Bina, a local literacy teacher, shares a story of faith and God’s provision amid the crippling realities of the pandemic in South Asia
At our partner project in South Asia, Bina is a literacy teacher and also leads a jamaat—a house church for Muslim-background believers. She learned to read and hear the stories of Isa (Jesus) from her older leader Nasrin’s class in 2017, and has since read the entire Injil (New Testament). Here, she shares a story of faith and God’s provision amid the crippling realities of the pandemic and lockdown.
Since the lockdown began, my family has been struggling to eat. My sons lost every source of income, and all our savings were depleted. As a Muslim who follows Isa, my family members expected me to perform a miracle and bring food and money to our home. I experienced the Devil telling me to blame my jamaat believers and those whom I used to tell the stories of Isa to for all our troubles. It was a great test of my faith.
But I remembered from the Injil that even Isa was tempted by the Devil with terrible hunger while fasting, and my heart rejected those awful thoughts. I remembered that Isa scolded the Devil with God’s words from the Torah and Zabur (Old Testament and Psalms), and this encouraged me!
So I gathered my courage and invited my two sons and daughter-in-law—none of whom are believers—to pray with me in the name of Isa. I explained to them about the power in His name and taught them that it is written in Injil that if we ask in Isa’s name, God, our Father, will answer. As I taught my children, my faith was strengthened. I began praising Isa as my Savior and Lord in singing, with tears on my face. I experienced peace in my heart and no longer worried about where we would eat or get money to buy food. But by morning, no miracle had happened. We still did not have food.
That same morning, Nasrin approached me and asked if I could help lead [her] jamaat for a time because she was sick and needed to frequently visit the hospital. I agreed, but did not mention anything about our family’s struggle for food. That same afternoon I visited her jamaat. To my surprise, at the end of our prayer meeting, the believers gave me a gift of 1,480 Indian Rupees (~$20), 5 kgs of flour, 2 kgs of cooking oil, and some vegetables. When I returned home that evening, my children rushed to tell me that Nasrin had also brought grocery items in bulk and cooked some delicious food that was now waiting for us!
How could I thank Isa, my Lord, enough? Immediately, I was reminded of my temptation to blame my fellow believers and jamaat members for my difficult situation, but that I was determined to follow Isa’s example in the wilderness by using the holy words of the Bible. I learned a powerful lesson: I can please God with my faith.
My leaders asked me, “Where have you learned all these new things about faith as a new believer?” I told them that I had been learning to read the whole Injil in the last year—that’s how. In this long, long lockdown, how can I please Isa, my God? Only by my faith.