Do you have a GFA calendar?
I flipped to the new month this morning and saw a pair of beautiful faces! It's the pastor I blogged about here. Pastor Hirla and his beautiful wife. (There's a picture of his family and then one of Joel with him.)
I told you about part of their story (the land and church building), but I didn't tell you about his wife, Gitanjali. The story here on GFA's website mentions that Pastor Hirla's journey with Christ began when his wife was healed after a Christian prayed for her. She told us more of the story.
Demon possession is not uncommon in India. I know it freaks some people out here in the U.S. I didn't grow up hearing anything about demon possession, except what I read in Scripture from a thousand years ago. Honestly, I didn't know God still does a lot of the stuff talked about in Scripture.
My early years of faith seemed to be more about not doing the obvious bad stuff and believing in Jesus so I would be saved. It wasn't until I began studying Scripture as a teenager that I learned God wanted me to walk with Him daily and trust Him for so much more than just salvation (though that's a HUGE deal and the crux of what allows us to know God!).
So, back to the demon possession. I'll be honest, it scares me a little. The idea that a person is not their own, but is possessed by an evil spirit...that's scary stuff! But, the joy and excitement is that Jesus came to set people free.
Our sister, Gitanjali, was so wildly possessed that she was tied up, as people often are, so she would not hurt herself or others. Her family sought healing through traditional Hindu means. At one point she showed us the scar on her stomach where a poker heated in a fire had been thrust into her gut to try and heal her. My heart broke to see the visible reminder of a life desperate for the healing only Jesus can provide.
A believer prayed for her and she was healed. She is now being used by God to reach hundreds of other women as she shares the Gospel and is a helpmate to her husband. She is also raising five adorable children.
It's days like today, when I'm not going into the office to serve, that I can easily feel disconnected from the work our family is here to do. I'm a mom who needs to feed my family, do the laundry, clean my house, and take care of my kids. Yet, I turn the page of my calendar, see the precious face of my sister who lives half a world away, and bow my head to pray for her--knowing I'm doing a lot of work by lifting my heart, though my fingers are just folded.
Sometimes I think the "real work" is at the office. There are important tasks to be done there. I do that work too. But, the most powerful work of this ministry is done as we pray. Will you join me today?
(If you would like a GFA calendar, let me know. I can let you know how to get your very own!)
*Pictures above are of our sister Gitanjali. She first welcomed us to her home and church by bringing the ladies a bowl of water to use for washing up. During the official welcome inside the church, she gave me a flower garland and then bowed to touch my feet, a symbol of respect.