In the Ganges River area of north India there are 100,000 villages and 200 million people. Until recently, most had never even heard the name of Jesus. In 1997 when TellAsia was founded, in village after village, when asked the question, “Do you know Jesus?” most people replied, “Nobody by that name lives in this village, go on down the road, maybe you’ll find him there.” But over the past 12 years that has begun to change as TellAsia and other agencies have labored to spread the Good News. Then In 2008 TellAsia launched the 2020 Network through which we are serving many native leaders and small indigenous agencies throughout the region, uniting the Body of Christ around one great vision. Now the gospel is spreading rapidly among the villages.
But in the urban areas the gospel work has remained stagnant. There are a few denominational believers and churches carrying on from the British era, but they view attending the Sunday service as their primary responsibility as a follower of Christ. They don’t have a vision to take the gospel to the non-Christian masses languishing in darkness and idolatry. The urban Christians need someone to help them receive a fresh vision for reaching their city and we feel the time is now! Fifty percent of India’s population is under age 25, and these young people are the ones who will impact the future of the nation. Many of the urban Christian youth don’t even know the basic elements of their faith. They are a precious resource that God wants to use but they need to be trained and equipped to become workers in the Kingdom of God.
On April 14th we launched the first of what will be a series of targeted, strategic training workshops for the urban Christian youth. Around 250 young people from various denominations participated. Rev. Alok Srivastava gave the keynote message, pointing out that even though past generations were inactive, those who came to this conference represent a new and a chosen generation. He challenged them to follow Jesus with their whole heart and live lives of holiness. He then taught them that God calls us not to just be satisfied to live our lives, but that we should seek to be influential for God’s Kingdom as leaders in our community. Guest teachers included Pastor Dodge from the US who taught how an ordinary person can become extra-ordinary by following God’s path.
There was powerful worship with both celebration and repentance, and the young people recommitted their lives to Christ and consecrated themselves to influence their world for God’s Kingdom. They are now passionate to take the light into the darkness and to transform the lives of those around them. Soon we will have a follow-up meeting to keep on building up these young leaders.
~ Gaurav Srivastava , Executive Assistant, India