India (MNN) — The congregation member told Pastor Kamal over the phone that they had seen orange flags tied around the church. Pastor Kamal went to the church that night and found the saffron cloth tied around the church and a nearby cross. One of the church windows was shattered and the chairs inside were all destroyed.
Pastor Kamal works with Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India. They recently received word of the vandalism case.
Mission India’s Erik* explains the significance of the saffron: “They wrapped everything in the church with a saffron cloth, which is a specific kind of orange that ties into the Hindu fundamentalist movement, where they’d rather see the nation of India be 100 percent Hindu. From time-to-time, this happens.
“We’re thankful no one was hurt, but it definitely was something that had a threatening undertone and it was discouraging to Pastor Kamal as he’s tries to serve his local community.”
According to The Joshua Project, 81.5 percent of India’s population embraces Hinduism. The percentage of Indians who profess Christ only make up around two percent of the population.
But the more lost people there are in a community, the more witnessing opportunities there are to share the love and truth of Jesus Christ.
Mission India has multiple programs that engage people with the Gospel in India, including adult literacy classes and Children’s Bible Clubs. Erik says, “Those are all in place because it’s a way to not only educate boys and girls and adults to improve their literacy rates, but it’s also an opportunity for us to go in there and help them socially, which then leads to conversations about Jesus.”
For Pastor Kamal, he started out leading a Children’s Bible Club with Mission India before the church had even been planted.
As Pastor Kamal and the other Children’s Bible Club leaders started conversations with the kids about Jesus, it spread to the parents and families as well. Often, leaders will meet with the families, pray for their needs, and make it a holistic ministry effort.
“A lot of [the children] are not believers,” Erik says of typical Children’s Bible Club attendees. “There are some, but a lot of them are not, just because statistically the nation of India is Hindu-based.”
Ultimately, the Great Commission for Pastor Kamal and other ministry partners with Mission India doesn’t change, says Erik. “Our partners are trained and their hearts are filled with the love of Jesus, so they’re going to just go on loving people.”
Please lift up Pastor Kamal, the other believers, and the community in prayer today:
“We’re just praying that Pastor Kamal is encouraged by his congregation and also by our prayers…. Pray for the safety of Pastor Kamal and the believers in the area he serves, and also that he wouldn’t be discouraged,” Erik asks.
“Pray for those who vandalized the church, that they would come to know Jesus, and that they would become part of Pastor Kamal’s congregation!”
If you’d like to support Pastor Kamal and other Christians in India carrying out Children’s Bible Clubs, click here!
And be sure to mark your calendars for this December. Mission India will have a Children’s Bible Club match, where every dollar given will be doubled. Typically, $1 sends one child to the Children’s Bible Club, but in December, $1 will support two kids’ participation in this outreach!
*Name changed for security purposes.