From Allah to Jesus

BehaTraining church planters in India, raising support for orphans and missionaries, writing gospel tracks, and preaching through technology can be laborious, especially when all of that is on top of leading a church here in the USA. However, whenever I get a testimony like I just received, all I can do is fall on my knees before the Lord and thank Him for allowing me to be a small part of His work of the great commission.

This is the testimony I recently received from Beha*, who is pictured to the left. Read through the entire story and you’ll see the miraculous change that only Christ can do in the hearts of people. The entire testimony is below, including the words she capitalized for emphasis. Continue reading “From Allah to Jesus”

The Power of Singing!

Lifted handsI feel that many times we underestimate the power of singing. When the presence of the Holy Spirit permeates our being, our songs are highways of evangelism and life to those walking in darkness. However, as the old saying goes, “A song is not a song until you sing it.” This became ever so true to me as I recently received this testimony from the missionaries I train in India. I pray you will take a moment and let it sink in on the many levels that are present throughout this testimony. Through singing and worship we can reveal the power of the Gospel to others. (The names are changed to protect all involved from radical Muslims and Hindus.)

My name is Sada. I really thank God for the Project India ministries , through which Lord has changed me completely and I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. Joy and hope has come into my life.
In 2013 I was planning to running and jumping in front of a train to kill myself. I had no peace, no employment, and starvation and poverty was ruling over my family.
I have visited 1347 Hindu gods and goddess temples asking them to give peace, joy, happiness and victory over my difficulties over poverty, and I have waited many years for them to answer me, but I never received an answer.

Continue reading “The Power of Singing!”

Hindu Priest Comes to Christ

(Hindu Priest) cropThe power of the gospel to change a person’s being is the hope of mankind. Jesus Christ did not come to give us rules and regulations, or burden humanity with more laws and expectations. He came to die on the Cross of Calvary for the payment of our sins, and convict us through the power of the Holy Spirit. At salvation, the Lord changes our ‘being.’ Out of this change comes changed actions and attitudes. The gospel is not about imposing moral transformation or behavioral modification, it is about inward change of being that produces a outward demonstration of a changed life. And this only takes place through the work of the Holy Spirit at salvation.

Here is a testimony from a Hindu Priest in India. He shares how he came to Christ in November through Project India, the church planting ministry which began a little over three years ago. Continue reading “Hindu Priest Comes to Christ”

Confession of a Free Christian

Hands raisedMost people hates boxes. They require everyone to fit someone’s narrow view of reality and thought. We find this true in Christianity also. Thank God for sound theology and boundaries of historical thought concerning the person and work of Christ. However, the enemy seeks to divide believers by using self-appointed ‘heresy hunters’ who cause divisions while claiming to protect evangelical orthodoxy.

The Lord calls us to freedom in Christ, freedom in worship, freedom in the power of the Holy Spirit. As a free Christian, we are at liberty to worship God free from the narrow thoughts of man as long as our doctrine and practices are within the boundaries of the Holy Scripture. What does a “Free Christian” believe. It can vary, depending on one’s level of study, influences, or maturity. One thing for sure, the Scriptures will have the final say on all matters of faith and practice. For me, here is my confession. Continue reading “Confession of a Free Christian”

Jesus is Still the Friend of Sinners!

Rati (Madam)I get many testimonies from the front lines of church planting in rural India. They are filled with stories of the Holy Spirit’s work similar to what we read in the book of Acts. The Lord is just as committed to reaching men and women that are looking for truth as He has always been. After all, Jesus is the “same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8) Thank God He is, and here is a story I recently received that demonstrates the Lord’s tender care for all people, regardless of where they have come from. The lady being baptized in the photo is Rati, who wrote this letter to me.

(Names and villages changed for security reasons) Continue reading “Jesus is Still the Friend of Sinners!”

Allah Did Not Answer, But Jesus Did!

Muslim lady and husbandThe power of the gospel is not limited to the written words of the Scriptures only. The Lord promised to pour out the Holy Spirit upon all flesh. (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17) One of the most powerful promises that Jesus left for His followers is that He would speak and His sheep would hear His voice. That promise has been true down through the centuries since He walked the shores of Galilee. Jesus still speaks…and His sheep still hear His voice! (John 10:27)

Working among the rural areas of India, our PROJECT INDIA church planting team confronts many situations from atheism to pantheism, and from Islam to Hinduism. One such opportunity came to light recently as revealed in this testimony sent to me from a lady who was raised a Muslim. I’ll let you read the testimony she sent to me. (I have changed her name for security reasons. The capital letters in this message are the ones she added. This is the letter in its entirety.)

“Hello, my name is Herra, a follower of the Muslim religion. I had never heard about Jesus. Since I born and brought in Muslim religion and a traditional family, I was never allowed to hear about the other religions. The last few years my family has gone through much suffering and poverty. We were not able to bare it anymore and so we made plans to die by drinking poison. Many times we prayed to our Muslim god ALLA, BUT WE RECEIVED NO ANSWER from him.

3 months back a pastors wife Suvartharani visited our home. She shared her testimony how we could meet the Lord Jesus. And she also shared the powerful and loving message of cross through DVD where Pastor Terry Ivy shared about the love of Jesus. As I was hearing the word, I felt Jesus himself talk to me. Continue reading “Allah Did Not Answer, But Jesus Did!”

How To Kill A Movement

Fat manChurch history is replete with stories of how ‘natural minded’ men seek to control the work of the Holy Spirit with bureaucracy and red tape. Another such story came across my desk per a dear friend. The explosion of church planting and missionary work in the early days of America are filled with stories of sacrifice and uniqueness among the circuit riders who blazed trails across this country to take the gospel to every man in horrid conditions. Both Methodist and Baptist missionaries traveled in difficult conditions and with God’s Spirit to plant thousands of churches among the unreached in our great land.

