AN AMERICAN CALLED TO REACH THE YADAV.
Up to 1999 although God had called me to some kind of involvement in missions, I had no desire to visit Asia, especially India. In 1999 my professional work sent me on a 30 day business trip where I visited China, South Korea and Malaysia where I fell in love with the people and cultures of Asia. In that same year, my job forced me to move more than 2000 miles from North Carolina to Texas, where I looked for a church that needed someone with the passion for missions that I have. I learned later that the pastor at the young church I joined in Texas, had been praying for God to send someone with a passion for missions for a long time – at the same time I was praying for a church looking for someone with that passion.
Over the next year as my pastor and I worked to start missions ministry at our small young church, we both felt lead that God wanted us to adopt an unreached people group. I knew nothing about reaching unreached people groups and little about missions, so in 2001 I went on my first mission trip to north India. Then, later that year, God led me to the Yadav people in Bihar (I had never heard of them, and only during my recent trip had I learned of Bihar). At about the same time, my pastor attended a conference where he felt separately led to the Yadav people. We discovered when we discussed it afterward that God had separately led both of us to the same people group – The Yadav!
One of my life’s scripture passages is the parable of the lost sheep. As I studied, I learned that Bihar is the most unreached state in the heart of the most unreached part of the world; and the Yadav were the largest, most unreached people group in that state (along with being one of the largest in India, and among the largest, most unreached people groups in the world). I was in awe that God wanted me (an engineer with no pastoral or church planting skills or gifts), and my very small church to be a part of such a large and important mission goal. I was quickly aware of my inadequacy – which helped me further realize that if the Yadav were going to be reached it would not be by my church, or me – it would have to be because of God’s hand moving among them, and us just being a small obedient part of it.
Our church held its first missions conference, with the most obvious detail being that the only challenge is that we don’t know what we are doing – but we moved forward anyway, because he called us to do it.
As we began taking teams to and seeking God’s help and direction, God miraculously raised up a dear brother in our church who felt strongly called that he was to resign his profession, sell his home and move his family of four to north India to begin doing our part to reach the Yadav. They labored in Bihar state among the Yadav, and a good start to an indigenous church planting movement is in progress with around 100 house churches (perhaps more) multiplying across Bihar – the most unreached state in India. Later they moved to another area to start the work again in another segment of the very large Yadav people.
So what have I done to reach the Yadav? Not very much. But God has seen fit to allow me to be one of the little pieces even with no skills, just His call to be obedient. I continue to sit in awe and watch what He is doing and prayerfully seek what my next small part might be.