Destitute and unloved, 'untouchable' Dalit villagers being touched and saved by Jesus

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an underground ALG Church in Southeast Asia

Dalits—also known as ‘untouchables’—have traditionally been regarded as having such low status they don't even register on the caste system. Despite laws designed to protect them, they continue to face widespread discrimination and often shocking levels of abuse. Access to education, healthcare, justice and in some areas even safe drinking water remains restricted. They generally live in segregated neighborhoods or in satellite hamlets away from main population areas.

Chotti* and her husband  Minju* lived as Hindu Dalit in a village nestled within a jungle in Southeast Asia. Without education or access to much of what the world considers necessities, all in the village are illiterate, with simple survival their main goal. During the day, men head deeper into the jungle to hunt small prey; women venture out to collect forest foods and firewood. If they find honey or more food than needed for their families, they sell it to people living in nearby villages and towns. Some produce their own ‘moonshine’, and overconsumption often results in drunken brawls and fights. Women must obey the men in their lives or face brutal beatings. 

Sorcery regulates their belief system, and the chief sorcerer has the final word, even for matters of health and security. With training based on witchcraft rather than medicine, he serves as the community doctor and his wife. the village midwife, assists women with pregnancies and deliveries.

A remote jungle village in southeast asia

A remote jungle village in southeast asia

When Chotti gave birth to a girl, her husband’s family were furious. Girls surely bring a curse on the family—that is what the sorcerer had told them. So the family determined the baby must die.

Chotti cried and begged her husband to help save their child. Since she was their firstborn, and because his wife was so distraught, Minju finally, though reluctantly, agreed. He argued with his parents and the rest of his family until they decided to let the girl live. The youngster barely subsisted however, mostly unloved and uncared for by others. When a tiger attacked Minju one day as he was out in the forest, the sorcerer explained it happened because of his little girl. Minju believed him.

Around the time the toddler reached three, Chotti conceived again. By then, a Bibles for Mideast missionary couple had begun ministering in a nearby jungle village. Renting a shed not far from Minju and Chotti’s home, they went around to the villagers, inviting them to attend educational programs for both adults and children. They also of course shared the love of Jesus Christ wherever they went.

Life is hard in Dalit villages

Life is hard in Dalit villages

Few attended the classes, but the missionaries prayed faithfully for and with those who did, and invited them to share their needs. As the villagers saw more and more answers to the prayers, their interest grew and eventually belief in Jesus did as well. 

At first, Minju’s family were pleased with the missionaries’ activities and attended some of the class and prayer times. But when the sorcerer came to know about their involvement, he hurried to their house, scolded them, and gave them dire warnings to stay away from the Christians. If they persisted, he assured them huge troubles, including terrible deaths, would come to the family. So at his instruction, they built a hedge of thorn plants between their home and where the Christians were meeting. 

By now, though, Chotti had come to believe in Jesus. Whenever Minju and his parents went out to find food in the jungle, she would secretly attend meetings with the Christians.

When Chotti was five months along in her second pregnancy, the sorcerer and his wife declared this child also to be a girl. Further, they said, the coming girl would be the cause for the destruction of both the family and the whole jungle. They, along with Minju’s family, ordered her to abort the child immediately. But Chotti felt convinced that whether girl or boy, the baby is a gift of her Lord Jesus. So she refused to go along with their demands.

One night, the sorcerer, his wife and several others—in a plan arranged by Minju’s family—arrived at the house and ambushed Chotti.  She screamed and cried out the name of Jesus, but they refused to listen. As they forcibly attempted to abort the baby, Chotti began bleeding severely, then fell unconscious. When her breathing stopped, the sorcerer declared her dead. He instructed the men in the group to carry her body to a place in the jungle called ‘suicide point’ by the locals … a cliff deep in the jungle where desperate villagers would leap to their deaths. Even if they survived, no one would come looking for them out of fear of the numerous wild animals. As the men carried away Chotti’s limp body, her little three-year-old ran behind them, crying loudly for her mother. So when they reached the cliff, the men threw both of them over and into the deeper recesses of the jungle.

