Despite opposition and threats of beatings, a team of seven women who are part of Gospel for Asia Women’s Fellowship gave out 50,000 tracts at the Kumbh Mela festival earlier this year.

Coming to the Ganges river in Uttar Pradesh, India, to dip in its “holy” waters, 60 million people attended the Kumbh Mela over six weeks in January and February. Many Hindus believe this pilgrimage will give them forgiveness of sins.

Eager to bring these pilgrims the truth of the Gospel, the seven women, along with two GFA staff members, traveled three hours to the festival site. They began passing out tracts along busy roads to everyone they saw—drivers, roadside vendors, security officials, traffic police and even the “holy men,” all of whom received the tracts eagerly.

However, about an hour later some extremists approached one of the staff members and told him to stop giving out tracts. The same man then threatened Alita, one of the women, with beatings if she didn’t leave. The team decided to move from that spot but continued distributing tracts elsewhere, not knowing that the man who threatened them had followed.

After a while the women split up, and another man began questioning the women one by one. Realizing the man was part of an extremist anti-Christian group, the women again retreated and found a spot close to the river to pass out their literature. There, the women noticed groups of people sitting near the holy river, reading the tracts they had received on the way in to the festival.

The women did not give up, and that day they passed out 50,000 tracts. Alita shared the Gospel with a group of dedicated holy men from far northeast India, and another sister shared with several security officers. They returned home late that night with excitement at all they were able to do.

Please pray that the tracts passed out will reap eternal fruit among the festival pilgrims.