Shanti continues to serve Jesus, despite rejection and beatings.
Shanti* is a believer in her late 50s, surrounded with troubles and worries, yet rejoicing that she knows Jesus.
Shanti and her whole family came to know Jesus when she was healed of a sickness, but their new faith was not accepted by their relatives and community. The family has faced continuous pressure from extremists in their village to leave Christianity, and relatives have cut ties with the family. This is not an uncommon occurrence for Christians in India.
While the family was returning from prayer one day, Hindu extremists took hold of them and beat them severely until they bled, angry with them for converting. The whole family were taken to the police station as the extremists lodged a complaint against them, stating that they were forcibly converting people in their village. While imprisoned, the police officers beat the family even more, and would not listen to their explanation.
The extremists continued to influence the people in their village, insulting and excluding Shanti and her whole family. With sorrow and pain, they had to take shelter in one another believer’s home in a neighbouring village.
Shanti felt heartbroken and helpless at all suffering she and her children had to go through, and yet she is thankful. She says, “I have experienced the love and peace of Christ in my life. I have been to temples and other worship places, spending money to get healed. But it was Christ who healed me – all he wanted was my heart. I and my family can never leave Christ for the mere pressures of humans.”
Shanti and her son.
Despite everything they have been through, there is no thought of denying Christ. Shanti says, “When Christ himself was rejected by His own, what are we? The Bible warns us we will face persecution, so we are prepared for any situation. Worse may happen to us, yet at the same time we are reminded of the verse from 1 Peter 2:4, which says ‘As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him.’ This verse strengthens us and encourages us.”
Open Doors local partners have helped Shanti and her family with medical assistance for Sanjiv who had to have surgery on his broken nose. They also provided the family with groceries.
Shanti says, “I am so grateful to God for the organization that stood by us in this difficult time. God indeed places encouragers during tough times to build up our faith. I also thank you all for your assurance and prayers.”
Pray for protection for Shanti and her family, that they would not be harmed further
Pray that extremists will have a change of heart in regards to Christians in their villages
Pray that the family will heal from trauma and find safety.
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