In 2014, at Pastor Anup’s invitation, Sanjay Joseph enrolled in a
program to learn how to start new churches with a Bible League
Canada joint ministry partner. For a year, he immersed himself in
the training; soaking up everything he could and implementing
everything he learned in his community.
The little slum village didn’t have much, but by the time Sanjay’s
training concluded, it had a church. Every Sunday morning,
Sanjay’s home became a place of worship.
Soon, Sanjay Joseph emerged as an unofficial spokesperson
for the community. “I need to stand up for my family and my
neighbours!” So, he made a list of demands and set to work
pursuing them: land deeds for each family, road improvements,
sewer drainage, electricity, drinking water. And one by one, he
checked items off his list.
During one particularly hot week, the water tanker truck neglected
to arrive for three days straight. Families began to panic. On the
third day, a fearless Sanjay commandeered the truck and sent the
driver home on foot. Within hours, the authorities arrived to retrieve
their truck. Within a month, the neighbourhood had a water pump.
Love and Justice Triumph
Today, thanks to Sanjay, nearly every family has a laminated
pink document granting them a 30-year lease to the 20’
x 30’ parcel of land on which their home rests. They have
government-issued ration cards. Several families have set up
their first bank accounts. Sanjay and five of his neighbours have
electric meters attached to their homes, with more on the way.
And the road running past Sanjay’s home has been graded and
covered with crushed stone. Ditches have been dug; a sewer
drain has been trenched. By next year, the road will be paved.
It’s no wonder that Sanjay Joseph’s church continues to
grow. God has blessed these neighbours through Sanjay,
and hearts are being opened to the Gospel for the first
time—in a place where few have even heard the name
of Jesus. All because a lowly rag picker—born into
tremendous suffering and pain—has decided to live
boldly for Christ.
And Sanjay’s just getting started.
He’s advocating for better housing and a local elementary
school for the neighbourhood children. And this year, he
started teaching an Adult Literacy Class to 30 illiterate
Sanjay says, “If you come here five years from now, it will be
For more about how we train local believers to bring transformation, visit BibleLeague.ca/TransformingLives
an entirely different thing you will see. When people pass
by here and see how God has changed our community, let
them say that this was the legacy of Sanjay Joseph.”
“God has blessed these neighbours through Sanjay, and
hearts are being opened for the first time. “