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‘I am rejected in my own house’—Rupa’s determination to follow Jesus in India

When Rupa felt God calling her to follow Jesus and serve Him, her father grew extremely angry and refused to support her. But support and prayers have enabled Rupa to follow God’s call. Open Doors local partner Jane was recently able to meet Rupa and learn more about her story.


Open Doors‘ partner shared the followig report:

“The day I met Rupa, there was a blue sky, and nearby there were rare bright pink bougainvillea flowers climbing the branches of the trees, providing some welcome shade from the hot afternoon sun. The young girl came towards me wearing warm clothes and fiddling with a handkerchief in her hand. We were meeting in the garden of the college where she studied; her hostel was also on the premises.

Rupa had a hoarse voice due to a cold. “It’s two days that I haven’t been out,” she says with a pleasant smile. She is glad to be out of the four walls of her room. She begins her story by telling me about her family. She is the middle child among four siblings and used to be her father’s favorite.

She looks away as she mentions her father.

She goes on to say that it was through her father that the whole family accepted Christ, after he was healed of a sickness.

But Rupa says Christ was just a name until she had a personal encounter with Him at a youth camp, where she first understood who Christ is and what it is to be “in Christ.” She says that the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 really changed her view of herself in Christ: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

This new understanding of life and faith compelled Rupa to become involved in ministry. Prior to that, she had prepared to become a chartered accountant, but now she wanted to leave that path and serve God with the local church full time.

Rupa thought her family would be happy that she had decided to serve God, especially her father. But when she shared her news, her father refused to allow her to think about working for God. He wanted her to become a chartered accountant, a highly regarded career option in India. He said she should earn money doing this, and she could serve God later, after her marriage.

But Rupa continued to pray: “If God called me at this young age, then let Him use me at this young age.” She fasted and prayed for God’s approval.

Although her father had experienced healing from Jesus, he had begun to turn his back on his new faith and stopped Rupa from even praying or reading the Bible at home. Rupa frowned as she explained, “I had to go to the washroom to pray and read the Bible. I was so sad that my father had completely backslid in his faith and had started persecuting me. He stopped speaking to me.”

Her father also stopped supporting her college education, warning her: “If you continue following Jesus and continue serving Him with the church, we will cut all ties with you.” With a heavy heart, Rupa made the decision to continue to work with her church.

“I was depressed and sad,” Rupa says. “I wanted to study further but I also didn’t want to stop following Jesus either. I was boycotted and rejected in my own house. Now I had no hopes of studying further.”

But Rupa’s local pastor supported her spiritually and connected her with Open Doors local partners who helped her get into a good college. The college also took care of Rupa’s room and board. (…)”

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