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0 people will die today in South Asia without ever having the chance to hear about Jesus.
noun the 2.7 billion people on earth today who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ, living enslaved to idols that have no power to give them hope and peace.
97% of these unreached people live in an area called the 10/40 window
Yet, for every $20 in the Western Church, only 1¢ goes towards sharing the Good News in the area of greatest need.
The 10/40 window also holds less than 1% of all Gospel literature and Christian broadcasting.
Not only do the unreached have little chance to hear about Jesus, problems like scarcity of clean water and the caste system leave many vulnerable and entrenched in poverty.
In order to find water for their families, women are often forced to draw water from nearby stagnant ponds, which double as latrines.
As a result, many water-borne diseases wreak havoc in poorer South Asian families. Nearly 1 in 5 children who die in these families before the age of five are killed because of diarrhea.
noun the rigid Hindu social class system. The caste one is born into often determines what job and marriage opportunities are available.
The Dalits are at the bottom of the Hindu caste system, which is still widely practiced throughout South Asia. Because they are believed to have done evil in their past lives, they are considered as subhuman by those of higher castes.
Due to such a status, they are restricted from all but the most menial jobs, often forced to become street cleaners or beggars.
There are over 160 million Dalits in India alone, which is more than one Dalit for every two people in the United States.
How did the lack of clean water affect Suprita, a woman from a village in South Asia?
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Suprita lived in a community where people often became seriously ill from drinking contaminated water. Every day, she crossed rocky terrain to draw water from a stagnant pond full of mud, dead animals and even human waste—the only water available for miles.
Suprita also lived under the constant threat of being beaten by her alcoholic husband, Tarosh. He came home from his job as a rickshaw driver completely drunk and harshly mistreated Suprita and her children. None of them could bear the pain and fear much longer.
Suprita begged her gods and goddesses to help her in this hopeless situation, but prayers brought her no peace. She tried to take matters in her own hands by learning the secrets of witchcraft and sorcery. She offered animal sacrifices, consulted sorcerers and even began to call on the spirits of the dead, hoping they would come to her aid. For all her dedicated efforts, however, Suprita’s husband did not change—and she still had a family to feed.
What changed Suprita’s life? Her story is continued below.
Because God reached out to us.
noun that which God showed us through Jesus, and compels us to care for those around us.
Asia isn’t the only place where people suffer. This whole world is corrupted by sin, and each of us experiences brokenness.
However, God showed His love for us by sending his son, Jesus Christ. He offers us hope no one else can give.
As a family of believers, we are called to participate in God’s work of redemption. Jesus commands his followers to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).
It is our privilege as believers to share in this mission, and we at Gospel for Asia are committed to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with lost men, women and children throughout South Asia who still have not heard His precious name. We want to change the lives of these people—both now and for eternity.
Suprita's story continued...
How did a pastor change the lives of those in Suprita's village?
GFA Stock Photo
Suprita’s burden of finding water was lifted when a Gospel for Asia pastor named Makrand had a well installed in their village. It was a welcome sight and a relief to the villagers. No more would they have to worry about stomachaches, illnesses or death because of the contaminated water they had been consuming so regularly.
Something as simple as being able to bathe in fresh water dramatically changed the way the men and women of the village lived. "My children were going to school without taking baths, and my husband went to work without a bath as well," Suprita recalls. "We were not able to maintain proper cleanliness due to water scarcity, but after this Jesus Well was installed in our village, my children could take baths every day and go to school clean."
Suprita was about to see even greater changes in her life. Her story is continued below.
It is difficult for Christians in the West to reach people in South Asia. Over 85 percent of Asian countries do not allow western missionaries to share the Gospel and establish fellowships.
However, thousands of national missionaries are committed to reaching their own people, no matter the cost. These men and women are often persecuted, but they have an enormous advantage over their co-workers from North America and other non-Asian lands. In the eyes of the people, national missionaries do not represent a foreign country or a strange religion. They already know the language, and they live at the same level as the communities they serve.
noun a believer who has committed his or her life to reach his or her own people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter the difficulty or cost.
Gospel for Asia has Bible colleges throughout South Asia where thousands of men and women are preparing for ministry. Nearly 9,000 young men and women are receiving training right now, and over 98 percent of graduates minister in places where the Gospel has never before been shared.
Suprita's story continued...
How did the love of Christ transform Suprita and her family through a national missionary?
GFA Stock Photo
One day, Suprita ran into Pastor Makrand while drawing water from the new well. The pastor told Suprita about God's love, and she openly shared about her painful life. Makrand listened intently as she poured out her heart, and he offered to visit Suprita at home.
Pastor Makrand and his wife stopped by Suprita's house the very next day and told her that only Jesus could bring the true joy and peace she was seeking. They continued to visit Suprita regularly, and one day, she accepted Jesus as her Lord.
Suprita had a new heart for Christ, as well as a new determination to pray for Tarosh. Although her husband's habits had not changed, Suprita did not stop growing in the Lord and praying for Tarosh.
Pastor Makrand and his wife prayed with Suprita and her children once a week, and Tarosh always left the house during that time. But the group of praying friends persevered, and eventually, Tarosh's life changed from the inside out. He, too, trusted in Jesus and began living for Him.
This home, once filled with frightened children, a desperate wife and a violent husband, is drastically different today. Tarosh cares very deeply for his family, and they all worship God together. Several other families from the community have also been transformed by the Good News.
Suprita did not expect to find more than fresh water at the well the day she met Pastor Makrand. But the well not only gave her community the clean water it desperately needed, but also provided an opportunity for this missionary to build relationships and share the hope of Christ with the people in the village.
"I am lucky to get good water from the well," Suprita says. "Above all, I am so happy that I and my family came to know the Lord through this means."
Gospel for Asia also reaches out through Bridge of Hope, transforming entire communities by loving their children. This ministry provides an education, nutritious meals, textbooks and a yearly medical check-up, giving children a chance to improve their daily lives and—most important—to hear that Jesus loves them.
noun a way for believers to link their lives to Bridge of Hope children and national missionaries by supporting them each month through finances and prayer.
In all these efforts, we believe that nothing is accomplished without prayer. Gospel for Asia missionaries and staff around the world pray consistently and with great fervor for those who have never heard that Jesus loves them, and we invite believers everywhere to pray with us and join in reaching the lost.
What's your role in the Great Commission?