Jesus for the People of South Asia
While working as a pastor in Chicago, Founder of Hope for Today, Peter Pereira, and his wife, Esther, used their vacation time to serve on short-term mission trips. On their way home from one of the trips in which the couple served, Peter turned on the radio to a Christian station.
He began reflecting on the blessings of American culture and the gift that he possessed, as an American, to live in a region of the world where the Gospel was so easily accessible. In many regions outside of the United States, there is no worship music, no Gospel, no one who is sharing about the fierce love of Jesus. Peter began to see how darkness surrounds those with no opportunity to hear the Word of God.
The burden to share the Gospel with those who did not have access to the teaching of Jesus became evident.
After seeking guidance from God, Peter and Esther moved their family to India for six months, where in which, their lives were forever changed. It became clear to the couple that God was calling them to be a light in India. So in 1997, Peter and Ester packed their bags to follow the Lord’s leading.
As Peter preached in large churches in Hyderabad, he witnessed multitudes of people in the city with various ranges of social status. In particular, the Lord broke his heart for the slum dwellers who were sleeping on the street. Deep within, he heard the Lord speak the words of Romans 10:14,
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
These questions held Peter’s heart’s attention as he became more and more convinced that these people needed to attend a church service and hear the teaching of Jesus. Unfortunately, many churches in the area were not ready to welcome people from the slums into their doors. It was then that the burden to go and teach these people about the Lord was laid on Peter’s heart.
With open arms, they welcomed Peter and Esther as they were told about the love that Christ had for each of them. This was the launch of Hope for Today in India. Twenty years later, our message remains...