This took place in Haridwar, North India and involved Pastor Simon Haq who works with Feeding Events India and The Elijah Challenge
Haridwar is located in the district of Uttarakhand, northeast of Delhi, on the border of China. This is the city where Hindus come by the millions to purify themselves of sin by washing in the Ganges River. They understand the concept of having their sins washed away.
We have done several evangelistic gospel events in this area. In the past I have written reports about how well the gospel had been received and about the powerful, miraculous things God has done to confirm the preaching of the gospel to these people. Here’s another report.
In a small village close to the city of Haridwar there lived an old man. His wife and some other family members had recently become believers and followers of Christ at an evangelistic meeting sponsored by Feeding Events India. The old man was the patriarch of his family and had been sick. His wife knew her husband did not have long to live, so she and Ranjit, her new pastor, had been praying that God would provide an opportunity for him to hear about Jesus and believe in him before he died. God heard their prayers.
When she learned that we were having a gospel/gospel event in her village she asked her husband to please come and find out why she made the decision to follow Jesus Christ rather than the many gods of Hinduism. He agreed to go with her and she called her pastor Ranjt to let him know, but the day of the event her husband died in his bed without ever hearing the gospel of Christ. She was heartbroken knowing he would not be in heaven.
Simon was on the way to the village, about two hours out, when he received a call from Pastor Ranjit telling him what had happened. Simon is very sensitive to the fact that most of the families in these remote farming villages have never had an opportunity to learn about Jesus. They have never been told what God’s Son did on the cross for them.
For hundreds of generations the old man’s family had worshiped many Hindu gods, just like everyone in his village. When someone gets sick they go to their local priest to be prayed for in the name of his favorite god or goddess. They take money, fruit and food as offerings to the gods and pay the priest to pray for them. All this is to no avail, because these gods can do nothing to help them. However, the families are afraid not to go to village priest because he might instead place a curse on the family, in the name of his favorite god. In the USA we have little knowledge or experience with demonic curses, but they are very common in India and are used by priests to control families.
After hearing what happened, Simon told Ranjit and the woman to pray over the man in the name Jesus, asking that God to restore his life so he could hear the gospel. Little did they know they were stepping into God’s plan for this man.
At first they were reluctant, but out of respect for Simon they returned and started praying just as they had been instructed and God was listening.
Then the wife prayed in Jesus name for her husband to come back to life and for some reason poured a little cool water into his mouth. As she did he immediately began licking his lips and sat up in his bed. Unlike the Hindu gods, the all-powerful God who created the universe heard their prayers and restored this man back to life, because they had enough faith to pray for him in the name of Jesus Christ.
By the next day the whole village had heard what happened. Many came by to see for themselves that the old man really had come back to life. They were asking, “How can this be?” “We know this man was sick and that he died.” Some were saying, “This is not possible.” But they could not deny the fact that the man who was dead was now sitting on his bed talking to them. The old man’s wife and family steadfastly told everyone he came back to life because he had been prayed for in name of Jesus, the Son of the one true God. The whole village was stirred up and excited.
Even though very weak the man went to hear Simon preach the gospel and on the second night repented of his sin of worshiping false gods and accepted Jesus as the Son of God and his Savior. Then, a short time after returning home, he suddenly died again, but this time the family rejoiced because they knew he went to his new home in heaven.
The whole village was stirred with wonder and amazement that this man had come back to life when prayed for in the name of Jesus. Jesus, had done something their Hindu gods could not do and they wanted to know more about him. Ranjit and Simon are planning another gospel event for the village very soon. It would not surprise me if the whole village decided to place their trust in God’s Son. Please pray for these people, that they will all believe in the name of Jesus and be born again into his kingdom.
Report by Bill & Sammye Willis (Elijah Challenge Board Member)
Founders, Feeding Events India