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Sensing God’s nudging and meeting a person of peace in Orissa, East India

Sensing God’s nudging and meeting a person of peace in Orissa, East India

Posted by Will
on 1st February 2024

Having returned from an exploratory trip to Orissa, the tribal state of India, we are so grateful to be plugged back into this wonderful community. Thank you so much everyone for the sensitive and generous welcome as we adjusted. Our church family even had a Christmas tree up ready for our return, a full fridge, and lots of home cooked meals. Thank you so much.

Lucy and I have a real heart for Orissa, India, and it's beautiful people, climate, food and green landscapes. We’ve been heading out to this region for 8 years, and India is a huge factor in our faith journey, and continues to shape our lives. After 7 years of supporting a wonderful charity out there, we felt this time it was time to head out with empty hands and let God fill them. Heading to a rural, developing state, without the safety net of a healthcare and education charity, was a little daunting but we kept hold of Jeremiah 29:11-13, and had faith for His hand of protection.

On this exploratory trip, we had a taste of life in totally different places. There is such diversity even within a state (there are 28 states in India) that it’s impossible to sum up a state, never mind the country - staggering variety and diversity! From sandy coastal towns, to vibrant green paddy fields and rural villages, to a capital city. We spent time learning language, learning culture, meeting new church connections, and visiting charities. We’ve come away with a number of potential partners, and are just working out what it means to link with and support pastors, charities, and individuals.

One week we were heading to the city for a bit of a pit stop. We could take advantage of good electrical connections, internet, and Uber tuk tuks! I felt a prompting that we had unexpected ministry work to do. I got a sense there was someone to meet, opportunities to uncover, and things to pursue. That week, we met Sanjeet (name changed, story below), made 2 new NGO school connections, attended an amazing annual day celebration via a new connection at Mothers Public School, and we were invited to a tour and met the team of one of the largest charities in the world, the Kalinga Institute for Social Sciences - KISS. We were blown away that this could all happen in a week!

On the very first day in the city, a man named Sanjeet approached us in the park and immediately expressed a keen interest in reading the Bible; this is incredibly rare for a 98% Hindu region. It turns out Sanjeet comes from a Hindu background but is exploring the scriptures of all religions, but ‘miracles happen’ when he reads the Bible so he was keen to learn more.

Despite being alone for Diwali the previous year, he prayed not to be alone again for this festival of light. He shared this with us with joy on our temporary roof top, amongst loud and colourful fireworks, bangers and sparklers as we had invited him to join our small celebration.

God's prompting led to a deep connection with Sanjeet, who started reading the Bible with us using a simple discovery bible approach. Despite the language barrier, Sanjeet interpreted the scriptures, felt God speaking to his heart, and started sharing stories with his community.

After a few weeks of study, Sanjeet wanted us to baptise him in a beautiful lake, and now he is on a mission to multiply disciples and to teach and follow Jesus' commands. However, this journey is not without challenges where persecution, threats, and scrutiny are the norm.

We had the privilege of welcoming Sanjeet on to our Early Tuesday morning Prayer, we gathered online to pray and encourage Sanjeet, and hope you will join us in praying for him from afar. Let us pray for:

Protection from Persecution:

Pray for Sanjeet’s safety and courage in the face of potential persecution in his predominantly Hindu community.

    Harvest of Souls:

    Ask God to open hearts in Sanjeet's community, leading more people to faith and a deeper relationship with Christ.

      Family Acceptance:

      Pray for Sanjeet's family to receive the good news with openness and understanding.

        Strength and Endurance:

        Lift up Sanjeet, asking for strength and endurance as he grows spiritually and continues his ministry.

          Community Transformation:

          Pray for a positive impact on the community as more people encounter the love of Christ through Sanjeet's efforts.

            Wisdom and Discernment:

            Ask for God's guidance and wisdom for Sanjeet as he leads and disciples others in a relational, obedience based discipleship model.

              Unity from team

              Pray for people to join him on the team to stand with Sanjeet, providing support, encouragement, and resources for his ministry.

                Sanjeet's story is a testament to the unexpected ways God works in our lives when we seek God’s voice, pray into promptings, and surrender to His will. Let's join in prayer for his continued journey of faith and the transformative impact on the community in Orissa, India.

                We have huge faith that God will use Sanjeet in a mighty way; it’s a privilege to stand alongside him in this journey.

                If you have a heart for another Nation, or would be interested in talking about what an overseas mission could look like for you, we’d love to connect, eat a meal with you and talk, and pray things through. Simply get in touch with Will or Lucy.

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