Gospel for Asia (http://www.gfa.org/) News Release – For Immediate Release
WILLS POINT, TX (ANS – January 3, 2018) — Suicide. The thought pulsed in Chamudi’s mind as relentlessly as the hunger that gnawed in her stomach. Completely broken at the thought of her children’s suffering, Chamudi decided today was the day to end it all — for herself and for her children.
A Hole in a Widow’s Broken Heart
Twice in 10 years, illnesses turned Chamudi’s world upside down. First, her husband died from a brain tumor, thrusting her into the life of a single mother in a culture that often looked down upon widows. Second, Chamudi received terrible news: She had a hole in her heart.
The doctors told her she should not do hard labor or get tired, and unless she received an operation, she would soon die. Desperate for a way to provide for her children, but severely limited in what she could do, Chamudi searched for any light work she could find. She washed dishes and served as a maid, but hunger crept into her home and became a consistent part of life. If she was unable to regularly put food on the table for her precious children, then there was no way she could buy medication to help her condition.
Chamudi was in turmoil. She was going to die, and misery would taint however many more days she had left. Her stomach ached unbearably. She thought of her young children — if enduring hunger caused such agony for her, a grown woman, how much more difficult it must be for her young, confused children? And once she was gone, her children would suffer even more. They would be alone, vulnerable against any who would seek to exploit them.
As bleak as the present was, the future looked even worse to Chamudi.
One morning, Chamudi again found no food for her children’s breakfast and could bear it no longer. She knew of only one way to end all their pain — suicide. If she couldn’t help her children live with peace, she could give them peace through death.
They would drink poison and be free from pain together. Yes, that was the solution. She found no help from her gods, and she had no one to turn to. Better to end it all now, she thought.
Through her cloud of hopelessness, she realized she didn’t even have money to buy poison. Chamudi slumped onto the only bench she had in her house and thought about how she could earn enough to bring about her family’s death.
Life Comes Knocking
From her position on her bench, Chamudi watched in surprise as a man dressed in black pants and a white shirt came walking toward her house. She didn’t recognize the middle-aged stranger. Rising from her seat, Chamudi curiously approached him.
He introduced himself as Alak, the GFA-supported pastor of a local congregation. He offered the disheartened woman some literature, which sparked a conversation about Jesus and the new life Christ offers.
As they talked, Chamudi shared about her poverty and hopeless situation, and she eventually disclosed to him her intention of killing herself and her children that very day. Taking the timely opportunity God provided to minister to Chamudi, Pastor Alak prayed earnestly for her and encouraged her to trust in Jesus.
Chamudi’s religious convictions forbad her from going to a Christian worship service, but as she learned more about God’s redeeming love and listened to Pastor Alak’s prayer, peace entered her heart. She found a dose of hope that day, and she decided to learn more about the One who sent someone to her to keep her from death.
The Restoring Power of God
Chamudi and her children started visiting Pastor Alak’s congregation, bringing their troubles and sorrows to the Lord. Soon, Chamudi found a small business she could run from her home! She received cloth from a factory and sewed children’s clothing. The work was gentle, and her new income enabled her to feed her children.
Hope filled Chamudi’s heart, as well as love for the God who provided for her family. She continued learning about the Lord through the local church, and her love for Jesus impelled her to ask Him to adopt her into His family and give her new life.
Finding work was just the beginning of the answers to prayer Chamudi received. When Chamudi went to the hospital to buy medication with her new earnings, the doctors said her condition had improved! And just as the Lord sent Pastor Alak to Chamudi’s house on the day she planned to die, He later sent another man to impact Chamudi’s life—except this one married her. Athula, who worked at the factory where Chamudi received her cloth, linked his life with Chamudi and her children, helping support them and walking alongside them as they journey closer to Jesus together as a family.
A Vessel for God’s Use
Chamudi experienced God’s restoring power in incredible ways, all because one national missionary made himself available to be used by God to touch lives.
You can help send more missionaries who are ready to minister to hurting and disheartened families in Asia. Who knows, God may use them to hinder suicide plans, like He did through Pastor Alak. To sponsor a National Mission, please go to: https://www.gfa.org/sponsor/search/ (100% of what you give to Gospel for Asia’s National Missions Program goes to the field).
Note: Gospel for Asia (http://www.gfa.org/) has — for more than 30 years — provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.
Photo captions: 1) Chamudi, like this widow, could not provide food for her children. Her heart broke over the suffering of her children. (GFA). 2) Rather than face slow starvation, Chamudi decided suicide would be a better end for herself and her children. (GFA). 3) When GFA-supported pastor Alak visited Chamudi’s home, she revealed her decision to commit suicide that very day. (GFA). Pastor Alak (pictured here during his early days of ministry nearly 20 years ago) spoke to her broken heart and encouraged her to seek peace from Jesus. 4) Touched by God’s mercy and kindness, Chamudi and her children (pictured) underwent complete transformation at the hand of God. (GFA). 5) National missionaries minister to people in all walks of life, bringing news of hope and restoration to broken hearts. (GFA).
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.
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