The abuse began when 12-year-old Saree’s parents found out she had accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.
“Almost every time I went to church, my brother and father beat me.”
Eventually, Saree’s family disowned her and kicked her out to go live on the streets.
But God had shown his love for this young girl in such a powerful way that not even this horrible treatment from her own family could separate her from her Savior.
“Your family members are not believers in the true God,” Saree’s aunt told her one day. “But I am. Come with me. My God will heal you.”
This is the conversation that would lead to Saree’s life being changed forever.
You see, Saree was born deaf and had already suffered much in her 12 years of life.
“I was bullied at school for being deaf,” she revealed.
Her parents desperately sought healing for her ears, but nothing ever came of their efforts. “We went to the hospital, to Hindu temples and even to people who practiced witchcraft. Nothing helped.”
Then Saree’s aunt invited her to attend her church. This is where Saree’s healing journey truly began.
During her attendance, she remembers that, “The people were singing songs, and the preacher taught from the Word of God. I heard a little bit of sound, so I could understand a little of what was being said and sung. The songs made me happy.”
When the sermon was over, a nervous Saree walked to the front with the pastor and others. She agreed to pray. “While they were praying, I could hear sounds. Slowly, the sounds became louder and louder.”
“I also felt something coming to me. It came closer and closer. It was the presence of God. Then the sounds became really clear. I could hear everything. I was incredibly happy.”
But Saree’s happiness did not end there. After she heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with her own ears, she accepted Him and made the most important decision of her life: to follow our Savior, no matter what the opposition.
And there was opposition.
Jesus had healed Saree’s body and her soul, but her family did not see things the way this young girl did. They were firmly against her belief in Jesus Christ. And not even miraculously gaining her ability to hear would convince them that Jesus was the One True Way.
They tried to beat her belief out of her.
Just about every time she went to church, Saree’s father and brother would beat and kick her. But young Saree would not relent. She would not give up her newfound peace and Truth.
So, when violence did not work, they kicked her out of the house and disowned her.
Saree managed to make it six miles to the house of one of her relatives to seek safety, but her mother found her and took her back home. This is when her brother beat her again.
But Saree would still not give up her Faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ. She was able to escape her house and went to the house of her aunt.
She still struggles with everything that’s happened to her, but is comforted and encouraged by the fellowship she’s found with other believers. “I think about the fellowship we have on Sundays. Whenever I feel depressed, I think about fellowship.”
“A believer sister told me, ‘Don’t leave Jesus Christ. We are here.’ She encouraged me from the Word of God. That strengthened me.”
Young Saree draws peace, as well as strength, from the Word of God. “God has said that He will never leave nor forsake us. He is our healer,” she said.
And she is right.
Saree has been living with her aunt for months now. She still talks to her mother and older sister, but only occasionally.
And Saree is not alone. There are many like her in India, persecuted for their Faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.
According to Open Door USA, India is tenth on their watch list of the worst nations in the world for Christian persecution.
There have even been reports of death for new believers, as well as reports of violence against the children of Christian parents.
But this persecution will not be the end of Christianity in India.
Indeed, Pastor Joseph D’Souza, a human rights worker in India, gave CBN News a statement in January of last year that reiterates what many have realized before.
He said that, “Persecution has never stopped the growth of the church. In fact, when we are attacked, when we are persecuted, we become stronger. They’re standing strong and they’re not recounting.”
Though persecuted by her family, Saree withstood their violence and did not recant.
We must always remember to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters all over the world, including Saree and those like her. Persecution against Christians is on the rise, but where there is persecution, there is perseverance and undying faith.
Just as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
So we too must stand in the face of persecution. We must come together and help our brothers and sisters facing persecution, because in that persecution, we will find patience, experience, and hope. This will make us unashamed and unfaltering in our belief.
And it will lead to the spreading of the Love of God.
If you would like more information on how to help those Christians who are being persecuted, please feel free to visit https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/.