India (MNN) — Picture this: you live in daily fear of an evil spirit ruling your life. To appease the spirit, you offer sacrifices you can’t afford: liquor, rice, pigs, chicken.
As long as you can offer these sacrifices, the evil spirit will leave you alone. So, you sell your land, your home — anything of value — to buy the items needed for a proper sacrifice.
“They believe that [the entire] world is controlled by evil spirits,” says India Missions Association’s Daniel*. “Because of [this], they do not have any control over their lives, or the incidents that happen in their lives.”
Eventually, the debt you’ve accumulated to purchase the sacrifices catches up to you. Then, it passes along to your children.
“There comes a time when they think you know what, this is all my destiny is. I am called to be a slave. So, they get into this cycle of slavery,” Daniel says.
But, hope is on the horizon. IMA partners with International Steward (IS) to help set these captives free.
Through “A Journey”, an IS stewardship program offered by local churches, slaves learn a powerful Truth.
“This particular course helps them to move their worldview from being a slave to being a steward of God’s resources,” says Daniel.
“[Slaves start realizing] everything does not belong to the evil spirit. Everything belongs to God. And when I worship God, He gives me the opportunity and access to all of this.”
Daniel recalls one man who took hold of this Truth.
“He had been in this bonded slavery for about three generations,” says Daniel. One day, “another believer told him about Jesus and the freedom they have in Him.”
The man accepted Christ as Savior began bringing his wife and eight children to church. When the congregation asked how they could help this man get out of his situation, his answer was hopeless.
“I don’t think you guys can help me,” he stated, “because this is what we’ve been doing for generations.”
But, the church wouldn’t give up, Daniel says.
“The church got together, pooled some resources together, and delivered that family out of this slavery,” he says.
“Today, he can stand up and lift his head high, say, ‘I can build my house, I can send my children to school, I can provide for my family, I can go to church’ and, you just see the shine on his face.”
Daniel says people who knew this man previously are astounded by the person he has become.
“They are, for a minute, just taken away because they see that tremendous transformation. He’s like a blind man who’s seeing now,” says Daniel. “He gives generously to the church, and he gives inspiration to other people like him who are in need.
“When people and the government give out hand-outs, he doesn’t want them. He says, I will earn and I can provide for my family.”
“The need is just big. The need is so big,” Daniel says. “Pray that we will find projects, and bridges that we can build to these communities, so that we can take the Gospel to them.”
Pray for more Gospel workers in India.
“I think we live in a time where we can see the end; we think it’s possible that everyone can hear the Gospel,” says Daniel. “I believe the whole Church in the world needs to come together and support and help each other, pray for each other.”
* = last name withheld for security purposes