New Life for Hindus

By Suresh Dongerdive

Editor’s Note: Suresh Dongerdive pastors New Life India (Alliance) Church, ministering among a large Hindu population in the Atlanta suburb of Lilburn. Suresh was raised in India in a Christian home; his grandparents were converted to Christianity through the Church of the Nazarene in the1890s. Suresh’s wife and her parents were members of an Alliance church, and his wife was studying in an Alliance Christian boarding school when the couple met.

When we moved to Atlanta in 2000, we were introduced to an Alliance pastor through my wife’s hairdresser. Local Hindus were getting ready to build the largest temple outside of India that year, and we had been asking God to open a door for us to reach these people. God answered our prayers through the Alliance pastor, and we were able to plant a church under the umbrella of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.

At the inaugural service in 2002, Dr. Ravi Zacharias spoke to more than 500 people, six of whom made decisions to follow Christ.

Reaching Hindus

We started the Indian ministry because many Hindus were settling down in Gwinnett County because of the new temple. Currently, there are more than 35,000 Indians living in this county. There is also a large Pakistani population that we are trying to reach as well.

India Life Church meets in the Lilburn Alliance Church and has had nearly 50 people attending at one time. Recently, though, many Hindus have left the Atlanta area because of the economic crisis, in search of jobs in other large cities. This has caused our attendance to dwindle.

One True God

A few years ago, we held an international Christmas celebration, which was attended by many people, including Mr. Ashok Goel, a software engineer, and his wife. The couple gave us their contact information, and we visited them occasionally. Last year, he had some problems and called to ask us to pray for him. Our God answered our prayers, and Mr. Ashok accepted Jesus. He began attending our Wednesday prayer time, where we meet together with Lilburn Alliance church members. Mr. Ashok gave his testimony to the congregation, declaring how he has found everything he needs in Jesus.

At our 2009 Christmas celebration, 20 Hindus joined us to sing and play t Indian musical instruments. One Hindu woman gave her heart to the Lord. We praise God for all that He is doing through this annual outreach.

We have found an avenue for community outreach through local motels. Hindu motel owners have asked for our help to put Bibles in their motel rooms. Our vision is to lift Jesus up in Atlanta and to let Hindus know that there is no other god but Jesus-that He is the true God, the living God (Jeremiah 10:10)-and bring them to the knowledge of His saving grace.

Wait on the Lord 

India/Pakistani ministry is a slow process; it takes time to reach these people with Christ’s message of salvation. We are seeking God’s guidance again for the establishment of an Internet café, where Indians and Pakistanis can come to enjoy coffee or tea, see the JESUS film, and read books by Christian writers. God has brought us this far. We trust Him to expand our ministry to reach more Hindus through New Life India.


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