This week we are delighted that one of our partners from India has written our weekly blog during the Covid-19 pandemic. Pastor Victor Palla is Founder of Jehovah Jireh Ministries in Andhrah Pradesh, India. He is pictured here with his son, Danny. Victor and his wife came to Palakonda in 1986 to work as missionaries at a time when there was almost no Christian presence in the town. The Pallas’ went on to establish the main ‘Good News’ church in Palakonda and 37 other sister churches in the surrounding areas. About 3000 believers belong to these churches now. Rope has been a long time supporter of Jehovah Jireh Ministries and we are currently supporting two children’s homes in Palakonda and Rayagada and 70 widows, linked to these ‘Good News’ churches.
Victor shares the following words of encouragement with us.
“Live wisely among those who are not believers and make the most of every opportunity.” Colossians 4:5
Here are two related aspects of Christian witness stressed, both of which imply communication. The first is behavioural (v.5), and the second is verbal (v.6).
The way believers live lives is of utmost priority. Unbelievers are continually watching. All of them are not in the same place in their lives. Some are avid seekers, while some are critical and some are antagonistic to the message we preach, as Peter suggests in 1 Peter 3:16. And there may be still others who have struggles in their lives, such as emotional or psychological pain, which can make it difficult for them to hear the truth.
In our context of ministry, many people struggle with the belief system that is so much ingrained in their lives. It is easy to accept the Gospel along with their age-old belief system, but to accept the exclusiveness of the Gospel is difficult. Hence believers ought to live their lives wisely that they would not be a stumbling block to the non-believing community.
I have learned in the early days of our ministry that we must always speak graciously and never condemn or condescend to their beliefs and compromise. I have made up my mind as Paul to preach Christ and Him Crucified and proclaim He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. God has allowed us to plant churches among people from all walks of life and communities. We have realised that growth and acceptance is relative to the way believers live.