An arranged marriage.
A drunken man filled with hate.
God’s love and a woman’s faithfulness.
From a difficult start to their marriage to a strong evangelism ministry, Annuj and Shakruntla have grown in their love for each other and their faith in Jesus Christ. And they have an excitement and passion to share their faith with their family, friends, and community.
In the weeks before their pre-arranged marriage, Annuj planned to kill his fiancée Shakruntla to run away and begin a new life. He says he despised that she was always praying to Jesus and thought she would get in the way of his drinking.
Now, almost 25 years later, Annuj and Shakruntla not only have two grown daughters, but also a marriage like very few people in their area of Punjab, India have. With less than 1.3 percent Christians in Punjab, Annuj and Shakruntla’s marriage stands out because it testifies of Jesus Christ and draws others to Him.
Shakruntla says though her family was Christian, they were also very traditional. She was very disappointed to learn who her parents were arranging for her to marry. Before they were married, Annuj was known as a drunkard who became violent. He says while it initially angered him, it was the witness of Shakruntla praying for him and their marriage that interested him in Christianity. After visiting with his future wife’s pastor, Annuj left his family tradition and began following Christ with his new wife.
The young couple grew in faith not only by attending church, but because they were literate and able to read their Bible. As they grew in faith they desired to share what they were learning, but were not able. Shakruntla explains, “Many of our family and friends felt emptiness, but we couldn’t ask them to read a Bible because they are illiterate.”
Three months ago the couple received a Talking Bible from their church to help them share the Good News of Jesus Christ in their community. Annuj says it helps that the Talking Bible looks like a traditional Bible, so it is received as scripture. The couple says they like to begin by sharing their testimony, and that opens the door for groups to gather and listen to the Talking Bible.
Sitting close together, Shakruntla says they have now become evangelists with their church. She and her husband like to play sections of their Talking Bible which speak of the love of Christ and shows that He died for all.
Annuj adds they particularly like to play the chapters from the Book of Romans for people to learn from. He paraphrased Romans 6:6 by saying, “Our old ways are crucified with Jesus and now removed so they no longer control us.”
The happily married couple says their Talking Bible has completely changed their evangelism ministry. Shakruntla explains the device has opened doors for ministry to the blind, to their illiterate neighbors, and to a nearby orphanage they often visit.
Annuj comments that besides using the Talking Bible for evangelism, even as a reader, he is growing with the spoken Word. He says listening to large portions of Scripture at a time has reminded him of the love of Christ that leads to the cross, His death and resurrection. He adds, “It has been a good reminder that He is coming back soon.”
What an incredible testimony of faithfulness, God’s power, and His working through his servants, Annuj and Shakruntla, to reach those who may never otherwise hear God’s Word.