Sayuri* finished washing the breakfast dishes and gathered her belongings to start her job as a Bible Worker. As she headed out the door, her husband told her goodbye, adding “Even if you die for Jesus, we will take care of the kids. Don’t stop God’s work.”

Nithila*, Sayuri’s fellow Bible Worker, received a similar encouragement from her husband before she left that morning.

The two women met and traveled to their assigned area of town. They planned to hand out pamphlets, talk to people, and pray with whoever was willing.

Several hours later, Sayuri and Nithila were walking along a side street when a truck screeched to a halt in front of them. The driver got out of his vehicle, slammed the door and accosted the two women.

“What are you doing here?” he shouted. “I’ve been watching you going up and down the streets for a while now. What gives you the right to do these things?” He ripped the pamphlets out of their hands and flung them to the ground.

The women’s eyes grew wide for a moment, but they responded simply, “We’re telling people about our God, of Jesus the Creator who made you and me.”

“How dare you say those things to me!” the man said. “Who do you think you are? Can’t you read what’s on my truck?” He pointed emphatically at the Hindu slogans and portraits of the gods decorating his vehicle.

“We’re not doing anything wrong,” the women said. “We’re allowed to go door to door and talk to people.”

The man continued to berate them for daring to share their God in his neighborhood. He threatened to post videos of them on social media and report them to his influential friends, but nothing he said moved the two women. They remained as calm as they always had been.

The man’s blood boiled. “I have petrol, I should just throw it on you and burn you now!”

“You can try,” the women said, “but our God will save us.” 

At this time, a woman from the apartment building next to them decided to join in the man’s attack. She told the women they deserved to die, and encouraged the man to carry out his threat. Sayuri and Nithila could not believe what they were hearing, but they continued to respond that they were doing nothing wrong, that their God was with them, and that He would protect them.

And He did. Though it made no sense, the man decided not to kill them that day, and to leave them with a warning to stay away, or else.

Sayuri and Nithila breathed a sigh of relief. Later they recounted the story to Israel Prasad, JFA Director in India. He worried how the women were doing and wanted to pray for them, but they responded that they were okay. They didn’t need to fear because God was with them. Israel was surprised because that verse (Isaiah 41:10) was the first verse he had read that morning, and he was about to share it with the women when they said it first.

The women also shared with Israel what their husbands had told them that morning. Normally, the men suggested their wives be careful and try not to get in trouble, but that day they told them to work for God no matter the cost. Sayuri and Nithila had no idea at the time how true their words might be, but looking back they could see how God put that message in their husbands’ mouths to strengthen and encourage them.

Sayuri and Nithila plan to go back to that same street and pick up where they left off, and they have even begun to pray for the conversion of the man who threatened them.

Please join us in praying for our Bible Workers as threats like these are becoming more and more abundant throughout India. Please pray also that their persecutors, like Paul, will have an encounter with Jesus so their lives may be changed.

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