Having a child often brings joy to the lives of most who are expecting. The months preceding a baby’s arrival may be filled with shopping, birthing classes, painting rooms and other things to prepare for life with a new little one around. For 25-year-old Ganitha, however, this was not the case. Ganitha’s pregnancy brought an illness that would overtake her and her family for many years.
In 2012, Ganitha was forced to deal with the misfortune of falling ill during her pregnancy with her firstborn son. She became paralyzed in her left hand and right leg. Regular, everyday activities such as going to the restroom, cooking and cleaning were now daunting, overwhelming tasks. In addition to all of this, she experienced unbearable pain in her waist that rendered many nights sleepless. Raahi, Ganitha’s husband, would hear his wife cry out in pain on a nightly basis, but there was nothing he could do.
Raahi and Ganitha had hoped things would improve after she gave birth, but they did not. This illness robbed her of the first few years of motherhood. But Ganitha was not the only one struggling. Raahi was also physically weak. Because of this, no one in his village hired him for manual labor, and he scarcely found jobs that would put food on the table. The expenses of medical treatment and a newborn baby overwhelmed them, and as the years went by, everything began to take its toll. Would poverty overtake them and take the life of their child?
Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor Karun and two Sisters of Compassion Madhu and Jaina were serving the Lord in a village near Raahi and Ganitha. They looked for ways in which they could be a blessing to the community they were located in. They were the hands and feet of Jesus in very tangible ways in areas that needed to see the love of Christ the most. Their ministries varied from conducting medical camps and teaching literacy classes to welcoming the outcasts of society into their arms.
In February 2015, Pastor Karun met Raahi. Raahi discussed his life’s burdens with Pastor Karun and the struggle he had to provide for his wife and his now 3-year-old son who was suffering from malnutrition. Raahi sensed Pastor Karun’s loving nature and invited him to their home.
Pastor Karun arrived at Raahi’s home and was saddened to see Raahi’s living conditions. A strong, pungent odor like that of a latrine permeated the walls of their home. They did not have much furniture. There were hardly any groceries. Moved with remorse, Pastor Karun told Jaina and Madhu about the living conditions of Raahi’s family. The three of them decided to pay another visit to their home.
No one had visited Raahi and Ganitha for years. Ganitha was bedridden and looked like a mentally challenged person. She and her son were not properly bathed, and her fingernails and toenails were overgrown. Jaina and Madhu began straight away with cleaning the house, bathing their son, clipping Ganitha’s nails, combing her hair and washing clothes. After they were finished, Raahi and Ganitha’s home looked brand new. Jaina and Madhu spent some time in prayer with Ganitha, and Pastor Karun encouraged Raahi in the Lord.
After seeing a love like this for the first time, Raahi’s heart was filled with joy.
“I am very happy, and I thank you all for your love and concern for us. Today I really experienced the real love of Christ in my life,” Raahi said. “All these years, nobody cared for us, loved us and visited us.”
When Pastor Karun, Jaina and Madhu visited them again two days later, they were amazed to see Ganitha standing on both feet, healed from her waist pain. Raahi and Ganitha rejoiced at how the Lord had taken care of them through His servants, and they expressed their desire to learn more about the love of Jesus.
Raahi and Ganitha had spent years making do with next to nothing in regards to finances and meaningful relationships, but now they looked out into the crowd of their new church family. Many rejoiced and sung songs of praise to the Lord for delivering them from their struggles.
Ganitha dripped with water after testifying of her new found love for Jesus. She gladly left behind the desperate life she had known and entered a new season of joy with her family and knowing Jesus.