Health issues are having a negative impact on evangelism in India

Apr 19, 2004 11:24 AM EDT

New Delhi, April 19 - Basic medical facility and healthcare are readily available in the West, but not so in many areas of the world. And, in some countries like India this lack of healthcare is having a negative impact on evangelism, church planting and discipleship.

Bob Gupta, who is with HBI Global Partners based in India, says the lack of basic medical care has hit his organization. "We have actually lost six missionaries this year, and in the last 24 months nine of them have gone to be with the Lord," says Gupta. "It's really become a concern."

While HBI provide medical care in major cities, it's not as available in other areas. Gupta says, "One of the greatest difficulties we have with our missionaries is they live far away from any medical care. So, when they do get sick they don't actually run to a hospital or run to a doctor because there are no doctors there. So, it's become extremely bad by the time they (seek treatment)."

As these men of God get sick and in a few cases die, it's affecting fellow Christians hard. "It's been a struggle for the director of our missions program. The last time a young man went to be with the Lord, he came to me and said, 'I'm wondering weather God is trying to tell us something.' I think what the Lord is trying to tell us is that we're in the middle of a tremendous spiritual warfare and we've got to be praying for these pastors," says Gupta.

Gupta says they have four training centers and he would love to see medical missionaries come to India to help them. He says, "When we have teams come we can have our pastors come to that particular training center and then they can do the medical check-ups. We can combine their efforts with doing some medical ministries in those areas." He says this can provide a great open door to share the Gospel through the Jesus Film and one-on-one evangelism.