Despite the widespread influence of Hinduism, unreached people groups in India are receiving the gospel through the work of The Anglican Mission India. The Rev. Ivan Sikha, a deacon and church planter sent by New Covenant Anglican Church to start The Mission India in 2014, reports that a total of 69 people were baptized from November 2014 to January 2015.
“These new followers of Christ have taken the bold step of acknowledging Him as their Lord in spite of the opposition they face,” Sikha says.
Sikha and his wife Felicita have been missionaries planting churches among unreached people groups in India for more than 30 years. These groups haven’t heard the gospel because they don’t have the Bible in their language and no one has communicated it to them.
“They are oral cultures, communicating through song, stories, poetry,” says Sikha. “We use Bible stories to share the Bible with them and form what are called Story Bible Groups. Those slowly grow into house churches. We also help the people put stories into song and record them, so they can listen to a Story Bible.”
Sikha and Canon Carl Buffington of New Covenant initially dreamed of starting an Anglican Mission in India to build on the missionary work Ivan and Felicita were already doing.
“So we do not just do a project and leave churches there, but continue to build them up and start churches in unreached parts of country,” Sikha explains.
In January, The Mission India was able to train 33 people in Ranchi—the capital of the Indian state of Jharkhand and its third most populous city—to share Bible stories with their friends.
In one area, the Sikhas have seen 60 house churches started with story trainings.
A middle school student Bir Singh began one such church. When one of his friends told him about Jesus Christ, Bir Singh decided to follow Christ and agreed to attend a two-week camp for new believers. After the camp, he started sharing his newfound faith with anyone who would listen. He saw many people healed of their diseases when he prayed for them. Soon, about 40 people started coming to his house every Saturday evening to fellowship and listen to Bir Singh. Many of these attendees were baptized recently.
The harvest is plentiful, and it’s hard to keep up with the growth.
“There is a great need to equip leaders,” Sikha says. He and Felicita request prayer for their work on the Ho language Story Bible; they need at least three more new language recordings.
“I’m thankful for Fr. Carl urging me to seek ordination with The Anglican Mission and pursue the path of starting The Mission India,” Sikha says.
Learn more about the Oral Story Bible strategy.