Santhosh, one of our church planters in Bihar, India, recently held a spiritual awakening seminar for 250 people from 16 different villages in the region. The theme for the one day seminar was drawn from John 17:3, "Know Christ and Make Him Known."
Santhosh worked with five other leaders that he trained to organize the different parts of the event.
This is the first time any of these villages were able to not only attend but host a seminar like this; it has never been done before in this area of Northern India. So many people were excited about it that six people were baptized the day before so they could attend the seminar as newly baptized believers.
It wasn't just the attendees who were excited either, leaders and the regional coordinator were excited too. When something like this comes together and actually happens in an area where a year or so ago, the idea of it ever happening was a pipe dream, the excitment is palbable.
The excitement came with good reason as dozens of people made commitments to follow Jesus and better their lives.
In addition to the six people being baptized, during the seminar, 10 people expressed a desire to be baptized and 22 people decided to believe in Jesus. Santhosh said that the seminar was a great motivator for villagers to know Jesus more closely and really made them excited to provide access to the gospel throughout the region. There is a renewed desire to expand the ministry even further than before.
The renewal seminar greatly affected young people as well: 12 of them decided to take part in the discipleship training offered and 10 young women enrolled in an empowering women tailoring program, to learn marketable business skills.
Because of this one day event, the local ministry has been greatly strengthened and hope is exceedingly abundant among villagers. Because of what one of the region's leaders shared from John 17 about knowing Jesus better, several people experienced God's presence and were inspired.
From the seminar, the believers who attended came away more rooted in their faith and better equipped to talk about Jesus. They also witnessed the healing power of Jesus.
Two women who attended the event had been living with severe pain from illnesses. They experienced healing during the seminar. More and more healing is being brought to the region as Santhosh continues to work at spreading the peace of knowing Jesus.
Support Santhosh in his efforts to strengthen the local leadership and community in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus' Economy is transforming lives and empowering women in Bihar, India. In a state where millions live in extreme poverty, it can seem impossible to have hope. But the people of Bihar are strong and resilient and we are coming alongside them as they lift their families and community out of poverty.
Bihar, India has a population of nearly 104 Million. More than 54 Million of those people live in extreme poverty. Most of their food sources are dependent on the weather, which during monsoon season often means few crops.
These families do not have enough money to provide for themselves on a basic level, and this makes for very poor living conditions.
Bihar has a women empowerment measure of .379, ranking among the top 10 worst in the world. In this state, a large percentage of the women are illiterate and jobless, and have no means to help themselves. But with our church planters providing literacy training, they have a chance at a new life.
Many women and children spend their days walking miles to collect drinkable water. By the time they've gathered this necessity, there isn't much time left in the day for work or an education, and the cycle of poverty continues.
To help meet the basic need of clean and safe water, Jesus' Economy has funded the drilling of four water wells. Now thousands of people have access to good water; women are able to work, and children are able to go to school.
We have also funded four church planters. These pastors are actively sharing the gospel with hundreds of people throughout the new home churches and bringing peace to these people and their villages.
With the physical and spiritual needs being met, Jesus' Economy is now focused on long-term sustainability. Forty women in Bihar will be trained to run their own businesses so they can lift their families out of poverty.
As part of the empowering women program, women learn the trade of creating high-quality, handmade clothing, as well as business skills and employer (fair trade) ethics.
The women will become successful businesswomen, thus able to support their families financially, and the cycle of poverty will be disrupted. Their incomes will allow for physical sustenance, and also for the opportunity for their children to go to school regularly.
The women of Bihar, India are immeasurably strong and full of hope for a better future.
Donate to the Empowering Women Program and help end poverty in Bihar.
Advik, our newest church planter, partnered with Jesus’ Economy in September 2016 and is working in villages that are extremely impoverished and severely lacking in men. Despite these difficulties, Advik has reached more than 1,000 people with the name of Jesus.
