FIRE IN MY BONES: Reaching the Unreached in North India

Friends, revival is in India.

The stirring in my heart while writing this update is similar to that of the prophet Jeremiah who said, "God's Word was in my heart like a burning FIRE shut up IN MY BONES. I could not hold it back…" (Jeremiah 20:9). I pray that the reading of these words may be a “journey on the road to Emmaus” that results in burning hearts and bursting lips!

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Global Advance recently conducted the first ever NextGen Conference in North India. Pastors and leaders came from three different states: Gujarat, Maharastra, and Rajasthan. No words can adequately express the immense presence of Jesus on each day of the conference. The state of Gujarat is known for violence, communal riots, and persecution, but we experienced what one songwriter declares, "I see a near revival staring as we pray and seek..." 

During the first two days, 230 Pastors and Youth Leaders attended the NextGen training, then over 2,000 young people gathered for the NextGen Conference that followed. The auditorium capacity was so maxed out that the team had to rent extra chairs! Attendees left thoroughly equipped, challenged, and expectant to see the gospel advanced and their communities transformed for Christ. 

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In the evenings, our team was honored to speak at the public evangelistic crusade. Literally thousands gathered each evening. On the final night, we gave a call for NextGen leaders to surrender their lives to Christ and challenged them to go to the unreached areas. 402 youth came forward; altogether 494 young people were prayed for and commissioned during both the NextGen Conference and the crusade. It was very humbling to hear these future leaders proclaim, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!” I am sure heaven was rejoicing to see many of these young leaders verbalize what was in their hearts. Praise God for these decisions!

These events took on a very personal meaning for me, as this North India host city is where my family relocated from South India when I was a 9-month-old child. Growing up, I would literally dream of thousands of youths coming together to give their lives to Christ. What a privilege it was to see this dream coming to life when young men and women stepped out in bold obedience to do just that.

These events took on a very personal meaning for me, as this North India host city is where my family relocated from South India when I was a 9-month-old child. Growing up, I would literally dream of thousands of youths coming together to give their lives to Christ. What a privilege it was to see this dream coming to life when young men and women stepped out in bold obedience to do just that.

Just last year in this same region, we held a Global Advance Church Plant Conference for 350 pastors with the goal to empower indigenous pastors to identify unreached areas and plant churches. Since that time, nine brand new church plants have been launched! I was able to visit these churches personally during this trip. I believe India is on the brink of a revival which will literally spread to the nations. The churches have tripled since 2017. Missionaries are willing to take risks to go to areas that do not welcome Christ. I see a boldness that only God can give. Frontline leaders are persistent, and they have never given up. I firmly believe that because of their faithfulness, God has not only provided for them, but He has given them great favor in their nation. 

With the blessing of their fathers, the two young men pictured in the middle have committed to planting churches in unreached areas.

With the blessing of their fathers, the two young men pictured in the middle have committed to planting churches in unreached areas.

As I look back at all that has been accomplished, I am in complete awe of what God has done. SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

We invited 50 pastors to a follow-up meeting to pray for these NextGen leaders and to discuss next strategic steps. Each pastor committed to mentor and disciple specific young people assigned to them using our Global Advance LifeBooks. God laid the burden on our hearts to focus on Northwest India, covering 7 states and 2 Union Territories: Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra (States); Diu and Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli (UTs). Our prayer is that by 2030, there will be a growing church in each village, district, city, and state, and all the people groups will be reached with the gospel. Our prayer is to see every people group in this region engaged through these trained young leaders. Will you commit to pray for them?

My heart is overflowing with thankfulness to God for raising up a ministry like Global Advance to lift our hands in reaching the unreached for Christ. I am grateful to Global Advance for believing in and investing in my generation by empowering us to fulfill the Great Commission, to strengthen the global church, and to penetrate every sphere of culture with the gospel.

My hope and dream for the Church in 2019 is that we would shift from being a Church that does missions to being a missionary Church. These people groups are at the very heart of the unfinished Great Commission task. With the enabling of the One true living, all-powerful God, your financial partnership can make a difference in eternity. Will you prayerfully consider partnering with us in this new year as we continue to empower frontline leaders to reach the unreached in North India and beyond?

 

Vivek S.