Praveen *, 45, and his wife Shanti *, 42, trade in a small Indian town. The persecution and pandemic left the family penniless before the shelves were miraculously filled again.
Praveen and his family have moved to Indian territory from another country. Shanti suffered from a physical illness, but she also felt intense restlessness. According to her, it was caused by a spiritual attack.
“I went to hospitals, to witches, and asked the priests of the temples for advice. I attended all the Hindu festivities so that I would not anger any gods or goddesses, but my wife was not at all relieved. Instead, a huge amount of money was wasted, ”Praveen says.
Praveen sold his house in the village and moved to another country to earn a living and get care for his wife. After a long search and many difficulties, he managed to rent an apartment upstairs in a church building.
Praveen paid attention to the services and songs heard from the church every day. He asked the owner what this was all about. The owner happened to be the pastor of the church, and he told Praveen about Christ. Praveen told the pastor about his struggle and asked him to pray for his wife and family.
A few days later, the pastor and his wife prayed for salvation for Shanti – and she recovered immediately!
“God spoke to me through the pastor’s wife. He said God said I was on my way to death, but He has delivered me from the hands of the devil, and now no such evil would never again come near me,” he says.
After experiencing liberation and healing, Shanti wanted to know this God. When she heard from the pastor about Christ and the word of God, she believed. Within a few months, Shanti and Praveen were baptized.
“These threats do not affect me”
In their hometown, the relatives of Praveen and Shanti were not happy to hear about the new faith they had found. They were angry and wanted to know why Praveen and Shanti had ended up following a foreign God. They warned them and urged them to forsake Christ and return to the village.
Praveen had inherited some land. He wanted to sell it so he could pay off the debt. He had taken it for the care expenses accrued before Shant’s recovery.
Shanti remembers the mockery she received while attending her mother’s funeral.
But his brothers and relatives refused to give him land. They will not give it back unless Praveen and Shanti reject Christ.
“My brothers have taken over my land and built their houses on it. But these threats do not affect me. The pain and struggle I saw my wife go through for 20 years disappeared as we got to know Christ. The peace I have now I couldn’t find anywhere else,” Praveen says.
“God has saved us. We as a family believe that we will still get the land back if we pray relentlessly. ”
Shanti recalls how she was mocked when she went to the village to attend her mother’s funeral. All her relatives discriminated her.
Shanti says, “It was depressing to see my relatives hate and insult us. They are blind to the healing I experience and the relief I feel after years of suffering. They are aware of my past and present status. Nevertheless, they do not care about the happiness and consolation we now experience as Christians. ”
A hopeless situation
When they could not get money from their inheritance, Praveen opened their own shop. In the opening, the words of Psalm 118:26 gave them strength: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. You will be blessed from the house of the Lord. ”
However, Praveen’ s deal did not make a profit. He was unable to replenish stocks of food for sale. His sons got a variety of day jobs, including laundry. However, their income was not enough for the daily needs of the family. With the lockdown imposed due to the pandemic, such work was difficult to find.
Praveen says, “Due to the lockdown and inadequate product range due to the pandemic, we had no customers, and therefore no money for food. We were also unable to pay the monthly rent for the premises. As the owner, the pastor had enough understanding of our situation, but we were worried about our helplessness. ” Praveen was disappointed and broken, but prayed earnestly.
“My heartfelt and warm thanks”
Praveen testifies: “In response to our prayers, your organization (Open Doors) has come to our aid and procured food for our store. Now the business is doing well and we get a regular income from it for our family. We can pay the rent for the retail space without any problems and there is enough money for all our basic needs. ”
“In those times of uncertainty, God’s word reminded us,‘ Trust in me, and I will give you and I am your supplier. ”And God has been our‘ supplier ’. Today we have enough customers and we are also able to replenish our stocks because you helped us at the right time. ”
Shanti says, “I am very grateful for your help. I pray to all of you for God’s abundant blessing, as my family has been blessed. ”
Praveen and Shanti have asked us to pray for their relatives that one day they will come to know Christ and experience His love. Praveen believes that one day he will be able to utter the words of Joshua 24:15 in his own way: “I and my family will serve the Lord.”
* Names changed for security reasons.