By Sarah Kearney
7/28/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In 2014, village bans against practicing Christianity became popular in India’s Chhattisgarh state. Starting in the Bastar District, village after village passed similar bans affecting hundreds of Christian families. Along with these bans against Christianity, these villages socially boycotted any Christians within the village, denying them access to necessities such as water, electricity, and even their fields and livestock.
Eventually, this wave of persecution arrived in a village where an elderly woman, Rekha Bai, lived. Because she professed her faith in Jesus Christ, Rekha was beaten at the shop where she worked and was kicked out of her village. For almost a week, Rekha lived at a bus station before a Christian from another village allowed her to live in his house.
Before accepting Jesus Christ as her Savior, Rekha lost her husband and fell into an alcohol addiction. During this time, she met a pastor, and he explained the Gospel to her and Jesus’ great love. The Lord spoke through the pastor, and Rekha gave her life to Christ that day. When her employer asked Rekha about her transformation, she told him about Jesus. He kicked her out.
Rekha said, “Once I was living without any purpose and aim in my life and just earning and drinking, no hope at all. But when I was chosen by Jesus Christ, my whole life changed; now I have hope, aim and purpose in my life.”
However, Rekha is in need of a more permanent housing solution now. The Christian who is currently sheltering her is willing to give her a piece of his land where she can build a house. However, Rekha did not have the abilities or resources to build herself a home.
With the help of generous donors, ICC provided the financial resources to build Rekha’s home. ICC paid for the labor, metal sheets, iron rods, doorposts, door, cement, flooring, and bricks.
Rekha was very grateful and expressed her deepest thanks. She said, “Now I wanted to live for Jesus Christ and live like a testimony. [At one point] nobody was there to care for me, no family member, no well-wisher, but now I have whole Christian community to care for me and worries about me more than I do.” Rekha went on to say, “My own husband and my boss where I used to work never cared for me during my life time, but these unknown people with great love are helping me and caring for me, which really surprises me.”
Please keep Rekha Bai in your prayers as she starts her new life in a new home and a new village. Ask that she would continue to live out and proclaim her faith in Jesus Christ. Please pray that the believers who have already helped Rekha so much would continue to be a solid Christian community for her.