Our Asia Director Needs Your Help
The day after Easter, we received news that Pastor James, our Asia Director and co-founder of Harvest Bridge, was hospitalized with high blood sugar and a lung infection. As I write this, he remains in the hospital. He has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, causing paralysis. Most patients make a full recovery with proper treatment and therapy, but it can take up to an entire year.
Pastor James was raised in a poor Hindu family near the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. As a teenager, he became an atheist and joined the Communist Party to advocate on behalf of the poorest of the poor.
An encounter with the Gospel introduced Him to the One who could truly and holistically meet every need of the poor. He became a prolific evangelist and moved to the largest city in his state, where he suffered beatings, threats and ridicule for sharing the Gospel in an area that had no Christians.
Today, four decades later, dozens upon dozens of churches dot the landscape in that part of the city.
Pastor James and his family were our first Asian partners, and none have been more instrumental in HB’s growth.
Pastor James has repeatedly proven himself willing to go anywhere and suffer anything for the cause of Christ. He has traveled extensively throughout South Asia to teach and encourage the church, investigate potential partnerships, and help our missionaries accomplish their ministry goals as effectively as possible.
Only Jesus could’ve brought us together.
Growing up in rural Western Pennsylvania, I never imagined I would one day have an “Indian father” from a village on the other side of the world. Given our vastly different backgrounds, working together has not been absent its frustrations – but we’ve learned to bridge one another’s cultures and partner effectively.
Our relationship is a microcosm of the Body of Christ itself – a global family not divided by national boundaries, cultural differences, or even death (Heb. 12:1). A family united through faith in Jesus, love for the world He gave His life for, and an earnest desire that all would have the opportunity to know and follow Him.
Harvest Bridge exists to be a bridge between the Body of Christ in South Asia and the West. We, including our prayer partners and supporters, are privileged to play a part not only in forging spiritual unity in Christ’s body, but in bringing about tangible unity by learning from the South Asian church and equipping it to advance the Gospel.
As the patriarch of his family, Pastor James’s illness has his wife and four children deeply distressed.
When the day comes for him to pass from this life to the next, Harvest Bridge’s work will continue – but his absence will be painfully felt.
Please pray for Pastor James, his family, and all who have been positively impacted by his life.
We would be most grateful for any help in covering his hospital expenses, which are above $600 per day. His doctor estimates that the total cost of his care, which includes at least four weeks in the hospital and five plasma injections, will exceed $23,000. After this, Pastor James will begin a lengthy recovery under the care of his wife and children. Hospitals in India require payment each day, in advance of treatment.
If you would like to give, please write “Pastor James medical expenses” on the memo line of a check, or you can give below to our First Responders Fund.
Thank you for standing with Pastor James, and with God’s work in South Asia.
Blessings in Christ,
Director of International Partnerships