13 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

E-pray: June 2009

Dear praying friends,

Thank you for praying for us and for the Lordís work in India. We were happy about the results of the national elections because the party that was re-elected is more in favor of a secular government as opposed to having a Hindu government. We should have the same freedom in our state as we did in the past. This is true for our state, but sadly in Orissa the Hindu fundamentalistís party was also re-elected. This means that the same laws and policies will be enforced so we donít really know if this will change things for the refugees or not. Please pray that the central government would get more involved in bringing justice to their cause. Please keep praying for peace in their lives, for guidance, provision, and continued growth in their faith and confidence in the Lord.

We thought we would share the story of one of our Pastors who lives near the Orissa border and does face persecution for his faith.

Obayha was born into a poor outcaste Hindu family. In the Hindu caste system outcaste people have little or no respect because of their Ďbad karmaí. It cursed them to be born as an outcaste. Outcaste people in India are often poor because they have a hard time getting a good job or education. In the villages most outcaste families give their kids to rich Hindu landlords as servants for life in exchange for a few bags of rice each year.

Obayha grew up as a slave boy on a Hindu farm. He used to see Christians going to church to worship God. They seemed so full of joy and happiness in their life. Obayha worshiped Hindu idols and always lived in fear of his Hindu master. His master told him that he was cursed by the gods because of his previous lives so he should never laugh or have fun. He was paying for the sins of his past life.

One day, when he was in his early 20ís, he thought he would listen from outside of the church to hear the Christians worship their god. He heard the preaching and prayers. Every Sunday after that he would go and listen outside of the church. He heard that the church was offering night classes for illiterate workers to learn to read and write so he joined the class. He began to participate in reading the Bible. As he read and listened he found out that everyone is a slave to sin until they repent and follow Jesus. Pastor Abraham spent time with him answering his questions and explaining the Bible to him. Obayha believed and gave his life to Jesus! He was baptized and changed his name to Issaku.

His Hindu master was very angry with him and beat him. He wanted him to convert back to being a Hindu, but Issaku knew that he had found the true God and he was willing to die for his faith. Finally his Hindu master let him go. Issaku was no longer a slave to sin or to his Hindu master. His faith in God grew and he worked with Pastor Abraham in any way that he needed help.

After some years of working together along with some other Pastors from that area, Pastor Abraham wanted Issaku to help start a church in a nearby village. This village is the poorest village in the area with a population of about 600 people. Issaku moved into the village and lives there in a hut with his wife and 2 children. They go to school and are getting an education which he was not allowed to do. He goes house to house to talk with the people about the change that Jesus has made in his life. In the past several years the radical Hindus have threatened him, burned their little thatched church building down and beaten him, but he does not quit witnessing, telling people about Jesus in his village and his neighboring village. He says that he forgives his persecutors because Jesus forgave him. Please pray for Pastor Issaku and for all the Pastors who work tirelessly and through much hardship that they would continue to be encouraged and that their work would produce much fruit for the glory of God.

Thanks again for your partnership with us as we reach the unreached for the glory of the Lord and His kingdom.

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