The village just a couple miles away struck fear in Minati's heart. She knew all previous attempts to share the Gospel with the residents had been met with staunch opposition. An anti-Christian group had warned the villagers to stay away from any new religion, and local missionaries and pastors had given up trying to reach them.
Minati's heart ached to share Christ with these people, but all doors appeared closed.
But one desperate woman eagerly waited for the hope Minati's words would bring.
One Dream Changes Everything
Jayanti was 15 when she had an unusual dream.
Brought up in a family that worshiped many gods and goddesses, she wasn't alarmed when one appeared to her while she slept. The goddess told Jayanti to perform rituals to please her, and from that day forward, Jayanti served as a priestess in her village. The role required that she abandon hopes of marriage, but she faithfully offered sacrifices and performed the prescribed rituals. Still, something felt wrong.
A Priestess with a Problem
Jayanti wept as she thought about her life. Now 21, six years had been spent in service to the gods, and all she had to show for it was family sicknesses, a brother in prison for murder and little hope for change.
Jayanti tried to fix it. She offered sacrifices in many temples and called on different gods and goddesses she knew. But no one seemed to hear her prayers. Finally she gave up. If the gods refused to help her, she determined to stop trying to please them.
The villagers were upset when she no longer offered her services as a priestess, but Jayanti's decision was made. Now, if only she could find a solution for her family's struggles.
Jayanti was a priestess and gave six years of her life in service to the gods and goddesses of her faith.
A Year-Long Commitment
One by one, Minati and the women entered the room, each taking a spot on the floor. As a small circle formed, they began to lift their voices up to God. They needed a breakthrough.
Minati's Women's Fellowship group had been meeting together for a year, often fasting and praying. Their simple request was that God would open a door to share His love in a nearby village where people hadn't heard the Good News.
A dominant political party had made a firm announcement that no one should listen to the words of the believers, but the women in the group knew God had the power to change hearts. When news that a man from the unreached village they prayed and fasted over had made his way to their church and begun following the Lord, Minati realized God was opening a door.
She Saw a Difference
As the former priestess watched Aadit and his family, she noticed something different. He was just an average man from her village, but now he and his family followed a new God. As Jayanti watched the positive changes in their lives, she wondered if this God could change her life too.
One day as Jayanti sat at home crying out for answers, a group of women stopped in for a visit.
"What happened to you, sister?" one asked. "Why are you crying and sitting alone?" Overwhelmed, Jayanti started sobbing again. A few moments passed before she was composed enough to share her story with them.
Minati's Women's Fellowship group listened closely to Jayanti's story and then began to tell her about the love of Jesus. They told of His miraculous power and then prayed earnestly for her. Before they left, they invited Jayanti and her family to church, where she could learn more about Jesus.
A Life of Hope
Curious, Jayanti and her brothers showed up at church, where they listened to Pastor Gunin preach from the Word of God. Something began to stir in Jayanti's heart, and when the service ended, she asked the pastor to pray for her and her family. After he prayed, Gunin invited her to come again.
Jayanti went home different. She knew the Lord was speaking to her heart, so she shared with her family what was going on. They all decided to join her at church the following week, and from then on, she followed the Lord.
Now Jayanti works in a tea garden as a daily laborer and attends church and Women's Fellowship regularly. She even finds time to help keep the church building organized and clean. She also goes out with the same group of women who remained faithful in prayer to reach her village, and tells others about Jesus—the One who gave her a hope to live for.
Women missionaries all over Asia have a tremendous impact on the lives of women in need. Able to make a difference where men are not welcomed, they are used by God to open many doors for the Gospel.
*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.