Hated to Hero
The making of an Indian superhero
As Netra Sharma left the prison for a second time, the police gave him permission to stay in their town on 3 conditions: (1) He doesn’t preach the gospel; (2) He doesn’t use any public well; and (3) He doesn’t speak to anyone in public. Netra’s crime: preaching the gospel. A police investigation proved that, but the Hindu radicals in Harinchara, India, wanted to silence him—and they controlled the police.
The thought of not being able to preach the gospel depressed Netra. There had to be a way to reach his people—he knew God had led him there for that purpose—but how?
Netra turned to Jesus Christ in 1999 in that same town, but was soon driven out because he was hated as a Christian. For the next 7 years, Netra served the Lord as a missionary to other villages, but after continuing to feel a deep burden to tell his own people about the love of God, he returned to Harinchara in 2006—even if that meant persecution.
At first Netra kept a low profile, witnessing to and leading only his family and closest friends to the Lord. Unable to stop there, however, he began telling others about Him. The villagers responded by violently beating Netra and putting him behind bars. His new converts began praying, and Netra was soon released.
Later, Netra helped a widow find a job in another community. His enemies claimed he had sold her to a brothel and had him arrested again. He was soon released after promising that he’d abide by the 3 silencing conditions.
After praying for a solution, Netra felt that he should open a school, a need recognized by every citizen of Harinchara. Unbelievably, Netra received a positive reaction when he proposed the idea—even begging him to start a school!
Almost overnight Netra went from Hated to Hero. Even the leader of the Hindu radicals who led the persecution against Netra began sending his children to his new school—even though they use a Bible-based curriculum! The whole town has softened to Netra, and most let him share the gospel when he makes visits door to door to report the progress of their children.
Heaven’s Family has come alongside Netra to help him reach the families of Harinchara through its children. With contributions to the Education Fund, we’re providing the materials he needs to finish the school, which until recently had only bamboo walls and dirt floors. The school is using the funds to construct waterproof walls, concrete floors and adequate student desks.
Together in Christ,
Director, Education Fund