Welcome to India—a beautiful, vibrant land of widely diverse culture. But a land of over a billion people bound in fear and darkness. It’s also a place where the church is growing fastest among lower caste members and where evangelism is successful, especially among women.
Since it’s common for Indian women to regularly experience rapes, female infanticide and general suppression, the freedom and equality that Christianity promises are a life-saving alternative.
On our short trip to India, Peter Marshall and I experienced this very thing. We’d been invited to a listening group—an audio Bible service—in a village called Andrahall. It was a small group of only 11 people, but in the back sat three Hindu ladies. We knew by the dot on their forehead they were Hindu. They also came from a lowly agricultural caste—people considered of low value in the demonic Hindu society.
As the Audio Bible was played, the women listened intently. Peter got up to share a 10-minute gospel message. As he spoke, the three Hindu women began to cry. They kept wiping their eyes as Peter shared about God’s love. At the end, he gave an altar call and all three ladies responded.
They gladly received Christ, because they understood there was a God who loved them. Loved them—in sharp contrast to their Hindu gods they had to continually appease to avoid punishment. He loved them despite fellow Indians treating them poorly. Yes, God loved them even though they’d been born into the "wrong" caste.
When the meeting finished, we all gathered outside the church and took photos of the newly converted ladies together with Peter. It was a time of rejoicing in the miracle.
Strangely, our translator, Mamatha, was anything but happy. When we got into the car to leave, we asked Mamatha why she wasn’t smiling and happy. Would she not be thrilled to have witnessed three Hindu women come to Christ?
Her response was like a kick in the gut. Peter and I were completely floored.
“I am very happy these ladies met Christ today,” Mamatha said, “but how they going to grow into strong Christians when they have no Bible to read everyday?”
That’s the challenge we face—India is hungry for the gospel. We need to point them to Jesus, but we also have a responsibility to give them the resources they need to grow. They need the Bible—desperately!