Gospel changes life of 108-year-old in South Asia

SOUTH ASIA—At 108 years old, Auntie’s vision has essentially failed her. But what hasn’t failed is her newfound love for the gospel.

A local believer shared the gospel in her home, using the Ek Rasta SD cards. The name Ek Rasta is translated in English as “The Way” and is based on Acts 24:14. These cards, compiled by International Mission Board teams in a remote area of South Asia, provide what IMB missionary Veronica Masterson described as a “robust gospel presentation.”

As Auntie heard the translated stories, the Holy Spirit worked in her heart. At 108 years old, she believed and was baptized. She left the religion that she held so closely for the past century—Hinduism.

Now, she has taken it upon herself to be obedient to the Great Commission in any capacity she can.

“I have no fear of dying,” Auntie told Masterson. “I’m glad I will die knowing God.

“I just sit all day,” Auntie continued, “But, while I’m still living, I’m going to tell these stories to anyone who comes to sit with me.”

In her home each week, she meets with her family in a house church and uses the SD card. This resource has a much further reach than any one IMB missionary team because it can be carried from village to village, distributed and studied in small, national believer-led groups. An IMB team in South Asia use the Ek Rasta SD cards for gospel entry as well as discipleship, healthy church formation and leadership development.

Masterson said these SD cards have had an impact. In the eight years that they have been in use, the teams have seen 187,276 baptisms and counting.

The resources are provided in five of the primary languages of the area. While written Bible translations are available in these languages, the teams found that many in the remote areas are illiterate—up to 80 percent illiterate in Auntie’s area. Therefore, another approach to getting Gospel presentations and the Word of God into hands was necessary.

Each micro-SD card contains material for entry and gospel presentation. This includes:

  • a full audio and print Bible
  • movies, including: The Savior, the Jesus Film and Magdalena
  • and 35 Bible lessons presenting an “according to the Scriptures” gospel in print and audio files with a picture for each lesson.

The emphasis of the 35 Bible lessons is a robust gospel presentation.

“We refer to it as a ‘robust gospel’ because it’s not just a Romans Road type of presentation. As a listener hears the 35 lessons, they get a full overview of God’s Word from creation all the way to Jesus’ return and new creation,” said Masterson, who has spent the last 17 years sharing the gospel among the least reached in South Asia.

She explained that with the predominant religion being Hindu, most have no understanding of God. The SD card helps build a biblical worldview.

“We want them to have enough information to come to an understanding and make a true decision to follow Christ,” she said.

The other resources the SD card provides focus on discipleship, church formation and leadership development. These include:

  • a new believer’s Bible study in print and audio files
  • discipleship material in print and audio files
  • Christian doctrines study (based on “The Baptist Faith and Message”) in print and audio files
  • character-based leadership development lessons based on Titus 1-2 in print and audio files
  • worship music
  • other resources

The SD cards help believers overcome barriers in sharing the gospel, from illiteracy to the fact that women in this culture are given very few opportunities. Anyone can invite friends over for tea and listen to the content on the cards in the comfort and privacy of their own sitting room, just like Auntie.

You can learn more, use this resource as a tool to reach South Asians in the United States and access all Ek Rasta resources including the Ek Rasta apps for Apple or Android at https://southasiansands.wixsite.com/ekrasta.

This article originally appeared on IMB. Some names may have been changed for security reasons.

Myriah Snyder
Senior Writer/Editor
Myriah Snyder
International Mission Board (IMB)
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