Two worlds collided when Murali and Pranay played together. Although neighbors, the 12-year-old boys lived completely different lives. As their friendship grew, Pranay learned of the struggles Murali’s family faced—struggles Pranay had never known.
Pranay had known love and care from his father, a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor, from the earliest age. Hope and purpose permeated Pranay’s family life and he enjoyed close community at Sunday School.
Nearby, and yet a world away, lived Murali. Murali’s father was an alcoholic, drinking away the small income that should have provided for his family. He did not care that his wife and son went days without food. He did not care about them at all.
Grit Curtailed by Illness
Fed up with her husband’s neglect, Murali’s mother, Misha, decided to look for a job to support her son.
Ironically, as soon as Misha determined to provide for her family herself, she fell ill. Severe headaches plagued her daily, preventing her from working. She went to the doctor, but the medication he prescribed did nothing to abate her excruciating pain. Also finding no relief in her religious practices, Misha’s frustration grew. Her husband showed no concern. Only her son, Murali, seemed to care about her.
Pranay’s Happy Place – Sunday School
Knowing his friend’s hardships, Pranay invited Murali to Sunday School. Maybe he would experience some of the happiness of Pranay’s life.
The next Sunday, Murali walked through the doors of the Sunday School room arm-in-arm with his friend. He was amazed to see so many children happily singing and dancing. Joy filled the room. Murali thought some of it might come to him.
Hearing about Jesus during the Bible lesson fascinated Murali. He wanted to know more about this Man who loved everyone so much.
Coming back to Sunday School every week, Murali learned how to pray and read the Bible. He learned how to share about God’s love with others. His friendship with Pranay took on new dimensions as their interests and passions began to overlap.
Singing the Message of Hope in a Home of Despair
One day, while at home, Murali was so filled with joy that he began to sing one of the songs he learned at Sunday School.
“Jesus, grant me your peace and joy,” Murali sang.
Misha heard the words of the song through her pounding headache. The lyrics pierced her heart. For many days, she pondered the words in her mind. Peace. Joy.
Seeing the transformation in her son, with no apparent cause other than his new Sunday School attendance, she was intrigued about going to church with him. She wanted to hear about this Jesus for herself.
Misha attended Pastor Aloke’s church with her son. Pastor Aloke, excited to see his neighbor at the service for the first time, approached her. He asked how he could help her.
Hearing about the troubles of Misha’s family and constant headaches, Pastor Aloke went before God asking for healing and peace for the troubled woman.
After a few days, Misha was shocked when her headaches completely went away!
After this transformation in her health, Misha attended services regularly with Murali. Both mother and son have found peace and joy in the Lord, which radiates in their faces. Pain and frustration have turned to laughing and hope.
“This [transformation] wouldn’t be possible without the love, care and wisdom from the Sunday School teacher and local pastor,” says Misha. “I am so thankful to the pastor and Sunday School teacher for teaching my son and [sharing the love of] Christ.”
New Life Grows and Spreads
The neighbors, once living in different worlds, now share a hope and a future. The transformation in Misha and Murali have not gone unnoticed by Murali’s father. He has gradually stopped drinking as much and attends worships services occasionally with his family. Family unity, which once seemed like an impossibility, is now within sight as mother and son walk with Jesus. Hope has dawned for this once broken family.