One of our last posts described quality fellowship with our friends from America. However, they have gone home and our ministry has continued. We have been in a new city, working with some other brothers in their area. These brothers run what I am going to refer to as “sowing centers”, as a platform for the Good News. Women come and are trained in sewing, and they get to share with them each week. Slowly, the vision is to win the hearts of these women for Jesus.
As we’ve mentioned, henna storying has been a crucial tool in our ministry. The brothers we are working with now are so excited about it! They see it as a great tool to teach women Jesus’ story.
Today we split up, and the girls went to our third “sowing” center. This center is very new. We sat down and began talking to them. We learned these women had never heard of Jesus! They all come from Hindu backgrounds. It is such a blessing to be sent to unreached parts of the world, and amazing to meet with women who had never heard the name Jesus. We shared the story of the bleeding woman and they were very receptive, and excited to have the story on their hands. They were all able to retell the story and said they would share with their families. We feel seeds were planted today and that as our brothers continue to teach these women, they will come to the kingdom. After sharing for some time, the women wanted to share their culture with us. First, they insisted we take pictures with their goats. This was done with much giggling and laughter. Then, they braided our hair, gave us bindi’s, and put bright magenta lipstick on us! They told us women wear a bindi and lipstick after marriage. We took pictures with the baskets they carry produce in. But the fun was not over yet. Next, they came out with a hair piece that clips into your hair and hangs down onto your forehead, a necklace, and a traditional bridal veil! The women LOVED dressing us up. We felt a little ridiculous with the lipstick, but it was the most fun. God blessed our time with these women. We were able to show them the love of Christ and introduce them to the Gospel. We also had a ton of fun.
We learned the prophetess of the village lived nearby. She is an older woman who villagers consider to be very holy, and in good standing with gods they worship. She has long, dreaded hair that has never been cut as an act of worship to her gods. Her hair was so long, she had to carry it so it would not drag on the ground. Though she was welcoming, her house felt very dark and it was easy to sense she was in deep community with dark spirits. She controls the village spiritually. We thought we would try and share with her. A woman from the center walked over with us. She is very young, unmarried, and impressionable. She seemed to really enjoy the story. The prophetess welcomed us, and went to make us chai, giving us time to talk alone with the young woman. We asked her what she thought about the lesson, and about her own faith. She said she worshipped the god Shiva. When asked why, she said she didn’t really know and that she only worships him because her parents did. Hannah asked what she thought would happen when she died. She said, if she was good, she would go to heaven. If she was bad, she would go to hell. This led to a conversation about the certainty that we have in Christ, and was an opening for me to share my testimony. We talked about how God is holy and we can never measure up and how Jesus came and was perfect and covers us with His blood. We can never do enough good works, but Jesus bridges the gap so that we can be one with God. At some point, the prophetess joined us. We learned that there is a festival each year where the village feeds snakes with milk, to appease the snake god. For the past five years, the young girl had been bitten by a snake. She believed this was because the snake idol in their home had been lost or stolen. We asked if she was afraid of being bitten next year. She said no, the prophetess had told her she would not be bitten again. We began to talk to her about the fear that Satan uses to tell us lies and draw us away from God. The prophetess argued that the idol was real, there was a place nearby where a snake had turned to gold. We explained how Satan uses false miracles to steal glory from God. Hannah asked the girl why she needed to speak through the prophetess, why couldn’t she speak directly to the god? The girl laughed and said it was not done, she just couldn’t. Hannah told her, we serve a God we can have a relationship with because when Jesus died the veil in the temple was torn. He loves us, and listens to us. We can speak directly to Him, and he answers us directly. She then challenged her, why put your faith in a god who does not hear you, who you cannot speak to, who doesn’t know you? How can you be sure what their answer is? The girl could only say, you are right. The prophetess was quiet.
We had gone to the home intending to share with the prophetess, but the Lord had other plans. Instead he brought us to work in this girl’s heart, to challenge her, and to do this in front of the prophetess. We have confidence that the Lord is working. This girls’s heart is being prepared, and someday soon she will come to know Jesus. We were all given a peace in this. What a day! Hallelujah!
We had the privilege to meet with many women today. Please pray for the centers here, and that the women will have open hearts, and be receptive to the Gospel. Pray that the prophetess would lose control over the village, that her idols would fail her and she would come to recognize Jesus as the one true God. Pray for the young girl specifically, that she would break away from false teachings and trust in Jesus.
Pray for India. Pray against the false gods that enslave the people. We ask you would continue to pray for our team, that we would make the most of what seems to be a short amount of time left. Pray for unity.
Thank you for faithfully reading our blog and supporting us.
I would like to encourage you with words that have become burned into my mind lately.
“His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”
God has called us to spread the good news, His words are alive in us and we cannot hold them in! We hope and we pray the women we teach will catch fire as well, that they will live with a burning desire to tell everyone they know about Jesus.