|Gospel for Asia native missionaries use boats to travel from island to island in West Bengal.|
Dashing along the waves in a small motorboat, Taj Layak, Gospel for Asia’s island ministry leader in West Bengal, India, traveled to meet a small group of local believers for a prayer meeting. When he stepped onto the shore he was shocked: There stood Giri Banke with 150 believers to greet him.
Giri, a criminal investigator, had received the love of Christ in his life and was faithfully following the Lord, but Taj had no idea that Giri was involved in ministry as well. Since his transformation, Giri had been sharing the Gospel in five surrounding villages, and many people had come to Christ as a result.
Seeing that the number of believers had grown so large, Giri realized they needed a full-time pastor to conduct worship services and disciple the people. So he had called Taj to come to a prayer meeting to see the need for himself.
After the prayer meeting, Taj went to visit Giri’s cousin, Priti Rajat, who was also involved in outreach in a nearby area. She hosts five prayer groups of about 50 people each who have recently come to know the Lord through her witness. She also leads several women’s Bible study groups.
As Taj saw how the Lord was working through Giri and his family, he knew it was time to send missionaries who could help minister to the people’s long-term needs. When he returned home, he found three young men who felt called to serve on the islands. They all had recently graduated from GFA Bible colleges and were eager to begin ministry.Seeing that the number of believers had grown so large, Giri realized they needed a full-time pastor to conduct worship services and disciple the people.
Taj sent two of the young men, Udu Parag and Mani Jiva, to the villages where Giri is serving. They are currently living with Giri and his wife as they disciple the new believers. The other Bible college graduate, Meer Chahel, is serving in the area where Priti lives.
Since the missionaries have begun their work, their ministries have grown rapidly. So far, 35 more people have decided to follow Jesus after hearing the Gospel through Bible studies, worship services and times of outreach.
Giri, Priti and their families continue to share their faith with everyone they meet. Giri told Taj that when he retires he wants to do full-time ministry.
“Whatever the cost, I will serve the Lord with all my heart and ability,” he said. Taj requests prayer for Udu, Mani and Meer, who are now serving as pastors for the new believers. He also requests prayer for Giri, Priti and their families, that they will be encouraged in the Lord each day through the fruit of their outreach.