About the People
Located in the southeastern corner of the state of Uttar Pradesh, the city of Mirzapur is the capital of the largest district in India, hosting more than 1.6 million people. The state of Uttar Pradesh, having a population of over 200 million people, would be considered the 5th largest country in the world if it was an independent nation. This state is a melting pot of 260 distinct people groups, of which 255 are unreached with the gospel.
About the Project
AFM missionaries John and Beth Baxter worked in Mirzapur from 1993 until 1999, opening the Pratna Bhawan (House of Prayer) for daily services and evangelism. A small group of committed believers became disciples of Jesus while the Baxter family served in Mirzapur. They developed a series of personal and correspondence Bible studies, Stories of Life, for the Indian people. They were forced to leave amid growing threats of religious violence. The Baxters were called to work with for the General Conference at the Bible Seminary Training Program in the Punjab where they helped train Indian young men to serve as pastors and volunteers. Although AFM has officially suspended Mirzapuri project, the work in Mirzapur has continued under the direction of one of these local volunteers.
Here are a few praises to God from the Baxters about their time in Mirzapur:
- Standing in awe at how God answered our prayers to know that He wanted us to go to Mirzapur.
- Developing many friends who share our love for Jesus and cooperated with us in taking the everlasting gospel to the people of Uttar Pradesh.
- Innumerable divine appointments across the vast subcontinent, meeting with many people who were eager to learn of the Savior.
- Marveling at the patience and perseverance of my wife as she endured many challenges.
- Being able to assist several Indian children with their education, giving them the gift of reading, some being the first in their family that know how to read.
- Rejoicing at the birth of our daughter, Hannah “Jyoti” Beth, and her response to “Jesus Loves Me.”
- Learning to “enjoy” malaria as an opportunity to slow down and commune with God as He cured me.
- Cherishing the birth of Sarah “Jaya” Jeanina, caught by Grandma at home in the foothills of the Himalayas.
- Making friends with people from all social strata of the Indian society.
- Wrote and published Stories of Life in home and correspondence Bible studies in English and Hindi for the people of India.
- Seeing the transformation in “Matthew Singh,” formerly Ram Gopal, as Jesus healed his heart and gave him new life.
- Having faithful friends from around the world share of their financial means to support God’s work, and to help save our lives.
- Witnessing the battle and victory in opening and restoring the House of Prayer for the glory of God.
- Seeing the power of God as He set people free and cast demons out of their mind.
- Having several other dear friends be convicted of truth and converted to the Savior.
- Sharing in prayers and labors with several student missionaries. [You are missed by your friends in Mirzapur and our family.]
- Singing praise as Jesus sent His angels and protected us when we were threatened to be killed.
- Watching a young man who had died coming back to life in answer to a simple prayer.
- Being humbled that God would send His Son to die for me, and permit me to be an ambassador for Him.
- Population: 1,600,000
- Trade Language: Hindi
- Religion: 93% Hindu, 7% Muslim