Have you ever walked barefoot outside? Have you ever tried to climb a mountain that way? It’s not usually a good idea to try to climb anything without the right kind of shoes. You can slip and fall and get hurt very badly. But Sundar Singh knew God was calling him to walk across the mountains to tell people about His love, so Sundar went, even though he wasn’t wearing any shoes. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. I need to tell you who I am talking about.
Sundar Singh is the name of a missionary our Sunday School teacher told us about this morning. He lived in India at the end of the 1800s. He was born and grew up in an area called Punjab. Punjab is in the northern part of India, and it borders Pakistan on the west. The land is some of the best land for growing things anywhere in the world. Seeds love to grow there! The land is well-watered and special varieties of rice and wheat are planted there. These varieties produce a larger crop than others.
When Sundar was a boy, a seed was planted in his heart. He wanted to know who God was. He grew up following the Sikh religion. Sikhs don’t believe in Jesus. They believe in a god who is like a strong force but who doesn’t love them or care about them. Sundar learned about many religions that claimed to be true, including Christianity, but he wanted to know for sure. He needed to find out which one was telling the truth. Since they didn’t all agree with each other, they couldn’t all be right. His mother encouraged him to keep looking for the answers he needed. Sundar even went to a Christian school for a while.
Sikhs grow their crops and they harvest the fields but they don’t know about the God who created the soil to plant in and the seeds to grow. They don’t know that He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us. And they don’t know that they can live forever with Him in Heaven.
Even though Sundar wasn’t sure what was true, he knew he had to keep looking until he did. The seed had been planted in his heart and it would not leave. We’ll hear more of Sundar Singh’s story next week and find out what happened to help him decide.
Christians in Punjab are trying to tell others about Jesus, too. Just like seeds that are planted in the soil, the message of God’s love is going out and being planted in people’s hearts. I’m going to pray that it takes root and grows. Will you pray with me?
“Dear God, please help the people of Punjab, whether they are Sikhs or any other faith. Please help them hear that God is real and believe that Jesus loves them. Help them trust You and let Your Word grow in their hearts. Just like You make the rice and wheat grow to feed the people’s stomachs, please help them believe that You are the only One who can feed their souls. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
If you’d like to learn more about Punjab and the country of India, you can download Bold Believers in India, a free Kids of Courage book with stories and activities.
Another book you might enjoy borrowing from your library is Sundar Singh: Footprints Over the Mountains by Janet and Geoff Benge.
You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.