This past month I had the opportunity to preach in Andhra Pradesh, India. The love from the people and their hunger for God is really beyond description. In America we have many opportunities to hear about Christ and be fed the Word of God. We have thousands of churches across our nation, hundreds of books and dozens of ministries on television. However, in India, about 3% of the people are Christian in a nation of one billion people. The government is not very open to Christianity or the freedom of religion so it does make it more challenging to give the gospel.
Even though it’s more difficult to spread the good news, the hunger and thirst of the people is deep and the nation of India is opening to Jesus. I believe that nation is on the brink of a real awakening. In the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Jesus is preaching about people who are thirsty and hungry.
“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them: “Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them. Blessed are those who mourn. They will be comforted. Blessed are those who are gentle. They will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s approval. They will be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:1-6 GW)
I can tell you that the hunger and thirst we experienced in India is immeasurably greater than what I experience in the United States. Thousands came to hear the gospel night after night. They were standing, sitting on plastic chairs and even on the ground. Their thirst for worship moved the heart of God. Throughout the week God healed many people and hundreds gave their hearts to Christ. The spiritual search of an Indian is very sincere and desperate. They are a spiritually hungry and thirsty people.
In speaking with the pastors in India my heart has been moved again with the spiritual needs of people overseas. A mission’s report article stated that about 94% of preachers preach to 6% of the world and that 6% of preachers preach to 94% of world. The need to take the gospel to spiritually dim places is so great.
Despite these challenges, we had an incredible harvest while we were there.What’s incredible about the gospel is that even in great darkness a small light can illuminate an entire area. When the light of God’s love comes forward amazing things take place. While I don’t have space to write every miracle, I do want to share one man’s story.
On the first night of our Festival in Andhra Pradesh a man named Yesobu came. He is 38 years old and he has been having trouble with his kidneys. Because of the kidney problem, his left leg had been hurting. He physically walked with a severe limp. The doctors told him he needed to have surgery but he did not have enough money to go through the surgery. Without intervention the doctors told him his days were limited. When he approached me he begin to ask for prayer for his leg through a translator. After praying for him in Jesus name he began to walk normally. This stirred his faith and then he asked for prayer for his failing kidneys. The next morning he went to the hospital that is 40 kilometers away from his home. The doctors ran several blood tests and were surprised at the results. His doctor asked him, “What medicine have you been taking?” He replied, “I have had no medicine but I did receive prayer.” The doctor reported that all his blood tests show that his blood and kidneys are now healthy. He came to the festival the next night with the doctor’s report in his hand to testify. The pain was gone and he was completely healed. Both he and his wife gave their hearts to Jesus and testified before the crowd that they would continue to share their story in their town. Their miracle stirred the festival grounds, the hospital staff and their family.
Thank you for sending us to India to make an eternal impact. We are preparing now for Costa Rica this summer. We will be hosting another great festival in the city of San Isidro. Thank you for your best gift towards our next overseas adventure. Your giving is making an eternal difference in the lives of so many. Thank you for changing someone’s destiny.
Matt & Alyssa Shull