Every Sunday afternoon, Pastor John Sakile of New Life Regular Baptist Church in East Godavari, India, travels 10 kilometers (over six miles) to a Muslim village to present the gospel. For now, he does it from the front porch of a believer’s house. But he knows that’s an ineffective way to present the gospel in his culture.
While India is 80% Hindu, about 18% are Muslim. Islamists’ approach is to build a beautiful mosque in every village even if only a few Muslims reside in the area. The building gives the impression that Islam has a strong presence in the area. Outsiders also conclude that Allah is great and mighty. When a Bible-believing group meets in the open air or in a home, the group appears to be a cult, worshiping a God who has no power or resources.
Pastor Sakile knew that his ministry was considered suspect by the villagers. So, with money from the sale of his personal property, the church purchased a piece of land. The congregation gave sacrificially and raised enough money to build a perimeter wall, lay the foundation, pour the slab, and erect the support pillars. Typical of building in that part of the world, construction is complete on a cash basis. Sometimes projects stand still for a year or more before work commences again.
When Chris Hindal, director of GARBC International Ministries, told a church about Pastor Sakile and this church plant, a donor offered a $5,000 matching gift towards the project. Then the donor enlisted a second donor who gave $5,000 and completed the matching gift. This $10,000 will complete the building, enabling the church plant to establish a bright testimony in their Muslim village. Praise God for the sensitivity of His people and the willingness to sacrifice to forward the gospel witness in an unreached Muslim village.
If you, too, desire to be more involved in fulfilling our global assignment, visit the International Ministries website and ask God to lead you to the projects you should participate in to help take the gospel to—and shine God’s glory in—other dark places.