In these villages in Bihar, India, education for children seems to be the least important issue for locals. Not because they don’t value it but because they’re just trying to find food, on a daily basis. They don’t know where their next meal will come from or when. Men will travel outside the states to find jobs and once they get one, they generally don’t send money or help their families back in the remote villages of Bihar. They leave and don’t look back.
This leaves the women of the villages to do the work that the men aren’t there to do, on top of the work the women already perform, and they get paid very low wages for their hard labor. Advik has devoted much of his time reaching out to these women and children, bringing the hope of Jesus to their lives; he is a man they can count on.
Advik's efforts in 2016, just four short months of the year, resulted in five bible studies with 16 believers attending and five new baptisms performed. With this being his first full year as a church planter with Jesus’ Economy, Advik has set some ministry goals. He would like to see more house churches and Bible studies established, along with several more people coming to Christ. If he continues to diligently minister in the way he has been, he will go above and beyond his goals.
Advik is fulfilling his calling and acting upon what Jesus wants his followers to do. He is practicing religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the kind talked about in James 1:27. He is caring for the orphans and widows during their hardships.
One of the ways he will be taking care of the women and children is by establishing a literacy training center. He will also fulfill even further the mission of Jesus' Economy by establishing empowering women programs in Bihar, India that allow women to have sustainable jobs.
With these goals and plans ahead, Advik will reach villagers in these impoverished remote villages like never before.
Rahul continues to reach out to more and more villages, extending the gospel to more than 4,500 people despite the obstacles the monsoon season brings to him, his ministry, and the area villages.
Rahul has brought peace and healing to people in 16 villages, 11 of them are new villages where he started his ministry in 2016. In these villages, he has brought 20 new people to Jesus and 20 have been baptized.
From late May to September, Rahul struggles to maintain attendance in church services due to the rainy season. They currently don’t have a church building to meet in, so every Sunday Rahul gathers with villagers under a tree. When monsoon season hits, they can’t meet and he struggles to bring people together to worship. When the rainy season is over, because of how many services are missed, he has to visit people repeatedly until he has convinced them to come back to the Sunday service under the tree. The lack of a building combined with monsoon season has proven very difficult for Rahul and other believers. But he has pressed forward, making an impact wherever he goes.
In many of the villages Rahul ministers in, severe flooding is a huge issue during monsoon season. The floods destroy their crops, huts, and roads every year.
Despite travel difficulties, for the last two years, Rahul has been diligently working in these villages and leading prayer meetings. After he started ministering, the villagers noticed a change in their community. The river stopped overflowing and flooding the villages, crops are able to survive and flourish, and roads have been rebuilt. With these changes that make all of life smoother, many more villagers are willing to talk with Rahul and listen to what he is sharing about the gospel making his reach broader than ever.
Support Rahul's ministry to an impoverished and unreached villages by donating to his fund.
Jesus’ Economy church planter Veer faces the difficult task of bringing the gospel to a region dominated by oppressive religions. In Northeast India, he is offering the freedom of Jesus to those who have never even heard Jesus' name.
Despite the many obstacles, in just three months Veer saw 20 people come to Christ and choose to be baptized. Veer joined the efforts of Jesus’ Economy in October 2016, taking over an area that Vinod (a former Jesus’ Economy church planter) was working. Veer has worked diligently ever since.
Veer is focusing his efforts on a village where Jesus’ Economy provided a water well. This has given him an opportunity to speak about the love of Jesus, the Living Water. He has launched Bible studies and home churches, with more than 70 people attending. This means more than just new believers are coming to hear Veer talk about the freedom of the gospel.
At the end of 2016, Veer focused his efforts on Christmas-focused messages and Christmas-themed programs. Through these efforts, Veer shared the message of Jesus with 2,500 people in 10 different villages. This was the first time any of these people had heard the gospel. From these Christmas programs, 10 people placed their faith in Jesus and a new Bible study group was started.
