Home Perspectives & Other Resources STORIES FROM SOUTH ASIA: Eternity at Stake


By Gustav Krös 

Since becoming involved in missions, I’ve been privileged to visit many different countries. These visits include countries where the majority population are Communist, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu.

It is always a unique experience to leave my majority-Christian home country (South Africa) and visit these countries where Christianity is not the majority, as was the case during our recent visit to South Asia. According to our Christian faith, the only way to God the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 14:6), so most people in these countries are considered ‘lost’ for eternity unless they meet Jesus before their earthly death.

It is strange, however, that even though the ‘lostness’ is the same, whether you’re an atheist, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu, the reality of being ‘lost’ has always hit me the hardest in Hindu-majority countries. Maybe it’s due to the vast number of idols, altars, and temples that are constantly in your face when you travel in these countries like India and Nepal. We know how often the Lord warns us in the Bible against idol worship, and thus to see it constantly, in such a tangible way, confronts you with the reality of being religious and seeking salvation, but doing it all in vain, because they do not know the only true God.

Yet, as sad as it is to see the people bringing sacrifices and praying to idols, the most severe confrontation with their ‘lostness’ is to witness their funerals. During our recent visit to Varanasi, we went by boat to the areas along the Ganges River where people cremate their loved ones and throw their ashes into the river. It’s a sombre sight to witness the numerous fires on the riverbanks and then move on to the next area and see even more fires.

Staring at those cremation fires stirs emotions in my heart regarding the reality of ‘the lost’, dying without Christ, and the matter of eternity, either with God or without Him.

At the same time, it stirs emotions in my heart regarding the mandate the Church has to share the Good News of Christ with all peoples to the end of the earth and the reality that “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Matt 9:37).

Like most things in life, the experience, and the emotions it unlocks in one’s heart, cannot be captured in words but needs to be experienced in person, and as sombre as the experience may sound, the story doesn’t end here. With me on the boat that day were brothers in Christ who labour in that ‘harvest field’ daily. Yes, the harvest in South Asia is plentiful, and the workers are few, but they are there, and we had the privilege of encouraging them and praying with them. And we will continue praying for, and supporting them, so they can share the Good News of Christ with ‘the lost’ because their eternity is at stake.