In the dense forests of North-Central India lies the small village of Pati*. The fierce and independent G* tribe dwell in this forest. It is said that these tribesmen people were warriors, and kings from this tribe used to rule a large swathe of land. However, multiple foreign invasions pushed this tribe into deep, dense forests of central India. Pati* is one such remote village in this forest stretching hundreds of kilometers. Running water, electricity or road has not reached many of the villages here. In addition, the name of Jesus had never been heard by most of these tribal villages.
In the Fall of 2019, a Compelled (iet) evangelist was traveling to a village in this stretch of forest when he decided to take a break at Pati*. He parked his bicycle under a tree and sat down to catch his breath. A villager offered him water. Kindness to travelers was the way of the tribe. The evangelist stuck up a conversation with the villager. During the talk, the evangelist came to about a lady in the village whose body was swollen up for the last six months. She was unable to sleep due to pain or walk due to the swelling. Life had become miserable for her. The local priest had done all that they could, including animal sacrifices, but there was no respite.
The Compelled (iet) evangelist asked if he could come again to share about a ‘God who heard our prayers’. They agreed. Few days later the evangelist visited the village with few others and shared the Gospel with the sick lady. The missionary then asked if he and his friends could pray to ‘Jesus God’ for her. They were given permission and the missionary, and his friends prayed for her. The lady claimed an immediate relief, though not complete healing. Over the next few days her body began to return to being fully normal. Her family and others who had witnessed this answered prayer and healing decided to accept the Lord Jesus Christ. A small prayer meeting was thus started in the village, where bible study and discipleship began to happen. In few months the family and few others decided to take water baptism. Regular weekly bible study then began to happen in this once unreached village. The Compelled church planter began to visit once a week to do this bible study.
Meanwhile, the village began to notice that the believers no more drank alcohol or participated in their rituals. They were angry. The chief threatened them to return back to their old tribal faith. But the believers remained steadfast. Finally, the village tribal council met, and they decided to excommunicate the believers from the village. The small group stood of believers stood strong and refused to leave Jesus Christ. The villagers decided to let the believers go with threats to implement their decision to excommunicate sometime later.
Meanwhile, few days later, another woman in the village fell severely ill. She was at the verge of dying when her family members carried her to the nearest town to see a doctor. She was diagnosed with cancer. The family brought her back to her hut, and they waited for her to die. One day, a believer in the village, who was being persecuted, gathered courage to visit this family. He knew that this family and the village could physically assault him. But he went and shared about Jesus Christ. The desperate family asked the believer to pray for this dying lady. The believers in the village also began to pray. This lady who was dying gradually began to regain her strength and was eventually fully healed. This added the faith of the believers in the villages and also led few more tribespeople in the village to decide to follow Christ. The chief, now, could not throw them out of the village as the number of believers had grown.
Today, 60 believers gather in this church. 15 more believers have decided to take water baptism. But, due to COVID related lockdown they have not been able to. The church planter asks, “Please pray for these believers and the congregation in this village. Please pray for the nearby unreached villages, as well.”