We will post every ministry update here as they become available.
As the news seems to get worse each day, I have found myself spending a lot of time in the book of Philippians, specifically chapter one: “I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
This text really gets at my heart for our work in India, for you, and for our partnership in the Gospel. At a time like this – with so much anxiety and uncertainty everywhere we look – I hope you know how thankful Mission India is for you. And that our good and sovereign God will always carry His good work through to completion!
Yet the rapidly changing reality around us is impacting every aspect of life. It is causing us to re-evaluate not only the things we do but the ways we do them. The same is true for our ministry, and I want to share with you how Covid-19 is impacting the work of Mission India.
We have always been an indigenous movement at the grassroots level – so, typically, restrictions on travel or large gatherings have very little impact on our work. But on March 24, the Indian government initiated a nationwide lockdown – requiring all Indians to shelter-in-homes through the end of March and to avoid any travel not related to acquiring food or medicine. In compliance with this order, and to care for our ministry partners, we have pushed the pause button on all of our Church Planter Trainings, Adult Literacy Classes, and Children’s Bible Clubs, effective immediately.
However, ministry continues! Collectively, our ministry partners have pledged to contact many people each day with encouragement and prayer. They’re trading group meetings and face-to-face interactions with phone calls, emails, and Whatsapp conversations – responding to people’s fears and anxiety with the hope of Christ!
And, providentially, 8 months ago we launched an ongoing “health awareness” component into all three of our programs – rolling it out in the three most widely spoken Indian languages. Today, knowledge already gained about hygiene, communicable diseases, and vaccinations is invaluable! And in the days leading up to the lockdown in India, our partners were making and distributing homemade hand sanitizer and hygiene awareness flyers (in local languages) in the communities where we work!
Times of crisis have historically drawn many people who were far from Christ into the Kingdom. Our mission is no less important today than it was two weeks ago. And when restrictions are lifted, we are positioned to immediately jump into action. May this moment become a Kingdom moment in India and around the world! We are ready!
So live with confidence because God is faithful! And He who began a good work in us will see it through because it is HIS work! The Gospel cannot be stopped!
Take good care of yourselves and your families. Our team is praying for you.
-Andy Milligan, National Director
Time spent with our India Intercessors and financial partners is always an encouragement to me. And this has been especially true during this season of change and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. A few days ago, I was visiting with a couple over Zoom, and they shared Isaiah 49:8-9 with me. As I listened, I really sensed that this passage was a word from the LORD directly to me in that moment.
“This is what the Lord says:
‘In the time of my favor, I will answer you. And in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’”
As we visited, one of them reflected on how all of the changes and new restrictions around us remind us that we do not know what tomorrow brings. Will we have the freedom to travel, to gather with others, or even to send resources? Our natural carnal reaction is to protect ourselves, to gather and keep, to self-preserve. Yet, the Spirit says through this text: “THIS, you know and can be sure of: TODAY is the day of SALVATION!”
The coronavirus pandemic is quickly escalating into a humanitarian crisis in India. Hundreds of millions of people in India who are part of the “informal economy” – laborers who live hand to mouth each day – are suddenly threatened not only by a virus but starvation, too. Millions are also migrants, stranded far from home. These are the people at the heart of our Bible Clubs, Literacy Classes, and church planting efforts. The words of Isaiah 49 serve as a timely reminder to keep my focus outward; aimed squarely at our calling to transform India with the love of Christ.
Many of our ministry partners in India have already begun procuring and distributing food and medical items among the families in our ministry programs. They are begging us for help.
God’s vision will never change – but sometimes our tactics must. On Thursday, April 9, we will launch a relief effort in India. At the heart of it will be the opportunity for us to provide emergency relief kits containing food and hygiene items. This is no departure from our usual ministry programs but an enlargement of them as we demonstrate the love of Christ to those in great need. We have a network of ministry partners across India! Equipping them in this work will save lives and greatly enhance their evangelism, discipleship, and church planting efforts.
The word that God gave to me from Isaiah 49 is that today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to call, COME OUT, and BE FREE! Today is the day to restore and breathe LIFE into desolate places. Today is the day to give my worship freely and generously to the LORD, letting His presence and grace lead me into obedience however HE asks.
God is with you, friends! We are with you! Thank you for standing with us!
Andy Milligan, National Director