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Kusum’s in-laws blamed her for her husband’s death. But God stepped in.

Kusum’s in-laws blamed her for her husband’s death. But God stepped in.

When Kusum’s husband and son died, her in-laws said her faith was the reason. But God has worked miracles in the lives of her family and community – and used your prayers and support to sustain Kusum.

When Open Doors local partners in India first visited Kusum*, she was facing terrible persecution from her own family. She had already suffered deeply – losing both her husband and her son to illness. What made it even worse was that her community blamed Kusum for these two tragedies.

“The villagers didn’t allow me to bury my son,” she remembers. “They said, ‘You brought this curse upon your family! Because of your faith, your husband and your son are dead!’ In the end, I was allowed to bury my son on the outskirts of the village. I was all by myself. Nobody was allowed to help me.”

You might expect Kusum to get support from her in-laws, but the opposite was the case. Her father-in-law threatened to kill her.

“It’s your fault my son is dead!” Kusum remembers him yelling outside her house, swinging an axe. “It’s your fault my grandson is dead! You killed them with your toxic faith! Come outside! I will cut you to pieces!”

Kusum kept praying – and her prayers were answered

Throughout it all, Kusum was determined to cling to her faith. She prayed fervently to God. “I had only one certainty: I would not betray Jesus. Despite all of my tragedies, He has never disappointed me.”

And God is answering Kusum’s prayers in ways she hadn’t ever expected. As well as receiving financial and spiritual support from local Open Doors partners, thanks to your help, Kusum has seen an enormous shift in the attitude of her village.

“Due to my Christian faith, I faced a lot of persecution from my in-laws and the villagers,” Kusum says, “but now many villagers are coming to Jesus in my village. Since the pandemic lockdown, ten new families have come to Christ!”

Kusum’s family are coming to Christ

Most of the new Christians in Kusum’s community came to faith after they were healed through prayer. Several times a week, she joins with the other believers in her village to pray. “When we gather for prayer, we pray for all Christians who are facing persecution. At the same time, I explain to all those believers that no matter how much persecution comes, we have to remain in the Word of God. We must be ready to face persecution.”

Kusum is especially thrilled that members of her own family have come to know Jesus! “My in-laws used to persecute me a lot, but now they believe in Christ,” she shares. “Many times, they used to come to my house to kill me. I always used to pray for them. The Lord heard my prayer, and now they are believers.

“Everyone has come to faith except my father-in-law – although he is also learning about the Christian faith. He now asks me to pray for him.”

Life under lockdown

Like most of us, life became difficult for Kusum during lockdown – but she has not felt abandoned, thanks to you. “My financial condition was not good… but even at that time, God helped my family and fulfilled all my needs. My father and my brother used to bring everything I needed. I also got relief from Open Doors local partners. They helped me start a grocery store for my livelihood, and they always ask about my wellbeing and help me.”

As the pandemic continues to worsen in India, please pray for protection for Kusum and those she knows.

Kusum has seen enormous change in her family and neighbourhood, but persecution is not over. She asks for prayer, as threats and discrimination continue around her. “Persecution is still going on in nearby villages,” she shares. “We get drinking water from the village hand pump. Right now, we get rations in the ration card, but some people in the village are saying that they will stop our ration card and will not even provide water. The number of believers is growing in my village, so the people of the nearby villages are inciting the people of our village against us.”

*Name changed for security reasons

Photo: Open Doors