When I was working as a pastor in the Chicago area, I used my vacation time for short-term mission trips. At the end of one trip, Esther and I were driving home from the airport and turned the radio to a Christian station. I realized then how blessed we are to live in a place where the Gospel is so easily accessible. On the other side of the world, there is no worship music, no Gospel, and no one to share the fierce love of Jesus. I began to see how darkness surrounds those with no opportunity to hear the Word of God.
The burden to share the Gospel became evident.
After seeking God's guidance, we took our family to India for six months and our lives were forever changed. It became clear God was calling us to be a light in India. In 1997, we packed our bags and followed the Lord's leading.
As I preached in large churches in Hyderabad, I witnessed the multitudes of people in the city and saw all ranges of social status. My heart particularly broke for slum dwellers sleeping on the street. Deep within, God spoke to me through 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 my heart's attention and I was convinced these men and women needed to come to church. Unfortunately, many churches in the area were not ready to welcome people from the slums. That's when the heavy burden was laid upon my heart to go to them and teach them about the Lord.
With open arms, they welcomed us. This was the launch of Hope for Today in India. Twenty years later, we continue to preach one thing...