Recently, ACTION PLD missionaries Bruce Ingram, Bill Sturdivant and Tom Crouse went to India to minister to 30 pastors from the heavily persecuted area of the state of Orissa. Working with ACTION missionary Joshua Pradhan, they saw the Lord do amazing things for His glory.
These Orissa pastors have experienced things that are simply hard for the average person to comprehend. As they gave their testimonies, it was shocking to hear stories of brutality, such as the one pastor whose brother was sliced open and killed.
During the meetings, the Lord moved in the hearts of the men to forgive these barbaric persecutors of their loved ones. As they heard the Word of God’s instruction that death is precious and truly is gain for His children. The pastors then realized that these radical Hindus had no idea they were actually sending people home to their Father, and it became clear that they were free to forgive. It was at that moment in the meetings that they began to weep and praise God for the gift of forgiveness for those they had wanted to take revenge. The men were then encouraged to pray for the salvation of the persecutors, which brought the worship to an even higher level.
This was only the beginning of the miracle God was bringing to these pastors from Orissa. The following afternoon the Lord laid it on Pastor Tom Crouse to wash the feet of these brothers. After consulting with Pastor Bruce and Pastor Bill, they decided to do just that.
That evening, Pastor Tom told the pastors that he was impressed by their love and concern for their people and told them that the Lord had impressed upon him and the other ACTION missionaries to wash these thirty pastors’ feet to honor them and show them that Christ loved them. The brothers immediately began to weep and one by one they were prayed for and their feet washed. It was an incredibly powerful evening.
Later in the week the pastors would give testimony to what the Lord did through the foot washing service, as well as the other sessions, and it was clear that there were some common themes. God had freed the pastors to forgive their persecutors, given them a heart to see them saved, and even had some that committed to go back to their villages even if it meant martyrdom.
To God be the glory for the great things He is doing among His people, particularly the pastors from Orissa!