Forced to Build Their Church Five Times
Photo by Gospel for Asia
GFA-supported women missionaries Champa and Bakul had been accused of a man’s death, chased out of the village and warned to never come back. For all that, a small group of believers continued to grow every day, and now, a temporary structure, built by the growing flock’s own hands, stood as proof. The situation made some people angry enough to break bones and destroy the whole building.
“Believers are visiting our houses and destroying the photos of our god and goddesses,” the group accused.
Soon, members of the community started believing it.
Despite the opposition, the believers continued to meet in houses and welcome new members. Eventually, however, they gave in to their neighbors’ demands that they leave, and they rented land outside the village.
Perhaps there, the believers thought, they could finally worship in peace.
Congregation Builds Outside Village
After collecting another $500 (USD), the believers built a simple structure on their rented piece of land, but their rejoicing was short-lived. In 2005, two years after their first building was destroyed, an elephant trampled their new one.
Some of the villagers laughed at the congregation’s predicament.
“These people are not doing good work,” they said. “Our god is not happy with them, and that is the reason this church building got destroyed by an elephant.”
Despite the accusations and mockery they faced, the believers quickly rebuilt the church and continued with worship services. The next year, GFA-supported pastor Ekanpreet was able to come shepherd the flock.
Over the next four years, the church grew. Even threats of banishment from the village didn’t stop new believers. But in 2010, a great storm ripped through the area, and once again, the believers’ church became a casualty.
For the fourth time in eight years, the congregation put itself to work, creating yet another place to worship their God. Like the other buildings, it would be flimsy and highly vulnerable to the elements, but the believers didn’t have any other options—unless someone offered them help.
Believers Sell Belongings for a Permanent Solution
With their temporary sanctuary in place, the believers decided it was time to find a permanent solution to their problems. They didn’t have much money after all the buildings they had constructed, so they sold their personal belongings. But even that wasn’t enough.
Fortunately, God had already provided for their need. When Pastor Ekanpreet requested help from his leaders, they sent the remaining funds for the land as well as funds for a big, beautiful church building.
Made from sturdy materials, it wouldn’t be vulnerable to the elements the way their short-term structures were, and it was large enough to fit every member. Ten years after Champa and Bakul first came to the village, the believers finally had a place to call home.
Today, 60 believers worship together in the church, which is one of the biggest in the area. And though some might be tempted to take that for granted, Pastor Ekanpreet and the congregation know it was only granted by the grace of God.
As Christ’s love spreads across Asia, hundreds of congregations are praying for permanent places to meet and grow in. You can be part of seeing God answer their prayers.
Help Build a Church
The average cost to build a church in Asia is $10,000–$40,000.
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.