Finally, a post dedicated to pastor R.
Pastor R. lives in the slums of India. When he, his wife, and daughter first moved into the slums, they were greeted with harassment. The people didn’t want them there so they dumped their trash outside their front door and cut the locks on their home.
For more data on how and why this pastor and his family moved INTO the slums, please read: He Became Poor….
The slums are predominately Hindu, and they were not thrilled to have this family living among them. None the less, Pastor R and his family moved into the slums to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to a people who HAVE NO HOPE.
In January 2015 a team gathered to serve in the slums and to do a VBS type event for the children. It was during this event that Pastor R was accused of breaking the anti-coercion law.
Now, India has a freedom of religion clause in the Constitution of India. AND, Gujarat, Ahmedabad has an Anti-coercian law. This law protects its citizens from any religion bringing about a conversion by force. That is not what Christians do! No problem, right?
Well, it can still be a problem because sometimes the Hindu’s don’t like Christians teaching God’s Word because when someone converts to Christianity they become devoted to Christ, alone!
This brings us back to January 2015. During the event for the children, Pastor R and his wife S were reported to the police for breaking the Anti- coercion law. Before they knew it, they were taken to the police station where they faced a penalty of 7 yrs prison (No appeal and no bail available).
Do you remember when God delivered the Hebrew children from Nebuchadnezzar? Well, that still happens today! Six-hundred men, women, and children gathered from the slums at the police station to say: “Pastor R and S are not guilty; they are good people who are here to help us!”
600, most of whom, have grown up Hindu!
600 defenders and 0 accusers gathered at the police station.
In God’s mercy, the police listened to the people and let Pastor R and S return to their home.
We were able to visit with them in their home. By the way, when I say home, I am not talking about a home like we think of a home. This home is a front porch area to have church services and teach children, one bedroom for the 3 of them and a kitchen smaller than many of our closets. And…. this home is by far larger than most of the homes in the slums. Most of the homes are ten by twelve.
We were able to meet some of the children that they regularly teach and care for! Aron O taught them from the Bible. It was amazing to see their smiling faces.
Consider today that God has moved you into a neighborhood and a city. What struck me about Pastor R is that he knows exactly why he downsized and moved into the slums. He is a man on a mission!
It is easy for me to forget why I live where I live. I forget when I frequent the grocery store or engage with a neighbor. I am grateful today for Pastor R’s example. And I am freshly aware of my Savior who moved into my “neighborhood”! He did not care for me from a distance. He does not mind getting His hands dirty with the slum people – like me!
He came – He lived a perfect life – He died for my sins – He rose from the grave – He called me – adopted me – I am His – and there will be a day when He will return and take us to be with Him – Forever!
Until that day, let us all be faithful to the mission he has called us to!