What began as a small indulgence slowly enveloped Baharupa’s life. The 55-year-old farmer and father of three felt pressured to drink the alcohol given to him at the many village-wide celebrations. But again and again, he ended up drunk. Even with his acquired addiction, Baharupa made sure to take care of his wife and sons, but there were some things he couldn’t provide them with.
In Baharupa’s village, GFA pastor Satyam oversees a congregation of 72 believers. The pastor and believers had been seeking ways to bless their community. They saw the poverty that clung to Baharupa and many of their fellow villagers despite countless hours of hard work and labor. The believers also saw how vulnerable villagers were to diseases because they possessed no way to protect themselves. And they wanted to help.
Of the many burdens weighing on impoverished families in Asia, health concerns rank high on the list. GFA initiatives include health awareness programs that help individuals learn how to shield themselves against sicknesses. GFA workers also distribute practical gifts, such as mosquito nets, to help people put what they learn at awareness programs into practice.
Mosquito nets provide ample protection against the disease-carrying pest—a boon for poor, rural villages like Baharupa’s. Pastor Satyam organized a gift distribution event to give out 4,000 mosquito nets.
As Baharupa sat with the other recipients, the farmer could not comprehend why Pastor Satyam and the believers had put together a gift distribution event. But when his name was called and a mosquito net was placed in his hands, Baharupa began to understand. This was love and compassion at work.
“Who can give us mosquito nets without money?” Baharupa wondered. “This shows [the believers’] love towards us. I have never seen such kind of love among our society people.”
Intrigued, Baharupa attended worship service the next Sunday, and he started coming every week. Pastor Satyam counseled the farmer, sharing more of God’s vast love and forgiveness. Baharupa realized he didn’t need the bottle; he now possessed something infinitely greater: the eternal love of God.
Baharupa and his entire family began to walk with Jesus. They became members of the congregation, rejoicing in the newfound love of Christ and in Baharupa’s freedom from addiction.