Abandoned and left to Die
Bible League started working in Nepal in November 2001. Since then over 200 Churches have been planted by Bible League-trained Pastors and the on-going training sees in excess of 40 new Pastors added every year. One of them passionately shares the story of Mina, a congregant in their Church.
Traditionally, weddings in Nepal are arranged by the family. It is not uncommon for matches to be decided while the two individuals are still children, but the couple wait until adulthood to complete their marriage rites. There are a number of things to consider while arranging a marriage…caste (social status hierarchy in South Asia…traditionally marriages do not happen across castes), ethnicity and religious practices. The children are consulted and these marriages are typically not forced, but they are neither based on love and romance.
Generally, both men and woman work outside the home and the life of a Nepali wife can be difficult, especially if the husband slips into a lifestyle of bad habits. This was Mina’s life after she married in her early 20’s. She fulfilled the traditional role of wife in her family, living with her husband’s parents, preparing meals and doing housework. Romance was something she dreamed about when she would see Nepali movies on TV. She dreamed too of having children and was eager to start her own family once they could afford to move out of her in-law’s house.
One day, quite unexpectedly, Mina began to experience itching all over her body. At first it was just an annoyance, but nothing relieved the condition. Sometime later she realised she had become blind in one eye. Panicked, the family agreed to take Mina to one of the folk-healers in the area, a Jhankri, or witch doctor.
The Jhankri told the family that a ghost had possessed Mina, and that was why she was sick. He pounded a special ritualistic drum, spoke incantations over her, and even sacrificed a chicken to the ghost in an effort to satisfy it. After this, her family took Mina home, but instead of recovering, she grew weaker. Soon, she could barely stand, or walk, without help. She became deaf in both ears, and couldn’t even hold a spoon to feed herself. The family carried her back to the Jhankri who told them Mina would be dead within three months. At this point, they distanced themselves from her, and waited for her to die. Mina’s husband soon abandoned her and took up with another woman.
A neighbour, Asta, who attended the local church, heard about Mina’s illness and how her family had abandoned her and she went to their home.“If you don’t want her any longer, let her come and live with me,” she told them. “I will take her to the church and we will pray for her to be healed.” The family readily agreed and Mina was carried to Asta’s home.
The local church was pastored by a Bible League Church Planter. Overflowing with love, the church eagerly welcomed Mina and began to pray for her regularly. Experiencing the love of the church and deeply appreciating their prayers, Mina gave her heart to the Lord. Even though she had to be carried to church, the Christians persevered in prayer over the coming weeks and months. Slowly, they began to see an improvement in Mina’s condition. Three years after she was first carried into the church, Mina has fully recovered. Today she can walk to church on her own and carries her Bible with her wherever she goes.
Mina reads Scripture every day and continues to learn more about Jesus and how best to follow Him. Asta and the Church have become her family and she enjoys their fellowship and is so thankful to God for her ever-improving health. What the witch doctor couldn’t do…what her family wouldn’t do…was done by the followers of Jesus. Their simple prayers of faith and the love that they showed to Mina has physically, spiritually and emotionally healed her.
Your gift today brings hope to both the recipient, like Mina, and the church that has members reading God’s Word regularly. Give today.
The ministry of Bible League New Zealand is able to plant God’s Word solely through the generous support of the Christian community.