(NOTE: If you are unable to view the videos in this post, click through to http://bhglobalblog.org/.)

I am full. Full of stories, full of reports, and full of gratitude.

Today we had the opportunity to spend time all day with brothers and sisters from the International Mission Board, hearing stories of how God has used our faith family to fuel disciple making and church planting in some of the most spiritually and physically dire areas of India. As we heard what God has been doing through our partnership with brothers and sisters here, we smiled, we cried, we rejoiced, and most of all we worshiped.

As a reminder, the International Mission Board (IMB) is our church’s primary ministry partner when it comes to disciple making and church planting among unreached (and many times unengaged) people groups around the world. Words cannot express how thankful I am for the brothers and sisters who are serving here. I had an opportunity to spend some time in the Word with about 50 of them who are gathered here this week, and together we prayed for the spread of the gospel and the declaration of God’s glory in South Asia. For more information on all that they are doing to engage South Asian peoples with the gospel, go HERE.

We drank stories and reports from the field like fire hydrants today, and I have struggled with how to best encapsulate for our faith family all the ways your giving has affected the spread of the gospel here. In short, the money you have given and the trips you have taken have resulted in thousands of national (i.e., Indian) believers being trained to make disciples and hundreds of church leaders being trained to plant churches. The entire strategy of the IMB here revolves around serving and empowering our Indian brothers and sisters. Below are just a few of the astounding stories we heard today, and most of them (all except the first) center around God’s grace in Indian believers who have been trained through our partnerships during this last year. I have changed various names in order to protect the identity of brothers and sisters who live in more dangerous contexts in India.


Paul is a native Australian who traveled to India at age 21 in search of the “Eastern experience.” Engulfed in new age thinking and living, he began learning from Eastern gurus, and for the next 28 years, he did everything he could to become one of them. He literally spent thousands of hours in meditation and he constantly studied both Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. But after 28 years, he came to the realization that after everything he had done, he had basically gotten nowhere in his life—or in his spirituality. To make a long story short, by God’s grace through radio, Paul was exposed to expository preaching from men like John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and James Montgomery Boice. Through their exposition of the Word, Paul decided to become a follower of Christ. “In Christ,” he said, “I found the change of heart and mind that I had worked for my entire life, and amazingly it all came as a free gift of grace.”

In the days to come, the Lord led Paul back to South Asia, where for these last years, he has traveled around India sharing the gospel with Indians as well as foreigners who are all in search of the same “Eastern experience” he once sought after himself. He goes into Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples, sharing the story of Christ in him, and by the power of God’s Spirit, Buddhist monks, former Hindus, and Western travelers have trusted in Christ and been baptized. One of Paul’s greatest needs is to sow seeds of the gospel in highly concentrated Buddhist and Hindu religious centers, and there are many written, audio, and video tools available to distribute to people. Obviously, however, these tools cost money. As Paul was praying about how he could possibly get more tools into the hands of those who are lost amidst this “Eastern experience,” he got word that Brook Hills had given funds to help support gospel saturation in his area. As a result of your giving, over the last year countless Buddhist monks, Hindu priests, and new age leaders have been exposed to the gospel—many for the first time. And by God’s grace, some of them have received the gospel, and churches are being formed among former eastern mystics.


Dipak is an Indian pastor who had led his church for years, during which they had experienced minimal growth. But a couple of months ago, Dipak hosted a day of training for disciple making and church planting in his small congregation. That day, the members of his church realized that they were all equipped by the Spirit of God with the Word of God to multiply the gospel of God. And so that’s what they started doing. In the two months since that time, the church has doubled and is now gathering in four separate communities.

One woman at the initial training actually had come that Sunday morning to worship as a visitor (and non-believer). Her name is Punja, and she had been invited by a friend to come to a Christmas service. A few weeks later, she came back, and it happened to be on the day they would be doing training for disciple making and church planting. After the morning worship service, Dipak told Punja and her husband that training was happening that afternoon, and they probably wouldn’t want to be a part of it. But Punja insisted on staying, and she (a non-believer) sat and listened to Christians talk about how to make disciples. Long story short, on that day Punja became a disciple. And having just learned that all disciples of Jesus are supposed to make disciples of Jesus, Punja went home and started doing just that. Within a week, she had shared the gospel with 24 other people, and 7 of them had trusted Christ for salvation. This group of 7 (in addition to Punja and her husband) are now meeting as a young church in Punja’s house on a weekly basis.

I’ll let you hear Pastor Dipak share this story in his own words...

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/21314683]


Salam is a 65-year-old poor village farmer who has for years been pastoring a church in his home. About a year ago, he was a part of the disciple making and church planting training we have been a part of supporting. There he caught the vision for what this might look like in his life and ministry, and he went to work.

