Thursday, February 09, 2006

Life in Danger for 'Friend of Outcasts'

To the "outcasts" of society, Believers Church Pastor Kawal has been a true friend. But today his life is on the line because of religious oppression, and he needs the prayers of his Christian brothers and sisters around the world.

Kawal serves the Lord in North India, reaching out to a community where many low-caste tribals live. In the system that governs their society, they are looked down on and trampled upon by those of higher castes.

With Christ's compassion for these oppressed people, Kawal began visiting homes with a listening ear, prayers, and the Good News of Jesus Christ. They marveled, because most people wouldn't even think about visiting their homes or associating with them!

Kawal gained their trust with his kindness, and they began to flock to his home as well, asking for prayer. Through such outreach, 50 precious souls were won for Christ-and a church was planted. New believers counted it a privilege to worship the Lord in the home of the kind pastor who called them friends. Then five people began to meet with Kawal for special training so they, too, could labor to reach the lost.

Kawal rejoiced. But like any pastor in his situation, he also saw the need for a more suitable building to accommodate his growing flock. That was when the trouble started.

A few days after the believers began constructing their church, local anti-Christian groups strongly vocalized their opposition, even monitoring outside visitors to the site. Despite such setbacks, the Christians slowly continued construction. They rejoiced to see all four walls come up . . . but more harassment came as a mob of 40 people surrounded the building, intimidating the workers and demanding they stop construction.

The believers were encouraged when Christians from other churches came out one night to help them complete the tin roof. But the word spread quickly in the village, and a mob came out the next day to threaten them yet again.

As the leader, Pastor Kawal was specifically singled out. Hearing of the mob's intent to harm him, many advised him to leave the area. It was an agonizing decision, but for his safety Pastor Kawal traveled to a temporary, undisclosed location.

Please pray for protection for this dedicated pastor and his wife, their four children, and this young Believers Church congregation. Pray that each person will stand strong for Christ and will be aware of the heavenly Father's comforting presence at all times. And pray for all tension in this area to subside, and that the persecutors will be drawn to the Father through the love lived out by the Christians. Pray that this congregation's dreams of having its own church building will be fulfilled.

Courtesy: GFA