This week, please join us in prayer for Matthias Gergan in India’s Himalayan Region.
Called the “abode of snow” in Sanskrit, the Himalaya mountains stretch across Pakistan, India, Nepal, China (Tibet), and Bhutan. The range includes some of the world’s tallest peaks, including Mt. Everest, and its glaciers provide headwaters for prominent watersheds, such as the Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Mekong, Yangtze, and Yellow river systems. Over the last half-century, the Himalaya population has multiplied by over 250%. According to India’s 2011 Census, 47 million people live in the multiethnic, multilingual Indian Himalayan Region, which spans seven states across the country’s northeast. Major religions practiced in the Himalayas include Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity.
Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Sajal Das (Unsplash)
Matthias is pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies through Asbury Theological Seminary (Kentucky, USA). Focusing on 1 Peter, his research will guide the South Asian Himalayan Church in its identity formation and ministry of reconciliation amid tensions arising from rapid demographic shifts and cultural changes. Check out his 2022 Global InSights, which explores questions of being and belonging among believers in his ethnically and religiously diverse homeland. Prior to his studies, Matthias taught at Doon Bible College, one of North India’s oldest Christian colleges. Matthias is married to Roseline.
Matthias shares the following message:
Thank you for reaching out!
Things have been busy and a bit stressful for us here as I push hard to complete the first draft of my dissertation this year and as we look ahead at transitions in the coming months.
My research focuses on three local churches that are representative of three Protestant ecclesial traditions with considerable influence in North India, particularly the Himalayan region. I am trying to understand how these communities negotiate their ecclesial identity and mission in an increasingly hostile sociopolitical environment.
I put into dialogue the churches’ lived theologizing and decision-making with 1 Peter and the situations the epistle sought to address. By doing this, I seek to develop and test a biblically grounded and contextually engaged theological method that takes into account the complexity of theologizing on a lived level.
Please pray for my wisdom as I aim to present the complexity of the situation in an academically robust manner while also writing in a manner that is deeply empathetic to the real pain and fear experienced by communities here. This is a difficult balance to maintain.
Also, please pray for my wife and me as we try to discern what the future holds. We moved to the city where I did my fieldwork and are hoping to be based here in the future as well.
I hope to serve Christian institutions and develop curriculum for programs in this region and across Asia. Some of these institutions need my attention soon, but I am also trying to finish the first draft of my dissertation. This makes for a stressful situation. In addition, the usual uncertainties related to finances, security, and life in an increasingly hostile environment continue to worry us.
Still, we have experienced God’s goodness, in no small part through ScholarLeaders. Please pray that God will give us faith and patience. Pray also that He will help us see His way and the people He wants us to connect with for the future.
We really appreciate your prayers!