Like this man, Nihal received a tract that sparked interest in the Gospel.
Sometimes the truth is as strange as fiction. In the novel Jane Eyre, the character Mr. Rochester lives with a mentally insane wife who is so violent, even toward people who try to help her, that she must be locked in a room. Nihal Singh actually experienced this same situation, until he met a Gospel for Asia–supported missionary and God worked a miracle.
Nihal devoutly followed a traditional Asian religion. To please his gods and goddesses, he performed rituals such as going on pilgrimages and offering animal sacrifices. In spite of Nihal’s efforts, his family did not experience true peace or joy.We do not have adequate words to express the joy and happiness that we experienced at that moment. —Nihal Singh
This negative situation exploded when one night, a bizarre happening transformed Nihal’s wife, Siddhangana. She had been experiencing an unbearable headache and could not sleep. Then she felt as if someone were trying to choke her to death, so she began to scream. She continued screaming and shouting for days.
Because the villagers thought that Siddhangana might be demon-possessed, Nihal took her to the local witch doctor. After performing rituals, the witch doctor told Nihal that Siddhangana was possessed by a goddess and advised him to perform sacrifices to appease the deity.
Although Nihal willingly performed the advised rituals, Siddhangana’s condition only worsened. Her behavior became shockingly irrational. Taking the advice of various people, Nihal continued pursuing all avenues of healing for his wife, including visits to doctors and hospitals, but these attempts proved futile. For about two months, the family kept Siddhangana in a locked room; she was so violent that she even attacked those who visited her or brought her food.
When Nihal happened to meet GFA–supported Pastor Mehal Jhadav, a ray of hope shone on the dire situation. Pastor Mehal shared the Gospel with Nihal, and Nihal asked the pastor to give him one of the tracts he was distributing. The tract bore the title You Can Be Liberated.
A beautiful sunset in the district where Pastor Mehal and Nihal’s family live.
The tract aroused Nihal’s attention, so he sought out Mehal and asked him to explain it. As Nihal listened to Pastor Mehal, thoughts flashed in his mind, but he was also concerned about what others might think if they saw him talking with a Christian. Before this encounter, Nihal had stood very adamantly against Christianity. So Nihal asked Mehal to come to his home where they could talk out of the public eye.
Nihal explained his wife’s situation, and Pastor Mehal took the opportunity to share about Jesus Christ again. Faith sparked inside Nihal’s heart. After sharing more about the Lord’s work by reading Isaiah 53, Pastor Mehal knelt down to pray for Nihal’s wife and family. Mehal also promised to fast and pray for the deliverance of Siddhangana, and he advised the family to pray and believe, too. The pastor made good on his promise, fasting and praying for four days.
A few nights later, Siddhangana knocked on the door of her room and cried out, “Why are you keeping me locked in this room? I am not mad. I am not mad. I am all right. Please open the door.”
Many feared that this cry signified a worsening of the woman’s condition and refused to enter, but Nihal approached her room. When he peeped through the window, he saw a miraculous sight: His wife was properly dressed and sitting peacefully in the room.
After standing for a few minutes in sheer surprise, Nihal hurriedly brought his children to the room. They looked at Siddhangana through the window and then burst into the room and embraced her. Their wife and mother had been set free! Overjoyed, the family praised the Lord together.
Like this woman, Siddhangana suffered from demon-possession for months until a GFA–supported missionary fasted and prayed for her.
“We do not have adequate words to express the joy and happiness that we experienced at that moment,” Nihal later commented.
At around 4 a.m. the next day, Nihal left for Pastor Mehal’s house, where he heard a groaning prayer from the pastor’s room. Pastor Mehal was praying for Siddhangana’s deliverance. When Nihal told him the news, Mehal joined the family in praising God for setting Siddhangana free. Pastor Mehal went back with Nihal to see her.
Having come to her senses, Siddhangana later took a bath. That same day, Pastor Mehal led the whole family to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Nihal even threw away all his idols. He and his wife have stated together that they want to be infused with the love of Jesus and be witnesses for Him. Unlike Mr. Rochester’s wife in Jane Eyre, Siddhangana—by God’s grace—recovered from her illness and lived to tell about it. The truth may not be stranger than fiction, but it is certainly more miraculous.