Orissa’s believers demand rights while the church moves forward

By April 3, 2009

India (MNN) — Orissa's
Christians are calling for the withdrawal of all anti-conversion laws and banning of re-conversion.

Shaken by the violent attacks of
recent months and by the lack of concern for their security, Christians formed "People for People." According to the Times of India, this group
developed a charter of demands that will be distributed across the city and to
candidates in the run up to the polls.

Quick compensation for victims of
communal violence and punishment for remarks against communities have also been
demanded. Parties have also been asked to ensure security for all communities.

Dave Stravers is with Grand
Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India. He
says, of all of their ministries that have suffered from persecution in the
recent months,  "The Children's
Bible Clubs are pretty innocuous from the point of view of the Hindu
extremists. Although we have had a few cases where an extremist came into a
community and forced the club to shut down, really this is very unusual.  The families like the clubs." 

Mission India
provides in-depth training and materials for their indigenous ministry partners and volunteer club leaders and
materials. They're able to reach
children at five different age levels through 22 Indian languages.

Children's Bible Clubs are introduced
in a community through a 10-day program. In the clubs, children learn new
songs, skits, and games, listen to Bible stories, memorize Scripture, learn to
pray to Jesus, and most importantly, discover a loving Savior.

At the end of the Children's Bible
Club, ministry partners report back on the results. Many children in Children's
Bible Clubs make a decision to follow Jesus. Stravers says, "Children make the
best evangelists." Through their
natural enthusiasm, many of these children bring their parents to Christ. 

Bible Clubs have made a huge difference in the lives of
children. Every year, new
churches grow out of Children's Bible Clubs. Stravers shares the story
of one child. "He went to the club,
learned about Jesus, and made a commitment. 
Within two years, he was teaching the clubs. He started his own ministry, and today, he's
the head of a denomination of 1200 churches."  

In spite of persecution and what
can be an oppressive atmosphere, Stravers says there's a plan for growth. "We're praying this year that we'll be
able to do even more clubs than we have in the past. So I'm asking listeners
to pray that all the children who would like to be in these clubs
would be able to participate this year."

It costs just $1 to introduce an
Indian boy or girl to Jesus through a Children's Bible Club. Click here if you can help.

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