Believers in South Asia are working to be a sweet aroma among their neighbors but most of all to their Father in heaven.
Pastor Shalva* in South Asia was recently introduced to Community Health Evangelism through our World Challenge partner. He became very interested in the concepts of reaching the whole person for Christ and started implementing this into his own ministry.
The story of the Good Samaritan particularly impacted Pastor Shalva. He understood that to love people he needed to show it practically and not only talk to people about Jesus. First, he decided to visit an older lady in the community and demonstrate God’s love for her. Soon, she decided to follow Jesus. She also led her sister to Christ, and her sister led her own sons and daughter to the Lord.
Today, this lady is slowly bringing her daughters-in-law to faith in God and has decided to offer her own land for a church to be built in her community.
Introductions with Gifts of Food
During this time, Pastor Shalva’s brother was sent to jail in India. Shalva and a few volunteers decided to go show love to him and one of his cellmates. When they brought them some fruit, the two inmates were so moved that they had tears in their eyes. Pastor Shalva asked for his brother’s cellmate’s address and went to see this man’s mother. He brought her blankets and food, and he would visit occasionally afterward with gifts of flour and rice.
When this inmate was released from jail, he went straight to Pastor Shalva’s church. He called his wife and asked her to meet him at church to pray. That same week, this precious couple gave their lives to the Lord and were baptized, and God is continuing to work in their lives and marriage.
Pastor Shalva is also bringing much-needed practical help to the community. He is coordinating with government organizations and utilizing local resources to improve the living situation for this village. The team was able to drill 10 new borewells to provide water for communities, and they have trained local leaders in how to operate and care for these wells.
Most importantly, since being trained by World Challenge’s partner ministry, Pastor Shalva and his volunteers have led over 30 Hindus to faith in Christ.
Against All Odds and Danger
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pastor Shalva and his team regularly risked their own safety to bring people food, blankets, sanitizer and educational materials for children who were unable to attend school. Due to their service, the mayor has recognized their work and given them public endorsements.
This kind of acceptance by the community is a huge step in a region of the world where Christians are often persecuted.
Pastor Shalva says, “By giving alone, we can never win souls, but it opens the way for the gospel. This ministry has given us a new way to love our neighbor. These good works resulted in many people taking interest in us and the gospel. Like Nehemiah did, we have the sword in one hand and a working tool in the other.”
*Name replaced or omitted. For our ministry partners’ security, we don’t release names or locations in highly sensitive areas.