|Several hundreds of believers stand to rededicate their lives to |
bold witness at one of the services yesterday morning.
I arrived here in Bangalore on Saturday morning for a time of ministry on two fronts: one to the Indian local church and the other to the global church leadership.
On Sunday morning I ministered in three services at Rose of Sharon Assemblies of God Church pastored by Rev. Jeya Kumar. God worked in wonderful ways allowing me the privilege of praying with nearly sixty people to receive Jesus Christ into their lives for the first time as Lord and Savior. Myriads of others prayed to rededicate their lives to active witness for Christ as they live their faith out loud.
Maha Kumbh Mela
|My Sunday morning hosts, pastor Jeya Kumar, 2nd left, |
with his family and associate pastor, left
Last year during our mission in Tamil Nadu, I had the privilege of speaking to over seventy thousand people, believers and non-believers alike, gathered for a prayer meeting organized by pastor Mohan C. Lazarus. As the evangelist for the occasion, I was privileged to lead more than half of the audience in the prayer of repentance and salvation.
It occurred to me as I preached yesterday, that in spite of this commitment to prayer for the church, India remains largely a pagan nation. Only two out of every one hundred people have heard of Jesus Christ. With India set to overtake China as the world's most populous nation in the next fifteen years, the minimal reach by the church spells a dwindling effect for the church's global influence.
|Close to seventy thousand attend last year's prayer gathering |
during our mission in Tamil Nadu, South India
The three rivers are the river of authentic, credible, prayer-packed Christian faith fuelled by collective devotion, the second is the river of bold, loving and Holy Spirit-fuelled witness informed by cultural sensitivity, and the third river is that of the church's attention to technology and the arts (right attention to globalization and globalizing forces). These three combined with the massive populations of unreached peoples form the right recipe for a future of Spiritual revival and Christian Maha Kumbh Mela. A future spiritual confluence that could see millions and possibly a billion Hindus entering the holy waters of baptism. Wouldn't be awesome if the confluence of the Gangis and the Yamuna became the sight of the baptism?
Pastor Jeya Kumar, a doctoral student, agreed requesting if he may in fact use this analysis as introduction to his dissertation on Church planting in this state of Karnataka. "Definitely!"... I said.
Starting Monday, 350 Christian leaders from 83 different nations are gathered here to pray for our world and to strategize for global evangelistic impact. As I wait for the start of the conference I have had the privilege to interact with a number of very choice brothers and sisters that God is using in multiple arenas around the world.
My two-day roommate is a gentleman by the name Major Dr. Luke. Luke is a former Major in the Indian army who took an early retirement so that he can serve as Bible School President for a small Seminary with 200 students in Karala. We have had great prayer times together every evening and morning the last couple days and I am very blessed by His testimony.
Another gentleman I met Saturday evening participating in the Lausanne Leadership consultation is Ram Gidoomal, a businessman from the United Kingdom and author of the book Sari and Chips. Like me he was born and raised in Kenya. But later his family relocated to the United Kingdom. While in Kenya, his family was a leading Hindu family. His grandfather, a successful businessman, sponsored the building of majority of the Hindu temples around Nairobi.
But Ram met Jesus while in the United Kingdom and today he has a ministry spanning several nations. God has greatly blessed him and his work around the world and also given him influence in London. He once ran to be mayor of London.
Ram's story inspires me for two simple reasons: In Kenya where I grew up, it was unimaginable to see an Indian person who is a Christian. Then one time in 1994 at a church service in my then home church of Nairobi Pentecostal Church, a visiting speaker from the United kingdom spoke of reaching Hindus with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was the first time I had heard somebody talk about reaching Hindus with the love of Christ.
For me it was the beginning of my journey to India that manifests itself today in the partnerships that our ministry has today here in India helping us reach thousands of Hindu people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Incredibly, that speaker was Ram Gidoomal.