Greetings to you all! I just wanted to send a brief update on the gospel meetings held recently in a remote area of Chattishgarh state which is boarder to Telangana. Pastor K. conducted a 3 days of gospel meetings. He is from a Koya tribe and his outreach and church ministry is among his own tribe.
Let me write a few lines about the Koya tribe whose population is mostly spread out in the southern region of India, particularly in the states of Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Koya are the second largest populated tribe of Andhra and Telangana, with the population of 1,146,000.
What Are Their Beliefs? The Koya practice their own ethnic religion, but also worship a number of Hindu gods and goddesses. Many Koya deities are female, the most important being "mother earth." Sacrifices are carried out by the village priests. The Koya do not believe in heaven, hell, or reincarnation. When a person dies, his body is carried on a cot which is covered with grain, liquor, new clothes, money, and a cow's tail. At the appropriate place, the cot is faced towards the West, and the body is burned. The ashes are placed in a clay pot. The Koya believe that their spirits either linger about the clay ancestor pot, patrol the sky over the village, or wander about the village disturbing daily life.
Pastor K. labors very hard among this tribe. His life is under threat from Naxals every day. Naxals are an anti-government force. They are a great threat to the government and officials. I cannot put here more details about them due to security reasons. However, his brother was killed by them last year (who was also a pastor) and his son was kidnapped last year, kept for 14 days, and threatened with death. But by God’s providence, he was released. In these unfavorable circumstances, he and other couple of brothers, are serving the Lord with courage.
I was invited to preach and have fellowship with them. It was great privilege for me to take part in this event. I was able to preach the gospel from the book of John - how the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, that is Jesus Christ. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing has come to existence. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. I explained how Jesus came to this world and died to pay the ransom price for sinners; to save that those who believe in Him. The Lord seemed to bless His word among us. We are trusting Him that He will bring fruit in due time into their lives.
Around 5000 (men, women, and children) attended from two states. Some of them traveled from very far distance with small kids and without proper transport facilities. It was a great encouraging to me to see their hunger for God’s word. They sat there from 6 pm to 12 pm singing and hearing God’s Word. Many of them are not literates.
Pray for the work among this tribe that many biblical churches may be planted and they will be witnesses for Christ.
Once again thank you so much for your partnership we appreciate you all.
Your co-laborer in Christ,