By Mark Ellis
The ethnic Bhuiya are one of the most unreached people groups in India, with less than one-tenth of one percent of the tribe professing Christianity — until this year –when the gospel reached 35 of their villages, freeing many from the grip of the evil one.
“They worship the spirit of the nearest mountain, among other things, and indigenous missionaries are accustomed to praying for the demon-possessed among them,” according to a report by Christian Aid Mission.
Hinduism and animism are the Bhuiya’s main religions. The animists worship the earth, sun and ancestral spirits. Many Bhuiya worship the cobra, with some calling it their mother.
An indigenous missionary visited a Bhuiya village this year bearing the Good News of the Gospel. A family there had an older relative who had wandered in nearby jungles for four years due to demonic influences and mental illness. The family was able to bring the woman home to hear the evangelist.
“I lived a worldly life and worshipped local gods and goddesses,” Anaya* told Christian Aid Mission. “I was possessed with evil spirits, and as a result I was mentally affected and wandered around in the jungles.”
The indigenous missionary shared the gospel with the family and asked them if they would like to put their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
The Word and the Spirit touched Anaya’s heart and she believed. “Instantly the Lord delivered me from the grip of the evil spirits and healed me from my insane condition,” she testified.
“Now I am absolutely normal and have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. Now my entire family belongs to the family of God. Praise the Lord!”
The missionary and his team went from village to village, praying for the sick, visiting huts and organizing meetings to share Christ.
From February through April 2016, they shared the gospel with 2,800 people in 35 villages. The evangelists saw 1,160 people put their faith in Christ, with 391 baptized and 12 churches planted, according to Christian Aid Mission.
In one village a witchdoctor put his faith in Christ as age 90.
At another village they shared with a man named Vihaan* who said he worshipped the goddess Durga, the Hindu mother deity. Vihaan had suffered for many years with severe chest pain and breathing problems. He had visited the local witchdoctor for help but had no success.
“He (the missionary) shared about Christ’s love for the poor and needy, and about His authority over the devil and over all kinds of sicknesses,” Vihaan told Christian Aid Mission. “I believed, and I committed my life to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the only Lord and Savior.”
Then Vihaan asked the missionary to pray for healing. “Immediately after the prayer, I experienced the power of God in my life, and the Lord removed all the pain from my life. Now I am absolutely normal and love the Lord and live for Him.”
His entire family has also put their faith in Jesus, he added.
The missionary asked for prayer for spiritual growth for the many Bhuiya who have joined the Lord’s people in the village.
“Pray for their spiritual growth and to withstand opposition for Christ, as they face severe persecution from the other local people,” he told Christian Aid Mission. “Outsiders instigate the local non-Christians to oppose these new believers and attempt to expel them from the village.”
The Bhuiya Christians live in remote jungle areas where there is no access to schools, health care, roads, and electricity. Christian Aid Mission believes that helping to meet some basic needs provides a platform to share about Jesus.
“Pray for God’s provision to meet their social, economic, and educational needs, especially for their younger generation. They live in utter poverty with no one to care for them. We are trying to start some projects to develop their social and economic status.”
For more about Christian Aid Mission’s work in India, go here
*name changed for security reasons