He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much- Luke 16:10a
We work in South Asia: a region where Christians are tiny minorities and extreme poverty is widespread. In South Asia, local Christian ministries face the greatest challenges with the fewest resources.
Our ministries vary by country because needs and resources are different in each place where we work.
India is where it all began! We partner with 35 pastors and missionaries who share the Gospel, oversee economic development programs, care for widows and orphans, run schools for underprivileged children, and more. Through conferences and pastor training courses, HB has trained several thousand Indian church leaders. Despite rising persecution in recent years, our Indian partners baptized 268 men and women in 2018! Other 2018 highlights include providing disaster relief following a cyclone in eastern India, distributing several thousand Bibles, educating hundreds of underprivileged children, and advancing the holistic development of 20 extremely poor gypsy and tribal communities.
These small but diverse islands, a territory of India, contain over 200 ethnic groups who have few Christians or none. Our 20 local partners reach out to the unreached, help children escape poverty through educational programs, and more. In 2018, after trusting in Christ and receiving thorough instruction in the faith, 102 men and women were baptized through our missionaries' ministries.
Despite heavy persecution, our 17 trusted Pakistani partners have seen God bring about much fruit through their work. They demonstrate His love through disaster relief, public health projects, disaster preparedness training programs, and running a school for children from extremely poor families. In Pakistan as in every country where we work, our partners serve their communities based on need, without discriminating by caste or religion. Relief and development organizations including World Relief, UMCOR, and Samaritan's Purse have entrusted projects to these local missionaries. In 2018 alone, 771 people were baptized after coming to Christ and being discipled through our partners' ministries!
One of the most densely-populated countries on earth, Bangladesh is the world's eighth most populous nation and has the fourth largest Muslim population. Focusing on evangelism, church planting, economic development and educational programs, our 51 local missionaries have endured great persecution. But God is greater; in 2018, these brothers and sisters saw 893 women and men be baptized after they professed faith in Christ and received thorough instruction in the faith.
Decades of military rule, heavy persecution of Christians and Muslims by Buddhist extremists, and years of being isolated from the world have left Myanmar in desperate need of hope and healing. Through church planting, children's ministries, printing and distributing discipleship resources, economic development programs and more, our partners are at the forefront of bringing change. They work in four main regions of the country, with a focus on bringing the Gospel to the difficult-to-reach and staunchly-Buddhist Burmese majority ethnic group. They also prioritize alleviating poverty among society's most marginalized groups. In 2018, 99 new believers were baptized through their efforts.
One of the world's most beautiful countries is also one of the poorest and spiritually darkest. Most of our 29 Nepalese partners came to Christ from Hindu or Buddhist backgrounds; they are well-equipped to reach out to their own people with clarity and understanding. Using The Timothy Initiative's teaching materials, our partners have trained several thousand lay church leaders. In 2018 alone, over 400 women and men were baptized after coming to faith and being discipled through our missionaries' ministries. Our partners are also active in responding to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and flooding, that regularly impact the country.
Under China's rule, Tibet has had a difficult history. Despite heavy restrictions on outreach, our partners are active in showing Tibetans the freedom they can have in Christ. Following the earthquakes in April 2015, reaching certain areas has become more difficult. However, our 13 local missionaries have been resourceful in training others to carry on their outreach, and in sharing the Gospel with Tibetans who cross the Nepal border. Through our partners' work, over 150 people were baptized in 2018 after trusting in Christ and being instructed in the faith.
About the size of West Virginia but with nearly 12 times the population, Sri Lanka is ripe for the advance of God's kingdom. The nation emerged from a 26-year civil war in 2009; our 30 missionaries work in the regions most directly affected by the war, bringing healing through counseling and other ministries. 125 men and women were discipled and baptized in 2018 through their labors!
Despite harsh pressure by the authorities aimed at limiting the growth of Christianity, our Bhutanese partners have seen many come to faith in recent years. In 2018, through village-to-village outreach, prayer ministry and counseling, our 22 local missionaries saw 79 individuals trust in Christ, undergo thorough discipleship, and be baptized. Our partners are also involved in Bible distribution and providing quality education to underprivileged children.