“Lord, we know you are telling us to share you with the people in my village. But they are Muslims. We don’t know how to talk to them. We want to obey, please help us!”
This was the prayer of a small, simple village church in rural India. They knew the Lord was telling them to share the Good News with their friends and neighbors. They really wanted to obey.
But they were overwhelmed and afraid.
The very people they were being urged to share with were the ones who were constantly using power to oppose them, making the already difficult village lives of these believers even more burdensome.
Some of the people they needed to share with were ex-husbands of women in their congregation who’d left their wives - defenseless and outcast - because they’d declared Jesus is Lord and followed Him.
Of course these untrained villagers wanted those who were persecuting them to come to know Jesus, but how could they - a group of marginalized and unequipped villagers - hope to be able to convince them?
If not for what happened next, their fear and uncertainty might have won.
Or they may have ventured to strike up a conversation, only to digress into an embattled argument, yielding no fruit and damaging the name they sought to honor.
Instead, a missionary from the city, someone from their own country who spoke their language, with experience and success telling Muslims about Jesus, by God’s provision, had the resources to travel to their village to help them!
This missionary was partners with some people who believed strongly that everyone should get a chance to hear about Jesus. They believed this so strongly that they provided financially for his personal and ministry needs, so he could help people like them spread the Good News.
And that’s just what he did.
Last month, David traveled far from his home on roads most of the world would call “under construction” to Lingasugur, in Karnataka State and Madanapalli in Andhrapradesh to train pastors and believers from the Lambani tribe to talk to their Muslim friends and neighbors about Jesus.
David trains rural believers to obey their calling and share the Good News with their friends, family and neighbors.
After David taught the first session inside the cement-walled structure with a high, tin roof and cream-colored walls, one woman, dressed in bright pink, yellow and orange eagerly shared,
“Jesus has been telling us to share Jesus with Muslims, but we did not know how to talk to them,” she said, her excitement rising as she finished, “but now we are very happy that God sent you to teach us how to share the gospel with Muslims.”
Standing next to her, a second woman could hardly contain her enthusiasm as she shared that a woman from the community was brought to this tiny village church for prayer after doctors had failed to help.
She recounted that the woman’s life was saved, and as a result of that testimony, today there are 40 relatives, friends and family members who have come to faith in Christ and been baptized!
David those two women from the training and one of their friends.
“For me it is confirmation that God can use ordinary people to build His kingdom among Muslims and it is also a confirmation that I am doing just what Lord has asked me to do, that is teaching the rural pastors and believers how to share the gospel to Muslims. Praise the Lord,” David remarked.
These areas that David ministers in are completely inaccessible to outside missionaries, especially if you don't look like a local.
Though he faces travel on poorly kept roads, debilitating Indian heat, lack of bathroom facilities, and rough sleeping accommodations when traveling to and staying in rural villages, David will continue to do what the Lord has called him to do and reach these difficult-to-reach areas.
Because of the financial support he has received from his ministry partners, David will be able to return each month for the next five months to fully equip these believers to share their faith.
Some women from the trainings David gave last month.
If you're passionate about reaching people of other faiths with the Good News, partnering with David is the perfect way to make an impact! Every gift helps David continue equipping rural believers to share Jesus, no matter the size.
About the Authors
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 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.