India (MNN) — Ro and Mawii Pudaite of Bibles for the World had the joy of witnessing the baptism of 25 new Orthodox Hindu converts on their recent trip to India.
The converts were a part of the largely unreached Meitei people. There are 1.5 million Meitei and conversion often means separation from their families. "When we first began, every single convert was thrown out of their homes. So, one of our pastors bought a large piece of land and he let them stay- all of those displaced people that were thrown out," said Mawii Pudaite.
The orthodox Hinduism has nearly 300 years of history among the people. Accordign to their beliefs, anyone outside their religion is unclean. Therefore, evangelism was extremely difficult.
"Even in the marketplace, when you buy their things they will not touch your hand to give you the change for the purchase that you've made. They will put it on a piece of
paper and hand it to you," said Pudaite.
Years ago, when a translation of the New Testament became available in the Meitei's language, Bibles for the World provided 500,000 copies to the Meitei people. "The good
seed was sewn and we're beginning to see the harvest. It's very, very exciting,"
The new Meitei believers are cultivators and settled in a new community. Bibles for the World has placed a Meitei speaking pastor and an evangelist in the community.
There have been 12 small churches planted among the Meitei by native evangelists.