Ministry Supplying Tangible Needs in India Adapts To Share Gospel Despite National Lockdown
Suspended In-Person Meetings Fail To Stop The Tide Ministry from Spreading Gospel Hope through Mailings, Broadcasts
July 20, 2020
Chambersburg, Pa.—The Gospel continued its advance through India during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown, which prevented people of Hindu backgrounds from meeting in person to learn more about Christianity, as The Tide® (www.thetide.org) ministry faithfully broadcast its radio program and answered requests for mailed literature.
For 37 years The Tide ministry has spread the gospel in India through its radio program, “The Good News Hour.” Before the pandemic-induced lockdown, The Tide ministry also shared the message of Jesus Christ at in-person meetings, such as the Seeker’s Meetings held in the Indian state of Odisha.
“Seeker’s Meetings provide the opportunity for people to dialogue about what they are hearing through The Tide radio programs,” said Don Shenk, director of The Tide ministry. “Teams of trained village workers and pastors present Bible lessons about the nature of God and various aspects of the Christian faith and include a session for questions and answers in each period. These mini-conferences play a vital role in helping transition curious listeners into committed believers.
The typical attendees of these meetings come from Hindu backgrounds and have little knowledge of the Christian faith. At the meeting, they learn about Jesus and what it means to live a life for him. Within five meetings from January to March, fifty-two people attended, and seven people accepted Christ as their Savior.
In addition to Seeker’s Meetings, The Tide ministry also provides adult literacy training, village cleanings, and health awareness programs. By meeting these needs, The Tide ministry workers form relationships and tangibly show the love of Christ to the people in Odisha.
Then COVID-19 struck.
On March 24, to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, India locked down until the end of May, with some places still locked down at the end of June. Citizens were unable to leave their homes except to meet essential needs, which halted The Tide ministry’s meetings or trainings. But even though they could no longer meet in person, The Tide ministry continued to share the message of hope in Jesus Christ.
“Restrictions due to the COVID crisis seriously hampered our face-to-face discipleship activities in India, but we praise God that the production and airing of our Gospel radio programs in eight languages continues uninterrupted, and our boots on the ground at our south Asia headquarters in Odisha were able to provide listener care through phone calls, written correspondence, and literature mailing,” Shenk said. “We pray our full scope of community outreach activities can resume as there are still many who need that personal touch to lead them into relationship with Jesus.”
For nearly 75 years, The Tide ministry has recorded and broadcasted Gospel programming in nine countries on three continents in 27 heart languages spoken by millions of people in multiple regions of Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand and Zimbabwe. With more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide and more than 2,000 people groups that have been unreached by the Good News of Jesus, the opportunities are tremendous.
For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, special yearlong campaigns, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its website at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Director Don Shenk here.
To schedule interviews with Don Shenk, director of The Tide global radio ministry, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.