When traveling through South Asia you can count on a few things to remind yourself that “you’re not in Kansas anymore.” Like no real hamburger at McDonald’s. (Yes, there are McDonald’s, but your choices are Chicken or “Veg.”) You won’t find common pizza toppings from Domino’s. (Yes, there are Domino’s, but I’ve yet to find a pepperoni pizza.)
How about a grocery store on every corner? No, but you will find – wait for it – a Kentucky Fried Chicken, with a statue of the beloved Colonel. The chicken tastes very much like home, but be warned that the spicy version in India can melt your socks off!
Even with these differences, comfort comes when you remember that the Lord loves all people groups, living in all different cultures, and His love isn’t based on the culinary likes or dislikes of a nation.
One of the many blessings for those of us who get to travel internationally is what we see happening – witnessing how great Jesus’ love is to those who have accepted Him into their lives. South Asia is no exception.
Yes, persecution is on the rise in some regions. Yes, there are thousands of gods in these regions that occupy the attention of millions upon millions; but keep in mind – these are just little gods. More importantly, millions are coming to Christ and learning of the One True God through a multitude of ministries from around the world.
Faith Comes By Hearing’s Bible listening groups are key to our ministry partners in South Asia. They know that the Word of God is the reason for confession; for receiving and giving forgiveness to others; for physical healings; and for whole communities being changed.
We can see and hear of these changes also through radio, TV, church growth, new churches being planted, and new converts sharing about their lives with unbelievers. Many times these changes come at very real risk to the individuals involved. We often receive testimonies telling about how someone may no longer be accepted and are shunned in their village; but, in the same paragraph they share how Jesus has lifted great burdens from their heart and for the first time in their life know of their worth as a child who is now loved by a great and mighty God . . . a BIG God!
You may have heard this all before and even catch yourself thinking, “Yes, this isn’t new. After all, it is the Word of God!” But, as brothers and sisters in Christ who will at some point spend eternity with these new creations, we must never forget to recognize the amazing love and grace that transforms each and every life, and that it is sometimes a dramatic experience for others in a culture we do not fully understand.
At FCBH, we are personally reminded every time we travel that God is becoming new to thousands every day through His Word in audio. As you pray during 2015, please remember that they need to be prayed for – the poor, the non-literate, and even those who are literate, but may be new to knowing a mighty and loving God!
Testimony from South Asia
Miss Sirisha says: This is the first time I am sharing this testimony. I am from a strong Hindu family. I came to know the Lord through the Proclaimer six months [ago]. God gave me a burden for children [and] now I use the Proclaimer to teach Sunday school in our church. Children enjoy listening to Jesus’ stories. After listening two times, they are able to recite the story; some can even share the stories better than [I can] since I am still learning about God. It’s all because of the Proclaimer. Thanks to FCBH for freely giving us this miracle-making device.
Image: A Hindi Audio Bible listening group in India.