WILLS POINT, TX – WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada) founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan – Discussing Jiva, her husband, Vahaan, their desperate struggles in poverty magnified by water-borne illnesses, and the Gospel for Asia Church that turned sickness to praise.
Jiva sat outside her home with her husband, Vahaan, distractedly washing dishes. Pain and severe discomfort from her illness typically preoccupied her mind, but not right now—the words and songs coming from a nearby building captured her full attention. Vahaan listened intently, too, then he uttered a short sentence, and they both walked purposefully out of their courtyard.
Desperate for Relief
Vahaan and Jiva needed an answer. They were running out of medication—and finances. Vahaan normally earned money by cleaning the drains in front of people’s homes and businesses. It was lowly, menial work, but it provided for him and his wife. Or it had until the regular exposure to polluted water took its toll on his body. A stubborn urinary tract infection developed and rendered Vahaan unable to work.
Jiva developed an infection, too, and both were miserable for two months. Prescribed medications helped temporarily, but new infections soon manifested and troubled the couple again. Vahaan and Jiva’s plight became serious, and starvation entered their horizon. Their married daughter gave them some money to buy medicine and food temporarily, but without her help, they had no source of income.
Possibilities in the Air
Then one Sunday morning in February 2016, as Vahaan and Jiva sat uncomfortably in their courtyard, they heard songs floating across their village. Later, a voice shared passages from Scripture. It originated from a Gospel for Asia church building less than a mile away, where a thriving body of believers gathered to grow in Christ and praise His name. The congregation had recently constructed a permanent place of worship and had placed a loudspeaker atop their building so the community could hear their times of worship and teaching. Every Sunday, anyone traveling the nearby road or laboring in the fields could listen to words of life and hope.
On this day, everyone heard the fellowship pray for those who were sick. Vahaan and Jiva listened eagerly, especially when the pastor explained that Jesus was alive and had all power to heal. Learning that Jesus could “turn anything to possible that is impossible in the eyes of men,” Vahaan told Jiva they were going to the church that very morning. They immediately stood up and started walking toward the place of worship.
Vahaan had seen the building many times; he had even cleaned the drains in front of it. But he had never ventured within its doors. Standing now before the building with his wife, he hesitated. He felt unworthy to enter the place of worship. Would he be welcome inside?
His question was soon answered when a few believers noticed Vahaan and Jiva standing uncertainly outside. They warmly invited the couple to come in and join them for the rest of the pastor’s message.
They sat alongside the 110 believers and basked in the goodness of God’s Word. Each word from Gospel for Asia pastor Marton brought great encouragement to Vahaan and Jiva.
Sickness Turned to Praise in Gospel for Asia Church
Toward the end of the service, Pastor Marton prayed again for the sick. During the prayer, Vahaan and Jiva both thought to themselves how good it would be if they, too, could be healed. Desperate for help, they waited for a chance to speak with the man of God and ask for specific prayer.
Pastor Marton listened to their situation and offered guidance, helping them understand more about who Christ is. He prayed for them that morning—and all week long. Vahaan and Jiva returned to the church every day that week for times of prayer, and as they did so, faith in Christ grew and calmed their restless souls.
With each day of prayer, Vahaan and Jiva felt God’s hand of healing on their bodies. After a few days, their illnesses vanished! Both experienced relief from their suffering, and Vahaan could return to work again, which ended their financial crisis. The couple marveled at God’s power and greatly rejoiced in the love He demonstrated toward them in such a practical way.
They are now at home within the building they once hesitated to enter. They know the God whose praise is sung within those walls, and their own voices now rise in worship.
Buildings that Impact Lives
Church buildings in Asia play a crucial role in believers growing in their walks with Christ. They facilitate discipleship opportunities that would be extremely difficult, or even impossible, to organize in communities that lack a dedicated structure for worship gatherings. With a permanent building, a congregation can gather freely to praise God and study His Word. Permanent places of worship also remind communities that Jesus dwells among them in His children, like it reminded Vahaan and Jiva.
In many places, a church building can be constructed for just $40,000 USD—or less. Because a building may serve up to 500 people, that breaks down to providing one person with decades of safe worship for as little as $80 USD.
Your gift to help congregations build a permanent place of worship is one of the greatest blessings you can give to believers—and communities—in Asia.
Learn more about the GFA national workers who carry a burning desire for people to know the love of God. Through their prayers, dedication and sacrificial love, thousands of men and women have found new life in Christ.
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are Gospel for Asia stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.
Source: Gospel for Asia Featured Article, The Church that Ended the Gossip
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