How missionaries are reaching India’s tribes and sharing God’s word

December 16, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

India, December 15, 2016: Missionaries are stopping at nothing to reach the far-flung areas in India and spread God’s love to indigenous tribes. Priests and nuns are even braving the wild, including tiger attacks and elephant stampedes, to get to “unreached areas” where the Word of God has never been spoken or heard before.

Msgr. John Kozar from the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) told the Catholic News Agency that people from these “unreached” areas “are very much attracted to a sense of relating in a very human way to a God who loves them and is present with them.” That’s why the missionaries are making every effort and sacrifice to get there.

The sacrifices are quite difficult to make, especially for people who have grown used to modern comforts. Kozar said missionaries “heroically live in very crude conditions right with the people, in huts made of mud and cow dung, no plumbing and very little privacy.”

“Even their meals are taken with the entire village outside in a common setting on the ground,” Kozar added.

In India’s southern states, such as Kerala, missionaries are busy building institutional churches. But for smaller, tribal regions, priests and nuns are more focused on “being with the poor and sharing with them in a very natural way who this Jesus is and how He wants to share His love with all.”

Kozar and his peers travelled to Northeast India, including the country’s Assam state, from November 20 to December 2 this year. They were greeted very warmly by the villagers, and were even treated to dances and songs.

“In some instances I was probably the first person with white skin to ever visit them,” he said, adding that going to the remote tribal areas posed risks of attacks by wild animals. After hearing the gospel, the tribesmen were so touched that they even did a religious enactment of the parable of the prodigal son in their language.

Kozar said they may undertake a two-year evangelisation programme in the area before the tribesmen get baptised, adding that they are in no hurry because they want to do evangelisation in a “responsible” and “durable” way.

– christian today

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