Alcohol addiction like Dhiraj’s is widespread throughout South Asia. Many people produce their own home-brewed liquors.
Like Pastor Sudeep, some missionaries are so dedicated they will give their own blood—literally—to show people Christ’s love!
Dhiraj and his wife Nutan should have been living happily ever after. They had three children, and Dhiraj ran his own small business, working as a silversmith. Like almost everyone else in the village, the family worshiped all the local deities faithfully.
But strife was taking its toll on their marriage. Dhiraj was addicted to alcohol. He also embarrassed himself by flirting with the young women in their village, much to his wife’s embarrassment and dismay. Then Dhiraj would come home drunk and yell at his wife over trivial matters. Their marriage was crumbling, and Nutan had reached her breaking point.
One day she decided she couldn’t take any more. After a heated argument, she started to drink acid. Dhiraj was able to stop her—but not before she’d already burned her throat. A fearful Dhiraj raced his wife to the hospital.
Nutan’s medical treatment placed added financial stress on the family. Because they could no longer afford to pay school fees for all three of their children, they had to stop sending their youngest child to school.
During this difficult time, a Gospel for Asia-supported missionary named Sudeep was sharing the Good News in Dhiraj’s village one day and stopped by Dhiraj’s house. Dhiraj listened attentively as Sudeep told him of Christ’s love. When Sudeep was finished, Dhiraj told the missionary he was eager to know more about Jesus. Sudeep invited him to come to Sunday worship services at his church.
Dhiraj accepted the invitation and started coming to Sudeep’s church. Dhiraj continued seeking the Lord, and one day God spoke to him through Sudeep’s sermon. Seeing God’s amazing holiness, Dhiraj realized he was a sinner. Dhiraj confessed his sins and asked Jesus into his heart.
Afterward, Dhiraj became a committed member of the congregation, and God transformed his life. He stopped drinking alcohol and gave all his attention to his wife, rather than flirting with other women. His family members and neighbors were excited to see the changes in Dhiraj’s life, but they disapproved of the fact he had become a Christian. In spite of gossip and opposition, however, Dhiraj stood firm in the Lord and refused to turn his back on Jesus.
Even though she liked the changes in her husband’s life, Nutan kept her distance from Jesus. Then she became seriously ill. Doctors told Dhiraj that Nutan needed an operation, which would require her to receive blood. To help make it possible for Nutan to have the surgery, Pastor Sudeep and two members of the church donated blood and helped pay for the procedure.
The operation was a success and Nutan’s health improved. As she healed, Sudeep came to visit and pray for her. He also shared God’s love with her several times. Seeing Sudeep’s care for her, along with her husband’s transformation, Nutan realized Jesus’ love was truly transforming, and she gave her heart to Him. Once a troubled couple, Dhiraj and Nutan now live in peace, both serving their Savior. Their changed lives are also an encouragement to others in the village, who are now open to Jesus as a result.