The smell of the spices; the beauty of the trees and waters; the color of the markets; cities and villages; slums and mansions; high rises and dirt roads. This is the rainbow of color and contrast that make up the land of INDIA.
With a rich and diverse culture made up of over 2,533 people groups, adding up to over 1.2 billion people, India easily dominates the southern region of Asia. Although freedom of religion brings openness, Hinduism reigns supreme, and many radical parties have strict beliefs regarding conversions to other religions. This often results in persecution among the various religions, but is predominately directed against Christianity. Over 88% of Indians have yet to hear the Gospel.
The cities are a melting pot of people groups coming together to advance in their different walks of life. With the boom of technology and outsourcing, Indian cities are rapidly growing with call centers and telemarketing offices.
The villages are individual communities with their own unique structure. A special unity and pride is present among each village, and the hierarchal structure remains true throughout the schools, temples, leadership, and family involvement.
Family and hospitality are two words that remain true in both the villages and cities. At any given moment, time can stop so that people can spend time getting to know each other better. Whether over tea or a roadside snack, friendliness is the prevalent value.
India is growing rapidly, with experts claiming its rise to becoming the largest nation as soon as 2020. However, the great divide between the various caste system groupings and the lifestyles of the villages proves that it will require much effort from all for any significant advancements to take place.
How can you be involved?
- Caste system—with the continuation of the caste system, the wealthy rise in power and the Dalits (often considered the “untouchable” caste) struggle more and more. Because of the dowry system, in which a girl’s family must give money and valuables to the boy’s family at the time of marriage, it is nearly impossible for the castes to mix, even beyond the prestige aspect.
- Persecution—although India’s laws proclaim religious freedom, Christians are still persecuted regularly, especially in areas where the radical political parties rule. Pastors are killed, churches are burnt down, and Christians are often beaten for proclaiming the gospel. This hinders missionaries greatly as they face the unwritten laws regarding conversion between religions.
- Unity—pray for unity between the castes and between the villages and cities. The diversity is beautiful, but it also brings segregation and division, often hindering any sort of growth.
- Open hearts and doors—pray for the PEOPLE - to be open to hearing and receiving the love of Jesus. Pray for more open doors for missionaries to creatively share the gospel and meet the needs of the people!
- Leaders/Political parties: Pray against egocentric leadership and corruption and pray for their hearts to be moved and opened to change the social problems– malnutrition, child labor, female infanticide, rapid spread of HIV, illiteracy, poverty, and much more.
- The younger generation—with the widespread influence from media and other cultures, the youth are rapidly evolving, driven by modernism and materialism. This has created a larger sense of independence, and a greater lack of Jesus Christ. Pray for open hearts and understanding of cultural and moral values.
- Join a short term team with us at YWAM Discovery Bay
- Join a team from your church or organization
- Come serve with YWAM in a DTS and go for longer!
- Support the work among the people of India – financial support is greatly needed.
- Sponsor the long term missionaries working with Indians
- Bless the short-term teams with giving and your prayers
- Sponsor a child through the various organizations (World Vision, Compassion International, etc.)
No gift is too small