Saturday, July 2, 2011

Servants No Greater than Their Master

Gospel for Asia
For Immediate Release

While new believers receive love and spiritual nourishment at their churches, family members often try to prevent them from worshiping with other Christians.
Like these men, believers in Pastor Sulekh's congregation faced jail time because of false accusations by anti-Christian extremists.

SOUTH ASIA (ANS) -- Jesus told his disciples, "'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20, NKJV).

Throughout South Asia, many of Jesus' followers-especially those who have recently committed their lives to Him-face persecution from their communities. Within the past year, the following Christians have experienced threats and abuse because they claim the name of Jesus:

Man's New Infectious Faith Provokes Village Unrest
Kantimoy once devoutly followed the religion traditional to his people group. He, his wife and their three children got up early every day to worship their deity. Kantimoy was even in charge of maintaining the property of the temple in his village.
But the gods and goddesses he worshiped couldn't heal his three children. His 10-year-old son, Jugnu, suffered from seizures, his 8-year-old daughter had a hole in her heart and youngest daughter experienced night terrors that disrupted his entire household, robbing them of sleep.

One day, a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor told Kantimoy about Jesus. This pastor continued visiting him and praying for his family. Jugnu stopped having seizures, and Kantimoy started to have faith in Jesus. Finally, Kantimoy gave his heart to the Lord. He stopped working at the temple and even opened his home for a prayer group. Three neighboring families ended up joining!

But the other villagers-including his relatives and family members-turned against Kantimoy. They started opposing his congregation and are causing problems for his pastor.

Justice Denied for Christian Villagers

In a part of South Asia where believers have experienced unimaginable hostility and violence in recent years, believers in one village still face opposition. In September, some villagers attacked the believers, beating one individual. When a group of Christians protested against this violence, police jailed 10 of them. Although they were released on bail, hostility in the village continues.

Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Sulekh Kapoor reported in January that the villagers were cooperating with an anti-Christian extremist group to prevent the believers from going to the market.

In light of this situation, Pastor Sulekh has requested prayer for protection and safety for the Christian families in this village.

Choosing Christ's Family or Earthly Family

Kanan Tamang, 20, recently chose to give his life to Jesus. He worships with a growing congregation led by GFA-supported missionary Rehmat Chatterjee. However, his parents have threatened to disown him if he continues to follow Christ. The other villagers are also opposing Kanan's decision, saying that if he makes his decision to follow Jesus final, they will chase him from the village.

Pastor Rehmat requests prayers on behalf of Kanan that God will give him courage to remain faithful. Also pray that Kanan's witness will draw his family to Christ, and Pastor Rehmat will point many people to Jesus as he continues abiding in the Holy Spirit
Counting the Cost at a Young Age

Recently on May 10, two adolescent boys decided to give their lives to Jesus. Sixteen-year-old Bodhan Tambe gave his life to Jesus after his friend and schoolmate Yash, a Christian in a GFA-supported congregation, shared the Good News with him.

When Bodhan's parents found out, they angrily threatened to kick their son out of the house if he went to church. However, he is still trying to attend worship services.

The other young man, Kiranmay Mehta, faces a similar dilemma. When his parents learned that he chose to follow Christ, they started abusing him and prevented him from going to church.

Please pray that Bodhan and Kiranmay will stand strong in their new faith and be able to worship with other believers. Also, please pray that their families will receive salvation.

Please intercede for God to work mightily in each of these situations, strengthening the believers and transforming the hearts of those who are against Him and His followers. 

Gospel for Asia is an evangelical mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.

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