Pastor Jacob is a man with kind eyes and encouraging smile. He is a pastor of one church, and is an overseeing pastor for two other churches. He is also a pastor to the Gypsy peoples in his area of Tamil Nadu, India.
The Gypsies are a hard people to work with. They can be harsh, unappreciative, and even violent. But Pastor Jacob has great patience and compassion for these men, women and children. This comes from his own past of wandering, a time in his life when people may have had a hard time being compassionate toward him.
Nine years ago, Pastor Jacob was simply named Jacob. He and his wife, Ruth, had two sons and one daughter; he had a very good government job, and was a devout Hindu. But in one day, his whole world fell apart. While playing, his 12 year old daughter fell into a well and was killed.
Jacob and his wife fell into a deep depression and withdrew from the world by leaving his job to wander from place to place together, while the rest of their children were left to live in a hostel.
He was searching everywhere for meaning, comfort, and especially peace. His Hindu beliefs were not providing any guidance in his search. This wandering continued for three years, and Jacob and his wife Ruth were ready to commit suicide together.
That was until his brother, who had recently accepted Christ, reached out to him and told him about the pastor of his Church, Pastor Jairaj*, Harvest Bridge’s Indian director. For a whole year, Jacob went to the church services every week and met with Pastor James.
God worked in his heart through this time, and finally Jacob accepted Jesus Christ! Adding to this joy, his whole family also accepted Christ! He and his family found meaning, comfort, and peace in the blood and sacrifice of the Savior, Jesus.
He returned to his government job and became a real husband and father again to his two sons, and soon, another daughter. He also began pastor training and within two years of God changing his heart, he became a pastor.
Pastor Jacob now maintains his government job, as well as his pastoral work at his three churches, and his work with the Gypsies. God used the pain of his daughter’s death and those three years of wandering to give him the sympathy, love, and patience to serve God and others in his ministry.
His ministry among Gypsy villages as been blessed by God. Many have come to Christ as Pastor Jacob has reached out to them through educational programs, job training, organizing medical camps, and Bible study. This portion of his ministry is through GATE and we are blessed to have him and his wife Ruth loving those who are the most unloved of Indian society.