Three years ago, we stood on the railway platform of our new destination with two suitcases in hand. On the train station wall is written, “Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God!”
This shows that the local people are honouring the life and work of William Carey and the missionaries who came to our town 200 years ago. However, what “Great things’’ were these humble servants looking for? We looked for evidence of their life and work.
Along the riverside, you can find an old ruin of a brick house. It has trees growing through it and doesn’t look like much! However, this was the home of the first Serampore College. A small beginning, with a hand full of students. Today, we have a large college and campus with 150 Theological students and 5000 Arts, Commerce and Science students. I am so in awe as to how God can take the little that we offer Him, and multiply it so many times over; after all, wasn’t it just five loaves and two fishes that fed the five thousand!
A stone’s throw away from the brick house you can find another humble beginning. An old abandoned temple which became the home of the English missionary, Henry Martyn. Here in the quiet, amongst the trees and bird song, God spoke to this young man to go to North India and then Persia. He left his humble abode for his new destination, writing in his diary, “Let me burn out for Christ.”’ He was only to live for a few more years and then died of T.B. in Armenia. In this short time, he had presented the people with a translation of the Bible in Urdu, Hindustani, and Persian!
From this place of deep spiritual roots, we explored further into our district to see if there was more evidence of the Kingdom at work. We found that along the river, there are clusters of people who are coming to faith. There are pastors, often unrecognised and working alone, doing a sterling job.
Together with a small group of believers, we have been welcomed into a local red light area. Those at risk live inland of our district; where the people are very poor and they have not had a chance to hear the Good News. This is where the women are trafficked from.
As we serve here, people came from far and wide to fellowship under our tent; a red cross stitched on the canvas. People are so joyful to find the hope that our Saviour gives them. They come together to support each other, as becoming a believer has come with a high price for some. They share their struggles and weep together. They need our support and encouragement.
We are humbled to see how the Father is at work. He is calling us as ordinary people to water the seed of those who have gone before, so that the harvest may come. To train up local believers so that they can reach out to their own people. To intercede and stand in the gap. And then to tell the story, because the work is not finished and we all have a part to play. It’s not about our ability, but rather our availability that counts. God will surprise us with what He will do in us and through us, when our lives are yielded to Him. It’s about; “Expecting great things from Him!” It’s not about us, it’s all about Him. He is the Lord of the Harvest, and we are the unlikely chosen vessels who attempts to do something great for Him.
Leonora serves through Tranzsend with her husband Peter in South Asia