Marshall’s Report on India Ministry, 2006

Prisioners and 2 guards respond to the gospel

Dear Friends,

I began last year’s India report by saying that ‘it’ was late, because the simple truth was, that the trip had yet to end! Here we are at the end of my second trip to India and once again, TO GOD BE THE GLORY, but our trip is far from over! As I mentioned last year our ministry is taking place in southeast India. My primary job was to lead an evangelistic team into the villages and prisons and preach the gospel. Additionally, we dedicated new wells and churches, laid foundation stones, provided blankets to the widows, prayed with many, gave newborn babies and converts Christian names, gave testimonies, sang songs and put on dental awareness demonstrations in every village we were assigned to.


The prisioners head back to their cells, but free inside!

To be involved in this ministry is to go back in time 2000 years. To see people in much the same setting and conditions as Jesus did. I have seen the sick, the poor, the downtrodden, the lame, the leper, the blind, rampant disease, and poverty. But I’ve also witnessed Pentecost-size responses to the preaching of the gospel truth! New church starts! Three times I had the opportunity to preach to crowds who had never heard the gospel before! I had people run out of the crowd to grab my feet and kiss them…and had to stand them up and tell them “I’m just a man like you.” I have seen idols in high places and a country and a people steeped in pagan practices. I have literally seen much of the scripture in realtime and in living color!

Some of the sponsored orphans

This year I had the opportunity to preach 18 times (3 times in one night). We had 29 team members, comprising 9 teams, (14 people and 4 teams last year) and each team saw hundreds come to Christ! The pastors conference taught by Pastor Truman Herring and Pastor Rob Taylor (both from Florida) was greatly blessed by God with 305 in attendance (250 last year). The 3-day Crusade was incredible with a total attendance of 53 thousand (28K last year), and 8326 decisions for Chris – at least the known ones! See, I returned from a village late one night and from my hotel room thought I could hear Truman talking. I opened the widow and leaned out and realized I could actually hear the preaching at the crusade. It was 3 miles away!! The loud speakers were taking the gospel much further than we expected!! Only God knows how many were added to His family those nights!! Our 9 teams preached the gospel in 102 villages this year (40 last year) with 35,000 hearing the ‘good news’ and 7500 of them giving their hearts to Christ!

Prisoners listen intently

How are we able to do so much? We are blessed to work with SAMRAKSHA SOCIETY a group of dedicated Christians who schedule our stay, rooms, crusade dates, and facilities, do all the ground work, and arrange village visits, the pastor’s conference, and crusade. Their integrity and honest witness in the area gives us credibility with the people and their oversight of our efforts (every visit and event is chronicled by film) insures a ‘local’ presence critical to even being allowed to minister. In addition to all the work for our mission efforts they run an orphanage, a technical school for disadvantaged women, and oversee the building of new churches, pastors’ homes, and the drilling of freshwater wells in villages where there is only contaminated, disease-infested, surface water.

A new church is born!

Also this past year together we launched a new effort, THE JESUS VIDEO PROJECT. A team travels to villages to show the film, preach the gospel and conduct a 6-week follow-up study for those who respond. Pastor Truman wrote the material from selected passages of John’s gospel and it has been translated to the Telegu language. At completion of the program certificates are awarded and the village is assigned to one of the 305 pastors from the conference. One team can reach about 60-70 villages a year. To date: 11,756 people have seen the film, with 3320 decisions for Christ, and 1070 graduates of the six-week bible study!!

Last year as I shared the India mission experience with you my family and friends, God continued to prove that India was on His heart. The people are gracious and beautiful and the harvest field is ripe to the bursting point. I did not have to ask for a cent and throughout the year Rhonda and I received about $30,000.00 for our India work. We (as a group) were able to sponsor 10 orphans w/food, clothes, housing, and a Christian education. We were able to pay for all the transportation costs to get the people from villages to the crusade (flat bed trailers pulled by farm tractors). 12 wells were installed in villages for all the people to use, but drilled next to the church (if there is one). This is done so that the Hindu people know that it was Jehovah God who has cared, loved, and provided for them. SAMRAKSHA SOCIETY has estimated that those 12 wells serve 6550 families with pure, life-changing water, available to them for the 1st time. Also, we were able to pay the monthly expenses for the JESUS VIDEO team for the whole year (gas, supplies, salaries, etc), while others provided the equipment and vehicles. It is such a blessing to know that even while we are at home in America, we have a key role to play in the salvation of many souls! It has been thru the generous, sacrificial giving of dear friends that I am enabled to do what I love to do and what I believe God has called me to do. That was last year!!

