Jayarao shares his story of planting a Life Group in India, the challenges and the victories.
God has placed a burden on my heart to reach out to Hubli in the Dharwad district of India’s Kanataka state. There was not one single Christian in this remote village, which is about 10km from my home. We went and made a survey and prayer-walked. We persistently prayed to the Lord for a means of reaching it, but were struggling to start the ministry. Because the community is Hindu, there were many challenges at the outset, and there was a great deal of opposition. Nobody dared to go and preach the gospel in this village.
At that point, through Rev. Sekhar Gurram, I discovered the Village Journey course, which provides a practical way of reaching those who don’t know about Jesus. The course has helped me greatly, and since I started it, I have been blessed in implementing its approach in Hubli. During our interactions with the community, I came into contact with Pramils and Prabhu, a couple there, who invited me to their house. I took the opportunity to share the love of Christ to them, and they responded to me and to the good news about Jesus.
I prayed for them and as we began to visit them regularly, they opened up and shared their problems with us. One had to do with their land, which Prabhu’s uncle wanted to take off them. The situation was serious enough for them to be frightened, and they went to stay elsewhere. They decided to take the case to a court of law. We assured them that Jesus Christ would give them justice, and asked them to pray continually. This gave them confidence, and we started a Life Group which met in their house, and we all began to pray about this problem. As a result, there was a breakthrough, and the court decided in favour of Pramils’ family.
That’s how this Life Group was formed, and it continues to meet in the village. In December, we shared the love of Christ through a Christmas message, and gave Bibles to members of the group. We also distributed gifts of sarees to widows in the poorest families. As the Life Group continued to progress, more people responded to the gospel, and began sharing their problems, which included family disputes, marital difficulties, demon possession and witchcraft. We have seen much answered prayer: God has performed miracles in the Life Group and people have been experiencing deliverance.
However, I do face considerable opposition, including threatening calls from anti-Christian groups. They say that I’m from a different region, with a different language, and that I’m trying to convert their people to Christianity. They have also been threatening Pramils and Prabhu for letting our prayer group use their house.
As I develop friendships in the village, I would like prayer for God’s continued blessing and that people would carry on responding to the gospel. I would also ask for prayer for protection in the face of opposition. Finally, please join us in praying for a venue where we can worship the Lord in freedom.
Abridged from the words of Jayarao. Names have been changed to protect privacy.