(MNN) — "The vast majority of people who are in non-Christian faiths
don't know, personally, a Christian." It's what makes an indigenous ministry
critical to reaching the lost in India.
However, that's been complicated by a push toward an Indian
Hindu state. Eight states now have
anti-conversion legislation either on the books or in process. The rise in anti-Christian sentiment has put
quite a lot of pressure on outreach efforts.
AMG International's Paul Jenks says they've taken
evangelistic ads out in periodicals as a creative answer to the pressure.
"It has to be through some other media that they hear the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. We've found the newspaper evangelism very effective because faith comes
by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. The person who is able to read the newspaper, obviously, has the
literacy skills to be able to study God's Word."
A newspaper or magazine will get into places that traditional missionaries will never go. It can spread a message more efficiently, more concisely, and faster than a non-relationship interaction could.
In fact, Jenks relates: "I recall personally handing out tracts in New York City. But for
some, showing interest in a tract was too public, too embarrassing, too
confrontational. Hundreds of tracts quickly ended up in a gutter or sewer line.
Not so with newspaper evangelism. The Holy Spirit can engage an interest while
everyone else in the room (or on the street corner) takes no special notice.
After all, everyone reads magazines and newspapers."
AMG is focused on Andhra Pradesh's Telagu readers. The photo above shows cards from
readers asking for more information following a campaign in India. Some
wanted a Bible Correspondence Course. Others simply had a question.
"When we respond to those who write in," Jenks
notes, "we send the material out in such a way that it wouldn't bring
undue attention to the recipient. Then they can read the material in the
privacy of their home or in a place where they feel safe. And many times
the Lord speaks to them through the written word."