Missions in South Asia
Kumar crouched in the corner of a small thatched-roofed hut in only his underwear. He pulled a stool in front of him, trying to hide from his father, who was returning from hunting wild boar. A pesky fly buzzed about his head and landed on his filthy cheek. While moving his hand to swat the insect, he bumped the stool. His father saw him and began to yell.
“You useless piece of flesh! Kumar, you are cursed with sickness and only drain us of food and resources. You can’t walk or do anything! Come here!” Kumar pulled himself across the floor and endured yet another beating from his frustrated parent.
A Willing Missionary Takes a Step of Faith
Thankfully, a native ministry of ANM heard about this mountainous village in South Asia, and one of their evangelists, native missionary Faras, agreed to journey there and preach the Gospel. After six hours on a train, three hours in a jeep, and another hour of walking, Faras arrived. He offered to work with the villagers and meet what needs he could. Faras carried water from the mountaintop and tended to the rice crop. He collected mangos and harvested honey. One day he met Kumar.
Kindness Opens a Heart
Shocked to see this new man smiling at him, Kumar waved. Faras quietly approached Kumar and reached out to touch him. Kumar flinched and drew back. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I promise I won’t hurt you,” said Faras. He then sat down with him and talked one-on-one. He asked Kumar about his legs and why he couldn’t walk. Kumar whispered “Polio.” Faras lovingly touched his shriveled limbs and prayed for them.
Faras visited Kumar daily, showing him kindness, concern, and love. He then shared the Gospel with him. Kumar reasoned that his beliefs and faiths had treated him harshly, but this Christian man truly cared about him. Kumar wanted to go to Faras’ house church and learn more. His family refused his request.
Eventually, another missionary from the same native ministry in South Asia also arrived in the village to help Faras and gladly took Kumar to church. Upon hearing the Gospel one more time, twenty-year-old Kumar felt convicted of sin and gave his life to the Lord.
The Next Step
Although he had no theological training, Kumar’s joy was infectious. He shared the Gospel with two close friends who accepted Christ, and they agreed to carry Kumar on their backs through the mountainous jungles of South Asia and over rock-laden paths to other places where he could share what he knew of Jesus.
Seeing his zeal, Faras enrolled him in the three-month training program offered by his native ministry headquarters and accompanied him on the long trip. At the end of the program, with his new understanding of Christ, Kumar’s enthusiasm was even greater than before. Only two books of the Bible existed in his mother tongue, but he had nearly memorized both. The two returned to Kumar’s village, where he expanded his outreach to be a missionary with the help of others.
Following a Good Example in South Asia
Today Kumar is a 35-year-old native missionary pastor who oversees 26 churches he planted in South Asia. He looks for passionate young people for Jesus in his churches and sends them to get the same training he received.
Generous donors from ANM help support these training programs, providing this intense preparation. With their new knowledge and the power of the Holy Spirit, the students return to their native people group with confidence to spread the Gospel to many villagers.