Bro. Bishnupado Pahari from Paharpur Oasis Church has been a stern believer for the past several years. He has a strong desire to serve the Lord in any way possible so that many others like him would be blessed by the truth of the Gospel.
But the situation in his home was quite different; his wife, Mithu was very judgmental and critical about the Christian faith and her husband’s strong faith in the Lord Jesus was a bone of contention in the family. Her opposition to the faith was so strong that she used to constantly blaspheme against the Christian faith and to the point of warning our pastors and evangelists never to set foot in her home.
During that time their daughter constantly suffered from epilepsy. She was taken to a number of doctors and various treatments were done but to no avail. She then turned to religion, taking her daughter to various temples and religious god-men against the wishes of her husband but none could help her. This really made her think genuinely of the faith and belief system she was brought up in.
With almost nowhere else to go she now started to think whether there was any truth in the faith her husband so sternly believed in. This was an opportunity for our evangelists to share the Gospel with her.
After fervent prayer our evangelists took time to once again share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with her. This time the Holy Spirit began to work in her heart as she heard of the sacrifice Christ made for her and on that day she believed and accepted the Lord Jesus as her personal Savior.
From that time onwards there was a dramatic transformation in her life. She bid adieu to idol worship and removed all religious threads from her body which held her in bondage. Miraculously from that day onwards her daughter who was very ill began to recover.
Now Sis. Mithu propagates the Gospel with the same fervor and intensity with which she earlier had opposed it. She and her husband are now an enthusiastic young couple of the church who never let go of an opportunity to share the Gospel with all who they come in contact with.
Another academic year has come to an end. The students completed their final trimester exams and returned to their respective villages for a one and a half month practical ministry under the guidance of their respective pastors.
They returned for the graduation ceremony during the third week of July. Please continue to pray for the students as they undergo practical ministry and also for the new batch of students.
In the month of May 2013, Pr. Joy was able to visit the mission fields in West Bengal and ministered to the Bible School students and also worshiped with the villagers.
The village of S. is a culturally diverse village where people from the general caste Bengali population and the tribal population co-exist together. The village was first visited by a Christian evangelist named Pastor Binod in 2002, during those days Pastor Binod used to regularly visit the village distributing Gospel tracts and packets as well as door-to-door evangelism. Prior to 2002 a majority of the village populace was addicted to alcohol and local intoxicating drinks, the people were active idol-worshippers with many practicing witchcraft. After the initial penetration of the Gospel three people believed in the message of Jesus Christ, they were Karthick, Champa and Dhireen. During that time Champa was bitten by a rabies infected dog and her condition was so bad that the doctors gave up all hopes, but the Pastor and the leadership of Oasis Ministries began to pray for her and she was miraculously healed. Champa’s healing became the talk of the village and many started to show interest in the Gospel. Following this, Pastor Binod arranged for an open air meeting attended by few senior leaders of Oasis Ministries. In that meeting 40 people came forward and accepted the Lord Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior; Of them 30 people took water-baptism shortly.
Immediately after the baptism some members of a local political party stirred unrest among the villagers which led to Pastor Binod’s ban from entering the village and he was warned not to step into the village or face dire consequences. In 2004 due to this persecution the S. village fellowship has to be dis-continued. It remained inactive for over two years, during this time many of those who had accepted the Lord Jesus and taken baptism had left the faith. But there were few strong believers who remained steadfast in their faith, they used to meet Pastor Binod outside the village and the Pastor also risked entering the village secretly. After a few years the prayers of the faithful were answered and Pastor Binod was permitted to conduct worship in the village once again. With a few people the S. village fellowship began a second time worshiping the Lord on Sundays or Mondays in the homes of various believers. Now there are 40 baptized members in the church. After the church came into existence the number of alcohol addicts in the village has come down and instances of witchcraft also declined.
When the numbers began to grow they started worshipping under trees and other open places. They used to fast and pray for a permanent place of worship. As a result of these fasting and prayers in 2012 the Lord spoke to the heart of a believer, Mr. Ram N., and he decided to donate a piece of land for Church construction. Mr. Ram N. has an only daughter and her son Tapan is now a student of the Oasis Bible School, preparing himself for God’s service.
In a short while the Lord also provided the funds for constructing the Church building and the construction work commenced by the end of 2012 and was completed by March 2013. In the March 2013 the new Church building for S. Oasis Church was inaugurated and dedicated. The members of Oasis S. Church thank God and all those people whose prayers and financially support made the Church building a reality.
NOTE: The name of the village is withheld for security reasons.
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ:
God enabled me to visit the villages of West Bengal once more during our short term mission trip in May 2012.
I had a small group of young people in their 20’s join me this time to the interior villages of West Bengal. The team included the five of us from the Houston area and Evg. Finny John from Uttar Pradesh. The Lord enabled us to travel extensively in the villages in spite of the current extreme summer weather conditions. Four of the young people who joined me from Houston were on their first mission trip.
We rejoiced in the Lord, in seeing how some of the village churches have been growing in quality and quantity by the power of the Holy Spirit. Some of the highlights of this trip were: outdoor meetings, regional gatherings of village believers, baptism services in three villages, dedication of a new orphanage, and graduation of the Bible school students.
It takes a lot of planning and efforts behind the scenes by our leadership and evangelists to reach these remote areas, but it is worth every drop of sweat and tears shed to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your prayer and support were a vital part of reaching the unreached.
May the Lord bless you and continue to use you in the coming days for the expansion of the Kingdom of God.
– Rev. Thomas P. Johnson, Ph.D.