John and Jose Simon in the North
John and Jose (and 2 other men) come to our seminars from the state of Uttar Pradesh. The particular village where they live and minister is remote. Several years ago John planted a church which has been growing ever since; its members are all from a Hindu background. John and Jose are not only quick learners but their eyes and ears are attentive to the Truth. They have been watching the lives of the STN staff and have seen the Lord working in their own lives in amazing ways. Yes, God answers your prayers more than what you ask or imagine!
Bodh Gaya is the place where Buddha supposedly received enlightenment. There are many Buddhist temples and places of idol worship. People from all over the world visit this place, some as tourists and some to worship the idols. There is an eighty foot tall idol of Buddha which is one of the attractions of this place. Jose says, “When we go in to these temples we sense that the evil spirits have a strong clutch over the place. But as the Church began to grow, we started to delegate the responsibilities of the ministry among the mature believers. They started to reach their own villages first and then the neighboring villages. The number of believers began to increase rapidly. Last year the number grew to 200 believers in Bodh Gaya and around.”
- There are about 20 young people who offer their time after work to visit and conduct worship in villages. Jose began to train seven men from this group so that they will be equipped to teach others. John and Jose have undertaken the responsibility to teach the very BTCP courses that they have been taught at the STN Conferences! Thirty six from Hindu background witnessed in the waters of baptism! One of the believers, a lady about 40 years old, fell sick and was prayed for. Later that night she was taken to the hospital, but died early the next morning. When the non-Christians heard about it, they began to accuse the believers, blaming her death on the believers who left the Hindu gods. But the believers stood firm on the Truth in the midst of opposition and planned to conduct a Christian burial. The Hindus were furious and prevented the believers from participating in necessary affairs in the villages. This persecution did not discourage these simple believers but became motivation to approach the pastor and ask him to baptize the Christians in the community. One of those who got baptized was the widower of the lady who died. Clinging to his faith in Jesus, he witnessed in the waters of baptism only three days after her burial.