Riding on his bicycle 3-4 hours a day, he began intentionally making disciples and raising up church leaders who would make disciples and raise up other church leaders. God, by the power of His Spirit, began blessing Salam’s ministry in ways no one could have foreseen. People were coming to Christ, and leaders were being established, each of them with a vision for multiplication in surrounding villages. A year later, God has used Salam to see a house church (or in some cases, the very beginning of a house church) planted in over 60 different villages. From 1 church to 60 with little to no resources outside of the training we have partnered together to provide. Apparently, the Spirit of God and the Word of God in the people of God are enough to accomplish the mission of God!


Rajesh is a pastor in India who recently found himself at the end of his rope. He lives in the most spiritually and physically desolate place in India, home to the poorest of the poor and approximately .01% evangelical. The death rate in his area is about 5,000 people per day, which means that every day, about 4,950 in his area go to hell. For years, the spiritual ground has been hard and the physical poverty has been desperate. And in his words, Rajesh was literally ready to quit.

But he went to one of the training events on disciple making and church planting. There, he learned that penetrating unreached villages with the gospel would involve steps of great faith, going into a village and hoping/trusting that God would provide a man of peace there. He was encouraged to go into a village where there was no church and to simply say to the first person he met, “I am here in the name of Jesus, and I would like to pray over people’s homes for God to bless them.” Rajesh was not convinced this would work, but he agreed to try it anyway.

At the first village Rajesh visited, the first man Rajesh saw walked up and approached him. Rajesh said to him, “I am here in the name of Jesus,” and before Rajesh could say anything else, the man said, “Jesus? Just recently I heard about Him. Can you tell me more?” Shocked, Rajesh was invited into this man’s home, and within a short time, Rajesh had led him to faith in Christ. Within a couple of weeks, 25 other people in the village trusted in Christ. This story repeated itself in six other villages. Needless to say, Rajesh was hooked on making disciples and multiplying churches. Today, a network of about 115 different churches (in 115 different villages) exists as a result of Rajesh’s initial step of faith in that first village after that initial training.

The Musahar

One more story…and it comes from the same area as I mentioned with Rajesh above. The Musahar are an untouchable caste in India, living their entire lives as slaves. They literally have owners at birth who possess them from the moment they have breath. They are outcasts, serving in grunge labor their entire lives, and they are not even allowed to stay in the village with other people. Instead, they must live outside of the village together and then come in to work for the people of the village.

One day, Genesh, a believer who had been trained in disciple making and church planting, met Kanti, a Musahar woman. He shared the gospel with her in a scene very similar to the outcast Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. Kanti trusted Christ and, much like the Samaritan woman, immediately went to her tribe (the Musahar) to share what Christ had done in her life. She shared the gospel with all 70 Musahar around her, and all 70 of them trusted in Christ!

But the story doesn’t end there. Through Genesh, the gospel spread to another Musahar area where a Musahar man named Dermender trusted in Christ. Dermender then shared the gospel with the 60 Musahar he lived among, and they all trusted in Christ. As they began growing in Christ, their owner in the village outside which they resided decided to send them to work on other jobs in a larger village. So all 60 of these believers were sent to another village, where 190 other Musahar were already serving. And…you guessed it. All 190 of those Musahar trusted in Christ. As a result, churches have now been formed and are fully self-supporting amidst this outcast caste outside a village in northeastern India.

Today’s Lesson

The lesson of the day was clear for us: You can’t stop Christians and churches who are intentionally making disciples and multiplying other churches. The common thread we heard all day long was that these pastors and church members in these parts of India had come together on the same page, realizing that every disciple of Jesus is intended to make disciples of Jesus, and every church is intended to plant other churches. Through intentional training that we have been a part of supporting over four regions of India, followers of Christ and pastors of churches have been unleashed in powerful ways across unreached villages and cities. The gospel is spreading, the harvest is bearing fruit, and we have the privilege 10,000 miles away in Birmingham of being a part of it all through our praying, our giving, and our going. I thank God tonight for our brothers and sisters working with the International Mission Board, for our Indian brothers and sisters who are making disciples and multiplying churches, and for members all across the faith family at Brook Hills who have decided that it is worth risking everything we have and are to be a part of the spread of the gospel to unreached peoples.

I think it’s most appropriate to close with a video from a house church in India that has been formed and is thriving as a result of the training we have had the opportunity to support. We worshiped with these brothers and sisters tonight, and almost every single one of them shared how they had been spreading the gospel and leading people to Christ this week as a result of the training they had received. Clearly, these brothers and sisters want to be a part of the accomplishment of the Great Commission. I say we join them.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/21314251]