When Kirti’s husband was murdered because he chose to follow Jesus, Open Doors partners supported her with food, shelter and money to pay for hospital bills. Now, thanks to your continued prayers and support, they have been able to come alongside her during the pandemic as well. Kirti’s name has been changed for security reasons, and please note that the video below is a reconstruction of events.
After spending some time in a safehouse recovering from the aftermath of her husband’s murder, Kirti moved back to her village to be with her four children and her in-laws. They run a small farm together, selling crops and vegetables. “Due to the lockdown, I had a lot of difficulty in selling my produce, as it was completely banned to go anywhere,” Kirti explains.
But the effects of the pandemic are not the only struggles she faced. Since becoming a Christian, Kirti has suffered persecution at the hands of her local community. At one point during the lockdown, Kirti was away in another village – her persecutors took advantage of her absence. “Some people from my village deliberately took their animals to my farm and fed them my crops, which I had sown in the summer this year. They fed more than half of the crops in my farm to their animals. Because of that, I have faced lots of financial problems.”
Even so, her faith in God carried her through this time – and her prayers were not just for her needs. “I felt very sad when I came back and saw my farm. I did not say anything to anyone, but I prayed to God that the Lord would change the lives of those persecutors so that they too can be saved.”
She and other Christians in her village were also denied food aid from the government because of their faith. “Sometimes I get frustrated because I have the responsibility of my in-laws and four children. Still, I thank God that He helps us in everything,” she says.
Kirti is not alone in her experiences of persecution. Hindu extremists have vowed to wipe out Christians and all other non-Hindus religions in India by the end of this year and have stepped up their violence and anti-Christian propaganda in their efforts to achieve this. Sadly, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian Christians have also been denied food aid and even medical treatment because of their faith.
Thanks to you, Open Doors local partners have been able to continue supporting Kirti. “The organisation has helped me a lot,” she says. “They made a home for us, gave us clothes, utensils and rations… In time, God fulfilled our every need. I did not face any kind of problem during lockdown. God is with me and God fulfilled all my needs.”
“I am illiterate, but whatever I hear from the Bible, I share with others.”Kirti
God is also answering Kirti’s prayers for her family and community. Her father-in-law, who used to persecute her and blamed her for her husband’s death, has recently become a Christian. “He used to drink and persecute me, but I constantly prayed for his salvation... I thank God, he started believing in Christ.”
Also, because of Kirti’s bold witness and her offers to pray for the people around her, around 10 new families have started believing in Jesus! “I spent much time in prayer during lockdown,” Kirti says. “Many villagers came to my house for prayer for their illnesses and God healed them all. Now, many new people from my village have also started believing in Jesus.”
Kirti is determined to keep sharing the gospel in her village, praise God! “I am illiterate, but whatever I hear from the Bible, I share with others. Most of the people in my village come to me for pray for their illnesses. I pray for them, and God heals them. I am still persecuted by some people from my village, but now I do not fear. God is with me.”
Life-giving God, I thank You and pray for all those people who supported me in my difficult times; bless all of them, meet all their needs. I pray for those people facing persecution for being Christians. Lord, give them courage. May Your church grow in every country, that many people – including those who persecute and oppose Christians – may be saved. I pray for the servants of God who share Your Word; keep them safe and fulfil all their needs. Help all of us to live life according to the Word of God. Amen.
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