But the mighty and living Lord Jesus Christ scooped Chotti and her daughter up into his nail-pierced hands and rescued them. Chotti had not yet died, but was simply unconscious. She says that as she gazed into the face of her Savior she felt as a baby must, looking into its mother’s loving face. The Lord brought them to the doorstep of the missionaries’ home, near the house they had just left. She knew she was safe in His hands.

The missionary couple were praying in their room when they heard someone at their doorstep. They opened their window, surprised to see the pregnant woman and her three-year-old child. They rushed to the door and helped them inside. The young mother tried to explain what had happened.

All of them knew Chotti could not stay there. It wouldn’t be safe for her, her child, or for the missionaries. So the next day the couple brought them to an ALG church in another state.

A few months later, the Lord blessed Chotti with a baby boy, now three months old. She named him Yiesho Das (servant of Jesus), and gave her first child a new name, Mary. They are all happy in our Lord, and Chotti has learned to read the bible.

Minju and his parents believe Chotti and the girl died in the jungle, and were likely eaten by animals. While his parents want him to remarry, he does not want to. Chotti still loves him and asks that we pray for Minju and his salvation. She holds in her heart the idea of having a faithful Christian life with him and their doing joint ministry among their own people.

Please pray for Chotti, Minju, their family and all the ministers and ministries of Bibles for Mideast.

____________________________
names changed for security reasons

From hired thug, to the morgue, to serving Jesus!

Report: Bibles for Mideast

Kunjukunju and his family came from the lowest rung of Indian society, the Dalit or ‘untouchable’ class [while now officially outlawed, the caste system in India still operates in less obvious ways—Ed.]. They worshipped Hindu idols and practiced sorcery.

A powerfully-built young man, his face marked by a prodigious horn-like moustache draped around his mouth, he worked as a ‘goonda,’ or hired thug, for several wealthy individuals.

As an enforcer for such questionable enterprises, he made a good number of enemies. One day about 20 aggrieved victims of his strong-arm tactics decided to get even, surrounding him and brutally attacking. When he fell bloodied and unresponsive to the pavement, they left him lying there—presumably dead—and ran off.

Police found his battered body in the street and checked his vital signs. Finding none, they transported his body to the morgue. During the routine post-mortem examination, the medical examiner got the surprise of his life when one his toes moved!

Astounded by this—and now detecting a faint pulse—the pathologist immediately transferred Kunjukunju to a local hospital.

Kunjukunju with Bibles for distribution

Kunjukunju with Bibles for distribution

After he’d regained consciousness and stabilized, some workers with Bibles for Mideast visited him in his room. They told him Jesus loves him and that only Jesus can conquer death, demonstrated by his bodily resurrection from the dead.

Having been himself given up for dead—like Lazarus—Kunjukunju could see that God really had given him a second chance at life.

The evangelists as clearly as possible explained the message of the Gospel to him. He followed their words carefully, nodding his head. Finally, his heart overcome, he repented of his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and Lord.

The workers put their hands on his head and prayed. As they did, Kunjukunju saw Jesus standing before him smiling and holding out his arms, and then he felt himself being pulled in closely for a hug. With childlike faith, he knew that he could lean on Jesus for the rest of his life. The Lord Jesus came into his heart, imparting a deep settled peace to both his mind and heart, something he had never known or felt before.

After he left the hospital he was baptized, God anointed him with the Holy Spirit, and showered him with the fruits of the Spirit.

As Kunjukunju grew in the Lord, he began to speak in churches, prayer meetings and corner meetings. He also began distributing bibles with Bibles for Mideast … all of which he continues to do! He now goes by the name Kunjukunju Upadesi, ‘Upadesi’ meaning adviser or gospel preacher.

Please keep him and all our workers and churches in your prayers.

Hindu woman monk becomes part of the bride of Christ!

Chandrika, dedicated to Hinduism from a young age, had led in the singing of devotional Hindu songs (bhajan) since a girl.

At the age of 17, a bright being she believed must be the Hindu Lord Sun appeared to her in her bedroom, calling her to follow him. From that day onwards she devoted herself to the many Hindu deities, performed the ritual home worship ceremonies called poojas and other traditional Hindu rites. Eventually she became a monk, turning her home into a monastery. She declared herself to be Chandra Devi, ‘goddess of the Moon’ (its literal meaning) and wife of the Lord Sun.

