India Discernment Team Member, Becky Carter shares a 2nd update with us from Hyperabad, India…
“We spent the last 2 days with Yorba Linda Friends Church and Good Shepherd Ministries. They have an amazing partnership and it was incredible to see it in action. Good Shepherd has over 4,000 churches, 107 schools, 1,500 staff, and 24,000 students across India. Their work is with the Dalit (the untouchables). Their purpose is to give them hope and dignity through healthcare, education, and Christ’s love. Their slum schools are amazing and very much respected as their students consistently test in the top 20% of government testing.
Prayer requests for the schools:
- health for the teachers so they can continue to serve
- health for the students so they can continue to attend
India is a place of many gods. As Christians, we claim 1 God, so we really disrupt their world. Knowing this culture, the church and Christians here focus on being Jesus to the people in love and action. We find common ground by speaking of angels, heaven, “god,” worship and fasting. This begins conversation and relationship where the Gospel can be shared. The church model is charismatic in practice, evangelical in theology, and Anglican in hierarchy and structure. It’s is such a beautiful fit for this culture. Beautiful and dangerous (and I mean this in a positive way). It’s such a cool picture of the way the church is called to be.
Prayer requests for the church:
- wisdom for leadership and they focus on the organization and mission of the church
- the God provides for the needs of the church and they grow and expand
- health so they can continue to do God’s work.
- for the country during the volatile time and the wisdom of the church to navigate through it.
We are all a little discouraged realizing as Christians, our hands are very tied in the country and our ways to serve are limited by government regulations. An example given to us is if you give a child a pen, it’s education. Give a person from the slums a pen and it’s social work. Give a pastor a pen and it’s religion. One of the other overwhelming things are the temples. Seriously. Roadside shacks and temples are everywhere. There are statues of gods everywhere. Faces of the gods above their doors. There is so much evil here and the oppression can feel very heavy at times. Our team has felt safe in this regard but heavy from the burden on the people here.Today, we are seeing a new ministry called “Back2Back” and tomorrow is one more organization. Pray for continued wisdom and discernment. We still haven’t found where we feel called to get involved as a church, although all of us know we are being called to be personally involved with Rose and Elshiba in prayer and encouragement.
Please continue praying for health and safety for our team. And rest! There is a nearby temple that woke us up at 5am with their ritual drumming.
Love to you all!
Click Here to learn more about our ministry partnerships and how to get involved.