In Kerala, India, there is a pastor who reaches out to about six million Muslims. He works with a Bible college in the area and uses students as outreach workers. He also has three Muslim converts and their families working with him to establish new locations for teaching and contact.
Faith Lutheran and NHMS will welcome this pastor from India and his son on Sun. April 21 during worship services at 8 and 10:10am, between services at 9:15am, and at a noon potluck lunch. We invite you to experience the powerful witness this pastor brings for Christ to the Muslim people of southern India. If you have never had the privilege to hear from this man of God, he will be preaching at Faith Lutheran (date to be determined), speaking at the Augustana District Convention on Sat. April 27.
This pastor is a converted Muslim who has found ways to present Jesus Christ to Muslims in India. To even explore the Christian faith in public can be life threatening in India. His journey to faith has placed his life at great risk. Today he must still count the cost of discipleship. We at Faith Lutheran Church deem it a privilege to work with the New Hope Mission Society (NHMS) and be among this pastor’s partners in mission.
NHMS was formed in 2005 in response to a presentation by Dr. Roland Miller at a Mission Sunday Forum at Faith Lutheran. Dr. Miller, a long-time missionary in India, had brought this Indian man to Christ and on that day told a riveting story of the witness of this little but bold man to his fellow Muslims. Faith’s congregation was so moved by what they heard that they soon decided not only to support this evangelical witness as a congregation but to create a network of support. This led to the formation of NHMS. In the past few years, numerous congregations and individuals have found common cause and have together been giving generous support to this mission endeavor. NHMS provides funds to evangelists who demonstrate a record of seeing Muslims respond to the good news. NHMS also supports missionaries in Nigeria and the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Knowing the cost personally, this Indian pastor, an ordained Lutheran minister, has found the use of literature that can be mailed and studied in private a first effective step in introducing Muslims to Christ. His first contact with Indian Muslims is through evangelistic booklets called tracts. To Americans, tracts sound ineffective. Not so for this evangelist. Recipients of the tracts make contact. The contact leads to a correspondence course which has resulted in hundreds of Muslims accepting the love of Christ.
Because of a need for new believers to have a safe place to gather, stay for a time, and explore the Christian faith, this pastor developed a Christian teaching center for visitors from around the world to stay as they seek to understand this ministry and support its future development. Ministries of caring to the surrounding community also go out from the center.
Four to six training seminars each year are held at the center. In October 2011, the pastor held a study seminar for 47 students and five teachers. In November 2011, he held a study meeting exclusively for Christian ministers. This was attended by 53 pastors and three teachers. It was such a productive meeting that participants requested that study meetings should be held three times a year. The seminar was partially sponsored by the eligible congregations. From December 23-31, 2011, 50 converts and Christian friends met at the center. The time was spent with worship and study.
It is the very effectiveness of this pastor’s witness that has called the New Hope Mission Society and Faith Lutheran to expand his ministry over the years.
The pastor also writes evangelistic and informational books for Muslims. He also has written and developed several Bible correspondence courses. In 2012, he received 2,370 new letters inquiring about Jesus. These inquiries were mailed informational booklets.
From February through May of 2012, 12 Bible College students distributed Christian materials to Muslim homes, shops and individuals. The outreach teams have been able to canvas most of the city of Manjeri, Kerala. Because of threats from radical Muslims, the students are fearful to leave the Manjeri area and go to other areas. As of May 9, 2012, the teams have distributed 60,700 pieces of literature. About 95% of the Muslim homes accept the offered literature. Genuine seekers are increasing. The pastor has had serious discussions with Muslim Maulawis and Musliyars (leaders of different Muslim denominations) with very encouraging results.
The pastor and his family and his family are still receiving threats from radical Muslims. His adult son was fired from his job because of his father’s work in evangelism. Thanks be to God, he has again found work about an hour away from home.