INDIA – With a massive population of 1,373,941,000, and the gospel originally having reached India through the Apostle Thomas, where are we now with reached/unreached? Of the 2,717 people groups in India, the Joshua Project (website: joshuaproject.net) states that 2,445 people groups with a total pop. of 1,313,878,000 (95.6% of India’s total pop.) remain unreached with the gospel. That’s 33 times the population of California, which is approximately 39.50 million!
Now let’s zero in on the state of Mahrashtra (MS), where the majority of our Grace Bible College students come from. With population of 125,058,000, MS has 888 people groups of which, 827 are unreached, with no gospel witness. Maharashtra’s religious breakdown: Hindu 80.8%, Buddhist 5.3%, Muslim 10.9%, Christian 0.9%, Sikh 0.2%, other 1.9%.
So narrowing this down, what precisely is Indigenous Ministries’ role in meeting the vast need of making the gospel India to unreached people groups in India? We’re so glad you asked! Meet Vijay Uike, a 43 year old first year Grace Bible College student. Yes it is unusual to have an older “fresher” at GBC, but generally those who enroll at an older are usually very serious about their education. Ten years ago Vijay came to Christ after attending a family camp. The rest of his family, his wife, two children and his parents now all know the Lord and have been baptized. He loves the Lord and has a burden for reaching his people group, the Adiwasi Gond, as a pastor and is preparing himself for full time ministry. Less than half of one percent of his people group have the opportunity to hear about the gospel! God is using GBC to prepare Vijay.
A man with a mission: Vijay’s mission at GBC? “to fully prepare myself for pastoral ministry in my cast people. GBC is helping me to prepare for my future ministry and I believe that by the end of my course I will be fully ready for pastoral ministry.” Most GBC graduates who become pastors will lead multiple indigenous churches, with a goal to disciple new believers for strong, healthy national churches.
Help us keep Grace Bible College’s doors open and strengthen this vital ministry! Since 2003, India’s unreached people groups have been a focus of IM and GBC; GBC alumni are already in full time ministry in pastoral and evangelism ministering to people groups a western missionary is unable to reach. See page four and read another student’s story and testimony.
Engage with reaching unreachable people with the gospel: Sponsorships of GBC students are available; more information is on our website or call the office. Your generous donation to the Greatest Need Year End Fund enables funding of much-needed GBC campus projects. Pray for this school. If you are already a sponsor, thank you; God is using you to bless many for His glory!