To the North
It began in 2006 when God put a burden on Pastor Karl Silva’s heart to take a trip to Punjab. By faith a team of 15 decided to go. Back then I was a three year old believer and this was my first mission trip. I used all my meager savings for the trip. I had no idea what was God going to do.
We carried 30 k tracts and started our train journey up north distributing tracts on the way.
Pastor Karl had a few contacts with the CMC missionary training center. We met with their administrator Harmesh, He loved what we were doing, and joined us for a few days. He took us to villages and homes he knew for us to share the Gospel. It was on this visit that God gave our Pastor a vision and a burden to have a training center in Mumbai.
We all came back rejoicing after this great harvest in Punjab. God put a burden on my heart to reach the 6 states in the upper north India; Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Harayana, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir.
In November 2014, we took a trip with over 30 people from the Vasai West, Mumbai church to Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana with 15,000 tracts, 2,000 New Testaments, and 500 Gospels of Luke. God supernaturally blinded the authorities in places where the law did not permit giving out of any Christian literature, and we were able to hand out all the literature.
In Chandigarh, the last phase of the trip, we met Prakash. We had only few minutes with him before catching the train to Mumbai. What we did not know, was that he was praying for a church like ours. As he was praying, he met us in the park distributing tracts. In our later visits, this man fell in love with the teaching of grace and the Finished Work.
Prakash, 61, was excited to see the missions approach of our church and decided to be a part of this work, and to learn the Bible through our 3 year Bible college program. He watches our classes on video, takes notes, and then exams. Some people join the classes with him. And that’s not all, a church has been born with over 15 believers in Chandigarh. On Sundays he teaches the church what he learned at the classes.
By the grace of God, that is our “Antioch” base for the upper northern India. Our vision is to have a mission training center in Chandigarh so that many from the neighboring states could come and systematically learn the Bible. We believe our God will make it happen.
10 Years Later
In May 2016, we decided to take another trip to Punjab and the border of Pakistan. A new believer on the team 10 years earlier, and now I was leading the trip. I tried to contact Harmesh and got in touch with him. I shared with him about my burden for North India.
God’s Marvelous Work
Harmesh began to narrate his testimony: He had tried many a time to contact us in Mumbai but unsuccessfully. He was so glad to finally hear from us. He proceeded: After our visit in 2006 God had put a tremendous burden in his heart. Then, one Punjabi family with whom our team had shared the Gospel and they accepted Christ, had asked him to start a church.
Harmesh knew it was God’ s confirmation to begin a church. The church has now grown to over 200 members. This truly is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous!
This wasn’t the end of his story, he went on to state that in all the places where P. Karl and team had given out tracts and shared the gospel in 2006 have churches now.
This testimony stirred up my vision for North India. And by faith, with the help of Harmesh, in the span of 4 days we visited almost 6 districts preaching the Gospel, and handed out 8,000 tracts. In my last day after preaching at a church, a man came forward and expressed his interest in the Bible college.
To test whether he was really serious I asked him to travel 200 miles and see me at Chandigarh where I was scheduled to be the next day. This man traveled the distance and came to meet me. He comes from a Sikh background, saved for a few years, was looking for sound Bible teaching. We gave him the vision to get trained for 3 years in Mumbai and then return to Punjab.
A week later he came to Mumbai and made a decision to come back with his wife and two children for Bible college. He made a radical decision to leave everything behind in a span of one month and came to Mumbai. Now, Jaspal and his wife Sarabjit are pursuing Bible college in our Missions Training Center.
He who began the work in 2006 will complete it. We stand amazed at the work of the Lord. –Pastor Kishore