“Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.” (Psalm 96:2–4, ESV)
The Brahmaputra River originates in the high mountains of Tibet. The river winds its way through Northeast India, descending through the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, before joining with the tributaries of the Ganges River in Bangladesh and spilling into the Bay of Bengal. The people that live along these two great rivers represent the greatest concentration of unreached people in the world. Someone is considered unreached if they do not have any meaningful access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of the people who live in the areas through which these rivers flow will be born, live their lives, and die having never heard the name of Jesus Christ.
In 2015 Johnson Ferry began a partnership with a church-planting ministry in South Asia. The purpose of this partnership is to equip lay leaders, people who are not paid to do ministry, for the purpose of teaching Bible stories and how to correctly study Scripture. The vision is that people who hear these stories will then tell and teach others, who will tell and teach others. The end vision is that like the mighty Brahmaputra the name of Jesus Christ will flow through this region, flooding the hearts and minds with the Living Water that is only offered through Jesus Christ (John 4:10-14).
On June 11 a team of nine will be departing from Johnson Ferry, making the arduous journey to South Asia. Four teams will teach two separate audiences each in four different people groups. We are teaching five Bible stories from Exodus through Ruth, and teaching our students how to ask questions of the biblical text (what does it say?), how to rightly interpret the text by discovering the main and supporting points (what does it teach?) and how we should apply the text to our lives (what do we do in response to God’s Word?) We call this simple method Say Teach Do. Our team will also be encouraging our ministry partners, sharing in their stories and fellowship, praying for them and with them, and being encouraged by what our heavenly Father is doing throughout South Asia. In light of our mission would you pray for us in three specific ways?
1. Pray for our spiritual preparation for the trip. Pray that as teachers we will be models of what it looks like to study God’s Word, to obey it in our own lives, and to teach it to others (Ezra 7:10).
2. Pray that our students would be excited and encouraged to learn God’s Word. Pray that our training will expand well beyond our time there and that the students will share what they have learned with others, who will share with others (2 Timothy 2:2).
3. Pray that like the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will flow throughout that region. Look at a map and pray for the countries and Indian states near those rivers. Pray that God will open the hearts of people to the Gospel, and pray that the whole region will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Habakkuk 2:14).
We are excited to participate in the work of expanding God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Echoing the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 96:10, we are excited to “say among the nations that the Lord reigns”. And we are excited to know that many faithful men and women are supporting us in prayer!