Archive for the ‘Gospel for Asia’ Category

Easter Parade Reaches Nepal

October 4th, 2013 Comments off
Speaker Sharing about Christ

A Christian speaker shares a message about the love of Christ at the Easter celebration program.

With the sun on the horizon, Christians in Nepal put on their walking shoes. Then they gathered together, and Gospel for Asia native missionary Arun Prasad led them in prayer. Excitement filled their hearts as they prepared for the long day ahead. Easter had finally come.

This year, Gospel for Asia missionaries gathered with about 30,000 other Christians in Nepal for an Easter parade. Joyfully singing songs and carrying colorful banners adorned with Scriptures, the believers walked for several hours proclaiming the Good News of Christ’s resurrection.

Arun and the believers with him passed out hundreds of tracts to people along the parade route—which stretched from one village into another. They also stopped and shared more about the Gospel message with those who had questions.

Easter Parade

Gospel for Asia missionaries and other believers carried banners adorned with Scripture and Christian messages along the parade route.

When the believers reached the final village, they conducted an Easter celebration program that included singing, skits and a presentation of the Gospel message. Many of the people they met along the parade route attended—and heard about the love of Jesus for the first time.

At the end of the day, the believers rejoiced at how the Lord worked that day. They praised God for the time to celebrate His gift of salvation and share about His sacrifice with others.

Arun and the believers request prayer that the tracts they distributed will bring much fruit, and that many will come to know the Lord through the Easter parade outreach.



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

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She Sacrificed Her Son

September 27th, 2013 Comments off

Millions of people come to the Ganges River hoping their sins will be washed away.

Through the stench of human waste and charred flesh, a mass of priests and pilgrims pressed toward one of the holiest places known to their faith.

On this day of celebration for their goddess, religious devotees believed the river would provide physical healing and forgiveness of their sins. They brought their dead with them, and set fire to their bodies on pyres in hopes of providing their loved ones with a good afterlife. Ashes, bones and cremated bodies sank into the river.

But above the clamor of the crowds, Varghese heard a lone, wailing voice. Kneeling along the shore, a young woman beat her chest and sobbed uncontrollably.

As Varghese approached, she wiped away the tears and tried to compose herself, but when he asked what was wrong, her horrific story poured out.

Her husband was sick with tuberculosis and had been out of work for months. Without his income, the young couple didn’t know how they would survive—unless they could somehow make peace with their deity.

“The troubles in my home are so great, and my sins so many,” she said, “so I gave my goddess the best I had to offer: my firstborn son.”

With horror, Varghese realized the woman had just thrown her infant into the river. The practice is centuries old: parents sacrifice their children in the river out of desperation for forgiveness. They’ve never been told that salvation was already purchased by the Son of God.

Read about the opportunity to reach people like this woman with Christ’s loveorder and read your free copy of Revolution in World Missions.

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

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Reaching out to Cyclone Survivors

September 20th, 2013 Comments off
Bible Campus in Burma

A brief glimpse of the damage at GFA’s Bible college campus in Burma. This building lost its roof.

A Gospel for Asia Bible college in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar), is now a makeshift shelter for those devastated by Cyclone Nargis, which swept across the country early Saturday morning.

James Pinglay, the teenage son of a Gospel for Asia missionary in Kerala, India, was at the Bible college in Rangoon when the storm hit. He was able to obtain information and get on one of the only flights out of the country to deliver a report and photos of the devastation.

Pinglay said the cyclone hit at about 2:30 a.m. By daylight, the full effect of the storm was obvious. Homes were destroyed. Giant trees had crashed through buildings and were lying uprooted, blocking roads.

International news organizations are not allowed to report from Burma, but the news that is trickling out is horrifying. The death toll is estimated to be at least 22,000, and another 41,000 are missing.

“The people in Burma live in clusters of small communities in simple bamboo structures,” explained GFA President K.P. Yohannan. “These villages are not made of concrete. I imagine that literally hundreds of these simple structures were just blown away. We are praying here in India and are asking Christians around the world to join us.”

