Reaching the Koya People - Trans World Radio Canada

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  • Jan29Wed

    Reaching the Koya People

    January 29, 2020 by the TWR Canada Team
    Filed Under:
    Asia, Discipleship, Media Players, Testimonies, Unreached People Groups
    Last week, TWR Canada’s Jason Brown began part one of a two-part e-update on our radio home group ministry in India, sharing about how the ministry got started, and the story of a Hindu temple priest who came to faith and has since started 22 small groups that he is now leading. This week, Jason talks about some other experiences he had when he was visiting India.

    We’ve all heard the phrase, “unreached people group.” But what does that mean? By common definition, it means that less than two per cent of a group of people are considered evangelical Christians. This is the threshold at which missiologists have determined the Church is better able to sustain itself without outside support and to grow organically through indigenous leadership. But did you know that 48 of the world’s 100 largest unreached people groups, with a total population of over 750 million people (according to Joshua Project), are in India?

    Several years ago, many Christian organizations were kicked out of India, along with all foreign missionaries. But there are many indigenous organizations, like TWR India, who continue to operate and are seeing great spiritual fruit.

    Recently, TWR Canada, TWR India and Thru the Bible partnered in a specific project to reach 33 unreached people groups with the gospel through media in their heart language. TWR Canada provided 5000 small media players, TTB provided the content to load onto the players, and TWR India coordinated distribution of these players, including training local pastors prior to distribution to effectively lead small groups called radio home groups. Late last year, I had the opportunity to visit India to see the work firsthand and to meet some of these local pastors and home group leaders.

    I was privileged to be in Telangana, where over 100 people from the Koya people group gathered to meet with TWR India leader George Philip and myself for a special event. The Koya people speak and understand Telegu, but their heart language is Koya. The New Testament is available in their language, but few other biblical resources exist. But at this event, TWR India was launching the radio home group ministry, with an audio Bible commentary in the Koya language.  We arrived to a full church.

    One man shared his testimony:

    “I was born and brought up in the traditions and rituals practiced by my forefathers, of the Koya tribe and community. In 1993, I came to know the saving knowledge of Christ through my brother, and through him I was introduced to the TWR India Telegu programs. I was able to grow spiritually in the Lord through the systematic Bible study emphasized in these programs. In 2001, I committed my life to serve God and become a pastor.

    “The mega event of the launch of TWR India’s program in my heart language of Koya was an answer to prayer, a ministry I never thought possible, which will benefit my own people and community immensely. I am eager to see how knowing the Lord in a better way will change the hearts and minds of my people. Being a radio home group leader, I want to use this audio Bible study material in my church every Friday as a study tool for an in-depth understanding of the Word among my people.”

    This pastor, and 66 others, had previously received training from TWR India and were able to receive a media player at this event, by presenting their ID card from the training event. Follow-up with each leader will be done by TWR India staff and volunteers, and regular training will be conducted for leaders as well, as these groups grow and multiply. The Koya Bible study materials were also distributed on CDs and made available through the TWR India Android app, and further players will be distributed as other training events occur.

    As native English speakers, it is easy for us to take for granted the many resources we have available to us – most of us probably have dozens if not hundreds of biblical resources in our own homes. For the Koya, it is truly life-changing to receive a resource like this media player, which allows them to study the Bible in their heart language.

    Thank you for the part that you play in helping TWR Canada reach tens of thousands of people in their heart language each year in a very tangible and meaningful way. Please pray for the continued distribution of media players to unreached people groups in India, and for a movement to happen within these groups.