By: Joel & Carla Ellis
Pastor Mukesh ministers in a very unreached city in North India where the people are very resistant to the gospel. Pastor Mukesh and his family face a lot of harassment as some of the few Christian believers in the city. However, in the midst of this struggle, many people in the community have been giving their lives to Jesus. Each week at their church, people are being healed, delivered, and transformed. Not wanting this to continue, Hindu and Muslim radicals began to warn Pastor Mukesh that if he did not stop, something drastic would happen.
One day Pastor Mukesh and his family came home from meeting with their church. When they walked through the door of their small home, they were shocked at what they saw. Everything they owned had been stolen. Every pot, every chair, every stitch of clothing was gone. They were devastated. There was no way they could replace what had been taken. They had no money and now they had no bed to sleep on or stove to cook a meal.
Pastor Mukesh knew why this had happened. He had been warned that he should leave the city. He called the District Superintendent of the state who lived in a large city nearby to tell him the news. The Superintendent encouraged him to leave the city and bring his family to safety. With great boldness Pastor Mukesh said, “No, I cannot do that. God has called me here, and I must not run when persecution comes. God can protect my family, but if it is His will that we suffer for His sake, then that is what we are willing to do.”
Pastor Mukesh and his family continued to stay strong and endure the hardships they faced. Their church began to grow so large that they had to move to a bigger facility. Then God began to enlarge Mukesh’s vision for his city. Instead of shrinking back, he moved forward with greater strength than before.
Pastor Mukesh realized that he could not fulfill the vision God had given him alone. He desperately needed help, and he knew he must raise up leaders in his church. Then he heard about ICOM, the India College of Ministry. He was thrilled when he heard that the men could continue to help him reach the people of his city while training for ministry. These new leaders have been a huge blessing to Pastor Mukesh. Along with these men, he has started house churches in fourteen villages throughout the area. People are coming to know Jesus in unprecedented numbers. Praise God that Pastor Mukesh did not run from persecution. He stood strong and is now training others to do the same.