Pinglay reports that more than 80 people—along with 70 children from a nearby orphanage that was destroyed—made their way to the Bible college campus as soon as the storm subsided. Buddhist monks are also at the college, seeking assistance.

GFA Burma Bible College

A 2004 photo of GFA’s Burma Bible college. Part of the building is now being used to house storm refugees.

Local officials set up shop at the Bible college because the police station was completely destroyed. The police have asked for help from the staff at the college. At present, the students are away on their summer vacation. This freed up space to accommodate many who came for help.

GFA missionaries serve at about 400 churches and 250 mission stations in Burma. In 2006, the military-run government of Burma forbade foreign non-government organizations from doing aid work in the country. In the face of this disaster, the government is now relenting and allowing outside aid.

Since GFA missionaries are already in the country and have found favor with the government, they are one of the few groups able to offer immediate help to the people as they begin the recovery process.

“In the past, whenever there was a problem of any kind, our people got involved in helping. That is why the government and the people there look at us with good favor,” Yohannan said.

The missionaries and staff at the Bible college are taking care of the people’s basic needs by offering meals, prayers and the love of Jesus for those who have lost all hope. They will continue caring for the people, but the task before them is daunting.

“Rangoon is in total darkness, and they are estimating that there will not be electricity for at least three months,” Yohannan said.

Obtaining enough food to feed all those at the Bible college presents another challenge. At present, the banks are closed and fresh food and water are in short supply. Yet these are simply the immediate problems before the aid workers.

“We are facing at least six months of continuous work ministering to the people,” Yohannan explained. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to reach out in love to them, just like we did after the tsunami in 2004.”

And while part of one Bible college building is still standing, portions of the campus—including the building where the people are now staying—were severely damaged.

“We will need to rebuild the Bible college, staff quarters and hundreds of homes of those in our churches,” Yohannan said. “Also, dozens of churches are sure to have been destroyed.”

While many missionaries and staff will remain in Rangoon assisting with the work at the Bible college, many others are already going out into the villages, looking for survivors and surveying the damage.

Yohannan asks for continued prayer for the people of Burma as they come to grips with this crisis. He also asks for prayer for those who are helping them.


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

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She Sold Her Daughter

September 16th, 2013 Comments off

Lakhi had been warned of the coming destruction, but so many others had denied it. She had nowhere to go anyway if it did come. But that day had finally arrived. Now hundreds of police officers marched through the monsoon rains, clearing Lakhi and her neighbors from their homes and making way for the bulldozers. Carrying an infant in her arms, she joined the mass evacuation and pondered the question plaguing the other women: How would they care for their children now?

Prostitute Flees with Infant Daughter

The government had talked for years of clearing out prostitutes, like Lakhi, from the neighborhood, but it was just recently that they had seemed serious about their vows of cracking down on the red-light district.

The day before, the big news had come: At 7:30 a.m., the police were coming to tear down all the huts involved in the sex trade. Lakhi had until then to leave.

Four buses waited to take sex workers to a mental asylum-turned-government rehabilitation facility. If they refused, they could return to the lands they’d been trafficked from or be put in prison. Despite their lack of options, no one trusted the authorities enough to climb aboard the buses, and Lakhi wasn’t going to lead the way.

The next morning, as the walls of her home and business turned to rubble, she held her 1-year-old daughter close and ran. The journey began with thousands fleeing, but the crowd thinned out as former neighbors split off toward their homelands.

After traveling two miles through the rain, Lakhi saw a woman on the roadside who hadn’t come from the carnage, and she had an idea.

Lakhi didn’t know where she would get a job or how she would live, but she was certain of one thing right now: Her child could have a better life, if only this woman would say “yes.” If only she would agree to buy Lakhi’s daughter.

Daughter Sold to New Mother

As far as Naavarasi knew, there wasn’t a protocol for handling requests that one buy another’s child. The traveling woman was making an outlandish plea. Still, she did seem truly desperate, and what would become of the poor baby if Naavarasi denied her?

At the very least, Naavarasi knew the child would be safe in her family. And as the only girl in a house of three brothers, she would be well loved.

