As Baptist Men’s Director Richard Brunson told eager church planter candidates at the Great Commission Training Center in Patna, “When North Carolina churches hear about you, they get excited about what is happening here.”
A list of possibilities:
- $4,000 — Adopt a village. This money funds a new well, a church planter for one year, a bicycle for the planter, a one-day medical clinic, showing of the “Jesus” film, literacy training, 200 Bibles and 200 hymn books.
- $800 — Provide a well
- $1,200 — Support a church planter for one year. “We have 10 church planters ready to go,” Thomas said. “They just need support.” Each planter works in at least five villages.
- $600 — Support a child at Mercy Home orphanage for one year. $50 monthly. Thomas plans to start a home for girls, as well.
- $100 — Purchase a new, pedal powered sewing machine to give a graduate the tool she needs to start her business and become self supporting.
- $390,000 — Purchase three acres of land and build a facility in which Transforming India Movement (TIM) can locate its offices, the Great Commission Training Center and Mercy Home orphanage. A site has been identified near Rupuspur that is available for $150,000. Land costs are rising quickly because the Indian government is committed to move the area forward and modernize it.
- Monthly — Any amount to support the ongoing work of Transformation India Movement. Thomas and his wife, Margaret, had made an early commitment not to tell others of their needs. But they operate on $150,000 annually, support 48 people in various ministries and have personally had to move seven times in 10 years. Landlords do not like the traffic the orphanage and Great Commission Training Center create and are limiting TIM’s capacities for training and caring for children.
Gifts and support are best funneled through the Baptist Men’s partnership office, Brunson said. This keeps transfer fees overseas to a minimum and enables the partnership office to stay abreast of North Carolina Baptist involvement in the partnership.
Thomas married Margaret in 2001 and they have daughter Christine, 7, and son Nathan, 3. They met when Thomas was featured in a Christian magazine as an eligible bachelor with a commitment to Bihar. Her own calling was to Bihar before they ever met.
Although he received 10 proposals for marriage from the article, he said Margaret’s was the first – and the only match because of her commitment to minister in Bihar. They married 15 days after meeting.
Thomas wants to establish work in each of the 39 districts of Bihar. So far TIM is in eight.
“I desire there should not be any village that doesn’t hear the gospel,” he said. “I want to spread the work to other states, too. We are getting many requests from people to ‘come help us.’”
Thomas will be speaking Saturday, March 21 at the annual Baptist Men’s meeting at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte. He has appointments in the Fayetteville area March 22, and in Raleigh on March 24. He is still establishing his schedule and could possibly speak at your church or association. Contact Baptist Men for his schedule at (919) 459-5597.
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