Death and despair have their strongholds in every culture and among all social classes. The human soul was created to be in fellowship with it’s Creator. However, when men and women have not heard the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, death appears to be the quick exit from pain, agony and emptiness. This is the back drop to the story of mankind in general, and to the following story in particular. (names changed for security reasons)
Lexi is a young lady in a rural village in India. Her young life had come crashing down as the Doctor informed her she had HIV/AIDS. It was a death sentence. A result from a life of prostitution. However, the pain became even more intense when she was betrayed by close friends who shared her plight with the locals and brought even more pressure to bear upon her heart as she became an outcast to her village. The village Elders asked her to leave and not come back.
As a Hindu and a believer in re-incarnation, Lexi began the journey to bring about change in her life. She desired to end her present life and have a re-incarnation to a better life. She planned to accomplish this by casting herself into the nearby river to be taken down by the whirlpool. She ran, with tears in her eyes and brokenness in her heart….she sprinted toward death!
As God’s gracious hand would orchestrate, while she sprinted to the river, she happened to cross paths with one of the church planters we just moved into her village. God had a Divine appointment of hope for Lexi. Brother Anand stopped her as she ran past him in tears and sorrow. He asked her what was going on? She gave him the story of her life of sin and the diagnosis of the HIV virus. Brother Anand along with his wife, took Lexi home and provided food and drink for her weak and weary body.
Bro. Anand began to share the message of Jesus Christ with her, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears as her pain drowned out the voice of hope. She shared how she still wanted to die. Then Bro. Anand and his wife asked if she would watch a DVD of a messages about the Cross of Jesus Christ. She agreed to watch it. Bro. Anand borrowed a TV and DVD player from a neighbor in the village and played the DVD message.
This message was one of the messages I shared at the Church Planter’s Conference last November. They had recorded the message on DVD as I spoke, via telephone, to 60 church planters. The message was on the Cross of Jesus….why He came, why He died, how He rose from the dead and His offer of eternal life. As Lexi watched and listened, something happened. The Holy Spirit began breaking through the state of turmoil in her soul and extended the message of forgiveness and salvation to this young lady. The love and comfort of Jesus arrested her heart and she began to cry.
After the message, Lexi surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. With tears flowing down her face, and in a moment of time, this hopeless and helpless young lady became a child of the Living God. Hope replaced despair….life replaced death….forgiveness replaced guilt.
Now, Lexi wants to live. As a new creation in Christ Jesus, she has the hope of a better resurrection and life eternal. She still has HIV/AIDS. Barring a miracle, it will take her physical life. However, it can not take her spirit, for now, that belongs to Christ. Yes, the Gospel is the only hope of every man. God, in His infinite mercy and compassion, arranged a meeting with one of our church planters to rescue Lexi from the horrors and despair of her sin.
The picture at the beginning of this post is Lexi immediately after receiving believer’s baptism in the very river she was sprinting toward in her quest for suicide. She was sprinting toward death and found life! Hallelujah, What a Savior!
***** Lexi sent a letter to me relating the above story. It makes all the tears, sacrifices and work for PROJECT INDIA worth it! We have a new sister in Christ…isn’t God good?