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Bangladesh 1997: Beyond the Edge
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Jisu tomaka bhala-boshin! Jesus loves you! I just got back from International Crusades’ 1997 Bangladesh mission, where the Lord worked mightily in bring many to salvation! The fifteen member team split into nine teams, each complete with interpreters and nationals. The teams hit a total of 111 Hindu,
tribal, and Muslim villages, recording a total of 2,556 professions of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

The trip was very long, half-way around the world from Houston. It took me 42 hours to get from Houston, Texas to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Our longest layover was seven hours. My mission point was then another 11 hours west of Dhaka, not far from the Indian border. My teammate and our interpreter stayed in the home of a Christian family, the father of whom was our guide for the week. There was no church in their area, they represented the sole Lighthouse for the kingdom of God’s Son. We were on the frontier.

Each day began with Bible reading from the Psalms and prayer. We then walked through the rice paddies to the road, where our ricksha vans (three-wheeled bicycles with a flat-bed) awaited. Our sturdy drivers pedaled us from village to village, sometimes 2 1/2 hours away. We went to two villages each morning, returning about one o’clock in the afternoon, and then would depart about four o’clock each afternoon to visit our last village of the day. We had no evening visits or services. We went to 15 villages and witnessed the Lord bring 420 people into His kingdom, your new brothers and sisters in Christ!

We happened upon one village where we heard a man singing a playing a one-stringed instrument called a gupa. He was a Hindu holy man, singing Hindu songs for the people. When we arrived, as the people gathered, he continued to sing and play. When he finished, he allowed us to look at his simple instrument, and sat on in the front as we began to share Christ. I noticed out of my right eye that someone had leaned a military-style rifle against the wall of one of the homes. We preached the Gospel, and the Hindu holy man eagerly received Christ. Thirty-four others gave their lives to Christ, and we left two Bibles to two different men, charging them in the presence of all to read to the people and teach the people of Christ. That village experienced God’s grace and power as they had never known, and several came to us asking prayer for healing in Jesus’ name.

Tired, but joyous, we walked the last mile of very rough brick road (the ricksha vans do not fair well on such) to meet our bus on Saturday morning. We held a victory rally Saturday night in Pabna, celebrating the victories experienced by the other teams, and uplifted by the rhythmic praise music of our Bengali brethren. The next morning, Sunday, I preached a message on the “Unshakable Kingdom”, from Hebrews 12:25-29. We are all, who confess Jesus as Lord, a part of His kingdom right now, in His heaven, right now. Though the Bengali Christians are out-numbered 200 to 1 in their country, the are a part of God’s kingdom, which cannot be shaken, and is ever victorious. Pray for them as they follow-up the decisions made, as they plant churches, and as they continue their evangelistic thrusts into the dark rice paddies and sugar cane fields, bringing Light and Life to many.