Restless minutes morphed to hours. Sleep evaded Dharma as he anxiously thought about his daughter and her poor health. Then a thought entered the concerned father’s mind.
“There is only one place where we can take our daughter,” Dharma told his wife, “and I believe she will be healed there without any payment.”
Dharma’s daughter had been sick, and he couldn’t afford to pay for her medical treatment. Witch doctors wouldn’t treat her because Dharma didn’t have money, and her condition had only grown worse. So the next morning, Dharma took his daughter to a pastor in a nearby village. After the pastor prayed for the girl, Jesus completely healed her. That miracle showed Dharma and his wife, Avani, that God cared enough about them to heal their daughter, even when no one else did.
But they still lived in poverty. Did Jesus care about that too?
A Gift Brings Hope
Dharma and Avani lived in a hut on their land—1.5 acres of infertile soil. They grew rice, wheat, maize and mustard, but they gained little yield from their hard work, so they supplemented their income by collecting dry wood from the forest and selling it.
After Dharma’s daughter became sick and the family saw God heal her, they put their faith in Jesus. They eventually met three sisters in Christ who were ministering near their village. These women were Sisters of Compassion, GFA workers specially trained to serve elderly people, widows, leprosy patients and others in need. When the Sisters of Compassion found out about Dharma and Avani’s financial hardships, they wanted to help.
Some time later, Dharma, Avani and their daughters accepted an invitation to a Christmas gift distribution event the Sisters helped organize in their area. When the event organizers called Dharma’s name, he walked up to receive a pair of goats. Joy beamed on the family’s faces as they walked the floppy-eared creatures home, knowing these two animals would give them financial opportunities that had previously seemed unreachable. They resolved to take good care of these gifts.
With hearts full of gratitude, Dharma and Avani took the goats into the forest each day to graze. They returned home in the evening carrying bunches of leaves so the goats would have good food to eat at home.
Divine Protection Sparks Determination
Though they worked hard to nourish their goats, Dharma and Avani soon realized caring for living creatures had challenges.
One day, a bundle of wood fell on the head of one of the goats, breaking its horns and leaving the animal unconscious. Dharma thought the goat would die, but it miraculously revived. Another day, the goats got so sick after eating manure they couldn’t walk. The goats had a scrape with death once more when dogs attacked them. Each time, Dharma and Avani asked God to save their goats, and He healed them.
People told Dharma and Avani goats were too difficult to care for and suggested they just sell them. But Dharma and Avani trusted God to take care of their goats, just as He had taken care of their daughter.
“If God has given us this gift, He will surely take care of them and bless us,” they said. And He did.
Blessing Overflows to Community
As Dharma and Avani diligently cared for their goats and the Lord blessed them, the goats produced milk and offspring. The milk gave Dharma’s daughters the nutrition to stay healthy and to concentrate better so they could excel in their schoolwork.
When Dharma needed to buy clothes and notebooks for his daughters, he and Avani hesitated to sell one of their goats, afraid to lose a valuable asset. They asked God to be gracious to them and sold a goat to purchase the needed items.
Later they were able to buy another female goat, and their herd continued to multiply. Eventually, Dharma and Avani had 12 goats!
As income from their goats supplemented that from selling wood and vegetables, the family gained the financial stability that had seemed like an impossible dream. They were able to buy a new cupboard and a cot for their home. Eventually, they built a new, more comfortable house made of clay, wood and brick.
Neighbors watched with surprise as Dharma and Avani’s goat herd grew and the family became prosperous.
“Their God is really blessing them,” people said.
Radiating gratitude, the family told others their newfound stability came from the grace and blessing of Jesus on their lives.
Soon, Dharma and Avani opened their new home to host a prayer meeting led by the Sisters of Compassion. They knew that God had shown them His deep love and care in every challenge they faced—from their daughter’s sickness to their poverty to their goats’ health—and they wanted more people to experience His goodness and compassion.