Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Rev. Dr. Pratap John Navitt

I had the privilege of meeting today with the Reverend Dr. Pratap John Navitt, director of the School of Theology at Allahabad University in Allahabad, India. Two of the things he shared really grabbed my heart.

First, the President of his University, who is an evangelical Christian, holds evangelistic outreaches every Sunday afternoon. These outreaches attract as many as 95,000 people per week, the vast majority of which are Hindus. Many of these people experience something of the power and grace of Jesus Christ, but do not leave their Hindu or Muslim ways because there is no one to disciple them in the ways of Christ. This is why they started the School of Theology five years ago. But even with the addition of the School, Dr. Navitt shared that he and his colleagues are simply overwhelmed with the need. These people, he said, are like sheep without a shepherd, and there is therefore an urgent need for laborers—many laborers—to labor in these fields.

Second, Dr. Navitt’s University is owned and operated by the state, and therefore his salary is set and paid out by the state. Because India is predominantly Hindu, and because the government frowns upon Christian evangelism, those engaged in evangelical activity are often forced to go many months without their salary. The government, he said, always finds some reason why they will not pay out that particular month—“you did not complete such and such a form” or “you did not fulfill such and such a goal,” all of which are contrived and without merit. When asked how he puts food on the table and meets his monthly obligations in such times, he simply said, “By the power of God.” His sincere faith really moved me.

Oh brothers and sisters, will you join me in praying for Dr. Navitt and the School of Theology at Allahabad University, and the tens of thousands of people that are hungry for Jesus, and are even responding to him, but have no shepherds?

You may learn more about the school here.

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