Jesus Changed a Rowdy
A rowdy is the Indian word for gangster. An Indian believer started a program for children in his village. The rowdy stopped and listened as he walked by. He put his trust in Jesus and God wonderfully changed him. Because he was a well known man and his life was obviously different, many followed him to the cross. Though he still bears scars on his body from many fights, he is a new man on the inside.
We are travelling and yesterday we worked with him. He helped us tell hundreds of Hindu children about Jesus Christ who changed him. Now he devotes all of his time to telling people about his Lord. Please pray for him and his family for provision and protection.
A Village’s Story
Do you remember the story in the Bible of the Roman officer who came to see Jesus? He wanted Jesus to heal his servant and more, his faith was so great that he believed Jesus would only have to speak the words for it to happen. Jesus said "I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all the land of Israel."
I could not stop thinking of that story last night. We met the people of a village who Jesus has changed and their faith is great. I heard so many amazing testimonies and I thought, never have I seen such faith. All of us were asking God to give us faith like our brothers and sisters.
One person believed and they loaned their land for a church building. The church is built like the people’s homes; it is made of woven mats of straw stood up with a straw mat roof. It stands a little crooked. The few better homes have mud brick walls and mat roofs. These people are very poor, but very rich in faith. They are often hungry, but showed us concern asking Hadia and Teresa if they were hungry and wanted to eat.
A deaf lady gave us space to do shows for children from 3 villages. Our driver used our van to pick everyone up. They expected 50 and God sent almost 100, including adult men and women.
A few people believed and began to pray for the village’s biggest need, rain. The Hindu believers had made offerings to the different gods for years and no rain. Then the few new Christians began to pray and God sent rain, so much rain. Everyone in the village said it was clearly the work of the Christian God and most believed.
A lady came one day and asked the church to pray for her husband who was a drunk. The following week, he believed, even though he had been a devout Hindu. He wore charms around his neck that he pulled off and threw in the fire to prove his faith.
Two older ladies with bad legs and twisted backs walk 2 km every Sunday to church. In the south where I live, attendance is always less on rainy or colder days. All we have to do is drive to a comfortable church. We never sit in the dirt. Such faith! Land has been bought and now they need funds for their building. Please pray!
The Village Puppet Show
The response to the puppet show was amazing. Sam told a wonderful story and presented the Gospel so clearly. Children were shouting their prayers. They knelt in the dirt with their hands clasped together. It was precious.
They did not want to leave. We did puppets, stories, testimonies, and juggling until it was completely dark. Then all the village women gathered around me, asking me to pray for different needs. Many have health problems because of bad water. I was so overcome by the greatness of their problems and their faith, tears ran down my cheeks. I will not be able to find words to describe the privilege we were given. Finally after many, many prayers, I asked Josh to come and pray.
The ladies said that since they had come to faith, strange and evil things had begun to happen to them. Their unbelieving sons were a big problem. Remember that when millions worship false gods, there is demonic activity. This is the village’s problem, so Josh asked God to protect them and deliver them.
A Church Is Burned
Of all the prayer requests I heard, one mother and grandmother’s request needs your immediate attention. Immanuel loves Jesus and was working in a church in another area. Hindus came while he was there and burned down the building while he was inside. This was a week ago and no one knows if he is alive or dead. It is very likely that he died for his faith, but it is also possible that he escaped and is in hiding. Pray for answers! Pray for comfort!
I held their hands and cried with them. I told them how Mike died and how I confessed to them my struggle with the fire that followed. By God’s grace, I could also encourage them with the sure knowledge I have that we live and die only by the will of our Father, not by accident, not by man’s will, but by God’s design. I shared with them the peace and hope that God has lovingly put in my own heart.
Linda for Sam, Hadia, Josh, Teresa, and Nathan