I’m going to India

I’ll be taking a trip to India with Grant the last half of April. This will be a scouting/networking trip as we look at the possibility of expanding to work there in the next 3-5 years. This proposed expansion is part of our THUMBs Up vision, where we are seeking to have works going among all five major religious groups of the least-reached world – the Tribals, Hindus, Unreligious/Chinese, Muslims, and Buddhists. Though GFM currently just works in southern Mexico, our heart has always been for the least-reached all around the world. The vast majority of the least-reached are found in the region of the world known as the 10/40 Window. Good work is already being done among all the major religious groups, but there remains a tremendous amount to be done. Over 2.5 billion people in the world today live in ethnic groups with no indigenous church capable of evangelizing the rest of the population, and an estimated 1.7 billion people have never heard the name of Jesus. Because GFM has a huge heart for mobilizing new laborers, we want to be working in all five major religious groups so that we can offer more specialized training and apprenticeships for people planning to work in each of those groups.

India is the proposed location for our Hindu plant, though we could also have the opportunity to work with Muslims, Buddhists, and Sikhs there. If we find a suitable location there, we think we will most likely end up working somewhere in northern India. We do not yet have any idea who would be moving to India, when they would be going, or exactly where they would work. We are still in the early stages of this, but we are trusting God to make this vision a reality within the next five years.

The need in India is staggering. Consider these statistics:

  • India has 310 ethnic groups (own language, customs, etc. – for North Americans compare it to something like a Native American tribe – it’s not going to get reached unless someone makes a conscious, concerted effort) of over 100,000 people that are unreached with the gospel and have no mission work going on among them.
  • India has 54 distinct ethnic groups of over 1 million people that do not have a single Christian in the entire group. Think about that for a minute – a missionary could start work among one of these tribes and have a group of between 1 and 10 million people to reach with the gospel, starting with not a single believer among them.
  • The current population of India is over 1.1 billion people. According to the Joshua Project, India has 2,567 distinct ethnic groups, 2,274 of which are unreached with the gospel.

You can get detailed statistics on India, including a state-by-state breakdown, on Operation World’s India page.

To sum up why we feel a burden to go to India, in light of the statistics above, I leave you with a couple of verses:

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

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