By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministry
God opened a huge door for our ministry in September 2014, in India through the Billion Soul Initiative. I was a part of a four person teaching team in New Delhi. We worked with a great ministry known as Operation Agape. This is a network of hundreds of ministry groups throughout India.
Dr. Alex Abraham is a medical doctor – a neurosurgeon. He devotes most of his time in giving leadership to Operation Agape. At his invitation some 800+ pastors came to Delhi for teaching and inspiration. We met in a room that seated 600. About 200 sat on the floor or stood.
The Indian pastors were ready to begin at 8:30 in the morning and would stay until 5:30 in the afternoon. There was a brief tea break and short time for lunch (I didn’t eat much lunch). These men and women took copious notes and there was never a problem with them going to sleep during the teachings.
Of 600 unreached people groups in the world, 300 of them are in India. Operation Agape has done extensive research in identifying these groups and providing a strategy to reach them. It is exciting to hear Dr. Abraham report that now 290 of the unreached people groups of India have been adopted by some group and are experiencing some aspects of ministry!
One young man was a painter in Bombay. He came to faith in Christ and felt led to an unreached people group in Odisha. In the past 10 years he has seen 4,000 people come to Christ and he and his group have planted 150 churches in that area. They are actually doing ministry in 19 unreached people groups!
Another young man was attracted to the Christian faith because of the persecution of some people he knew who were Christians. He made a faith commitment and went to Pergi. He has now planted 20 churches and has added 35,000 believers in the last 8 years.
A very interesting man is Madan Val. He is only about 4 feet tall. He said he was short and had no education. He went to Punjav. He has seen 3,000 people become believers and has planted 18 churches.
Pastor Patel is serving in Chattisgarh. He has giving leadership to starting 3,000 churches and baptizing 50,000 people. One young minister was from Garasiapyle. Through his ministry the last 7 years 15,000 people have been baptized. The goal is by to have 1,100 churches and 100,000 people by 2020. Several of these pastors had been arrested and persecuted. Their hardships only made them more committed in their ministries and God has blessed them tremendously.
They have a practice of saying “hallelujah.” It is like a football yell. We hear football fans say “Rolllllll Tide” or “Warrrrrr Eagle.” They do the same thing with “Halleeeeelujah”. I must say that the pastors were as energetic with the hallelujahs as I have seen Auburn/Alabama fans with Roll Tide and War Eagle.
I love football in our state – but one team always has to lose. The hallelujah pastors never lose. They are involved in a game in which they know that God is going to win ultimately in this life and for eternity.
These are just the stories of a few of the 800 pastors. They are not intimidated by living out tremendous vision. They understand that God can do anything. They trust Him and move forward. It is a estimated that there are now some 25,000 new Christians every day in India! The expectations are that soon India will pass China as the country having the most professing Christians in the world!
John Ed’s blog posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory.
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