A church leader in India is helping one family find purpose and unity after their son was snared by despair and addiction.
Very little can be harder for a loving parent than seeing their child choose a self-destructive lifestyle.
For one mother and father in India, they watched in despair as their oldest son seemed to swerve deliberately away from the model they had set in their own household onto the path to indolence and addiction.
The Prayers of a Mother
Sundarata* and her husband are both organizers for a local care group that helps people learn how to save money and apply godly principles to their lives.
Their oldest son had dutifully married, but Sundarata was disturbed to notice how little time he spent with his wife. He rarely seemed to talk to the poor girl, and neither of them acted particularly loving to one another.
She also began to notice that her son spent an awful lot of time with other young men in the town that she didn’t like. They were lazy rascals, but there were disturbing whispers in her circles of friends that they were up to worse than just idleness and occasional mischief.
As the days fluttered by, she began to notice more and more evidence that she wanted so badly to deny. She and her husband had raised their son to be a good, responsible boy. He wouldn’t—couldn’t be doing anything really dangerous or illegal.
At last, though, Sundarata forced herself to admit the truth. Their son had gotten himself into drugs.
When one of the leaders of World Challenge’s partner in their town came to visit, she pulled him aside. He listened kindly as she brokenly explained all the problems from start to finish.
Finally, she concluded, “Please do something for my son, so he can come back to a good life again.”
The leader promised he would pray for the family and talk to the young man.
Fear, Idleness and Addiction
The following week, the leader finally spotted the young man sitting under a mango tree with the usual crew of troublemakers. They were clearly indulging in drugs.
The church leader called the young man and one other he also recognized out of the group and walked with them back to their homes. “I explained that drugs are very harmful to a person’s health and why they should not do it. I wanted to know why they were taking drugs.”
To answer his question, Sundarata’s son began to share what had been driving him to hang out with these other idle men.
“I lost my auto rickshaw a few months ago,” he awkwardly explained. Having lost his greatest money-making tool, he couldn’t see how he would recover his private business. His wife was alarmed and began to nag him about how he was going to sort out this issue. He was already frustrated, so these “discussions” quickly devolved into quarrels. After they argued, he would always flee the house.
Not knowing what to do, he started hanging out with the other young men who had no jobs. One thing led to another and soon he joined them in taking drugs.
The Path to Recovery
The leader met with Sundarata’s son several times to pray with him and give him advise. Then he arranged for a loan from the combined resources of a care group and the young man’s family. With this money, he was able to purchase a new auto rickshaw.
Now, he regularly earns money with his new rickshaw, and his wife has also started a small side-business to help contribute to the family fund.
Recovery from addiction and an old harmful lifestyle often isn’t a clean break, and the team leader still visits the family to pray with them all together and check in on how they’re doing both practically and spiritually.
He urges everyone, “Please keep them in your prayers.”
*Not real name. For safety reasons, we don’t release names or specific locations in highly sensitive areas.