian schools in India alone.
Pudaite says, “This has been really exciting to be able to encourage the Church in India to send missionaries… In the end, if we have to leave for whatever reason whether as a western mission or even as an Indian missionary, you have a strong local body of believers you’re building up.”
In Nepal, BFTW has partnered with 14 Nepali Christians who are now planting churches in their country and spreading God’s Word.
Working together with national partners and encouraging the local Church growth in these countries enables BFTW to step forward into new countries to reach new people groups. It hopes to continue to see growth as local partners meet to discuss overcoming barriers in reaching these unreached people groups.
How to Get Involved
Bibles for China asks for prayers as they move forward in this region.
“We really have taken a leap of faith… there are geographic obstacles to reaching [these people] and political obstacles as well… The UUPGs (Unengaged and Unreached People Groups) around the world still remain unengaged and unreached for a reason… we have to try to find ways to overcome these barriers,” Pudaite says.
They also ask for prayers for persecuted believers in Southern Asia, specifically in the countries they work in. Pray that these believers stay strong in the Gospel and that others may hear God’s Word through new partnerships.
Click here to learn more about donating to BFTW.
Header photo courtesy of BFTW via Facebook.