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Rural Convention Draws 5,000 Tribals

December 27th, 2013

Why would people travel through forests and across rice paddies just to spend time in a primitive church building with no electricity or air conditioning? Just ask the 5,000 people who crowded into a church building in Maharashtra, India, recently.

M.A. Lalachan, Gospel for Asia’s leader in central India, said the answer was Christian fellowship and worship.

“It was indeed a unique experience to see believers travel by foot, bullock cart and on the tops of jeeps,” Lalachan wrote. “The convention venue was in the middle of a forest, and it was 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the nearest town. We had no electricity or nearby roads, so generators provided power, and we had to cross through a rice paddy to reach it!”

The two-day conference was organized by 24 GFA native missionaries.

The rural location of the convention site posed difficulties, but it enabled Christians to come from tribal areas where transportation to the cities is often unavailable.

And what looked like a disastrous start to the convention ended up being a miracle.

“The convention started with a note of disappointment because it was raining heavily and there were high winds,” Lalachan reported. “However, we prayed and God stopped the rain miraculously just before the convention started.

“In spite of the downpour, 2,500 people came the first night. The second day started with a Bible study session from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The evening meeting saw a gathering of about 5,000 people.

“During the evening meeting, different churches presented worship songs in their own tribal languages. This went on until midnight.”

The attendees also brought food and worked together to cook meals. Mealtimes became a time of sweet fellowship, as everyone ate together.

At the end of the two days, the believers were encouraging each other and sharing how they were growing in their walks with the Lord. They were also looking forward to making a difference in their own communities.

“The conference concluded with a prayer and pledge that in the days to come, many more people should hear the Gospel in those areas,” Lalachan wrote. “We also prayed for a permanent building to hold these conventions every year.”

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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