Typical of the many indigenous missionary movements that have sprung up overnight is the work of a brother from South India, a former military officer who gave up a commission and army career to help start a Gospel team in North India. He now leads more than 400 full-time missionaries.
Like other indigenous mission leaders, he has discipled 10 “Timothys” who are directing the work in almost military precision. Each of them in turn will be able to lead dozens of additional workers who will have their own disciples.
With his wife he set an apostolic pattern for their workers similar to that of the apostle Paul. On one evangelistic tour that lasted 53 days, he and his family traveled by bullock cart and foot into some of the most backward areas of the tribal districts of Orissa state. There, working in the intense heat among people whose lifestyle was extremely primitive, he saw hundreds come to know the Lord. Throughout the journey, demons were cast out and miraculous physical healings took place daily. Thousands of the tribals who were enslaved to idols and spirit-worship heard the Gospel eagerly.
In just one month, he formed 15 new churches and assigned national missionaries to stay behind and build them up in the faith.
Similar miraculous movements are starting in almost every state of India and throughout other nations of Asia.
National missionary Jesu Das was horrified when he first visited one village and found no believers there. The people were all worshipping hundreds of different gods, and four priests controlled them through their witchcraft.
Stories were told of how these priests could kill people’s cattle with witchcraft and destroy their crops. People were suddenly taken ill and died without explanation. The destruction and bondage the villagers were living in are hard to imagine. Scars, decay and death marked their faces, because they were totally controlled by the powers of darkness.
When Jesu Das told them about Christ, it was the first time they ever heard of a God who did not require sacrifices and offerings to appease His anger. As Jesu Das continued to preach in the marketplace, many people came to know the Lord.
But the priests were outraged. They warned Jesu Das that if he did not leave the village, they would call on their gods to kill him, his wife and their children. Jesu Das did not leave. He continued to preach, and villagers continued to be saved.