Dec 4, 2011

God Opens the Door to Take the Gospel to India in January 2012

In 2005, I visited several villages in Tamil Nadu devastated
by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami to comfort the residents
This January, in answer to a long time prayer, our SWIM ministry team has been invited by several churches in South India to conduct a Festival of Hope and pastoral/evangelism leadership conference touching several cities near Chennai, Tamil Nadu.  We have been working on preparations for the festival since early this fall.  With just one month to go before the outreach events, join me to pray that this effort will be fruitful beyond my expectations. 

In 2005, my friend and fellow evangelist Nick Hall and I knelt on the expansive Marina beach in Chennai, India, in earnest prayer. “Lord, please make it possible for us to come back here and share your gospel with the people of India,” we prayed. We dreamed of the beach being filled by thousands of Indian people listening to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Six years later, God has answered our
prayer. This January, I will be preaching
the Good News of Christ to as many
as 80,000 people in India's Tamil Nadu.

We had travelled through the villages in Tamil Nadu, South India, devastated by the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. We listened to heart wrenching stories of whole villages wiped off the map by the raging waters as the waves came ashore.

In one such instance, seven boys aged 9-12 (pictured above) took me on a canoe through a channel in the Bay of Bengal sandwiched by thick virgin Mangrove forests to a small sandy Island that had once been a vibrant village.  They told us a tree top visible about 1000 feet into the ocean had once been the center of their village.

In one of our earlier Missions in India,
hundreds of youth attend a SWIM youth
Festival event where Sammy shared
the gospel with them.
In another surviving village, after a celebratory fluit dance welcome, the residents took us to the temple of their gods. Idols that we knew were not God at all. Our hearts ached with great sorrow that so many had died without the knowledge of Christ, but perhaps more tragically that so many were living without Christ and without hope.

Praying with villagers

We were under strict orders from our hosts not to proselytize due to anti-conversion State laws in Tamil Nadu. In spite of the limitations, we helped the people with little material help we could afford. At least we could pray, as we moved from village to village, that God may open the door for us in the near future to help usher in a harvest of Indian people into the Kingdom of God.

Well, six years later, God has answered that prayer. This January our SWIM ministry team has been invited by several churches in South India to conduct a Festival of Hope in several cities near Chennai.

There is great Spiritual hunger in India.
Pray for my associate Stanton Peterson
as he champions ministry in Schools
during our time in India
Our team of four will minister in several Schools, Universities, and Colleges, conduct a Pastoral Conference, and hold three days of evangelistic festival in addition to ministery in churches between January 23-30 in Tenkasi, Triunelveli, Palayamkottai, and in Nazareth.  Additionally, I will have the privilege to speak to a gathering of at least  25,000 Indian believers organized by well-known Indian Evangelist Mohan C. Lazarus, as they pray for their nation.  We anticipate we will minister to as many as 80,000 people.

My Associate Stanton Peterson will
champion ministry to Kids during
our India Festival outreach. 
Please pray with our team of four (SWIM Board Member Steve Wareham, SWIM Board Member David Sumners, SWIM Ministry Associate Stanton Petersen, and I) and for the churches in South India over the next couple months as we partner together to proclaim Christ in this environment that can be very hostile to Christ and to those turning to Him.

With over one billion people and less than two percent being Christian, India is a frontier mission field in desperate need of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Pray for us for boldness and clarity as we preach, teach and train fellow workers.  Pray for good health for us.  Pray for the provisions we need to successfully conduct the festivals and conferences.  We have a need of $ 30,000 that needs to come in over the next one month.  As the Lord has endowed you, prayerfully consider supporting our missionary efforts around the world with a generous year-end gift by clicking the donate button on the right side of your screen to a secure donation site.