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Widow Kusum has endured so much because of her faith in Jesus. We first shared her story in 2016, when she was blamed for her husband’s death and was prevented from burying her own son, all because she holds on to Christ. As Kusum grew deeper in faith, she faced constant verbal abuse from other villagers. Her father-in-law even called her faith toxic and once approached her with an axe, threatening her life. For five years, Open Doors local partners have been walking with Kusum thanks to your support and prayers, and though still shunned by many because of her faith, she keeps on sharing the Jesus she loves.

Kusum shares the gospel

“Every day I go to the different believers’ houses in my village for prayer. The rest of the time I am busy with my household work,” Kusum says. “Due to my Christian faith, I faced a lot of persecution from my in-laws and the villagers, but now many villagers are coming to Jesus in my village. Since the lockdown, 10 new families have come to Christ!”

Most of the people from Kusum’s village who came to faith in Christ were sick, and were healed after coming to the church. But sweetest for Kusum is the answer to her prayers – the people closest to her are now starting to know Jesus!

“My in-laws used to persecute me a lot, but now they are believing in Christ. Many times, they used to come to my house to kill me. I always used to pray for them. The Lord heard my prayer, and now they have become believers. Everyone is coming to faith except my father-in-law – although he also been learning about the Christian faith. He also now asks me to pray for him.”

Life under lockdown

Like most of us, life has also become different for Kusum due to the COVID-19 lockdown. “Work was stopped. My financial condition was not good… but even at that time, God helped my family and fulfilled all my needs. My father and my brother used to bring everything I needed. I also got relief from Open Doors local partners. They have helped me start a grocery store for my livelihood.

“I became very ill during the time of lockdown. I also went to the hospital for treatment but was not healed. I got healing through prayer. I had a wound in my nose, and I cannot hear with my one ear.

“Sometimes I feel very hopeless due to the loneliness. I live happily all the time. But sometimes, suddenly I feel lonely. I am not afraid of anyone, but sometimes in the night suddenly I get up and my sleep breaks.

“When I was sick, I fasted for three days. I have given prayer requests to many people for my healing. People prayed for me through mobile phones. God listened to our prayers and healed me. The brother who is an Open Doors partner always asks about my wellbeing and helps me.”

Persecution continues

Kusum asks for prayer as persecution continues around her, especially since more and more people from her village are now coming to Christ: “Persecution is still going on in nearby villages,” she shares. “We are getting drinking water from the village hand pump. Right now, we are getting rations in the ration card, but some people of the village are saying that they will stop our ration card and will not even provide water. The believers are also growing in my village, so the people of the nearby villages are inciting the people of our village against us.”

Kusum and her fellow believers bring all this pressure before the throne of grace. “In my village, there is prayer meeting three days a week, in which all the believers of the village gather together and pray for many subjects. When we gather for prayer, we pray for all Christians who are facing persecution. At the same time, I explain to all those believers that no matter how much persecution comes, we have to remain in the Word of God. We must be ready to face persecution.”

Pray for Kusum:

  • “I am planning to buy a scooter so that I can go to the market with my father and sell groceries and help him.” Pray this will be successful and provide a good income.
  • “Please pray for me and my son so we can grow in the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • “Please pray for my villagers so all the people of my village will become followers of Jesus Christ. I go two to three kilometers from my village to preach the gospel.”
  • “There is a lot of opposition in nearby villages these days. Villagers are holding meetings against Christians. For all those who persecuted the Christians, pray that God would change their hearts and minds.”

Will you act now to save the church in India?

 Your support could be vital for Indian Christians facing persecution and the pandemic.