Purpose in the midst of Persecution
Riya* grew up in a devout Hindu family in India. They went to the temple regularly to worship many gods and goddesses. Her father worked hard in the fields, but chose to spend the money on alcohol, leaving the family in debt and with collectors knocking on their door or even breaking it down. She recalls, “I can’t remember a day when we lived peacefully.”
Riya continues, “These troubles made me desperate for help. I cried to every god for help, even to an unknown god, anyone who could hear and answer me.” For many years, this continued until she had a dream about Jesus Christ.
She says, “I accepted Christ under extraordinary circumstances. I had a vision or a dream, and I knew it was Jesus. I knew without a doubt my life would change. I gave my life to Jesus.”
Riya faced much ridicule for her new faith in Christ. Her community and family started treating her as an outcast. She explains, “When I removed my bindi (a red dot worn on the centre of the forehead), I was criticised for abandoning my culture and traditions. I was treated as an untouchable.” Her family stopped inviting her to events or accepting her invitations.
A Vision to Plant a Church
But Riya believed God wanted to use her. Eventually, she heard about Church Planter Training from a pastor at a local church and wanted to attend.
Church Planter Training gave her a vision to plant a church in her village. She went to many houses throughout her village to share the Gospel. Right now, because of the culture in India, Riya finds it best to mostly reach out to other women and children. Her dedication to sharing God’s Word has made a difference, and she started a house church. Now 27 people regularly attend.
Plant Bibles and biblical resources among Church Planters in India and bring hope to desperate situations.
Pray that Riya will continue strong in her faith and that she will see amazing results from her dedication to planting churches.
*name changed for security purpose
The ministry of Bible League Australia is able to plant God’s Word solely through the generous support of the Christian community.