India is the seventh largest country by area and the second most populous with 1.2 billion people. It is the most ethnically diverse nation with over 2,500 distinct people groups. Community and identity are based on caste as much as on race and language.
India is shaped by seemingly unyielding poverty, both rural and urban. There is a rapid growth of newly rich and middle class but hundreds of millions are living in rural poverty or urban slums. Nearly 40% of the population live below the poverty line.
The need for the Gospel is massive! Hinduism is by far the leading religion of India with 80% of its residents identifying themselves as Hindu. Although it has a strong cultural appeal, many search for fulfilment and purpose, longing for true communion with their Creator. Because of this, 2% of the population now identify as evangelical Christian.
World Link Ministries has two pastoral training centers, one in Chennai and one in Patna. We have trained 120 pastors who have faithfully planted 420 churches. Almost every one of the pastors is evangelizing and planting churches among Hindus. Their high success rate is especially encouraging because people trapped in Hinduism represent desperate spiritual need.
One method of evangelism that’s been extremely successful in India is drilling borewells. Tens of millions of people are with compromised water supplies. This year we have started building 20 wells and our trained pastors are using these sites as evangelistic hubs. The average cost for a well is $500 and our hope is to drill another 20 borewells in the next year.
Another opportunity our pastors have found to meet the needs of their villages is to install solar lamp posts. 46,000 people die each year in India from Cobra bites. Physically lighting their path will help prevent individuals from unknowingly stepping on a cobra. Pastors will then spiritually light their path with the truth of the Gospel.