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Ministry in India: 2008 Report

India is a complex and diverse nation. People are trapped in tradition, superstition, and religions that do not promise any hope of eternal life. Hindus believe in re-incarnation: that one is re-born several times. While westerners go in search of truth through meditation, and follow Hindu spiritual leaders, their teachings have not helped the average person on the streets of India to forge a better life.

Generally, India is moving forward into a global power; its economy is growing at an unprecedented rate, and the church is also growing rapidly. The middle and upper classes are getting wealthier, but the majority of the population lives on less than $2.00 a day. The 60% of the population that lives in villages and towns live on subsistence living, and 40% of the population is illiterate. People who leave the villages and move to the large cities are often illiterate and become displaced as they try to make a better life; in some cases whole families end up living on the streets, because employment is difficult to find and housing is very expensive. It is heart breaking.

My colleague, Dr. Willie Boyseen from South Africa and I were focused on the vision the Lord gave me; we tried not to be sidetracked by the poverty, and the hopelessness that dominates the nation. We were often tempted to give money to help the poor and those feeding the poor, but when we remembered the words of Jesus who said, “the poor you always have with you,” we became more resolute to the vision to help preachers to preach more effectively and be true to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Usually when people accept Jesus into their lives as Savior and Lord, they become excited and want to share their faith with others. Often before you know it, they are pastoring churches with several hundred people and in some cases a group of churches. These were the people we desired to help most: those already in ministry. We shared with them what we have learned about preaching. The presentation of the gospel should be preached simply and clearly without spiritualizing the text, steering them away from teaching wrong doctrine but praying for the sick and the needs of people in the church. On every occasion pastors left the seminars better preachers of the Word. They were always thankful and often remarked, “I now know how to prepare sermons.” Many pastors have to preach every day.

During our time in India we taught approximately 350 pastors in three preaching seminars. The first seminar was for approximately 100 pastors at Love-N-care Ministries in Visakhapatnam. We were told that some of these pastors are tribal people and were former animists. At Love-N-Care Ministries they are taught to read and write and then to preach.

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Category: Ministry

About the Author: Aldwin Ragoonath, Ph.D., is a trained homiletician with over twenty years of pastoral experience in the Caribbean and Canada. His ministry is devoted to helping pastors develop their preaching gift, teaching Pentecostal preaching courses and facilitating seminars around the world. He and his wife make their home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. www.atmc.ca

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