‘Doing it afraid’ has been my motto. To be honest I came to India with different expectations, having read a lot on the internet my view about India was negative or let me be modest and say it was different. We landed and the first thing that happened is that we missed our connecting flight due to some miscommunication with the locals. This confirmed my fears about this place, but we remained positive. The day ended well and the next day we departed to our destination.
To my surprise the place was well developed though they called it a ‘village’.
The shift was huge, I remember telling myself, “Shad you need to start afresh, start relearning everything.” The battle was in my mind… A session with Matt Millar came in handy, I remember him saying ”Guys think of it as different, not good or bad. Just Different”.
Second to praying, this advice become a very handy tool. Now things don’t bother me so much unless it’s something that contradicts scripture, I’m okay to call it different.”
Church Planting is in the heart of the people, but what excites me the most is the fact that they give young people the opportunity to plant churches. They have two different kind of classes; one for those who want to plant city churches and the other for those who want to plant village churches. The sessions are contextualized based on those two aspects.
Just to share about my experience here, I can say the Lord has been faithful. I love the fact that people concentrate more on the basic things and everything else comes second. The art of evangelism is so simplified that anyone can and is willing to participate. I can’t remember the last time I shared my faith to strangers door to door, this was a great experience and I thank God that I had a chance to be part of this.
Men and women as young as 19 years are zealous for the Lord, and planting churches all over, no one cares if a church has PA system here, as long as people can meet and fellowship that’s church for them. And if we look carefully there are a lot of similarities to the early church in the book of Acts.
I have learned so much about simplicity and being mission minded from the church here. Despite the language barrier and being stared at like we are statues, I have experienced God in this place. Some regions in India are very hard to do church due to different forms of idol worship and cultural practices. In spite of all these challenges including persecution, we have seen young and old alike passionate about penetrating hard places to ensure that the Gospel of Christ is being preached.
I met an old man a month ago, he called me aside and shared how he has been persecuted; how he was beaten, betrayed and rejected by his family members. I saw fear in his eyes. I felt completely challenged by what it is that he requested me to pray for; he couldn’t speak English but through a translator he said – “Please pray that I will be more courageous and bold enough to go back to those very people that are persecuting me. It’s not easy to forgive but I have to win them.” The man was old and I when I looked at him I thought to myself – you should just go to a safe place and chill, you have done enough…
Being here I’ve learned that we can’t afford to let fear paralyze our faith.
Our actions should be inspired not only by the courage to be bold but the trust we have in the saviour Jesus Christ that He will never leave us not forsake us. We have seen people give their lives to Christ daily. Every mission we have gone to, people have given their lives to Christ. We have seen places where the whole church would lift their hands to receive Christ – now that was scary….
If I am to summarize my experience here, I would say this three things....
- You can’t afford to let fear stop you from sharing your faith.
- Boldness is not just a matter of being courageous it’s about trust. Trust that God has called you and you need to obey.
- Obedience is doing rather than just knowing, if you just know and sit that is disobedience, what you know needs to translate to action.
Keep us in your prayers as we plan to transition into our next phase of our church planting training in Philippines in the coming months. We thank God for our time in India and we celebrate with over 80 people who have given their lives to Christ through our ministry to them.
I truly appreciate your support as we continue impacting God’s people with the Gospel of Good news.
Pastor Shadrack Ashiayo (Pastor Shaddy) is a Pastor at Nairobi Chapel South and is very passionate about transforming lives across the world and turning hearts to Christ using the body of the church to have every heart WIRED – as Witnesses who are Intentional in their faith, Reliable in their actions, Engaged in pursuit of God’s destiny and in Discipleship for Christ. He may be found at firstname.lastname@example.org