Bibles & Bikes for India: One Year Later
By William Stark
11/01/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Last year, International Christian Concern (ICC) launched an ambitious campaign to help bring the Gospel to India’s rural and unreached communities. We called this campaign the Bibles and Bikes for India Initiative.
Partnering with courageous and dedicated partners across India, the Bibles and Bikes initiative set a lofty goal of equipping 1,000 evangelists with a new bicycle and 100 Bibles each. With these simple tools, the 1,000 evangelists would be empowered to bring the Gospel to rural communities previously beyond their reach.
On November 14, 2018, ICC called on its supporters to raise $200,000 USD to achieve this goal. This staggering benchmark is still among the largest fundraising goals set by ICC for any initiative.
So where are we now almost one year later?
In less than a year, ICC’s supporters were able to achieve the fundraising goal set for the Bibles and Bikes initiative. The full $200,000 USD was achieved, and then surpassed, in October 2019. As of today, ICC’s supporters have raised just over $212,000 for the Bibles and Bikes initiative. This means that ICC will be able to equip at least 1,060 Indian evangelists with a bicycle and 100 Bibles.
In addition to this exciting news, the Bibles and Bikes initiative is already leaving a lasting impact on communities across India. To date, we have been able to equip almost 500 evangelists across 16 of India’s 28 states. This means ICC has distributed nearly 500 bicycles and 50,000 Bibles destined for the hands and homes of the unreached.
After three or four months, ICC follows up with each evangelist to see how their ministry has been impacted by the bicycle and 100 Bibles. According to these follow-ups, the beneficiaries of the Bibles and Bikes initiative have been able to travel to 1,571 previously unreached communities across India. In addition, the evangelists have been able to start approximately 130 new house churches and lead more than 2,100 people to Christ.
Among the nearly 500 beneficiaries of the Bibles and Bikes initiative is Badluram. Badluram is a Christian evangelist from a remote village in central India. He accepted Jesus as his personal savior after experiencing a miraculous healing through prayer 15 years ago.
Since then, Badluram has been telling others about what happened to him when he prayed to Jesus for healing. In addition to working on a small farm to earn a living, Badluram used to walk from village to village to pray for the sick and tell others about Jesus.
At age 55, this constant travel by foot was becoming more and more difficult for Badluram. Age was beginning to limit the number of villages he was able to visit.
That all changed in May 2019. When ICC heard about Badluram’s commitment to spreading the Gospel, his name was added to the list of Indian evangelists ICC planned to equip with a bike and 100 Bibles.
On May 9, Badluram received a brand new bicycle and 100 Hindi Bibles. With these tools and Badluram’s zeal for spreading the Gospel, more unreached people are hearing the message of Jesus Christ for the first time in central India.
“I travel about 30 miles a week to preach the Gospel,” Badluram told ICC last month. “In one village, I have been able to lead three new families to Christ. In another village, I have been able to establish a small Christian fellowship where 10 to 15 people are regularly gathering for prayer.”
“My prayer is that I bring more unreached people to Christ,” Badluram continued. “I will preach the message of Jesus for as long as I live. I am extremely happy to have the new bike and the Scriptures. With these things I am able to reach more villages and preach to more people.”
Because of the amazing impact we have seen so far, we are excited to continue the Bibles and Bikes initiative into 2020 and beyond. In 2020, we will achieve the goal of equipping 1,000 evangelists; however, we will also continue to raise funds to support as many evangelists as there are willing to step forward and bring the Gospel to India’s unreached.
We here at ICC thank all of those who have helped support the Bibles and Bikes initiative so far. We are excited to continue supporting this amazing outreach program into the new year and support those bringing the Gospel to India’s unreached communities.