When the woman's husband and son died, her in-laws said her faith was the reason. But God has worked miracles in the lives of her family and community to sustain her.
When Open Doors local partners in India first visited Kusum (Name changed for security reasons), she was facing terrible persecution from her own family. She had already suffered deeply – losing both her husband and her son to illness. What made it even worse was that her community blamed Kusum for these two tragedies.
“The villagers didn’t allow me to bury my son,” she remembers. “They said, ‘You brought this curse upon your family! Because of your faith, your husband and your son are dead!’ In the end, I was allowed to bury my son on the outskirts of the village. I was all by myself. Nobody was allowed to help me.”
You might expect Kusum to get support from her in-laws, but the opposite was the case. Her father-in-law threatened to kill her.
“It’s your fault my son is dead!” Kusum remembers him yelling outside her house, swinging an axe. “It’s your fault my grandson is dead! You killed them with your toxic faith! Come outside! I will cut you to pieces!”
Throughout it all, Kusum was determined to cling to her faith. She prayed fervently to God. “I had only one certainty: I would not betray Jesus. Despite all of my tragedies, He has never disappointed me.”
And God is answering Kusum’s prayers in ways she hadn’t ever expected. As well as receiving financial and spiritual support from local Open Doors partners, thanks to your help, Kusum has seen an enormous shift in the attitude of her village.
“Due to my Christian faith, I faced a lot of persecution from my in-laws and the villagers,” Kusum says, “but now many villagers are coming to Jesus in my village. Since the pandemic lockdown, ten new families have come to Christ!”
Most of the new Christians in Kusum’s community came to faith after they were healed through prayer. Several times a week, she joins with the other believers in her village to pray. “When we gather for prayer, we pray for all Christians who are facing persecution. At the same time, I explain to all those believers that no matter how much persecution comes, we have to remain in the Word of God. We must be ready to face persecution.”
Kusum is especially thrilled that members of her own family have come to know Jesus! “My in-laws used to persecute me a lot, but now they believe in Christ,” she shares. “Many times, they used to come to my house to kill me. I always used to pray for them. The Lord heard my prayer, and now they are believers.
“Everyone has come to faith except my father-in-law – although he is also learning about the Christian faith. He now asks me to pray for him.”
You can read the full testimony here.