In light of Valentine’s Day, this newsletter is dedicated to the missionary couples Harvest Bridge has the privilege of partnering with.
These members of our Christian family serve Jesus together in difficult places; as couples, their ministries complement one another and facilitate deeper impact in their communities.
Sunil* and Premila* are a perfect example. Married as teenagers without the permission of their families, they lost their first child to disease and began following Christ after their second child was miraculously healed from the same disease.
For the past 17 years, they’ve been doing ministry together in Nepal. Whether serving those affected by an earthquake, conducting marriage counseling, evangelizing an unreached village or working part-time jobs to support their ministry, they follow the command to love God first and love their neighbors as themselves.
Then there’s Raju*, the coordinator of our Bhutanese church planters, and his wife Divya*. Born in southern India, they met while attending Bible college in Bangalore.
In 2000, after graduating and marrying, they moved to an underdeveloped region at the India-Bhutan border to focus on reaching Bhutan, one of the least-evangelized countries in the world.
In pursuit of this goal, Divya had the idea of starting a school, both to educate children and to support the ministry. Today, the Christian school they started has over 400 Bhutanese, Indian, Nepali, and Bangladeshi children, of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian faiths, all learning together.
Largely due to Divya and Raju’s efforts, it is now common in their town for girls to attend school, when just 10 years ago it was almost unheard of.
Raju and Divya’s marriage, and their efforts to promote women and girls’ education, are models for women’s empowerment in a society that largely treats women as second-class citizens.
Last but certainly not least, we can’t highlight missionary couples without sharing the story of Mamun* and Tabitha* in Bangladesh.
In nearly 30 years of ministry together, they’ve faced much persecution – beatings, stalking, death threats – but nothing compares to the rape of their 14 year-old daughter, Anna*. Her assailants, a group of six extremists, made it clear they were assaulting her because of her parents’ ministry.
Thankfully, Anna received extensive medical help through an HB partner agency and has recovered physically. It would be wholly reasonable to leave the community where this horrific act occurred, but Mamun and Tabitha have chosen to stay and continue serving as Christ’s ambassadors among those who do not know Him.
As they describe,
“We pass every day with this threat, but we believe in Jesus – that He will save us – because the Lord is our strength, and we are depending on that.”
Thank you for standing with these couples, and dozens of other couples like them in Harvest Bridge’s network, through your prayers and financial support!
Director of International Partnerships
*Names changed and faces blurred for security