First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
As we continue our Get to Know (G2K) India series, this week we will be touching on the make up of the government in India. Before moving much forward, I must confess, that History and Government classes were not those that kept my attention, therefore, I will not pretend to know what I’m talking about when discussing the inner workings of the Indian government and its branches, but I will discuss what we’ve gleaned from our experiences in India in the past as well as recent headlines.
We are continuing our Get to Know India campaign and are focusing today on Christianity in India. As we have stated in previous posts, Christianity is the third largest religion in India with approximately 26 million adherents. This number seems large until you compare it to the national population of 1.3 billion. This equates to only two percent of the population identifying as Christians.
The 26 million Christians in India are located in Christian pockets. Some city blocks, towns, and even some States within India are considered Christian. Generally speaking, many of those Christian pockets are located in Southern India, while the Northern States tend to be more anti-Christian and adversarial.
Hinduism is the predominate religion in India and recognizes many gods (estimated 33 million). The origin of the Hinduism is unknown but believed to have come from the Indus Valley near modern day Pakistan. Hinduism is thought of as a “way of life”, embracing many religious ideas with no known founder. Here is an overview of some key aspects of the Hindu faith.
As Jared mentioned in the previous post’s overview of India, the population of India is 1.3 billion, making it the second largest population in the world. With so many people you would anticipate a diversity of cultures. It is estimated that within India there are 2,550 People Groups.
This is the first post in our “Get to Know” (G2K) series on India! Our goal for this series is to gain a better understanding on the makeup of India as a nation geographically, politically, and spiritually. Learning more about India, its people and their way of life will hopefully shed some light on how we can intentionally pray for this nation, its leaders, and the church. So, let’s not wait any longer and get started with the introductions.
Epaphroditus’ partners, we want to begin by expressing our sincere gratitude for your past partnership since our launch in 2016. You have been gracious and your support through prayer, encouragement and financial giving has been a tremendous blessing to Grace Christian Ministry and has propelled Gospel growth in the nation of India. Your support has blessed pastors and their families, trained bible college students, cared for orphans and so much more.
By the grace of God our ministry is going on well. Through our last year of ministry, two families received Jesus Christ as a personal savior, eight young people were discipled through our 10-month leadership training, and three students took water baptism. We had lots of prayer meetings and many heard about Jesus through our evangelism program. So, we thank you for your prayers and for supporting us this past year. It was a great privilege that God used us with his mighty hand throughout the year. We are thankful for all of you; for your valuable prayers and support this year.
Our second batch students have graduated their bible study program. They completed their one year discipleship training. They got a beautiful certificate form our college (Certificate of Theology). Our lord has brought them to light from darkness. Now they have an aim for their life. They decided today to live for Jesus and do service for Him in their all life. Thanks to our dear prayer partners and supporters. Your work was not failed, your tears are not wasted.
Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. – 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
I have been studying this chapter of 2 Corinthians for over a month and I am blown away by the overflowing generosity of the Macedonians which Paul highlights.
My wife and I have been examining our own generosity and have asked ourselves if it come to this level. Sadly enough I don’t think so, but the Holy Spirit is convicting us and moving in us to desire to give more. These verses should cause us all to look at our generosity.
So why do we not give like the Macedonians? Could it be a lack of trusting God for our provision? Could we be holding back out of fear that what we do have will run out or dry up?
It’s been over a month since we returned from Kerala, India. I am still relishing in the love displayed by the Body of Christ over there. We savored the close bonds developed with Babu and the other pastors. I witnessed my wife flourish as she was showered with the love of Mercy, Bindhu and the rest of women. We saw the Holy Spirit move in such mighty ways. God’s design was exemplified and it was beautiful to witness! His glory is on display in the nations!
Scripture is clear: go and proclaim the Gospel. In God’s eyes this is done by men and women both who are strong not on their own merits, but through him who strengthens us – Jesus Christ.