As a single woman of 29, Lakshmi bore a burden few young South Asian women have to shoulder: working as the sole provider for her family. Lakshmi’s family had always been poor, and when her parents grew too old to work, she had to meet the family’s financial needs by washing clothes and dishes for others. She tells her story:
“Many times my brother told me to open a tailoring shop. For the last few years, I had been thinking and planning to buy a sewing machine because I know how to sew, but I could not because of our financial crisis.
“One day, while I was going to work, I happened to meet Pastor Rochan Gavde on the way, and he shared with me about the love of Jesus Christ. For the first time, I heard the Word of God. It was difficult for me to understand the divinity of Jesus Christ, but the pastor gave me some Gospel literature. I carried it with me, thinking that if I had time, I would read it.
“Late that night, I could not sleep. I got up from my bed and started reading the New Testament and other Gospel literature. . . . The Word of God penetrated my heart, and I felt Somebody inside my heart compelling me to give my life for His glory.
“The next morning, I went to the pastor’s house and shared my experience of how God spoke to me through His holy Word, and I asked the pastor to pray for me. I also started attending prayer meetings regularly and became a strong believer. . . . As the days went by, God started blessing me in many areas of my life.
“It was one Sunday afternoon after the worship service, as I was sitting inside the church, that Pastor Rochan told me, ‘The church will give you a sewing machine.’ . . . I was filled with great joy. I ran home, knelt down, cried out and thanked God for His love and care for me. I had not told anyone about my desire to get a sewing machine. It was God who knew and opened the way for me to get it.
“After a month, I received a new sewing machine, and it was a blessed time for me. Tears flowed from my eyes as I thanked God and our pastor for their constant love for me.”
Now, Lakshmi can earn enough by sewing to provide for her family, because a generous sponsor thousands of miles away provided a sewing machine for her. Through a simple gift, God has permanently impacted her life. “I always acknowledge the goodness of Jesus in my life,” she proclaims.