FRUIT OF PERSEVARANCE
by Dr. David Robbins, AIM President/Founder
I have been challenged by a man with a huge heart to ‘refuse to give up’. This man has
devoted his life to bringing the Gospel to the unreached in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a
place where at times the thought of giving up is appealing. Located in the most northern
part of India, it is an ongoing war zone, as I have seen during my three visits there;
it is the longest continuous war in the world.
It is to this war-torn state of Jammu and Kashmir that
Santosh Thomas was taken as a boy of six months by
his parents, P.M. and Christy Thomas, where they
took over a mission station operated by WEC mission.
He grew up learning six languages: Hindi, English,
Urdu, Kashmiri, and two tribal tongues.
Today Santosh is in his late forties and is gaining momentum
as a seasoned indigenous mission leader. He
serves as Director of Kashmir Evangelical Fellowship
(KEF) with his wife, Shimona, and two children, Andrew
18 and Christine 13.
Santosh has become a leader of many independent missionaries scattered throughout
the state. He is also a chaplain in the Indian army with incredible opening for service
throughout the forces, especially during the Christmas and Easter seasons. He is in
perpetual motion conducting meetings and mobilizing the missionary force to maximize
these wonderful windows of ministry.
The mission work does not proceed without opposition. Santosh informs us that recently
there have been 3 occasions when the mission work was threatened by radical
fundamentalist groups in the region. Issues such as legal technicalities can also be considerable
stumbling blocks for moving forward.
Despite opposition and challenges, Santosh reports that they have seen an extraordinary
response this past year: 850 new believers and over 1,300 baptisms. New
churches have been established in 45 locations with 85 missionary/pastors joining
their team. Four leadership training seminars, hosting a total of 1,250 delegates, have
KEF is just one example of a Mission with which AIM works. It is inspiring to learn
about how the Lord is building His church in the midst of the horror of war and conflict.
The Lord has prepared leadership like Santosh and the missionaries with KEF to
demonstrate the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints - for truly, in due time the
harvest will be gathered in the ripened fields.
posted Fall 2008