I will sing about Jesus: HE SET ME FREE

From the Mountains to the Valleys – from Sea to Sea – I will sing about Jesus: HE SET ME FREE
— Pastor Pramod Nag, Odisha State, India
Pastor Pramod Nag, Odisha State, India

Pastor Pramod Nag, Odisha State, India

I hail from an orthodox Hindu family. Like my forefathers, I worshipped the Hindu gods and godesses, offered sacrifices, visited many temples and for seven years was dancing around the deities at Hindu festivals under the influence of the spirits. I suffered a lot on account of demon possession. I tried my best to deliver myself from this but I could not

Finally one of my Christian friends took me to a Lutheran pastor who was very old. The pastor prayed for me, cast out the evil spirits in the name of Jesus Christ and delivered me from the bondage of demon possession. Now I understood the power of Jesus. I went to the pastor regularly to know more about Jesus and Christianity.

Thus I came to believe in Jesus and accepted him as my personal Lord and Saviour. My family did not like this. They wanted to kill me. Three times members of my wider family tried to murder me – like by poisoning my food and drowning me in the river. But the Lord saved my life. I fled from them for my life.

I studied at an interdenominational evangelical seminary and worked for TRANS WORLD RADIO and VISWAVANI (‘The Word For The World’). I was ordained by JEYPORE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH (JELC), the main Lutheran Church in our area, and I also worked for them among the tribal people.

Unfortunately JELC is liberal. These days they do not go to preach the Gospel to the lost, to Hindus etc. Their church keeps going through biological replenishment. Many people have left the church and joined Pentecostals and others. Churches like JELC  have lost their missionary spirit. I noticed that they are going away from the original teachings of Martin Luther.

The church in Amda Village with evangelist Dhansai Bhotra, the young man in the white shirt in the middle

The church in Amda Village with evangelist Dhansai Bhotra, the young man in the white shirt in the middle

So I established ODISHA LUTHERAN MISSION in the South west of the state in 1996 independently – over 20 years ago, in poverty, with no partner and no resources. Why do I feel so strongly about the need for mission? Because I personally am a convert from Hinduism and I know the bondage and darkness of that life! My aim has been to establish a strong conservative Lutheran Church to do missionary work among the unreached tribes of Odisha and to restore true Lutheranism according to the Bible and the Confessions.

Odisha State used to be called Orissa State. It was there that Australian missionaries Graham Staines and his two sons Phillip and Timothy were burnt alive by Hindu fanatics a few years ago. At present we have 13 mission congregations in the remote, rural and tribal villages of Odisha.

We want to be a part of your organisation – AFA. Please accept us. We found you on the internet. I was inspired to get in touch with you. We have written many letters to America and elsewhere but no one wants to partner with us – or even visit us to find out the facts.

Why is many a church in the world ignored or forgotten?

All LWF member churches like the LCA are not really able to support churches such as ODISHA LUTHERAN MISSION because it would be seen as being critical of other LWF partner churches. This is one more reason why AFA needs to exist. We pick up many a church that has fallen through the cracks and is unknown and unrecognized internationally. We support their lonely battle. However, we are not ‘bleeding heart do-gooders’ who help everyone. We have to examine carefully and painstakingly, even critically, every group that wants to link up with us.
— Pr August Fricke

 I would like you to visit as soon as possible and teach our people the holy, Christian Faith according to the Lutheran Reformation. India needs Jesus – and you! We feel alone because the 11 Lutheran churches in India belonging to the Lutheran World Federation are liberal and therefore don’t want us. They mainly do social work, not Gospel work.  There is also a conservative Lutheran church in India but they are also like the liberal churches – often fighting, with court cases.

We have no connections with any church body or council.  Our mission is boldly preaching the Gospel, serving our suffering people and planting as many churches as possible. We are a community of Christ Jesus followers who are serious about mission – to enable all to come and commit to Jesus. We serve, rejoice and suffer together.

Jesus transforms lives

The Odisha Lutheran Mission Church in Santoshpur Village.

The Odisha Lutheran Mission Church in Santoshpur Village.

Jesus Christ is the only hope for eternity and when we present Him to the next generation, lives are transformed. We have plans to reach every person, every village with a relevant presentation of the Gospel.

 Many blind, blighted, bound and Bibleless people are living in this sin-darkened region not knowing why they were born, why they live and how they are to die. How sad that the treasured truth of the remedy in Christ has not reached the ears of so many of them.

 We do not have resources, therefore I am praying to God to open a door for us to do effective and intensive mission work. Lost souls are weary of their wandering and must be reached at any cost.