TBG Members, Francis & Sunitha Burgula 
Inside The Barnabas Group
Interview with TBG Member, Francis Burgula
India is a mesmerizing country with a population of over 1.2  billion people, making it the second-most populous country in the world.  This vast, majestic land has a distinct religious makeup of approximately 80% Hindu, and 3% Christian.  This religious disparity places immense pressure on the small number of Christian missionaries and pastors to effectively evangelize India's massive Hindu population. 

Many of these missionaries and pastors find themselves unable to fulfill the endless demands of their ministries, and still find time for their families, let alone their own spiritual growth.  These factors coupled with a widespread lack of financial support and theological training have significantly impacted the evangelist movement within India.

Grace Evangelical Mission Society ("GEMS") is working to change this.  The founder of GEMS, Francis Burgula, is a fellow Barnabas Group ("TBG") member who was born and raised in India.  Growing up in a Christian home, he is now deeply committed to bringing Christianity to his people.  His ministry achieves this by empowering India's missionaries and pastors with essential guidance and support that will enable them to create a healthy balance of ministry work, family life and spiritual formation.  This enables them to become more effective evangelists, and creates a sustainable, spiritually healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families.

The following is an interview with Francis Burgula that reflects the impact that our TBG family has had on his ministry, and his spiritual journey: 
Question:  What has been your biggest blessing (take away) from TBG?

Answer:  " I feel blessed to belong to a group of people who are passionate about God's work and Kingdom.  TBG expanded my world to see how God is using different individuals and ministries to transform the world."
Question:  Have you gotten involved with, or helped a ministry or ministries?  If so, who and how did you come alongside them?

Answer:  "Since joining TBG, I have connected with Jim Hogan of Standing Stone ministry.  We have shared resources, and have discussed how we can shepherd and care for those who are in full-time ministry.  I have also connected with Dereck Wong who is active with Links Players ministry, which uses Golf as an outreach.  I have been quite involved with this ministry, and regularly attend their bible study groups."
Question:  Has anything surprised you about TBG? 

Answer:  "I am surprised by how many Kingdom minded individuals and ministries work in isolation. Joining TBG has helped me to network with other ministries with similar passions.  Most importantly, TBG has helped me to consider the sustainability of our ministry."
Question:  What have you learned, or been introduced to, through your involvement with TBG?
Answer:  "I am a pastor by profession.  My calling is to help, or come alongside other couples in full-time ministry to ensure that they are spiritually and emotionally healthy.  My wife and I have found our calling, but we need help organizationally, and guidance from those who are experienced in running non-profit ministries.  A couple of TBG members have been guiding me, and have become mentors in my pursuit of these goals.  Rick McCarthy specifically has been investing a great deal of personal time to further our ministry."
Question:  What things do you look for when you are deciding about whether or not to get involved with a ministry?

Answer:  "Since most of the presenters at TBG are very passionate and articulate, it is easy to get excited about all of the ministries.  However, I personally use filters to help me select only those ministries which deal with issues of burnout, soul care and healthy marriages."
Question:  How has your walk with the Lord changed, or been enhanced, through your participation in TBG?

Answer:  "TBG opened my eyes to a much bigger world.  It has been a great encouragement to see what God is doing in and through other ministries.  The various stories and testimonies are very powerful reminders of God's faithfulness and sufficiency.  They keep me going despite the challenges of ministry."
Question:  Is there anything else that you would like to mention?

Answer:  "Thank you for this wonderful ministry.  You may never know the impact of TBG on this side of eternity, but God has definitely used this ministry to make several divine appointments and connections that might not have happened if it were not for TBG.  Keep up the good work."