On the (very rough) ground
When the engine on his motorcycle roared to life, Rajesh Mansell wasn’t thinking about the danger. India has one of the highest rates of motorcycle accidents. Forty percent of people killed and injured on Indian roads are motorcyclists. As he bounced along the rocky road Rajesh accepted these risks but didn’t dwell on them. But when he lost his grip on the handles of the motorcycle and he, his wife, and his young daughter crashed to the ground, Rajesh must have wondered, “Is it worth it?”
There are few guardrails in the Himalayas, so it was providential that the bike struck a boulder rather than plummeting 300 feet onto the rocks below. By God’s protection Rajesh and his family suffered only minor injuries in the crash.
Can Jesus Heal Me Too?
When you live in northern India, to brave a journey over the mountains (and every journey is over some mountain) you have to believe your trip is worth the risk. As Words of Hope’s Garhwali program director, Rajesh visits churches, listeners, and fellow Christians throughout the Garhwal region who have responded to his weekly radio program. Each time he starts his motorcycle he confirms his belief that what he’s doing is worth the risk: sharing the gospel with people living in places other Christians can’t easily reach.
One such person is Babita, a young lady who suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of her body. Doctors couldn’t help her and her parents lost hope. Babita herself was beginning to accept that she might never again move on her own.
Babita was trying to forget her problems for a few minutes by listening to the radio. She heard Rajesh’s voice telling the story of Jesus healing an invalid. Babita couldn’t stop thinking about this story. She called the number from the program and asked if this Jesus could heal her too.
Pick Up Your Mat
When the call came in, Rajesh knew he had to go see Babita. He filled up his tank and soon his tires were skidding across the dirt road. The roads hadn’t gotten any safer since the accident, but Rajesh believed this trip would be worth the risk.
He arrived at Babita’s family home and began to tell them more about Jesus. The family requested a prayer for Babita. While Rajesh prayed, Babita began to move her hands. Then her legs. After a few minutes she was able to get up and walk without help. The family knelt down and surrendered themselves to Christ that same evening.
Opening Church Doors
Rajesh’s dedication to connecting with listeners attracted the attention of a Christian leader who told Rajesh about a church in the area that had been empty for several years. He suggested Rajesh begin conducting Sunday services for the listeners in the area. Rajesh felt the Lord was in this invitation and soon began holding services. Both listeners and former members began to attend, and the church soon doubled in size from its previous peak attendance.
A Christian named Kirti Bhushan exemplifies the effect of Words of Hope’s ministry, “A few years back my life was miserable. My friends were bad and I was destroying my body. I came to know Jesus through Brother Rajesh. I met him and he guided me in how to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior. I started listening to the Garhwali program and learned more about God. Now I am an active member of church and totally devoted to Christ Jesus.”
Worth the Journey
Every journey is risky. When Rajesh heads out on a visit, he takes a risk. When he opens the doors of the church, there is risk. When Babita takes a wobbly step, when people walk to church, when Kirti walks with Jesus, in all these journeys there is risk. But there is also faith. All these people believe the same thing: the journey to Jesus is worth the risk.