Equipping Evangelists One Bike at a Time
By William Stark
06/24/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In November 2018, International Christian Concern (ICC) launched our Bibles and Bikes program in India.
This campaign set the ambitious goal of bringing the Gospel to India’s unreached by empowering 1,000 rural evangelists with a bicycle and 100 Bibles. Each bike doubles or triples the effectiveness of a church planter. As you can imagine, this was a massive program spread out across India, but our staff on the ground came to the rescue. In early 2021, ICC finished the program. It was a fantastic moment for all of our field staff!
Our staff equipped church planters in 17 of India’s 29 states who have gone on to do some incredible things across the country: 100,000 Bibles in 13 languages.
Tens of thousands of Bibles have found their way into previously unreached villages and formed hundreds of new churches that birthed thousands of new believers. Though a successful project, it has also faced its fair share of challenges. A global pandemic, national lockdowns, food insecurity, and increasing persecution have been among the most significant challenges we have endured in the last year.
“Persecution is increasing,” said Pastor Roshini. “Converts are being targeted for their new faith. Some people are scared to associate or listen to us because of this.”
“I have faced attacks by Hindu radicals twice in the last year,” continued Pastor Pannu. “In one incident, I was called before the village council along with my church members. The church members bravely testified that they were voluntarily practicing Christianity and that no one forced them to convert. That is how I survived.”
Since launching the Bibles and Bikes program in 2018, we have heard many stories of persecution from our evangelists. These stories, however, have done little to dampen the passion the evangelists feel for spreading the Good News or their approval of the Bibles and Bikes for India Initiative.
“Evangelism is key for the growth of the Church in India,” explained Pastor Roshini. “The further we are able to reach, the more people will be added to the church. These bicycles allow us to be forerunners for the Gospel.”
“The bicycle has been a great blessing,” continued Pastor Roshini. “I have started prayer meetings in 13 villages that would not have been reached without the bicycle. It is the most cost-effective transportation, and I would recommend this for any church planter or evangelist.”
Even though ICC has met its goal of empowering 1,000 rural evangelists, we want to continue to help the Gospel spread to India’s unreached. Following the recommendations of our brave beneficiaries, ICC will continue to provide more Indian evangelists with bicycles and Bibles. With these simple tools, we can bring the Gospel’s transformative message to every corner of India.
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