Lord willing, Hank, Debbie and Ali Techentin will return to India for a third expedition in November 2011.
As in previous years, the focus of our trip will be evangelism, church planting and discipleship. We will also conduct malaria prevention clinics using the Malaria Cube, HIV/AIDS awareness sessions using the HIV/AIDS Hope Cube, and offer basic health/hygiene instruction in every village.
"Maharashtra" means "state of large territory." And it is huge, both geographically, as well as in population. The state of Maharashtra, one of 28 in India, is about the same size as New Mexico. But it is home to more than 113 million people. The population of the United States is 330 million. If it were a country, Maharashtra would be the tenth most populated country on earth!
Most people in Maharashtra are Hindu. Even though the caste system is no longer legal, tradition stands strong. People in the lowest caste must work hard to "be good" so that when they die they will be reincarnated into the next highest caste. Then, if one leads a good life again, they can be reborn into the next highest caste. This continues until one is finally born as a member of the Brahmin caste. The Hindu myth says that when a Brahmin dies after living a good life, they will merge with the supreme, universal power.
There is great distrust between people in different levels of the caste system, so it is difficult for Indian Christians to make an impact in their own country. Amazingly, North Americans are viewed as members of an unnamed caste - one even higher than Brahmin! So when we arrive, the Indian people want to hear what we have to say. This opens doors for Indian believers to minister and reap a great harvest.
Human need and suffering in Mumbai and surrounding areas are great. There are more than 300,000 confirmed cases of HIV/AIDS. And persecution of Christians in India has increased in recent years as the Church continues to grow.
There are at least 73 unreached, unengaged people groups in Maharashtra. More than 40,000 rural villages have little or no Christian presence at all. It is to these remote villages that we are called.
In 2010, it was our privilege to enter a number of these rural villages and bring the Good News of eternal life in Jesus. Our team saw 736 adults pray to receive eternal life, along with many more youth and children. Our Indian pastors have diligently followed up where seven new fellowships were established last fall, teaching and discipling new believers.
We returned home amazed and grateful to have been part of such an abundant harvest. To help send us to India, just click on the green "Donate" button on this page. It's safe and secure to contribute here on FirstGiving. Thank you!
Hank, Debbie and Ali Techentin