Counting the Days to Death

Counting the Days to Death

Photo by Gospel for Asia

Originally published January 2013

As Banhi climbed the stairs with a load of bricks, her world began to spin. Stumbling, she barely avoided falling to the bottom. Banhi tried to resume a normal rhythm of breathing, stabilizing herself against the wall. But there was no way to stop the ensuing darkness as she crumpled to the floor.

Originally published January 2013

A Special god, a Cursed Life

"From my childhood, I had worshiped different gods and goddesses," Banhi shares.

When she married, she chose to worship the same god as her husband, Charan.

"Both of us were determined that we would worship this god and get blessings in our lives," she recalls.

But instead of blessings, their days were filled with harassment, sickness and poverty. The couple's work in construction did little to fulfill their needs.

Counting the Days to Death

Manual labor is a job both men and women can be found doing in Asia. Even though Banhi and Charan (not pictured) worked in construction, they barely made ends meet.

"My husband and I often quarreled," Banhi says. "We did hard work and built houses for others, but we had no proper place to stay."

She questioned the worth of a god who received worship, yet refused to bless her family. Finally, too frustrated to continue, Banhi stopped worshiping any god at all. It was not long before she began to wonder if she had made a mistake.

Woman Bedridden After Deserting Gods

"One afternoon, I was working hard in the sun and carrying bricks to the top floor," Banhi explains. "Suddenly I felt dizzy, and I almost fell down the steps. Somehow, I balanced myself and stood against the wall."

But a short while later, Banhi lost consciousness. Some co-workers helped Banhi get to a nearby hospital, where they ran tests and diagnosed her with a heart condition.

Banhi had suffered frequent chest pain in the past, but she always dismissed it as too minor for medical attention. Now the doctor gave her a whole list of prescriptions.

"I went home and told everything to my husband," she says, "but, due to our financial problems, I did not buy any medicine."

As the days went by, her condition worsened, and soon she couldn't leave her bed.

Counting the Days to Death

Manual labor is a job both men and women can be found doing in Asia. Even though Banhi and Charan (not pictured) worked in construction, they barely made ends meet.

Counting the Days to Death

Banhi (not pictured) prayed to her gods for healing from her heart problems but found no relief.

While Charan went to work, Banhi desperately prayed to the gods and goddesses she had abandoned. But all Banhi received was silence.

The doctors suggested a heart operation, but the cost was far beyond the couple's income.

"Because I would never be able to earn that much in my life," Banhi shares, "I lost my hope completely and started counting my days on earth."

Banhi (not pictured) prayed to her gods for healing from her heart problems but found no relief.

Visiting Family Offers Hope

One afternoon, Banhi was resting and praying to her deities when she heard someone knocking at the door. Amazingly, she had the strength to get out of bed and open the door to see Gospel for Asia missionary Sabrang and his family.

When they saw Banhi's condition, they asked her to lie down again.

"They came inside my home and prayed for me," Banhi says. "I did not understand why they had come to my home."

Pastor Sabrang explained that he and his family are servants of God and they just wanted to visit her. As they said goodbye, they promised to continue praying for Banhi.

After the visit, she began to feel better. A week later, Pastor Sabrang and his wife visited again, and this time Banhi could sit up on her bed and talk.

The couple told Banhi that Jesus could heal her heart, and she eagerly joined them in prayer. Then they gave her a New Testament.

"Due to my weak body, I could not read," Banhi says, "but every evening I asked my husband to read the Bible and I would listen. … I felt as if Jesus were talking to me and He was going to wash away my sins and disease."

A month later, He did.

Counting the Days to Death

Gospel for Asia-supported pastors spend time seeking the Lord before they go out to minister to the people in their communities. After a pastor prayed with Banhi and gave her a Bible, she asked Charan (not pictured) to read it to her every night.

The chest pain left, and when the couple realized Banhi had been completely healed from her heart problems, they embraced the God who answered their prayers.

Healing Changes Many Lives

Now Charan and Banhi's entire lifestyle has changed. As active members in a church, they are growing in the Lord. When they go to work, they tell others of God's love and how He helped them overcome their problems.

"He is able to solve your problems too," they say.

The couple's testimony has inspired 15 other villagers to embrace Jesus' love. And as Banhi matures in her faith, she is discipling other women in the local church, praying that they will know Christ as she does.

Counting the Days to Death

Gospel for Asia-supported pastors spend time seeking the Lord before they go out to minister to the people in their communities. After a pastor prayed with Banhi and gave her a Bible, she asked Charan (not pictured) to read it to her every night.

Counting the Days to Death

Here, a group of women gather for a Women's Fellowship. As leader of a Women's Fellowship group, Banhi now leads other women in Bible studies and ministry.

Because of one missionary's faithfulness and commitment, an entire village is being transformed.

Here, a group of women gather for a Women's Fellowship. As leader of a Women's Fellowship group, Banhi now leads other women in Bible studies and ministry.


Originally published January 2013

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.


*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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