Celebrating Jesus — For the FIRST Time
The church is tiny by anyone’s standards. Constructed of woven bamboo and with a few chairs inside, it is still a bustling house of worship in one of the more remote villages in Tripura, India, where Christians are few and far between. Yet this past Christmas the Evangelical Free Church of India in Brikharampara played host to more than the president of Bibles For The World, John Pudaite, and his family. The church also hosted 42 brand new Christians who were to celebrate the birth of Jesus for the very first time.
In fact, the church’s congregation made certain there would be enough room by expanding the walls of the building in time for the special celebration.
Their resident missionary is a woman — undyingly passionate about Christ and the spread of the Gospel — and she led the charge to literally push out and rebuild the walls of their structure to be able to host all 42 new Christians on Christmas day and beyond. Could there be a better problem to have — needing to expand because so many people have come to know the Lord?
To see so many new believers joyfully engaged in their first celebration of their newfound Savior’s birth was a humbling honor for the Pudaites.
“What a joy to spend the Christmas season with those who were experiencing the true meaning of Christmas for the very first time!” remarked John. “I can’t begin to express the joy that we felt as we met with these babes in Christ, and shared words of encouragement with them. What a beautiful reminder of what Christmas is really all about, and what a special gift from God we can all be thankful for.
“Bibles For The World has a long history of planting churches in remote locations in northeast India where people have had so little exposure to the Gospel. To see such growth in a single year is just one example of how God is at work.”
In the United States, churches often grow by transfer. People may move to a new town or switch places of worship, adding to the numbers of existing congregations. In India, this little church grew rapidly for the best reason of all – new believers.