first published: Aug. 16, 2006 – Gospel for Asia
“Please allow us to return to our village.”
The four petite Indian women stood before their GFA leaders, ready to return to their village of ministry in Orissa state—and face possible death—all for the Gospel’s sake.
Orissa, where missionary Graham Staines and his two boys were burned to death in 1999, is known for having the worst record of violence from anti-Chrisian fundamentalists, with growing violence since the 1990s.
When 14 people came to Christ after the four women missionaries began sharing the Gospel, the threats and harassment began.
Then, just before they left to attend a regional GFA meeting, a gang of Hindu extremists confronted them with an ultimatum: If they returned to the village, their fate would be the same as that of the Staines family.
Yet the four felt the Lord leading them back to that same community. Some encouraged the women not to risk their lives, but despite the threat of death, they decided to return.
“We have been praying about it,” they replied with determination. “We are the ones who led all these people to the Lord. If we run away, what will they think?”
“We know it can happen,” they acknowledged. “We are scared, but the love of Jesus is able to overcome all our fears.”
Since their return, a pastor and two students in that same community have been severely beaten by extremists. The pastor and his family were forced to immediately leave the village. The four women have been able to remain in their rented home due to the kindness of their landlord, and they continue to openly share the Gospel.
Please pray that the Lord will watch over these ladies while they boldly declare their faith. Pray also for the salvation of many souls in this village, including their persecutors.