The women agreed on a price equivalent to $22—about a month’s wages for some in the area—and Naavarasi took the infant home. She would call the baby Tamanna.

With no way to make a living, Lakhi made the desperate decision to sell her 1-year-old daughter to a woman named Naavarasi.

With no way to make a living, Lakhi made the desperate decision to sell her 1-year-old daughter to a woman named Naavarasi.

Illness Shakes Adoptive Family

For a while, Naavarasi and her family made a happy home for Tamanna. But when the girl was 3 years old, Naavarasi was overtaken by stomach issues that frequently caused her to vomit blood. And though her family belonged to a traditional religion, the gods they worshiped did nothing to heal the mother of four.

As a wage laborer, Naavarasi didn’t earn much, but her children depended on all of it. If Naavarasi couldn’t go to work, if she couldn’t care for them, perhaps her sister would take them in—but she already had four little ones of her own.

It was a dark reality to grasp, but the future awaiting Tamanna and her brothers was just as uncertain as on that day by the roadside.

When Naavarasi became sick, it threatened her ability to provide for Tamanna and her other children by working as a laborer.

When Naavarasi became sick, it threatened her ability to provide for Tamanna and her other children by working as a laborer.

A Cook Offers Hope

When every course of action Naavarasi tried had failed, she was left with only one thing to do: talk with others about her problems. One of those other people happened to be Chahna.

Chahna was a cook at a local Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope center and knew Jesus was the hope Naavarasi needed.

Chahna told Naavarasi all about the God who loved her and would never leave her, and she invited Naavarasi to come to church. As Naavarasi listened to Chahna’s pastor share, she felt the Lord calling her, and she decided to embrace His love.

Daughter Raised in Christ’s Love

Over time, God healed Naavarasi of her illness, and she was able to resume her position as family provider. Not only that, but she is raising her children to know of the God who saved their family.

Because of her adoptive mother’s love, Tamanna, now 10 years old, has never known the life of pain she was rescued from as a baby or what she could have faced as a toddler. At age 5, she was enrolled in the local Bridge of Hope center, and through the godly examples of her mother and the staff, she is learning what it means to follow Christ.

As Bridge of Hope staff members watch Tamanna’s growth, they’re encouraged to do more to reach the children of the red-light district, even making plans to open another center soon. After all, they know the most important part of Tamanna’s story: She is beloved by the living God, who paid the highest price to call her His own.

You can bring the love of Christ to mothers and their children each day by linking your life with a Bridge of Hope child.

Through the care of Naavarasi and the Bridge of Hope staff, Tamanna knows a life full of God's grace.

Through the care of Naavarasi and the Bridge of Hope staff, Tamanna knows a life full of God’s grace.


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

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Surviving Cyclone Nargis

September 6th, 2013 Comments off

James Pinglay, the teenage son of a Gospel for Asia missionary in Kerala, India, was at GFA’s Bible college in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar) when Cyclone Nargis hit the country Saturday. James was staying in the on-campus apartment of a Bible College staff member. He was able to catch one of the only flights out of the country after the cyclone and is now sharing the harrowing tale of the storm and its aftermath.

The cyclone struck in the middle of the night and surprised the people of Rangoon.

“First we heard a sound on the roof like someone was beating on it. We didn’t know then that it was a cyclone. We got up and went into the kitchen and to our utter shock, the kitchen roof was gone. The roof was made of aluminum and we saw it flying away in the wind. The ceiling had already begun to collapse,” he said. “Beams and sheet metal were falling, so everyone in the house knew they had to get away to escape injury. As one woman opened the door to escape, we saw trees being uprooted and falling down. We also saw the roof of the other two big buildings flying off. We all ran to safety to another building that was made of brick.”

Once they arrived safely in that building, the terror continued. They were on the ground floor of the building and listened helplessly, as the storm attacked the building.

“It was thundering and raining with a strong wind. We heard the sound of our roof flying off and hitting the ground,” James said.

As daylight ascended on the campus, James and Bible college staff surveyed the damage.

