Aarav lives in the Garhwal region, a grouping of small villages nestled in the mountains of India. Here, houses balance against the steep earth on stilts, and crops grow on man-made steps so the dirt won’t wash away.
One day, Aarav began to feel anxious and fearful. As time wore on, he felt increasingly terrified. His suffering was so intense that he believed he was being attacked by evil spirits. He lay awake at night and tossed and turned during the day, unable to sleep or get any relief from his terror.
Aarav’s family tried to help him by taking him to a group of witchdoctors. The witchdoctors gathered around Aarav, holding sticks and brooms, and began to beat him to drive the fear out of his body. Aarav cried out in pain. But nothing the witchdoctors did helped him at all, and he went home still cowering in fear.
A Caring Pastor
Pastor Rajesh Mansell lives in the Garhwal region as well. He is the pastor of a small, open-air church that fills to standing-room-only on Sundays. Your gifts support Rajesh so that he can record Christian radio programs that are broadcast throughout the neighboring villages. Rajesh gives out his cell phone number at the ends of the programs so that people can call him for prayers or advice. He also invites people to attend prayer meetings at the church.
A friend of Aarav’s family heard about Pastor Rajesh and gave Aarav information to attend the prayer meeting. Aarav was afraid to go because he did not want to be beaten again. But his friend expressed confidence that the Christian God would be able to heal him, so Aarav set out with hope.
At the prayer meeting, Pastor Rajesh preached about the healing power of the Lord Jesus. He prayed that all of those experiencing sickness would be healed. Then he prayed specifically for Aarav, that he would be freed from the fear in his heart.
As the pastor was praying, Aarav felt the peace of Christ calming his heart and mind. He returned home that night, and was at last able to sleep. He stayed in contact with Pastor Rajesh, and soon made the decision to ask Jesus into his heart. He celebrated this new step with the sacrament of baptism in the cool waters of a nearby river.
Hope is Spreading
After witnessing the miraculous change in Aarav’s life, his mother and sister decided to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, too. They now hope that others in their family will come to believe the truth as well.
“By seeing the miracle in my life, my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ became more strong and firm,” testifies Aarav. “Now I believe that Jesus is the Savior and the real God.”
“I felt an unspeakable experience of peace in my heart and mind when I accepted him as my personal Savior,” he continues. “I was given a deep assurance that I can trust him for everything. This is my desire: to serve him and live a life according to his word.”
Now, in addition to church gatherings, Aarav and his family members are listening to messages from Pastor Rajesh throughout the week on radio as well. “I regularly listen to Words of Hope radio programs very attentively with my whole family,” says Aarav. “It is my favorite program. I get mental peace through every program.”
God is using gifts like yours to make connections like this possible. Your prayers and generosity introduced Aarav to Pastor Rajesh, and Pastor Rajesh introduced Aarav to the Savior. Now Aarav’s life serves as a testimony to others in his community. Thanks to you, the hope of Christ is spreading.