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Becoming Children of God: Exponential Impact in South Asia

Becoming Children of God: Exponential Impact in South Asia

From the very first year of their marriage, Teresa and Praveen* felt God leading them to work among children. Initially, this South Asian couple would travel by bicycle to surrounding villages up to 25 miles away to spread the good news of Jesus to young people. “Leading a child to Christ impacts him and others the rest of his life,” shares Teresa, a 2004 graduate of the CHL Women’s Bible School.

But they soon saw a pressing need right in the community where they live. There, many people make their livelihoods as peddlers, moving every couple of months to sell their wares. The children in these families are typically left to their own devices and going to school is almost unheard of. Most of them go to the nearby bus stop and beg for money, and many are led into bad habits such as smoking and gambling.

A Lifetime of Ministry

Ministry runs in Teresa’s family. Her father became a believer when Teresa was about 10 years old, and three years later in 1999, he entered full-time ministry. Teresa doesn’t remember much about her parents’ background and adherence to Hinduism. But she does clearly remember the verse that led her to Christ at the age of 16 while volunteering with a Jesus Film ministry team in a nearby village: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12 NKJV)

Because Teresa’s family traveled quite a lot for her father’s welding job and subsequent work for the gospel, Teresa only studied through seventh grade. Since her parents could not afford to send her away to school, she had no choice but to wait on the Lord, trusting that He would provide for her education.

The Lord answered her prayer by connecting her with a lady who had previously attended CHL Women’s Bible School. This woman encouraged Teresa’s father to send her to CHL, and he agreed. Since CHL only charges students a small monthly fee—about 10% of the actual cost of tuition and boarding—her family was able to afford her schooling.

CHL Women’s Bible School was instrumental in shaping Teresa and preparing her for future ministry. During the gospel tour in her second year as a student at CHL, Teresa’s class visited four villages, and together they practiced what they had learned about sharing their faith. She witnessed the importance of not only presenting the gospel, but also of calling those who hear to repent and believe. During those visits, the Lord worked through her to lead quite a few people to Him.

As is common in their South Asian culture, Teresa’s parents played a part in choosing her spouse. After she worked on staff at CHL for a couple years, her father felt led to give her in marriage to Praveen, who was looking for a partner in his full-time ministry.

Continuing in Faithfulness and Expansion

Since 2000, Teresa’s father had been teaching God’s Word and encouraging believers in the community of peddlers. Over the course of seven years, this fellowship of just two families had blossomed into a 150-member body of Christ. Praveen and Teresa joined this growing ministry shortly after they married in 2007, and in 2009 this local church rejoiced in the completion of their own building. Teresa’s father served among these people until his death in 2010, and now Praveen and Teresa carry on the work he began.

Praveen had a dream in which he saw how children from believing families in the peddler community needed stability and better education. He and Teresa felt moved to not only pray for these children, but also to practically assist with this need by opening a hostel in the church building in 2017.

Through Praveen and Teresa’s ministry, dozens of children who previously lacked the opportunity to study at school have received education, care and shelter. Now, those same children who used to get into trouble are learning good habits, reading and writing; and, most importantly, they’re encountering Jesus and His love through Praveen and Teresa’s care, teaching and investment in their spiritual lives.

Some are passing on the blessing they’ve received by serving others. Priya, a young woman who previously lived and studied under the couple’s supervision, has been assisting Teresa in serving the children at the hostel. “She has caught my vision for reaching children and helps out whenever possible,” explains Teresa. During a recent Hindu festival, Priya spent most of three days alongside Teresa, teaching lessons and songs and leading games.

Priya is now studying in her second year at CHL Women’s Bible School, inspired by Teresa’s example, and she’s looking forward to serving with Praveen and Teresa when she finishes school. She too has a desire to work among children and lead them to Christ and is already proving to be an effective Sunday school teacher. And she’s demonstrating that an investment in the life of the child for the sake of the gospel can, as Teresa observed, have a far-reaching and eternal impact.

Teresa’s story is just one example of the impact of Christar projects around the world. Click here to read more about how projects like CHL Women’s Bible School are making a difference!


Participate by Praying

  • Pray for wisdom for Praveen and Teresa as they seek to love the children under their care well.
  • Ask God to move in these children’s hearts, draw them to Himself and equip them for future ministry.
  • Ask the Lord to provide the needed finances to build a dedicated residence for the children.
  • Lift up Teresa, Priya and all CHL students and graduates, asking that they will grow strong in Christ and become powerful instruments of His grace.

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