Already this year we have pledges to take on 14 MORE orphans, for a total of 24 boys and girls for 2007! We have enough pledged to cover overall expenses for 2007 of team #1 Jesus video project! We have enough pledged to do 8-9 more wells! Now, the dental awareness clinics, the sponsorship of orphans, the giving of clothes and blankets and the drilling of wells falls under the humanitarian side of our ministry. This is a KEY area of what we do, as the government may well refuse to let us preach the gospel without tangible benefit to the country and the people. Others have been refused entry or made to stay in their hotel rooms because there was no humanitarian aspect to their ministries. This is why it is such a blessing to be associated with a society we can trust. I have met our orphaned children and pumped water from wells we paid for. Twice on this trip I was interviewed on India TV and once written up in their newspaper. It was awesome to tell the people how God loves India, and be able to share some real ways we were meeting their needs.

Praising Jesus!

Last year it was the numbers that wowed me. This year it’s the ‘vision’ of how much greater the work can be! Part of the expanded vision: a 2nd JESUS VIDEO team is planned because the demand is so great. A Bible college is being constructed with a 2-3 year program to train additional pastors for the growing need in the villages. Also part of this building might be used as a technical school for the young women’s vocational training. Some of the classes could be taught via satellite feed with instruction from different team members. There is much to do as the vision grows! I am so excited to be able to have a role in all of this!

There is no assignment you go to where God doesn’t do something special. Let me share with you a couple things from my experience this year:

One night I went to preach at a small village church that had been established for some time. The crowd was about 75 people, mostly converts. Nevertheless, my interpreter, the pastor and myself felt led to preach evangelistically. I felt God’s power as we preached that night. When I gave the invitation 9 women came forward to receive Christ. Nine is a small number in India, but the pastor was especially overjoyed. He explained that as near as he could tell there were only 9 people there that he was certain were Hindu and had not heard the gospel. All 9, from different places in the building, came forward! Now I was very excited! As I thought about it later, I remembered Heb 4:12: The word of God is quick, is powerful, is sharp, it divides soul and spirit, it discerns our hearts. God’s Word had accomplished it’s mission with supernatural precision. Heaven rejoiced and so did we!

On Thursday morning my assignment was to preach at a prison. We had a certain amount of time allotted to us and no more. After being searched, leaving our bags behind, some formalities, blanket distribution, and the dental awareness instruction I was anxiously looking at my watch. We (the team) sang a few songs (very necessary and meaningful) and finally I stood to preach… During the night God put it on my heart to share about the ‘unseen realities’ as Paul stood before Agrippa (Acts 26). I saw some new truths. To those present Paul seemed like the prisoner, after all, he was shackled in bonds and chains, he was accused, he was on trial. To everyone in the room Agrippa was the presiding authority. Contrary to how it appeared there was a higher court in session that day and Paul found himself the only free man in a room full of prisoners. Agrippa (a prisoner to sin) was actually on trial confronted with The Gospel of Christ and his eternal destiny hanging in the balance. The real presiding judge would be none other than The Lord of all the universe! I shared from Genesis to the Cross that every man is the prisoner of sin. Every man is guilty before God. I told them that even if no one else cared about them, God loved them. God would never forsake them. Even behind prison bars you can be The Lord’s free man. All stand on level ground at the cross. I shared with them Agrippa’s answer to Paul… “Do you really think you can persuade me to be a Christian in such a short time”? I told them “I only have a short time allotted to me to share with you the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ and Him alone. But you have heard enough to make your decision. None of us can honestly say we’re not sinners. I am convinced your hearts bear witness that you have heard the truth today. And Paul’s reply “I wish that not only you Agrippa, but all who are here would be as I am, less these bonds.” I explained why salvation is a gift and that it must be received and called for a response to Jesus. I had seen how intently they listened but I never expected to see what I saw. Every prisoner to a man (38) wanted to receive Christ and some of the officials and guards as well!! I have never heard a more vocally enthusiastic sinner’s prayer than these men prayed that day! IN prison, but eternally free! Their smiles said it all! What I did not know because some stood behind me, was that even the prison superintendent gave his heart to Jesus. A team member of mine said she could see God convicting his heart. Perhaps he saw himself as Agrippa, in charge, but not really. The joy was palpable. The victory obvious. I shook each man’s hand or hugged them as they went back to their cells and I told them “If not before, I will see you in heaven.” I will never forget it. God is still doing miracles in prisons!

God Almighty, The Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel by the power of The Holy Spirit is the unsurpassed, most formidable power in the universe. Even in the darkest parts of the globe the forces of evil must flee. In every one of us there is a caterpillar yearning to be a butterfly, to soar the heights with our Lord, to behold His beauty, to believe without hesitation! We are God’s children. We do not lack His supply. If we could ever just believe it, then we could expect that the best days of our Christian lives are always in front of us. What could ever be more wonderful here on earth? There is no way we could ever express our gratitude for your prayers and immense generosity to us, and the people of India. I can only say that your investment has borne much eternal fruit. If God has put it on your heart to be involved somehow, please call.