With the new bible studies and house churches plus the reach of the Christmas-themed programs, Veer has reached many villagers in a very short time. Veer has also expanded his efforts by launching a tailoring training center for impoverished women. Currently 26 women are attending the center regularly. Veer has also launched a literacy training center where 30 children are learning to read. Through showing the love of Christ in word and deed, Veer has become an integral part of renewing an impoverished and previously oppressed group of people.
To help the work of Veer continue, please donate to his fund so that his diligence in the ministry can have an even broader impact in the region.
Santhosh is making waves across Bihar, India. He has brought the gospel to 32 villages. Due to his work, more than 6,000 people have heard the name of Jesus for the first time in their lives. His incredible devotion and tireless work since being sponsored as a church planter by Jesus’ Economy in April 2014 is evident in those numbers. He continues to impact many villagers, bringing about positive change in their lives.
In one of the villages Santhosh works, he met Aashi. She was raised with local, religious practices, which involve cultic and mystical rituals to engage the spiritual realm.
Aashi’s family was very worried about her because she was exhibiting signs of spiritual oppression and they didn’t know what to do. On her wedding day when she and her husband-to-be were standing at the altar about to say their vows, she began to be violent. It was as if some evil spirit was refusing to let her get married. Aashi’s parents tried using standard cultic practices to get rid of the oppression but nothing was working. In a moment of clarity, she was able to ask her parents to call Santhosh, knowing of his work in her village. She requested that he come pray for her. Santhosh brought other Christians with him and they spent time in prayer to relieve her of the evil, spiritual oppression. Through their prayers, she was healed and subsequently chose to believe in Jesus and his healing power.
Santhosh has inserted himself into more than just the spiritual development of the villages he ministers to. He is also involved in educational and economical development. He is running three literacy centers where 90 children are receiving primary education, as well as facilitating a tailor training program for more than 40 women. Through these programs, Santhosh has been able to make an even bigger impact. He is renewing hearts with the love of Jesus and communities by showing Jesus’ love in practice.
In 2016, Santhosh added 14 house churches and eight Bible studies in the region that he is working. When the third year of his sponsorship ends, these, along with the other house churches and Bible studies, should be completely self-sustaining.
Inspired by the work of Santhosh? Please donate to Santhosh's efforts, so he can continue to bring the gospel to the unreached.
Meet Advik, our newest church planter. He's working hard to tell unreached people in Bihar, India about Jesus.
As a child, Advik heard about Jesus Christ from the Roman Catholic Church. However, it wasn’t enough to quench his thirst to know more about Jesus Christ. And like others in his village, he continued to follow the customs and prevailing traditions. He also developed an addiction for alcohol; he spent his money on it and traded time with his friends for it.
As an adult, Advik was a man with no great hope or aim in life. One day, a pastor came to his remote village in Northeast India. As the pastor shared about Jesus Christ, Advik realized that the gospel is what he had longed for. When the pastor spoke the words, "Jesus loves you," he felt peace in his mind. Advik chose to believe in Jesus. He was baptized in 2008.
After committing his life fully to Jesus, Advik heard about some people from his village who were going to a Bible training session. With his newfound passion for Jesus in place, he found a way to attend the training. Advik attended Bible training for three years, after which his family also came to know Jesus as their Savior. Training made him realize he wanted to dedicate his life to telling others about Jesus.
One year into his work of spreading the gospel, Advik felt he was still ill-equipped. As a result, he left the remote villages he was serving to further study the Bible. Once he finished his studies, he joined Transformation India Movement, the partner of Jesus’ Economy for the Renew Bihar project. He is now working among the unreached people of Bihar, India.
Advik currently serves in five different remote villages, one of which is where a water well sponsored by Jesus’ Economy was recently drilled. Advik regularly speaks to three small groups in house churches. Through his efforts, 15 people have believed in Jesus and four are ready to be baptized.
Advik is in the first year of his planned three-year sponsorship and fundraising for his sponsorship is just beginning. Support him today to help him reach the unreached of Bihar, India.
Veer grew up in Northeast India. And his life completely lacked peace. One day that all changed.
