India (MNN) — Persecution abounds in India. Christmas violence in 2007 and 2008 in Orissa State continues to affect believers. Today, at least 4,000 believers are still unable to return to their home villages because of death threats, and most are totally homeless after the government shut down the refugee camps where they were living. There had even been violence and a bomb attack in the camps themselves.
In nearby Andhra Pradesh, hardline Hindus are concerned that the state could turn entirely Christian since so many people are coming to Christ. That fear is causing tension, and many believe violence is imminent.
However, that tension isn't stopping the work of Pastor Singh in the city of Vijayawada. Brother Singh has a vision. "[Our vision is] to reach 1,000 children in the slums and on the streets — destitute people. And also, [we want] to plant as many churches in the region. Already, we have 30 churches planted and we are looking forward to planting thousands more."
Brother Singh contacted E3 Partners for help them with training. When he called E3 Partners, he found that E3 Partners Al Wilson was already in India — not only in India, but in Brother Singh's home state.
Wilson interviewed Brother Singh at a restaurant. Brother Singh explains the rest. "I don't know what happened, but that night, they thought about it, and early the next day they said to me, 'We want to bring a team to you.'"
In early December, E3 Partners took a team to Vijayawada. "They were led into the villages where there were no churches. Almost 500 people were led to the Lord."
But the story doesn't end there. Brother Singh says despite being tired from hosting the team, local church leaders decided to hold Christmas campaigns in three areas of the city. "First, 150 people came. [The] second day, more than 200 people came, and the third day, almost 500 people. So, we see hundreds are responding to the Gospel and giving their lives to Jesus."
Singh is excited about what God is doing. "The Spirit of God is strongly motivating the new believers, and we are discipling them. And, [they] are starting a small group where ever they are."
Singh says they'll be providing Bibles, encouragement, and getting together with them once a week in discipleship.
Pray that these new believers will grow in their faith, that they'll be bold in their witness, and that many more people will come to know Christ as a result.