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People Who Wait for the Light of Truth From the East

  • Nation | India
  • Date | March 01, 2006
India’s greatest poet Tagore called Korea the ‘Lamp Bearer of the East.’ When I came to Mumbai, India, many brothers and sisters had already come into the arms of God, seeing the light of the gospel from the East.

Brothers and sisters here in the Mumbai Zion had worked for the gospel with one mind to lead many souls to righteousness during the last three quarters. As a result, we received a precious reward from God, which we had not expected.

We try to become united in love and to bear the fruit of light by obeying the words of God, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Eph 5:8). We want to repay God who regards our small efforts as big and always gives us good things.

Father and Mother, thank You for allowing us to have the same mind as members of the heavenly family, though we speak different languages, have different appearances, different cultures and different ways of thinking.

Mumbai, the financial center of India

The Republic of India, located in South Asia and comprising most of the Indian subcontinent, is the second-most populous country in the world. While New Delhi is the political and administrative capital of India, Mumbai where Zion is located is a prosperous city with an expanding economy, called the economic capital of India.

Like Hollywood in the United States, in Mumbai there is Bollywood which is a conflation of Bombay, the old name of Mumbai. Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world, producing 700-900 films a year.

Mumbai is also a port city, and it is very much influenced by western culture. For this reason, most people from Mumbai commonly speak English and live freely without being bound by their old customs or manner of living. Of course, this tendency can hardly be observed in other cities.

Here in Mumbai you can see many tall, modern buildings. Between them, however, there are many slums and very old buildings that seem to have been built hundreds of years ago. Mumbai feels like a mysterious city where past and present coexist.

After my first overseas mission experience in Pakistan, I came here to India in March, 2005, according to the will of God. In the Mumbai Zion, established in 2002, our Indian brothers and sisters were systematically working for the gospel.

I was less tense when I arrived in India than when I had gone to Pakistan. Still, my heart fluttered at the thought of preaching the gospel here with my brothers and sisters. I first gave thanks to Father and Mother for giving me another opportunity to take part in the overseas gospel work. Then I committed myself to live in harmony with my brothers and sisters, always smiling upon them and loving them, according to Mother’s will for us in this age.

Pleasant change in Zion with a smile

When I first met brothers and sisters in Mumbai, I felt they were good gospel workers having faith and enthusiasm as well. I was sure that the Mumbai Zion would be blessed more greatly when love and smiles were added to their faith and zeal according to the words of Mother.

ⓒ 2006 WATV
I tried to put Mother’s words into action rather than simply put them in my mouth. As our Father walked His path silently, I tried to set a good example for my brothers and sisters through actions rather than words. Just as Mother said, a smile is the most effective way to make others feel comfortable. So I always greeted my brothers and sisters with a smile.

Smiling is contagious. There was a big difference between when we smiled cheerfully and when we did not.

Brothers and sisters, whose hearts were closed, began to open their minds when they saw our smiling faces. Our smiles warmed their hearts and gradually made them feel comfortable. Through familiar conversations we naturally understood each other and became considerate of one another.

Some sisters, who had been infrequent in the Church, said they felt more comfortable and warm in Zion than before. They came to Zion once, then twice and three times. Now they continue to meet together in Zion, sharing the joy of eternal life together. One sister said she could feel comfortable and refreshed when she came to Zion, however exhausted she was.

Brothers and sisters here in Mumbai are always joyful and happy. They have a bright smile not only on their faces, but also in their hearts. Because of a smile, the Mumbai Zion has become a warm nest of love and a place of comfort for the souls of all who visit.

Angels in India who want to be changed to become worthy of God’s children

Each country has its own distinct cultural characteristics. However, our brothers and sisters here in Mumbai transcend the barriers of race, nation and culture. They are all trying to be changed to become worthy of God’s children by obeying the words of Mother. In the beginning, some of our brothers and sisters often used improper words and lost their tempers. However, after understanding that ‘love’ is a virtue most pleasing to God, they began to change little by little.

They put off their old self, and spoke only gracious words instead of words that hurt others’ feelings. Regardless of their mood or psychological state, they always tried to smile and make others feel comfortable.

One sister, having a very wild character, had been tough in her speech and behavior. Even her family members and co-workers gave up, saying, “It’s impossible to change her.” However, when she saw our brothers and sisters being changed into the nature of God, she tried to change herself, following their examples.

She has now become considerate of others, being careful before saying anything. Her change in speech and behavior surprises not only our family members in Zion but also all the people around her.

Her mother, who previously hated all churches, was deeply impressed by her daughter’s changed attitude and became biased in favor of our Church. Now she waits for our brothers and sisters, asking her daughter why they do not come when they are infrequent in visiting her.

