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FIRST-PERSON: Reaching Bangladesh

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since 1994, Susan Galvin* and her husband Burt* have served among tribal peoples in Bangladesh. Here Galvin thanks Southern Baptists whose gifts help make their ministry effective.

DHAKA, Bangladesh (BP)–Your gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions work to change lives around the world, including lives among the indigenous peoples of Bangladesh.

Our goal is to help facilitate indigenous church growth and to see those Bangladeshi churches become self-supporting. However, the fact remains that reaching the lost and teaching the believers requires funds. One hundred percent of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is used in various aspects of overseas ministries, as are funds given to the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. Thank you for your sacrificial giving. Your gifts given through the Cooperative Program, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, World Hunger Fund and special gifts help reach tribals in Bangladesh.

Here are a few examples of how your gifts have touched lives in Bangladesh:

— $1 provided a meal for one person attending a leadership meeting. Most participants at these meetings are rural farmers, whether they farm their own land or are hired laborers. If they don’t work, then many don’t have money to eat. They walk great distances to attend, and meals are cooked on site. Participants receive solid spiritual training as well as encouragement by being with like-hearted believers.

— $5 bought basic kitchen supplies for a family who has lost everything in a flood. Flooding has ravaged the country this year, and we are currently helping affected families.

— $10 covered the costs of a team taking the “JESUS” film to remote villages for viewing. Last year, your gifts bought a portable projector and generator specifically for showing the JESUS film. Many people are hearing about Jesus and seeing His life portrayed in a movie in their own language for the first time.

— $25 helped cover the monthly travel expenses of trainers as they travel to towns to give Bible and leadership training to small groups of new church leaders.

— $30 sent one village pastor to a weeklong intense Bible training opportunity. In these sessions, pastors receive formal Bible teaching from seminary-educated and field-experienced instructors. These funds provide room and board for the meetings as well as travel expenses.

— $50 covered one month’s tuition for one of the tribal team’s MKs (missionary kids) to attend a local school. Our MKs often provide a beacon of hope to their Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist classmates lost in darkness.

— $100 provided a month of language classes for a new missionary. We long to reach the hearts of those around us, and we believe the best way to speak to their hearts is in their own language -– not ours.

— $500 provided one deep tube well for an area in need of good drinking water. Ten to 25 families benefit from a deep tube well. Even though Bangladesh is a land of delta and waterways, fresh drinking water is difficult to find, which often leads to waterborne diseases such as typhoid and amebic dysentery.
*Name changed for security reasons.

— Most of Bangladesh is still recovering from loss resulting from the devastating flood that is still affecting some areas today. Flood relief work continues to progress. Cyclone Sidr now has added to disaster relief needs in the country. Please pray that relief ministry will open new doors and avenues to share the love of Christ.

— Believing Chakma tribals in one area need a growing, vibrant church. Please pray God will plant such a church and provide leadership for it. Pray for believers among the Chakmas to have unity of heart and purpose in a vision to reach their own people with the Gospel.

— Rejoice in the recent baptism of six new believers and a new church start in Dhaka. Please pray for the bivocational pastor of this new house church to be empowered to continue leading people to Christ, to disciple them and to grow his house church.

— Bangladesh is home to 149 million people, more than 85 percent of whom follow Islam. Most Muslims believe that Isa (Jesus) was a prophet of God, but they do not worship Him as the Son of God. Please pray that Bangladesh’s Muslims would have opportunity to hear and accept the Good News.

— Earlier this month, Christians held a seekers’ rally for Meithei tribals. Please pray for chains to be loosened and many to come to Christ. As Christians invite Meitheis to make decisions to follow Christ, pray that the Meitheis will boldly accept God’s love.

— Hinduism is the main religion of the Tripura people of Bangladesh. They worship many different gods. Their worship is also mixed with animism, the fearful worship of evil spirits. Pray that the Holy Spirit will protect new Tripura believers from old habits and family pressures to return to Hinduism.

— The Garo people wrote the hymn, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” Please pray that Garo Christians will continue to give mightily to the Kingdom of God in Bangladesh, that they will be strong in their faith and share the truth of the Gospel boldly.

    About the Author

  • Susan Galvin*