Bomb blasts put church planter under suspicion

By May 19, 2008

India (MNN) — Serial terror
blasts in Rajasthan's city of Jaipur last week claimed 61 lives. A little-known militant Muslim group is
claiming responsibility and appears to have used bicycles in the bombings. 

Dave Stravers who heads up Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India says
one of their project coordinators fell under suspicion. He
was preparing to train a class of 10 church planters.

Each church planter is provided
with a bicycle, along with Bibles and materials, to help them travel from
village to village during their two years of training. The bicycles are a key part of the ministry. "Pastor
Samuel had gone to purchase bicycles from a bicycle shop, and because he was
purchasing 10 bicycles all at once, somebody got suspicious and called the

Stravers goes on to say, "The police arrested him, and he found himself
under rather intense interrogation regarding what he was doing with the
bicycles. The fact that he's a religious worker made them even more

Police have also released a
sketch of a man in his early 20s who is suspected of buying the bicycles and
have questioned nearly a dozen people.

Though no charges were filed,
authorities escorted the pastor to his home and went through his papers,
questioning him about his ministry work near Jaipur.

Stravers says he's now under scrutiny, which could complicate ministry. "We
purchase about a thousand bicycles a year for our church planters. The church planters we train plant, on
average, two churches per year."  

Despite the anti-conversion laws in Rajasthan, their teams will remain
evangelistically active. "The authorities have felt a need to try
to put a damper on this because they see what's happening with so many people
becoming Christians for the first time, and they're sensing the open spiritual

Pray for other Christians
doing ministry work in the region, where just 0.1% are followers of Jesus.




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