From Hiding to becoming a Thriving Part of the House Church Network
Born into a Hindu community, SOM India church planter spent many years without knowing the power of Jesus’ name. His family of origin was clouded for decades by death. Of nine children born, six died due to illness and dark circumstances. His mother was a village Hindu prophetess who proclaimed her divinity. Yet despite hours of chanting Hindu prophecies, she was not able to revive any of her six dead children.
When his next brother became ill, the family was in despair. His suffering increased, and his body weakened, and they felt there must be a better way. A mysterious man from another village came and prayed only a short prayer in the name of Jesus, and Jesus miraculously healed the brother. He responded to faith in 2016.
Growing in Faith and Surviving Attack
As a new believer in Jesus Christ, he began to follow Jesus’ calling to love the Lord and others. In the spring of 2021, he attended the SOM India church planting school and graduated. He began sharing Christ in an area where militants oppressed and tyrannized the people.
Over the last year, the militants have come to his area, destroyed homes, burned Bibles, and forced Christians to leave. “I want to stay and continue the Christian witness in my area,” he said.
Last year, fifteen men attacked his village with guns and started beating the believers with rods. Their goal was to interrupt the worship of Christ, and they tied the hands of two believers and interrogated them. Searching for him and other believers, the men beat four Christians and killed one older man. He fled into the jungle to escape the militants’ wrath. Even his mother, who has since become a believer, was on the run.
Returning to the Village to Hold Fast and begin House Church Network
“We were twenty-five kilometers from the village, hiding out and waiting for the next step,” he said. “The Lord told me to go back to the village and spoke that they are not going to kill me.” Under the Holy Spirit’s leadership, he returned to the land of persecution and boldly began to share his faith and the resurrection hope. The Lord took him to seven different villages where he started seven house churches.
Because of his great faith and endurance to share the Gospel, militants found him and again threatened his life. “I know they are watching me,” he said. “I am blacklisted in the community and hear how the militants chase out the people from many villages.” On a “watch list” of thirty-six people warned not to testify, he is listed as number six.
“Our biggest need is workers,” he said. “Please pray for me. Many people are yet to be reached.”
Pray and Support the India House Church Network
He has three children, and his eighteen-year-old son graduated from the church planting school last year. When asked what impact SOM church planting has on his life, he said, “The training is helping to multiply me. I want to duplicate leadership, and this is greatly helping make disciples. Thank you so much.”
Though the militants continue to strive to frighten the people, church planters are pushing back against the darkness. Pray for the twenty-third class of 1,069 church planters and Lighthouse ladies who graduated in November 2022. Pray for increasing courage and wisdom to share Christ though they face daily threats to keep quiet.