When Priya* and her husband accepted Christ, their neighbors weren’t excited. Vicious gossip began circulating, and the pressure to convert back to Hinduism became intense.
“At times,” she confessed, “I wanted to give up and become Hindu again.”
World Challenge partners came to Priya’s church and talked about living as a light for God in the neighborhood.
Her heart was struck by Matthew 22:35-40 where Jesus lays out the Bible’s greatest commandment: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart’ ... And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Being a Servant
Priya had noticed that the drainage between the houses was full of mud and rotten garbage; flies and mosquitoes formed thick clouds over the muck.
One Sunday after church, Priya and her daughter started cleaning the filthy drainage ditches and grates. “I heard neighbors laughing at us and saying we had gone crazy.”
A week later, a neighbor suddenly joined them in the ditches. Then more came out of their houses, not to laugh or jeer anymore, but to bend down beside Priya and help.
Freeing People to Love
Priya’s neighborhood now has 73 women who volunteer to keep the community clean. As a result of cleaner streets, fewer people are getting sick and families are now gathering on their porches to talk and relax.
“I am so happy with this heart-touching change in my community,” Priya beams. “Because of the work, people from two different families have started coming to the local church.”
What began as a single act of humility has changed the face of an entire neighborhood.
*All names have either been changed or withheld for the safety of our partners and mission workers. Persecution in South Asia is increasing daily. In order to protect our ministry leaders, we are not sharing their names or images. Please pray for their protection as they travel to encourage the church in this region.