|Typical Banjara woman in tribal dress|
The Banjara mother wept and cradled her young son. He was dying, and none of the sacrifices she had offered to her gods were bringing the healing she sought. Desperate to save him, she had turned to witch doctors and every potion, fetish, and ritual she knew, hoping beyond hope that some god would answer her anguished cries.
Some had told her to seek help at a hospital. Though few people ever did such a thing, she bravely took her son for consultation. The doctors shook their heads. There was nothing they could do. They sadly announced that she should take her son home, and prepare within three or four days to bury him.
As she sat in her home, penetrating the thatch walls she heard a loud voice in the village. A man was telling the story of a man named Jesus. Strange… she had never heard this name before. As she listened, she began to hear that this Jesus made lame people walk and blind people see. He even raised a man named Lazarus from the dead! Hope sprang in her heart and she rushed to the side of the preacher, begging him to come and visit her son.
The evangelist stood over the small child, looked into the woman’s Gypsy eyes, and said, “I have no power to heal your son, but I will pray for him. I do not know for certain what God will do, because healing is up to Him.” He prayed briefly, then taught the woman a one-sentence prayer, “Lord Jesus, heal my son.”
Rocking, weeping, pleading, the woman repeated over and over those precious words. Three days passed, then four…. then a week and a month. There was no dramatic breakthrough, but it became apparent that her child would live.
She presented the information to her husband that Jesus had healed their son. Disbelieving, he insisted that she should remember all the prayers and sacrifices to the village gods; surely one of them had answered, but not this Jesus. His ultimatum to her was, “NO Jesus!” But the woman would not be shaken; she was now a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. She replied, “ONLY Jesus!”
She dedicated her son to Jesus, and told him that one day he should do as Anand, the evangelist who had prayed over him. He should commit his life to following Christ, traveling from village to village and ministering in His name. He was renamed Lazarus, because he was literally brought forth from a certain grave.
And now the rest of the story… (apologies to Paul Harvey). This woman prayed for eight years until her husband came to salvation. Lazarus became the first of his tribe to receive an education for becoming a minister, and today he leads one of the largest ministries to the Banjara (Gypsy) tribe in the nation of India. Lazarus' son? You read about Sagar Anand Bhukya yesterday, the second generation descended from a Banjara woman who learned a one-sentence prayer.
This story is years old, but many others like it are happening right now in nations where the gospel is still being preached to people who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ. Evangelism Resources is actively equipping evangelists like Anand to pierce the darkness and bring hope to some of the neediest souls on earth. Will you pray for them? Will you give to support their training?
Hear this story, recounted in an 11-minute interview with Sagar Bhukya by ER President Dr. John Musick on September 28, 2012, on our website by clicking on this link:
|Lazarus Lalsingh prays a blessing on a Banjara man|
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