In some regions of Tamil Nadu that were most devastated by the tsunami—and more recently, floods—prominent anti-Christian groups are forcing Gospel for Asia missionaries to minister secretly. Despite accepting aid from GFA relief teams, these groups have threatened to throw new believers out of their villages and deny them access to the water supply.

Some of the villagers told a GFA team that because of persecution, they were afraid to openly profess Christ in their village.

“Maybe some secret believers are there,” Brother Melbin, GFA’s regional leader said, “but they will not openly confess Jesus. It is a very difficult situation.”

But the GFA workers are not discouraged. Even though it is impossible to start new fellowships in some places, existing churches are growing rapidly.

“It is the same from the first century church onwards,” Brother Melbin shared. “As in the Bible, where there is trouble and tribulation facing God’s servants, there will definitely be church growth.”

GFA native missionary Timothy is one of the relief workers. In spite of difficult accommodations and even beatings, he has been working in the same district since the day of the tsunami.

“He is constantly watching for a chance to share the Word of God,” Brother Melbin said. They are confident that although it’s hard right now, God will bring fruit. And already they are seeing Him open doors and hearts in some areas through the Bridge of Hope program.

“We are continuously encouraging our people to do ministry in those difficult places,” the leader shared. “Sometimes our missionaries meet people who say, ‘Some time ago, I heard the message of love. Through that I met Jesus.’ In the same way, after some weeks, months or years, there will be fruit here. That is my confidence.”