FRIENDS FROM THE PAST
I have many wonderful memories of my trips to India. They add up to almost 13 months spent there. The best memories all revolve around special people I met. I’d like to introduce you to some of the ones that stand out in my mind and heart.
PAUL (Sadeek) was my translator each time I was in this part of northern India. We really bonded closely. We went to his mud and straw hut in the village of Maholie. It is clean but very primitive. Yet he is a scholar in several languages, including Urdo and Arabic, and fluently speaks at least 5 languages that I know of! He had been a believer about 15 years, and is responsible for numerous churches and believers in his area. He has personally led hundreds of people to Christ. He has 100 baptized believers in his church and another 100 who are believers but not baptized yet. He comes from a Moslem background and was befriended by a believer who led him to Christ. A little while ago he was giving out Bibles and preaching and someone attacked him and started beating him, an American missionary was nearby and rescued him by quickly driving him away in his car. A little while later the man who attacked him was saved by reading one of the Bibles Paul had been giving out.
Paul’s wife, SARAH, is a sweet, loving woman. They have 4 boys and one young daughter. She helps everyone she can and is often feeding and sharing with the poor. About 4 years ago when Paul was away, a Hindu imam came into their home and hit and beat her. Her children were young and watched it happen. They have grown to courageously serve the Lord. The oldest, when 15, started a Bible study in his public school. The next brother speaks often for the Lord. There is a good ending to the Imam story. He later came to accept the Lord and so did his wife. We met her at Paul’s house, she is a fine Christian woman.
ANNISE is one of the finest young pastors I have met in India. He has little training but has started a church of 35 believers in Delhi. He has been shunned, kicked and beaten up for his faith. He wasn’t always a Christian, though. Annise had dropsy on one side of his face and it was paralyzed. Paul had given him a book when he was distributing literature one day, he read it and called for Paul to talk and pray. He was healed and came to the Lord that way. His spiritual growth has been great. He led his whole family to the Lord, 5 sisters and 1 brother. He grew up Moslem and his family is the only Christian family in a town that is totally Moslem. It has 68 mosques and is called “Little Pakistan.” It is a very dark, oppressive place to visit. We quickly went from the car to his house and just as quickly back so as to not arouse attention by our presence. Annise has grown greatly and is a real source of spiritual power for many. He was at our conference and we ate a meal in his house. He now lives and ministers in Delhi. He makes garments to support himself financially.
AYYUB (JOB), also of Muslim background, was totally paralyzed 4 years before we met him. He went to doctors and healers but no one could help. One night in his sleep he heard someone calling him, saying he would be healed. This went on for many nights. This Voice told him he needed more than physical healing, though. It said “You need to meet the eternal God Who can heal you and give you salvation as well. The peace giver is Jesus Christ who alone can give you salvation.” He started calling out to God. He had been friends with Paul in college many years ago and God brought them together again. Paul told him about salvation and prayed for him. He was healed and saved! He came to our pastor’s conference and was at Annise’s house when we visited. He has led many to Christ, including Izhar, who was also at the conference and Annise’s house. He teaches school in their village, which is all Moslem. Pray for courage for him to take a stand for Christ.
In 2008 IZHAR was very sick in Delhi with a blood infection from which they said he would die. Annise came to him and prayed for him. God assured him he would be OK and he was! Annise taught him the Scriptures and he quickly grew spiritually. His whole family became believers. He asked us to pray for him and his ministry. He, too, is from a Muslim background.
SHAKEEL is an outstanding Christian pastor we met at Paul’s home and the pastor’s conference. He was converted from Islam 3 year before we met him and is very, very faithful. He has donated land for a church and earns his living by farming. His wife glows with joy. She is known for hugging and loving everyone and for being quick to cry for any reason (sounds a lot like Nancy!)
Think of some Christians that have been a good example and encouragement to you in the early days of your Christian life. Thank God for them. Call or write them if you can and thank them again. It’ll be a great encouragement to them.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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