Rochunga Pudaite: Direct Lines to the World

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When Rochunga Pudaite came from India to Wheaton College in suburban Chicago he knew only eight people in the United States. One—a missionary who had known him as a tribal boy in northeast India—asked in a letter, “who in the world squandered the Lord’s money to bring a little native boy like you to Wheaton?”

The “little native boy” recently mailed his millionth copy of the New Testament to Asia. As president of the Wheaton-based Bibles for the World organization, Pudaite, 46, has fewer than 300 million Bibles and Testaments to go before reaching his goal of sending Scripture to every telephone subscriber in the world.

Living Bible version New Testaments have gone to all persons having telephones in India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Malaysia. Pudaite’s native India received the most, 730,000; he estimates they will be read by more than 2.5 million leaders and their families. “Only the educated and professional elite can afford telephones in countries like India—the ones missionaries and national Christians have found hardest to reach,” he explains.

He describes the response as “overwhelming, more than we could imagine.” The first 50,000 Testaments mailed from Wheaton to India drew 20,000 inquiries and acknowledgments, many from non-Christian leaders, and only 100 or so were hostile (a letter bomb was addressed to his New Delhi office, from which many of the Testaments were mailed, but it was discovered and defused). Hindus and Muslims alike have written to express a newfound interest in Christ as a result of reading the New Testament. A minor hassle erupted when a leader of the World Home Bible League, a mission aiming to get Bibles into homes throughout the world, complained that Pudaite’s program had ...

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