Friday, July 24, 2009

Mission Impossible – Possible in West Bengal, India?

Part one of this story series …

From outer space, you can see exactly how far it is from my house in the woods of Kentucky to the city streets and countryside villages of West Bengal, India.

The place is on the exact opposite side of the globe.

And the differences in the numbers of people and their need to hear about Jesus’s love are just as vast as the miles that separate us.

Why do I care about West Bengal, India?

Well I’ve recently started attending the “Global Team” at Quest Community Church. Our church has launched a partnership there with some new believers.

Believe me – they need all the support and prayer they can get. They are currently engaged in a Mission Impossible that rivals anything Tom Cruise did in those movies.

Take a look at these numbers.

West Bengal is 85 percent the land size of the state of Kentucky.

Kentucky has 4.2 million people. West Bengal – 89 million people.

Did that make you suck in your breath? Just wait … here’s some more:

Kentucky has 33 percent evangelical Christians – or, just about one person for every three.

West Bengal is 72 percent Hindu, 23 percent Muslim … and as for evangelical Christians? There are fewer than 1 person per every 1,000. Yes, I meant to write the word, “fewer.”

In Kentucky, we have 8,460 churches.

But in the Howrah District, which is next to the looming city of Calcutta in West Bengal, there are 20 known churches – and there are 4.2 million people.

You see the problem.

Quest pays the living expenses for first-generation Christians to do full-time missionary work in West Bengal – this is so that they don’t have to have a regular job and do their evangelism on the side.

We’re supporting 10 people.

Guess how much each person costs per month?


Yep, that’s right. That covers their food, shelter and living expenses.

So in total, we’re looking at $7,300 per year to support 10 people in West Bengal to do the Mission Impossible.

Not only is the population a major issue, but these brave souls are also having to do their work in perilous conditions. They have to meet in house churches and move from home to home because of fear of persecution. They also go into villages on the outskirts of cities, and who knows what they might find in each village?

The folks in India would eventually like to recruit 400 people to do this work.

But let’s put that 400 in perspective: If you divide up West Bengal into "blocks" of people, one block contains 200,000 people. There are 400 blocks with no Christian presence. So … the goal is to have one person to cover each block – or, one per 200,000 people.

See what I mean?

How can it ever be done?

But wait – you won’t believe the other side of this story.

Tune in tomorrow and I’ll tell you how the Mission Impossible can become Possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment