This morning, our Sunday School teacher took us to another state in India. Bihar is a state in the northeastern part of India, right beside Nepal and the Himalayas. It is the poorest state in all of India.
Most of the people living there are farmers. They raise animals like cows and buffalo and grow crops including rice, wheat, sugarcane, and potatoes. But the farmers have a big problem. Bihar has two major rivers running through it—the Ganges and the Kosi. Both rivers tend to flood a lot, which can destroy the crops. When their crops are gone, the farmers have no money to plant new ones.
The floods bring other problems, too. All the dirty water that rushes in destroys the clean water that is stored and ruins everything it touches, like all of the food in your house and the seeds you have to plant next year’s crops. The dirty water carries diseases and can make many people very sick. It can even be deadly. And the floods often kill the livestock that the farmers need to survive.
Of all the states in India, Bihar has the second-highest number of people living in it—approximately 100 million people. Of all those people, less than 1% of them know Jesus as their Savior. Most have never even heard of Him. Bihar is where the religion of Buddhism began, but most people living there today believe in Hinduism or Islam.
One of the many groups of people living in Bihar is the Yadava people. Some of the Yadava are doctors and politicians, but others are very poor. In some places, if you are a boy, you might get to go to school, but you will probably be needed to work on the farm and help take care of the animals and crops. If you are a girl, you have an even smaller chance of going to school than the boys. Many of the children’s parents do not know how to read or write. But if the children don’t go to school and their parents can’t read, who will teach them?
There are lots of different ways we can pray for the people of Bihar.
“Dear God, please help all of the people living in Bihar, including the Yadava, to learn to read and write. Please help each of them to have the chance to read Your Word and trust in You to rescue their hearts no matter what floods come to their homes. Help them to build their lives on You, the only solid foundation that cannot be washed away. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
I have a special prayer request this week, too. On Saturday, a terrible cyclone hit Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. There will be an awful lot of people who are hurting and who will go home only to find that their homes, their animals, and their belongings are all gone. Please say a special prayer this week for the people hurt by this cyclone. Please pray that they will have what they need to take care of their families, and please also pray that the Christians who are serving them will help them understand the truth about Jesus. Thanks.
Download a printable version of All Around India: Bihar.
Download a notebooking page about India and Bihar with questions for additional exploration.