“The next morning, we found that the windows from our chapel had broken and water was all over the place in the office, chapel, classrooms and dormitories. The two-story staff quarters had no roof. The families on the top floor evacuated to the ground floor. Countless houses in the neighborhood were totally destroyed.”

In the aftermath of the storm, just finding basic supplies is proving difficult.

“The prices of essential commodities and food shot up high. The people were not able to even afford to buy food. There is no communication, no water supply and no electricity. Transportation is nearly impossible as fallen trees are all over the place and roads are blocked. People could hardly move from place to place,” he said.

The hospital and police station were destroyed in the storm, too.

“Banks and other government offices are also closed, too. All international flights to and from Rangoon are cancelled because communication and computers are affected.”

The immediate needs of the people were obvious everywhere James looked.

“When we went to the city we saw that there was no place left for the people to stay. They were literally on the streets. They had to sleep on the streets and cook on the streets. People here are suffering.”


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

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A Christian’s Concern and a Pastor’s Prayer

August 23rd, 2013 Comments off



Sahat fervently prayed for Raju’s healing, and very soon Raju was completely free of the epilepsy.

Plummeting into a future with no hope, Raju and Sheela Banaj thought they had no way out. As Dalits in Karnataka, India, they could barely feed their three children on the meager wages they earned as farm laborers. Then Raju began suffering from severe epilepsy.

Since he was no longer able to work, it seemed Raju’s family would starve. His enormous medical bills also sent them into deep debt—yet his health only deteriorated. They prayed to their traditional religion’s deities, and still felt no peace in their lives.

News of their difficult situation spread around the village and finally met the ears of Malika Nayan, a local Christian. Filled with immense compassion for this desperate family, Malika visited Raju and Sheela in their home. She prayed for them and shared the true hope found in Christ.

After her visit, Malika shared Raju and Sheela’s situation with Sahat Turag, the Gospel for Asia native missionary who is the pastor of her church. Sahat, too, was stirred with empathy for Raju and his family, so he went to their home to reach out in love.

During his visit, the pastor prayed for the Lord to heal Raju from the epilepsy. Soon, Raju’s health was completely restored, and he was able to work again! He and Sheela also felt a satisfying peace and joy in their hearts.

Raju and his family rejoiced in what the Lord had done in their lives. Raju and Sheela both received Christ into their lives and follow him faithfully today. They are bringing their children up to love the Lord as well.

Sahat requests prayer that Raju and his family will continue to grow in their faith. Malika asks for prayer that she will continue to be a light for Christ in her village.


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

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Women Touching Lives in Sikkim

August 9th, 2013 Comments off


Women Reaching Women

Women sharing the Good News of Jesus through GFA can often minister in situations where it would not be culturally appropriate for a man to do so.

Raju and Prasela, a couple in Sikkim, India, stood by feeling helpless to do anything for their little boy. Sujin was seriously ill, and it pained them to watch him suffer.

Then the couple met a team of Christian women serving with Gospel for Asia. These women listened with compassion to Raju and Prasela’s plight and told them about Jesus. They prayed earnestly for Sujin, and he started to feel a little better.

The women helped Raju and Prasela get Sujin to the hospital. Soon, he was completely healed! Amazed that their son had recovered so quickly, the couple gave Jesus the glory and rejoiced with the women who had prayed for them and helped them. Raju and Prasela also chose to put their trust in Christ.

The efforts of the women who reached out to Raju and Prasela represent a vibrant arm of GFA’s ministry—the Women’s Fellowship. Through this ministry, women from local churches—many of them first-generation Christians—are discipled and trained to reach their communities with the love of Jesus.

During one outreach event, the Sikkim Women’s Fellowship team gave out thousands of tracts. God blessed these efforts, and many people began attending local churches to learn more about Jesus.

Even a GFA Women’s Fellowship meeting, designed to minister to the women themselves, turned into an opportunity to bless the surrounding community, as the Lord’s presence radiated from these women. While many of them made renewed commitments to serve Christ, the meeting also drew the curious attention of many non-Christians. Four families were touched and came to know Christ as a result.

