Of course I believe in what I’ve been doing these past three years with e3 (that is church planting in India if you didn’t know yet): sharing the love of Jesus with those who’d never even heard of Him, gathering those new believers together to plant fresh new churches where they can grow and finding persons of peace in the villages (Luke 10:4-8) to lead these new gatherings. Its biblical. Its excellent strategy. But does it work?
The answer is of course, yes! At least I always know that in my head where I’ve been trained heavily in theology and bible. But sometimes you have to experience the reality before it goes from your head to your heart. And that’s why foreign mission trips are an excellent way for God to get those “do right biblical ideas” into your heart. They provide excellent environments to not only get away from our tvs, air conditioned cages and instant meal machines, but also opportunities for us to be dependent on God in ways that seem difficult to depend on Him here in the west. When you’re out in the field talking to strangers, who might not only reject your message, but actually gather a lynch mob to beat you, you tend to get real close to God. And those ideas we’ve been taught about in the pulpits become actions in real life. Thoughts about God in our minds become connections to Jesus in our hearts.
In August of 2011, we returned near the district from the trip before. Blessed to visit some of the past churches we planted and persons of peace God sent us during our last expedition in January, we reunited with “Das” the new (person of peace) leader of a small church in this small remote village near the train tracks. So we anointed “Das” with oil, prayed over his family and worshiped with this small, but fresh six month old church.
We also worshiped with an existing church that helped us to plant other churches in their area. In January we prayed for the husband of a young woman who’d come to Christ and whom we had the honor to baptize. Her husband’s name was Srynu (Sree-noo). He WAS an alcoholic. Syrnu was there when we showed up at the small little church a few miles away from Das’ church. Something phenomonel had occurred. He gave his life to Jesus three months before we showed up. His wife’s life must have been contagious. So at the end of our campaign he wanted us to baptize him! So along with seeing over 100 people make professions of faith in Christ and planting 4 churches that August, we saw the fruit of our past labor. Indians in Andhrapradesh are coming to Christ, churches are being planted, leaders are being developed and life change is truly happening! It really Works!