In India, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and various other religions play their part in the nation’s cultural makeup. Christianity lends itself to 2.3% of the population – an estimated 27.8 million people. C3 Church currently has eight churches spread out across India and Beth and I set out to tell the story of one – C3 Siliguri.
When we first arrived at Pastor John and Carlin’s house we discovered three things; their love and hospitality, the vision of the Church, and the significant position of Siliguri. Known as “The Gateway of North East India”, Siliguri is recognised as the centre of trade for it’s neighbouring towns, states and countries. Seated at the base of the Himalayan Ranges, this commercial centre is bordered by Nepal, Tibet and Bangladesh. Siliguri therefore holds major economic influence, not just for India, but South Asia as well.
You can only imagine why a church plant here holds such significance.
From when we first arrived to when we left, the Pastors, their family and church members showed us the kind of hospitality Paul talks about in the New Testament. But it wasn’t just their kindness to people who were merely strangers a few days before, but it was their love for God and their church family that moved me.
Many had left their homes and families to build a church in a foreign place with foreign people. Why? Because of love. The same love God has also given to us – for Him and His people. Pastor John and Carlin spoke with pride of the C3 family they had become part of. A family, in their eyes, that had the responsibility to take in and care for anyone and everyone.
The vision of C3 Siliguri is continuing to grow. “We are growing in every area possible” says Pastor John, believing they will soon have the funds to lay the foundation for a new building on the land they have recently purchased. I have no doubt that with their partners and support from other C3 Churches around the world, C3 Siliguri will prosper.
Beth and I were so blessed to meet these people and to be part of this global family. Stand with us in prayer as we believe C3 Siliguri will not just be able to touch the lives of those around them but this will overflow into neighbouring countries, leading a movement throughout North East India and Asia.
Caleb Westwood + Bethany Ross