Nisha lives in western India. She comes from a home that worships idols. Her father, Ravi, hated Christians and often threatened to beat people who visited a Christian church.
Nisha’s neighbors were Adventist Christians, and Ravi often threatened them, too. But his threats didn’t stop the neighbors from worshipping God. The neighbors had a secret weapon: prayer.
The Adventists asked the church members to pray that Nisha’s father would let God speak to his heart. The church members prayed for weeks that God would touch Ravi’s heart. The neighbors knew that Ravi wouldn’t listen to them or even let them talk to him, so they asked their pastor to visit Ravi and pray for him.
To Nisha’s surprise, her father allowed the pastor and some other church members into their home to pray for them. The church members returned often to pray with the family.
One day Nisha’s father became very angry with her mother. He yelled at her, and he beat her. Nisha knew that her mother was hurt, and she became frightened.
When the Adventist neighbors heard the disturbance, they came to Nisha’s house to pray for the family. Father didn’t say anything, but Nisha could tell that he was still angry. The neighbors noticed too, but they continued to pray for almost a half hour. Then they offered to take Nisha’s mother to the hospital for her injuries.
The neighbors continued visiting the family almost every day to pray for them. When Mother felt better, the neighbors invited the family to visit the church. And Father agreed! Nisha felt peaceful in church, though she didn’t understand everything that was happening there.
The family continued to attend the church, and the neighbors kept coming to pray for them. Then one day the pastor invited Nisha’s parents to give their hearts to God. Nisha’s father immediately said yes. It was the first time Nisha remembered seeing her father smile.
Nisha saw so many changes in her father. He stopped drinking and didn’t hit Mother again. He came home from work instead of going out drinking, and he spent more time with the family. Father and Mother even joined the neighbors as they went to people’s homes to pray!
In time Nisha’s parents joined the Adventist Church. “How our lives have changed!” Nisha says. “It’s like walking out of a dark cave into the bright sunlight. Now, instead of Father beating people, he invites them to become Christians!”
This quarter part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build more churches in India so there will be more places where people can learn more about God. Let’s give a generous offering to mission every week, and an extra-large offering on Thirteenth Sabbath.