Saints gather at one of churches in Chhattisgarh
The core mission of India Connection is to Reach the Unreached and Teach the Untaught. India is home to over half of the world’s unreached people groups; tens of millions of precious souls have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ. Some of the pastors of our 100+ congregations have to translate the gospel into the local language before they can preach. By the grace of God, people are hearing the good news and getting saved every day.
The testimonies of God’s faithfulness in the lives of our pastors and their families bring hope to our hearts, while the struggles they face keep us on our knees praying for their churches.
These men and their flocks do not ask us for help paying the bills; they rely on the Lord to provide their daily bread and meet the needs of their church family. However, India Connection has at times been a bridge that enables saints in America to equip the church in India by helping to fund big projects that would be beyond the means of an individual church.
Another way we help is by providing the opportunity for pastors and their families to meet and support each other. At our annual conference, pastors get fed with the Word and deepen their relationships with each other and the Lord. We know first-hand that “Iron sharpens iron”, and “a three-cord knot is not easily broken.“
India Connection also provides ministry training for the next generation of leaders at the Koinonia College of Theology. It is so important that we continue to raise godly leaders who are passionate to reach their generation with solid Biblical theology.
Raising Godly Leaders
All this work is done under the guidance of Pastor Joseph Hiwale. Our people call him Bishop in honor of the role he and his wife Vishranti play in counseling, instructing and praying with the pastors, professors and other caregivers of India Connection.
For this article, Pastor Joseph shared a couple recent praise reports from the field that illustrate how God is overcoming all the challenges we face. He is bringing light to the dark places of India!
A Christmas Miracle
And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Luke 12:42-44 ESV
When Pastors Ray and Ben visited Pastor Arvind several years ago, his flock was holding their services in a barn. Every Sunday morning, Pastor Arvind woke up early to shovel manure out of the stalls so the church could meet. They worshipped in secret, using no musical instruments and keeping the doors and windows shut despite the intense heat.
The threats and dangers that Arvind and many other pastors face are the same today, but he is bold and courageous and willing to die for the gospel. He prays, then goes out and preaches.Christmas Celebration!
Arvind recently wrote to Pastor Joseph with a praise report about a Christmas event his church had hosted. Christmas is a perfect opportunity to share the gospel because, while there is resistance to the event, it is more muted during the Christian holiday.
Arvind writes, “Over 700 Hindus and Muslims came to the Christmas Celebration service where Gospel was presented and 370 prayed to receive the Lord into their heart. Also 100 children came who were presented the gospel and many of them prayed to receive the Lord.”
“We give all the glory to Jesus. Would you please pray that these newly born children of God will hold on to the Word they received and it will flourish in their lives.”
How can you help?
Do you or your church group want to support men like Arvind in this vitally important work? Here’s an idea: A few years ago Pastor Joseph gave Pastor Arvind his motorcycle, which has enabled him to plant three additional churches in the area. You can equip a pastor with a small motorcycle for just $2,500. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
A Solid FoundationWhen the team of Pastors Ray, and Ben, Dana Colbert., Doug Proietti. and Tom Sluberski first visited Pastor Bhalerao in Kumbephal 14 years ago it was a village of squatters with no defined streets, where open sewers ran past mud-walled shacks with roofs made of hay.
The village became the site of the first church that India Connection ever built in India. It is still being used today. While we were helping to erect the Kumbephal Church, we also built a one-room house for Pastor Bhalerao with walls and floor made of mud.
In the years since the Lord has blessed and grown Pastor Bhalerao’s ministry. He has planted four more churches in the slums around Kumbephal and now regularly visits them, walking or sometimes taking a bus to shepherd churches in a 50 mile radius.
As the village grew people built houses all around his property. As a result, his house is now at the lowest point on the whole street and water is flowing into it, causing it to deteriorate.
India Connection recently shared these pictures with our supporters and together we raised $2,500.00 to put in a cement foundation and bring it up so that it is level with the other houses, and then added cement walls. Thank you, saints!
Building the Church
Pastor Dev Paul is a graduate of Koinonia College of Theology who is now pastoring a church. His flock has been growing steadily as more and more people get saved and are added to the church.
They currently worship in a rental facility when it’s available; when it’s not they just gather outside. They recently purchased a plot of land for a church building and they are praying and waiting on the Lord for the funds needed to build a small church building. He asks that we pray for his flock and the need to see this small church building built.
In the background is a small rural church similar to what Pastor Dev Paul seeks to build
Pastor Dev Paul’s church is one of several India Connection congregations that have the land they need but as yet lack the funding to begin construction. Churches in rural villages like this cost around $15,000. You can make a gift to India Connection and designate it to be used for this purpose. Interested? Contact us!
The elders of Dev Paul’s church
We are grateful for the privilege we have to serve the Lord in India. We love you and we thank you. for all you do!