A large portion of India still predominantly lives in tribes, and one of the largest of these communities is witnessing a Christian revival, media sources reveal.
Hundreds of men, women and children who used to follow Hinduism are now professing Christianity as their religion, media sources say. Ask Dinesh Shur why so many tribal people are accepting Jesus Christ and he starts weeping in humility, media sources state.
“When you do God’s work for years and begin to see the fruits of your labor, it is overwhelming,” Shur told a media source recently. ”You see the changed lives, you see the eternal happiness on the faces of people, and how can it not move me,” he declared.
Here, in a corner of Rajasthan where the majority follow Hinduism, a Christian chorus is rising day by day, media sources explain. ”The transformation is almost immediate,” Shur said. “Families stop praying to their ancestors, they stop drinking, they stop their witchcraft practices and their entire life is turned upside down when they accept Jesus,” he declared.
Media sources reveal that, Shur is part of the reason why so many are turning to Christ.
For over a decade, Shur, known as Pastor Dinesh, served in a big city; but then God tugged on his heart and guided him to go back to his village, go back to his roots, to his own people and share the good news of Jesus Christ, media sources confirm.
“I was like Jonah in the Bible,” Shur said. “I didn’t want to live in my village.” “I wanted to serve God in the city, where things are easier,” he said, “I wanted to reach others with the gospel, not my own people.” Explaining in depth, Shur pointed to Sohan Lal’s life as fruit of his decision to return to his village.
“One day Pastor Dinesh told me about Jesus Christ,” Lal, who recently converted to Christianity, said. “He told me that if I put my trust in Him, I would be healed, and that my life would be different.” “So I did.”
Lal joined 178 of his tribe’s people recently at the edge of a river, not too far from their village and they were baptized by Pastor Dinesh, media sources reveal. ”I know all these men and women personally and I know what their lives were like before they met Christ,” Shur said. “And now to be part of this spiritual milestone in their lives is an enormous privilege,” he added.
Also, Theru Bhai has been waiting for this day for a very long time. Like Lal, Bhai too is a recent Christian convert, media sources reveal.
“After I accepted Christ I stopped drinking, I stopped smoking, and I stopped getting into fights,” Bhai said. “Getting baptized was my way to show the community, that I am a changed man,” he declared. “Today Jesus Christ is my savior,” he said humbly.
Mannu was among the dozens of Hindu women, who also became baptized in the river that day, media sources add.
“I feel very happy after my baptism and thankful that I received Christ in my heart,” she said. “I will now follow Him the rest of my life,” she added. Mannu’s husband, Shantu, and children also decided to follow Christ after Pastor Dinesh spent significant time with them, media sources explain.
“My family is blessed today; because of Christ and because someone was willing to come and share the gospel with us,” Shantu said.
Pastor Dinesh is a member of the Bhil community, one of the largest tribes in the central states of India.
“The Bhil are mainly farmers and they are very poor and still follow century’s old-practices,” media sources report. “In many ways they live a life far different from those in the cities,” Shur explained. Shur further said: “Foreign missionaries have ministered to this area for more than 135 years and have never seen the results he’s witnessing today.”
Christians are still a minority within a minority in these parts; however, there are reports that as many as 300,000 people have become believers in the last 10 years, many of them from among the Bhil tribe, media sources say.
“We have 42 house prayer groups meeting in about 22 villages; and we also have 32 workers from our church; going from village to village as evangelists sharing the gospel,” Shur said. ”In the coming year my goal is to send out missionaries to neighbouring states to reach other Bhil villages,” he added.
Jeevani Karadi, a church leader in a remote part of Rajastan, is one of those who travel from village to village, media sources reveal.
When she’s not on the road, you’ll find this lively 65-year-old assisting to lead a house group with Pastor Dinesh. On the day media sources met her, she and dozens of believers were having church under a tree in the village, media sources say.
“Our group is getting so large, I don’t have enough space in my house to fit all these people so we come out here,” she said. Amazingly, Karadi’s testimony is the reason this meeting is even happening.
About six years ago, she used to roam the streets of her remote village, in effect, as the village mad woman, even walking around naked sometimes, media sources explain. Then she had an encounter with Jesus and today she leads a thriving church in Rajasthan, media sources reveal.
“The village used to make fun of me, and they would shout nasty things; as I walked on the streets,” Karadi recalled. “People said I was cursed.” ”Then I met Pastor Dinesh, and he prayed for me, and I was healed,” she continued. “I was delivered and Jesus set me free,” she declared.
Her healing led many to receive Christ and helped start the first house prayer group in the village, media sources add.
Shur said: “These testimonies are just another reminder to him of how important it is to obey and trust God.”
“Today I’m living the fruits of my decision to come back to my village.” “Is it easy?” “No.” “Do we face challenges?” “Yes,” he said. “But we have Christ to lean on.” “He is all we need to see change among my people,” the pastor proclaimed
NOTE: This needs to be happening in the U.S. CMR