Thank you for these updates, and the email one’s you have been forwarding. It’s great to be able to keep a tab on this situation, and to gain a greater picture of those who are truly working for the kingdom of God.
Indian martyrs vs. American Christianity
In India, 70% of the orphans in a Hopegivers orphanage end up going to Bible School. And when they graduate, they take a martyr’s oath. Hopegivers founder, M.A. Thomas, has a goal to raise up a million orphan army. This past month, he graduated 10,000 from his Bible Schools – I’d say he’s well on his way.
All this success stirs up opposition from those who have a stake in the status quo. Recently his enemies burned Thomas in effigy. This morning I got an email from India saying that the militant Hindus had put a $30,000 bounty on his head. So, there is a good chance that this amazing man of God will soon be martyred. And he’s ready – his response is to ask for prayer that he be found “faithful unto death.”
Meanwhile, back in America, the closest we get to martyrdom is that we’re being entertained to death – our crisis de jour may be that we can’t get the Tivo to work. The contrast is stark. We’re distracted and comfortable here. Mention martyrdom to a Christian parent, and they’ll start talking to you about safety procedures and legal implications.
Something is wrong with the picture, and it’s not the Tivo. We follow a radical Jesus, but we’ve lost the plot. Jesus said things like, “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:32). Think about it.
Preserving our lives is exactly what many of us our trying to do. It’s time to look at the example of men like M.A. Thomas and wake up.
Some friends and I started an organization called Beautiful Feet International and we have a passion to send Christians overseas. We’ve got a lot of contacts of Christians who want missionaries all over the world including India and we’re building a web-based directory to help anyone with a missionary calling find them.
I really believe that short- and long-term missions work is going to play a significant role in reawakening the Western church’s passion for Jesus. There is nothing like going to India – or anywhere else in the world – and spending time with the likes of M.A. Thomas to wake a Christian up. 🙂
If anyone who reads this post wants to learn more about going on a missions trip please feel free to email me at [email protected]
In January 2005 I spent several weeks in India working with Hopegivers. The team that I traveled with spent time at many of the orphanages and schools started by Thomas. While we were not able to meet M.A. Thomas, we did spend quite a bit of time with his son, Samuel and his family. I cannot begin to describe how life-changing it is to spend time in a place like India, sharing the gospel.
The people we worked with, our interpretor, and many of the students we met at the Bible school in Kota, India were later beaten, some imprisoned, and one killed. I cant express how difficult it was to be halfway around the world when you know your brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering, while you stand in the US where the worst that would happen when you shared your faith is that you would be laughed at.
I still struggle with the what I am called to do with what I learned. I will never forget those students with their passion for their country and their Lord. We serve the same Lord why do we not have the same passion for the lost in America?
I appreciate what I think you are trying to do –
wake up complacent Christians to how far their lives are
from Jesus’ life . . .
point well-taken, but the cross-cultural comparisons
that are tempting to indulge in are overly-facile
and in the long run lead us down a path fraught
Sorry to be a naysayer, but inter-personal comparisons
of relative spirituality just won’t get the desired
results. . .
10,000 Bible School graduates in one month – got a few
details I’d like to confirm about that. . .
Peace in Christ
This is really great. Even My Friend and I wanted to do the same,
We found many orphans begging in streets,, We just want all of them to get a home in the name oh Christ.
But We just need a push of encouragement..
We have adopted nearly 15 orphans still facing little problems. We provided a Bible School and shelter.. But, we do not approached a foundation very soon we will start an orphan home where the present one is rented home that is why have facing downfalls.
We need some financial support to make it successful,
We are B.tech Students.