South Asia (MNN) — A young pastor in South Asia is still recovering after being beaten on a roadside for his faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
Gospel For Asia pastor Jethu Monin was walking to church last Sunday when extremists surrounded him. "He was attacked by some anti-Christian extremists–those who are opposed to the Gospel and opposed to anything else besides their country religions–and they beat him very severely," explains GFA's Danny Punnose.
This was not the first time that Jethu was attacked, and it probably will not be the last.
The 25-year-old pastor recently graduated from Bible college but already has faced severe persecution for his faith. Surprisingly, Jethu says he can see why. He used to be one of them. For most of his life, Jethu followed the traditional religion of the area, too, despite the fact that his gods and goddesses seemed to care little about his problems. When a Bible college student told him about the love of Christ, though, his life was transformed.
Since then, Jethu has been harassed even by his parents. Many people seem to be fearful of a once-faithful follower of their religion converting to Christianity. This is so much the case, in fact, that Jethu and his parents–who eventually began to follow Christ as well–were expelled from their village.
Persecution is to be expected as a GFA pastor. As pastors work their way through Bible college, they take an oath essentially pledging that they are willing to die for the cause of Christ. Throughout their training, GFA students recognize that Scripture confirms that persecution and Gospel-movement often go hand-in-hand.
"It's not just going to Bible college to get a degree. This is, ‘I'm training myself so that God can use me so that I can lay down my life so that other people can come to Christ,'" says Punnose of the GFA training. "So this brother being persecuted: he's expecting that."
Expecting the persecution, however, doesn't make it easy. Jethu is still recovering from his injuries. Nonetheless, he has not grown discouraged in his faith and will undoubtedly continue to serve even those who hate him.
"I can guarantee that he'll be going right back to the same place to share the Gospel with them," confirms Punnose. "And sometimes the people who did the persecution are the very ones who come to Christ the soonest." Pray that Jethu's persecutors would indeed be transformed by the power of the Gospel.
Jethu is one of many GFA pastors willing to be persecuted and even to die for the sake of the Gospel. These faithful believers are spreading Christ's love throughout Asia, and nothing will get in their way. These missionaries do, however, need funding to make headway in their ministries. You can sponsor one of these dedicated pastors for less than a dollar a day. Visit www.gfa.org to become a part of the Gospel movement in Asia.