Burned but Not Broken: ICC Provides Hope for a Church in India
By ICC’s India Correspondent
02/21/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On June 26, 2019, Pastor Joshua and his church were in a state of crisis. On that day, their church building was set ablaze by unknown assailants. A simple structure made of a thatch roof and bamboo poles, the church quickly burned to the ground. Neither Pastor Joshua nor the congregation could afford to repair the damage caused by the fire. In addition to the building being completely destroyed, all of the church’s sound equipment, literature, and other worship materials were lost.
“I was deeply emotional,” Pastor Joshua told International Christian Concern (ICC). “I shared with my congregation about how difficult it was to obtain the church articles necessary to build and run the church. It took over 10 years!”
Despite this challenge, Pastor Joshua and his congregation banded together and continued to worship in their small village, with or without a church building.
When ICC heard about Pastor Joshua and his congregation’s struggle, we provided them with new equipment to encourage them in their worship. This included portable speakers, microphones, musical instruments, a battery-run light, and carpets for congregants to sit on during worship.
Since receiving this assistance, Pastor Joshua and his congregation have been forced to relocate their worship service three times. Because all of the items ICC provided the church are portable, these relocations have been much easier on Pastor Joshua and his congregation.
“We are grateful to God for sustaining us as a church,” Pastor Joshua recently told ICC. “When things looked hopeless and impossible for the continuation of the church, God opened the way. I want to thank ICC for providing the items that were burned in the fire as well as the encouragement.”
“When things looked hopeless and impossible for the continuation of the church, God opened the way. I want to thank ICC for providing the items that were burned in the fire as well as the encouragement.”
“Despite difficult circumstances, we can continue our worship without being disturbed too much,” Pastor Joshua continued. “We merely have to pack up our things and move on. God has been gracious so far, and there is greater enthusiasm among the congregation because God’s people came alongside us and helped us.”
According to Pastor Joshua, his church is committed to leading at least three days of evangelism every week. Congregants even follow up with those who show interest in the Gospel. However, Pastor Joshua reports that there have been several instances of opposition to this outreach work.
“The gesture that ICC showed us has encouraged our community,” Pastor Joshua explained. “It showed us that we are not alone, but are a part of the larger family of God. Without ICC’s help, it would have taken us years to purchase the items that have been provided. We are thankful to God for ICC and the people who are a part of it.”
“ICC’s practical action has also challenged us as a church,” Pastor Joshua continued. “In our spiritual walk as a church, we have been challenged to stand with other Christians who face similar persecution both practically and in prayer.”
Across India, instances of persecution and religious intolerance are being reported in higher numbers and severity. ICC is dedicated to serving Christian individuals and communities affected by this growing persecution in India and around the world. To get involved in this vital work, please consider giving to ICC today.
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