Garston’s overriding purpose to seek and save the lost.
In our church’s main website, in 2003 we mentioned that we supported bible teaching in India, and quickly had requests from churches across India for visits of bible teachers and help with their ministries. The Lord led us to respond to requests from pastors in Andhra Pradesh, and every 6 months we visited one or two Pastors, and out of those visits have built a long term relationships. Each one is autonomous church/ministry of a Pentecostal nature, and with a strong desire to reach the lost.
We had the privilege, of preaching the gospel to groups of from a dozen or so in a Tribal family, up to 3000 plus for three nights in crusade type meetings. From the beginning the response to the gospel has been amazing, both with regard to salvation and healing.
But by far the greatest ministry is by the churches themselves. Usually it is the Pastor who takes the lead (The leader of each church is called the Pastor, although that may not be his ministry gifting). The approach used varies according to the locality and the leading of the Spirit. Some examples follow, not initiated by Garston, but to show the heart of the people for evangelism:
A young husband and wife travel by bus to the next village. They find a place to stay, and share the gospel with every person they can meet, leading them to Christ if possible. When they have spoken to as many as possible, they catch the bus to the next village. They did this for some years, we calculated speaking individually to 40,000 people in that period. They now lead a church of about 600 people with several branch churches.
Another Pastor, starting as an evangelist with no church, has a heart for Tribals who live in groups of families on waste land, often near the village rubbish damp. He takes a box of oranges on his motorbike, goes to the centre of the site and calls the children to him, shares the oranges and tells about Jesus. He does this at the same time on the same day each week, and then has a regular crowds of adults as well as children and invites them to give their lives to the one, true God, Jesus. Many have been saved and so far 18 churches have been found like this.
From a larger, established church, the Pastor takes 4, 5 or 16 year old Christian boys to live in the church, to serve the church and to learn to be evangelists. Five evenings each seek they go in an Auto with portable PA to local village, and hold meeting with worship, preaching and talking with the people. Those who are saved are invited to the main church for the Sunday meetings.
Most often, a church will focus on a local village without any Christian witness, with the object of establishing a church in that village. An individual or a small team will go regularly on the same day each week and preach in central space about the one true God, who loves them and who heals the sick. Invariably, after a few visits a sick person will dare to come forward for prayer, and be healed. Then others will come, and once a few are saved a meeting will start in a house. In every case, those who give their lives to Christ are baptised as soon as possible after their conversion, added to the church and share communion, setting aside their Hindu gods.
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe TODAY. And signs and wonder do follow those who believe TODAY.