Paul Sundar Raj
Thanks to Rob and Lindsey Musick, AC missionaries to India from Ohio, USA.
Paul’s Testimony Part 1:
[05:00 – Sep 21, 2007] …or click here
Paul’s Testimony Part 2:
[05:00 – Sep 21, 2007] …or click here
Paul’s Vision & Calling to Serve in Bihar:
How to Pray for Bihar:
Flooding in Bihar:
Thank You for Giving:
About Paul – Biography
Pastor Paul Sunder Raj is a Missionary to Bihar (pronounced “Beehar”) for the Advent Christian Conference of India. He is also Vice Principal of the St Xavier’s English School of the Advent Christian Conference of India which is also located in Khagaria, Bihar. He is married to Suder Mathi (pronounced “Mardi”) and is the proud father of an appropriately named son – William Carey – and a beautiful daughter named Joanna
Paul has been ministering for the Lord in the northern Indian State of Bihar since 1999 and now leads a team of 7 other Christian evangelists in and around the District of Khagaria. Tamil is his mother tongue, but since his call to service he has learned and is fluent in English, Hindi and 2 local languages Detti(pronounced “Dayti”) and Pochpoori (pronounced “Pojepoori”).
Paul has an amazing testimony. He has many times been threatened with guns, knives and sticks and has been beaten for his faith during his time in Bihar. He has also experienced the direct power and intervention of the God to whom he is so faithful – one dark evening in Bihar, as he walked a narrow path beside the Ganges River on his way home, he accidentally stepped into an area of quicksand and found himself unable to escape. His cries for human help brought no response because of the hour of the day. As he continued to sink into the soft, wet sand, he placed his Bible which he had with him on top of his head and he prayed for help to come. Even as he prayed God heard and answered his prayer and he felt an invisible force lift him up and place him where his now shoeless feet were secure. Because of that intervention by the Lord, he is still ministering in Bihar today.
I was born in a Hindu family. I stuttered badly until my 12th year. My friends and relatives mocked at me and treated me badly.
During the festivals I put 5 paise, 10 paise coins in my mouth, and scattered them among the devotees, praying for a fluent speech. Even then I was not able to speak fluently.
In this situation I heard about Jesus through Sister Salome Joyce for the first time and had a belief in Him. I was attending worship at that time. One day during the T.P.M. or C.P.M. convention, pastors laid their hands on my head and prayed for me. At that time I felt a great power descending on me. From that day onwards I started talking fluently.
Rev. Neil Armstrong was working as my local pastor and I was touched by his message and surrendered myself for the ministry. I was baptised by Rev. S.R. Paul Aruldass – the present AC Conference President – and studied in a Bible College for two years. During my theological studies I dedicated myself for Bihar ministry.
Vision & Calling
One day when I was praying, God showed me a vision about Bihar Ministry. A big Gospel meeting was going on; a big crowd was gathered there listening to the Word of God. A Gospel worker and myself were standing on the stage. Suddenly a group of terrorists came there with weapons and shooting in the air. All the people ran away, only the Gospel worker and myself were left standing on the stage.
They threatened us and told us to stop preaching about Jesus and to deny our faith otherwise they would shoot us. The preacher refused to do so, and said that Jesus is the only God. On hearing this they beat him on his head with their guns. Blood ran out from his head, he called loudly “Jesus, Jesus” and died on that stage.
On seeing that I shivered due to fear. I came down from the stage and sat on the ground. Those youth warned me that if I preached about Jesus the same would happen to me also. This vision disappeared with this.
After that I forgot about that vision and continued ministry in Chennai for 3 years. I was not able to bring any soul in Christ also I had no peace in my mind. Then I fasted for 40 days and prayed to Jesus. He answered my prayer. Don’t afraid to go to Bihar. I will be with you. There will be a ministry through you. More over don’t afraid about what will happen in the future. Don’t deny me and do glorify me. So I dedicated myself to the Bihar Ministry and came to Bihar on February 21, 1999 and till now I am continuing there.
