Interview: When a Christian Crosses his Caste
Pastor Ishayu is a pastor of one of the many Koinonia churches in the network. He shares how one man came to know the Lord and now attends church. The government is making it hard to evangelize, so he also shares how they are navigating that problem by reaching out to unsaved family members and trying to spread the gospel that way.
Here's an interview with Pastor Ishayu:
Live Global: Can you please tell us more about the drunk man you recently mistered to who has accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior?
Pastor Ishayu: Thank you for this time. For our Vision 2020, we have targeted four specific mission points (places) for outreach. Before Christmas while sharing gospel we met one person through his relative who was fully drunk and didn’t want to listen to anyone. Looking at the society, I am of one caste and he is from a different caste, but I got an opportunity to regularly visit him and share gospel. Gently, changes started coming in his life and he said he wanted to come to church. I openheartedly welcomed him to church, though he hadn’t left drinking. Slowly as he started coming to church his life changed and he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. Since then his life has been totally changed which has been the reason for his family and four other families of his caste from the neighborhood to come to church and now he is encouraging them. This is one of my achievements and now he is doing good work among his caste.
Live Global: Praise the Lord. Can you give us more detail about his testimony?
Pastor Ishayu: He started to come to church for 2–3 weeks but still he hadn’t left his drinking habit. We cared for him, built a good relationship, and kept sharing the gospel. Then later on he himself approached us to accept Christ as his Savior. Though he accepted Christ as his Savior he hadn’t left drinking, but slowly he left drinking and was baptized too.
Live Global: In your opinion, what made him desire accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior?
Pastor Ishayu: One reason is that in his society nobody showed love for him. They discriminated against him on the basis of caste and everyone had a dirty viewpoint of him. Me, as per the society being a high-caste person, spent time with him and drank tea with him. It was something he hadn't received from society. This was the factor which showed him the way to Christ, and later on, he himself saw Christ. He often says, "because of brother Ishayu I came to church."
Live Global: How is the church doing with Vision 2020?
Pastor Ishayu: Thank you for the question. At the present moment, I’m personally making disciples in my area. For those disciples, a team is formed to go for an outreach. We frequently meet with that group, give encouragement, and sometimes even go together with them. In the present context, it is difficult to share gospel openly due to the political situation. So, we have made a strategy with a goal that every believer will share gospel with their relatives intentionally, and maybe due to this reason many people have been coming to church. We are discipling the people who have recently come to church from our four mission points, who will be doing the outreach work in their respective areas through teamwork in the future. Then we guide them in house fellowship because conducting house fellowship in those areas will slowly help to accomplish Vision 2020, which is our goal. But disciple-making should be done first. Caring for them should be there and finally responsibilities should be given to them gradually. It is our goal that through this process, churches will be established slowly.
Live Global: What is your goal for this year?
Pastor Ishayu: This year my goal is to make disciples.
Live Global: After making disciples this year, what is your goal for the next year?
Pastor Ishayu: Each Church has its own specific goal. Our church committee and the believers in our church have the goal to evangelize 100 people in total among all the mission points. And among the 100 people, if only 60–70 people come to church, then that would also be a big achievement. It won’t happen easily. Gospel sharing should be done, visiting must be done, and frequent meetings should also be done. Like I had spent lot of time to bring one person to Christ. He was drunk and dirty, but still I showed the love of Christ toward him. Jesus Christ should be reflected through people not through characters.