(Pictured above is the new Bethel Prayer Hall built by the Gowda family and a small but mighty community of donors)
I have so many favorite pictures of ministerial growth of my friends, Pastors Jagannath and Swati Gowda, but the one I have set in my featured photo for this blog post is the image that represents the foundation of every event that has led Jagannath and Swati Gowda to touching the lives of thousands in India. Here is Swati’s sent testimony.
“7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” -Titus 2: 7-8
“Praise the lord I am Swati Jagannath Gowda I am very happy to share my personal testimony, I was born and bought up in nominal Christian family. My father an Army man and my mother was a teacher, I am having three sisters and one brother. When my elder sister was born my grandparents and my all relatives were very sad because they were expected male child. Later again when my second sister was born my mother was upset Due to all my relatives and my grandparents. They started to insult and tortured her because she was not able to give male child in our family. But my father did not say anything.
As we know in India male child is having more priority in the family as well in the society. And all the blame goes to women not to a man. After 9 years I was born (February 18th), it was greatest shocking news for my grandparents and for my relatives during my birth time my father was in the army and he did not get holiday so my grandparents were very much discouraged to send him message about the birth of his third daughter. My mother was very much afraid that when my father comes to know about the birth of third female child what will be his reaction he may divorce her or neglect her. And my grandparents and relatives were cursing and torturing to my mother because she was not able to give male child to our family.
Even all our community was mocking at us. But my mother was tolerated everything but still she was having question that why she was born as a woman. When my father came to home my grandparents and my relatives were thinking that my father will be very sad and even he may not see the child face. But by the grace of God my father was born again in army he was baptized and he never addicted any bad habits he was a man of prayer. When he came to home he was so happy to see me and loved me so much so my grandparents and relatives were amazed to see him and he said that this child is gift of God. Then I got my younger brother and sister. But in all, my father loved me so much.
Because of me my father did not continue in army he involved in the mission board activities I was observing all his activities. But my father and my mother they knew women don’t have any value in the society so they gave education to us but my father was always sharing with us many issues about women’s. When I started to grow I had a question why women are neglected in the family, in the society in the community. I used to go to church regularly but our church was lukewarm church I did not know more about Christ or born-again experience. But one elderly evangelist he started to visit our house regularly and started to share good news. In our house, itself we started to grow in the knowledge of Christ.
In our Christian community, many children were not going to church and they never obeyed to their parents so in the young age I started at my house children club so many children started to come and I have seen great transformation in them. And I motivated them to go to church to bring changes in the church. Families are not able to send childrens to schools. I used to observe all this. My father was sharing issues about women’s he was encouraging us to study well and be school teachers so you can change many children in our community. So, I was motivating to girls to go to school who are not going to school so many girls started to go to school. Then by God’s grace we four sisters we became teachers started to work in different schools and our family was model to many people.
After my sister’s marriage, I was worried more about destitute and orphan children and for widows I was praying to God. God, I want to serve you. In the year of 1999. Jagannath Gowda came to our city to Preach Good news with Gospel tracks but he was not knowing language they were showing Jesus film and distributing spiritual books and they were doing faith ministry. In those days, many non-Christians persecuted him and his team members they beaten him. He prayed to God I will serve God in this city. About him my father was impressed because of his testimony and his commitment for the Lord in 2003 we married. And God blessed us with two sons ALLAN, and JOSHUA.
Then along with him I started ministry we were going door to door ministry through him I learn lot of things he is Role model for me. Now I am working as a teacher. Jagannath was working in one organization but in 2009 we registered one organization and in 2013 he resigned and started faith ministry. Now we started house church movement many house churches we have started, and many my club students are working in different places and there are many girls married very early for them I have motivated to study now they studied some of them are working in hospitals and in schools, and some of the girls are studying in our house.
Please pardon me I never shared my testimony with anyone but you are the one who asked my testimony several times I talked with many women but in writing I never shared. But now God has given wonderful sister that is you I am very happy to work with you and to learn from you. and eager to see you. If any grammatical mistake please help me.”
Swati’s goals are to educate women and children in the Lord as well as academics so that families can have a long-lasting relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, and that they may also rise above poverty. Jagannath and Swati take women and children into their home and provides them with all of their needs including an education. The risk and statistics of violence and exploitation these women and children face in India, without Christ-followers like Jagannath and Swati, is staggering. I want to lift them both up in prayer.
Father God I want to lift your mighty name and thank you for the work of Jagannath and Swati Gowda. Lord I want to praise you and thank you for Swati’s father and for the fact he couargeously answered your call and changed a legacy of family dynamics that many women and children from his blood line will hear their call and through God their calling will change the lives of millions. Lord we are so blessed to know Swati and thank her for being a strong Godly influence in the lives of the women and children she cares for. I want to ask that you continue to bless her and Jagannath with strength and endurance Lord because we know that we walk with Jesus, but soul winning can be a race at times. In the Blood of Jesus surround Jagannath, Swati, their sons and loved ones in and out of the ministry team with a blanket of protection. We call on you our mighty Lord to see to their every need so that they can continue your good works. On a personal note Lord I love them and thank you for bringing them in my life. I can’t wait for the day to embrace them and teach by their sides.
In your loving and powerful name,