Esudas Bontha was born the son of a gospel preacher into the lowest caste of India’s peoples, but he was determined to rise above the station in life assigned to him by society. He diligently applied himself to earning a quality education and ultimately was successful in that effort and was awarded a college degree in business administration.
Esudas then married Vijaya Lakkepogu, and the Lord gave them three biological children; Nani, Bharath, and Nyna. These would be only the first-fruits of the many children that would come into their lives and capture their hearts!
Esudas began preaching when he was 24 years old. He is a third-generation gospel preacher and has been working in the Kingdom of God in the Gunter District of Andrah Pradesh in India for 27 years now. Like his father, and his grandfather before him, he has spent most of his life laboring to bring the hope of the gospel of Christ to the poorest and most desperate of India’s people. His love for souls, for the Truth, and for Jesus Christ is clearly evident in both his words and his deeds.
Those who have come to know and love this good brother are continually amazed at what he has already accomplished in the Kingdom. There is much more to the man, though, than just what he has done in the past. Esudas has a great vision for the future of his people and for the church in India. He has shared that vision with us at the Sunset Church of Christ, and we believe, if it is brought to pass, the church in India will grow and be strengthened.
When their own children began to grow up, Esudas and his wife realized that they had room in their house and in their hearts for more children. They began to take in children who roamed the streets. These were children who either had no parents or whose parents had abandoned them. They soon had nine children in their care. Their only concern though was that there were still countless children all around them with no home of their own. Today, 41 children have been added to the original nine, and there are now 50 children living in Esudas’ home! Almost unbelievably, their home has only 5 rooms, one of which is the kitchen!
Esudas has also extended his benevolence to the widowed souls of India. A common problem in India is that widows often wind up in family situations that leave them neglected to the point of starvation. To aid the unfortunate elderly women who find themselves in that circumstance, Esudas began programs at two churches that would provide one meal each day for widows in need. At present, there are 38 widows being blessed by this ministry who, literally, might otherwise starve to death. Think about that for a moment. Have you ever known anyone that actually faced starvation on a daily basis?
For several years, a typical Lord’s Day for Esudas involved driving more than 100 miles on a motorcycle and preaching at five different congregations. He was elated when brethren in the U.S. raised the funds to buy for his use the most basic car available. That car has since been worn out in the Lord’s work and has been replaced with a van. Recently, his son, who is also a gospel preacher (4th generation!) has begun helping him in the work and has eased his burden greatly. Of course to Esudas, this just gave him more time to do other good works!