“Would you like to come inside?” Sarah Doria spoke to the Indian woman standing in the shade of a house church in central India. Wearing a traditional Indian sari made of green and red silk, she appeared to be out for the day, walking her cow. She didn’t say much in reply. “We are about to start a prayer meeting,” Sarah continued. “We are going to pray to Jesus. Would you like to come in and join us?”
“No,” she replied. She looked at the house, suddenly seeing it in a different light. She must have passed it a thousand times. “My husband follows Jesus,” the woman said, “but I don’t. I worship the Hindu gods, and that is fine with me.”
“Oh, I see,” Sarah said, slightly caught off guard by her abruptness. Sarah looked at her, using the moments to try to consider a reply. She knew the Hindu gods don’t offer anything in the way of a personal relationship. I could talk about that, she thought.
“But please pray for my legs,” the woman suddenly interjected. “They are swollen and very painful.” She lifted the hem of her sari to reveal legs that looked to be coursing with something resembling elephantiasis. They were huge and shockingly disfigured—the skin was as tight as a drum pulled to its limit. “They have been like this a very long time,” the woman said.
“Oh dear,” said Sarah realizing how much pain the woman must be in. “I’m so sorry about your legs,” she said. Suddenly she felt the Holy Spirit make His presence known. She breathed deeply. “Let me ask you a question. If you could have one thing in life, what would you ask for?” she asked.
“What would I ask for?” the woman responded as if it should have been obvious. “Well…I want…peace.”
“God can give you peace,” Sarah replied. “He wants to bring you peace, because He is a personal savior. He died for our sins because He loved us so much. But not just for mankind, but for you—what is your name?”
“He died for you, Priya. And then He rose from the grave to give you everlasting life. Can you imagine that? He did all this for you and me!”
Priya’s eyes seemed to come alive with interest. Sarah shared for another fifteen minutes about the personal nature of salvation through Jesus, and watched Priya’s body grow in lightness at the notion.
“Would you like to receive Jesus in your heart, Priya?” Sarah asked.
“Yes, I would like that,” she replied.
Sarah took her hand and prayed that Jesus would come inside and make residence inside Priya’s heart and life. As she prayed, she heard Priya begin to sniffle.
When the prayer was over, Sarah could see the tears running down her face. And there in the sun, next to her cow, who waited patiently, they hugged and thanked God for what had just taken place. “May the Lord bless you, Priya. You’re going to live in Heaven with Jesus.”
“Thank you!” she said. “Will you pray for my legs?”
Knowing the Indian culture’s fascination with the supernatural, Sarah was immediately concerned that Priya might think that any healing would have to do with Sarah, as if the power was in her.
“I want you to do it, I want you to go home and pray for your legs. Let’s trust that God will heal you.”
A week later as Sarah was arriving at the same house church, Priya was there waiting. “Sarah, look at my legs!” Priya said as she walked briskly toward her, lifting her sari and revealing legs that had not a hint of disease.
“You have beautiful legs!” Sarah exclaimed. “And no pain?”
“No pain. Jesus has healed me.”
Sarah and Priya hugged again. And this time, they went into the prayer meeting—together.
After two years of serving and sharing her faith with others as a member of the Impact India team in and around Tamil Nadu, Sarah returned last winter. Together, the Impact India team reported: 5,540 people reached with the Gospel, 115 outreaches & service projects, 610 salvations, 5 medical camps, 545 healings, and 20 church plants.
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