Pravita, Esther and Sandi held their breath as they waited for their landlord to speak. If he still wanted them to leave their rented home, the three women would likely have to move to another part of the slum, far away from the slum children they ministered to and loved so dearly.
Living and Serving Among Slum Dwellers
Pravita, Esther and Sandi carried special burdens in their hearts for the poor and downtrodden. They committed to serve them in Christ’s name as Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported Sisters of Compassion and moved into a slum filled with impoverished families, most of whom survived by begging or rummaging through the garbage to find salvageable items they could sell. Instead of attending school, children worked alongside their parents to help make ends meet.
When the sisters acquired a room inside a rental house within the slum, they began praying for the slum dwellers and started literacy classes in their home for children. The women taught reading and writing and also shared stories and verses from Scripture. The Lord blessed their work, and the group of enthusiastic young scholars grew.
Growing Ministry Causes Tension with Landlord
Initially, the women’s landlord, Jakir, was supportive of their ministry and cooperated with them in any way he could, but over time, his attitude changed. As the number of children attending the tutoring classes in his rented house increased, he voiced an objection and asked the ladies to look for another place to live.
While the sisters searched for a new house, the classes continued. Unable to use their rented house for classes, they met with 40 slum children under the shade of a tree until a neighbor saw them meeting outside. He offered them an empty room in his house—a rare commodity in crowded slums. They now had a place to hold the classes, but their troubles were not fully resolved. They still could not find a different house to rent.
“We continuously prayed for our landlord,” the sisters shared, “because if he were to ask us [again] to move, we might have to move to another place quite a distance away from [this area]. In our hearts, we didn’t want to leave our ministry.”
God Softens Landlord’s Hardened Heart
A Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor ministering in this slum had also been unable to find a place to rent to conduct worship services. He didn’t have any rooms he could offer to accommodate the sisters, so he joined them in prayer and fasting, asking God to change the landlord’s heart.
Three days later, Jakir approached the Sisters of Compassion about the rooms in his house. This time, he brought good news!
Jakir explained that he felt his life had been blessed ever since the sisters moved into his house, so he changed his mind and decided to not only allow them to continue renting his house, but to also give them another room to be used for worship services.
“Continue your ministry as long as you can,” he said.
“Our eyes filled with tears after hearing from him,” one of the sisters said. “We are so thankful to God for doing a miracle in our landlord’s life.”
Now, around 20 people gather to worship Jesus in Jakir’s rental house, while slum children continue learning the alphabet and finding God’s love.
Jakir and his family join the prayer meetings, and he asks the Sisters of Compassion to pray for his children whenever they are sick. The sisters requested prayer for Jakir, saying, “Please pray for him. Many times the local people mislead him; pray that he would not change his mind.”
Through the faithful service and prayers of the Sisters of Compassion, many slum dwellers are catching a glimpse of God’s radiant love. Read how hope is shining into the lives of other impoverished families.