A Hindu Polygamist Hears About Jesus

31 Jan

A Hindu Polygamist Hears About Jesus

A chance meeting with a Hindu man named Mukesh that was hopefully a divine appointment

A Hindu Polygamist Hears About Jesus

David’s 4th Photo Blog from Pakistan

As if life isn’t difficult enough for Pakistan’s Marwari people, sometimes the wealthy Muslim landowners who hold them in economic slavery inform them they no longer need their labor. So they are forced to migrate—taking their meager belongings and debts with them—to where another landowner will hire them for the same slave wages. He will permit them to construct new mud and thatched-roof huts on a small plot of his ground. Finding water, of course, is their problem.

We visited one of those brand new villages a few days ago. Ten Christian families have recently migrated or are in the process of migrating there. Their huts are in various stages of construction (which I have documented in the photos below). Their water source—a ten-minute walk from their new village—is a muddy irrigation ditch that has been drying up, and from which cattle also drink. That same irrigation ditch is used by an older nearby village of Marwari people of about 80 families. When one of the leaders of that village saw us taking photos of women collecting water from that irrigation ditch, he wanted to talk. His name was Mukesh.

Mukesh told us that the irrigation ditch will be completely dry in just a few days, as the landowner will divert water elsewhere, which will require them to walk further for water.

We also learned that Mukesh has two wives, one for twelve years and the other for five. I asked him how his first wife reacted when he told her about wanting to take a second wife. He said that at first she was opposed to it, but now she is OK, and both his wives are good friends.

I asked him what he knew about Jesus, and when he answered “Only a little,” I told him the basic facts of Jesus’ claims, His miracles, and His righteousness, and I did so at length. Mukesh listened very closely and with genuine interest. I told him Jesus taught everyone to treat others as they want to be treated, and that the Bible warns that hell awaits unrepentant rich people who exploit the poor to gain wealth. Then Mukesh said something that surprised me: “You came here today in a car, so you are obviously a rich man—just like the landowners who do not care about us. How are you not just like them if you don’t share your wealth and do something to help us?”

Thankfully, I didn’t have to explain to him that I wasn’t making money off of him (as is the landowner for whom he labors), so in my case there are no profits to share. I did explain to him, however, that Jesus taught His followers to care for the poor among their spiritual family, and that is why we were visiting the new Christian village that very day. I went on to tell him that, within a few weeks, there would be a well with a pump just a short distance from where we were sitting, and that he and all the families in his village would be welcome to enjoy that pure water. Then I asked him if he would like a copy of the Bible so he could learn more about Jesus. He said yes.

Two days later, when two of our partner pastors returned with a well driller for a site survey, the first words that Mukesh spoke to them were, “Did you bring me a Bible?”

That is a good sign! Please pray for Mukesh. He could be a “person of peace” (Luke 10:5-7) to his entire village (but probably not a church elder…1 Tim. 3:2).

Below are some photos from that day with captions.

Here is the water source that will be dry in a few days. It serves two villages totaling 90 Marwari families.

Here is the same irrigation ditch just a few yards away from where the previous photo was taken.

Home construction starts with a circle, inscribed in the ground using a center stick and a string.IMG_9252.jpegIn this photo of our friend Sarfraz William and three Pakistani pastors, you can see both a house roof frame and a circle of brush that is tied together to comprise the skeleton of the circular wall.

IMG_2827.jpegOnce the walls are up, a mixture of clay and cow dung makes for a smooth floor. Note the wood-burning floor stove near the back wall. The entire circular wall will be mudded as well.

IMG_9292 2.jpegA little guy who was playing near the irrigation ditch while his mother was there hand washing clothing.

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