On Mission in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a South Asian nation of 162 million people: 89% Muslim and 10% Hindu. Christians total less than 1% of the population. With a high poverty rate and a shortage of adequate health care, the life expectancy ranks #133 in the world.
There are an estimated 8,000 brick kilns scattered across the countryside, where men, women, and children are employed doing backbreaking work in rough conditions. Paid for each brick made or carried to the kiln, a fast worker might earn the equivalent of $20 in a week.
Behind a brick kiln on the outskirts of Dhaka rises the beautiful structure of the Holiness Academy. This is a multi-year project funded largely by the Moses and Dean King family foundation. The structure houses a community school for over 150 local students from Muslim families, as well as the Frances Carter Boarding hostel for some 30 students from Christian families in remote villages. With a computer room, classrooms, large meeting rooms, guest rooms, and dormitory facilities, the building is used for a number of ministries.
In late February, eight individuals from the U.S., Japan, and the Philippines met in Dhaka to hold a series of medical clinics, with the Holiness Academy serving as the first stop on our itinerary. The goal of the team was to offer care and medicine in the name of Christ, thereby blessing the local communities and assisting the local churches with outreach to their neighbors. Patients appeared in a variety of apparel, reflecting varied ages and religious backgrounds. Each patient received professional care and compassionate concern from our skilled and experienced team.
Textile factories account for 80% of Bangladesh exports. We held two days of clinics for a garment factory whose Christian owner wished to bless his employees. The 2,000 workers at Alpha Clothing produce goods for Kohl's, JC Penney, and other well-known U.S. brands.
The next clinic destination was a new church plant targeting impoverished workers at a rice mill compound. With no building to use, we were blessed to be provided with a makeshift tent to work in. The patients here showed signs of malnutrition and lack of regular medical care.
A highlight of the trip was the dedication of a new church building in south Bangladesh. This building was funded by donations from an Indian brother who runs a garment factory in Bangladesh. Praise the Lord for the generosity of His people!
A personal highlight for me was to be joined on the trip by my son-in-law, Hiro Bamba and his son, Alex. They brought with them origami and other items from Japan, which proved very popular with the children.
I want to extend a special thanks to the folks from the U.S. who used vacation time to travel halfway around the world to carry out this medical mission. Also, I want to extend another special thanks to the local pastor who prayed for every individual who was willing to receive it.
Prayer and Partnership
• Pray for pioneer missionaries, Vijay and Aparanjani Balla, who have labored faithfully and sacrificially to establish a thriving work in Bangladesh. You may support their ministry by clicking the appropriate button below.
• Pray for the pastors and church planters in Bangladesh as they strive to reach new areas with the gospel, while facing hostile opposition.
• Pray for the teachers, staff, and students of the Holiness Academy and Frances Carter Boarding. Pray that the Word of the Lord will take root in the students, and that they will fulfill God's good purpose for their lives.
• Pray for Sandra and me as we continue to pursue the advancement of the kingdom of God in Asia. You may support our ministry by clicking the appropriate button below.
Thank you for your partnership in the gospel! We can do nothing without your prayer and support!
Russell & Sandra Board