We traveled about an hour and a half outside the city of Chennai, South India, to a village where a local pastor had been working with the Irrular people. Irrular means “Darkness,” and the people make a living snake charming as well as catching snakes. The village was very small; the houses were simple one room dwellings with thatched roofs. We had been hosting a short-term missions trip from The Rock Church for about a week at this point, meeting the people’s physical needs and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
With the faith for a miracle as well as the doubt that comes with being human, I laid hands on the old man's ears and asked God to heal him.
Once the villagers had gathered, the short-term team started a program. At the end of the program, we always have a time where villagers can respond to the Gospel, ask questions about God or receive prayer. I noticed an older man whose eyes were dim and his body looked withered and frail using a makeshift cane to stand. As I looked over at him standing off on the side, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to talk to him. I asked a young lady named Gowri from a local church we partner with to interpret. Our first attempt to speak with the old man was unsuccessful as it seemed like he was unable to understand us. After several failed attempts a local villager informed us that he was deaf and that trying to speak with him was futile.
That’s when I remembered how Jesus would heal the deaf and how He told us we would be empowered to do the same for His glory. With the faith for a miracle as well as the doubt that comes with being human, I laid hands on the old man's ears and asked God to heal him. After the prayer, Gowri asked the old man if he could hear now and he said yes. She and I looked at each other with looks of astonishment. We had just witnessed a miracle! Although I’ve seen a lot of miracles, I’m still blown away every time. We told the old man that the One true God had just healed him. We asked if he’d heard of Jesus before and he said he had. Then he went on to tell us that he believes in Jesus along with the all the Hindu gods. This isn’t uncommon in a polytheistic culture like India. I’ve also learned that people may have heard of Jesus, but don’t know who he is and haven’t heard the Gospel.
We began to share about how there is only one God, creation, the fall, God’s redemptive story and about our Savior King Jesus Christ. While we were sharing all of this we had anywhere between three to five villagers come up to us to inform us how the man was deaf and speaking to him was pointless. We would tell people that the old man could, in fact, hear us, so they would test it out to no avail and walk away as if we were crazy. After this had happened a few times I realized that the old man could only hear Gowri and I. Once the next person came to inform us he was deaf it was confirmed, he could only hear the two of us. Once again Gowri and I looked at each other in astonishment.
We finished sharing God’s redemptive story. Gowri asked the old man if he believed what we had shared with him and if he wanted to make Jesus his Savior and One true God, to which the old man said yes. I’m not sure how long our new brother in Christ has left on this Earth, but I do know that God gave his hearing back to him in the twilight of his life so that he could hear the good news and be born again.