“Why Did this Happen to Me?”

Karun stands in what remains of his house.

Karun stands in what remains of his house.

Out of fear and hopelessness, Karun and his family fled their home in Mizoram, India, after a group of Mizo people burned down their house. Being part of the Reang people group, Karun was often a target for abuse.

For years, the Mizos and the Reangs have been at odds with each other, each firing accusations of murder, rape and abuse on both sides. The animosity is rooted in territorial rights over the land of Mizoram.

Many Reangs, including Karun and his family, sought refuge in the neighboring state of Tripura, but it was difficult for some to leave.

“My great grandfathers were born and brought up in Mizoram,” Karun shared. “There they all grew up and died away. I was one of their offspring who had also become a permanent inhabitant of the state of Mizoram many years ago.”

But with the hostility seeming to escalate, Karun no longer felt safe in the place where he and the generations before him were born and raised. So in 1997, he and his family made their way to Tripura.

Karun thought he was safe from disaster, but it only followed him.

“I Lost Everything…”

A farmer by profession, Karun often went into the jungles to gather bamboo and collect vegetables to sell. This was his way of survival, and that’s what he was doing when a fire broke out in his village.

The Reang people practice Jhum cultivation, which is a “slash-and-burn” method of agriculture. The people cut down forested areas so they can dry the leaves of the plants and trees. Then they burn the deforested areas and fertilize it in preparation for planting. In the midst of one burning process, the wind blew the flames onto the nearby houses, killing 40 people and turning 3,000 homes into ash—including Karun’s.

When Karun returned from the jungle, he saw his house and all his earnings demolished.

“Why did this happen to me?” Karun cried out. “I have no one to depend on to make my house. I have lost everything that I had. It’s better to die than to live on this earth.”

The government of Tripura has rebuilt 1,500 houses and given tin sheets for roofing and money to help rebuild. But 11 months later, Karun’s house has yet to be rebuilt. He’s taken shelter in a small temporary hut made of bamboo and straw. And although he still doesn’t have much food to eat or clothes to wear, Karun no longer lives with a feeling of despair.

Taking Refuge in the Lord

Gospel for Asia-supported missionary Chahel has taken him under his wing and shown him where true hope lies—in Jesus Christ. Karun and 50 other believers worship the Lord, even in the midst of their difficulties.

There are many others like Karun who are rebuilding their lives after a natural disaster. Sometimes, it can take years for the physical and emotional wounds to heal.

Please pray for Karun and the many others like him who have faced calamities that have shaken their world. Pray they grow in the Lord and continue to find peace in Christ.

 

*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.

2 Responses to ““Why Did this Happen to Me?””

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  1. Brenda says:

    Dear Karun,
    Cling to God.He knows & cares for you.He loves you. The man Job in the Bible had many troubles But in the end everything turned around for him. Job 42:10 says: And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.NKJV

    Never give up …your Father will help you! He is holding you in the palm of His hand. He is able! Trust God to provide!
    Sincerely, (Praying for you)
    Brenda from Texas

  2. Michelle says:

    Thank you for praying, Brenda! I’m praying with you. =)

    Michelle

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