An Indian missionary who broke the world record for the fastest time to visit every country on the globe has a message for the Western church: live debt-free. Benny Prasad, a 35-year-old guitarist who's taking the gospel even into closed nations, says if he can accumulate only $527.73 of personal expenses while traveling to 50 countries in 244 days, it's possible for people to live without mountains of debt. "So many people are living in debt, thinking it's the only way to live," Prasad says. "My expenses are not based on my income but my need. 'How much is enough?' is the question. But we can be different from the world if we learn to live a simple life."
Prasad proved a simple life isn't boring when he traveled to 245 countries in six years, six months and 22 days—from May 1, 2004, to Nov. 22, 2010—setting a Guinness Book of Records. Playing his self-designed "Bentar," he performed before presidents and parliaments and at universities and world sporting events. He says his total travel costs were below $140,000.
"When God gave me this vision in 2002 to travel to every nation in the world, I did not know how it was going to be possible—how would I get my visas and how would I pay for this?" Prasad says. "I told God I was willing to go, but He would have to be my provider. I told God I would never ask for money. I would never borrow money—nothing. Then the world would know Jesus is the one that provided for me."
Prasad never charged for his concerts but did allow people to sow into his ministry, which is affiliated with Youth With A Mission. Months after completing his journey, he is still marveling at what God has done. "I never ever thought it was possible, especially with an Indian passport."
Despite all the media attention he received for breaking the world record, Prasad wants to maintain his ability to go to every nation with the gospel—without debt.
"If [God] could provide for me to travel to 245 countries debt-free, then there's nothing He can't do," Prasad says. "We must learn to live a simple life, not how the world dictates us to live."
"We know through the text messages that have come through that people are coming to know Christ for the first time. They hear a message of love instead of hate ... and they're responding, saying: 'I want to know more about Jesus.' So the amazing thing is, there is a great spiritual harvest taking place."
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