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“It was a difficult three years. We were the first to believe in Jesus in our village and the community did not take it lightly. They did not give us work, they did not speak with us, and they destroyed our livestock,” lamented a number of Christians from a small church in one remote village in South Asia.
Before we went to the village with the small church, Maya*, another OM worker and I went to a neighbouring village where we soon realised that there was something different about it. As we shared the gospel with groups of 10, 20 and later a group of 17 people, we realised that the village was very open to hearing about Jesus. As we talked with individuals, we found that many would like to follow Jesus but they were afraid of the community. While sitting with a group of people who were preparing flour to make bread for a Hindu festival, I began a conversation with a man sitting next to me. He was also interested in knowing about Jesus so I immediately suggested a meeting in the village to discuss Christianity.
He was so delighted to talk with us that he invited us to his house. We later found out that he and his uncle were influential leaders in the village and other villages. They both decided that they would discuss the possibility of a meeting and inform us later. As we waited for a reply, we agreed it was a good time to visit the small church, thirty minutes away, which we had been planning to visit.
As we walked up the hill to the village, we saw a small sign with a blue painted cross on a house and knew it was the church. Next to the church was a girl named Hannah,* who we had previously met, waving for us to come as they excitedly ushered us into the church. As we settled down, we began listening to their stories of being Christians for seven years and the difficulties they encountered for the first three years. Our interest in this group of believers piqued when we heard that it was only when Hannah's grandfather became a Christian that their three years of struggles turned into joy.
For many years Hannah’s grandfather had worshipped idols and had three of his own in his house that others would come to worship as well. One day when her aunt had a vision that there would be a cross in place of those idols, the grandfather believed in the vision so strongly that he decided to accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. He immediately removed the idols and in its place, laid the cross just like in the aunt’s vision and now uses the area for Christian fellowship. The grandfather never had a son and had even married a second time in his younger years hoping to have one. However, after believing in Jesus, he decided to pray for a son. At the age of 80 years old and his wife at 50 years old, God gave them a son who they named Isaac. When the villagers saw this miracle, they stopped persecuting Hannah and her family because they saw the power of God. This testimony had clearly impacted not just their own village, but also the neighbouring village where we had first visited and experienced how open the people were to the gospel.
After talking for some time with Hannah and the other believers, we heard from the man and his uncle that they agreed for us to have the meeting at the school to discuss Jesus further. Maya, myself, and three other Christians from the church headed over to the school where we met 17 people waiting to listen to us. As we shared more about Jesus, the local Christians were able to discuss many things with the leaders of the village about Christianity. In the end, the leaders of the village were not ready to give their lives to Christ, but they had heard more about Him and wanted to see more of His power in their community.
Before Maya and I left the village, we prayed over the house of the Christians and for the mill they are running that it would be completely dedicated to God and He would bless them and their family.
While we only see part of the story now, we are trusting in our good God who will continue the good work that was started. Please pray for the Christians in this village that they would continue to be a light and that the other village would continue to see God's work, power, and blessings, being convicted of their own sin and giving their lives to be transformed by the love of Christ.
Published: Thursday, 22 February 2018
Credit: OM International