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Let’s Reclaim Churches for Christ!

After this church was built, it was never used. Last Sabbath, it was opened for the very first time!

Millions upon millions in India have yet to hear the Gospel. And yet, we are discovering that many Adventist churches have had their doors closed, for one reason or another, for many years. Some are sitting empty, while others are being used as hay barns and goat sheds. 

God has given us a burden to help reopen churches like these so they can become beacons of light in their communities again.

Why do churches close?

One main reason is the lack of funding. This may be a lack of funding to make repairs or a lack of financing for pastors or Bible Workers. 

Congregations filled with new believers often struggle to care for the churches themselves without someone to shepherd them. Many join different denominations, and others return to their old religions.

We are finding that reopening closed churches draws a congregation immediately.

One time, when we reopened a church, we found an offering bag stuffed full of money. On Sabbath morning, we found a very old lady who had a key to the church. She had come to the church by herself every Sabbath to pray and put her offering in the bag. She believed that someday, someone would come to start the church again.

Why rebuild and reopen churches?

Rebuilding or repairing a church is much easier than building from scratch! The land is already purchased, and most of the existing structure can usually be saved. Some churches may need a lot of repairs, while others need only a few touch-ups. 

On average, $1,600 USD will cover the repairs for one church.

When people see a closed church being fixed up and opened, they become curious and want to see what’s happening. One recently reopened church had 75 people show up on the first Sabbath!

Closed churches often look like this before they are repaired.

Jesus for Asia always places Bible Workers in these reopened churches to shepherd the churches and minister to the surrounding areas. 

Over the years, Jesus for Asia has taken several teams to India to help reopen churches. These churches have also continued to grow since then.

Testimonies from India 2024:

Two teams have come to India this winter to help reopen 14 of 22+ closed churches in one area. God has blessed the revival meetings with good responses at each church. Non-Christians have been the majority in many churches, and while not all are ready for baptism, many people have expressed interest in learning more about Jesus. 

A smaller team has been going to a different church each day of the trip to hold a medical camp. At this medical camp, villagers can learn about the eight laws of health and get a health check-up.

Learning about NEWSTART health principles at the medical camp

At these medical camps, nearly everyone has been open to receive prayer. These events have also helped to reduce prejudice in the villages. 

Some churches have faced disturbances from local Hindus and Christians, who do not want people to attend the meetings. In answer to prayer, God continues to bring people each night. 

“We had 40 children at VBS tonight, all non-SDA but one. Praise God! We had 18 adults, including two first-time Muslim women wearing their hijabs, who were very attentive! God is good.” –– Testimony from a team member

“Nobody is happier than I am!!! God performed a miracle tonight! I skipped lunch and prayed. I prayed with others, and tonight, my little precious church was filled up! Let’s praise the Lord. The stories were perfect for them!! Can’t stop praising God. 45 people!” –– Testimony from a team member

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow! We are praising God for moving on the hearts of all these people! This is where they were asked if they would like to give their lives to Jesus!” –– Testimony from a team member

We are beyond blessed to be a part of God’s work to give these precious Indian people the opportunity to know about Jesus! We cannot stop here. 

New Rebuilding Opportunities: 

We recently learned about 30 churches closed in southern India and 70 in northern India. We pray that as many as possible can be reopened to shine as beacons of light in their communities. 

Please pray with us as we make preparations to help reopen these churches. Please pray for God to provide the funding, and the right workers to serve in each place.

Your support of Bible Workers allows us to provide dedicated people to reopen these churches, and make sure they stay open. An average of $100 a month will support one Bible worker; gifts of any size are welcome.

If you wish to help these closed churches to be opened once again, please press the button below.

-Contributed by Jesus for Asia


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