At work, her co-workers who treated her indifferently have changed their attitude towards her, saying, “I love your spirit.” She was astonished and gave thanks to God, saying that she had never heard such words from others before.

Some brothers and sisters, who used to conduct their private affairs during the time between worship services, are now trying to give all their time to God, joyfully participating in Bible studies. Our family members here in Mumbai diligently prepare themselves to preach the word of life, studying the Bible.

We, children of God, are being changed into the same image in one Spirit wherever we are. This cannot be achieved by force or compulsion, but only by the power of God’s holy love.

Those who wait for the new covenant, the news of salvation

ⓒ 2006 WATV
India has a rainy monsoon season which begins in June and lasts two or three months. Last year, the monsoon came without fail in India. Heavy rain poured down and many houses were flooded and serious casualties occurred. Mumbai was no exception. Flood-waters rose to chest level and houses in low-lying areas were flooded.

We were worrying about our brothers and sisters living in low-lying areas. Then we received surprising news from them that their houses were safe while neighboring houses were all flooded.

All of us gave thanks to God for His mighty hand. Our brothers and sisters in the spot personally experienced God’s arms always protecting them like the apple of His eye. They were surprised by God’s grace and gave thanks to God. They’ve become more mature in their faith, and they now try to preach the Passover, which protects us from disasters, to their neighbors.

One of our brothers, a member of the young adult group, is called a ‘hard worker’ because he works so hard for the gospel as a minister of the new covenant. He has a humble mind; he gives all glory to God when he bears fruit. He is diligent and considerate, and he always smiles. As a good example for others, he has contributed to increasing the number of young adult group members by 5 times this year.

Indian people do not persecute Christians because they believe Hinduism which is polytheism. They think of God as one of many gods. They say they believe in God, but actually each of them serves his or her own god. For this reason, there were not many who were converted from Hinduism to the Church of God.

After the Great Tsunami Tragedy, however, many Hindus were led to Zion. Among them was a male adult whom I once doubted. When he first came to Zion, frankly I wondered whether he had a true belief in God or he thought of God as a god among many gods like other Hindus. However, I soon became ashamed of myself for doubting him when I saw the confidence in his eyes and heard him saying, “I am ready to believe in God.”

It is not easy for Hindus to change their religion because Hinduism has deeply penetrated into every aspect of their life since childhood. However, the brother accepted the truth with confidence towards God when he heard of the predicted disasters and the news of salvation described in the Bible.

There are so many gods in the world and so many people who worship them. In the face of an unavoidable disaster, they all helplessly collapse. Now they are looking for the true Savior who can save them from all disasters.

Our mission is to quickly deliver the truth of salvation to those who are eagerly waiting for the good news of life. India has a large population. There are still so many places where the gospel has not yet been preached.

Our brothers and sisters in Mumbai are wholeheartedly eager to bear fruit under any circumstance: adult females in their neighborhood, students in schools, and adult males at work. For they firmly believe that world mission will be quickly fulfilled when the truth of the new covenant is preached to all parts of India where the light of the gospel has not yet reached.

Zion is located in Mumbai, and in several regions—Bangalore, Goa, Gujarat, Raipur and Kolkata—worship services are held in private homes. Indians speak in totally different languages, so it is difficult for people of different regions to communicate with each other. When I preach in another region, I feel as if I were in a different country. We hope and pray that we will quickly find many of our brothers and sisters here in India, so that missionaries will be sent and Zion will be established in every town and city of India.

You may think that overseas missions require something different and bigger. However, though people live in different geographical locations and speak different languages, they have the same spirit. Their souls are yearning for the love of Mother and longing for a warm smile that comforts them. The preaching of the gospel overseas is not different from that in our native country. Wherever we are, when we faithfully do the little things that Mother has taught us, we can receive gracious and beautiful results for the gospel.

Our brothers and sisters in Mumbai have been trying to obey the words of Mother, “Smile,” “Love,” “Unite!” As a result, the Mumbai Zion is now too small for us. We are happily worried that the Mumbai Zion might not accommodate all our family members on the coming Passover. So we pray that God will allow us to move into a bigger place before the Passover, so that we can lead more souls to Zion.

Seeing that the Mumbai Zion is filled with good fruit, we are sure that there are still so many brothers and sisters to be found in India. Accordingly, many gospel workers are needed.

We earnestly pray that many good workers will be produced in India, as Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Lk10:2).

The Mumbai Zion, located in the center of India, will become the center of the gospel to shine the light of truth in India. It has been in spiritual darkness due to the worship of false gods and idols. We will brightly shine the light of the glory of Father and Mother throughout India, always giving Them joy.
Thank You, Father and Mother! We love You!
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