A huge part of the vision of Jesus’ Economy for holistic community transformation is creating churches by providing grants. Planting churches in Bihar, India is a vital part of renewing the community in the name of Jesus. When the gospel of Jesus Christ is learned and experienced through the ministry of a church community, lives are transformed.
Did you know that your small group, Bible study, or life group could be a part of this effort? By collectively sponsoring a church planter, you can support the formation of a spiritual community from across the globe. Through Jesus' Economy several small groups have supported renewing communities; now we're making it even easier for you to do the same.
We currently sponsor four church planters who work in different villages throughout Northern India. Rahul, Santhosh, Veer, and Advik are each dedicated to bringing the gospel to unreached people, to those who have never heard the name of Jesus. It only costs $226 per month to support a church planter. In a small group of eight people, it would cost each person less than $30 a month to sponsor one of our church planters’ monthly salary and expenses. The monthly amount also includes the administrative costs of our partner organization in India, which provides ongoing training, accountability, and infrastructure to the planters.
Here's how we're making it easy. Your small group can automatically give each month, by selecting monthly giving. With Jesus' Economy, you can set the sponsorship up once with someone's credit card and then collect the funds each month at your group; we will automatically charge the credit on file. Or, if you each want your own individual receipts, you can each commit monthly in a smaller amount to sponsoring the same church planter. Collectively, that church planter will be supported by your small group, Bible study, or life group. You will have brought the gospel to the unreached.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians about the beauty of church to church generosity. Encouraging the Corinthian church to fulfill their commitment to help the impoverished church in Jerusalem, he says:
“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:12–15 NIV)!
Paul declares that a donation is not only helpful for those who receive it, but also prompts others to praise God. He then connects the “indescribable gift,” that is Jesus, to the gift of generosity. As God has been generous to us through providing Jesus, so we should be generous to others.
The efforts of people supporting church planters in Bihar have led to us praising God! Here are some beautiful stories of transformation already happening in Bihar because of the partnership between church planters and those who have chosen to support their ministry.
People in Bihar are encountering the love and healing of Jesus for the first time ever. Their lives are changing as they choose to trust God. People are being baptized and churches are being formed. God is working through Rahul, Santhosh, Veer, and Advik—and he can also work through you.
Click below to sponsor individual planters and read their stories:
Please prayerfully consider supporting one of our church planters with your small group today.
During 2017, Santhosh has continued to bring the good news of Jesus to more villagers. 20 new people have chosen to believe in Jesus and 11 people have been baptized. He has also seen growth in the home churches he leads, as 18 new people have started regularly attending Sunday morning services.
He recently held a spiritual renewal seminar that brought together 250 people from 16 different villages. It was the first time something like that had ever happened in that part of India and it resulted in much excitement about the name of Jesus.
Santhosh launched a literacy training center in one of the villages that he ministers to and it has been a great addition to the village. 40 children from that village are studying in the literacy training center, learning to read for the first time. Without Santhosh's work, these children would likely never have the opportunity to learn to read. Several adults have also joined.
Through his ministry, Santhosh has seen a total of 297 people trust in Jesus. Among those 297, 153 people have been baptized. The believers are spread across 13 house churches and eight home Bible study groups. People are regularly coming to Christ.
Santhosh's impact in Northern India continues to be deep, profound, and exciting. Join in this excitement by donating to the church planting fund so he and the other church planters can continue spreading the name of Jesus.
Baptisms abound in Bihar, India, as church planter Veer continues to spread the gospel throughout a dozen villages.
This has been the first full year of church planting for Veer and he has spent the year working diligently to bring the name of Jesus to many villagers. In the first six months of the year, more than 1,300 people heard the gospel for the first time. And in total, more than 4,000 people have heard the name of Jesus through Veer's ministry!
During the first six months of the year, 11 people were baptized and eight people said they wanted to be baptized and are in the process of preparing for baptism. Veer has continued to use the analogy of the water well that Jesus' Economy provided. He tells people that as the water well has given villagers access to clean water, Jesus is the Living Water (John 4:13–14). Through this simple analogy, many people have heard about the love of Jesus and wanted to know more. People are seeing how the love of Jesus is tangible, but also eternal.
Veer has successfully launched five house churches and six Bible study groups. Across the home churches, he has seen a regular attendance of 98 people. Of those 98 church attendees, 31 people total have been baptized over the past year, demonstrating their full commitment to Jesus!
Because of Veer's dedication to his ministry, many people are hearing about the love of Jesus for the first time in their lives. The gospel is reaching the unreached.
Veer is looking forward to another year of church planting and spreading the gospel. Please join us in helping him reach more people for Jesus by praying for and supporting him.
Church planter Rahul's dedication to 11 different villages in Northern India has resulted in many people trusting in God and attending church on Sundays. Through prayer, lives are being changed. The gospel is reaching people who had previously never heard the name of Jesus.
Rahul has been a church planter sponsored by Jesus' Economy since October 2015; and because of his hard work, more than 4,500 people have heard the gospel for the first time. Of the people who have listened to Rahul, 119 have chosen to believe in Jesus.
With these high numbers, especially of villagers choosing to trust in Jesus, Rahul has established a main church in one of the villages. Every Sunday, people flock to the church, which is actually not a building but rather a meeting place under a large tree. More than 70 people attend this service on a regular basis!
This is a huge answer to prayer as this is the same village and church that was experiencing heavy flooding and rains during monsoon season. Because of this extreme weather, Rahul had experienced troubles getting people to come back to church and being regular attendees. Now, people are excited to gather together and listen to Rahul.
In addition, Rahul has established five other house churches and is conducting five Bible study groups. And through his ministry, 24 people have been baptized!
Rahul continues to see more and more people want to change their life and trust in Jesus. All of this work is based in prayer and driven by prayer.
Celebrate with our brother Rahul, as he got married in March and is now working alongside his new bride in ministry! Partner with and pray for Rahul as he strives to spread the gospel throughout Bihar, India.
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.
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.