Seven months ago, when I decided to do a Christmas outreach for neighborhood children, I never imagined the steps that God would ordain in order to fulfill His purposes.
On my walk that day, my nephew and I noticed a little boy sitting on his porch on an empty rice sack. He was the most twisted and crippled person I had ever seen. His image was cemented in my heart, and I decided that I would get to know and pray for that little boy, whom I later came to know as Sankar.
Soon after that, my friend and I decided to do some evangelism, and we started in that small, community along the banks of a dried up river. We went straight to Sankar’s porch, told him about Jesus, that Jesus sees him and loves him. He said that he was lonely with no one to talk to all day while everyone else was at school. We explained that he could talk to Jesus at anytime and that he had five new friends that day.
When we went to meet Sankar, many children gathered and we soon had a listening audience. We were soon gathering with the children on that small, dung-covered porch, and growing to love Sankar and his family and those children. All of the children and families were Hindu, but they listened enthusiastically to Bible stories. For the last 7 months, we (Yonhui and her daughter, Grace, Prakash, Kumar, Maya and I) have been going weekly to that community sharing with a group of about 50-60 children and other curious passersby.
Two weeks ago, my nephew was informed by one of the village boys that Sankar was very sick and that Sankar wanted Yonhui to come and pray for him. I was unfortunately out of town at the time. Yonhui and her husband, Charles, went to pray for Sankar at his house. He had refused to go to the hospital until they came to pray. Sankar struggled for each breath and eventually passed out from exhaustion. At the hospital that night, the doctor informed his father that there was nothing more they could do for him and that he needed to be taken to a more advanced hospital. Sankar, however, was adamant that he did not want to go to another hospital, and that he just wanted “to go to Heaven with Jesus.” The next morning, Sankar did go to live with Jesus.
It’s plain to see now how each step was ordained by our Father in Heaven, from Sankar’s porch where we began the Bible stories to even which stories we shared. Yonhui had decided to begin with what Heaven is like, who Jesus is, and the miracles of Jesus. I can’t imagine how scary death can be, but my heart is warmed with the thought that Sankar had already been given a glimpse of where he was going and the One whom he would meet simply because God had us go to that village, to Sankar’s house, and share those particular stories just a few months before. Sankar truly believed the truth we were sharing, unbeknownst to us at the time.
But that’s not the end of the story. Sankar’s father, who is not a Christian, asked Charles and Yonhui to give his son a Christian burial service, as opposed to the Hindu rituals normally done here. About 40 villagers got to hear about the hope found in Jesus at the funeral and later almost the entire village at Sankar’s house. Praise the Lord!
The children now proclaim that Sankar is in heaven. His little sister asked just last week, “Can I go to heaven, too?” This past Sunday, we were telling the children the Bible story while several adults listened also. Afterwards, a lady and her husband came and said, “We want to believe. What do we need to do?” Such beautiful words! As I explained the Gospel, several people listened and asked many questions. I believe more in this village will soon come to know Jesus as their Savior.
“Most assuredly, I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John 12:24