I Am With You Always
Shining brightly in the midst of persecution
When Yogendra Nishad was a young boy, his home was filled with turmoil. His father and uncles were alcoholics and what little money they earned quickly went to buy more booze. Their families were struggling financially and emotionally.
During the worst of it, one of our pastors visited the family and shared the Gospel with them. As they prayed together, strongholds were broken and the Lord mightily touched their lives. Yogendra accepted Jesus as his Savior, and so did his father and uncles. They were set free from drinking and the entire family began attending church. As they grew in faith, they began to see the blessings of the Lord.
But their new faith began to be tested right away.
The rest of the villagers and the village leaders soon heard of the family’s conversion. Leaving traditional faiths to follow Jesus is not allowed. The villagers organized against Yogendra’s family and began to threaten and persecute them, insisting that they renounce their faith in Jesus or face the consequences.
As Yogendra’s family continued to grow stronger in their Christian faith, the persecution increased. The villagers ordered the shopkeepers to refuse to sell them any food or necessities. The family had to walk about 5 miles to the nearest shop that would allow them to purchase what they needed. The wives were harassed in the streets. In school, Yogendra was teased mercilessly by his classmates for his decision to follow Jesus. The villagers encouraged their children to bully and harass him.
For a boy in 5th grade, Yogendra’s world was becoming very lonely. His parents encouraged him to remember the promise of Jesus, that He was with Yogendra always, even when he was being teased and harassed, and that the Lord would make a way for him. Yogendra also looked forward to the Pastor’s visits because he would encourage the family from God’s Word and they would pray together.
They began to see the Lord helping them in every situation . . . and so did the villagers. They began to recognize that Jesus was protecting the family from all their threats. They saw that the family remained strong in their faith and not even witchcraft was affecting them.
God has been glorified in their home and in their lives in the midst of persecution. The children have excelled in their studies and the family is prospering in spite of the opposition they have faced. Little by little, the villagers are beginning to speak to them again. Yogendra is happy and wants to become a pastor when he is older.
Please continue to pray for families like Yogendra’s who are caught in the crossfire of persecution, that they would have the grace to love those who persecute them and truly be salt and light for the world. Families are suffering physical violence and much worse for following Jesus. Your prayers and practical support truly make a difference for our persecuted brothers and sisters!
*Representative names and images used for safety.