Sabitha lives in Northern India where less than one percent of the population is Christian. As a child, she contracted polio, which left her crippled and stunted her growth. Today, she is less than four feet tall, but her faith in God is that of a giant.
Sabitha first learned about Jesus from her brother, then together they started inviting others to their home to hear the Word. Soon, so many were coming that they split and had two “house churches.”
Around this time, she attended an International Leadership Institute (ILI) conference for Christian leaders sponsored by The Woodlands UMC. At the conference, she received training in the skills, courage and unwavering faith needed to lead in one of the most difficult places in the world. God spoke to her during the training sessions and called her to church planting.
Today, Sabitha has planted 29 house churches and credits her transformation from average believer to Christian leader to her ILI training. So, does leadership training make a difference? Ask Sabitha.
Fifty people just like her are being discipled in our Church Planting Discipleship Movement (CPDM). The group gathers for training every three months, with a three-year curriculum planned. The first two events were held in March and June, and we have seen amazing testimonies.
This program is sponsored by The Woodlands United Methodist Church through funding generated by your Imagine Campaign. It is making a huge difference in the pastors’ lives, as well as all who attend the house churches.
Another example of how your church is touching lives for Christ is Pastor Alam who is a changed man. He was born a Muslim, and when he learned more about Isa (Jesus), he became a believer. He now plants churches and more. He believes that faith leads to good works, and he has started a small orphanage, taking in children who otherwise would not survive. Your church has provided support that he needs to help these children.
Hope for Today Ministries is very appreciative of how The Woodlands UMC is touching lives for Christ:
- Of the financial commitment your church made through the Imagine Campaign that made possible the establishment of the Church Planting Discipleship Movement
- Of the mission teams you sent to work with the children, widows and those needing medical or spiritual healing
- Of the teams you sent to teach the ILI’s Eight Core Values of Christianity
- Of the financial sponsorship for several conferences each year for house church pastors and Christian leaders
Whether you are called to go, or to give or to pray for India, you are helping to make a real difference in our world.
This story first originally appeared in The Point, Fall 2013 edition.