Despite being rejected by her family, 12-year-old Sari* from India won't leave Jesus.
She came to faith after God healed her ears from an illness that kept her practically deaf from early childhood. Her parents were pleased with the healing, but banned her from going to church. Sari tried to go secretly, but whenever her brother found out, he beat her terribly.
Every £22 could resource a local Rapid Response team for a month as they bring emergency aid to victims of violence, such as food and medical care.
Eventually, her family forced her from the house. She now lives with her aunt, who is also a Christian. Despite all of this, she still says of her family, "I love them so much." You can see Sari and her aunt below.
Open Doors partners were recently able to meet with Sari to pray with her and encourage her. They read to her from Psalm 68 - specifically verse five, which says, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows, is God in his holy dwelling."
"For now, God is your Father," they felt led to say. "You have to continue to trust in Him. He has promised to make all things new. He will renew your relationship with your parents."
Have you had moments in your life where you felt it would be easier to leave the Christian faith than to persevere? Jesus even asks it of His disciples in John 6, after a time of particularly hard teaching: "You do not want to leave... do you?" But in John 6:68, Peter replies, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."
When asked whether she'd considered leaving Jesus, Sari said, "I want to leave Him, but I can't." It is clear that she has suffered a lot for her faith at such a young age, but Jesus holds her firm in His loving arms. As the visit from Open Doors local partners drew to a close, Sari thanked them for praying with her.
STAND WITH YOUR CHURCH FAMILY IN INDIA
Sari represents thousands of Christians in India facing rejection and violence because of their faith in Jesus. Open Doors church partners estimate that almost 24,000 Christians were physically attacked in India last year. India is number 11 on the 2018 World Watch List, Open Doors’ annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution, its highest ever position.
Open Doors has been working through local churches and partners in India since 2000, and the work they do is already extensive, but they have a plan to double their impact and extend their reach to every corner of India over the next two years.
Your long-term support can help to make that plan a reality. Every £22 could resource a local Rapid Response team for a month as they bring emergency aid to victims of violence, such as food and medical care.
- For Sari, that God would reveal Himself as her heavenly Father, and that she would continue to trust Him to provide for her and bless her
- For Open Doors local church partners in India who reach out to vulnerable, isolated Christians, that God would protect them and multiply the work of their hands
- That God would protect and strengthen Christians in India who live in hostile situations, or who have been expelled from their communities for their faith.
*Name changed for security reasons