“Several years ago, I watched as he witnessed to a young waitress in an empty restaurant because he observed her nose piercing and used that as a way to open the door to talk about slavery in India and whose slave she might be,” McDougald said. “He led her to Christ that very night!”
Since 1994, Eupora’s First United Methodist Church has supported the work of Ghuna Kumar and his ministry, Gospel Friends, as part of their church budget and special gifts through Sunday School classes. And on Oct. 9, Kumar visited the church to share his continued mission and vision for the ministry.
Dan Burchfield, Eupora FUMC member attending the meeting, said Kumar is a wonderful example of world missions.
“India is such fertile ground for the gospel of Christ,” Burchfield said. “We should all be concentrating on growing the church there!”
During his visit at Eupora FUMC, Kumar said there was a tremendous need for the gospel at all levels of society in India.
Kumar said the mission of Gospel Friends is threefold – preach the gospel to the poor; heal the broken-hearted; and set free those who are downtrodden. (Luke 4:18).
When Kumar had a vision to begin this ministry in 1992, he didn’t know all of the exciting paths God would take him and the Gospel Friends. Today,
- Two hundred orphan children are involved in schools and housing sponsored by the Gospel Friends. Most of them were saved from being killed or rescued from flea markets. For a boy or girl in our care, it cost $35 a month.
- We have a sewing project. We teach a group of 26 ladies for six months and give them a certificate and free sewing machines for them to make their livelihood. This project has increased their status and gave them a new life. So far, Kumar said they have given away over 3,000 sewing machines each costing $100.
- The ministry has 360 native missionaries working with the Gospel Friends all over India. The ministry has established 1,200 new congregations of people from other faiths. We baptized over 70,000 people. More than 120,000 people got saved through this ministry. They have built 215 church buildings and each cost about $10,000.
- The ministry felt the need to start the Bible College to get young people inspired and challenged to reach the people in India. They give B.Th. and M.Div courses which are accredited by Asia Theological Association. Ninety students have 22 mentors involved in the program. It costs $50 for each student monthly.
- The ministry has seen several young girls committing suicide after their schooling due to their inability to continue their studies or due to being compelled to marry by their parents. Gospel Friends brings in these girls and allows them to complete a two-year diploma nursing course with government certificates. They have 90 students in the first year and 60 in the second year. It takes $1,000 for one young girl to finish two years of study. When they complete their training to be nurses, they work in local villages to help people.
- Gospel Friends also has a medical ministry with two clinics and several mobile camps in local villages. Many of the trained nurses work in the mobile camps.
- Kumar can also be seen on television every Sunday to preach about family living. He gets phone calls for prayers and counseling. Hundreds of families are being helped. This ministry costs $500 a month.
- The ministry educates 256 boys and girls in The Living Hope School. Students are from rural areas and otherwise they would not go to school because of neglect and exploitation. It costs $20 a month to education these children.
Kumar said in 10 years, Gospel Friends hopes to establish 2,000 new congregations throughout India; they hope to baptize 200,000 people to embrace Christ and His salvation – they are well on their way having baptized the 70,000th person. Kumar said Gospel Friends want to fill unreached India with 1,000 native missionaries who will serve as pastors and evangelists, while enhancing the standard of living and hygiene in the rural populations with trained nurses who they call “necessary angels.”
Gospel Friends would also like to provide educational opportunities for children and teens up to the 10th grade, while sharing the “light of the gospel” to the children of villages who otherwise might be recruited to be terrorists, prostitutes or involved in sex trafficking.
Funding has been limited in recent months and Gospel Friends needs 300 people who will be called the PARTNERS OF THE POOREST IN INDIA who will pray and send $30, $50 or $100 each month to help continue the work of the ministry.
Gospel Friends works in conjunction with Cecil Williamson’s ministry, Christian World Mission. Donations to Gospel Friends can sent to Christian World Mission, 1437 Fire Station Road, Starkville, MS 39759 and please make a notation that it is to go to Gospel Friends India.
For more information about Gospel Friends, contact Kumar at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church at (662) 258-2611.
See this story in the newsletter for the Starkville District of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church at 10-17-14 newsletter
See this story in the October 22, 2014 edition of The Webster Progress Times at http://websterprogresstimes.com/2014/10/23/kumar-shares-mission-of-gospel-friends/
See this story in the October 29, 2014 edition of The Choctaw Plaindealer at http://choctawplaindealer.com/2014/10/29/kumar-shares-mission-of-gospel-friends/.