God communicates with and directs us through His Word, through answered prayer and even through visual experience (like Moses and the burning bush Exodus 3:4). Many have experienced specific directions from the Lord in their minds and thoughts—hearing God speak to them like Moses and Paul and others—resulting in conviction to carry out the Lord’s instructions. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27.
If you heard from the Lord, I bet you would listen.
That’s just what happened to Pastor Ranjit Abraham in 1974 in his native country of India. Though only 21 years of age, he was a trained chemist and had one of the highest paying jobs in his country. His life was secure and good. Then God spoke to him and said, “Son, I have called you for a very specific purpose. I want you to resign your job, get out of your home, and go and preach the Gospel to your people.” He became convinced in his heart, and that is exactly what he did!
Within a few months he was penny-less, hungry, homeless and sleeping on the street. He wondered where his next meal was coming from and considered it a miracle when he found something to eat. He lived on faith, but sometimes wondered, “Why did He call me?” For two years he prayed for God to help him.
And, God did! Ranjit joined forces with another pastor, V. A. Thampy in 1976 with the founding of New India Church of COG (NICOG). God has blessed their ministry beyond all hopes. For the next four years they ministered to the people of Southern India where the ratio of believers is 1 in 10.
In 1980, Pastor Abraham felt the call to expand the ministry to the people of Northern India. With the prayers of Pastor Thampy and friends, he began this next chapter of the ministry. He went to New Delhi and made it the base of a huge pioneering ministry that was to come.
The ratio in Northern India was even more staggering--1 believer for every 22,000 people! There was great resistance to the preaching of the Gospel there, along with the differences in languages, culture, idol worship and the expanse of untouched thousands of villages and towns.
With courage and his dedicated faith in the Lord, Pastor Abraham founded the first Church of New India Church of God in Delhi. Today it is one of the biggest churches in New Delhi and is growing continually. It took him ten years to establish 300 churches in Northern India. NICOG now serves across India through the founding of more than 3,000 churches!
Pastor Abraham says “God is doing amazing things in an area where Christians are persecuted the most.” A church that once had only forty people attend now has more than 3,000 people every week. And, people are traveling hundreds of miles to attend church services and to receive prayer.
Pastor Abraham also has a heart for the poor starving children in India. He discovered parents selling their children for pennies. Many of the children ended up working in sweat shops or on the street. The Bethesda Children’s Home was started in 2000, and today there are fourteen orphanages in India that have been founded by Pastor Abraham. He is committed to helping the children.
Today, forty years later after God’s call, there are nearly 3,500 churches, six Christian schools, the fourteen orphanages, and six Bible colleges established. Ranjit's next endeavor is to build a retirement home for aging pastors—in India they have no pensions, no life insurance and no social security. If their families do not care for them, they end up on the street.
This story began in 1968, when Ranjit Abraham was born into a middle class family, and the only son. He completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry while taking care of his parents. And, then he was called by God to do the unthinkable—he followed Christ with the hope of fulfilling his purpose on this earth. His desire is for God to continue this vision that He gave him for generations to come. Christ for India/New India Church of God is not just Pastor Abraham. It is bigger—God’s vision for the nation of India! In one of God’s Other Ways, He has really blessed this ministry and is bringing the Gospel to India!
Now glory be to God, who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. EPHESIANS 3:20 TLB