One day she happened to meet some evangelists working with Bibles for Mideast. When they attempted to share the Gospel with her, she didn’t deny Jesus, but argued that Jesus was simply one of many thousands of gods and certainly not a savior!

The evangelists gently told her that no one, no being, but Jesus had come down from heaven to earth with the mission to save all humanity from sin and death. He did this through his love, his crucifixion on the cross of Calvary and his resurrection from the dead. Those who believe in Him will be saved and enter the Kingdom of Heaven, they assured her. But she refused to take them seriously.

Then, at the age of 33, Chandra had another dramatic vision. This time she saw heaven and the Lord Jesus sitting on the throne. He appeared as bright as thousands and tens of thousands of suns all shining together, she says. She then saw Jesus as Bridegroom, and His church as the ever-beautiful Bride sitting at His right and worshipping Him with great joy. She had never witnessed such joy!

Chandra Devi recieving her new Bible

Chandra Devi recieving her new Bible

Not long afterwards, she says an angel visited her and told her that when she was young, Jesus had been the one who appeared to her and called her to be His bride.

“He is the Sun of Righteousness and you are His bride,” the angel said.

Her doubts about Jesus as savior vanished. The very next day she attended a gospel crusade being led by Pastor Paul and afterwards, telling him her story, she asked for a Bible. Several days later she received water baptism and the Lord Himself anointed her with the Holy Spirit.

Working alongside Bibles for Mideast, Chandra now conveys the Gospel to many unsaved people in her area. Please pray for her and the continuing work of the ministry.

From Hindu Indian royalty to daughter of the King of Kings

THE TESTIMONY OF A YOUNG WOMAN IN INDIA

I am Princess Sayujya. I belong to a royal family in India. If this was the time of kings ruling, my father would be the King of our territory.

From childhood I was an idol worshiper. I used to go to the temples, and kept idols of Devi Saraswati, Lord Krishna, Shiva, Parvathy, Ganapati, Vishnu, Rama, Seetha and others in my prayer room. I did poojas [Hindu prayer rituals—Ed.] before them and anointed them with milk and ghee every day and prayed to them.

Sayujya with bibles for further distribution

Sayujya with bibles for further distribution

One day, when I was doing a pooja by offering flowers to the idols, one of my idols of Devi Saraswati fell from my hand and broke into several pieces. It was really painful for me. I myself hit my head on the table and cried with deep sorrow.

While I was crying I felt someone touch me on the shoulder. I thought it was my mother. I couldn’t control myself and cried even louder. Then I heard the person touching me say, “My daughter.” I was shocked because it was a gentleman’s voice, and I knew it wasn’t my father’s. So I stood up immediately and turned towards him, but I found nobody there.

I looked around the corners and was surprised to see no one. But I was quite sure someone had touched me and called me ‘daughter.’ Then I thought perhaps I was just imagining it. So I collected the pieces of the broken idol and tried to put them back together. I couldn’t, so again started weeping.

Very clearly I heard the same voice again: “My daughter.” When I looked back I saw a bright light shining in the corner. Inside of the light I saw Jesus the Lord. I recognized it was Jesus, because many times I had seen His picture.  

Jesus told me: “My daughter, I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to God the Father, but by me. Believe me and follow me.”

Sayujya being baptised

Sayujya being baptised

Automatically I knelt down before Him … the first time I ever knelt before anyone. I had only prostrated myself before idols before.  It must have been Holy Spirit who forced me to kneel down before Jesus.

Then I approached Pastor Paul and family of Bibles for Mideast. They taught me that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Most High God, came down from Heaven to earth, was crucified and died as a punishment of sin for every human being … even though He had no sin at all. He rose from the dead and gave us salvation and eternal life. And they gave me a Holy Bible.

I confessed before the Lord Jesus and accepted Him as my personal Savior and Lord.

As soon as I was born again, I gathered up all my idols and threw them away. My father and mother were astonished why I was doing this, thinking I had gone mad. I explained to them what had happened, which only made them angry. They began to persecute me. But every day I became stronger and stronger in my faith in Jesus Christ, my Lord. And after a few days of studying the Bible and attending worship services I received baptism from Pastor Paul.

