Changing India’s heart, one kid at a time…

By June 5, 2006

India (MNN)–India contains one fourth (412 million) of the 1.6 billion people on earth who never heard the Gospel.

It’s a mission field that has drawn many agencies to commit to longterm evangelistic vision. But not everyone is happy to see their vision.

That often results in harassment, oppression and ongoing persecution. In fact, over recent years, mission activity has faced the adoption of anti-conversion laws at least six Indian states.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India keeps an eye on the ministry trends in India.

Mission India’s John DeVries says today, there’s virtually no area free from persecution. He believes that the trouble is God’s way of scattering the church to spread Gospel into previously closed areas.

At Mission India, they’re often heard to say, “First we pray, then we work.” One way they’re responding is through their Children’s Bible Club program.

He explains, “We provide training and curriculum for 11-hundred indigenous Indian missions, averaging about four million children in the club program during their summer vacation.” Teachers are trained in craft ideas, puppetry, games, Scripture storytelling techniques and class management.

Teachers are given workbooks in their regional language, cassettes of original songs, teacher’s manuals, posters and name badges. Students receive workbooks and ID tags.

Clubs are often held in places where children cannot attend school, and it becomes a very special event in their lives. DeVries says, “Out of that, we usually get around four to five thousand daily clubs, and these daily clubs then become churches.”

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