Wednesday, March 28, 2012
By Christopher Kurien
With a mission to make disciples, laity and clergy in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference are reaching out to new people in their communities. As a result, congregations are being revitalized and new communities of faith are being planted. The March 2012 edition of NEWSpirit is devoted to the stories behind our New Church Start efforts.
My first experience with new church starts was as a child of parents deeply committed to a church planting ministry in Parkal Mission, India. Over a twenty year period my parents planted nearly twenty village churches with hundreds converted to Christianity in the Parkal Mission. Most people in the Parkal Mission area were non-Christians (Hindus). Unfortunately many of the newly-Christian converts had to undergo persecution from their families and community members because of their conversion to Christianity. My parents were persecuted as well. They put their very lives at great risk. Bibles were snatched from their hands and torn in front of their eyes. However, they persisted and God blessed their efforts. Today the Parkal mission not only has local church ministries but also has one church-owned High school, two medical clinics and three orphanages. Funding to support these ministries, and for the construction of the churches and parsonages, came from partner churches in the Kerala region.