Reaching India with God's Word
The Banjara tribe is the largest nomadic tribe in India, and members do not associate with anyone outside of their caste. "Our forefathers used to migrate from one place to another, and worshipped their deities," explains Rajesh. "This was my life too, until a man visited our area with a Bible in his hands." The man was a Philip, a Project Philip Bible study leader. "We received Jesus into our lives," says Rajesh. He then completed Project Philip Bible studies and became a pastor committed to sharing God's Word with the Banjara people.
"I wanted to reach my own tribe with the Gospel," Rajesh explains. "I belong to God, but I also belong to Banjara." Rajesh was frustrated at first when he tried sharing the Good News within his own community, but once he used the skills he learned through Project Philip, his efforts improved. "I am getting positive responses from the people," Rajesh beams. "People love me as their pastor, God enabled me to plant three churches in my own community, and more and more people keep responding to the hope in God's Word!"
Although Rajesh is very enthusiastic about his work, he does face persecution from the leaders in his village. "The village heads are not happy with my work among the people," he says somberly. "They oppose me and won't listen to me at all—they argue with me about not changing our customs and traditions."
Rajesh says, "God has changed my life. I have a new purpose, and I will not be deterred from sharing the Word of God." He remains committed to his people. "The Gospel is touching their lives," he explains. "And I am grateful to you for supplying the Bibles and resources that make it possible for me to continue this ministry."