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Sharing With Hope

Sharing With Hope

Born on Christmas day, Hope* had always felt she had a special connection to the Christian God, Jesus. Less than 0.3 percent of the population in her region identify themselves as Christian, and even fewer have a thriving, growing relationship with the living God. His story was foreign to her as a respectable Hindu.

The chances of Hope ever hearing the good news in a way that illuminated the threads of redemption through the vivid hues of her cultural heritage and language were slim, until her new neighbors, a pair of Christar workers, moved in. One of those workers shares how they’ve seen God at work in her life and in this community.

How it began

It was Christmas, and we knew our neighbors would be coming to visit us throughout the day. We’d prepared a booklet in the local language that told the story of Christmas through the eyes of each of the characters and through songs composed in the cultural style. From morning till night, we welcomed more than 30 neighbors who came to eat cookies and cake, wish us a “Happy Christmas” and sing one of the songs we’d chosen from the booklet. They were eager to hear us sing in the local language. We were excited to share about the miraculous birth of our Savior through music.

Good tidings, for all people

One of our visitors that day was Hope. As we had done throughout the day, we gave her a copy of the booklet and invited her to sing the Christmas story with us. But when we came to the part about the wise men, Hope stopped us. The word the author had used to identify the wise men had caught her attention because it’s the same word that can be used to describe her community—her people.

She said, “Look! Those people in that day were following Jesus. We also can follow Jesus, now, in our day.”

It’s true, her people can follow Jesus, but very few do. One of the challenges of sharing the hope of Christ with this least-reached group is that their status in the local religious system tells them they already have it all together, making it very difficult for them to realize their true spiritual need.

Just another festival?

Several months and many festivals passed, and about a week after Easter, I visited Hope again. She wanted to know why we celebrate Good Friday. Most Hindus here know this holiday only as a day when banks and schools are closed. A few might remember it as the day on which the Christian God died, but very few know that Sunday is when victory was won!

On holy ground, I unfolded the stories of Jesus’ ministry and his death, burial and resurrection. Shortly after I had finished, her husband came and asked the same question. With excitement, I said, “Your wife knows the story! I’ll let her explain it!”

Hope told the story just as I had just shared it with her, but her husband insisted, “No, that’s not right.” He had never heard this glorious side of Good Friday’s tale of woe. With delight, I assured him, “This is really it. This is why we celebrate.”

Because He lives

Hope doesn’t fully understand what it means to follow Jesus, yet, but each interaction—each piece of truth shared—is a step. Just as you wouldn’t read a book and stop partway through, we keep building these stories over time and through our relationships, modeling what it looks like to worship and obey Jesus alone.

The resurrection gives meaning to our faith. It anchors our hope in this future reality. Ultimately, we are planting and watering and waiting for the day when spiritual life takes root and faith triumphs over death and doubt. Because our Jesus was born. Because He died a horrific death on a cross. But He rose again. He lives, that He may draw people from every tribe and tongue and nation to Himself, even in those places where He isn’t worshiped … yet.

Participate by Praying:

  • Ask God to work powerfully through believers and cross-cultural workers to bring His hope and salvation to those who don’t yet know or worship Him.
  • Pray for perseverance for workers as they faithfully share truth through many long seasons. Ask God to bring forth fruit that will last!
  • Ask God to reveal Himself to least-reached people as their Lord and Creator! Pray they will worship Him as their Savior and not a foreign God.

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