Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When God Moves

The atmosphere in the hall was electric. Four hundred young people gathered in Patna, Bihar October 23-25, 2012 and the movement of God’s Spirit is still being felt across the region.

"Mission Possible–With Sacrifice"
October 2012 Youth Conference participants
Young people worldwide have heard the slogan, “Mission: Impossible.” The blockbuster movies from Hollywood have made it well-known. The giant banner in Bihar adroitly turned the phrase, as written above, challenging the group to consider undertaking a task so large it might seem impossible to many. Focusing on evangelism and discipleship, the mission placed before the youth was nothing less than the total transformation of the State of Bihar through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bihar has a population of almost 100 million people; only one in a thousand is a Christian. The state is 83% Hindu and 16.5% Muslim. Bihar has long been known as the “graveyard of missions” because of widespread poverty, illiteracy, and persecution.  The 2010 edition of Operation World calls the state “one of the least-evangelized mega-populations in the world.” 90% live in rural villages, one of the world’s highest rates.  22 people groups with more than 100,000 souls each remain unreached. How could this mission be deemed “possible?”

One startling statistic holds out hope for Bihar:  60% of the population is under 25 years of age. “Let NO ONE despise your youth,” intoned Dr. S.D. Ponraj, quoting from 1 Timothy 4:12. A sea of young faces listened quietly. Ponraj had their attention.

Later that same day, following a presentation of the gospel and an invitation, approximately 150 of the 400 received Christ as their Savior. Most of them were from a Hindu background. The next day the same pastor taught about Christian growth, holy living, and the Spirit-filled life. Those who were there experienced first-hand the meaning of Joel 2:28, “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men will see visions.” Healing, joy, and peace began to flow as young people cried out for God’s mercy and power!  The transformation had begun.

Small group sessions encouraged those from the same regions to get acquainted. They shared their challenges and questions while experienced pastors and youth leaders offered guidance and prayer. Strategies were developed by these small groups for coordinated, organized outreach. When the final service was over, a goal had been set to start Christian youth clubs in 150 villages and to hold more conferences like the one they had just attended.

But would it make a difference? How could 400 youth have an impact on 100 million people? The answer to these questions is becoming evident. The transformation is beginning one life at a time. The following testimonies were received by e-mail on November 21. Names and locations have been omitted to protect young people who might be targeted for persecution.
  • Four girls from JG village went home, shared the gospel, and brought six other girls to the pastor for baptism.
  • SK, a 16-year-old young woman, was under demonic power and sought out the main speaker at the conference for prayer. She was miraculously and instantly delivered. When she went home she witnessed to her family; they all accepted Christ and are now ready for baptism.
  • GD from a small village dedicated His life to God at the conference. Upon returning home he was baptized. As his personal transformation became apparent to family and friends, many came to the Lord.
  •  AK, 19 years old, carried the gospel home to her village. Six have been saved and baptized already, and three more are completing discipleship classes in preparation for baptism.
  •  VK was not attending church, even though his parents were Christians. At the youth conference he was wonderfully touched by God. Now he is very active in serving the Lord through the church in his village.
  • SK went home from the conference and began sharing her testimony. Five youth accepted Christ and were received into the church through baptism by the local pastor.
Reports show that in less than one month these 400 youth have brought 206 people to Christ: 50 have been baptized, 61 are ready for baptism, and 95 continue in discipleship in preparation for baptism. 63 of the 150 youth clubs have already begun!

Let no one despise the youth of these Bihari Christians. Trickles of response have already begun. The Kingdom principle of multiplication means that soon those trickles will become streams, and then mighty rivers of souls will be coming to Christ.

An ER-sponsored GC3 conference was held in Bihar in 2010. Indigenous church leaders like Dr. S.D. Ponraj perceive the vast potential of young people to evangelize; they are continuing to work on their own initiative to keep GC3 momentum, working tirelessly to equip the young generation. Pray for these young people as they participate in discipleship, Bible training, and evangelism. Ask the Lord to help them fulfill their mission–the total transformation of Bihar.

Learn more about the youth movement in India on ER's page at this link:

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Our last blog told the story of two courageous women, crippled from birth, who are traveling from village to village planting churches. Graduates of ER’s SOE program, these brave ladies routinely overcome obstacles that would seem insurmountable to others.

We recently received a report from the SOE Director in Chhattisgarh, and together these women have planted ten churches! Remember, even though they are physically challenged, they are like the old-fashioned “circuit riders” familiar to us from the early days of Methodism in the U.S. They plant churches, train lay leaders, and visit regularly to equip and encourage the church to reach out to others.

How is this done? Consider the story of the planting of one congregation.  Paavai and Danna traveled to a remote village where they learned the story of a man who was bound by a demon. For ten years he had been possessed, acting out in such violence that his family had tied him to a chair for their own safety and his. (Although his name was shared with us, we are protecting his identity.)

