Prabir is a lone believer in his family. He comes from a tribal group called Manipuri that migrated to Bangladesh from India.
“We worshipped Durga and Laxmi—the goddess of wealth and the goddess of learning,” notes Prabir. “Though I was religious, I was unhappy and felt empty in my heart.”
Prabir started drinking and smoking pot when he was a child. “I did not know if this was good or bad. My friends influenced me into all these. This gave me a high among my friends,” he notes.
One day, while working in a shop, he met a customer from his same tribe. The man disclosed that he was a pastor and that friendship led him to Jesus. Pastor Laxman prayed with Prabir, asking God to deliver him from the drinking, smoking, and drugs that had taken a toll on his life.
“I did not respond immediately,” he admits. “Pastor Laxman kept telling me to leave my sinful ways.” Prabir and Laxman began a friendship that would change his life.
“I found it difficult to stop these bad things. It took a long time to quit all of these habits, but God delivered me.”
Through his friendship with Laxman, Prabir met Phelip Sarker, who directs Bible League’s ministry in Bangladesh. He introduced Prabir to Bible League’s Church Planter Training program. “I completed the course. I loved the training, especially how to share the Gospel. I thought church meant a building. But I know now that we can have church even under a tree. It changed my thinking. I was happy to study the Bible.”
Prabir says that it was the story of Philip and the Ethiopian that encouraged him to go house-to-house with the Gospel. “I noticed that Philip was obedient to the Gospel, and God worked in him. That encouraged me to do what God has called me to do. The story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector, also influenced me. The words of Jesus, ‘I want to come to your house and be your guest,’ spoke to my heart.”
Prabir is now a church planter whose church has more than 45 members who come together every week. He uses his motorbike to travel to the villages and invite people to worship. Many who have responded to the Gospel are now part of this thriving church.
Prabir is no stranger to religious persecution. “I do experience opposition. Once, people beat me and threatened me from entering their village. The villagers drove me off, and I had to leave.” Still, he continues to visit the villagers and invite them to church.
“Thank you for the materials. They are easy to understand and bring us close to God. We need more books as I want to reach more people,” he says.