21 May 2024

“God will not leave us alone!”: Narendran and Kavita’s story of miracles, persecution and hope in India

“God did many miracles,” shares Narendran*. Those four words are inspiring for anybody to hear – and certainly helped Narendran and his wife Kavita* in their ministry in an Indian village. It helped to have a bedrock of knowing how powerful and kind their God is, as this ministry would come at a great cost.

Narendran and Kavita

“God’s people stand with us in our troubles and support us through prayer,” say Kavita and Narendran

Miracles were how Narendran first came to know Jesus. “I belonged to a traditional Hindu family. Our family came to know about the Lord after experiencing miraculous deliverance from our problems and sicknesses,” he says. “I committed my life to the Lord’s ministry.” 

These interventions continued when Narendran and Kavita moved to their village. Narendran shares one of many examples: “A cancer patient, whom doctors had given up hope for, received healing through our prayers. People began to believe in Jesus, and the church grew.”

Word spread about this miraculous God, and before long there were 40 new believers attending the church. Almost everyone in the village was Hindu, but the church didn’t face opposition or persecution for many years. Sadly, that slowly began to change.

Persecution begins in the village

Even while the church was growing and boldly testifying to God’s goodness and the hope of the gospel, Narendran felt the Lord prepare him for difficult times ahead. “Even before things started happening, I was being guided in spirit to pray this prayer: ‘Lord, please keep us safe from all troubles,’” he says. “I had questions in my mind, but I continued praying this prayer. I know now that this prayer was for a purpose.”

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Persecution began during a New Year’s service. As the believers were gathered together, Narendran and Kavita noticed some young people entering the church grounds. “We thought they were some new people joining the meeting,” Narendran explains. “However, after some time, they left the church hall.”

They didn’t think anything about it until they went outside after the service. “We were shocked to see that the believers’ shoes that were left outside the church hall were all cut to pieces with knives,” remembers Narendran. “We could not understand what had happened.”

They decided not to confront the people responsible, as they wanted to retain peaceful relations with the Hindu population of the village. But persecution only escalated.

Persecutors try to halt a Christian funeral

After this strange event, the persecution became more explicit. Narendran recalls a time when the church were preparing for a funeral. As he and other believers were carrying a coffin to cemetery, a group of young extremists stopped them. They said that Christians couldn’t be buried in the cemetery – only Hindus. 

Write to Narendran and Kavita
You can send a message of encouragement to the couple – they’d love to hear from you!

“In the past, we had done so many burials at the village burial ground, and there had been no issues,” Narendran says. “This time, these young people interrupted and made me wait for two hours. They just wanted to torment me.”

A few days later, Narendran and Kavita were gathered with a few other Christians for a night of prayer. Some young men came to the church gate and started shouting at Kavita: “Why are you making so much noise? You cannot conduct such prayers here?”

The Christians concluded their prayers and started for home – but were violently intercepted.  “They shouted abusive language at the believers and started to beat my husband,” says Kavita. “All the gathered Christians fled to their homes.”

Violently attacked and denied treatment at hospital

Narendran relates what happened next. “They punched my eyes, tore my shirt and beat me severely,” he says. “Then they started hitting my wife; she fell unconscious.” The attackers fled the scene, leaving the couple with terrible injuries that they are still suffering the after-effects of.

“They shouted abusive language at the believers and started to beat my husband.” Kavita

An ambulance came to take Kavita and Narendran to hospital – but the couple’s ordeal wasn’t over. The attackers told the ambulance drivers not to mention the attack, and the extremists influenced the doctors, so Narendran and Kavita were denied proper treatment. Only when other pastors and a lawyer intervened were the couple given the necessary medical care. 

Because of their injuries, and the delay in treatment, they were hospitalised for a week. While they were there, the extremists took the opportunity to smash up the church.

Open Doors partners stand by Narendran and Kavita

While Narendran and Kavita were in the hospital, local Open Doors partners heard what had happened. They rushed to pray with the couple and encourage them. Thanks to Open Doors supporters like you, the partners were able to provide groceries to the couple as they struggled to afford their family’s basic needs.

could provide emergency food aid to two believers in India affected by violent persecution
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The persecution has had a significant impact on the church community. Narendran can’t go out for outreach or to visit members of the congregation because he fears extremists. And the church has shrunk after the violence.

“Half of the believers stopped attending church after this incident, as the extremists went to each of their houses and threatened them with dire consequences if they continued to meet for worship,” says Kavita. “The remaining believers who come to church are also very afraid. They don’t want to talk to the pastor and leave the church immediately after the service. We cannot gather for prayers at night or worship the Lord freely. We have stopped using musical instruments, clapping our hands or even singing loudly.”

Long-term support and hope

Narendran and Kavita have a much lower income now, as they relied on offerings from the congregation. Fortunately, your gifts and prayers were once again able to help with this long-term need. When Open Doors partners learned about the couple’s situation, they bought them a sewing machine which led to them opening a tailoring shop.

“The more we face persecution, the more the Lord will bless our ministry.” Narendran

Narendran and Kavita see this help as a clear example of God’s provision. “When Elijah was afraid and was hiding, an angel of the Lord came to him, gave him food and encouraged him saying, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too long,’” Kavita says. “In the same way, when we were worried and struggling, Open Doors partners supported us with prayer and practical aid, through which we are able to continue our ministry. 

“We would have been living in fear and anxiety if you had not come to our aid. We realised we are not alone. God’s people stand with us in our troubles and support us through prayer.”

Determined to continue their ministry

Despite the ongoing challenges, Narendran and Kavita are determined to stay close to the Lord and not let anything pull them away from their calling. They continue their ministry in the same village, trusting in the Lord that He will be with them and lead them.

“We were sad thinking about why these things had happened to us,” Kavita says, still suffering from the physical and emotional impact of the attack. “We could not forget the incident and were not able to come out of mental trauma for days. We thought that we could not continue the ministry, but the Lord strengthened us through His Word, which said: ‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you.’ (Isaiah 41:10) We were encouraged, and we know now that persecution helped us to become stronger in faith – and that God will use it to bless our ministry.”

“Pray that the Lord would protect us and our children always.” Kavita

She adds, “Please pray for our children; we all are so fearful after the incident. Pray that the Lord would protect us and our children always.”

“Scripture says, ‘In this world you will have troubles. But take heart, I have overcome the world,’” Narendran says, referring to John 16:33. “I believe God will not leave us alone and that nothing can separate us from the love of God. The more we face persecution, the more the Lord will bless our ministry. We have hope in God for our future!”

Today, your gifts and prayers can help courageous Indian Christians like Narendran and Kavita, meaning that you are joining in their courageous ministry. Thank you!

Please pray
  • For Narendran and Kavita to have strength, protection and hope as they continue their ministry
  • That Christians would courageously return to services, and that the church would grow and spread the love of Christ
  • For all Christians in India to receive true equality and feel safe and free to worship Jesus.
Please give
  • Every £20 could provide training for ten believers, equipping them with a biblical response to persecution
  • Every £30 could provide emergency food aid to two believers in India affected by violent persecution
  • Every £47 could help a persecuted community establish their livelihood, giving them long-term financial security.

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Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus. Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.