The Derek Prince Ministries outreach to the Indian subcontinent was birthed in 1997, a couple of months before Derek Prince visited the region for a huge pastors and leaders conference in Hyderabad, India. The main need at that time was to print Derek’s books in India and in Indian languages to be distributed amongst the leadership of the church which needed clear and sound Biblical based doctrine. The Foundation Series was the first book to be printed and released at Derek’s conference in Hyderabad.
Whilst releasing the book, Derek said, “I believe this will be the book that will shake the foundations of the nation of India” and sure enough, it has been a book that has helped many thousands of pastors and leaders to be firmly grounded in the foundations of the Christian faith. As one pastor said to us, “…all these days I built my Christian life on what my pastor/mentor preached, but this book has opened my eyes and helped me see the foundations of the faith that I need to build on so that I will never be shaken.”
Our outreach to the Indian subcontinent began with translating and printing Derek’s books into several Indian languages. The books were distributed through various partner ministries. But probably the biggest impact was created by the Graduate Gift Program that was launched by Derek Prince Ministries India in 2000, wherein every year students of various Bible colleges all over India have received a “gift pack” of Derek’s books in their own languages when they graduated from Bible College. Over 150,000 Bible college graduates have received these materials over the last two decades.
The Principal of one of the Bible colleges wrote to thank Directors Elsie and Danny, saying, “I would receive the books and pass it on to my students but had never read any of the books myself. I had one set of books in my library. One day, due to a particularly depressing situation in my life, I felt I had failed in my duty as a father and was hopeless. While I was blankly gazing over my library in that depressed mood, my eyes fell on the book “Fatherhood” that Derek Prince had written. I began to read it and it so deeply touched my heart and gave me new hope that I was able to arise out of my situation.”
After a decade of successfully reaching the educated leadership, beginning in 2010, the focus of our outreach to the India subcontinent shifted to training the less privileged pastors. Many of these leaders had become a pastor simply because they were the first person to be saved in their village and when their family and others in the village came to Christ, they became the leader by default, being the oldest Christian there. So not having “fresh bread” to serve to their congregations every week led to stunted growth of the believers and ultimately the church, with many falling away.
We began to systematically train these pastors using 13 of Derek’s teachings – beginning with The Divine Exchange, Foundations, the Holy Spirit and other important ones as well, ultimately leading up to Entering the Presence of God Through Worship and The Glorious Church. These trainings were held once every month and lasted for a period of 22 to 24 months. The impact that this had on their lives and ministries was amazing. One pastor who was formally trained and thought he didn’t need to know more, sent his wife to the training. She began to take back what she had learnt to her husband and the congregation and within 12 months, what was a church of just 20 people had grown to over 200.
Our focus has always been to reach the leadership as through them we can impact a larger number of people. Secondly, India is a land of varied cultures – every one of the 28 states has a different language and culture. Therefore, there is the need to take the teaching to the people of those states in a culturally sensitive manner. So, putting the teaching and resources into the hands of the leaders helps to translate it into a culture specific and culturally sensitive form – for greater impact.
Another testimony more recently received from a pastor who had received formal pastoral training and was then introduced to our teaching was this: “I was taught that the Holy Spirit was just a concept in the Bible but not a person or a power to be experienced. The fact is that due to this kind of a concept being embedded in my mind, my ministry was ineffective. Thanks to the teaching I received from Derek Prince Ministries – my understanding of the Holy Spirit and His work transformed my life and ministry and has now made me an effective minister of the Gospel in the many villages around my town.”
India is a country where leading people to spiritual maturity was an unheard-of thing in the days when this ministry was started. Leaders thought they were the mediators between God and man and the believers would always come to them for any needs they had, to be raised in prayer. The teaching brought release and maturity first to the leadership and through that to the churches that they shepherded. Although this still is a challenge, slowly and steadily Derek’s teaching is helping to bring change.
Following this the doors also opened to holding pastor’s seminars throughout India. At these seminars we would teach on The Divine Exchange and Curse to Blessing – which is a vital subject to the nation of India. This would open a door of interest into Derek’s teachings and immediately we would present them with a pack of Derek’s books that they took back and read. With the development of technology, we also began to put Derek’s messages in MP3 and video format on micro SD cards and provided them to thousands of leaders in English, Hindi and Tamil – these being the highest spoken regional Indian languages.
In more recent years we have seen an intense growth in the persecution of the church in India and therefore it becomes even more important that we put the teaching quickly and efficiently into the hands of as many leaders as possible. This definitely helps strengthen the leadership and through them, the believers, helping them stand in the face of all adversity.
During the COVID lockdown period, one pastor said to us, “Thanks for the teaching and the resources you seeded in our lives. During this very depressing phase of lockdown, that was exactly what brought us hope and helped us instill hope in the hearts of our church believers – many of whom were actually beginning to lose hope and break under the weight of their fears.”
Until the next generation of “digitally educated” Indian Christian leaders arise, our greatest challenge is also in getting the regional language pastors to use the resources we have online. And so we must use the resources in every possible format so that leaders from every background – educated, uneducated, privileged and underprivileged – can have and use them. Our desire, vision and goal are to see a glorious, beautifully adorned, mature Church arise to her fullness in India and we believe that Derek Prince Ministries has a great part and responsibility in this!