Discipling Bangladesh’s youth for God’s glory.
In Bangladesh, a new partnership is seeing young people discipled and prepared for leadership. Our key partner in this work is Philip, whose name has been changed for security.
Decades ago, Philip founded a ministry in the country’s rural villages, where churches rarely had the resources or volunteers to run discipleship programmes for their young people. Philip would visit a church, introduce himself, and begin a youth group with young people not just from the church, but surrounding Muslim and Hindu homes as well. He and his team would prepare resources and studies for these groups and invest in key young people who eventually began leading the groups themselves. Thirty years later, Philip still gets calls from those young leaders, only now they lead churches as pastors instead. Philip is no businessman, but the return on investment with young people can be extraordinary!
The ministry continues to this day, with the young people’s ‘Life Groups’ meeting weekly on a Friday, gathering in someone’s home or in a church building for fun, fellowship and Bible study. Philip’s desire, along with his team, is to see new life in Christ begin in Bangladeshi young people, but there have been many ups and downs along the way. The team around Philip has grown, and AsiaLink have provided motorbikes for workers here through the “On Your Bike’’ appeal. These have proved incredibly useful for workers as they zip between villages meeting young people.
In 2020, the pandemic posed a huge challenge. No longer could the team visit each group to distribute resources so in response, Philip turned to Zoom. Smartphones were delivered to group leaders and every week the ‘Life Groups’ would gather together to join a Zoom call for a talk, games, music, dancing and fun! These Zoom calls have been a big hit, and 1000 young people continue to tune in each week!
Philip thanks God for the wide reach the ministry has had, especially considering the context in which the work takes place. Nearly all participants come from incredibly poor villages, with little electricity and no running water. When they meet as a ‘Life Group’ to join a call, there could be fifteen or more young people crowded around a single smartphone trying to watch and listen. AsiaLink have provided each group with a Bluetooth speaker to make hearing the call easier and we hope to assist in providing better technology for viewing in the future.
Despite these limitations, the young people love being a part of these groups and are growing in faith as a result. Remarkably, several groups are attended by non–Christians as well. Pray with us for the Lord to build up these young people in the faith, preparing the next generation of church leaders.
Support Philip and the team in Bangladesh through our Asian Workers Fund.