But Mayil, a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported women missionary, wasn’t openly accepted by all of the people in this village. The father of one of her students, a man named Harda, was especially suspicious of her kindness. Sometimes, when class ended after dark, Mayil guided the children to their homes. It was here that Harda would often question her.
“Are you coming to my home to make us Christian?” he asked.
Harda didn’t trust Mayil, thinking she had come to force villagers to forsake their traditional religion and become Christians. It would take time and an encounter with God for Harda to realize that neither Mayil nor Jesus intended to force him to do anything. They loved him freely, with no strings attached.
Mayil didn’t respond to the accusatory remarks, but she prayed and trusted the Lord would lead Harda to Himself in His own way. For her part, Mayil continued to serve in the village, teaching the children and hoping for a breakthrough.
Softened by the Lord’s Healing Touch
One day Harda became sick and was bedridden for over a month with a boil on his leg. Harda was miserable. He called for a sorcerer to come and try to heal the painful boil on his leg, but the sorcerer never showed up. As Harda thought of where to turn for help, he remembered Mayil, and he called for her.
Unlike the sorcerer, Mayil came. As Mayil lifted up her voice to the Lord, Harda began to weep, though he didn’t know why. Mayil told him that it was the Lord touching his heart. She told him the Lord had begun to heal his body, and if he had faith, the Lord would heal him. After three days of praying for Harda, he began to slowly walk around!
By witnessing firsthand this healing from the Lord, Harda’s entire family trusted in the love of Jesus. Harda was so moved by God’s grace that he opened his home to Mayil and the local pastor to hold a prayer meeting.
Just one week after they embraced Christ, Harda and his family experienced opposition, from his relations. But Harda stood firm.
“When I was in need of help, nobody came to me,” he shared. “Now I am healed in Jesus. So this is my personal decision to [follow] Christ.”
When he spoke these words, everyone who opposed him grew speechless and turned away, leaving him and his family alone.
Today Mayil continues to reach out to the villagers with Christ’s love, tutoring the children and teaching Sunday school. Through Harda’s testimony and healing, many villagers have witnessed the hand of God. They, like Harda, can now see Jesus doesn’t force anyone to believe in Him. Christ offers His love freely, and anyone, including Harda, is free to receive it.