India: Prolific in a pandemic

By John Maust

Indian author Babu Verghese usually travels nine months out of the year preaching across his nation of 1.35 billion. But when COVID-19 set in, he had to stay put in Mumbai, which made headlines as India’s worst-hit city.

“By God’s mercy, the shut-in has been a productive time,” Babu said in a massive understatement. In the past four months, he completed three book manuscripts, a booklet and two Gospel tracts, with his daughter Sneha serving as editor.

Even by Babu’s fast writing standards, this seems like off-the-charts productivity. “The books are powerful stories of conversion, mission and persecution,” he said.

A long-time friend and trainer for MAI, Babu and his wife, Elsy, have so far avoided infection, even though India led the world for new, daily COVID-19 cases reported in August.

“But we are most concerned about the millions of precious souls in India who live in shanties and slums,” he said. “May the Coronavirus compel us to draw nearer to Christ and share about Him.”

Babu’s own life was threatened after his recent TV interview on Christian contributions to India, the subject of one of his books. The man who had threatened Babu called and harassed him repeatedly, but always listened. Recently he asked for forgiveness, wanting to meet and read his books.

Creating evangelistic materials is Babu’s focus for the pandemic and beyond. “The plan is to produce 5 gospel tracts in 12 languages, 3 booklets, the Gospel of John, and 1 or 2 conversion testimony books.”

“What a joy!” he said.  “Even amidst shut-in, we can communicate the Gospel.”

>>Learn how you can pray for writers like Babu

John Maust is president of MAI.

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