South Asia (MNN) — Basanta Kanher grew up in a traditionally religious home, but he didn't put much faith in his family's religion. Instead, he wanted to learn more about the other religions of the world, and he did that by spending a lot of time listening to various religious programs on the radio.
Basanta lived in a remote area where radio was the latest technology, so he listened quite frequently when he wasn't out in the fields working to take care of his wife and three children.
One day, a Gospel for Asia-supported radio program came on the air. He listened as the pastor preached God's Word in his own language. Intrigued, Basanta began listening to the program every day. The relevancy of the pastor's sermons spoke to Basanta's heart. He called the station and spoke to the pastor, telling him how much he and his family enjoyed the program and eagerly waited for it to air.
Basanta and the GFA-supported pastor who hosted the radio program, Chitral Sona, continued to correspond through letters and phone calls. Pastor Chitral shared the Gospel with Basanta and ended their conversations by praying with him.
Once, Basanta called up Pastor Chitral and asked him to pray for the water well he was digging to cultivate his land. He specifically asked for a good quantity of water to spring forth. A few days later, Basanta called back and told Chitral there was plenty of water in the well–more than in any other well in the surrounding area! When he saw this simple answer to prayer, Basanta's faith in Jesus strengthened.
Seeing the blessing the radio program was in his life, Basanta shared it with all his friends.
A year later, Basanta got to meet the pastor who led him to Christ. As soon as Pastor Chitral stepped off the bus, Basanta ran to embrace him and praised the Lord. He took Pastor Chitral to his home, where his family eagerly waited to see the pastor.
"The hospitality I received from this family overwhelmed me a lot; their manners were like a strong Christian family that knew God's Word thoroughly," Pastor Chitral said.
During their visit, they spoke of God's work in their lives, and Chitral encouraged Basanta and his family to stand firm in their faith and continue to grow in the Lord. Before leaving, he promised to send a team of missionaries to their village this year.
"The church has not been able to start a ministry in that area until now," said a GFA field correspondent. "Our leaders have been sincerely praying for the Lord to open new doors to reach other areas in this state with the Gospel. Now, through radio, God has prepared a way for the church to start its ministry to win the thousands of perishing souls in this area. This year, after the Bible college graduation, a team of missionaries will be sent to this place to establish a ministry there."