(Image courtesy of GFA)
India (MNN) ― The best way to share Jesus with women in India is through other women.
Because of cultural customs, many women cannot be approached by men, making their slim chance of ever hearing the Gospel even slimmer. Women are also the last to eat and the most likely to be illiterate.
Burdened by their plight, Gospel for Asia began a program called "Women Reaching Women." In this program, national women missionaries go through three years of intensive training where they're equipped to serve among some of India's most unreached areas: villages, slums, and leprosy colonies.
Women missionaries supported by GFA are sharing the heart and hope of Christ with the desperate, the sick, and the lonely. GFA's Sister *Aarti describes *Neela, a woman living in the slums of Mumbai. Neela's husband was a drunkard and eventually left her and their young children for alcohol.
"All of a sudden, the whole responsibility came on her head. She has to take care of children; she has to earn some money to provide them food," Aarti recalls. "The school education for the children became impossible."
Alcoholism is a common problem throughout India, leaving thousands of women as "single moms" with four or five kids to care for. Aarti says it's common for women in Neela's situation to sell their bodies.
"There are many, many women who are forced to do prostitution because of [this type of] situation."
As for Neela, says Aarti, "Some of the men in that slum area were forcing her [to have sex with them]. They were telling her, 'If you have [sex with us], then we will offer you some money.'"
The situation broke Neela's heart, and she resolved not to engage in this type of activity, even if it meant leaving the slums. Hope broke through this dismal scene in the form of women missionaries and a pastor supported by GFA.
They listened to her troubles and shared the Good News. Within a few days, Neela accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.
"[The] sharing of the Gospel gave her great encouragement. She felt that there is one God who cares for her. Jesus loves her and her children so much," shares Aarti.
"She thought, 'He is more than my husband. He can provide all my needs'."
Soon after Neela met these believers and came to know Christ, a Bridge of Hope center was constructed in her slum. She was able to enroll her two children in the program. Believers were also able to move Neela and her children into the pastor's home, establishing a much safer living situation for the family.
"They struggle still for their daily needs, but they are peaceful," Aarti shares. She also says Neela isn't keeping Jesus to herself. "She goes around and tells [other] women, 'There is a Jesus who loves you, who cares for you.'"
Pray that more women would be empowered to share Christ's love with the desperate. For $30 USD a month, you can enable a woman missionary to serve in the field full-time, bringing the Good News to other women.
Tomorrow we'll hear about women who've lost everything and how you can help.
* Name changed for security reasons.