Stories

Lijesh: The Literacy Class Mentor’s Dad

Lijesh hated Christians. His village tribe considered Jesus to be a foreign God, and anyone who tried to share the Gospel with them was persecuted by the village leaders. Lijesh was proud of his own beliefs and followed spiritually-dark practices. For example, he periodically came down with severe stomach pain and always went to witch doctors for help. Time and time again, the pain returned.

But four years ago, Lijesh’s daughter, Salvi, received Jesus as her Savior. She trusted the Lord with all her heart and felt a heavy burden to carry out God’s work in her village and family.

Lijesh couldn’t stand this. He hated Salvi for leaving their family’s gods and treated her cruelly. The family threatened and alienated Salvi for renouncing her faith in the family’s gods, and other villagers turned against her. She faced opposition from all fronts.

Yet, no matter how much torture she had to face, Salvi stood firm in her faith. To live out God’s call on her life to spread the Gospel in her village, Salvi became a project manager for a group of Mission India Adult Literacy Classes. She began mentoring and guiding five Adult Literacy teachers who each led a class. While sharing the love of Jesus through the classes’ Bible-based curriculum, Salvi prayed unceasingly for her family.

Lijesh was illiterate, so Salvi invited him to attend an Adult Literacy Class. When he had stomach pain, she offered to pray with him in Jesus’ name. Lijesh always refused her offers, but Salvi continued to pray for his transformation.

One day, Lijesh had an onset of stomach pain that was so severe, he had to be taken to the hospital—and Salvi was by his side the whole time. She showed Christ-like love to her dad, helping him in his time of need. As Lijesh experienced this, he began to feel guilty for the way he’d been treating his daughter.

When he was discharged to go home with partially-improved health a few days later, Lijesh decided to visit one of the local Adult Literacy Classes Salvi had been talking about. He had to admit, the classes seemed to have a good atmosphere, and the lessons sounded interesting to him. Lijesh became a regular attendee, and he gradually learned how to read, write, and do basic math.

The Bible-based curriculum in the Adult Literacy Class provided Lijesh with another opportunity to hear about Jesus. When he listened to his teacher share about Jesus’ love and His death on the cross, he finally wanted to be prayed for in Jesus’ name. Salvi brought a local pastor to her family’s house, and he asked God to completely heal Lijesh. Within 10 days, his stomach pain was gone!

Lijesh was convicted after this miracle. He and his entire family received Jesus Christ as their Savior!

The family then joined a local worshipping group and even started a prayer group in their own home. Lijesh, who used to hate Christians, now stands for the Lord. Salvi’s prayers have been answered; her dad and entire family are transformed!