SBC Representatives Around the World: Dodd Rawnsleycomment (0)
April 3, 2014
Imagine how crowded it would be if all 100 million New Yorkers, Texans, Californians and Floridians moved to Alabama. That population density is a present reality for people in Bihar, India, and Nepal where 35 million speak the Maithili language.
There is only one Maithili Christian for every 2,000 Maithili non-Christians — a 0.05 percent Christian population.
I, my wife Joelle, and our three children moved from Oklahoma to South Asia in 2009 with the International Mission Board (IMB). We serve among Maithili peoples, so I was encouraged to learn that several Baptist churches from Alabama also minister among them through the Maithili Alliance they formed.
I recently met two of these pastors: Stanley Kilgore, of Center Grove Baptist Church, Cullman, and Doug Ripley, of Decatur Baptist Church, when they visited India. They and others have done great work, but more than half of Maithilis have never heard the name of Jesus one time. In every ministry context around the world, we each must wrestle with this question: What is it going to take to finish the task? The Maithilis are still unreached for a reason — remote villages, poverty and illiteracy.
However, spiritual resistance is not one of those reasons; one out of five receives Christ when they hear the gospel. Ironically the growth rate of Christianity among Maithili people is being outpaced 100 times over by the general population. Conclusion: The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few (Luke 10:2).
I thank Alabama Baptists for being a few of those laborers and supporting us as fellow laborers through the IMB. Let us pray and cooperate for more laborers and more harvest among Maithili peoples. Practically pray for the Old Testament to be translated into their language, for them to listen to the Bible on their phones or read the Bible regularly, for every believer to be trained in discipleship and ministry, and for an indigenous church-planting movement.
Hundreds of thousands of more people must enter new fields, share the gospel, make disciples, plant healthy churches and develop Christian leaders in order to finish the task the Lord Jesus has given us.
If you are interested in partnering with the Maithili Alliance churches, contact Ripley at 256-353-8579.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Names changed for security reasons.