A similar opportunity for ministry took place as two Women’s Fellowship members traveled to a church in Sikkim. On the way to this church they were able to share the Gospel with the driver they had hired. The man listened intently and decided to receive Christ as his Savior.

At least one Bible study has sprung up in Sikkim through the Women’s Fellowship ministry, with at least eight people coming out for prayer.

Give God the glory and praise for the harvest He is bringing through these faithful women, who themselves have been delivered from spiritual darkness. Please pray that the GFA women’s fellowship ministry will continue to grow and significantly touch lives in South Asia.


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

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Gujarat Enacts Anti-Conversion Law

July 26th, 2013 Comments off

Gospel for Asia missionaries in Gujarat, India, may now face up to three years in prison if they are convicted of “forcibly converting” someone to Christianity. And believers across the state are concerned that the law will open doors for anti-Christian extremists to falsely accuse them of illegal practices.

“Our missionaries are trusting that the Lord will take care of them in this difficult time,” said K.P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia’s founder and president. “Several states in India have enacted these types of laws, but the love of Christ is still going out.”

The state’s legislative assembly passed the “Gujarat Religious Freedom Act,” an anti-conversion law, in 2003. But it remained dormant until April 1, when they finally formalized the rules for its implementation.

Now, if someone responds to the Gospel, the missionary must submit a completed form to the government, which includes detailed information about the person changing his or her faith. Also, the person who is “converting” must report to the government 30 days before the “conversion ceremony”—which includes events like baptism.

If religious workers do not comply with these rules, they will face criminal charges. However, those in the Hindu religion are exempt from the stipulations of the new law, leaving many to believe that it is targeting Christians and Muslims.

The state’s legislative assembly tried to get the rules for the law framed in March. But Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma declared the amendment unconstitutional because it “violated Article 25 of the (Indian) constitution, which guarantees to all citizens to freely profess, practice and propagate any religion.” The March amendment also included Jains and Buddhists as part of the Hindu religion. Now, in the new law, the two religions are considered separate.

Christians are concerned that the law will provide new ways for anti-Christian extremists to persecute them through false accusations. They are also worried that the needy will suffer, because charitable work could be construed as bribery for people to “convert” to Christianity.

“Please pray that our missionaries and other Christian workers in Gujarat will have wisdom and strength from the Lord,” said K.P. Yohannan. “Also lift up those that want to persecute the believers, that they will come to Jesus in a personal way.”


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

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Sharing God’s Love In Delhi

July 12th, 2013 Comments off

Boy in Delhi

There are thousands of homeless children in Delhi like this boy. Many of them live in the railway stations.

Bu Debbarma does not know when or where he was born. He does not know his mother’s or father’s name. But he does know that his Heavenly Father loves him, and he is committed to sharing that Good News with everyone he meets.

Bu is a Gospel for Asia missionary serving near the Delhi, India, airport. He is just one of many GFA missionaries in Delhi, which is one of the world’s largest cities with 11 million residents.

Delhi, including India’s capital city of New Delhi, is a territory much like Washington, D.C., in the United States. Delhi is one of the fastest growing places in India, with more than 500,000 people pouring in each year looking for economic opportunities and a better life. Sadly, half the city’s population lives in slums where massive pollution, disease, crime and hopelessness are a way of life.

In spite of its reputation as India’s melting pot, the country’s traditional religions still maintain a stronghold in Delhi. Less than one percent of the population professes to follow Christ.

Delhi is one of the fastest growing places in India, with more than 500,000 people pouring in each year looking for economic opportunities and a better life.

Bu can relate to people in Delhi, especially those in desperate situations. Orphaned at age two, he grew up in a Christian orphanage in Delhi where he learned about Jesus and became a believer. When he was in the 10th grade, he told the orphanage leaders what had been on his heart for many years already—he felt called to do God’s work for the rest of his life. His caretakers were thrilled that God chose Bu to serve Him, and they helped this young man enroll in a GFA Delhi Bible college.

Today Bu is reaching people for Christ in one of the world’s most difficult cities. He is just one of a number of GFA missionaries bringing the love of the Father to the people of Delhi.

