FRUIT OF INDIA
WHAT WE DO
DISTRIBUTING THE WORD OF GOD
Whenever an evangelist meets a new contact and tells them about Christ, he gives this person a New Testament. We may never see this person again, and if we don't, we know that we have left the Word of God in their hands, giving opportunity for the Holy Spirit to continue to lead them into truth as they read the Scriptures after we have left. We have distributed several thousand New Testaments so far. For contacts who remain in touch, once they have been taken through a full presentation of the Gospel and finished reading the New Testament, we then give them a full bible. We often find that once a person has been given a full bible, they then give away the New Testament they received initially to a friend or family member with whom they are keen to share their new knowledge of Christ!
SHARING THE GOSPEL
When an evangelist meets a new contact, he will first share with them a short presentation of the Gospel. We then give the person the opportunity to stay in touch with us via phone and in the great majority of cases they contact the evangelist again once they have considered what they have heard, and what they have read in their New Testament. They usually then ask the evangelist to visit them. But when we arrive, just as Peter found when he went to visit Cornelius in the book of Acts (Acts ch 10 vs 24) we find that the person has gathered together their immediate family and close friends or neighbours so that they can hear what the evangelist has to share also! We distribute a New Testament to all those gathered.
On this first visit at the person's home, the evangelist will begin to share a full Gospel presentation with the group gathered, outlining the plan of salvation from Genesis to Revelation. By the gracious work of the Holy Spirit we find that practically all are captivated by the first section of the presentation entitled "our problem" which describes the fall of man in Genesis and the need we all now have for a Saviour, and are brought to a consciousness of sin and desire for repentance at this first meeting. We proceed to complete the presentation with the same group over several visits (describing: God's solution through the promise of a coming Saviour, Christ's incarnation, His sinless life and miracles, His death and atonement on the cross, His resurrection and ascension, His gift of the Holy Spirit, His coming return in power and glory and the resurrection of the lost unto eternal punishment and the saved unto everlasting life in the Kingdom of God) allowing opportunity for discussion and prayer each time. During these visits we are careful to present not only the rewards, but also the cost of following Christ, which in India, given the levels of persecution, can realistically mean martyrdom.
ESTABLISHING HOUSE CHURCHES
The process of sharing a full Gospel presentation with such a group over several visits is often the incubation of a new house church. We are amazed at the work of God in India at this time and can say that in our experience practically each person in such a group goes on to follow Christ, and all who do are recognised as a new house church. When other new people come to Christ in that same area, we inform them of the existing group of believers and they join with them in fellowship, as do family and friends of the initial group who receive the Gospel later on.
The evangelist will continue to visit this group regularly for roughly three years to help establish them in the Word of God and scriptural discipleship. During this time, the Lord faithfully raises up at least two men within the fellowship who demonstrate notable spiritual maturity and desire to serve the Lord, and with the support of the visiting evangelist, they eventually take the role of elders and overseers in the new house church.
We are blessed that it has been our experience that the house churches love to meet together for fellowship! They do not only meet together on a Sunday but several times a week for a time of prayer, bible study and worship. A three-hour meeting is short to them! In addition, many families meet together every night for family fellowship time. A strong value is placed on the Word of God as well as its practical outworking in the lives of believers by the Holy Spirit. With this combination, many flourish in their faith. The believers are active in sharing their faith and introducing new people to the fellowships. The homes they meet in can usually accommodate 50-60 people and when fellowships grow beyond this number they divide and multiply, with subsequent groups meeting in different homes. Once a year however, we hold a big celebration where as many as possible from the different house churches gather together from different towns and villages to meet for a time of prayer, sharing testimonies, exhortation, worship and food!
Some may wonder why we do not go on to build specific buildings for groups to meet in. We do not have an objection to dedicated church buildings but find that given the overwhelming demand to hear the Gospel we see all around us, financing such structures would divert precious resources from the actual job of sharing the Gospel and making disciples. We therefore rest in the knowledge that in the New Testament, house churches were a norm (1 Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15, Philemon 1:2 etc) and that by God's grace, we are seeing something of the multiplication and devotion of the New Testament church within these house fellowships.
FRUIT OF INDIA
FRUIT OF INDIA