On a recent trip to India I met an interesting man. I’ll call him Rajiv. He’s an older man. To look at him, you might not find him exceptional. But then you learn the truth—beginning with this surprising fact:
Rajiv cannot read or write.
Yet he is one of the most powerful and effective pastors in the Bihar state of India!
How does it happen? Through his faithful wife. She does all the reading for him every day, and as he speaks, she does his writing too. It’s an absolute partnership of Bible study and sermon preparation!
But of course, while an illiterate pastor is extraordinary, Rajiv is not alone in his illiteracy. This is commonplace in many parts of India. He grew up in a tribal culture where education was not a high priority. Life itself was his training ground (which works, in a way, because today life itself is the “playing field” where he contends for the faith!).
From his earliest childhood, Rajiv learned to relate to forces both natural and supernatural. He became a good farmer . . . a good shepherd . . . and ultimately, a good witch doctor! Eventually he found himself a respected leader in his tribal circle—a tribe of more than 350,000 people! In fact, he is a star of Bihar, the largest and fastest growing province in India—more than 105 million people, and growing!
Rajiv became what the Indians call a “spiritual man.” He could literally walk on fire and not get burned. He could stir a large boiling pot of rice with his hands and arms. And he could teach these practices to others.
But there was a lot of sadness and darkness to life. It was oppressive. It was harsh in its treatment of people. Ultimately, even though he was a “spiritual man,” he was spiritually empty.
Then one day, by the grace of God, Rajiv heard someone talking about a man who had lots of powers: power over water, power over nature, power over life and death.
There was no literature to read about this strange phenomenon—and if there had been, Rajiv couldn’t read it anyway. But he wanted to learn more about this man—and about His followers. The more he explored, the more impressed he was. Until finally one day he decided to give his life to Jesus Christ as His personal Savior and Lord.
From that day to this, Rajiv says he has found those original stories to be totally true: Jesus is everything he heard about . . . and much more!
And he has devoted his life to helping others hear the story of Jesus. Rajiv and all his family are involved in ministry. He pastors a church, but his heart beats for the multitudes of his tribe who don’t yet know Jesus—and couldn’t read a Bible if you gave them one.
There was a way to reach them, though—a way to share Jesus with them: through video.
As I talked with Rajiv, God stirred a passion in my heart for reaching India’s illiterate multitudes with his story and the story of others who are being transformed by the power of God’s Word.
A few friends who have dedicated their lives to producing Christian video decided to help us. They recorded Rajiv’s story and a number of others—giving them an opportunity to tell their story personally to countless hundreds of thousands across India and beyond.
People heard, for the very first time, the amazing Good News about Jesus.
They learned He’s real. He’s alive. He’s the Son of God. He’s all-powerful. He’s allloving. He’s totally available to give the gift of abundant life—and eternal life—to anyone who comes to Him! Glory to God.