For six days in February, David Robbins felt he was transported to another world by Monoj Mohanty, AIMís India Director, and Madan Singh Radan, a local indigenous mission leader. He walked alongside them and learned from these vibrant leaders as they spent time with an intriguing people group, the Tharu.

Historically, the Tharu supported themselves through nomadic living, but are now settled near the border between India and Nepal. Mixed farming has become their way of life. After centuries of being considered a subordinate ethic group in the regionís caste system, and having a Hindu identity forced upon them, many Tharu are now experiencing freedom and dignity with their status in the family of God.

Monoj and Madan agree that this small, remote ethnic group in the foothills of the Himalayas is experiencing a seismic shift. Roughly 10% of the 1 million Tharu have emerged as formerlyunderground Christians, and many more are now turning to Jesus. Indigenous Christian leaders expect the percentage to grow to 20% or 30% over the next ten to twenty years as the Body of Christ continues to expand among them.

The Lord has been creating opportunities for individuals and church groups in Canada to come alongside Tharu believers. Last November and December, donations designated toward the construction of two churches were passed on to the Tharu, and AIM now hopes to raise enough for three more church buildings before the end of the year. In addition, AIM and a group of Canadian Pastors are joining Monoj and Madan this coming fall to conduct Family Life and Mission training seminars.

The future for the Tharu appears increasingly bright. The Lord of the harvest is undeniably moving among the Tharu. God is blessing them as a people group, and many are coming to Jesus. Praise the Lord!

posted Summer 2008
Advancing Indigenous Missions 2013