08 Feb Meet a Harvester in India ~ Moka Family
Get an inside look as we interview one of the many men who have answered God’s calling “…The harvest is great but the workers are few.” Matthew 9:37 We thank you for your support and faithfulness in prayer. God is equipping and sending out new workers daily to share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ!
Church Plant Date: March 2000
Pastor: Jayaraj Moka
In the midst of temples and idol worship there lives a family of five. A white, brick home with a thatched roof sits in the midst of many multiple story homes in the village of Donapudi. The surrounding homes are inhabited by high caste members of the Hindu faith. In this particular home lives a family who has dared to plant themselves in Donapudi. Their main focus is to live out the action of love in a biblically rooted, revolutionary way, amidst a culture that opposes them. In a place where the belief that of no matter what you do in this life can change your destiny, live the Moka’s, under an entirely different belief. This is their story.
Now a Pastor, Jayaraj Moka was born into a Christian family. His mother and his father were fishermen and raised their son well, instilled a solid foundation, and spoke truth and affirmation into their son during his development, through biblical teachings. As Jayaraj matured and reached working age he also began a career as a fisherman. He found the challenges of fishing enticing, enjoyable, and productive. The work was continuous and gave a means to aid his parents financial circumstances. He recalls the happenings of 1996 as the year God placed a clear call on his life in ministry. In April 1996, Jayaraj had a vision in his sleep in which he was tending to a flock of sheep. A voice called out to him to “feed the sheep.” When he awoke he disregarded the vision as nothing more than dream and continued in his work as a fisherman. In May of the same year, he went on a late night fishing excursion. While at sea he fell from the side of the boat and was quickly carried down current. He struggled to swim back to the boat, but was unsuccessful and drifted further and further away. Growing tired and losing hope of survival, he began to sink. In that moment, he was visited by the same voice from his vision with this instruction, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” and then the voice again instructed him to “feed the sheep“. This time the calling was clear and in that moment Jayaraj surrendered his plans for his future and pleaded with the Lord to spare his life so that he could give himself to the Kingdom work of God’s plan. Although he cannot recount how he survived, he is indeed a survivor of that near death experience as he awoke on the deck of the boat, soaking wet, minutes later. Jayaraj counts this miracle as the turning point in his life where the scales fell from his eyes as he was awakened to God’s calling. In the days that followed Jayaraj retold the happenings of his fishing trip to countless friends and sought the biblical counsel of Sambasavarao, a well respected and Godly mentor to many men in the area where Jayaraj had grown up. Sambbasavarao advised Jayaraj to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and study the holy scripture daily. He referred him to a bible college run by Harvest India near Vijayawada. In late 1996, as though the year had not brought enough life changing moments to Jayaraj, he met and married Usharani, the young woman whom his parents had arranged for him to wed earlier that same year.
Life has changed quite drastically since 1996. Jayaraj did seek out the opportunity to study scripture and has fully embraced the call the Lord so clearly placed on his life. He studied at Harvest India’s bible college near Vijayawada from 1997-1999 and upon graduation he fully immersed himself in ministry. He has, since the completion of his degree, begun and continued ministry programs in three local villages near his home. In order to gather materials for his village ministry in the early years he had to travel quite a distance to obtain tracts. Tracts are preprinted materials that tell the story of Jesus Christ. During his return travels from a ministry conference, gathering materials, Jayaraj encountered an boy on a train ride from Vijayawada. The boy was panhandling on the train. Jayaraj’s heart moved with compassion as he inquired how the bow had come to panhandle at such a young age. He learned, in what became a lengthy conversation, that this young boy’s parents had passed away and there was no one to look after him and so he, at the young age of eight, was caring for himself. Although the current living condition of the young Moka household was not without struggle or opposition, Jayaraj welcomed the boy to come and stay with him and he would look after him as one of his own. That day Jayaraj and Usharani were blessed with their first child, an eight year old boy whom they later named Sampson. Jayaraj and Usharani now have two more children; John is 10 years old and Teja is 8 years old. Sampson is now 21 years old, away at school, and receiving high marks in all areas of his education. All three of the Moka children have received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Together, the family faces extreme adversity in the local village where they both live and conduct ministry. They rent the home in which they reside and the cost of living in Donapudi often causes them to go without other necessities in life. But the Moka family is deeply rooted in their faith and their destiny is clear. While their service to God often leaves them with hungry bellies and empty pockets, the Moka’s are a family that faithfully press forward in the work God has placed in their path. Their needs cause them to fully rely on the Lord and grow their faith. In tribulation, they rejoice over those in their ministry who have crossed from death to life, through Christ‘s ultimate sacrifice.
If you feel called to join the ministry God is doing through the Moka family, they have asked for prayer and support. Please pray that God would provide the funds for a larger church building. The Harvest India funded church plant seats about 50 women and children shoulder to shoulder as we witnessed in holding service with the congregation on Wednesday evening. But, as the service progressed a crowd began to form and gather outside the open doors of the small church. At the moment, Jayaraj holds a number of services to “feed the sheep” of his growing flock but he is prayerful that God will provide a larger building so that he can hold the additional services in other surrounding villages that have not yet heard the good news of Jesus Christ.
It is through men and women like these that we will take the name of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Please visit Harvest India online at www.HarvestIndia.org or e-mail Suresh@HarvestIndia.org for further information on how you can get involved.