Edward Jesudhas could not believe what he was hearing! Over and over, the Lord was challenging him to leave behind his ministry of 18 years and go out in faith to start all over again. Hadn’t he already done this once before?
As a young man, he had left family and friends to become a missionary in the north of India. He had also stepped out in faith at that time, but that was when he was single and responsible for only himself. Now, he had a wife and two teenagers who relied on him for support and guidance. Would they agree to support his vision? Would they think that he was chasing the wind on a misguided venture?
Through extended prayer and discussions, every member of his family joined Edward’s new faith journey. They moved to a newer, growing part of New Delhi, which is a city of 19 million souls with large numbers of devotees of almost every religion imaginable. However, Edward and his family had one primary people group in mind to focus on: the Chamar.
The Chamar are a very large “scheduled caste” (i.e. low caste) in India of almost 50 million people, primarily Hindu. Edward’s goal was to first plant a church among the Chamar, and then, to train missionaries that would be sent to plant more churches among this unreached people group.
The first part of Edward’s vision is on the way to being fulfilled. He has filled his living room with so many people that it’s now standing room only! He spends a great deal each day visiting and praying for his flock of newly discipled members. He often calls them while stuck in traffic in Delhi’s famous gridlocked roads in order to pray and encourage them.
He has now opened his missionary training school with a very modest enrollment of 3 young men who are training in a two-bedroom apartment. They will graduate in a few months and then will be sent to pioneer the planting of new churches.
A new class of students will then be brought in. Edward is hoping for a dozen new students! As you can seek from the attached photo, the classroom is already tight with just a teacher and three students. When we asked Edward how he was going to fit 9 more students into the classroom, he smiled broadly and quipped, “This is India! We’ll figure it out.”
Edward represents the face of men and women who are stepping out in faith to help accomplish the extension of the Kingdom of God among the unreached. Bethany is involved in financially supporting the efforts of faithful and faith-filled men like Edward and his family in their efforts.
This article is from the Spring 2018 Issue of coMission Magazine.