When Laksha was 23 years old, she married Gulzar. They worked hard in the tea gardens where they lived and made enough to meet their needs. But for years, their hearts ached with longing for a child.
In many Asian cultures, it is disgraceful if a couple doesn’t have a child within the first year of marriage. Seven years passed and Laksha never conceived. The women in her village began to treat her with contempt. They never invited her to their homes or to special events, and when she walked by they would scorn her.
“You are a cursed woman!” they said to her face.
Laksha often cried herself to sleep.
Infertile Couple Has Baby Girl
When Laksha unexpectedly became pregnant at age 30, she felt as though all the curses were lifted. Their beautiful baby girl, Kshanika, brought joy and meaning to their lives. Laksha joyfully carried her daughter with her whenever she went out into the tea gardens, and the women began to treat her with respect.
But tragedy struck the happy family when a sudden sickness took little Kshanika at the tender age of 5. Laksha and Gulzar were once again overcome with grief. Sometimes Laksha would sit in the corner of their house, too ashamed to step foot into the tea gardens again. It broke Gulzar’s heart to see his wife suffering in such agony, but he didn’t know what to do.
Through the years, Laksha frequently questioned the power and love of her ancestral deities. When Kshanika died, she turned her back on them altogether.
Encouraged to Live Again, Couple Adopts a Son
One day, as Laksha grieved, she happened to meet a Christian missionary who was passing through her village. He told her about Jesus, and through the man’s encouragement, she found hope to live a normal life and go back to working in the gardens. What’s more, within a few months, Laksha and Gulzar decided to adopt.
Their new little boy, Solomon, brought great joy to their lives. Overcome with happiness at being a mother, Laksha forgot much of what the missionary had said and instead found comfort in her husband and child.
Widowed Mother Finds Hope at Church
Sadly, when Solomon was 14, Gulzar had a heart attack and passed away, leaving Laksha as the family’s sole breadwinner. Solomon began spending his days mingling with bad company. He soon became addicted to smoking, and Laksha blamed herself for the path her son had taken.
But one day, as she walked to the tea garden, Laksha noticed a church building. She remembered the Christian who had told her about Jesus and the hope his message had brought to her life. Desperate to find such hope again, Laksha entered the church building, where she met a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor named Talaketu. She told Pastor Talaketu about her troubles, and he, just as the traveling Christian missionary had done so many years before, pointed her to Jesus.
That day, Laksha renewed her relationship with Jesus.
Mother Encourages Only Son to Follow Jesus
Laksha began attending church every week and would tell her son all she learned. She wanted to see Solomon’s life transformed as well, so she prayed for him to understand the love of Jesus and leave behind all his destructive habits.
On the day she asked him to come to church with her, Solomon gave his heart to Jesus.
Some years later, as the 60-year-old widow listened to Pastor Talaketu share the story of Hannah and Samuel with the congregation, God touched her heart.
Laksha had faced the same anguish of childlessness as Hannah did, who prayed for a son and then devoted him to the Lord’s service. As Laksha prayerfully contemplated Hannah’s life, she wondered: Could she give her only son, too?
Later that day, when she talked with Solomon about her desire to see him become a missionary and pastor, he willingly agreed.
Before long, Solomon enrolled in a local Bible college.
And just as Hannah cared for Samuel and brought him new clothes every year, Laksha joyfully cared for Solomon’s needs as he attended school. Her greatest desire is to see him ministering to other people with broken hearts, just as a traveling missionary had blessed her so many years before.
Laksha and her friend could hear the wind rustling gently through the leaves as she ended her narrative.
“My son will serve the Lord and many will come to know Jesus,” she said.
Like Solomon, every pastor Gospel for Asia stands with has a unique story. Read Ekagrah’s story.