This true story purposefully uses only Susila’s first name and is ambiguous regarding her home area in order to protect her from further persecution and beatings.
This grandmother lives in an area of northern India known for persecution of followers of Jesus Christ, but the Talking Bible has become her source of encouragement to continue in her faith despite hardships.
As Susila gently unwraps her Talking Bible from an ornate cloth she explains how she must hide it from her husband and family, “If I go to church they beat me and if I talk about God they will beat me, but when I can find a way to listen to the Talking Bible I find peace and strength.”
Like all the people in her area, Susila’s family were Hindu, so her earliest memories involve idol worship. She said she always thought there must be something more, but she continued in Hinduism because it was all she and the people around her knew.
Given in an arranged marriage at a young age, her new husband continued in the worship of idols, but later Susila met with a pastor who shared the truth with her. In 2011, she was given a Talking Bible and was secretly baptized with a group of Christians in her area.
Though she cannot attend church, Susila can now regularly listen to her Talking Bible in her mother tongue of Telugu, and occasionally meets with the pastor to ask questions.
As a Christian with a Hindu background, Susila says she completely understands how the people are trapped in the worship of idols and rejection of the true and living God, “Before meeting that pastor, and then receiving the Talking Bible, there were so many Hindu gods and goddesses in my heart, they had complete control.” Leaning forward to make her point she added, “They left, now there is peace and joy in my heart, even in the trials we face.“
Meeting far from her home, but eager to return before she was missed, Susila said she has listened through the New Testament and hearing the words of God helps her get through the hard times and helps her understand the suffering of the people in the Bible, adding, “I can now know very well, the parts about the crucifixion and how it shows the love, kindness and mercy of Jesus Christ to remove our sins.”
According to Susila, she has become very adept at hiding her Talking Bible because she is watched by her husband and neighbors. They forbid her from meeting with other Christians, so she cherishes the time she can come to a church gathering or have fellowship. It is only when her husband is away at work that she can listen, but then she is careful that neighbors do not hear, or family members unexpectedly come and find her with the Talking Bible.
Carefully wrapping her Talking Bible in its cloth again, she tucks it into the folds of her sari. As she leaves Susila says, “We face so many problems, but we need to hear the word of God.”
Will you pray about supporting the placement of Talking Bibles with the poor, non-readers like Susila in isolated villages throughout the world? You can make an impact for Jesus with unreached people who have never heard the Word of the Lord.