Elijah Challenge co-worker Subodh Kumar Jena is based in Orissa, India
Poignant observations from Subodh after returning home from Dulki
Thank you and all our Elijah Challenge partners for praying for such a marvelous event. It was really wonderful and very fruitful trip. The Lord did mighty healings and miracles and the results were thousands of Hindus coming to Christ in three days of outreach in a place where the situation was very sensitive [because of the martyring of Australian missionary Dr. Graham Staines and his two young sons in 1999]. The final count had fourteen villages participating. Each day during the three days four to five villages would gather together for the event, and each day during the three days from 800 to 1,200 people accepted Jesus Christ. There were very few Christians in the area.
I consider it to be a great privilege for me to go and preach the gospel in Dulki. I came to know many new things about such tribes. In the state of Orissa there are 62 tribal people groups, but in this district alone there are 53 tribal groups—meaning in the single district of Dulki live the most tribal groups in India. Most of the people groups have not yet heard the Gospel.
Dulki is within the government-protected jungle, located on the mountain. It is known as an “elephant corridor” where tigers and bears are also found. People do not go out in at night by themselves. From main road to Dulki there is no bus transportation for around 20 kilometers.
These tribal people are very simple and receptive to the gospel, but no one is going there. For one thing, there is the matter of the killing of Dr. Graham Staines and secondly it is not possible for outsiders to go and stay there.
I saw the reality—the harvest is plenty but the labourers are very few. In Dulki itself there are fourteen believers and only one single boy who can read and write a little.
They all are very poor and uneducated; they do not have any pastor or evangelist. If they want to have any program they call in a pastor who is 67 years old who must travel from 60 kilometers away. Otherwise he only comes once in four to five months and gives Holy Communion.
It broke my heart immediately. I contacted a pastor who has translated for me. We will send some money for his travel expenses for him to go Dulki and help them to know the Lord better. They are thirsty for the Lord.
According to the final tally, a total of fourteen villages participated in this event. For a whole day and night four to five villages would participate, and on the next day another four to five villages would gather. On the third day still another group of villages would come together to hear the gospel. During the day and in the evening we would have three sessions. They would have their traditional dancing until midnight, and they would leave in the early morning.
They expected more people but because of the rain, water filled a nearby river and people from one area could not attend. But we estimate thousands of mostly Hindus accepted the Christ from the villages. The Lord has given us eight new villages with precious souls.
Testimonies of miraculous healings
A man named Jayram had a tumour in his stomach for a year. It was growing day by day. He kept it quiet, and was embarrassed to tell anyone about it. He came with much expectation. The Lord healed him and the tumour vanished instantly.
An elderly woman named Lemba Gagari was blind. Her eyes just burned. Miraculously the Lord touched her and she was healed. She testified that she could see properly.
Suna Mahakud had a big tumour in her stomach for three years. She had gone to the doctor in the town, and the doctor advised an operation which would cost around 2o,ooo Rupees. She did not have the money and did not know what to do. The doctor advised her that the tumour could become cancerous without an operation. It was very visible. She came believing that she would be healed. While I was ministering healing from a distance (as Jesus did in Luke 7) the tumour vanished from her body.
Gardhi had injured his leg. He had come from seven kms away with the help of his friend. He was not healed on the first day, and so waited for another day. He was thinking how he could go back home without being healed since he could not walk with a broken leg. But the Lord touched him and both of his legs were healed completely.
A gentleman named Nanu Mahakud practiced witchcraft. People would come to him to be cured. People also feared him because he was a sorcerer. Within a year his business became very popular and he earned much money. He went whenever people called him to ward off a demonic attack or to be cured from infirmities. But the last few months he himself started to suffer from some unknown disease. His goddess demanded blood, and so he sacrificed many animals but was not cured. He also tried many “tricks of his trade” and whatever else he knew, but nothing worked until at last he came to Christ. On the first day he did not feel like sitting. Someone told him to go in the evening and to sit till the end of the program. On the second day he sat for the whole day. On the third day Jesus touched him and he cried out, repenting of his sins. He felt the Lord’s healing touch in his body. He said he would no more do the work he had been doing in the past. “I will walk with Jesus.”
