How well do you know Harvest Bridge?
Instead of a traditional newsletter this month, I thought it would be fun to highlight some interesting facts about what we do and where we work.
Please give each of these questions your best guess, and the answer will follow each photo. You might be surprised at what you learn!
Tim Mech, President
1. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, how is the prevalence of Christianity changing in places we work?
A. Christians are a tiny (< 3%) and falling percentage of the population.
B. Christians are a tiny (< 3%) and growing percentage of the population.
C. Christians are a moderate (~ 14%) and falling percentage of the population.
D. Christians are a moderate (~ 14%) and growing percentage of the population.
Answer 1: The correct answer is A.
According to the Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, Christians constitute only 2.4% of the population in the places we work. This is expected to fall to only 2.1% by 2050.
These percentages include those who identify themselves as Christians, whether or not they have orthodox views or practice the faith. The figures disregard people who might hold some Christian beliefs but do not identify themselves as Christian.
2. In which two places did Harvest Bridge support the most missionaries last year?
Andaman Islands | Bangladesh | Bhutan | India (other than Andaman Islands) |
Myanmar (Burma) | Nepal | Pakistan | Sri Lanka | Tibet
Answer 2: The correct answers are Bangladesh and Myanmar.
We supported 50 and 52 missionaries in these countries, respectively.
People often have the misconception that we are confined to India, where we started, but we now operate in all the countries listed in this question.
3. About how many South Asian missionaries does Harvest Bridge support for each of our U.S. employees? Choose one of the following:
Answer 3: We supported 268 Asian missionaries in 2016, yet have only three U.S. employees, so we have about 89 Asian partners for each U.S. employee.
This reflects our strategy, which is to equip existing local ministries rather than sending Americans to start new ones.
Local people already understand the language and culture so they can serve effectively at a much lower cost.
4. Which four countries have the highest Muslim populations in the world? (Hint: HB serves in three of these.)
Afghanistan | Bangladesh | Egypt | India | Indonesia | Iran |
Iraq | Nigeria | Pakistan | Turkey | Saudi Arabia | Sudan
Answer 4: The countries with the highest Muslim populations are Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
We serve in all of these countries except Indonesia. In addition, we serve in three countries that are predominantly Buddhist, and two countries that are predominantly Hindu.
5. On average, how many people were baptized last year for each missionary we support? Choose one of the following:
Answer 5: Our 268 Asian partners baptized 3,800 people last year, or about 14 people per missionary.
A much larger number of people confessed faith in Christ through their ministries.
Baptism is a very serious step in these countries, which often brings persecution, such as the loss of employment, the loss of access to sources of drinking water, physical abuse, and sometimes imprisonment.
6. According to the Chief Minister of Gujarat, an Indian state with a population of over 60 million, what is the “single-most important principle towards saving the whole world from both moral and spiritual degradation”?
A. The protection of cows.
B. Ending human trafficking.
C. Stopping nuclear proliferation.
D. Providing universal access to education.
E. Embracing multiculturalism and diversity.
Answer 6: The Chief Minister of Gujarat recently described the protection of the cow as the “single-most important principle towards saving the whole world from both moral and spiritual degradation.”
The penalty for killing a cow in Gujarat is life imprisonment. And throughout India, vigilante killings of Muslims and Christians who are accused of eating beef is becoming common.
Sometimes we hear that all religions teach basically the same thing. This example highlights that there are significant differences.
7. What difference can just one person make in extending the Kingdom of God?
Answer 7: This is a trick question, because Christians are never “just” one person!
You and I are joined to Christ, who is still multiplying loaves and fishes today. In addition, we are members of the worldwide Body of Christ! This is why Harvest Bridge exists, to allow you and me to join forces with Asian Christians to accomplish great things together for God’s glory!
Your gift of only $30 feeds, clothes, and educates a child for a month. Just $50 or $75 makes it possible for a missionary to serve for a month. Between $250 and $750 will provide holistic care to an abandoned woman and her children, giving them decent housing, job training, schooling, and a new start.
This impact is possible by God’s grace because we are not alone, but work in fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe.
At Harvest Bridge, we feel privileged to be part of what God is doing in South Asia through your loving gifts. Thank you for joining us in this holy adventure! Please give what you can!
Blessings in Christ,
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7