The church in South Asia has gathered around one woman in a way that almost certainly saved her life.
World Challenge’s partners in Bangladesh work in one of Dhaka’s small neighborhood communities where almost everyone is considered a lower caste Hindu. The people who live in the neighborhood are mostly poor day laborers making a living by shining shoes, selling cow and goat skins or driving trucks.
World Challenge’s partners have been ministering in this community for the last six years, leading the people toward sustainable economic development as well as introducing them to biblical principles. One of the results of this ministry has been the establishment of two savings groups within the community.
While a savings group might seem like an odd way to minister to people, here it has proved an indispensable tool for sharing the gospel.
A Joyful, Frightening Discovery
Mrs. Rani became a member of the savings group last year. Although her family was quite poor, she demonstrated a lot of ambition. Her husband had no stable job and was living on a day-to-day basis, but Mrs. Rani convinced him to start a business selling vegetables by taking a small loan from their savings group.
Within a few days of opening their business, they were able to repay their loan. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, their small business continued to run well.
By combining savings group meetings with Discovery Bible Studies among these Hindus, World Challenge’s partner introduced Mrs. Rani to many stories about Jesus Christ. Trust was built among the savings group members, and when Mrs. Rani discovered she was pregnant, she felt comfortable sharing about her desperate needs.
A high fee was charged for delivering babies at the hospital, and Mrs. Rani worried she did not have enough money to cover the necessary expenses. The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the area did not help, since many friends and family had lost their jobs and sources of income and could not help her financially.
The Family of Christ
As Mrs. Rani revealed her fears and needs with the savings group, the other members decided to meet together to discuss what could be done to help. When they realized the gravity of Mrs. Rani’s situation, they all agreed to offer her a loan without charging any interest. In addition to praying for her and her unborn child, they were practically make sure she was provided for right then and there.
The savings group members helped admit Mrs. Rani to a nearby hospital. When the doctor discovered that the baby’s position showed complications, he immediately performed a Caesarean section, and a beautiful baby boy was born.
Mrs. Rani was so thankful for the help of the savings group, saying, "My family and I will never forget all you have done for us.”
With the help of the savings group members, she was able to overcome her financial and physical problems and safely give birth her child. Today, Mrs. Rani and her family believe in Jesus and pray and read their new Bible together every evening. Pray for this precious family to become a witness to their neighbors of God’s goodness and love.