[caption id="attachment_447" align="aligncenter" width="944"] "Indian farmer shows off QPM maize" by International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Cropped[/caption]

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a part of the story we see in the book of Acts? What do you think it would be like to be a part of and witness the incredible multiplication of the church during that time period? I’ve often pondered this, and about year and half ago I feel like got about as close as one can be to actually experiencing it. In the Fall of 2012, I was given the privilege of traveling to Bihar, India with three other brothers to spend time with a particular partner in that area. This was my fourth trip to India so I felt like I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, but I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong.

Our task on this trip was to dive in deeper with our field partner, Elvin, and two particular guys he has worked with, Jagdish and Rajeev. Elvin is a missionary with the IMB and Jagdish and Rajeev are honestly just two ordinary guys with regular jobs. By the grace of God, these men have been able to experience amazing fruit in an area that for the most part seemed unable to bear fruit for the longest time. You see, Bihar has been and still is
one of the most physically and spiritually impoverished areas in the world. Just imagine an area of land about the size of the state of Tennessee with around 100 million people, extreme poverty, and vast lostness. This is the type of place we hear about but don’t often get to experience. Well this is where Elvin, Jagdish, and Rajeev live and labor for the sake of the gospel.

Jagdish and Rajeev were already faithful followers of Christ before they met Elvin, but despite all their efforts to make disciples, they had seen little fruit prior to meeting Elvin. Elvin was given the opportunity to invest in these two men and train them as church planters based on the methodology of Jesus we see in the New Testament. Let’s just say that Jagdish and Rajeev are doers of the Word and not simply hearers! Having felt like they had tried everything else up to this point why not implement what Elvin was able to pass on to them. It’s safe to say at this point they are glad they did. God has blessed in unbelievable ways and as a result of their efforts, to make disciples and form churches, they have seen over 350 churches planted and 65 people groups reached in the past few years.

I say this knowing that some of you will automatically be skeptical of those results. I know that because I’m one of those people as well. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m skeptical when I hear things like that. I’m honestly not sure why that is, but it’s a reality for me and I assume for many of you. But, these results are real! I’ve seen them. I’ve visited with these brothers and several of the churches they’ve seen planted. I’ve seen how they do training. I’ve seen how the track the health of these churches. I’ve seen first hand how they are giving their lives for the sake of the gospel among the unreached. As much as I would like to, I can’t be a witness to what happened on the pages of Acts, but I can say I’ve witnessed something that seems pretty close.

One of the really cool things about this whole story is that you’ve been a part of this. Yes, I actually said you! The Global Offering that we take up every December not only helped fund the initial training that Elvin was able to do with the these guys, but it continues to support the ongoing multiplication of disciples and churches in this area. These are the types of things that we, The Church at Brook Hills, get to be a part of through the funds that are given to the Global Offering. That’s exciting, right? I don’t know about you but I want to be a part of Bihar happening all over the world, so let’s continue to give faithfully and sacrificially to this offering.



Cory Varden is an Executive Pastoral Assistant at Radical. He and his wife Nicole have been members of our faith family since 2006. They have two little girls: Mackenzie and Chandler, and they are expecting their third child soon. Cory serves our faith family as an elder and he leads a small group in their home.