Alcoholism is a major problem throughout South Asia. Some villages have their own special brewing practices for homemade liquor.
Like Shantimay, this man experienced reconciliation in his family when he chose to follow Jesus and stopped drinking.
Shantimay’s family and relatives had had enough of his alcoholism. The addiction left him powerless to offer anything but empty bottles, vulgar words and violent behavior. Thus, he isolated himself from those close to him. Although Shantimay had a problem very common to South Asia, it nonetheless devastated his life and relationships.
He squandered all his money on intoxicating beverages and beat his own family members. His wife and children suffered, knowing that when the sun set, life would become a nightmare for them. Although Shantimay’s name means “peaceful,” he—and his family—had no peace at all.
But God had good plans for Shantimay. One day, the Holy Spirit led Gospel for Asia-supported missionary Manik Malhotra to Shantimay’s home. Manik spoke to this restless alcoholic about God’s love and power to deliver. As Shantimay listened carefully, the Holy Spirit began whispering words of conviction in his heart. Shantimay confessed his sin and made a landmark decision to quit drinking.
God freed Shantimay of his addiction! He also restored Shantimay’s relationships, as those who despised seeing him began to welcome him. Because of Manik’s obedience to God, Shantimay’s life changed. Shantimay and his family embarked on a journey of walking with Jesus, while Manik continued discipling believers and leading a congregation. Although an epidemic of substance abuse strangles South Asia, a glimmer of hope shines: God uses missionaries to reach out among hurting, spiritually-dead people in this region.