Mobilizing South Asian Christians to Evangelize Their Peers in Their Homeland and Abroad
The North American Council of South Asian Christians (NACSAC) was organized two years ago with the express purpose of mobilizing South Asian Christians in North America to evangelize the people of and from South Asia and the world. South Asia is comprised of countries that fall within the 10/40 Window--India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka--where less than 2.5% of the 1.2 billion inhabitants have been evangelized. Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism have been deeply entrenched for hundreds, even thousands, of years in this area.
NACSAC's stated goals include the following:
To encourage an increasing volume of prayer to undergird the work of evangelizing the target group; To create and distribute a comprehensive directory of South Asian Christian churches, organizations and leaders to facilitate local, regional, national and continent-wide networking;
To make special arrangements to mobilize young South Asians to evangelize and disciple their peers;
To take steps in the form of seminars, meetings and publications to increase the awareness of North American churches to the challenge presented by the overt and subtle growth in North America of religions that have their origins in South Asia, and educate Christians to meet this challenge.
NACSAC held the first of a planned series of eight focus meetings at the U.S. Center for World Mission from September 6-10, 1994. The meeting attendees included several South Asian Christian leaders in North America as well as some laypeople from South Asian and non- South Asian communities. Samuel Kamaleson, main speaker of the last meeting session, stressed the importance of "celebrating the otherness" among the different cultural, ethnic and racial groups of South Asians, pointing out that among Christians, diversity should equal strength, not weakness.
Kamaleson also emphasized the importance of listening to God in going forward with any plans developed by the organization. "If we don't know how to listen to God," he said, "we will not know how to listen to each other." Indeed, the leaders of NACSAC have decided to listen, both to God and to the input those who attend the next seven focus meetings, and refrain from moving forward with any programs until the meetings are concluded in April of next year.
"NACSAC desires to be interdenominational, a catalyst for mobilization, and rooted in prayer," said president T.V. Thomas. "NACSAC is to be a facilitator of mobilization for evangelism and missions, rather than an organization that runs mission agencies. Our goal is partnership with existing organizations, facilitating and enhancing their ministries--not to eclipse them."
If the enthusiastic response of attendees, their unity in prayer and dicussions, and the warm presence of the Holy Spirit at this first meeting are characteristic of the next seven meetings as well, then there is good reason to believe that God will bless NACSAC.
Coming Focus Meetings Nyack NY,Nov. 12, 1994 Philadelphia PA,Nov. 13, 1994 Vancouver BC,To be announced Atlanta GA,To be announced Dallas TX,To be announced San Francisco CA,To be announced Eighth meeting not yet set.