India – one man’s remarkable story
One day, he was a professional young chemist living in an upper-middle class family in India; the next he was called by God to a life of servant hood and found himself living on the streets with no income and only some Bible tracts and a backpack to his name. That was 35 years ago.
Today, Pastor R. Abraham is a spiritual father to many in India and has an influential relationship with Government leaders. He heads up the church planting movement of the New India Church of God, and is leading them towards the vision of planting 3000 churches in India and Nepal by 2010. So far, 2150 churches have begun – that’s between 300 and 400 each year.
Pastor Abraham is motivated by the knowledge that tens of millions in his homeland have never heard the Gospel of Jesus – not once.
He visited The Pines Training Centre recently to share his burden for his country and encourage the trainee church planters with his story.
Pastor Abraham recalls the early years of his calling:
I was 21 when the Lord called me. I tried to make a deal with God – to distract Him. I said, “You have my money and I’ll do my own thing. You find someone else.”
But God always wins.
I left home with only my backpack to live on the street for two years. I had no idea what God would do through me. Faith, sacrifice and Bible reading – this was my college. God would teach me during these times.
Every meal was a miracle from God. At one time, I was allowed to sleep in a church building during the week. I’d drink water from the river, but I had no food. After four days, I was starving. I fell asleep reading my Bible and when I woke up, there was a plate full of steaming chicken curry in front of me.
A lady was standing at the door. She was the village prostitute. She told me the night before she was sleeping and she felt compelled to kill her chicken, cook it and take it to the man sitting in the church. She resisted, but during the night, she gave in and made the meal.
I found out she had become a prostitute to feed her seven children. I told her of the miracle that God was doing to feed him, and I spoke God’s blessing over her and her children. Two years later I heard she was saved along with her husband and children.
At that time, God told me to be patient, and that one day He would lead me to stand before Kings and Governments.
I’ve been beaten up many times, left for dead in the bush and almost drowned while I was baptizing some people in the river.
I had no money. I started with street meetings – people started to get healed, demons were cast out, people were saved and the first church was started.
I quickly realized that we had to have someone encourage and teach the new believers – when someone is converted and baptized in India, they are immediately outcast from their family and persecuted.
Today there are 17 Bible schools in different languages, training more than 200 young men each year to become local Pastors, equipping them to work in remote villages to lead others to Christ.
We’ve started 10 Orphanages, 24 Sewing schools for destitute women, and six schools for children from the poor, remote villages.
I never thought I’d start an orphanage. One day I was watching the Mothers on the side of the street digging down into the ant-holes for grains of rice gathered by the ants so they could feed their children.
I saw desperate Mothers selling their small children into child labor for 50 cents.
I saw little girls born out of prostitution thrown out into the street to live.
These children are crying out for a roof over their heads and one meal a day. Our Bethesda Children’s homes provide shelter, care, food, family and a future for these little ones.
The vision God gave Pastor Abraham is not small. By 2010, he aims to reach the unreached millions with the gospel of Jesus Christ through planting 3000 Churches and starting 20 Bible Schools, 20 Christian Schools, 20 orphanages and 50 sewing schools.
Pray for him and the New India Church of God as they seek to bring in the harvest in a land of more than 1 billion people worshipping 330 million gods and goddesses. Help him turn his nation to Christ.