The believers inside the tea estate wanted to worship the Lord in safety and peace, but it seemed nature and their neighbors were against them.
Sanjivan had lain paralyzed and bedridden for several years. There was no cure, there was no hope. And he was so young. He barely had the chance to live out his life. Then Sanjivan and his family met Pastor Ekanpreet.
“When we talked about God’s healing, care and love to them, there was a hope in this family,” Ekanpreet shares.
Some GFA-supported women missionaries also served in the area and began ministering to the family. They visited often and massaged Sanjivan’s body with oil. Seeing the tender care and love of God’s people deeply moved the family. But Sanjivan didn’t recover. Even when the young boy passed away, the family didn’t doubt God’s goodness.
That was the very beginning of a fellowship in the tea estate. Sanjivan’s family was the first one to trust in Jesus. Gradually, two to three other families joined them in loving Christ. The fellowship built a temporary shed with their meager earnings, and it opened a wider door for ministry.
“Once we constructed the church’s temporary shed, people started to observe us,” Ekanpreet says. “Gradually, people were hearing about what we were saying, and they were coming . . .”
Growing Ministry Comes with Persecution
But then some people began harassing them. They interrupted worship services, telling Pastor Ekanpreet and others to stop ministering in their area. When the believers continued to gather, the group demolished the temporary church structure and beat the believers. From then on, persecution only increased.
The believers endured a barrage of physical and mental persecution. They were cut off from the public well; they were arbitrarily slapped as people walked by; they were put in danger if they climbed a ladder for work, because villagers would pull the ladder from under them so they could fall.