For years, Veer's mother had prayed for him; she was distressed by his restlessness. Veer, on the other hand, viewed Christianity as merely about traditions. It took a pastor visiting his home to change his mind. As the pastor shared about the true meaning of the Christian faith, how it is rooted in relationship with Jesus, he decided that he believed. Veer entered into an authentic relationship with Jesus.
Veer immediately felt peace and knew he could stop his bad habits. He was baptized in 2008 and determined he would serve God. Since that time, he has taken Bible training courses and been attending pastors' seminars. In total, he has received six years of pastoral training. His dedication has allowed him to step into a church planting role with Jesus' Economy. He will now be bringing the gospel to people who have never heard Jesus' name, in rural villages in Northeast India.
Veer's life goal is to share the peace of Jesus with others; he wants them to experience the same kind of freedom Jesus brought to his life.
Veer has now taken over the ministry of Jesus' Economy sponsored church planter, Vinod, receiving the third year of Vinod's previously planned sponsorship. Veer and Vinod have been working toward establishing self-sustaining churches; the goal is that after three years of total sponsorship that the churches they establish will be completely self-sustaining.
Within just the first few months of Veer's efforts, he told more than 600 people about Jesus and the peace Christ can offer them. Even during his first few months of ministry, he saw eight people decide to believe in Jesus.
You can be a part of bringing the peace of Christ to people in Northeast India. In a state where 101 Million people who have never heard the name of Jesus, Veer is bravely spreading the name of Christ. Help Veer accomplish his goal. Come alongside him in his efforts.
Jesus' currency is love. Jesus' economy is based on self-sacrifice. The story of Jesus' Economy, the organization, shows what those ideas look like in practice. It's a story of renewing entire communities. It's a story of how our founders' self-sacrifice led to a global movement. And how that movement is creating jobs and churches for the impoverished and unreached. Good news is reaching the poor.
Read more in "Our Vision, Our Story & 2015 Annual Report."
A church planter in Northeast India has many stories of life transformation, including his own.
Vinod, Jesus' Economy sponsored church planter, brought the gospel to unreached villages for two years. This is the story of his life and ministry, and the story of the church planter who is now leading his ministry. This is how the gospel is reaching previously unreached villages in Northeast India.
Before Vinod believed in Jesus, his life was filled with anger and fighting. Since he accepted Jesus as his Savior, he hasn’t looked back. This is why Vinod decided to become a church planter.
At one point, Vinod shared the story of Jesus with a man who was spiritually set in his ways. As Vinod shared from John 3:16, it became clear that the man did not agree with the message, but as the conversation progressed, things changed. The man came to understand the true meaning of the gospel. Shortly after the conversation, both the man and his wife believed in Jesus. They then decided to be baptized—starting the journey of transformation and renewal.
Due to Vinod’s 2015 efforts, thousands of people were introduced to the gospel, and 30 people decided to accept Jesus as their savior.
Vinod has now transitioned out of church planting and an interim church planter took over for a few months until Veer came along. Veer is now carrying out the ministry in the villages that Vinod was working in. Vinod’s third year of sponsorship by Jesus’ Economy will go to Veer.
Despite growing up in a Christian home, Veer spent most of his childhood and young adult life caught up in the wrong crowd. He had friends who were bad influences and led a life without peace; his mom prayed constantly for him because of this. One time when a pastor came to his house to pray, he decided to participate. When the pastor talked about sin and the consequences of it, Veer felt convicted. He didn’t get any sleep that night and suddenly decided to believe in Jesus.
He started attending church services and was deeply affected by the love among the people. He saw they had peace and joy in their life, which inspired him to regularly attend church services. From that point on, he found freedom from his bad habits. He was baptized in 2008 and then spent a total of six years in biblical and theological training.
Veer just started ministering and currently shares the gospel in five different villages. Veer is dedicated to serving God by talking with those who have never heard the gospel before.
You can be a part of bringing the gospel to the unreached by sponsoring church planting efforts in Northeast India.