As this blog post gets published, I’m hopping on a flight (along with about 7,000 others) to the Together for the Gospel conference. Maybe you’ll be there too. But while we’re enjoying three packed days of teaching, nestled in hotel and air-conditioned meeting spaces, let’s not forget to pray for pastors who serve in challenging places outside the U.S. Some of these guys may never attend conferences like this.
For example, we recently heard from some pastors that we work with in south Asia. Would you join us in praying for them?
Our friend Wilson leads a network of around 350 churches in western and northern India. The pastors of these churches are boldly preaching the gospel of Christ in many settings, from remote rural villages to the slums of a fast-growing industrial city. Some of them have been imprisoned, or beaten, or seen their church buildings torched. But you know what? They are seeing conversions and many churches are multiplying. One pastor reports that 20 people are meeting weekly; another church has 24 people who usually attend, four of whom are not yet believers. Other pastors are spearheading a children’s education program in a slum area, in partnership with a church there that now has 60 believers.
Wilson also leads a school for pastoral ministry. In December, he hosted pastors Greg Gill (Grace Community Church, Kingsville, MD) and Joel Rishel (Sovereign Grace Church, Joppa, MD) to teach a week-long session on biblical leadership and pastoral ministry. Sixty pastors from eight Indian states attended the course. Now that may not seem like a large crowd compared to T4G, but this “small” class in western India was equally strategic. It provided not only pastoral equipping in gospel truths, but also an opportunity for these pastors to be encouraged through fellowship with each other.
For several years we’ve had the privilege of working with a small number of pastors in Sri Lanka, who together lead more than a dozen churches. Instability in Sri Lanka has made ministry difficult, and the churches are facing persecution. And it’s not just hardship from without; one of these pastors is caring for his wife as she is suffering severely from a terminal illness.
But in spite of these challenges the gospel of Christ is advancing, and churches are growing as people are being saved. For example, an inner-city church was recently planted that already has 60 new believers.
It’s hard to believe we get to partner with leaders throughout the world who are making a vital difference through the gospel. If you’re wondering how you can support their cause, let me offer one simple word: Pray
How to pray
When it comes to prayer, specifics help. So here goes.
- that God would protect believers in India and Sri Lanka and grant them boldness to proclaim the gospel of Christ
- that God would open doors for the gospel among Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims, and that many would put their faith in Christ
- that God would grant wisdom and strength to pastors in India and Sri Lanka
- that stability, peace, and justice would increase in both of these countries
Thanks for remembering them by praying with us!
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leads international expansion and church planting for Sovereign Grace
Ministries and is based in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. For more
information about the Sovereign Grace church-planting process, click here.