Thanish Kumar [not his real name] had already determined in his heart that he would lay down his life for the sake of Christ, if necessary. But this bout of persecution would test Thanish’s mettle and bring him to his knees…and closer to God.
Praise God. As the church is growing we often get the persecution, especially threats from the Hindu fanatic groups. This month we faced a difficult time. Already, we have 25 new believers here in this village attending prayer [times] in our house.
So some of the villagers who were belonging to a particular fanatic group came to our house and shouted at us for leading this people to Christianity. The leader got angry and caught my shirt and pushed me back and I was fallen on the floor. Then they kicked me three times and threatened that I should stop all the Christian work and re-join the Hindu religion along with this people. Otherwise they will kill me and my family. Praise God that my wife and daughter were in my brother’s house at that time.
But I was frightened and did not know what is going to happen to us. I knelt down there and started to cry. I wanted to pray but all my body was shivering and no prayers came from my mouth. But I was crying to God with fear, pain and more burden about my people.
After ten minutes, I felt a great presence of God in my life and I heard a sound in my spirit which said, “read Isaiah 41:10.” Then I took my Bible and started to read this verse [So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand]. I felt the Lord is directly speaking to me and I was encouraged very much. The Lord is giving me strength in these days.
I know all the men who came to beat me. They all were from the higher caste community and are rich in my community. Please pray for us this month, especially for the protection of my family and the believers, that we will grow stronger in faith and face these difficult times with prayer and the grace of the Lord.
Some days, the possibility of martyrdom is all too real for our missionaries as they labor to win souls in spiritually bleak villages. In the face of persecution, they display the most Christlike characteristic of all: selfless love. They know that they’ll be hated for preaching the gospel, but they’ve counted the cost and know the worth of a soul greatly outweighs their own comfort and protection.
Please remember Thanish Kumar and his family in your prayers today.
On their behalf,
Director, National Missionary Fund