Pray: Training Center Attacked

Students Beaten and Imprisoned, Leader in Hiding

I received word from my friend Dan Miller that a Christian Training Center in Durg, India was attacked by a large mob of anti-Christian, Hindu militants. They entered the property on Sunday, rampaging through the Training Center, beating students and burning possessions. In December (2009) I traveled to Durg to train leaders of a church planting movement. I fell in love with the people and was so encouraged by all that God has been doing to extend His kingdom in northern India. One of the men I enjoyed getting to know was Biju, the Training Center Coordinator. He miraculously escaped amidst the chaos and is now in hiding. His wife and children are safe. Biju was able to call the founder and international director of this ministry.

“The enemy will try to stop us making disciples and training leaders but he cannot and will not stop God’s Kingdom expanding. We will not stop no matter what happens. Please ask everyone to stand with us in prayer. We are not going to run away; God has sent us here and we will continue to share God’s love in words and deeds but we need you to stand with us. Don’t be worried for us, just pray for us.”

As I read those words this afternoon, I got all choked up. This dear brother has sacrificed so much to stand for the gospel. Won’t you stand in prayer with him and our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted? Here’s more of an update…

Along with the students, Prebhu, our local leader, was punched and kicked as he screamed for mercy. While some of the mob attacked the students, others charged through the building, gathered all the Bibles and Gospel literature and burned them in a pile. Students were trying to protect their Bibles and notebooks but the mob burned them all. Just days before graduation, all the notes they had made throughout the year were gone in minutes.

The militants then discovered the store room – where Bibles and Gospel literature is kept to supply the entire region. Also stored there were thousands of Book Kits that were purchased to be distributed to the pastors at the upcoming graduation and pastor’s conference. The students were made to watch these precious gifts burn, under threat that they would be thrown in the fire if they cried or made any noise. As the students were being tortured, the gang interrogated them about ministry leadership in India, demanding names and addresses. Injured and bleeding, the students still refused to reveal nay information.

Enraged, the mob went into the student’s rooms, gathering their personal belongings to add to the fire. This included each student’s new black trousers and white shirt, purchased especially to wear this week at their graduation. Adding insult to injury, the mob leaders defaced an Indian flag by painting a red cross on it. (This is a criminal act in India.) Calling the police, they reported that they found a group of Christians who had defaced the Indian flag – “Please come and arrest them!” While the perpetrators left without consequence, three of the students were arrested by the police and taken away.

When our leaders took the injured students to the local government hospital they refused to treat them because they feared that the hospital may be attacked. Desperate for treatment, many of them had to find public transportation to get to other hospitals in surrounding towns. Prebhu, the local leader, is seriously injured and is in intensive care. The rest of the students and local leaders are all in hiding because of further threats of violence.

So – I beg you to pray for…

  • Physical healing for those attacked
  • Spiritual protection from other attacks
  • Boldness as they regroup and plan what to do next
  • Leaders to gain God’s wisdom and direction
  • A great harvest will come from this
  • The attackers will come to know Christ personally

Also pray for my friend Biju – he is an incredible man of God whose face lights up with the joy of Christ. Pray for courage and strength and God’s protection for him and his family.

All of their Bibles, notes and personal belongings have been destroyed. Please pray with them for God to provide the resources and care they need.

This ministry’s primary goal is to see 100,000 churches planted and established among unreached people in Asia by the year 2030. Since 1998, they have planted over 3,412 churches – that’s more than 54,000 previously unreached people who will now spend eternity with Jesus Christ!

Of the 800 million people living in North India, the percentage of Christians (including nominal believers) is only 0.14%. There are approximately 500,000 villages in North India without a single person living there who has ever heard of Jesus.

“If you want to brighten his day, give to a beggar. If you want to impact a community, dig a well. If you want to change a nation, plant a church.” – Movement Founder

You can read  about the birth of this movement in this new book – Madness

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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