India (MNN) — Only ten percent of India's Christian population live in northern India. That is the target of Bright Hope International's new church planter training facility.
Currently, a matching grant is available to help build the center. Every dollar contributed to the building of the facilities will be matched with two more dollars. $170,000 is needed, and funding is due by December 31.
Leaders who are trained at this center will be sent into Uttar Pradesh to plant churches and do development work. They will go out as social workers, community development workers and teachers to start transformational communities.
"We are planning to reach the poor and marginalized, to start economic development programs and also help the marginalized families, especially the children. One third of the
world's malnourished children live in India," said Bright Hope's Isaac Shaw.
The facilities will be built on land already purchased in an urban area. The urban location will prevent backlash from anyone in opposition, but, Shaw says, there is a challenge
and opportunity: "The Hindu philosophy and eastern religion is exported from the north. It has remained traditionally resistant to the Gospel."
The north is the seedbed for Hinduism and eastern religion. Hinduism is riddled with the caste system. "The caste system is a very convenient way of abdicating any social responsibility toward the poor. This is where the church comes in and is an example of a loving, caring community that is entrusted in transforming the life of others," said Shaw.
The ministry currently is operating out of a six-room building, and they are already seeing results. "We have already had our first training program there. We have had our first four baptisms of Hindu converts. We have started a church there. We are already meeting with the community that is around there. People
are coming to us, and we are going and building bridges and friendships."
The new building is necessary to build infrastructure as well as leadership within the community.