by Summer Kelley
There are many in India who are opposed to the existence of such a community for several reasons, so the baby church has faced quite a few who have tried stand in the way and prevent them from their mission.
Harvest Bible Chapel is no exception.
The place they rented for to meet in for the last few years was a formidable challenge. There was little to no parking out front. It wasn't uncommon for the water to be off when it was needed. The front door was often blocked by the Hindu owner on Sunday mornings, preventing people from getting inside!
But the biggest problem was that the rent was just too high for the church to sustain.
So they set out to find something more affordable that would better serve their purpose.
Having virtually no parking was a big challenge in their old location!
Miraculously, Harvest Bible Chapel overcame financial, logistical and cultural challenges to purchase and renovate a new location for meeting in.
Earlier this month, the church met for the first time in the new location!
Here's what Paul and Molly had to say about the first meeting in the new location.
Our gathering last Tuesday for worship did not take off without a fight.
Paul and his main staff spent two days in police stations and with officials for permission to have our service with Father Berchman here leading in worship.
The morning of, we had 50 radical Hindus ready to fight at our door.
Leaders ushered Paul inside to hide in the prayer room as they stood their ground declaring, "You cannot stop us from worshipping today or any other day".
This was followed by a building check from half a dozen policemen who stayed on guard during our service later on. 1,700 people filled the place, you couldn't shut doors or hardly sit.
1700 people filled Harvest Bible Chapel's first meeting.
The Spirit of the Lord was undeniable in our new Harvest Bible Chapel building and we had at least 300 first time visitors who all took the time to carefully fill out a prayer card and we are excited to follow up.
The Lord is using the opposition to increase our unity on our team and enlarge our hearts to adore Him.
He promised these trials would come. His goal for our hearts remains the same regardless of the externals--He desires our complete adoration.
A highlight for the staff as they do call backs for each visitor inquiring about the specific request they left are the many answers to prayer --"You asked us to pray for a job", "Yes, thank you pastor, I am on the bus now returning from an interview I got the job." Just one of many!
Paul praying with and for other church members.
Paul, Molly and their church continue to face opposition and persecution for their faith that challenges the common Hindu beliefs of those around them.
Lets come together to pray the Spirit use the forces that oppose to His purpose and mission. Will you pray with us that the opposition wouldn't keep those who are seeking Jesus and what He offers from returning and finding what their hearts need?
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.