Turning Disaster into Triumphs
With all the problems generated in the Ukraine, Islamic State and the Ebola virus, another disaster of biblical proportions, has largely gone unnoticed by the world. There were floods during September in India and Pakistan and raging torrents of water swept whole villages away, leaving countless poor people homeless, hungry and victims of deadly Dengue Fever. In many of our villages 80% or more of the mud houses and tents have just disappeared. New Horizons Missions has done what it can to deal with this human tragedy, by providing food and shelter to as many of the victims as possible. Whether they be Christians, Hindus or Pagans, we try to help these unfortunates in the name of Jesus.
But there is always good news – even in the face of disaster. This is the story of Somnia Rapul, a 55 year old Hindu widow with 5 children. She was trapped in her house when the flood waters burst the river banks near her home. Unable to evacuate her family, they moved onto the roof for safety. Unfortunately her 10 year old son, was caught in the raging waters and drowned. For 3 days they huddled on the roof with no food or warm coverings, hoping that they would be rescued – but no one came.
Then Pastor Zachary and his Bible-study boys heard her cries as they were patrolling the area in a borrowed boat looking for survivors. They came close to her location but the water was too fast and dangerous to attempt a rescue. Calling to her to, “hold on”, they returned to the New Horizons camp where they found a long rope and then went back to the trapped family. Putting their lives at risk in the raging waters, the young men managed to tie their boat to the house. One by one, they carried the family into the relative safety of the boat. Finally, with compassion and sensitivity, they moved the dead body of the 10 year old son to the boat and then started their painstakingly slow journey back to Camp New Horizons.
Back at the Camp, the Bible-boys fed the widow and her children and comforted her as they buried her 10 year-old son. For the next seven days they continued to feed Somnia and her children and invited them to listen to the Bible as the NHM Pastors were teaching from its pages. Then something amazing happened – this family who had been strict Hindus for countless generation, came to Pastor Zachary and confessed their sins and asked to be baptized as Christians. “We have never experienced such love and compassion before. We were strangers and yet you risked your lives to save us. We were hungry and you fed us.” Pastor Zachary told her that this was exactly what Jesus had said in the Bible.
She finished her testimony by saying that before she met the New Horizons Christians, she believed she would never see her son again. Now as a Christian, she knew she would be reunited with him in heaven. Christianity is a religion of hope and where God can turn a disaster into a triumph.
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