In the beginning Somewhere just south of Nepal, tucked away in the east of India, lies the state of Bihar. Despite recent economic growth, a significant proportion of its 83 million people continue to live in poverty, mired in illiteracy. The pastor we worked with was a former student from TCA College. He has a powerful vision to plant a school in every village in Bihar. Biharis are typically farmers and laborers, and their children follow likewise. Instead of going to school, young children as little as six can be seen helping their parents in the fields or feeding cattle. He believes that this cycle of poverty will perpetuate without education. So far, he has planted four schools in Bihar. Destination: Bihar Getting to Bihar was no easy feat. The team departed for Chennai and took a connecting flight to Calcutta. They embarked on a back-breaking overnight train ride, and took a one-hour drive on “non–Singapore” roads before finally arriving at a village in Bihar. By now, more than 27 hours had passed since they took off from Changi International Airport. Missions right away You would think after a 27-hour journey that ‘rest and relax’ would be the next stop. Not so for this team that began by teaching 200 children in the school to sing some songs and presented a contemporary version of the Prodigal Son, narrated entirely in Hindi. All walls of inhibition came tumbling down after the skit. The children roared and clapped their hands enthusiastically, a stark contrast compared to the initial looks and stares. It was an incredible experience for both the team and the children.
The team then prayed over every child, planting seeds of salvation. While the team was ministering to the 200 children, you could sense the hunger for God in the entire place. Even the on-looking teachers seemed interested in what the team was sharing. Leong Hin, a team member shared, “I doubted that the teachers would believe the message but God convicted me on the spot and I repented.” God touched the teachers and they all accepted Christ that day. The following day, in another village and carrying the faith lessons learnt, the team ministered in another school. And this time they did not hesitate to share with the school teachers. Not only did the children receive salvation, all four teachers accepted Christ as well! Sporting to salvation Moving on to another village in Bihar, the team organized an exciting telematch-style ‘Sports Day’ for 230 children. Over four hours, students and their parents gave their all as they raced and competed against each other in a series of funfilled games. The delighted shrieks and laughter of the children and adults caused a stir in the sleepy village, attracting many curious onlookers and supporters. As it was getting dark, the team conducted a short service and shared the gospel with 600 children, parents and other villages. Nearly a third of those present gave their hearts to Jesus. Praise the Lord! A youth team member, Michson Ang recalled, “when all the people raised their hands to accept Jesus, it was like a wave of the Holy Spirit moving. It was so tangible I could feel it. I couldn’t help but cry in the presence of God.” The ‘out of reach’ reached On the fifth day, the team continued their ministry and visited two more remote villages.
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Trinitarian Magazine Issue 4/2011