Isaac Emmanuel, who is no stranger to missionary work, having been involved in the Great Commission across the length and breadth of India, reviews a book about the pioneering missionary movement in Bihar, a large state in Northern India with a reputation of being a backward region. This book is a must read
The first time I heard about the book, Bhojpuri Breakthrough, was in faraway Africa, in Lagos, while attending the 10-day Missionary Conference of CAPRO MISSION. The Capro Mission is a 45-year-old organisation started by Nigerian visionaries and has spread worldwide with nearly 800 enrolled. It was in August 2019. One day, James Forlines, of Final Command Ministries, was speaking and quite took me by total surprise. I had to learn about what God had been doing in my own land for more than 25 years, in Africa. But God does not stop amazing me and I was extremely glad to learn that my prayers for that state where the ‘Breakthrough’ took place were being answered: Bihar.
Simply put, this book is a narrative of Modern Day Acts. It was how the Holy Spirit was enacting through obedient men and women the multiplication of how one disciple makes another, who then makes others, and so on. Bhojpuri Breakthrough describes the move of God among the 90 million Bhojpuri people of North India. Over the last 25 years ordinary disciples have baptised millions and planted tens of thousands of churches. Every page yields vital lessons on building and sustaining a multiplying movement of disciples and churches.
Let’s hear from Charles Kridiotis, author of Simply Kingdom, Simple Church who was mightily impacted by the work. “In March 1995, I received a message from my friend Victor John to speak at the 2nd Bhojpuri Leaders Conference in Varanasi. I asked what was going on. Victor told me there were about 200 “family churches”. When I got there 6 months later it had grown to around 400 “family churches”. The rest is history and the multiplication was “uncontrollable.”
Lessons to be learned
The Holy Spirit-generated synergy has led to an organic, multi-generational, multi-social strata multiplying disciple making and church-planting movements among the Bhojpuri people and other people groups in Northern India as well as other nations.
There are lessons to be learned. The synergy of obedient people and organisations, prayer and gospel planting, disciple-making and training of leaders, creative innovations to reach communities coupled with a whole Bible perspective combining healings and miracles with natural “acts of kindness” is fundamental to this ongoing story.”
There are many other such similar testimonies.
The Foreword written by Stan Parks of Global Strategies for Beyond goes like this: “This movement has some amazing numbers. Hindu fundamentalists with extensive political grass-roots census efforts claim there are now 12 million (1.2 crore) Christians among the Bhojpuri language group of North India when 25 years ago such Christians were almost non-existent. Bhojpuri leaders long ago gave up on trying to count, since the movement has exploded beyond human control and monitoring. Outside audits by missionary researchers, over the last 10 years, point clearly to tens of thousands of churches and millions of baptised believers.”
Everyone can do it
“But the main thing is not reports of amazing numbers. The main thing is that all the believers think everyone can and should share the good news, heal the sick, cast out demons, and care for widows and orphans. They are imperfect and human just like all of us, but they have a tremendous advantage. They have been spiritually born and raised in a movement that leads them to think that when you read the Bible you have to believe it and obey. They think disciples should multiply disciples and churches should multiply churches and leaders should multiply leaders.”
The chapters lay the background and a step-by-step unravelling of the breakthrough. So, in order to have a complete understanding of the work, the book approaches Breakthrough in Caste, Breakthrough via Community Learning Centers, Breakthrough in Transforming Communities, Breakthrough with Persecution, Breakthrough among Railway Children, Breakthrough in Urban Areas, Breakthrough Beyond the Bhojpuri, Breakthrough among Muslims and Breakthrough in Leadership Development.
For the learner and applicator, chapters dedicated to Principles that Guide the Movement and Frequently Asked Questions About The Movement are extremely precious.
If you want to learn the details of how the Acts of the Apostles was actually replayed in your generation, this is the book you need to read. If you want to have a greater understanding of the grace and glory which accompanies the gospel to confirm it, this is the must read. I believe the Lord has a message here for revival. Let’s capture it and live it.