This article was originally published in the September 2011 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Injustice is difficult to take.
As bearers of God’s image, we’re all created with a sense of justice, and we are rightly angered when justice isn’t served…except when it applies to us! As believers, we understand what justice would have meant for us in our guilt if not for Jesus, and therefore, the Spirit equips us to respond to injustice, enemies and trials in a way totally foreign to the rest of the world.
But that doesn’t make it easy or painless to endure persecution. And that is what ITMI’s Paul and Molly [last name undisclosed for security], are doing.
It was difficult to think clearly with the blaring of recorded Hindu prayers from the room-sized sound system situated amid the ornate white trimmings and sculptures of the three story lime green Hindu temple that is directly across the narrow lane from Paul’s home church.
This sound system had but one mission, and that was to cause God’s people in Paul’s church to suffer as much as possible.
Paul knew that he has to say something to the Hindu Priest that is continuously and deliberately trying to blast out the church’s prayer and meeting times. High decibels of Hindu chants to their 300,000,000 gods, blared through Paul’s humble, open windowed church making concentration almost impossible.
Paul took a deep breath in attempt to clear his head.
“Please, Lord, give me grace and patience,” he prayed as he stepped into the narrow street. He felt anxious because it was not hard to remember his own church plant from a few years ago being tore down and completely destroyed by Hindu gang members, just because they could.
As he approached the temple, he encountered the Hindu priest responsible for the shattering noise, wishing he could squirm and retreat from the harsh stare from the dark eyes of the priest. Mustering a kind smile, he asked that the noise be lowered or turned off.
“Sure,” the priests face and tone were smug, “If you give us five thousand dollars.”
Paul shared with ITMI that because he has an American wife and because he has “white” people come to visit him, “...he must be getting a lot of money.”
ITMI partners, Paul and Molly
This is obviously false and another method that the enemy uses to try and thwart the work of God that Paul and Molly are so diligently committed to.
Paul and Steve Evers have not backed down to this harassment, in fact, they have decided to go to the next level of pastor and discipleship training. God has led them to bring a team over in October that will spread out and teach Victorious Christian Living’s Seven Areas of Life Training discipleship material that Paul and his team of translators have already translated the first book into the local Tamil language.
Paul believes that there could easily be 2000 pastors who would attend if finances were available.
The small evangelical “church” in India has been affected by the West’s televangelists and unfortunately, the less fundamental and grounded evangelists have made the biggest impact.
This is of great concern to Paul.
He observes great gaps of wisdom and understanding in the lives and actions of many of his pastor associates. Paul is burning with a passion to give real truth and real live principles to these blinded pastors. This is why this mission trip to India in October is so critical.
If past experience is any indication and if God will touch the many pastors hearts, southern India’s families and churches will be impacted for Christ.
If your heart has been touched by the needs in India, and you want to help this team reach the most pastors and leaders, we could sure use an infusion of specific help through resources and prayer, to make this mission trip a success.
Summer Kelley is a writer living in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and three kids. She’s had the honor and privilege of telling ITMI’s stories since 2006. She’s a homeschooling mom and a T-shirt and jeans aficionado who likes all things simple. When she’s not writing or homeschooling, you can find her honing her skills as what some might call a "suburban survivalist" as she learns to thrive in the suburbs with 3 kids. As a productivity and organizing enthusiast, she may or may not spend hours attempting to use technology to "save time.” Summer loves reading, the outdoors and Coca-Cola Classic from the fountain.
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 12 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.