Exclusive stories from the mission field
After her first miscarriage, Tanvi Lal went for ritual washing according to Hindu custom in eastern India, and a year later she was pregnant again. In her sixth month, she miscarried again.
With deep belief to the tribal religion of her ancestors, a young mother in eastern India sought peace in the mother goddess who dwelled in trees.
The question put to a 38-year-old native of a village in southern India startled him. “How many of you are not Christians?” Raised in the rites of a traditional Christian denomination, Thomas was taken aback that the answer wasn’t initially clear to him.
Though at times in her right mind, in fits and spurts Ramya had spit insults and obscenities at nearly everyone in the village. No sorcerer within or outside the village had been able to drive the evil spirits out of her. A lifelong Hindu, Vijay was puzzled that she was just as devoted to the idol images of their gods as he was. He sensed in her the same evil presence that he had seen in his grown daughter.
When Tumo went to the temple as a little boy in Bangladesh and saw his parents worshipping the Buddha idol, he could not help thinking that it did not move and did not have life. “I used to tell my parents,” he said, “‘This idol does not have life, cannot speak and cannot hear – then why should we worship the idol of Buddha?’”
For all of his 60 years, Karim had been a staunch Muslim in a rural area of Bangladesh where few knew of anyone who was not a Muslim. Leaving Islam was also unheard of. So when a young Bangladeshi from outside the village began visiting homes and telling families about Jesus, Karim was as perplexed as he was scornful.