From Child Labor to Serving Christ

Salam Kumar came to Delhi from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Today he also serves as a GFA missionary, sharing God’s love in this urban area.

Even though Salam’s family was deeply involved in a religion where they worshipped many traditional gods, there was no peace or joy in their family. They were also very poor. Because of their poverty, Salam was sent to work when he was in the first grade. By the time he was in the fifth grade, he was spending more hours at his job than at school. Even though he worked many hours, his income was still not sufficient to meet his family’s needs.

Local Church

These people are worshipping at a local church in Delhi. The majority of people in this congregation are immigrants from Nepal.

It was about this time in his life that Jadu Bikash, a Christian pastor, visited Salam’s village. Jadu introduced Jesus to the villagers. He preached the Gospel and sang a song titled “There is Freedom in Jesus’ Name.” The words of the song—and the promise of the Gospel—so moved the heart of Salam’s father that he chose to follow Jesus that very day. His wife, four daughters and his son, Salam, also gave their hearts to Christ that day.

Salam left Madhya Pradesh to study in the GFA Bible college in Delhi. He has since graduated and has spent the last five years sharing the Lord with the people of Delhi.

Nephew Receives Gift of Life

Rama Bhatti came to Delhi when he was in the 11th grade. The son of a farmer from Bihar in North India, Rama lived with his uncle in Delhi while pursuing a higher education. Rama’s uncle was a Christian, but Rama knew nothing about Jesus. Rama’s family was involved in a traditional religion and worshipped many gods. It was the only faith he knew.

Rama’s uncle took him to church every week. The more Rama heard about Jesus the more he wanted to know! He became good friends with Neba Tamang, the pastor of the church, and soon Rama surrendered his life to Christ.

Pastor Neba spent hours teaching this young disciple about the Lord. When Rama declared that he wanted to serve the Lord fulltime, Neba helped him enroll at a GFA Bible college in Delhi.

Rama is now serving the Lord full—time as a GFA missionary.

Shepherding the Flock in Delhi
Simon John

Gospel for Asia’s Delhi leader, Simon John, prays for a man during a Sunday morning worship service.

Simon John knows that it takes many different kinds of people to reach the residents of Delhi. Simon oversees GFA’s many ministries in the city. He himself was once a successful businessman, working in the corporate world. Yet he walked away from all of it to make sure that the people of Asia had a chance to hear the Gospel.

Today, he oversees the work of dozens of GFA missionaries reaching Delhi with the message of Christ.

Gospel for Asia missionaries first went to Delhi in 1992. Some of those missionaries are now pastors of local churches. There is also an active and vibrant ministry to children, GFA radio broadcasts in three languages and specialized ministry to the millions who live in Delhi’s slums.

Simon asks for prayer for the missionaries in Delhi, especially as they seek out meeting space for their prayer meetings and worship services. Property is difficult to find and very expensive.

He also asks for prayer on behalf of the children’s outreach and the Bridge of Hope centers in Delhi. Pray that many of the children in these programs will find the love of Jesus and share it with their families.


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

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Church Reaches out to Villagers Who Lost Homes in Fire

June 28th, 2013 Comments off



The church became a place of shelter after the fire.

On Wednesday, April 23, a fire broke out, caused by an exploding gas cylinder, in a village in Nagaland, India. The fire killed several people, and close to 500 homes were reduced to ashes. Most homes in this region are made of bamboo with thatched or tin roofs.

The people in this village are predominantly low-paid daily laborers, and many are now unsure of their futures.

Despite being adjacent to buildings that were destroyed in the fire, a church pastored by a Gospel for Asia missionary, as well as a Bridge of Hope center, were spared from the flames. The church members immediately began reaching out to those who lost everything in the fire.

Many of the homeless families have sought refuge in the church building, bringing with them what little belongings they had left. Believers in the church are serving food among these families.

GFA field leaders request prayer for the Lord’s provision for these villagers who have lost so much. They also ask for prayer that God will use this situation to touch the hearts of men, women and children in this village with His redemptive love.


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

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