Shocking sight of ruins leads India man to start local ministry
When Isaac Ingle saw the ruins of the ancient city of Pergamum, Turkey, in 2015, he was shocked to find that the church planted by the Apostle Paul had long since been abandoned with the rest of the city.
Until then, Ingle had never traveled outside of his home country of India. That year he decided to attend the Eurasia Regional Conference in Antalya, Turkey, so he could experience worship and fellowship with Nazarenes from across Eurasia.
During the conference, Ingle joined a group of Nazarenes visiting Pergamum.
“I was expecting it to be a big sanctuary,” Ingle said. “But when I reached there, all I could see was only some remains, just a few half-destroyed pillars standing. I saw where Paul used to stand and preach, and I saw where the congregation used to sit and listen to Paul’s preaching.”
Rather than a thriving, vibrant church, Ingle found only dust, the overgrowth of grass and vines, and the whistling of wind through the collapsed buildings.
“The situation of Pergamum impacted my mind severely,” Ingle said. “After seeing this, a thought came into mind — in the surrounding places where I live, there are several places where the Church of the Nazarene had started churches, but today, due to migration of the people to cities, the churches are not operational.”
Ingle was deeply shaken by the parallel.
“I became restless,” Ingle said. “I had just retired from my job, and prior to my job, I had done two years of Bible training. But I hadn’t used my training for ministry. My pastor and district superintendent, Rajiv Yangad, had been constantly mentoring me for ministry, and I was working toward my district license. I made a commitment to the Lord that I will give the rest of my life for full-time ministry.”
Ingle felt the Lord was calling him to Yeota, a place where his father had served for several years. He talked with Yangad about the possibility to minister in the same place, and Yangad agreed.
Ingle has started going to Yeota every Sunday even though there aren’t Christian members present. Despite this, he has been able to start a worship group and build relationships with people.
“I am sure that there will be a harvest once again in Yeota,” Ingle said.