Sulochana had suffered from tuberculosis for six years. When he fell on the ground, blood would come out from his mouth. He was so weak in his body, and he would take medicine daily. If he forgot to take his medicine for a day, he could collapse and fall down somewhere. But our gracious God healed him. He felt something like electricity in his body and suddenly felt strong. He understood he was healed from his disease.
Kusha had cancer in his stomach for three and half years, and it was very hard for him to bear. From time to time he used to feel severe pain. He stopped to go into the jungle to collect leaves, and their livelihood comes from selling leaves. But was difficult for him to do because of the disease. Even though he did not take medicine because he could not afford it, he believes that by the grace of God he now he feels better. Wonderfully his stomach became normal, and the pain and cancer disappeared completely.
A grandmother named Landu had suffered from a stroke, and both of her legs had partial paralysis for two years. She was not able to bathe in the stream. She said that after listening to the message she asked the Lord to heal her. When we ministered to her suddenly she received strength in both legs. She walked here and there and came up to the stage and testified that the Jesus Lord had healed her.
Ruchi had severe pain in the lower part of her stomach. The pain was unbearable. Because of the pain she had not been able to walk for three months. She was carried by a few people to the meeting and was laid out on the ground. But our gracious Lord healed her. She came to the stage in front of all without anybody’s help and testified that the Lord Jesus had healed her.
A young man named Chandra had suffered very badly from hemorrhoids for five years. He was very embarrassed about it and did not even tell his family. Several times he thought to meet with a doctor but never did. While he went to the toilet he had so much pain that it was unbearable. Praise God he was healed. After feeling supernatural movement in that part of his body he wanted to testify.
Sardda Chad had shoulder pain. She was not able to move and bend her body. Graciously the Lord healed her.
Mother Mandui suffered from pain in her head. She would constantly feel some heavy thing pressing on her head. But miraculously she experienced the heavy weight removed from her head, and she felt very light.
Debendra Goipai came to the program with an issue of blood from which she had suffered for 8 months. She had taken some folk medicine, but with no relief. She became very weak in her body. She was healed instantly, and her infirmity ceased.
A young man named Rasmi had a knee injury from a fall from a cycle in December. He was struck by a rock. From that day onward he could not walk properly. He was healed and the pain disappeared completely.
A gentleman named Bagun suffered a lot from high blood pressure for five years. He heard the message from Acts 3 about the lame beggar at the temple gate who had been healed when Peter ministered to him. The message encouraged him to believe in Jesus as he later testified. He was healed within a second as his entire body became warm.
A young man named Rushikesh had problems with breathing and also with his heartbeat since childhood. And the Lord healed him miraculously.
A woman named Tulasi had a throat infection. Sometime even she suffered when drinking water. Jesus healed her and she could drink normally.
A mighty miracle
On the last day at 12 noon the weather was very hot. One man went to the toilet and fell on the ground unconscious due to the heat. They brought him to the stage and we ministered to him and immediately he became conscious. At that very moment I commanded the weather to be become cool. Miraculously within a moment the wind started blowing and black clouds covered the sky. We thought it would rain but there was no rain—it was a miracle of God. The weather changed. We were supposed to close the meeting at 1 pm, but we went until 1:45 pm. All were struck with wonder seeing such a miracle. Praise the Lord.
Thank you so much for your prayers and help to reach such people.
Observations from Subodh after he returned home
“After arriving in Dulki the people shared about the work of Dr. Graham Staines and his wife and their sacrifice. He was a leprosy doctor. He worked mostly in the area of social development. After Graham was martyred, Mrs. Staines returned to Australia. All their work stopped. Even for spiritual work nobody dared to enter the area until now. Evangelists and pastors are afraid to go to such areas. Whoever comes to Christ becomes just a sheep without a Shepherd.
Now there are hundreds of villages and several people groups living in the area, but no one is going there to preach the gospel. They are receptive and simple peoples.
These people groups are called Hoo, Santali, and Lakda, etc. They are very poor and uneducated. Most of them go to the jungle and collect leaves to be stitched and sold. They have difficulty cultivating the soil since they live in a hilly and mountainous area. Their children are very neglected. I believe the Lord has entrusted to us such precious souls. I am very much concerned what can be done for such village people.”