Now I share my testimony and distribute Gospel tracts and bibles among my friends and relatives so they too will come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and the King of kings. Please pray for them.

My husband is also a born-again man from my own community, baptized and involved with our Lord’s ministries. God has blessed us with a child.

Hindu woman battled cancer and skin disease, finds fiery healing in Jesus

Report: Bibles for Mideast

Usha, born and brought up in a Hindu family in India, faithfully worshipped many Hindu deities and performed daily poojas [Hindu prayer rituals—Ed.] in her home, with the hope of receiving a blessing in return.

But when she developed uterine cancer and a serious skin disease, her husband left her for another woman. Due to her sickness and unpleasant appearance, many in the community rejected her. Even her own brothers and sisters wouldn’t let her into their homes.

To care for herself and her four children, Usha had no choice but to beg from neighbors. She tried to continue teaching her children at home and live as normally as possible in the midst of her suffering.

She prayed to her idols every day for healing, including Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Ganpati, Ayyappa, Laxmi, Saraswathi. As part of the pooja rites, she would pour out milk, honey, rice, flowers and fruits on her idols. For months and months she repeated the rituals, but found no relief from her health maladies.

Usha applied for help from the government and they approved treatment in a mission hospital, which involved a hysterectomy. Doctors were optimistic they had removed all of her cancer, but her skin disease persisted, which baffled them.

One day some ministers connected with Bible for Mideast visited her in the hospital. They shared the gospel with Usha, a message she had never heard before. Visibly moved, she repented of all her sins and accepted Jesus as her Savior.

“I believe in Jesus Christ,” she openly declared. Everyone in the room joined hands and prayed for her.

Then something remarkable happened. As they prayed, Usha felt as if she were suddenly engulfed in a burning furnace. Her internal body temperature seemed to rise dramatically—as if a fire raged within every cell of her body!

She looked at her skin and hair, expecting to see herself charred or singed, then expressed surprise when she saw no evidence of the fire she felt.

Usha receives Bible from ‘Bibles for Mideast’ worker

Usha receives Bible from ‘Bibles for Mideast’ worker

“All my sin and sickness burned from my body by the grace of Jesus Christ!” she exclaimed.

After this intense experience, her skin disease slowly disappeared. The ministers who witnessed her healing praised the Lord. Doctors could not explain what happened, some admitting it had to be a miracle.

As Usha regained her health and strength, she was baptized and began to freely share the story of God’s amazing work in her life.

Now working as a housemaid in the Middle East, she often spends her spare time involved in evangelistic activities with Bibles for Mideast. She distributes bibles and Christian literature for free, wins souls to the Kingdom of Christ and attends a local house church.

With one of her children now married, Usha manages to support the studies of her other three even on her minimal wages. And when she does get paid, she faithfully gives a tithe to the Lord’s work.

"The Lord Jesus Christ has given me life and livelihood out of empty hope,” she explains. “I can hardly give enough to Him for His unspeakable gifts!"

Woman from Hindu priestly family healed and saved by Jesus: now serves Him!

Elamma Antharjanam grew up in a Hindu Brahmin (priestly) family in India [Brahmin are the highest of the four Hindu castes; their traditional occupation being the spiritual guidance of people—Ed.] .  Her father Subrahmanyan Namboothiri was the head priest for 250 temples, and he and her mother married as children—child marriage being common then. Not until 30 years later did they have her, their only child, whom they named Saraswathi.

Saraswathi fanatically followed the tenets of Hinduism. She’d rise early each morning for the ritual bath in the temple pool, and then worship before the temple idols. As a young girl she even had her arm tattooed with images of Hindu deities.

Severe asthma plagued Saraswathi from childhood. None of the special treatments and potions or healing rituals her parents tried could ease their daughter’s suffering.

One day a woman named Kamalamma visited the family. She had converted from Hinduism to Christianity, and despite the persecution she endured from her own husband and community, she wanted to pray for teenaged Saraswathi. But the girl refused the prayers of a woman who could mean nothing but trouble, having abandoned Hinduism for foreign Jesus.

But the wheezing only got worse. During a particularly severe attack, she lost the ability to breathe and had to be rushed to hospital. And guess who visited her? Persistent, prayerful Kamalamma. This time, it was Saraswathi who requested prayer.

