Your support helped persecuted women open a weaving centre
Recently, Open Doors partners have helped Sonia* and Asha* in setting up a weaving centre in their community. Though they have been ridiculed by their community for their faith, and the COVID-19 lockdowns have stripped them of their income, they are able to stand again through your prayers and support.
Sonia and Asha are from the same village and were the first members of their family who accepted Christ. Gradually, they also brought their family to Christ.
Accepting Christ wasn’t easy for either of them. When Sonia brought Jesus into her life, her husband was angry. He tortured and abused her. Sonia endured every abuse and continued to hold on to God and prayed for husband and other family members. After much of this prayer, Sonia’s husband had a turn of heart and accepted Christ.
But soon enough, opposition rose against Sonia and her whole family from the villagers. They opposed Sonia’s family for following Christ and for not partaking in any community celebration or rituals offered to idols.
The villagers told Sonia, “Christians belong to other tribe. Christians are of low tribe. We do not follow Jesus Christ!”
“We were labelled as unclean,” says Sonia. “No one visited us, nor were we invited to anyone's house. We were discriminated and pushed away.”
The same scenario happened to Asha, who comes from a nominal Christian family from a neighbouring village.
Asha was married to a Hindu man. When she became a believer, Asha was unable to comply with the customs and rituals of the family and the village, so she was beaten and tortured by her husband.
Heartbroken and distressed, Asha cried to the Lord to save her and her family.
She says, “When I turned and called on God as I was forced to follow the rituals of the village, He answered my prayers and in a miraculous way delivered me and my family from following the blind customs and rituals offered to the idols. My constant prayers and reading of the Bible encouraged and helped my family know the true living God.”
The change of faith in Asha’s family hindered the villagers as the family now also refused to partake in the village festivals and celebration. They were treated in the same manner as Sonia and her family.
The main source of income for both Sonia and Asha’s families was farming, which was also not sufficient to meet their needs. With the pandemic sweeping all over the country and lockdowns being implemented, it was getting next to impossible to afford a square meal for Sonia and Asha’s families. The lockdown cooped the families at home and they were unable to work in fields, unable to farm and cultivate, and much of the crops were destroyed.
To get back on their feet and better their situation and with the relaxation restrictions, the families got together set up a weaving centre. Sonia and Asha, along with others, formed a group to start the weaving process: unfortunately, a lack of resources and training gave the business a stumbling start. Seeing the need and their skilled labour, Open Doors partners encouraged them and helped them establish a weaving centre project to improve their economic condition.
When the women heard that they would be receiving help and materials to establish their Centre, they were overwhelmed with the news, for they had been struggling to afford materials and supplies. The project also helped them to come together with fellow Christian and workers and share their burdens so that they pray for one another.
Sonia says, “This project is going to enhance our financial condition to support our family. I would like to thank the sponsors from the bottom of my heart for extending your great help. May the Lord bless all the team and your ministry.”
The centre thus far has not faced any threat or opposition from the villagers. The centre has helped the women not only economically, but also spiritually, as they get to have devotions and prayer time together.
The days being unpredictable and situation being erratic, our sisters in the weaving centre are seeking your prayers.
Pray for Sonia and Asha in their endeavour, that it would be successful and fruitful
Pray for their testimony among their neighbours and that the village would gain respect for them
Pray for the continued spiritual growth of the Christian community