Marshall’s Report on India Ministry, 2007

The Face of India

Another year has passed and God continues to do a great work in India. Though the conditions and circumstances of the mission may be different, our God is unchanging, sovereign and in complete control. Due to the large crowds in attendance at the crusades last year (53,000 people over 3 nights) and the 100+ villages visited by our evangelistic teams, Satan has stirred up the locals to voice their opposition to the gospel message. It reminded me of the Acts of the Apostles when Paul would go to a city only to have the Jewish zealots stir up the people against him. So, rather than trying to hold another city crusade it was decided to hold 4 regional crusades deeper into more remote areas.

Unlike the city crusades with huge amounts of publicity (posters, ads, etc) well in advance of the event, our regional crusades were unannounced until 2 days before and then only by a megaphone from a jeep. Needless to say the attendance was smaller, 2 nights instead of 3, and in less densely populated areas. But God still blessed in a powerful way. I preached both nights at one of the crusades and spoke to approximately 11,000 people with nearly 2500 decisions for Christ. Local pastors then met the new believers, obtained names, and informed them of the nearest church for follow up. The second night my mentor Pastor Truman attend my crusade and introduced me as one who 25 years ago had saw my need and asked Christ to forgive and save my soul. He later shared with me that even before I gave the invitation he could see the convicting work of God’s Holy Spirit on the faces of the people and he knew God was going to do something special. We rejoiced together. A few days later I was able to introduce him to the people at his crusade and share how God had used him do bring me to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Marshall with his dear brother David proclaiming the 'Good News'

The pastors conference was attended by 352 (250 1st, 305 2nd year) and was a great blessing to all. To help equip pastors to do their work is a tremendous eternal investment. Our ministry in India continues to grow. Last year I shared with you that completely unsolicited we took in about $30,000.00 toward the ongoing work there. As I write today in just under 2 1/2 years, that number has grown to over $63,000.00!!

Through friends and family we presently support 23 orphans including Christian education. Our 23rd fresh water well is currently being dug. These humanitarian endeavors allow us to continue to minister in India and in a tangible way show the people God’s love in action. We also support 6 pastor’s full time and what we call JVT-l (Jesus Video Team # 1) salaries and subsistence.

Preaching to the multitudes

On a Wednesday night I went to a village to watch firsthand the Jesus Video team in action. The life of Christ on film, His love for us, His painful death and glorious resurrection present the gospel message in their language. With the screen set up, from out of the darkness, the nooks and crannies, alleys and streets, the people show up. Many come having never heard of Christ, in bondage to religion that offers no hope, only to learn that in Christ we have forgiveness of sin, the redemption of our souls, and hope that springs eternal. They met the conqueror of sin and death of whom it is said, the grave could not hold Him. After the film the evangelist of the team of three shares the gospel, and explains what they have just seen and heard. On this night about 300 watched the film with about 70 responding to the good news! They are assigned to the nearest NT church and enrolled in a six week follow-up study thru the gospel of John. I was overwhelmed with the stark reality of this frontier evangelism and the part all of us have in this work. I feel like more of us need to see this powerful ministry at work. In its first full year JVT 1 showed the film 110 times, in 55 villages, to 28,324 people, with 10,887 decisions made, and 2342 enrolled in the classes. In January 2008 alone the film was shown to 2029, with 715 decisions, and 200 going thru the study – this despite downtime for equipment repairs. The local pastors report that due to the film ministry their churches are growing. TO GOD ALONE BE THE GLORY!!

The six pastors we support are making many inroads not only to Hindu but also to Muslim people with many converts. It takes so little to help them but it accomplishes so much. Our water wells preach to the people in their own way. What do I mean? This year I had an opportunity to visit many of the wells our group has sponsored. One of them appeared to be too close to an existing well, and I wondered why. Surely there were vast areas with greater need. Then I heard the story and met the man on who’s property this new well was located. He lived in an all Hindu village and when he became a follower of Christ he began to tell others. Their response was to cutoff his family from the fresh water. They were no longer allowed to drink clean water. When he got his new well he immediately constructed a makeshift structure, took some old crates to make a pulpit, and started a new church. He shares God’s love and makes his water available to all!!

Again this year one of my preaching assignments was in a prison. I spoke to a group of 28 and shared with them how they may have violated a federal or state law, but every man has violated God’s laws. Every man had sinned against God. I shared with them how God demonstrated his great love for us on the cross and that His sacrifice was so perfect, so complete, that He could say “it is finished” and offer salvation to even a thief on the cross next to Him. 18 prisoners made a decision to follow Christ that day. As I was about to leave one of the guards grabbed my shoulder and began to sing and dance for me. I thought he was just demonstrating his appreciation for our visit but he went on for several minutes and half way through his song a different guard opened up his shirt and showed me an idol around his neck and said over and over again “Hindu, Hindu.” What was I witnessing? Later my interpreter told me that the guard was listening to my message very carefully. So overjoyed was he to learn that Christ had died in his place that he converted on the spot and spontaneously sang out for us all the confession of his new faith. Oh, the power of the gospel!

For those interested:

  • $220.00 supports an orphan for a year, Christian education included.
  • $500.00 brings fresh water for the first time to several hundred people.
  • $600.00 supports a pastor for a full year.
  • $5000.00 will fund a church building.

Any money towards the JVT -1 will invest in the salvation of many lost souls.

Undesignated funds may be used for any of these and also help with travel expenses.

There is so much more to say but let Rhonda and I thank you all once again for continued prayers and support for the people of India. We all share in different ways this joint venture to take the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth and we all rejoice together.