A provocative question tumbled out of Raj’s mouth: “If there is healing in Jesus, why should I not believe in Him?”
While the answer to this rhetorical question was obvious to Raj, it would soon drive a wedge into his closest relationships, making him a disappointment to people who had always stood by him.
Overcoming Adversity—Then Finding More
Raj’s parents could have seen their firstborn son as a disappointment many years before, when he was just a baby. Before Raj was born, they had great plans for him, but as their infant son grew, they discovered he was blind. In a culture where people with disabilities often face stigma and lack access to needed resources, Raj’s blindness shattered his parents’ expectations—and aroused scorn from their neighbors. People gossiped that Raj’s condition might have resulted from his parents’ sin.
Raj overcame adversity to arrive at 12th grade—a feat for any student in his region. Then illness interrupted what should have been a joyful final year of school. Beset with a high fever and scabies, Raj scratched himself in agony for two months. A doctor prescribed medicine, but Raj’s condition didn’t improve. He began to despair.
From Hope to Faith
Early one morning, Raj was listening to music on the radio. In the program following the music, a broadcaster talked about the incredible suffering faced by a man named Job. Raj kept listening as the speaker shared about the healing and grace Job found in God. From that day on, Raj listened regularly to the GFA-supported radio program, hungry to know more about Jesus Christ.
Although Raj desired deeper knowledge of God, there was no church in his village. But one day, a GFA-supported pastor, Nandan, visited Raj’s village and met the young man. Hearing about Raj’s sickness, Pastor Nandan encouraged him.
“In the Bible there were many people who were suffering from various diseases,” the pastor explained, “but when they believed and prayed in Jesus’ name, they were completely healed.”
Raj told Pastor Nandan about what he had already been learning from the radio broadcasts. That’s when he asked the questions that would change his life: “If there is healing in Jesus, why should I not believe in Him? … Tell me: What do I need to do?”
Brushing off Rejection, Embracing Joy
Pastor Nandan explained that Raj could enter a relationship with Christ by believing in Him and calling upon Him. The pastor continued visiting and praying for Raj. Eventually, the Lord completely healed Raj of his fever and scabies.
Grateful to the One who healed him, Raj decided to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.
That’s when Raj began to face rejection from his own family. Though they had supported him even when others mocked them because of his blindness, his new faith was a source of shame they refused to bear. They began verbally harassing him and stopped financially supporting his education. Some days Raj went hungry in the hostile home. His family tried to stop him from going to church, but he attended worship services secretly. Raj’s parents chastised Pastor Nandan too, but he continued to visit, encourage and pray for his new brother in Christ.
Despite the opposition Raj has faced, he radiates joy and peace, thanking the God who healed him miraculously.
“I used to be sad all the time whenever people mocked at me,” Raj said, “but now I am so happy. … Let people say whatever they want. I have got the living God, who is my internal eyes.”