|Who Was on this Trip?|
The team was made up of:
- Keith Huffman (IYM)
- Robin Huffman (IYM)
- Roy Jones (IYM)
- Eric Dale (IYM)
- A. M. (EFM National Leader in India)
- D.K. and Choity Sarkar (EFM National Leaders in India)
|Where Did We Travel and What is the Need in the Area?|
Despite centuries of missionary endeavors, the need for the gospel in India remains astounding. According to the Joshua Project, over 90% of India’s people (approximately 1.3 billion people) belong to an unreached people group. This represents over 1/3 of the world’s approximately 3.3 billion unreached people. In addition, there remain roughly 1,900 people groups in India identified as frontier people groups, with virtually no followers of Jesus, and still requiring pioneering cross-cultural workers.
Our team focused on northern India, which has relatively fewer Christians than southern India. Our team gathered together in Delhi, India, in an old area of the city known as Mehrauli. We had originally planned to travel from Delhi to Uttarakhand, but heightened persecution and monitoring led us to change our plans. In the end, we spent several days in Delhi filled with a rich variety of meetings. Our connections included over a dozen ex-pat workers from various areas of northern India, Indian pastors of Friends churches from Uttarakhand and Delhi, a legal team from the central office of India’s Alliance Defending Freedom, and Indian workers for an organization doing discipleship and small business training amongst a variety of groups across India. After a short time in Agra, we concluded our trip by traveling to Trivandrum and joining the conference of Evangelical Friends Church – India, where we were able to connect with Friends leaders and pastors from across India.
|Key Trip Moments|
We were amazed by the breadth and the sheer number of connections that God helped make for our team. It was clear to our team that God helped orchestrate not only which connections we made, but even the order of those meetings. That process began even before departure, at the Urbana Missions conference, through connecting to a western worker operating a language school in Delhi. This language school proved to be a missionary hub, enabling us to connect to an amazing number of people in a short period of time. Our meeting with ADF also had the mark of a divine connection – bringing A. unknowingly into the office of the organization which had provided him with extensive assistance during previous periods of persecution and initiating a new collaborative relationship with the Sarkars.
We also had the joy of worshipping together with a new Friends church in Delhi. Perhaps most significantly, we spent hours upon hours with leaders of the persecuted church. These individuals had experienced being disowned by their families, shunned from their villages, arrested, and even beaten. Daily they choose to work under the threat of various forms of persecution for the name of Jesus. Yet, rather than discouragement, we witnessed confidence that God was at work, excitement at the growth of the church, reports of miracles, and a sense that the church was coming together in a new way in response to the increased challenges. Many times we were asked to pray, but never once were we asked to pray persecution would end. Rather, we were asked to pray for continued strength and faithfulness. Let us join together in this type of prayer for India, and workers across the world facing similar challenges. May we be emboldened and encouraged by their stories!
Luke 10 Exploration Trips continue into 2023 as teams explore potential sites with second discernment trips where Friends see EFM’s CAN GO Criteria developing. Our next benchmarks include hopes that the EFM board will approve a commitment in November 2023 to launching at least five new fields.
How Can You Join?
Are you interested in exploring missionary service? Do you know of anyone of any age who might be interested in exploring the idea of serving as a missionary overseas for two or more years?
EFM is currently looking to contact and connect with people about opportunities to explore serving as missionaries with the Friends Church!
We look forward to sharing more news as it becomes available about what we are finding and discerning in EFM’s Luke 10 Initiative as we continue to explore where EFM may launch new mission fields.