Bihar is an Indian State having the country of Nepal as its northern border and it is a State furnished with natural resources in the South. The Hindu people of Bihar worship Stone, Statues, Sun, Moon, Trees and River as their Gods. There are also some followers of Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Christian believers are very small in number i.e. 1.7% and this is one of the most backward States in India.
There are two castes divided into upper caste and lower caste. The upper caste consists of more then 30 sects and lower caste community more than 2 hundred.
It will be very cold during winter and very hot in summer. In the rainy season, 1/3 rd of the state is flooded. Even now itself the places where the Missionaries working, our School and our church are flooded and submerged by rain water.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES OR SURVIVAL:
We cannot find electricity facility in all places. It is very rare, so there are no industrial companies or Industries, except one refinery run by central government.
It is very common to find 7 or 8 children in a family. So people go to other States for menial jobs and the per capita income is very low.
We can see the child marriages all over the State. People arrange marriage for their children within 12 years. Many religious festivals are celebrated every month. By celebrating festivals the people become debtors. They consume tobacco and are affected by cancer.
As they lack the guidance of God, they live in darkness without Christ. So there is a great reception to Gospel.
Even though the road and transport facilities are few, and there are barriers and oppositions to the ministry, there is a welcome to the Gospel.
In the early days Bihar was called as the Graveyard of Missionaries, but nowadays it is called as Vineyard of Missionaries.
Though people are poor and offences are more, I can assure that this is not a cursed State but a blessed one.
There were few churches in one or two towns, nowadays due to the efforts of various missionary organization, many churches are appearing in many places. But if we calculate it, it will be like a drop of water in a river.
Thousands of villagers are expecting the visiting of Evangelists. They are challenging us to prepare and take them to the mid air at the second coming of the Lord.
The news paper tells that the number of naxalites (Communist extremists) and terrorists have increased twofold. Satan has covered many people for himself. Do we not need to take first step before him?
There is opposition and suffering for the Gospel workers by other religion’s people on one side and political people on the other side – pressing the churches. But the gates of hell will not take over the congregation and this truth is proved by God. There is no place without troubles. Paul apostle established so many congregations in spite of troubles. We have to remember this.
DISTRICT PROFILE ( KAHARIA)
Area Sq. km: 1486
Total Population – Urban & Rural: 14,63,049
Growth Rate: 2 : 9
Population Density per Sq. km: 985
Sex Ratio Male / Female: 1000 / 908
Literacy Rate: 37.56%
Number of Towns: 2 (Gogri & Khagaria)
Number of Revenue Villages: 426
Number of Sub Divisions: 2
Number of Blocks: 7
Small Villages; 1125
Needs of the Ministry
We are bringing many people to Christ by preaching his gospel through tracts distribution, film shows, prayer groups and schools. If we have more equipments like Video projector, four wheeler like Jeep, mini generator, microphone and amplifier/speaker we can work speedily and elaborately along with social work projects such as running of night schools, or evening classes and small dispensaries for the health needs etc.
There are 29 Districts in Bihar, we are working in Khagaria district having 7 blocks in which we are doing the ministry in Khagaria, Mansi and Gogari. Till now not even a single church is constructed. We are conducting worships in rented houses, tree shadows and houses of believers. Hundreds of missionaries are in need for this district only. If it is like that you can imagine the number of missionaries needed for whole Bihar State.
We are running a school, St. Xavier’s School (A school taken over by Advent Mission) through our Conference. Here 250 children are studying, 12 teachers, and 6 non teaching staff are working. We are teaching about Jesus by giving education. After taking over this school from a R.C. management, Rev. Jeeva Kiruban, our National Missionary – A.A.M.I. – was the first principal of this school and now it is headed by Rev. C.J. Dassan with 12 teachers and 6 non teaching staff altogether this school is a good source to evangelise the area.
38% people are literate and non – formal education should be given to children. In Bihar most of the lands are agricultural lands, children are involved in agricultural jobs or grazing cattle. We should provide education as well as Scripture knowledge, otherwise it will be difficult to bring India and Bihar towards Christ and bring them up in faith.
We should do all the possible efforts in Christ and Christ will do through us. It is true Bihar will take efforts for this. It will rise as a good Christian state, being grateful to all.
In the ministry of Christ
Paul Sundar Raj