To be reached -500 Million young people in India
At this time of year our minds are drawn once again to the Christmas story. Verses like Isaiah 9: 6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” stir our hearts as we ponder God’s wonderful plan of redemption.
Recently John Pandi from Gospel Literature Outreach in India spoke to the staff here at our factory. He told us one of their principle days of outreach is Christmas Day when literally thousands of our Gospels of John are given out in Chennai. Hindu people are more willing to hear the Gospel message during this holiday period.
Pray that this may be the case in our own land and also lands across our world where the darkness of false religion is prevalent. We wish all you our friends and supporters a blessed and fruitful Christmas and New Year Season.
Dr. E. Velayutham the leader of India Bible Literature visited us during November. The following is an interview with him.
Tell us a little bit about India as a country.
India is the largest democracy in the world. India has got a population of 1.3 billion people and 84% of them are Hindus and 10% Muslims and the rest are Christian and other religions. India is divided by 28 states and we have 18 major languages that are spoken by the people. There are 1,652 dialects and languages in India that people speak, including the tribal languages. The Indian culture is very different from state to state, language differs, food is different and the dress – everything is different. According to the government the Christian population is 2.5% Christian but, in reality, it is 5% to 6% of the people are evangelical Christians in India.
Is there a lot of church growth?
There is a lot of church growth. God is blessing in India in a very special way. Every day, according to the IMA, Indian Mission Association report, around 8,000 people are coming to Christ and taking baptism and then they are entering the Church. However there is persecution and the problem of the anti-conversion law imposed in almost 7 states of India.
What is the Anti-conversion law?
The Anti-conversion law means you are not allowed to publicly go and preach the Gospel and, even if you shared the gospel with someone and that person is willing to become a Christian and wants to take baptism, you are not allowed to do that. You are to go to the court and ask permission from the Judge and only then are you allowed to do it – which is a long process and won’t happen. In other words, they are saying you cannot give baptism. If a pastor or evangelist does it, it is against the law. He will be put in jail. That is the anti-conversion law.
Would the churches go out and conduct a lot of evangelism?
There is a lot of evangelism going on. I must tell you that especially now-a-days in North India God has opened that place very much. There is a revival going on in North India – in Punjab, and other regions. In those places some years ago it was almost closed, but now God is doing a tremendous work in these areas and a lot of evangelistic work is going on there.
Does India Bible Literature work alongside other missions and churches?
Yes, India Bible Literature is an interdenominational organisation. We work with all evangelical churches, any domination. We work with people from all across the country, North to South, East to West. We have thousands of partners in churches all over India.
Is the Mission divided into areas?
Yes, we have one office in Chennai. That is our main office. We have 50 staff in that office working. Then we have one office in the North, one in Delhi, one in Mumbai and one in Bangalore. All our offices are in the establishing points of India.
Do you have a lot of Missions or churches coming to you for literature?
Oh, yes. There are many Missions who are doing outreach work. At any given time people sometimes would ask me, I need 200,000 Gospels, or 300,000 Gospel booklets like that, because they are going on a campaign. Sometimes house to house distribution. Many Missions come to us and ask about large quantities of Gospels and literature. That is why our need is always increasing. That is why we are requesting more and more containers to be shipped to India.
So what would you say is the impact of the Gospels of John?
I would say it is just touching the lives of India in many ways because you know, I can tell you stories and I can give you many reports. There is one person, a young man in a city who was first opposed to the evangelists who wanted to share the Gospel with him. But, at the end of the day when the Gospel of John was given to him that night he could not sleep for thinking about the booklet, in a sense God told him to read the Gospel. He took the Gospel and read it and he committed his life to the Lord and became a pastor. In other words, he was a very strong Hindu man first opposed to the Gospel, but whereas now he is working as a pastor.
In the same area in West Bangalore a communist youth group leader, was given a Gospel. He took it not reading anything from it. He kept it in the home but, when he was depressed one day something told him to take that Gospel and read, and he read it. God touched him and, not only was he saved, but he had a burden to go and reach to other students, other young men, in the communist political wing – to bring them back to the faith. So, like that, there are many stories I can tell you.
There is a young girl in Chennai, a 17 year old girl, was about to commit suicide. It was noontime and the evangelists were going door to door and distributing Gospel booklets. They knocked the door. The door wasn’t locked because the girl was inside trying to commit suicide. They just threw a booklet inside the home. It fell at her feet. She looked at it and stopped hanging herself because it was a salvation tract. She took it. What is this? And she read it and God touched her. She escaped from that terrible suicidal situation. So God is touching and bringing many souls to the Kingdom of God. It is a tremendous work.
Are you using our sets of children’s Bible lessons?
Yes, children’s Bible lessons are used in Sunday schools and through our Vacation Bible school and in our programmes when we have the follow-up materials. There is a welcoming now in the churches for the children’s work and children’s picture charts are used for reaching the children. The picture chart is very good – not only to show the picture, but also the lesson printed on the reverse side, to help the teacher to teach the children the Gospel in a very meaningful way.
How big is your children’s ministry?
Well, we are reaching 300,000 children every year through our Vacation Bible school but, you know, that is very small compared to the need in India. India has got 40% of youth, I mean children below 18 years which means India has got 400 to 500 million children, but what we are doing is very small. If we had the resources we could teach at least one million children through our Vacation Bible school.
So you are getting a lot more requests for literature than what you can meet?
Yes, absolutely. You know I have been sharing that we are distributing only 55,000 pieces of literature each working day, but we want to make that 100,000 items a day. That is our mission. That is our goal. That is the kind of a need we have for the nation of India.
What happens to churches that write and ask and you don’t have?
Well, that is a very, very disturbing situation. Many churches write to us and we are saying no. There is no other place where they can go because the Bible Society of India is not publishing Gospels anymore. It is only India Bible Literature that is distributing Gospels and booklets in very large quantities to evangelists and churches for use in their evangelistic campaigns. So it is very important that we always have stock with us for the people who come to us asking for the Gospel booklets because it is not available anywhere.
In other words, if they don’t get what they are needing?
No. Sometimes they ask for 100,000. I am giving only 20,000. Literally that is what is happening. Somebody asked for 500,000 sometimes for a campaign. I am sorry I can give you 100,000. That is all we have. Thank you for all your fellowship in the Lord’s work.
Dear Samuel, Warm greetings from Ukraine. We have noticed in our office that many children would like to receive a correspondence course lesson, but I think that this is just the start and soon we will be receiving a lot more of the reply slips from the “Meet the King” booklets which are being distributed at present.
One of our workers has shared that children in boarding schools (they are poor children and many of them are orphans) are eager to have the Bible lessons. They were very grateful for the booklets, though many of them will not be able to correspond since they change the place of residence from time to time – and they do not have the finances to cover postage costs. Thank you for helping us with the literature. Olga Kuzmina. CEF.
“Dear friends, I am a young Christian teacher in a public school in Romania. One of my students gave me a little book for teens on the dangers of pornography called “Save Yourself from the Trap”. I really like the little book. It is the best book that I have ever seen that talks on such issues for teens. I want to get in touch with people who printed it and this is why I decided to write to you.
I am working with students as a teacher and I lead a Christian charity called “Teens 4 Christ, Romania”. We are now at the beginning and I would love to have more of these little booklets and give it to the teens in schools. Can we work together? May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you and strengthen your work for the young generation. Emmanuel Nicolescu.
During December we are expecting delivery of over 150 Tonnes of paper at a cost of over £120,000.00. We appreciate very much the prayers and support of all our friends and we ask you to pray that all the financial needs of the work will continue to be supplied.
Yours for a Great Revival,
Samuel Adams Clive Allen