As I sit here thinking about our 4th mission to the Diocese of Durgapur, my heart is overwhelmed with praise and thanksgiving that our God has allowed me to be a part of a vibrant and growing Diocese in India. It is a humbling feeling to be used by the Lord to proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand, to heal the sick and cast out demons. For 10 days, we traveled around the Diocese teaching the church members about the healing ministry of Jesus in the mornings. During the evening, Festivals of Hope were held under huge tents with thousands of men, women, children representing every religion — Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc. During the evening sessions, worship leaders led singing and praising God. Our pastor leaders prayed and then I proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except by Him!
Following the sermon, the congregation was invited to line up in front of the 8 Team members to receive prayer for whatever need they had. We had a great response from the people who testified how the Holy Spirit touched them and they were healed.
We returned to the church in Coonor. In 2015, a pastor received his sight during a Festival of Hope. Pastor Immanuel Paul reported that since January 2016 they had baptized 1,000 people in the Coonor pastorate. During our visit to Coonor, there were 35 men, women, and children who received the Sacrament of Baptism by submersion.
The church is growing under the leadership of Bishop Probal Kanto Dutta. What a privilege to be a part of the ministry in the diocese and to witness how our St. Michael’s has made an impact in that part of the 10/40 window of the world. A second floor has been added to St. Michael’s Safe House so that they can care for 20 more girls who will be rescued from the sex and organ trafficking trade.
People are begging the Bishop to build churches in their villages so they can have a place to come together and worship the Lord. Many must travel on foot for many hours to another village for worship and fellowship with other Christians. When the rainy season comes, the dry river beds fill up and they cannot cross the raging waters. People of other beliefs come to hear about Jesus!
The Hindus have places of worship and often mock the Christians who have no church in their village. They say, “You say you serve a Living God. So, where is your temple?” May God burn it into the hearts of many people to donate towards building new churches. A church costs about $20,000, with electricity and a deep well — sharing clean water with the village. A church building is a gift to a whole community where people of other faiths come hear about the love of God. Without a building, this would not happen.
Bishop Dutta reported there is a need at the present time for 30 new churches. But, land cannot be purchased. The land is donated by the villagers. The deeds are secured in the name of the Diocese of Durgapur, Church of North India.
St. Michael’s has funded the construction of five churches in their rural villages. I pray St. Michael’s will continue to support the building of churches in the Diocese of Durgapur where the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives!