Our story and inspiration
In 1991, Brother Jacob came to backward tribal region with a passion and a hunger for lost souls. He walked hundreds of miles from village to village preaching the Gospel. After six months, he started his first church under a mango tree with three people, in a backward village called Duginepalli. He and his family faced terrible persecutions and challenges in the beginning of the Gospel work (some of our churches have been burnt down and destroyed). From that humble beginning until today 1095 churches, plus branches, have been formed. Currently, he is working from South India up to the Nepal border, which can only be described as the most difficult area of the country. The ministry of India Hope is impacting more than 6000 villages.
In November 1995, Brother Jacob started his first Native Missionaries Training Program. There are good reasons to set up native missionaries, including: they know the language and the culture of their people; they know the standard of living with their own people; and it is more economical to support them.
The training took place under a mango tree with 15 new believers. Each was hungry and had a passion to learn the Word of God and to take the Gospel to his own people. The training program lasted two months. At the end of the training program, the Holy Spirit of God had changed their lives. All had a burden and a burning fire in their hearts. Each one fasted and prayed for three days to learn where God wanted them to go. They chose to leave everything behind, and to go to the mission field. They knew that they must take brand new witness of Christ to their people groups, where such witness was yet unknown. In the beginning, they faced tremendous persecution, suffering, and starvation. None of these things discouraged them, because they loved the Lord Jesus. Today, those brothers have become pioneers on the mission field. Since November 1995, India Hope has been training, equipping, sending native missionaries, and planting churches. So far over 1000 students have been trained, of which 825 are working fulltime on the mission field.
How do they survive when they first go to the mission field?
When these newly graduated pastors enter the mission field, they are met with extreme poverty and hardship. They are often in an area where the Gospel has never been preached. At the onset, it is very difficult for a young missionary answering the call to pastoral ministry. Most likely, they are unable to support themselves. When they go to a new area, there is no church, and no Christian presence. They must be willing to leave their homes, brothers and sisters, caste, and career. They are even willing to suffer persecution, because they believe that the Great Commission is their top priority. Before they leave to enter the mission field, each missionary must make a prayer of commitment saying, “Lord, I am willing to die for the sake of Gospel, if the time comes.”