10/15/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On July 10, Hindu extremists murdered Pastor Munsi Thado in India. Prior to his murder, Pastor Munsi lived in the forest for the last five years due to village pressure. Village leaders demanded that Pastor Munsi recant his Christian faith, kicking him out when he refused.
Despite having been thrown out, he continued to evangelize. Munsi’s ministry colleague told us, “He led more than 20 families to Christ since Hindu radicals threw him out the village.”
Will you take a moment to pray for his wife and children in the midst of their grief? To learn more about Pastor Munsi’s story and how ICC stepped in to support his family in the aftermath, click here.
Hi, I’m Jeff King, President of International Christian Concern. I want you to do me a favor. Look at this picture and tell me what you notice. You’re immediately going to be drawn to the faces, but don’t start there. Just look around. What do you see? You’ll notice that they live in poverty. That’s obvious. There’s dirt floor shack and there’s a door made of sticks, holes in the walls, their clothes are very basic. You see the roof, it’s made out of sticks and metal with a blue tarp on it to keep the rain out. But the most noticeable thing in the picture for me, and probably for you, are the eyes of the kids. What do you see in their faces and in their eyes? It’s fear, it’s anxiety, it’s sadness. It’s not a happy picture.
I stare at this picture for a while and I noticed all those things, but there was one thing in the end that really grabbed my attention. That was that flip-flop that’s down in the dirt from the missing person in the picture. The person that is missing is Pastor Munsi. There’s a reason he’s missing.
Pastor Munsi was a non-stop evangelist. He had come to Christ. He loved the gospel so much he could never stop sharing the Gospel. He lived in a fundamentalist Hindu area in a fundamentalist Hindu village, the leaders were the same. They kept pressuring him to stop sharing the Gospel, but he couldn’t. And to the point that they actually told him he had to leave the village. He ended up living in a shack in the woods for five years. During this whole time, he led 20 people, 20 different families to Christ in the village, which you can imagine created a lot of problems, and why they pushed him out of the village.
It makes me think of a scripture. Let me read this to you. It’s 1 Corinthians 4:10-13. It’s Paul speaking. He says, “We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored. To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we’re in rags, we’re brutally treated, we’re homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we’re cursed, we bless. When we’re persecuted, we endure. When we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world.”
I think of Pastor Munsi because you think about what he gave up, and he ends up living in the woods like this, in a shack. The pressure never stopped to the point that finally, the fundamentalists came and dragged him out of his home with his wife pleading and screaming for them not to take him. He was gone for a while, and then his wife kind of assumed what was happening. She was out searching for him in the forest. On July 10th, she found his body.
At ICC, we’ve been helping his wife and kids transition to a new life. But this whole story, it makes me think of the verse in Revelation. It says, “The believers overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much to shrink from death.”
Pastor Munsi is not a man to be pitied. It’s a hard balance because we have great compassion on the plight of his kids and the plight of his wife, the family that he’s left behind, but he is a hero. He found a treasure in a field and he went and paid everything for that treasure, and he purchased that. And he was so overjoyed with what he had found, the treasure he had found, that he couldn’t stop telling others about it.
Look, that’s what the Lord wants for all of us. To move beyond where we are with the Lord, it’s not about obedience. He wants that. We want to obey him, but it’s much more. It’s to move to this point of treasure. And I see Pastor Munsi sitting at the door, the threshold to the next life, and he’s calling us. He’s not calling us to die. Most of us are not going to die for the Gospel, but to live like he did, to live with great sacrifice. It’s a lesson to me. I’m not preaching to you because it’s a lesson to me too every day, but this is why it’s such a blessing to work with the persecuted.