Desperate, his family had sought intervention from many sources. None had helped. One day they heard about these two young ladies who had a powerful prayer ministry.  Paavai and Danna were summoned, and began to fast and pray for the man’s deliverance. Three days of intense spiritual warfare was undertaken, and at last the man was miraculously delivered!

News of this victory spread throughout the village, and the man and his entire family received Christ as their Savior. A church has been established in that locale, and now the Word of God is being taught, new believers are being discipled, and a beacon of light shines into the darkness.

This is only one of many testimonies being received about the ministry of these dear ladies. It all began with the message of love; although they were discarded by their culture because of their physical disabilities, the news of the love of Christ transformed them from being cast-offs to being leaders in the Kingdom of God.

It was the ministry of Schools of Evangelism that brought transformation to these ladies, and to ten villages which previously did not have Christian churches.  Your prayers and giving to Evangelism Resources made this possible. Can you imagine this story multiplied thousands of times?  There are more than 10,000 SOE graduates ministering right now in countries around the world!

If your heart is stirred by this story, perhaps the Lord is leading you to join our 24/7 Prayer Team. Right now, someone is praying for ER ministries; requests are listed daily on our website. Click here to go to a link with instructions for joining our prayer team.

From now through the end of December, ER needs $99,600 to pay for the training of those now enrolled in SOEs.  Will you pray, and if possible, consider a year-end gift to support the training of young people like Paavai and Danna?  Your support is vital!

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Check in next week to learn how an SOE student in Nigeria perseveres while his family endures danger from Muslim terrorism.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Freed From the Curse

This article first appeared in the November- December 2011 issue of the ER News from the Fields. The names of these young ladies have been changed to protect their identity. Persecution is rampant in Chhattisgarh, India. Anti-conversion laws make evangelism very dangerous. Visit this page later this week for an update on their progress!


“No, please, don’t send me away!” Little Paavai’s tears and pleas made her family relent. They would continue to allow Paavai to live in their home in spite of their shame. Born with legs too thin to support her weight, the little girl pushed herself with her hands across the mud floors of their home. The child had three strikes against her in the remote Indian village. She was born to a low-caste family, she was “crippled,” and she was a girl. The custom of expensive dowries made many Hindu families name their girls “Nakusa” in Hindi, meaning “unwanted.”


Not far away, in another village, another young girl struggled in very similar circumstances. Danna was afflicted with polio as an infant. She could not walk or even care for her everyday needs. As she remembers those days, she writes, “To be born crippled in a Hindu family is a curse. Nobody loves you, nobody cares for you; you are always not wanted. Even dogs and cats were being nicely taken care of, but not me.” Each girl received the life-changing gift of a wheelchair, lifting them out of the dust and enabling them to attend school. Each was able to complete the 12th grade. And each had a life-altering encounter with the love of Jesus Christ.

Paavai attended a three-day evangelism crusade by graduates of a School of Evangelism sponsored by Evangelism Resources. Though God’s plan did not bring physical healing, His touch brought to Paavai ’s life something she had never experienced – joy. Accepting the truth that Jesus loved her no matter what her condition, Paavai accepted Christ as her personal Savior.

Danna also had few joys in her life, save one. She loved to listen to the radio. When she found a Christian station, she learned of the love of God and His compassion for her. Faith arose in her heart alongside the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and Danna committed her life to Christ. Her family was enraged by her decision, and began to torture her in an effort to make her recant her newfound faith. She refused. A Christian family learned of her predicament and sponsored her escape. They funded her training in the School of Evangelism, where she gladly enrolled.

To Danna’s surprise, she met a kindred spirit there. Paavai became her comrade, and together they received the love and affirmation of the Christian community. Dedicated to their training, each was transformed, determined to make a difference in the world in spite of the enormous challenges presented by physical limitations. Upon graduation the girls parted ways, each returning to her home village. Paavai began a prayer ministry, traveling by wheelchair from village to village praying for the sick and demon-possessed. God is wonderfully answering prayer! She has started three churches, and has set a goal to begin nine others within the next three years, making a total of twelve.

Danna began in her “Jerusalem,” and by the miracles wrought through prayer, the power of the Living God was a mighty testimony. She won her family to Christ! Together, the band of new believers has started four churches, with converts all coming from among the low-caste Hindus. There are many seekers who come to hear the messages taught by the “crippled” woman from their own caste. Their goal is to begin eight more churches within the next two years. Danna writes, “People accept me, love me, and care for me now. It is all because of Jesus, who taught me in the School of Evangelism and equipped me for His service.”

Danna praises God for her SOE training, which has strengthened her faith. She asks for our prayers for her and her ministry. In Galatians 3:13-14 the Apostle Paul wrote, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”

Paavai and Danna have been released from the curse of sin, and are rising above the curse placed on them by their culture. Now they are spreading the blessing of salvation to their people through the power of the Holy Spirit!

2012 Update: We will be publishing an update very soon with more details about these courageous ladies and their ongoing ministry in Chhattisgarh.

To learn more about Evangelism Resources ministries, visit our website at