My wife, Jyothi, and I recently returned from an exciting ministry trip to India. Our goals for this trip were to connect with and mentor our Hope Center leaders and to evaluate the progress of construction and installation at the TV broadcast facility. Just as we were preparing to leave Atlanta, God miraculously supplied the required funding for a video switcher to be installed for broadcasting the Gospel.
In an effort to maximize broadcast resources, we have partnered with a local church in the city. The church has offered us studio space and volunteers to keep this project moving. We are also working to hire qualified staff members to initiate filming and production. While we were working with the broadcast facility technician and evaluating progress, God opened an incredible door that we never expected. We were given an opportunity to present the Gospel to a group of KOYA people that represents nearly one million unreached people.
The KOYA people are a largely unreached people group in the mountains of Andhra Pradesh. The people we visited had no running water, toilets, electricity, or phones. Their livestock wandered about the village. There was one central stove; many children and adults were cold, without enough blankets and clothes.
We walked about 15 miles to reach the village of Gurralagoomi. There were no roads after a certain point, so we had to clear the path by removing tree branches, stu
mps and stones. We were told that there were wild bears and wild pigs in that area, so one of our guides always kept a weapon in his hand. Jyothi and I almost turned back until we realized as the leaders of the group, the whole expedition would have collapsed had we done so. We brought with us 150 mosquito nets and the good news of Jesus.
The journey was scary and difficult, but the joy of meeting basic needs and sharing the Gospel far outweighed the trouble. Having arrived in the village, we were greeted by a large number of people. Living in what is considered extreme poverty, the people were warm, kind, and hospitable. We ended up spending the night with the tribe. Their homes were made of wood, thatch, and mud, built without windows. Women wear simple saris wrapped around their bodies, while men typically wear loincloths and turbans.
“Many Koya deities are female, the most important being the "mother earth." The Koya do not believe in heaven, hell, or reincarnation. When someone dies, his or her spirit lingers about the ancestor pot, patrols the sky over the village, or wanders about the village interfering with daily life, sometimes benevolently.”
- Pray that the Holy Spirit softens the hearts of these people to receive the Gospel.
- The Koya asked for blankets and sweaters as temperatures reach 10 degrees or lower on the mountaintop at night.
- Pray for Pastor David Raju, who is burdened to reach these people. He travels to the village twice a month, walking 30 miles both ways.
- Safe water. Their water source is a still pond; a number of children are suffering from malaria and other waterborne diseases without fresh drinking water.
- The entire Bible needs to be translated into the KOYA language.
- Broadcast: Streaming server, monitors, and 2 computers for editing.
Did you know that there are over 4,000 unreached people groups in the world and over half of them are in India? In our latest trip, God brought us face to face with one of these groups, the KOYA. We are thankful He allowed us to reach out to these people whom He loves. This is the God we serve, full of loving kindness, looking here and there for His lost sheep.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"(Romans 10:14-15 NIV).
I invite you to consider partnering with us and support the mission of Nations for Jesus. We have an opportunity to share God’s unconditional love and unending hope throughout India through the television broadcast, Hope Centers and outreach to the unreached tribes.
Yours for the Unreached,
Ratna Kumar Sajja, D.Min.