New Delhi, India., Nov. 26 - A veteran mission leader, on condition of anonymity, reports that 750 people came to the Lord through the outreach of his organization's missionaries in northern India during the last three months.
At least 577 of these conversions took place in the state of Maharashtra. One of the missionaries there reported over 400 people found Christ as their Savior during the last three months. Others reported lesser numbers of new believers.
Most of the people came to Christ during the routine ministry of the team of 230 native Indian missionaries. There were no exceptionally large crusades, though one missionary conducted a convention for believers attended by 4000 people.
The "Jesus" film was shown in various places bringing a few responses but mostly opening people's hearts for further instruction.
Probably the biggest factor in people's turning to Christ was healings, direct answers to prayers, and deliverances from demons. In one place, a man who had been sick for a long time was brought to the church meeting. When the missionary prayed for him, the demons began crying out and finally left him.
One family brought a man who had been a lunatic for five years. The family had spent a lot of money on his treatment and had even tried sorcery, but nothing worked. The missionary prayed for him, and the man was set free.
Another Sunday three men brought a young boy to the meeting who was demon possessed. The boy had behaved like a mad person for over a year. He was uncontrollable, and even though young, could overpower men stronger than he. During the night he would murmur for blood. He had been taken to many sorcerers, but they did nothing for him. After listening to their problem, the missionary prayed for the boy and he was immediately set free.
"Those who want quiet, comfortable, traditional worship services should not come to our meetings," the leader said. "The casting out of demons is sometimes noisy."
Yet their worship attracts outsiders. One night when the believers were worshipping and praying, the people in the surrounding houses heard the sound, came to the meeting to see what was happening, and stayed to hear the Word of God. Some of them accepted the Lord at that meeting.
After the meeting, a man suffering from a tumor in his nose asked for prayer. The men prayed for him and he was healed. A woman suffered from severe body pain for several years and had gotten no relief through medicine or sorcery. Believers prayed for her and she was instantly healed. Others in various places experienced similar healings and deliverances.
Though the conversions are dramatic and often are a result of a physical manifestation of the power of God, not all become Christians without cost. After one family in Northeast India became Christians, the community demanded that they pay a fine of Rs. 10,000 (US$200) for forsaking the local deities. That would be about eight months' wages for laborers who earn about $1 a day.
The mission began in Kashmir and its work has spread throughout the Himalaya region, including Nepal and Northeast India. It has planted over 100 churches of its own. Thousands more have been planted by other mission groups it has birthed.