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God's grace in India

 By Nic Andrews

‘In India, people are fighting for the basics... Mumbai may seem chaotic but has its own logic,’ said Jacob from Living Hope Church, Mumbai. I found both these statements to be true when last month I was privileged enough to visit India as part of a team of 12 from UK Newfrontiers churches. We had gone to serve at the second annual U:Day Christian youth conference and during our stay also attended various Sunday services in Newfrontiers’ Mumbai churches.

To me, everything in India was dialled up to the max: the heat, the smells of spice and incense, the vivid colours, the noise, the traffic and the highly assertive sales techniques of the market stall traders... But I loved it all! Despite so many intense experiences what bowled me over most was the generosity, hospitality and friendliness of the Indian people we met.

Both at the youth conference (for ‘youth’ aged 15 to 30) and in the Mumbai churches I met so many people with a hunger for God. Worshipping exuberantly in both Hindi and English, they were very responsive to the Holy Spirit and eager to be prayed for on the back of clear, punchy teaching and preaching.

The conference took place in Kamshet, a rural area in the mountains about 60 miles from Mumbai City. For locals there, clothes are washed in the river and ox-drawn cart remains the best way to travel along the pot-holed lanes. Young people had come from all over India for the event and in addition to worship and teaching there was time to hang out and share our different stories, play various team building games, go on walks in the surrounding countryside and put on a talent show - Indians love any excuse to sing and dance!

The churches we visited were diverse in social and economic make up - slum dwellers and owners of brand new 4 x 4s worshipping side by side. It was a wonderful thing to see such different people all drawn together by God’s grace. But it is, as Matt Redman sings, ‘Same for the rich and poor ... Enough for this whole wide world, your great grace, oh such grace.’

Vinu Paul who oversees the Newfrontiers churches in India asked that we pray for the following:

  • Newfrontiers churches to be planted throughout India and into Laos and Myanmar.
  • Church planters and leaders to be raised up from amongst this year’s U:Day delegates.
  • U:Day delegates to be raised up to take positions of influence in government, politics, the judiciary, the police force and in the fields of music, art and literature, so that through them Indian society may be powerfully impacted by the gospel.

On behalf of the Newfrontiers churches in India, thank you for your prayers.

Posted by Nic Andrews at 8:27 AM