Engaging with Sindhis across the world

During March this year I travelled to Hong Kong to be part of the International Sindhi Partnership Consultation. The heart of this consultation is to pray for God’s Kingdom to grow amongst Sindhis across the world, and to work out what we can do to encourage it. Globally, the Sindhi community consists of about 28 million Muslims in Pakistan, and 4 million Hindus in India and the rest of the world. It is estimated that only 42,000 Sindhis follow Christ (0.1% of the total).

Dinesh Chawla the main speaker, who leads a significant Sindhi church in India, shared from his experience of seeing Sindhi churches grow. Deepak Mahtani (SAC) challenged us to consider a greater vision: that of seeing all Sindhis in our regions have the chance to hear and respond to the gospel in our lifetime.

A key moment for me was when William (India) led us in a very powerful exercise. Dividing us into groups, he gave us a few minutes to use anything we had on us to make the longest line on the ground. Within seconds we started taking off shoes, belts, raiding handbags (not necessarily our own!), even lying down on the ground, doing anything we could to win. I was fascinated to see the energy and resourcefulness we found to achieve the task, and was left wondering how we could motivate each other as effectively to fulfil the great commission amongst Sindhis.

One of the priorities of the consultation is outreach and the week ended with a cultural night for the local community of Sindhis which had a mix of dance (Sindhi and Bollywood!), drama, Sindhi songs, testimony and a short talk followed by the opportunity to receive prayer.

Around the time of the consultation a small team travelled to Dubai, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Okinawa, Manila and Singapore to encourage Sindhi believers and reach out to their family and friends. A few Sindhis came to faith as a result.

Please pray for those who heard the good news as a result of the consultation and also for on-going projects around the world. These include a women’s hospital and the Pakistan Bible Correspondence School in the Sindh, Bible translation work in India and Pakistan and Sindhi fellowships and churches in India and South East Asia.

The International Sindhi Partnership Consultation has been running biennially since 2000, and this year 40 participants representing 11 countries attended. During 2013-14 a group of us prayed particularly for the “next generation”. This year, four “next gens” registered independently, and the group continue to engage with each other. We also had two new countries represented – Sri Lanka and Australia – so we now know Sindhis who follow Jesus in 24 countries.

It’s wonderful to see what God is doing. The next consultation will be in Jakarta 2020.

Suneel Shivdasani
Trustee, South Asian Concern