For many years Pastor Ghanshyam has been serving the Lord in a lawless rural area of the eastern Ganges River area. The region is controlled by “Naxalites” – rebel factions working in groups against government policies and in opposition of the laws. Lately these rebels have joined hands with other like-minded factions and taken up arms for their cause killing innocent people if their demands are not met. After many years of ministering here, Ghanshyam led a family to Christ and established a small house-based church in the year 2009. Though the family believed in the Lord, yet for fear of being thrown out of their community, they did not openly confess Christ. Over a period of time, the small church began to grow with several new believers being added.
New beliebers leaarning the Word of God
On June 29, 2012 Pastor Ghanshyam decided to conduct a small Seeker’s Conference in this dangerous area. As rebel forces are vehemently opposed to Christians, it was a very risky undertaking. However we were surprized when the local people welcomed the conference and around 150 seekers came. These villagers had never heard the name of Jesus before. They attended the program with great enthusiasm. Pastor Ghanshyam introduced Jesus to the people and gave the message of His love and compassion.
A few people who had physical ailments came to attend out of curiosity and at the end of the program Pastor Ghanshyam prayed for them. The Holy Spirit moved mightily and they were immediately healed! They testified of their healing before all. Others who had never gotten any chance to know Jesus before in their lives, came forward, and openly proclaimed that Jesus indeed touched their hearts and their whole families committed their lives to Him.
A man witnessing the touch of God
A few testimonies from those who came forward and testified in the midst of all:
Ramawati: I am in 10th Grade and live in village Hetimpur. I was married 13 years back. My husband was killed in a police encounter. Since then I was suffering without any peace whatsoever. I have been living as a widow ever since. It is common for a widow to lead a life of guilt and suppression in villages. This really pained my heart and I could not even go about in my own village without ridicule. I used to stay at home and cry oceans of tears each day of my life.
Today, seeing so many people gathered together at one place, out of curiosity I came and sat down at the back. I heard the message of love and came to know about the Lord Jesus that He neither leaves nor forsakes the downtrodden and raises up the humble. My heart was greatly comforted. This message has given me a new hope in life to live on in this world. Now I have given my whole life to the Lord Jesus and I look forward to living a life pleasing to Him. Praise be to His mighty name!
Kanhaiya Lal: My name is Kanhaiya Lal. I am a cook and baker by profession and came to this place to cater the food for this program. I have been to so many holy places and attended many Hindu religious programs before, yet I have never seen anything like this in my life. The most unusual thing I found here was people speaking with love and respect with each other. While I was preparing food, I was also listening to the message. I have received two blessings as I came here. The first blessing that I received was peace in my heart and the second was the Good News that the Lord Jesus came to save sinners like me and gives abundant life to all who confess their sins.
~ Maneesh Massey
Office Administrator, Varanasi