India (MNN) — It started in 2000. Eastside Faith Center decided that they wanted to begin talks on remodeling their building. The committee came up with a plan inspired by Philippians 4:2- “Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others.” They decided they wanted to build a long term relationship where they could provide more than a building but spiritual encouragement as well.
They contacted India Partners who connected them with a pastor who directs the ministry in building rural churches. The pastor recommended a congregation in a Dalit village who had no meeting place of their own.
Eastside began taking offerings which were generous and were able to complete the church building in January 2002. It was shocking for us to see how far a dollar goes in India, and what a good investment it is to invest in the people there. It’s not charity; it’s an investment. We don’t do it out of pity. In the Kingdom economy, it’s good business.”
Since then, Eastside has sent dental teams to the village. They have also sent lay people to make reading glasses, and others who trained pastors using life journals. They are currently building the parsonage and this summer’s offerings will cover the secure compound wall and a bridge over a canal nearby.
Their work has helped expand the reach of the Gospel by helping a church plant get on its feet. Their goal is to see the church grow and to reproduce itself in other villages.
India Partners has plenty of ideas for how you and your congregation can get involved. Visiting a church, raising money through an alternative gift fair, adopting your own sister church, and sponsoring a village pastor are just a few. For more information on any of these contact India Partners.