South Asian Widows Find Healing Hope in Christ

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GFA widows

GFA widows
Widows like Swati Baidya and Mridula Das don’t often hear that
someone loves them. Swati and Mridula live in South Asia, where being a
widow is something like being a pariah: Widows are kicked out of their
homes, rejected by society and often find themselves begging for even a
little something to eat. In spite of their lot in life, Swati and
Mridula have found real hope in their lives.

Mridula’s Story
Mridula is only 33, but she felt as though her life was over. This young
widow was left alone with three children to feed when her husband died.
And her society did not do anything to help. Rather, it blamed her for
causing her husband’s death.

As if Mridula’s status in society wasn’t bad enough, her life got
worse when she started having serious health problems. She had to spend
more and more of her meager earnings on medicine, but she kept working.
She tried to work, but after several years of fighting her weakness
left her unable to work.

When GFA-supported missionary Kerketta Rai started a prayer
fellowship in her village, Mridula started going. She heard the gospel
and began to understand the power of prayer. So she asked everyone who
attended the prayer meetings to pray for her. As a result, she was
completely healed. Slowly, she began to understand the truth about Jesus
and she chose to give her life to Him.

In spite of her status as an unloved outcast in the rest of her
society, Mridula has found the love of Jesus and she lives in peaceful
harmony with her fellow believers. Rather than her previous life of
hopeless existence, Mridula is now living a life full of God’s
blessings.


Swati Baidya’s Story
Swati Baidya didn’t think anyone would ever love her again. The
55-year-old widow was faithful to her traditional religion her entire
life, but when her husband died she failed to find peace with the gods
and goddesses she worshipped. Instead she was left lonely and scared.
Swati also became ill and the bad health persisted for more than a year.

Thankfully her son and his family defied their society’s tradition
and decided to allow Swati to live with them. She had just gone to stay
at her son’s home when a Gospel for Asia-supported film team visited the
village. Although Swati was staunchly devoted to the deities she had
worshipped her entire life, she was curious about the movie. So she went
to the center of the village where film team missionaries Jonathon Pashi
and Dharmendra Gavit set up their makeshift movie screen.

Before the movie started, Jonathon and Dharmendra told the people the
story of Jesus, whom the movie is about. They also told them about
Jesus and His power to heal sickness and take away disease.

Swati was thrilled to hear about the God who could heal her! So she
intently watched the movie and was amazed at what she learned about
Jesus. After the movie she asked the missionaries to pray for her. Right
after the prayer she began to feel better and she was amazed. She chose
to follow Jesus right then.


However, Swati’s choice has caused problems in her family. Her son
and his family are dead-set against her attending the local church,
where a GFA-supported missionary serves as pastor. They are threatening
to kick her out of the house—and the family—if she persists worshipping
the Lord.

Since Swati is a widow, she has nowhere else to go except the
streets, so the choice to continue following Christ is difficult. Swati
asks for prayer that she will not lose faith but grow stronger during
this time of testing. She also asks for prayer that her son will come to
know Jesus as well.


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