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Varanasi is a 'Holy' City for Hindus. Every day, thousands of devotees from around the world visit the temples around the city. Witnessing to Christ in this environment is tough and risky!
One high caste Brahmin family came to Christ there. They have been threatened and twice escaped from bullets, but they never gave up out of fear. Now a revival has come among some Hindu Brahmins, and many are coming to know the Truth.
We found a 'new' language in the nearby villages. Even though it is widely spoken, it had been unnoticed by anthropologists until recently.
Work in this area was very difficult. The first problem was that several of our language helpers were prevented from coming to meet us. Then we had to find a quiet place to construct our temporary studio - no easy task in a country with as many people as India! Eventually we found a suitable place to work. The next morning we started recording, and by evening had recorded 12 Gospel messages in that language. Then the singers and musicians arrived. It took quite a bit of practice to get everything right, but by 10:30 pm we had recorded six songs. By then we were all exhausted and needed to rest!
The next day was Sunday and while my colleague Gopal continued with the recording, I shared the Word of God with a group of believers, most of whom were from Hindu backgrounds. They have amazing testimonies! After church I went back to the recordings and was able to record a total of 15 short Gospel messages and 14 songs.
We left the same night to return home and after a 5-hour delay and overnight trip we arrived in Kolkata at 8am next morning. The main job now is to edit and program the recordings. We are anxious to get the recordings back to Varanasi as soon as possible. We plan to distribute 500 CDs initially, and hope and pray that more than two million souls will be touched!
Swapan has also recently visited the mountainous areas of Uttar Pradesh, just to the west of Nepal. He writes...
It was wonderful to reach Almora in the mountains where the temperature was a pleasant 22 degrees, after the blistering 48 degrees of the plains! Pastor Moses met me and told me that he had arranged Gospel meetings every day and that I was the main speaker! At the first meeting the pastor 'unveiled' the brand new CDs I had produced for them in the Kali Kumauni language. Everyone was excited to hear the messages in their own language. I met with some of the language helpers who had helped produce the CD. They said that they had never thought that their voices would be so useful to proclaim God's truth among their own people. It was a time of great joy. One of the language helpers there is still a Hindu but she is very close to the Lord now.
The next day an elderly Hindu couple came to the meeting. It was their first time in church! In my message, I asked "Where will you finish your life's journey? Are you going to heaven or hell?" The Hindu lady was listening very carefully and was clearly restless
When the pastor started to pray, she cried out loudly. She was living under the bondage of evil spirits. Her husband was very unhappy and took her away. It was her day of deliverance but she was not allowed! The Lord will speak to her through our CDs about deliverance.
On the following day we drove for five hours on steep and dangerous roads that zigzagged up and down the mountains. Praise the Lord, he watched over us and kept us safe. The evening worship was a great blessing and several young people asked me to pray for them. After the worship, the new CDs in Soriyali (a dialect of Kumauni) were released. This was the first recording ever made in that language but the people have asked for more, promising their help.
I started back for Kolkata the next day. After the usual train delays (15 hours this time) and again readjusting to the heat I arrived home, tired but rejoicing in all that the Lord had done. 400 CDs in two new languages were now 'in the field' and being distributed to unbelievers by the church folk. We have already received an order for 600 more CDs for people in these areas.
Thank you for your prayers for us and for the economically poor and non-literate people who need to hear the Good News of Jesus.