by Charmaine Phillips
“Do you understand what I am saying?” inquired the evangelist. “By responding to this invitation, you are saying that you want Jesus as your Savior and will serve Jesus as your only God for the rest of your lives. Is that correct?” Over a thousand hands shot up once again. Over a thousand Muslims and Hindus made their way to the front. Yes, it is Jesus they want in Bangladesh!
Bangladesh is a small country about the size of New York state with a population of approximately 180 million people. Statistics show that over 90% of the population are Muslim, over 8% Hindu and only .6% are Christians, mostly Roman Catholics.
That’s what the statistics say, but with my own eyes, I have witnessed Muslims and Hindus receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord by the thousands in Bangladesh! In October 2014, in northern Bangladesh, over 6,500 decisions for Jesus Christ were noted during a four-day open-air evangelistic festival with Gospel Outreach Ministries!
“Festivals like this, in difficult areas of the world, are very important,” explains Evangelist Per Hyldgaard of Denmark, founder and president of Gospel Outreach Ministries (GOM). “When so many come to Christ during a festival, it pushes the Kingdom of God forward by many years. Existing churches are suddenly filled, new churches are started and unsaved people of the region take notice of the number of Christians present.”
My heart has been enlarged by going with Gospel Outreach Ministries to difficult areas in the world—places like Bangladesh. At the GOM website, www.gospeloutreachministries.org, videos document the tremendous responses to the Gospel and dramatic healing testimonies.
To encourage church planting and strong local churches that can disciple the new converts following a festival, GOM hosts leadership seminars. In October 2014, over 400 church leaders from all over northern Bangladesh gathered for such a leadership seminar. Most were under 30 years of age and inexperienced in many ways.
One national leader, with over forty years’ ministry experience in Bangladesh, championed the cause of training many young Christian leaders. “With 70,000 villages in Bangladesh, we need Christian workers!” he exclaimed. More than a half-dozen denominations, plus non-denominational indigenous churches were represented in this leadership seminar. During the final meeting, each leader was prayed for individually by the laying on of hands and many were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Over the past ten years, GOM has seen an average of more than one church per month planted as a direct result of GOM going into Muslim nations and difficult areas of the world to hold evangelistic festivals and leadership seminars.
One church, planted after a Gospel Festival in Bangladesh in 2010, now ministers to around 1,000 people! I’ve had the privilege of traveling down a narrow dirt road in Bangladesh to visit that church and teach children!
I’ve seen it with my own eyes—Muslims and Hindus are coming to Jesus Christ in Bangladesh!
Charmaine Phillips is the US Director of Gospel Outreach Ministries. To connect with Charmaine, visit greatgrace.org.