When we get too ‘big for our britches’ we begin to think more in terms of organization instead of organism. This shift has been the death of many movements of the Holy Spirt within Christianity. Here is another sad story of how organization can kill the Holy Continue reading “How To Kill A Movement”

Evaluating The Value of Modern Mission Trips

Cross and the WorldIn the mind of American Christians, the thought of modern missions usually consists of people dropping $2,000 or more to fly to an overseas mission field and teach kids how to comb their hair or kick a ball. However, it usually includes very little that reflects biblical missions. We leave the field with smiles and tears, but with very few conversions. We come home with the joy of having gone, but with the realization that a lot of money was spent for very little return of spiritual fruit. It seems it has become more about us…about appeasing our conscience over the lack of sacrifice we make for the gospel with our life of luxury. Instead of embracing the cross with all of our life, we offer one week out of the year to do ‘missions.’

For all the money, all the photos, all the hype, what do we really have to show for modern missions? Where is the revival?

Maybe we need to re-evalutate our mission trips and begin getting serious about what they should be in light of the pattern we see in Scriptures. Maybe we need less expensive ‘mission trips,’ and more gospel centered mission ministry. That is, trips which have purpose of equipping believers and reaching people with the gospel through street evangelism and church planting. Trips where fruit of conversions are the focus, and leaders are equipped to mentor believers, instead of just games, toys and western ideas of what outreach is about. Continue reading “Evaluating The Value of Modern Mission Trips”

A Tract…A Man…A Church

New VillageA couple of weeks ago, our Project India team traveled and did outreach and evangelism in a village where people came to market in order to sell their vegetables, fruit and fish. Our team gathered small crowds and passed out gospel tracts. One tract, “The Cross” is a message I wrote last year for the team to translate and distribute. It discusses the plan of salvation from Creation, the fall of Adam, the promise of a Messiah, and the birth, life, death resurrection and ascension of Jesus. I wrote it in very simple language because it had to go through translation and printing for the rural villages we are reaching in India.

As our team passed out tracts, they gave one to a man who was at the village that day selling fish to get money to provide for his family. He lives in a coastal village several kilometers away. His coastal village has a high rate of illiteracy, and most of the population worship the water and fish hindu gods. Very few from his village can read or write, but he was one of the few. He took the tract, placed it in his pocket, and carried it back to his village after he had finished selling his fish.

After arriving back at his coastal village he discovered the tract and began to read it. As he did, his heart leaped with joy as he read the news about Jesus coming to die for the sins and forgiveness of mankind. When he reached the end of the tract, he prayed and Continue reading “A Tract…A Man…A Church”

A Cry Through The Window

India woman windowRecently, two of our Church Planters preached in an unreached village. They proclaimed that Jesus as the Only Begotten Son and the Savior of all. They shared how that man must come to Him through faith and repentance by believing the gospel. After preaching, some rogue elements of this village attacked and beat them up. As they ran them out of the village they said, “If you come back, we will kill you.”

These types of reports from the front lines of work through our Project India team are some of the hardest for me to hear. However, I am aware that suffering and persecution is the norm for proclaiming the gospel to a lost and dying world. In America, we are shielded from this by our laws, but even this seems to be changing as radical homosexuals and militant atheists are attempting to squash the proclamation of truth.

Our top three team leaders traveled to this rural village, asked for and was granted a meetingt with the village elders. They requested permission to continue to preach the gospel and to be protected from those who would attack them. We were not expecting to have a favorable meeting, but after a couple of days of seeking the Lord’s will we were holding out hope. Three of the village Elders said, “No.” However, the other five Continue reading “A Cry Through The Window”

Can We Do It In America?

Conf 5:'13 Church Planters2Is it possible to plant simple and thriving churches in America? By thriving, I’m referring to planting church-planting churches. Our measuring stick is not how many buildings we can build, or how many people we can convince to come to one location. Rather, it is how many disciples can we make and send out to new communities to reach people with the gospel ‘where they live.’

We must ReThink many things about church. We must re-evaluate and re-calibrate our thinking and paradigm of what is, and is not, a church. If we stay bound to the inflated building programs and ‘me first’ in-reach focus of modern ecclesiology, we will lose another generation to the spirit of this age. We are called…to Go…to Make disciples…to Baptize them…to Teach them! (Matt. 28:19-20) And in all of this we must ‘know’ that Jesus is with us throughout the journey! The real question is do we have enough faith to believe the Holy Spirit is big enough and sufficient enough to enable us to obey the great commission?  Continue reading “Can We Do It In America?”

Overloaded With Wood

Bond fireThe unique thing about building a fire is that you start with a little wood and fire–then you add more wood. Sometimes I think our view of church planting is so complicated that we’ve stacked wood for a huge bond fire, but we have forgotten to bring the fire.

We have an overload of conferences, an overload of ideas, an overload of books, an overload of theories, an overload of symposiums, and an overload of interest. Our wood is stacked as high as the old Aggie bond fire rallies at Texas A&M, and yet we are not burning…we are not on fire!

We are overloaded with wood.

We’ve attempted to cross every “t” and dot every “i” in order to be prepared. But honestly, how do you prepare sufficiently for the move and falling of God’s fire when He breaks out. We map out all the “how to’s” and the “what ifs,” and then we say, “Here is our wood, Lord, light it!” All of this while the Lord is saying, “Let me bring fire to your life in prayer, and then I’ll also provide the wood.”  Continue reading “Overloaded With Wood”