Investment today. Impact tomorrow.
Chaos! Pure chaos! That’s the overwhelming impression as you whizz around in the back of a rickshaw through the throbbing streets of Old Dhaka in Bangladesh. There are people everywhere, and it’s little short of a miracle that your rickshaw hasn’t collided with anything or anyone. The colours, the smells and the noise are like nothing you have experienced as your tour of the never–ending warren of markets and street kitchens continues.
Bangladesh is a relatively young nation, having gained independence from Pakistan only 50 years ago. The two regions were bound together as one country when India was partitioned, primarily because of the predominance of Islam in both areas… Never mind Pakistan and Bangladesh being located on opposite sides of India, with little other than religion in common!
Dhaka is one of the most populated cities in the world. It has over 20 million residents, with an estimated 2000 people moving to the city every single day. As you look around at the abundance of life and culture on display, a thought strikes you. Bangladesh is place full of people and full of need, yet you will probably never even think of this nation except when the label on your clothing reads ‘Made in Bangladesh’, or when extreme floods briefly hit the headlines. While the country is certainly often overlooked by many in the West, there are enormous opportunities for the gospel here.
Today, Bangladesh remains a Muslim–majority nation, albeit with a significant Hindu minority. However, we praise God that many small churches have been planted across this land through decades of faithful gospel witness. Despite this, there remains an enormous spiritual need, particularly for young people. 45% of the population are aged 24 or younger. Expected to do little other than study hard, get a good job and start a family, discipleship and outreach for young people is not on the priority list.
We’re privileged to partner with pioneer youth workers reaching and discipling hundreds of young people in Bangladesh every single week. As a generation of young people are transformed into mighty followers of Christ, the spiritual future of Bangladesh looks brighter. Fifty years ago, the country found independence and the church began to grow – only the Lord knows what incredible impact this generation will have for the Kingdom.
Support workers in Bangladesh through our Asian Workers Fund.