While the Christian woman prayed, Saraswathi became aware of a man standing before her. He had a small lamb straddling his left shoulder and a stick in his right hand. With a smile, he gently moved his hands over her head.

“Believe me my daughter,” the man said to her. “I am your Lord. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply.” [Ps 16:4] She suddenly felt such relief!

Hindu tattoo cancelled out with the Word of God!

Hindu tattoo cancelled out with the Word of God!

The young woman needed no convincing of her need to confess her sinful ways and accept Jesus as her personal Savior and Lord. And the asthma completely left her.

She surrendered herself fully to Jesus, was baptized, and took on ‘Elamma’ as a new name. But she faced many persecutions from her family and community, who finally drove her away them. 

She married a Christian man, Jacob, and both were fully engaged in serving the Lord Jesus. He recently entered into glory but Elamma continues faithful in the Lord’s ministry as an associate with Bibles for Mideast. Please keep her and the ministry as a whole in your prayers.

Siblings of Hindu priestly family accept Jesus; now face persecution

Report: Jadavedan Potty for Bibles for Mideast [edited for clarity]

My name is Jadavedan Potty [meaning 'priest born in scriptures'; 'scriptures' here referring to Hindu Vedas—Ed.]. I belong to a Hindu Brahmin (priestly) family in India. From childhood I was an idol worshiper and often went to temples. I would get up at 4:00 every morning and do poojas [Himdu prayer rituals—Ed.] and help the main priest. I also used to bathe the deities and pray to them.

Once I got a Christian pamphlet from one of my friends. In it I read the verse, "All you who live anywhere on earth, turn to me and be saved. I am God. There is no other God." (Isaiah 45:22)

I then read other verses from the pamphlet: "God’s grace has now appeared. By his grace, God offers to save all people. His grace teaches us to say no to godless ways and sinful desires. We must control ourselves. We must do what is right. We must lead godly lives in today’s world. That’s how we should live as we wait for the blessed hope God has given us. We are waiting for Jesus Christ to appear in his glory. He is our great God and Savior. He gave himself for us. By doing that, he set us free from all evil. He wanted to make us pure. He wanted us to be his very own people. He wanted us to desire to do what is good." (Titus 2:11-14)

When I came home, I put the pamphlet inside of my cupboard. And I said to myself that I'm Hindu; Jesus is not my God. I wanted to go ahead in my life by worshiping the Hindu gods only.

After that, many times in my life I felt somehow that GOD JESUS really loves me sincerely.  Once I even saw the LORD; He came and put His hand on my shoulder. Even then though I said to myself, 'No, Jesus is not my God; my gods are idols."

One day my sister, then 20 years old, suffered from a brain tumor and became bed-ridden. She was my only sister. While my parents took her to different hospitals for treatments, I went by myself to all the nearby Hindu temples to worship.  I was so desperate to get help from above.

Not long after, I happened to attend a Christian retreat. I listened as a woman gave her testimony of being severely ill, and doctors giving up all hope. Her family was crying for her. But she didn’t lose her hope and she cried out to GOD JESUS and GOD JESUS healed her and saved her! Now she is completely well and tells her story to everyone, so that those who are suffering will come to know that only GOD JESUS has power over everything.

When I heard her testimony, I remembered the pamphlet I'd been given, and that there was a telephone number on the back.  Immediately I ran to my home, found it, and dialed the number. I told them all about the problems my sister faced. I asked if they could come to my house and pray for her. At once they prayed over the phone, and I also started praying to GOD JESUS.

Women with bibles donated by Bibles for Mideast

Women with bibles donated by Bibles for Mideast

That same evening some blessed people from Gospel to Asia and Middle East Nations  (the precursor of Bibles for Mideast) came to my house and prayed for my sister. They gave me a New Testament, and I began feeling some power working in my life. Slowly my sister was completely cured, and we both accepted Jesus as our Savior.

We now suffer persecutions from our family and others for accepting Jesus as Savior. The ministers who visited us gave us a full Bible. We rely on Jesus through the Bible and are strengthened by its verses. Also we learned the apostolic principles and received baptism in an underground church.

Please pray for me and my sister. Also pray for our entire  family and our friends to know the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for our ministries and church too.