I saw it happen. The grimace from her face disappeared; the joy of Jesus overtook it.The young woman suddenly realized, “Jesus loves me!” Anaya had known the despair of a drug addict father and the abandonment of a teacher who rarely visited her village. She had suffered under a spiritual system that said, “Your life is worthless and valueless” and “You must chant to the powers to have any hope of surviving this life!”
When I met Anaya she had spent most of her life barely surviving—living in a remote village in Bihar, India. But Jesus changed all of that.
In the state of Bihar, India, Anaya’s story of despair is common. And her story of redemption is uncommon—because people lack access to the gospel. Due to Christian charity, Anaya was given an opportunity to hear about Jesus and a chance at learning new skills—to improve her economic situation. She had an opportunity that few do.
Being Christian means caring for the impoverished. If it had not been for this belief, Anaya would have been another statistic.
Bihar, India is one of the most impoverished places in the world. Bihar also has over 101 Million people who have never heard the name of Jesus. This is an unreached region. Think about that number for a moment: That’s the equivalent of about 1/3 of the American population lacking access to the gospel. Imagine if 1/3 of our country had never heard the name of Jesus. That’s how many people currently lack the opportunity to know Jesus in Bihar.
Imagine this: What if we could meet the needs of the extremely poor, bring them the gospel, and create jobs for them—all at the same time? That would change everything. It would be a new economy: it would be Jesus’ economy.
That’s what we’re envisioning at Jesus’ Economy, the non-profit I lead. We’re imagining the renewal of Bihar, India. Jesus’ Economy is sponsoring and training indigenous church planters—to bring the gospel to unreached villages. We’re meeting basic needs of the impoverished through drilling water wells and establishing a medical clinic. We’re creating jobs for women living on the underside of power—training them to develop products for a western market. We’re then going to sell those fair trade products online, to ensure that the economic situation of these impoverished women changes.
In Bihar, we’re renewing hearts, homes, and hope—all at the same time. And we are looking for people like you to partner with us in this effort.
I want to see the positive side of Anaya’s story repeated time and time again. And I want you to join me. So I’m personally inviting you to get in touch with me: email@example.com. You can also learn more at JesusEconomy.org.
Let’s envision a world where the gospel reaches the ends of the earth. And then let’s make it happen, in the name of Jesus. If not us, who? If not now, when?
This guest article is by John D. Barry. John is the CEO and Founder of Jesus’ Economy, an organization he and his wife started with just the money in their bank account and the time they could volunteer. John is also the General Editor of Faithlife Study Bible and Lexham Bible Dictionary, and the author or coauthor of 12 books.
When John is asked why he started Jesus’ Economy, his first reason was that God asked him to. His second reason is that he believes that people should be able to have every last dollar they donate to the developing world go straight there—and so he is making that happen. He is also facilitating this for churches: a church can directly sponsor an indigenous church planter through Jesus’ Economy and Jesus’ Economy sends every last dollar to the planter’s efforts. Jesus’ Economy then handles all the reporting and facilitating for the sponsoring church; i.e., Jesus’ Economy raises their own U.S. costs separately. So seriously, get in touch with John: firstname.lastname@example.org.